Tuesday, February 28

LENT is a blessing

I have fallen by the way side as many many lent promises do. This year my promise to myself has held strong! NO FAST FOOD & NO SODA for 40 days. I personally feel that I have NO WILLPOWER. I am sure that somewhere deep down I do. I have yet to find it and use it as of late. I have been living a life of excess you could say. I am not typically a daily soda drinker by any means but I do enjoy them every once in a while. Enough and often enough that it started to gain momentum without me noticing. I knew that this would become a big road block to my future weight loss if I could not kick this habbit. I don't think you know how hard it becomes when start to restrict yourself and how strong that desire can become when you say no. I am so very glad that lent has started. It was just one more push in the right direction. I also decided I would give up fast food because I am always tempted to stop and get a quick bite. After 5 years chaining driving and eating behaviors it is no wonder I am hungry when I get in my car (please excuse this bit of self analysis). I knew that I would have to change my behavior. If I could last as long as lent (its only 40 days) without a "slip" I could chnage my eating for good! Now I do have to admit that I have given myself 1 EXCEPTION only. I am only allowed to have soda in my mixed drinks. Now if you know me just a little, you know how much I LOVE "my long islands" or "strong islands" as my friends call them! If your unfamiliar there are seven shots of various alcohols and a splash of coke and sweet & sour. I am giving myself this exception only because if I find myself in need of a drink I would rather have a long island than a beer! I also feel compelled to share that I don't often drink but I couldn't take away all my vices at the same time... it would be the equivilent of giving up before I started. The other thing that is important, or was to me, was not to participate in FAT TUESDAY. If I binged on the day of indulgence I feared that I would continue to engage in these bad habbits of mine.

Monday, February 20

Day 6

Day 5 was a REST day... that was by far my favorite day. So... I ended up spending all weekend practicing my Day 5 work out!! Today is supposed to be Day 8 but it will be Day 6. I was inspired by my Lil' Sis. She has been working out 8 times per week! She has a wonderful trainer, who has her dedicated to her fitness. She looks so amazing! Just 4 months ago she was in my wedding and while she was beautiful she did not feel her best. When I saw her on saturday she was just beaming. She looks amazing!! I am so proud of her... her dedication to herself and fitness... and her new lifestyle. It really did insire me to get back to my routine!

Thursday, February 16

it is already...Day 4... technically...

I say technically because although I did my day 3 yesterday... I am feeling sick and unsure if I can even get through the 2 minute work out today. My poor hubby is out for the count as well. I am hoping that I can will myself to get through it! If I can make it through today I know I will be excited to have my day 5 rest!! **Hold on** OK, I think I was gone about 5 minutes... I know it didn't seem that long at all. I think getting sick has already taken a toll on this simple work out. YUCK! I can't believe it took me 5 minutes to do 40 jumping jacks and 25 crunches! Although, crunches are my weakness. I will say, with the exception of today this week I have woken up energized EVERY DAY since I started this work out! I am so excited to be done with this weeks work out!

Monday, February 13


That is right... I said it... SUCCESS!!! After all the delays and plans to wait for my hubby, I had to start. I had to face the truth. My weight loss does not depend on anyone but myself. It does not need to wait for someone else to be ready or have enough energy. It only needs me! I need to start! It took all of 1 minute to complete my day 1 (20 jumping jacks and 10 crunches). I can't believe I have been putting off 1 minute of exercise. 1 minute!! I can not believe that is all it took. Now that all the dread is passed I am looking forward to repeating the work out with my hubby when he is ready.
I am excited to take on multiple projects. Healthier meals, exercise routines, and a beautiful partnership with my husband. Ultimately, so that we will be able to create a healthy and happy life for our future family.

Sunday, February 12

fail.. ALREADY!!

OK... so after my husband committed to getting fit with me he also promptly delayed the start three times! Finally, I decided to start on my own! Day 1 is simple... 20 jumping jacks and 10 crunches. It seemed so simple right. Maybe that is why it was so easy to delay starting the 60 day fitness challenge. Well I am waiting no longer... TOMORROW is Day 1! HA HA HA!!! How many of you thought I was starting today, right this moment? Well, even though I know it is true that I should... it is really important to have someone who supports you when taking on any big challenge!! So I will dutifully wait for my husband. :)

Thursday, February 9

a new personal challenge... won't you join me?!?

Since my 30 day crafts challenge has ended it is time to pick up a new challenge... yes... DIET. I know those kinds of 4 letter words are inappropriate for use in polite society. Here is what I found! Something so simple. Something so easy to follow. Something I could even follow!!
Check it out below...

1200 Calorie Diet Plan for Women

Fruit (2-3 svgs) Choose from:
4 oz. juice (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sliced/chopped cooked or raw fruit
(fresh, frozen, or canned.)

1 whole medium piece of fruit
1/4 cup dried fruit

Vegetables (2-3 svgs) Choose from:
4-6 oz. juice (1/2 – 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup fresh non-leafy vegetables
1/2 cup cooked vegetables
1 cup fresh leafy greens
NOTE: Choose at least 5 total fruit and vegetable servings a day for a healthier diet. Have no more than 1 serving of fruit or vegetable juice per day

Whole grain breads and cereals (preferred) (3-4 svgs) Choose from:
1/2 cup high fiber dry cereal (about 80-100 calories with
4+ grams of fiber)

1 slice high fiber bread with at least 2 grams of fiber
about 1/2 cup whole grain crackers (less than 100 calories with 2+ grams fiber)
1/2 cup cooked whole grain (brown rice, pasta, cereal)
1 SMALL whole grain muffin (about 150-160 calories providing 1/2 svg whole grain plus 1/2 serving fat)

Refined grain breads and cereals such as white bread (Try to avoid on a 1200 calorie diet. Eat only when whole grain choices are not available.)

Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or beans (1-2 svgs)
Choose from:

2 oz. lean meat, fish, or poultry
1/2 cup cooked dried beans (legumes)
1 egg
1 Tbsp. peanut butter or other nut butter

Low fat and nonfat dairy (2 svgs) Choose from:
1 cup skim milk or 1% milk
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
1-2 oz. light cheese
1 cup low fat yogurt

Fats (1-4 svgs) Choose from:
1 tsp. healthy oil (such as olive oil or canola) or soft margarine
1 tsp. regular mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. regular salad dressing
2 Tbsp. light salad dressing

Nuts and Seeds (A healthy choice but high in calories eat only on occasion.) Choose from:
1/2 oz. nuts
1 Tbsp. seeds

Sweets/other (1-2 svgs) Choose from:
1 tsp. maple syrup, sugar, jelly, or jam
1 gingersnap
1 vanilla wafer

Now here's the deal... there is no way that the "d-word" alone could make a huge impact. I have also decided to do a 60 day exercise challenge with my husband as well! I am so excited... I found both of these on Pinterest. You can find them both on my "body" board. Today is day 1...

Tuesday, February 7

30 day challenge.... just in case you'd like to try it!

30 day challenge

Day 1: When you were a child, how did you express your creativity?
Day 2: What colors are meaningful to you and why?
Day3: What words or phrases do you find inspiring and why?
Day4: Do some doodling... share it and write about it!
Day 5: What artists do you seek out for inspiration? Create a small something based on your source. Day 6: How does your living space reflect your creative nature? Share a picture if you can!
Day 7: Relax! Do you relax to create or create to relax?
Day 8: Create a self portrait, draw or photograph yourself. What do you see?
Day 9: Make a list of creative people you are grateful for today.
Day 10: Create something today inspired by nature!
Day 11: Stop and look around you. There is something in this room you've never noticed before. What is it?
Day 12: Look at a child. See how connected they are to their creative self? Pretend you are a child and make something.
Day 13: Try something new! Play today with a new form of art or craft!
Day 14: Make something to give away. Send a card to a friend or make a little gift for someone you care about.
Day 15: Do you like to try new things? What about trying something new do you like or dislike?
Day 16: Do you create best when your emotions are high? Do you turn to creative endeavors when you are sad, angry, or just filled with joy?
Day 17: Sing. Sing a song... make it simple to last your whole life long! How did that feel?
Day 18: Does the way you dress show your creativity? How? If not, why not?
Day 19: Do you keep a creative journal or have an inspiration board? Share!
Day 20: Read a crafty book or blog and write about it or create something inspired by it!
Day 21: Find and photograph one object in your home and create something inspired by it.
Day 22: Take time today to thank your favorite creative people for their talents. Comment on their blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
Day 23: Listen to a favorite song or artist and create something inspired by that music.
Day 24: What is your "Creative Bucket List"? List 12 creative things you want to learn more about. Day 25: Write a simple Haiku. (5-7-5)
Day 26: Write, draw or paint something with your non-dominant hand.
Day 27: What is the usual theme of your work? If you tend to create joyful, bright and optimistic art, then try to create something somber or dark... or vice versa. Day 28: Paint with your fingers.
Day 29: Photograph your favorite feature.
Day 30: Make a Creative Tool Kit! Compile your favorite words and phases of inspiration, swatches or fabric and color, drawings and doodles, and images into a little book you can pull out anytime you need to be inspired!

Day 30... I made it!

Day 30: Make a Creative Tool Kit! Compile your favorite words and phases of inspiration, swatches or fabric and color, drawings and doodles, and images into a little book you can pull out anytime you need to be inspired!

Ok.. first I just wanted to say... I MADE IT!!! My 30 day challenge is complete! I can not wait to see what I take on next! Feel free to leave challenges or ideas below!

Now back to the challenge... "Make a Creative Tool Kit"... I already do this! I keep a real life pin board in my craft room and a virtual pin board on Pinterest. I keep up images of my favorite things, like GLITTER! I also keep boxes for each project for the future... *cough*my wedding album *cough*... that I plan on completing so that I can keep track of what I have already purchased and hopefully not end up with duplicates.

I would rather create a tool kit for you! SO... I have come up with a few items that I would call "must haves" for scrapbooking and crafting!

- Thick Cardstock... in a variety of colors, comes in handy for multiple activities.
- Adhesives... my favorites are glue dots & modge podge but picking the one that is right for the job is more important than sticking to favorites.
- Paper Trimmer... a paper trimmer that leaves a clean cut is important. If you want to leave a decorative trim feel free to use patterned scissors or cut by hand- it should be by choice not because of a poor quality blade or trimmer.
- Silent Setter... a quick and easy way to set eyelets & brads. I love it because it is quiet in comparison to the old school hammer setter. Although, you can use the hammer for other projects where the Silent Setter is limited to hole punching and setting details.
- Clear Block (for acrylic stamps): This is one of those tools which is easily overlooked because if you are stamping the most important part is the actual stamp. This little beauty lets you clearly and accurately place stamps with out the guess work!

Other favorite items:
Cricut Cutting Systems, Patterned Scissors, Glue Pads for creating glitter stamped designs, Stencils, Patterned paper, Photo corners, Ruler, Exacto Knife,  AND Scrapbooks to put finished pages in!

Monday, February 6

DAY 29

Day 29: Photograph your favorite feature.

My favorite feature is... my... husband! Ok, I know he is not a feature of me but its my favorite! A feature that is uniquely me... my... eyes! I don't even mind anymore when my family teases me. When I smile they all but disappear. Back in the day, when I was learning to drive they used to tease me that I better not smile or laugh while I drive or I was bound to crash. Oh, my family is so clever. It doesn't hurt that I have an obsession with accessorizing my eyes... aka MAC eyes shadows! It is the one super girly skill that I have down. I know I use this phrase a lot but I LOVE MAC! Their eye shadow specifically... they have so many colors and in different styles: matte, satin, shimmer, etc. I have so much fun putting together crazy colors for an evening out. An example you say... try lime green, coral orange, gold, shimmery pink, and black with sparkles! I know that may be hard to imagine and unfortunately I do not have a picture but I will work on that! I do have a picture of my make up done by MAC for my wedding. I did my best to recreate it later but I could never get it the exact same- maybe because the pictures I took had too much flash, or maybe becuase I am not a professional make up artist, or something in between. Either way ... enjoy!

Sunday, February 5

Day 28

Day 28: Paint with your fingers.

I love painting with my fingers!

One of my favorite mediums is actually shaving cream. Did you know that if you put food coloring or tempera paints in your shaving cream you can actually color with it! Also you can create beautiful art work and when it dries it has a crackle appearance.

Another very fun way to paint is spray paint! I love to spray paint EVERYTHING! Wooden letters, picture frames, wicker baskets, candle sticks, etc. If your like me and waiting for paint to dry feels like an eternity, spray paint is an amazing alternative. It gives you the unbelievable ability to change the color of your surroundings. 

Saturday, February 4


This really should go under giveaways but I just couldn't wait to tell about it!

Hopefully by now all the wonderful ladies have recieved their gifts.
I really tried to create something especially for each gal!

MINI SCRAPBOOKS... made from a single 12x12 page of cardstock!

Enjoy Ladies!!

Friday, February 3

Day 27

Day 27: What is the usual theme of your work? If you tend to create joyful, bright and optimistic art, then try to create something somber or dark... or vice versa.

I would like to think that the theme of my work is joyful. I love to highlight the best of those that I love and the times we share together. I'm not sure I could create something more somber. I think the closest I got was a memorial book for my Nonno. That was more like a celebration of life when all was said and done.
I was surprised the other day when Nonni requested to view it. The memorial album had been sitting on the bottom shelf out of her reach and covered in dust for months. When she opened it she got this big smile on her face. The first pictures of Nonno are him in his prime, he was so handsome. It was such a joy to see her light up and share stories of her past. She told us about a friend who asked how she landed such a catch! I love hearing those stories, and even better is the kick my Nonni gets out of telling them!
At the end of the day it really is all about those moments that make you smile. That is what I want to preserve so that when I am feeling down or when things don't go my way, I have something that brightens my day. I really don't think I could create something somber, nor would I like to try.

Wednesday, February 1

Day 26

Day 26: Write, draw or paint something with your non-dominant hand.

I have always dreamed of being ambidextrous as a kid. I even thought that I could train myself to be that way. I used to practice writing with each hand and each finger position possible. So below is my attempt to show you my hand writing skills.

Day 25

Day 25: Write a simple Haiku. (5-7-5)

I never was any good at peotry. Everything I tried always seemed to be forced or too contrived to be beautiful. This my attempt at a Haiku.

Beautiful still life
I can't wait to scrap book you
photos of my past