Wednesday, November 27, 2013

No more strawberry jam

Last week marked a sad moment in our home.  We finished off the last of our homemade strawberry jam.  It was a sad day, followed by a trip to Costco to get some organic strawberry spread, because we really need our strawberry jam!

Next year I think I will need to make four to five batches to have enough for a year.  It sounds exhausting, but I think it will be TOTALLY worth it!

My sad empty strawberry jam jar

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An almost tree skirt

I started this tree skirt a bit ago.  It went together quickly and I was ready to quilt it, then life happened. 

Finally, this weekend I finished quilting it.  I still have to bind the edges, but I am a bit nervous it won't be big enough for our tree so I am going to wait until this weekend when we put up the tree. 

 I started with gold thread, but it must be too old because it kept breaking.  A lot of breaking.  So I gave up on the gold and switched to green. 

I am getting a little better at free motion quilting, but it can be exhausting!  In the end it worked out pretty well. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weight Struggles are Life Long-Don't forget

If you read the blog (which I know there are like, 10 of you!), you know that I recently lost a LOT of weight and made some really good healthy choices.  Well.....I had a bit of a slide down the weight gain way.

I have been beating myself up for it and getting angry about it now for a couple weeks.  I gained back 15 pounds from my lowest weigh in.  That is A LOT.  I am NOT happy.  I would like to blame the surgery, which was a part of the problem.  You see I had gotten really used to working out hard five days a week.  Hard enough that eating 1800 calories a day was not an issue, in fact it was needed.  Then I had a three week no exercise period followed by a visit to my grandmother's house.  My willpower and mental happiness level were not able to deal with all of the candy in that house. 

Once I start down the sugar train I can't stop.  It is just a huge mess.  Before all that I could eat just one or just one serving of a sweet, now I am back to being the pig I was before I lost the weight.  It is not good and I am not happy.  Did I say that already?

Also, I really DON'T want to go back on my diet.  It is NOT a fun diet to be on, it is hard and I don't want to.  I feel like a two year old....

What I need to do is stop the sugar intake.  It is going to be hard, but I threw away the kids candy and have gotten rid of all the junk in the house (mostly).   My biggest issue now will be avoiding my husband's chocolate chips. 

I am very frustrated with myself, and I have decided to try a cleanse that my friends have had luck with.  So Advocare here I come.  I am not sure what will happen, and I am not doing the 24 day challenge, I can't afford that, but I need to get rid of this sugar addiction and get back to being a normal healthy person.  Not just for my weight, but also for my mental health. 

Then I have to admit to myself that I have an issue with sugar and food.  I CANNOT be lax EVER.  I HAVE TO EXERCISE AND EAT RIGHT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I CAN'T TAKE A WEEK OFF.

I am posting this picture from a year ago as a reminder of what I don't want to be again.  Just think that was me after I had already lost about 30 pounds.  Only 80 more off this picture and you have were I am today. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

eggless meatballs

I have always wanted to make a meatball, but never have because I didn't know if it would work without egg.

Well, I decided to try anyway and VIOLA!!  It works.  I did go ahead and add some applesauce and baking powder to imitate the egg and provide some moisture.  These were VERY yummy.

 Big L in true picky fashion liked the meatballs, but didn't like the sauce on them.  She liked the sauce separate, but not together.  OY!  Next time I will leave her meatballs out of the sauce.  To me it added some flavor and I liked it.  Now you know a meat ball will still remain a ball even without an egg!  YEAH!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rockin' my jewelry

I used to be a timid jewelry wearing gal.  No statement pieces here.  Until I started selling Lia Sophia, and then  WHAMMY.  I thought to myself, why not try!?  

This is the first time I wore this necklace and ring combo.  I also wore the matching earrings, not pictured.  I received SO MANY compliments on these pieces.  I also felt great wearing them.  They were pretty awesome to wear.  Having the confidence to wear a statement piece boosts your confidence.  Make sense?  Chicken or egg, I don't know, but I really liked this!

Oh and if you think you need to dress up to wear something like this think again.  That is my Old Navy bargain shirt which I paired with jeans and boots.  Nothing fancy but my jewelry!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Parking Lot Blow Ups

Yesterday was grocery day for us.  Little l and I dropped off big L at dance and ran to the store, almost literally, we have one hour to shop, get the groceries home in the fridge and get back to take big L from dance to TKD.  CRAZY!!!!!

It works though and we did it.

When we were in the parking lot loading up the car we were witness to a complete melt down/blow up by a woman.  She had been sitting in her car and someone pulled up next to her.  While getting out this man bumped her car with his car door.  It happens right?  More than we like to admit, it happens.  The man did not intend to hit her car from what I could see, nor was it a hard enough hit for me to hear it from the next lane over, but this woman LOST it.

The couple she started screaming at was older, not old, but around my parents age.  Old enough that in my mind respect should be given until it isn't deserved (though I guess that applies in my mind despite the age).  She wouldn't stop though, and the man even tried showing that the damage she was pointing to couldn't have been caused by his door.  To no avail, she paced and yelled and tried to pull other people in to the situation.  Some people went up to look at what she was yelling about and most walked away unimpressed by the "damage".

At first, I wanted to go tell her to calm down it was just a car, but I paused.  I began to think of scenarios where this "DIVA" (her term not mine, this was on her license plate) may have just cause to behave in this manner.  Perhaps she had saved for years and finally been able to buy this car after years of driving a beater and wham this guy hits her in the parking lot and her perfect car was blemished.

Maybe this wasn't about the car, maybe she just found out her parent is dying, or lost her job at work. I don't know.  It could all be crap, and she could just be mean.

What I did take away from this, is that we should all be aware of how our behavior appears to others. I was not sympathetic to her, and I didn't see much sympathy from anyone else either.  She appeared petty and cruel.  She may have had her reasons and not been in full control of her reactions, but she was not presenting her argument properly.

I had a moment a few weeks ago when the same thing happened.  I was more like the screaming lady than I care to admit.  Only difference being mine wasn't in public.  Sometimes changing how you react to a situation is the best way to effectively deal with it.  While I still bristle over the situation I am dealing with and I am frustrated to no end, I am changing the way I approach it.  If after this change I still can't get it to work it will be time for some outside mediation.

We will see.....Just my thoughts though, during this supposedly thankful season perhaps we should go out of our way to be kinder to one another and instead of blowing up over accidents be more accepting of apologies when no malice was present.  An accident is just that, an accident.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homemade Vanilla

As I was looking through the pinterest pages the other day I found a homemade gift pin that included homemade vanilla extract.  I was intrigued.  Can't find the pin, even though I swear I pinned it, but hey I did see it.  Since the holiday season is among us, and handmade gifts need to start being made I am on it.

Since I lost the pin I had to find a recipe, but it turns out vanilla extract is super simple to make.  Why have I been paying so much over the years for this stuff?

I found long vanilla beans and bottles on amazon, then went to the store and bought vodka.  Funny story, I don't know when I have ever purchased hard liquor before and our store has a roving liquor/wine lady who helps you.  Well I must have looked confused as all get out because she zipped right over.  Since we were not looking a beer I didn't really have a CLUE what the better deal was, and that was really all I was looking for; a good deal.  I knew I had a coupon on my app thingy, but she wasn't in the mood to give me time to compare and such.  She tried to sell me kettle one, which I am sure is a great vodka, but truly, couldn't tell you, until I told her what I was doing.  Then it was to the Smirnoff and I was out of there.

So I cleaned out my bottles, sliced my vanilla beans and added the vodka and beans to the bottles.  From what I read online this is one of those it gets better with time, so I had to get it started now for giving in December.

I must say this is a relatively inexpensive and EASY homemade gift.

Here is what I have so far:
 This was the first day.  No color, just sitting in the vodka extracting....
Now it is starting to look like vanilla extract!  I can't wait to try it!

What are you making for the holidays?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Best laid outside

This morning was eventful.  I went to my yoga class to find my teacher gone, he is having a family a emergency and my thoughts are with him and his family.  The substitute was different, much more mellow, not as invigorating or challenging, but not bad.  I am spoiled by my morning teacher as he is awesome. 

I got home from yoga to find little l wandering around as if looking for her lost sheep.  First thing out of her mouth, "I pee peed in my pull up.  I need a new one".  Okay, mom duty begins dad is.....still sleeping?!?!? 

Got the big L off to the bus stop after packing a lunch for her, feeding breakfast and eating breakfast.  I packed a lunch and bag for little l and I, threw it in the stroller, along with the child and off we went.  We began our trek to the park from the school bus stop and it was still a bit cold, but it was nice to be outside in the mostly fresh air.

The only wildlife we saw this morning was a bunny, no javelina in our path.  Though, off topic, yesterday we had to pause while driving to allow a bobcat to cross the road.  A beautiful specimen, larger than the ones I have seen this year.  We saw a lot of birds, and cars and some people. 

Got to the park, played, took ONE picture, not for the blog.  Played on the playground, ran around in the cold air ignoring our lungs which are complaining for they are recovering from a cold.  Little l decided it was time for school, so I took out our supplies we started, I pulled out my phone, which had been at 67% battery, went to take a picture.......

Well, long story short there are no great school in the park pictures for this post, but there were going to be!  We had fun with fun dough, making it into the shape of lower and upper case L's.  She picked the letter M in her ABC book to do today.  Then we were back to playing.  She lasted about an hour at the park this morning, then we started back home.  All total it was a little over a two hour excursion, I burned 618 calories (not counting yoga), YEAH!   The big hill before we head downhill to our home was a bit easier today, YEAH!!

Despite being a bit under the weather I feel better for the exercise.  I do think I deserve a nap with my little one today though.  That may also help recovery.  Well, next time I will have pictures.  Now to figure out what is wrong with my silly phone!