Monday, August 15, 2011

Hmm - not sure what I need to do

somehow I have my blogs mixed up.

Anyway - see my scrappy work over at www.scraprageous.blogspot.com

have to see what I did here

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Scrapbook Challenge

While I know it won't last, I have enjoyed having the last few Sunday mornings to scrap.  The boys are almost done CIT (councilor-in-training) for the summer, they do love it.  Dh leaves to pick them up and I have a few hours to myself.  It has been nice though really, really quiet in the house.

After the challenging mosaic technique last week, I was really happy to see the Lasting Memories Distress challenge this week.  Though I have a long way to go, it is one of my favorite techniques.  Maybe because it allows for hiding errors so well?  Or maybe it is the core'dinations paper?  Or maybe just because it is messy and fun!

Below is my example for this week's project.  I had hoped to try some perfect pearls, but, I don't remember where I put them.  I only have one set and seldom use them (due to lack of knowledge), but over at Lasting Memories there was a link on using them.  Looked like fun!  Maybe soon (once I remember where I put them) ROFL.

This layout will also go into the Use Your Stash Challenge over at www.ScrapbookingFun.Biz because all of the papers and elements used are over 6 months old.  (Whoops, no it won't, the brown/red core'dinations is new - oh well, the rest of the elements are old - still used a lot of stash)


Next shows the clock element.  I used some of the core'dinations bling type paper (sorry, but I don't remember the actual name), stamped with brown stazon, added some more core'dinations paper behind and a flower.  The stamp set with the clocks, hands and sayings is really nice however it is one of those stamp sets that drives me nuts.  The acrylic doesn't seem strong enough for standard stamping, so it usually takes me approximately 3-4 tries with the text pieces to get one that is acceptable. I prefer my rubber stamps, but the acrylic are so much less expensive that I am trying some of these as well.  I wish the learning curve was a bit shorter.
My vintage buttons are always fun to use as well.  For this layout, they were kind of necessary - in the corner, above the head, was a really fun statue that looked like some sort of bizarre hat on the subject's head.  I had to do something.  Photos like this only come around every few years, it is the only one I have, so I am not going to toss it and don't have photo shop or anything like that, so vintage buttons to the rescue!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wow - it has been a while

since my last post.  Weight loss - continues.  This is going to be a long journey.  Good news - I have lost approximately 20 pounds so far.  About 1/5 of the way to my goal.  I still have days that staying away from things I don't need is a struggle, however, keeping in mind where i was by way of lifting a 20 lb bag of rice or flour to remember what I have taken off helps.  I don't want to go back.

Finally getting to the point of getting rid of a few items of clothing!!!  My 'big' capri's won't stay up anymore - whoo hoo!  However, I still have capri's that don't fit very well.  Hopefully soon.

I think I need to make a scrap page about my favorite capri's -- remembering that they were the ones I could always get into (largest I own, actually) and that I don't want to go back to them, no matter how adorable I think they are!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weight loss continues

It is a good thing!!!  I am now down to needing to loose just under 100 pounds!!!!!    Truthfully, I never figured it would be this 'easy' to get here.  I still track my foods.  Easter was interesting - I ate everything I wanted and was able to stay within my points.  Love those peeps!

How did I stay on track with points?  Well, I saved thirty of the pointsplus allowance for Easter Sunday.  I did eat a few healthy foods (I was surprised how few points are in a large serving of sweet potatoes - one of my favorites we only have at holidays - no idea why, they are soooo yummy.)  It wasn't the meal that cost me extra points, or the appetizers.  It was, of course, the candy and turtle cream pie dessert.  I know, I know, there are healthier alternatives for dessert, but my choice was delightful.  It may have cost 11 points for a small piece of pie, but it was delicious.  I don't know that I could have eaten anymore than the small piece, but I sure enjoyed it.  Not something for everyday, but yummy for Easter.

Now back on 'track' - sort of.  I eat lunch out with a different child each Tuesday.  Total fun, however, I really try to encourage them to pick where we are going before hand so I can figure out what to eat.  Then, another celebration that night meant dinner out again.  Twice in one day????  Tough, but doable thanks to the Points Plus Allowance.

Back to exercise routines this week - boy do I miss them.  With lambing now complete, I hope to get back into the exercise routine I started.  I hate working out, but I feel so much better when I do that it sure creates a unique situation.  Starting out will be slow - back to my wii fit and yoga/stretching to get joints moving with just a few 'higher' energy things like boxing, mini-step-aerobics, and marching.  After a week, I will be back to the EA Active 2 three days a week - Wii fit in between.

A yummy recipe a friend shared yesterday at meeting - take one angel food cake mix (the kind you add water only), a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple.  Mix well.  Make 36 cupcakes from this (normal size).  Delicious One point snacks/desserts!!

PS - an Easter Peep fun fact - 4 peeps cost 3 points!  It is the kid in me, but they have always been one of my absolute favorite Easter candies.

I finally have been able to scrap a bit - below is a fun Easter layout from about 4-5 years ago.  Someone dumped the small puppies (they are a bit older here) and we ended up adopting them.  They were only about 6 weeks old.  Mixed breed, but still - dumping them is not what should have been done.  There are other alternatives (not all are pleasant, but there were other alternatives).  These two little puppies have grown into nice dogs that are well loved.  DD's dog is extremely protective of her.  If anyone she doesn't know comes up and dd isn't paying attention - watch out.  The dog starts growling and all unless dd tells her it is ok.  We all love that in her dog.  Our dog is epileptic.  So far his seizures are controlled with medication.  He is very loving and always wants to please.  He does have jealousy issues, so it is important to maintain who is in charge, but a stern word is all it takes.  Both dogs have been wonderful additions to the family.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weight loss positives

The scale may not always read the way I want (however, it did this week - a loss of 3.8 lbs!!!), but it is really nice having clothing fit much better!!!

I have been able to take out some clothes that I really like, but we all know why they hung in my closet, and start wearing them again!  Luckily, I have always dressed in a fairly classic (aka conservative) style, so many pieces will fit right back in with no issue other than accessorizing.  If you don't know me, no weight loss is noticeable, but I feel much better, have way more energy and am still tracking my points.

On the point tracking issue - blech - sometimes I hate to write them down, but I do.  Last week was really tough, physically, due to lambing, issues with lambs (momma with problems, new bottle babies, late nights trying and failing to save animals - just stressful) - I wrote all the points - ate more 'comfort' type foods -- I know - eating shouldn't be stress relief, but I was really cold and just wanted warm, hot and filling -- I wrote down all the points.  I didn't have any (zip, nada, none) by Monday night (I start my tracking on Tuesday's).  I even, gasp, ate two points that I wasn't 'allowed'.  Well - I knew all exercise wasn't written down, so I gave in and ate two pieces of one-point string cheese.  I still wanted to gorge, but tried, with a lot of effort, to remember the successes to this point - wearing clothing that isn't so tight I can't breathe, bend or be comfortable; the extra energy I do have that allowed me to keep up with the tough schedule; support of family and friends who know my reasons for wanting to loose weight; God's directive that we are to take care of our bodies as they are His temple; and even -- just plain didn't want to write down anymore points as I didn't have them.  No secrets!

I know not all weeks will be like this one was - it is just a time of life - a valley (like I read in a book - I can't remember author off the top of my head - maybe Elizabeth Rivers?), that will be eclipsed by a hill/high point soon.  I need to remember to keep doing the things that are good for my body and not be destructive because of stress.  If I do things that aren't quite 'normal' - like eating an entire sleeve of Thin Mint cookies with a large glass of milk - it is ok, just write it down, accept it and move forward.  (BTW:  This was 13 points for cookies and 4 for the milk - luckily dd came by and wanted a few cookies :)).

Anyway - yesterday began a new week, today is a new day, and I am trying to keep in mind that I want to save 30 PointsPlus Allowance for Easter Sunday!  (Ham, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, appetizers, dessert - breakfast alone will be about 17 points, so I planning on a light soup for a late supper if I am hungry).

To share - here is one of my favorite 1 point appetizers.  The original came from a Taste of Home cookbook many years ago.  My current adaptation is:

1 medium cucumber - sliced longways with seeds scooped out.
1 ounce neufchatel cheese (lowfat cream cheese)
1 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles
1  tsp garlic powder
1  tsp dill seed

mix the cheeses and spices (add whatever you like) and fill the hollowed out portion of the cucumber.  Put the two sides of the cucumber together, wrap with saran wrap and refrigerate a few hours.  Once chilled, slice (about 8 pieces per cucumber - give or take - depends on size you prefer).

2 pieces = 1 point, however, entire batch (in this case, 8 pieces) = 3 points. 

Enjoy :)

Have a wonderful Easter

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The babies are arriving!

We lamb a bit later than many - mainly due to hockey season, once it is done, then we are home.  They are really cute (aren't they always). 
The babies have a Corsican Ram father and mother is the white one coming to lick the camera.  

The weight loss continues.  Good days and bad days, but overall going the right direction.  All the outdoor work lately has messed up my "workout" schedule, but I am much more active, so figure it is probably a wash. 

Newest recipe to try is a Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar, Sweet Onions and Thyme that was in the Weight Watchers Weekly.  I have also converted more of my appetizers, regular, family filling foods (tacos, meatloaf, and all) into weight watchers points.  Getting the point value from what I regularly cook has been a huge benefit.

I also, finally, found some reduced fat cheddar cheese.  It is just shredded, but works great.  I also have gone to using blue cheese crumbles in my salad (1T=1pt) and plain dressing rather than 4 points worth of Blue Cheese dressing for the days I need to conserve points.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The journey continues

Slow and steady.  I am making life changes here, so I am not in a huge rush.  Ok, in all honesty, fitting into my next size down jeans would be nice.  However, I no longer like to wear tight clothing - I kind of like the excess space that is beginning to creep into different articles of clothing.

It should be interesting this morning as I have been traveling.  I tried to remain conscious of what I ate, however, a La Gondola Torpedo was calling my name.  Glad there were some PointsPlus Points available.  I also enjoyed a full sized slice of pie.  Other items were regular and easy to fit into a plan.  Between the points plus activity points for exercise and the points plus allowance, I think I did ok.  Not expecting a weight loss this week, though it would be nice, just hoping to maintain since last week.

I did have about two hours available for shopping - no going out for food or anything, just did some shoe shopping and found three pairs!  I really like berkinstocks, so found a new pair of clogs and a pair of Dansko's for everyday and a pair called Laot.  I have never heard of or worn those before, but they were very comfortable and will look cute with dresses.

Gotta run so I make my check in :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glad I exercise indoors

video 


Yesterday, I could see grass - no longer, plus it is really windy.  Made bigger breakfast this am - omlet (with ham, swiss, onion, and mushrooms), yogart and an orange a bit later - along with coffee, of course.

Lunch will be pretty simple - soup and a salad - dinner - maybe enchiladas.  I just bought some low-carb/cal flat bread to try for wrapping them.  Phyllo dough would be too thin.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fajitas, spanish rice and refried beans

I had forgotten how much I like fajitas, until I made them yesterday.  One fajita, 1 cup of Spanish rice, and one half cup of refried beans made a very filling 14 point meal.  I think I would have been satisfied with only 1/2 cup of rice (decrease of 3 points), but I wanted to make the rice the way the recipe stated.  Served with cantaloupe.  Yum

This morning I am trying chocolate biscotti.  I found the recipe online and each cookie (small biscotti) equals one point.  I love a cup of coffee and a cookie or something with friends, so if this tastes 1/2 as good as I think it will (dough smelled wonderful - so does the cooking), it may become a well loved recipe.  If you have nut issues - maybe not for you as I id include almonds.  However, I had to use vanilla extract rather than almond (ran out), so hoping they are still good - bet they will be.

Another yummy addition - I bought the Aldi's pre-made bacon and added 6 slices to scrambled eggs, along with 1/4 cup of diced onion.  Sauteed the onion and bacon about 5 minutes - added 12 eggs and milk, salt and pepper for some delicious scrambled eggs.  PointsPlus?  5 points for 2/3 cup of the scrambled eggs.  I opted for two slices of toast an 2 teaspoons of butter as well as an orange for a very filling breakfast (with my coffee, of course :)).  By the time I add my 1/2 and 1/2, breakfast was 11 points - a bit higher than normal, but I know I will be eating a quick salad with ff dressing for lunch and supper is still up in the air, though I have leftovers - measured and labeled - in the refrigerator in case it ends up being frozen pizza.  (Monday nights tend to get a bit hectic - so either leftovers or some type of easy casserole dish - maybe spagetti - spagetti (whole wheat) with toast (plus butter and garlic), and a veggie salad with ff dressing runs 11 points - works for my plan :)). 

One tip - I prefer real butter for toast and certain toppings.  I haven't found anything else I like as well, so measuring is always necessary.  However, when cold, butter is easy to slice, so, I take 1 Tbsp of butter - easy with the package measurements and cut it into three pieces (3t/T).  works great and everyone knows that the little dish in the refrigerator is mom's butter.  It warms quickly in these portions for my toast.  I usually cut 1-3 Tbsp every so often (I have toast about twice a week).  Works for me - less hassle as pre-measured teaspoons of butter make my life much easier.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Exercise

Exercise is coming easier, though it doesn't really mean I enjoy it.  However, it does make me feel better - both physically and emotionally to get up and move, plus keeps kids challenged, so - exercise shall continue.  I have one dance mat - one that doesn't require a game console  - that I enjoy - I think it is time to get moving with it again.

Food wise - date type dinner last night.  I had time to figure points and calculate to leave extra for dinner, but then, lunch was a bit special, so, two larger meals yesterday - I used 30 of my Points Plus Allowance.  I knew this day was coming, so left room on purpose (after all - a single cream cheese wonton?  I think not - I did have two - no clue on points, so guessing at 8 each).  As it stands - I have 11 Points Plus Allowance left and 8 more Points Plus for activites unused right now.  I can earn 10 more - figure I will earn 8 this morning (kids and dh are all at various things, so I will end up doing chores on my own - not a big deal :)) and with my regular workout video - another 10 then.  So I still have plenty of points left.

Breakfast this am?  Coffee and a partial leftover chicken roll-up.  Those things are really filling and soooo easy to add more veggies to (regular recipe - a few onions, peppers, and some black olives - however, I now add lettuce, more of both onions and peppers, cucumbers (diced), and tomato.  I wonder if they make a reduced calorie tortilla?  That could really pull the points down for this recipe.  1/2 the points are for the wrap alone!

I am slowly figuring in points for other foods I love - fig neutons, gummy bears - LOL - yes, you would think I was a little kid.  Next recipe for points calculation - Chex Mix.  This will be tough.  I haven't measured in years (other than a box of this, 1/2 a box of that, etc.).  I will have to record points for various methods of making as well.  Sometimes it has nuts, sometimes no nuts, sometimes cashews only, other times, throw in any 'exta' non-sugar coated cereals and leftover crackers into the mix. 

Oh well - I would rather know how to count and eat something I enjoy than never have it again.  I did finish entering my favorite hot appetizers.  Yummy!  So glad they are each only 1 point.  I will probably plan for 10 points in appetizers, but that is fine with me.  Kids also seem to be fine with ranch or onion dip made with reduced fat cottage cheese that has been pureed.  I won't cut out sour-cream entirely, but I am finding ways to lighten a few of the items that are favorites.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weight loss?

Not this week.  According to scales, I have increased, however, according to my body - my jeans fit!!  No lines where they are tight, I can sit, bend and do a lot of things with no tight feelings around the middle :)


Other clothes fit better, I can make it farther into my exercise routine before I need to slow it down and my muscles are beginning to actually return to muscle, rather than just hanging out where they are ROFL.

What did I do different?  I ate less than last week :( and exercised more :).

My thoughts - I am going to eat more this week (going to use more of the points plus allowance (first week of loosing - used them all; this week of gaining - I had 42 left!!!).

  Earned 41 exercise points the first week, 31 the second week (movement issue).  So far this week?  14 earned and waiting for my turn with the Wii.  I am enjoying the EA Active 2 right now and on the days off I do the Wii Fit Plus yoga for stretching and all.  My activity level has increased and I feel better, so keeping that part up.  Note:  My weeks go Tuesday to Tuesday.

New recipes - trying a corned beef and cabbage strudel tonight.

Well - below is another weeks menu.  This one is based on an average of 41 points per day, and uses 20 of the PointsPlusAllowance for the week (one change I made after the menu - decided to have ice cream a different day and added 4 points worth of hot caramel sauce for a total ice cream point value of 12 points.  changed my Points Plus Allowance by using 4 more of those points)


Monday, March 14, 2011

A weight loss journey

It is that time - time to start loosing weight.  Why - not for any particular reason other than I don't like having sore joints, and getting tired way before I should.

So - first, the Dr's appointment.  She didn't say I had to loose weight, but if I was going to, gave me her recommendations.  (what is interesting - the weight she would be thrilled for me to reach is still over the 'ideal' weight on charts.  Even when we discussed 'ideal', she would be happy for me to be at the very top end - maybe 5 pounds more would still be healthy - she knows my lifestyle - camping, fishing, hiking - being underweight was an issue when I was younger.  I have a rather large bone structure, so top end plus 5 is what she said would be ideal. :)).  Enough babbling - time to do something.

For me, it takes more than just 'will power'.  Being responsible every week is hard, no fun, and requires some type of stick-to-it-ness.  Well, I did weight watchers about 20 years ago and it worked great.  It wasn't until 14 years ago - back to back pregnancies, surgery for medical scares and all that I stopped trying to be fit.  It is amazing how in what seems like 14 short years, I have gone from a size 16 to 22!!!  My goal is not a single digit size.  I have not been a single digit (other than skirts) size since junior high.  The above bone structure meant that my top (shoulders are big) wore a size 12 or 14 in high school, while a size 5 skirt was just fine for my waist.  There was a lot of altering done for my wedding dress. :) :) :)

Back to reality - goal - no particular size, but I have a pair of jeans that I wore after the first three pregnancies that fit the way I would like to be again.  The rest of the clothes are gone, just saved the one pair of jeans to help me remember what I think would be fabulous (also was within 5 pounds of ideal weight now), 

I also have a pair of shorts that would be wonderful to fit back into - even if they are tight - by the end of the summer - kind of a mid-term type goal.  The rest of my ill-fitting clothing (other than a wedding dress that will never fit again - after 6 pregnancies, my waist will never be 17" around - ever again) has gone on to other people in the years since.

My goals are long term-I want this to be a life weight - my goal for the rest of my life.  So, weight watchers is the program I picked - mainly because of convenience (no, I am not doing it online - I need to see people, I know that about myself).  It is in the same town I do grocery shopping in and easy to get to.  Also, weight watchers teaches more about what to eat rather than giving me a bunch of foods I won't do after reaching my goal.  I know plenty of success stories as well as plenty of people for whom it didn't work out.  Surgery is not something I want to face, so trying it this way. 


It has only been two weeks - below is one of my menu's.  My points right now are at 41 per day.  (29 is a standard)  I developed a 32 point menu to try and stick to.  So far, not so hot - I have been using all 41 points, plus the optional points plus, plus exercising for another 32-38 points per week in 'freebies'.  However, even with all that - I have been loosing.  Hopefully it will continue at a slow pace while I learn how to eat better.

A few notes.  The only low cal or reduced calorie foods you will find are bread, some reduced calorie cheeses, and salad dressings.  Most 'diet' foods give me migraines, so I avoid them.  Diet pops and other reduced calorie beverages are 100% out of my plan - the artificial sweeteners do horrible things to my digestive tract and again - migraines.  So, if you see Coke listed - I mean a real one - all the sugar and caffeine. I used to drink about 6 a day, now I am fine with one or two per week.

I have a family to cook for who doesn't need to loose weight.  While it is good for kids to see what serving sizes are, teenagers need milk, cheeses, yogarts, fresh fruits and veggies in large quantities.  I do keep tortilla chips and salsa on hand almost 100% of the time - as a snack.  One of their favorites along with some cheese or yogart, large glasses of milk and a piece of fruit (twice a day - they have sweet type snacks another few times a day). 

The weight watchers recipe builder is a wonderful tool right now.  I have been entering recipes that my family loves and learning what portion I should be eating.  Rather than taking a large portion and eating fruit after the kids are done, I have been taking my fruit and/or veggies first (I love fresh fruits and veggies - this helps a lot), enjoying it, then taking my portion of the meal.  Allowing myself to eat the fresh stuff is a big challenge for me.  In the past, I always kept the fresh for the kids and ate whatever was left.  I do spend a bit more on fresh produce, but not much more than I was.  I shop at Aldi's for the bulk of our groceries, hitting other stores as needed.  Walmart and Coborns (the only place I can find my favorite blue cheese dressing - it is NOT fat free, but that is fine as long as I plan for it). 

Another menu choice - not on this week, but it happens about once every two weeks - I adore McDonald's Big Mac's!  I found they are 14 points and adding a small fries, creates a delicious 20 point meal.  I miss the Big and Tasty - it is a few less points, but no longer sold in our area.  I won't be giving up Big Mac's - that would be a ridiculous assumption on my part, rather, I am learning how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle. 

Enough rambling.  Below is a sample menu

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cricut Cartridge Bundle Giveaway!!!!

Head over to www.scrapbookingfun.biz for a chance to win three Cricut Cake Cartridges!  The rules are listed there - wonderful give-away. Once you get to www.scrapbookingfun.biz, scroll to the lower part of the page and you will see the cartridge giveaway area.



I have the Birthday Cakes Cartridge and have used it to create some wonderful page elements.  Not only are they great for cakes - they look terrific on pages as well!!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Finally Updating!

It has been busy, hectic, whatever you want to call it, but I am finally getting around to posting a few things.


Had a great time at a scrapbook garage sale yesterday.  I hadn't been to one with so many vendors before - most in the past was about 8 - this one had over 80!  Yes, I did put a dent in my pocket book, but I was able to get a few things I have wanted to try!  First - the Making Memories Tag maker.  No idea, but it has always fascinated me and at $5 for the maker and some tags - I just couldn't say no.  Second - I keep trying to come up with a kit club I want to try.  Just not positive.  However, I scored a few complete kits from one kit club - love the topics and maybe it will help me decide.  The papers are just beautiful in look and feel. 

Also purchased stamps, embellishments, papers (a lot of Cosmo Cricket - one of my favorites these days - three complete lines as well as a lot of other individual ones) and sizzix dies!

Overall - I definitely will go to the next one :)

My camera is still out visiting some other items in my home.  Hope it comes back soon - until then, here are a few items I have been working on, taken without my normal camera (sorry about quality).  A few are swap items, the top one is just for fun (bling challenge over at Sketches for All and the bottom one a card for a card challenge over at ScrapbookingFun.biz)




Love to win scrapbook items?  www.scrapbookingfun.biz has some wonderful challenges going on right now - check out the Day 2 Day section as well as the Challenge section of the message board.