Monday, December 6, 2010

Crafty Moment

I dont know that this really qualifies for being "Crafty"... but I really wanted a wreath on my door for the holidays.

I've never had a wreath.  My mom wasn't huge into decorating for seasons, etc growing up so as I've seen everyone else w their fun festive wreaths I just started to get a bug to have one!

I haven't been shopping for extra decor bc I haven't really gotten everything figured out as far as the Christmas stuff I DO have already and didn't want to go buy stuff I may or may not have space for!  BUT I still really wanted a wreath!  Well last night, my neighbor offered to let me use one of her extra wreaths for the holiday season!!  Very sweet!!

So I took off the wimpy battery operated LED lights *w permission from the neighbor* and made a quick trip to Dollar General for a small strand of lights for $1.50!  Once I got the lights on, I wasn't really sure WHAT to do.  I just kinda stared at the lit wreath wondering what I'd got myself into!  BUT, with all the Christmas stuff I have, I decided I could make something work... So I found this red and silver ribbon and a couple of pre-tied bows from decorations a couple yrs ago.... and some mini balls in red and silver... and some little silver sprigs that were stuck in my tree and went to work!

I also (at the suggestion of my roommate) grabbed an ornament off my decorated tree that said Joy to the World to kinda have a central message.  (The ornament was a Christmas stocking gift from my Dad and Step Mom last yr!)

So without further ado, here's a pic of my first holiday creation hanging on my door!  Hopefully it won't be my last!
PS- i like the overall look of this, but not sure that I really like the 2 bows.  Anyone have any tips/suggestions?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Older Card Projects

Special Dad Father's Day 5x7 folded card
Unique party invitations and greeting cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Home

  1. Ok so one of my friends asked her readers to write 3 favorite things about "Home".  She shared some things she loved and then asked us to do the same.  
    Here's her prompt:This week, take a look around your house and be grateful for your home. What is it that you love the most? Leave a comment describing three details about your home that bring a smile to your face.

    So I realized that my response was prob WAY longer than she really wanted... but as I started typing, I was just so thankful for all these little things!! I decided I'd share it on my blog so I'd have somewhere to go back and read it later!  I'm probably going to add on to my original posting (bc I held back in the comment section of Jenny's blog!!)... So here it goes:
    I'm thankful for my home!!
    I moved in January into my first ever HOUSE (a rental- but still its mine!) and its PERFECT! I prayed about this house for a while.  I was pretty specific about the things I desired in our next home.  Here was my list:  I asked for a safe place for Nate to play.  Somewhere we would be able to host events, somewhere with a backyard, somewhere that had storage, somewhere w a W/D in it (and somewhere w an ice maker if possible- but obviously that wasn't a deal breaker!!).  
    Enter THIS house. I saw it a full year before I ever looked at it seriously.  I took a picture of the front of it- roses were in bloom and decorated the white house with green trim just so perfectly! It had an adorable lamp post in the front too!  It was perfect!!  Well at that time, the house was RIDICULOUSLY expensive!! So I sighed and just kinda went on my way.  I ended up in an apt for a while (in the ghetto!) that was definitely a blessing for me and Nate and for our friends who got to come over ALL THE TIME!  I was quite content in my little affordable apt!  But God had other plans!

    Love the little Lamp & the beautiful Roses!

    There were so many things that led up to this being our home- but I think I'll save that for another post. In January, (over a yr later from when I first saw and fell in love with it) Nate and I moved into this same adorable little home!!   It was totally God’s gift to me (just when I thought I’d NEVER be able to afford a house with a Yard in a safe neighborhood in dallas & that I was destined to live in ghetto scary apts for the rest of my life.)

    Finding Home:
    Evey Boy needs a Swing Set!
    Nate & Reese (neighbor from across the st)
     Its in a cul de sac just down the street from my pastor/friend and his family. My son (5 yrs old) now has a backyard and a swingset. Every kid needs a backyard and a swingset!! We’ve only been here since January, but it feels like our entire world has changed because of being in a HOUSE. So I love just about everything about the house (except the fact that I have to share my bathroom w a 5 yr old BOY! ew!! hehe :P). 
    Nates 5th Bday Party in the Backyard

    So my 3 FAVORITE things about my home are:
    1. My neighbors. I have neighbors!! Ones you can borrow sugar from and ones your child can play with. Ones that you wave to as you come home for the day and ones you rush outside to spend time with after just throwing your stuff down. Its a whole new world! I have community on my street and I'm trying to be home more to hang out with the neighbors that are out & around! It helps that there are quite a few kiddos running around and mine likes to play with other kiddos! Its been such a blessing to know people that live around you - (and text you if your car lights are on, or even write down license plates of cars where people disappear into your back yard and come out a little later! My friends doing laundry- but still! How great is that!?)
    Some of the neighbors that live on the corner

    Reese & his mommy, Jennifer live across the Street!

    The boys LOVE to ride bikes in the Cul De Sac!
    Duncan toddling around the Cul De Sac chasing the big boys!

    2. Its a perfect for hosting stuff!! I’ve hosted small dinners (around a DINING TABLE found on craigslist that I LOVE! Ya I have a DINING table and I can do sit down to dinners with up to 12 people around one table!!). I’ve hosted a 5 yr old Bday party(see backyard pics above), a live concert, several 20 something bday parties for friends, and my big 30th bday party- complete with twinkle lights in the backyard, people in fancy clothes, and Paris decor.
    Lost Immigrants House Concert

    The adoring Fans

    Its cool to have a concert in your house!

    My Paris Party Backyard
    Inside my Paris Party

    Dinner w Nate's Grandparents

    Fiesta Party Prep

    Fiesta Night - AJ & Titos Bday

    I love that i can bless my friends by having them in my home and sharing their birthdays and meals and pictures and  memories!

    3. The Garage! I have a GARAGE!!

    This is BEFORE i moved in (when it was empty!)
    Its small- just a one car. It has an automatic door, but no opener… so i cant really put my car in there at this point (even if it weren't full of boxes!)… BUT I have a garage. I got all my stuff from my parents house, from their storage over the years, etc and its all in MY garage. Sure- there are so many boxes, its hard to get around in there… but its still MY garage!! and MY stuff.  AND in the garage is a washer/dryer! I can do laundry AT my house. After yrs of having to goto a friends or a laundry mat and having to make sure I had enough quarters for the machines in the apt complex… I have my OWN w/d!  I can leave my clothes in the dryer overnight if I want to.  I can fluff clothes in the morning (instead of ironing!:)  and now I”M the house that everyone comes to to do their laundry!! How great is that??!

    I love my home. But more importantly- i love that God knew EXACTLY what we (Nate & I) needed for this season of life and he provided more than I could have hoped for!
    He even provided things I didn’t KNOW i needed/wanted! But now, I’m happy to hang out outside and invest in my neighbors.  (i NEVER went outside at the Apts).  I’m happy to play with my kiddo and his friends! (Nate didn't have friends that lived at the APT!) I’m happy to do laundry (I dreaded it before... lugging loads down 3 flights of stairs into the car to the laundry mat, staying there for a couple hrs and lugging it back up!)  I'm just HAPPY to come HOME!

    I Love my home!

    This is what I happily come home to every day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Photos, Cards, & Shutterfly!!

I love Shutterfly! 

So I have gotten a couple of codes to try out new greeting cards online at Shutterfly and LOVED them.  The first one I ever did was for Father’s day.  I had to upload pics to my Shutterfly account that captured my last yr with my dad.

 I uploaded a lot of pictures HERE using the super easy uploader because I didn’t know which ones would look the best together when I picked my card.  I always try to have MORe than I need, because it stinks to get part way through your design and have to go hunting for a picture for one specific place.  I have actually started using shutterfly to store a lot of my photos online.  They make it easy to share with friends and when I go to make cards or prints, my pictures are already loaded!  

I also have created several “Share Sites” which is a website (can be password protected which is great for kiddos!) that you can create for free and store lots of pictures on it.  Then your friends and family can easily go and view/download/order any of their favorite photos! I LOVE share sites!  Here’s one that I’ve recently added pictures to.  I created it when our Lifegroup was doing events ALL THE TIME and everyone wanted to see the MANY pictures I took.  We also had a calendar and some contact info for the members.  It was pretty cool.  I don’t think people really used it a whole lot other than to see the pictures, but I liked the concept.

Anyway, I was super pleased with my dad’s cards.  I think I like the one from Nate the best.  To me, it looks like he’s telling the world “I Love my Grandpa”!   Here’s a picture.... what do you think? 

So, I’m not very good at making Christmas cards, but I take LOTS of pictures throughout the year so I want to start sending some out for the holidays!  This year, I am thinking I will try this card called Joy Sage Story.

I like the modern look of the front and then how the inside will let me put 6 photos and a little blurb about each one of them and feel like it will be a great (easy/quick) representation of the year 2010! I never do newsletters but I always like reading them.  I feel like this is a good compromise!  Its like a cliff notes of the year!  I am already thinking about my six most memorable 2010 moments that will make it to this year’s card.

If you like the inside layout of that card, there are a couple other designs that are similar - like Most Wonderful Story and Joyous Holiday Story.  They also do flat cards and of course all sizes of prints.
Anyway, just thought I'd share some of my fav's!  
If you have a blog and want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BHAPS & Mac's!

Remember how I said I was gonna start praying that someone would give me a mac???

Well... guess what? I got one last night... it needs a replacement battery bc it won't work w out being plugged in- but its an iBook G4!

I'm SO excited!! I dont know taht I really BELIEVED I'd ACTUALLY be GIVEN a MAC Laptop!!

SO now- i just need the software and to get used to the differences of a Mac vs Pc and I'm on my way! :)
 Isn't God Cool??? i just wanted to share w you guys!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Photo Blog

I've decided to start posting some of my work on a tumblr site.  I"d LOVE comments from you guys as I get started on what you like, what could be better, etc!!

Check it out by clicking the link below:

Tiffs photog blog - thats:

Let me know what you think!!  I'm just getting started!

On Becoming a Photographer

I just got (another) camera!!

This one is the BEST yet!

I am now the proud owner of a DSLR camera!!! (after wanting one since a college class in 03!)  Its a Canon Rebel XT - so an older one - prob from '05ish... but hey- it looks like its in decent condition, and it works!! :) AND it was free!!!!!!!!

How did I get it free you ask?? Well, I got a little bit of money for my bday and decided I was going to put it towards a used DSLR.  So I posted on FB asking ppl what models they liked, etc and this guy from High School who I was in band with (he was a Sr when I was a freshman and I was friends with his sister) saw my facebook post asking for advice on what used DSLR to look for, etc.  So he messages me and says- you can just have mine!

He lives in AZ and even paid to ship the camera.  It was a CANON REBEL XT camera body with battery in it & strap... no lens, no battery charger/cords/memory card/case/manual/etc...

In college I took a photography class and had to buy and SLR camera.  I got the Canon Rebel film version bc digital was just getting more popular and it was super expensive.  I also had a Camera bag already for this camera in college!  The bag will work PERFECTLY for all my new stuff- cool huh!?

AND luckily my old FILM Rebel kit zoom lens fit on it - so all i needed to start shooting was a memory card!!  I knew I would need a battery charger soon too!  So I checked out the battery and started researching what charger I'd need to order, etc.  Even thought about getting an extra battery at some point... chargers were about $70, batteries $35 ish.  

HOWEVER an extra bonus- the camera a friend gave me that stopped working - the Canon G9 - it had a chargeable battery (with the charger) in it... well the battery is the SAME exact one that this new camera uses meaning - I have 2 batteries and a charger already!! :) Praise the LORD! :)

Oh AND did I mention I already owned a CF card reader from my very first Digital camera (that i haven't used in years!!) and i knew where it was?!  Cool huh!? :)

I quickly bought a new lens to play with also- its the 50mm 1.8 that most of my friends use to get the awesome portaits with a "blurry" bg!  I found it locally at Competitive Camera in dallas for 99.95+ tax!
AND i realized I didn't have a cord to hook the camera to the TV - so I found one of those online.  I also found a Memory card converter that will convert a regular SD card (I have like 4 of these already) to CF format in your camera.  I felt like I would rather invest a little in a converter and be able to use the small, easy to find SD cards in my camera instead of the older, more rare CF cards.  I take LOTS of pics and now that I'll be shooting in RAW, I'll need more space!!

So this is what I've spent for my camera so far:
Memory Card: $26
50mm f/1.8 lens: $108.00
A/V video cable: $10
CF to SD card converter: $16

Grand total: $160.00

Can you believe it?!! I've spent $160 and I now have everything that follows for my camera:
Canon Rebel XT 8.1 mp complete with Camera bag, Kit Lens, 50mm Lens, 2 batteries, a charger, a video cord, a 4gb CF memory card, a card reader, SD to CF converter, numerous SD cards.

I'm so excited!!! God is SOOO good to me!!  Can't wait to start bettering my photography skills!!

I think I'm gonna start praying for a MAC Laptop with Adobe CS5!!  Bring on the BHAP! :) (big hairy audacious prayers) and lets see what God wants to do!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

They Say its your BIRTHDAY!! : )

Did you know that lots of places want to give you presents on your birthday!?  Well I thought I'd blog about all the emails and offers I'm getting on my birthday this year.  You can pick your fav's and goto their site and sign up on their email list.  Usually the first time you sign up- you'll also get an additional freebie (like a free appetizer @ on the border, etc).  Then its fun to try to figure out how to use them all before they expire.  

The list below are all from emails.  I have also gotten 2 birthday Freebies in the mail as well this week.  One was from Red Hot & Blue and it was a free dinner entree with purchase of another entree and the other was a $10 gift card to Victoria Secret that expires on 6/30/10!!  I LOVe free!!

Birthday Freebies

**Update: I'm going to cross them off as I use them! This will be tricky to get them all used before they expire since I"ll be out of the country from Friday, the 4th through June 13th!!! (But I'm gonna try to use as many as possible!!)

Email Received Location FREE Requirements EXPIRES

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Black Eyed Pea Free Appetizer   w/Entrée Purchase 6/9/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday On The Border Free Dip Trio or Brownie Sundae w/Entrée Purchase 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Marble Slab Free Regular Cone 6/9/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Great American Cookie Free Cookie Cake Slice 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Boston Market Free individual dessert  w/any meal purchase 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Smoothie King Free 20oz Smoothie w/purchase of 20oz Smoothie 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday TCBY Free Sm. Cup of Frozen Yogurt 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Arby's Free 12oz shake w/any purchase 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Schlotzskys Free Small Original Sandwich 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Chili's Free Brownie Sundae w/Entrée Purchase 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Taco Bueno Free 2pk cheesecake chimichangas w/purchase of any platter or combo 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Texas Land & Cattle Free Appetizer  w/Entrée Purchase 6/16/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Spaghetti Warehouse Free Spaghetti Entrée & Free Spumoni Sundae 6/29/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Maggiano's $10 off meal Must be $30 or more 7/2/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Buca di Beppo Free dessert w/Entrée Purchase 7/2/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Texas de Brazil Free dinner w/purchase of full-price dinner 7/2/2010

6/2 -1 wk before Bday Souper Salad Free lunch or dinner buffet 7/2/2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Week 4, Day 3

Me, Em & Lisa worked out Wed for Day 3... I felt stronger and made it through the ENTIRE floor work w your legs- even though they BURNED like they were going to FALL OFF!!!  (thats the idea right!?!)

I didnt work out Thurs (bad day and had lunch w a friend instead) or today (leaving early for a wedding so I couldnt take a lunch) but I'm going to shoot for Sat, Sun & Monday this weekend at home!  THat will mean i skipped 2 days (thurs/fri) but still get in 5 this week.  (and kick start next week w Monday's workout)

I'll be taking pics on Tues morning after the weigh in (guess that means I'll put on the same outfit again... man I wish I would have chosen one I liked better!! lol) and HOPEFULLY I'll be able to maintain and even lose this wkd even WITH the weddings, the birthdays and the dinners!!! UGH!  the food thing is TOTALLY the hardest part!! Pushing play is getting easier and easier... but its still hard to resist desserts and other "comfort foods" like CHEESE!!

BUT I found some cute older clothes last night and really want to be able to wear them with style... so I'm gonna work hard!!  This weekend will really be a test!! :)

Ok I'm out till prob Tuesday!
Hope everyone has as much fun this weekend as I know I will!! I LOVE weddings and Birthdays and Days off!!! :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week 4, Day 2

I know these are boring... "I worked out- I'm tired- its worth it- yay me"....

But i need someplace to be accountable and to track progress... thats why i started this blog in the first place...

Em and I did Burn it Up again today.  Have I mentioned lately what a GODSEND it is that she wants to workout with me every day at lunch??  Its good to get to hang out w someone else and work hard together!

Today was her first time doing BIU and both of us were sweating WAY more than in the other 2 videos!  Wow.
We did miss the more intense Abs from RIU and so we've discussed doing the 8 min ab workout on a "break" towards the end of the day every day... not sure if that will happen or not.

Gotta be honest- today - after last week of still doing the hr workout 5 days but eating badly and then gaining weight... i'm concerned about how the next 2 weeks will affect everything I've been working on.  This weekend there are weddings and birthdays and then next Friday I leave for PERU for 10 days.  Obviously wont be able to get in an hour workout...but hopefully we'll walk a lot and I'll burn calories that way... and maybe I'll have put in enough* work that my muscles will keep burning stuff for me.

We're over the 1/2way point of this program and have done a decent job at following it and trying to make changes in food (not the BEST by any means) and still haven't seen the results I want (though I know- it took me a while to get to this point, its gonna take a while to reverse it).  I'm gonna be as serious as possible about it all till Peru. (which prob means only a BITE of cake at the wedding and bday party instead of a PIECE... boo!!! :( so sad!)

Anyway- for now- i'll just keep pushing PLAY!

Another workout... really??

Going to work out in a minute... definitely dont want to today!!  Just thought I'd share! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Week 4, Day 1

Today Em and I started BURN IT UP.  Unfortunately i have an older version of this workout- and its obvious in the quality.  I think I'll be writing a letter to Beach Body letting them know.

Well we were only about 10 min in when Em started feeling sick at her stomach.  She ended up having to go home early- leaving me to finish the workout on my own.  HOWEVER- at least we STARTED together... bc I think i wouldn't have done it if I'd had to go down there by myself.  I have to admit- I didnt' give it 100%... I felt like bailing multiple times... just bc the moves are a little different (i think its bc we're using the newer versions of SIU and RIU and the older version of BIU)

Anyway- the workout is pretty tough... but some stuff- like the abs- almost seemed easier to me.  The floorwork w the legs is HARD HARD HARD and I felt the BURN pretty bad! But what I like about it is that you KNOW its GOTTA be doing something-if it hurts that bad- right?!

It was kinda hard to be motivated to workout after the wkd of not eating well and then gaining on the weigh in this week.  BUT i have to believe that this is doing SOMETHING... bc I'm doing stuff that I've not done consistently in... well... ever!! 

So as frustrating as it is to not be able to see changes on the scales or on the tape measure weekly after givign up my lunch hour and working my little booty off, I'm committed till the end of this biggest loser business is over! I'm NOT giving up! And even after that... this is about lifestyle changes... and they won't happen overnight. 

I'm worn out and have to get through the last 2 hrs of work... but PTL that I dont have to do this at night after putting Nate to bed!

Week 3, Day 5 & the wkd

We made it through the workout Friday - me Emily & Misty - and it was actually fun. I felt stronger throughout some of the stuff... some of the floor work was easier.

I didn't work out this weekend at all.  Kinda felt like I needed rest...

But the funny thing (to me) was that I actually thought about taking a walk on Sunday just to do SOMETHING physical.  I would have NEVER thought that before I started this thing 3 wks ago.  I just wanted to get in 6 days of SOME activity. However- in true ME fashion- my day was packed completely and I never made it to that walk!

I did however goto a fun LOST Finale party where I definitely overate and didn't listen to my body.  Its a shame bc at lunch i decided to forgo the Chicken Fried Steak at Barbec's and only had a small bite of the delicious evil beer bisquits and instead had grilled chicken, and a salad- which i only ate 1/2 of (listening to my tummy). So I made good choices at breakfast (no donuts @ church) & lunch (thats kinda my mantra- good choices, little changes) and then at dinner, sitting around watching TV w my friends, had no self control! I had 2 helpings of the amazing Taco Soup our lovely host Kristen made and then when they talked about dessert- I decided to have just a little...which meant one tiny scoop of Cookies & Cream ice cream and a cookie.  I was going to have only 1/2 of the WARM GIGANTIC CHEWY CHOCOLATELY GOODNESS that was this cookie- but nope- i ate the whole thing! Couldn't help myself!  Oh well- I can try again this week and do better.

I definitely didn't like the weigh-in this morning (monday) at work... I'm up 3lbs since last Monday- YUCK! (still down 3lbs from the beginning... but still!) and I didnt lose any more inches (still down 9 total from the beginning of the month- but still).  BOO! 

Guess that goes to prove that you can't eat *and drink!* like the french and lose weight!!  C'est domage!!  (what a shame!)

There's always next week!  For now- I'll find solace in the fact that I might have gained a ZILLION lbs this week if I hadn't been working out daily!  Sooo... just Keep Pushing PLAY!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week 3, Day 4

UGH!~ We made it... barely. 

Lisa was off today and Emily had to take her lunch a little later than normal- so I was actually thinking about skipping the whole workout thing... esp bc after all the food the last 2 nights I'm up 2 lbs from Monday! YUCK! (Side Note: doesn't that make perfect sense? i gained 2 lbs back so why dont i NOT workout today?! lol I'm a little silly sometimes!)... but we made it.  I just took a later lunch w Emily and we worked through it.

The whole first 20 min we were both like- I do NOT want to be doing this! I dont like this!... it was kinda pathetic and whinny.  But we made it... barely!

I told Lisa that maybe we should just do Turbo Jam on Friday to change it up again- bc I think we're starting to get bored.  Its shorter, faster, more aerobic I think from what Lisa and my friend Kelly have said. 

Sometimes it helps me to look at what I've accomplished to be motivated to continue... so...since we're almost at the halfway point (after the 6th workout in week 3!) please allow me to recap:
  • 6 - 30 min workouts week 1
  • 1 - 30 min workout week 2
  • 2 - 55 min workouts week 2
  • 1 - 15 min workout week 2
  • 1 - 60 min pool workout fun - week 2
  • 4 - 55 min workouts week 3

Thats 15 total workouts in almost 3 weeks
  • 180 min of working out week 1
  • 215 min of working out week 2
  • 220 min of working out week 3 (SO FAR!!)

So 15 workouts = 615 min of working out... or 10 hrs, 15 min.

Not bad... esp when you consider my total 'workout time" weekly used to be less than 50. minutes. weekly! 

baby steps... baby steps... surely the results will come! (Debbie promises!! She's the Slim in 6 lady)

(can you tell i needed to pump myself up today?! I am SOO not feeling it!!! but I am gonna keep it up!)

Week 3, Day 3

I forgot to blog yesterday about the workout.  But in case you were curiuos- i did it!  For some reason its harder on Wed bc the day is so busy- but me, Lisa, & Emily made it through RIU!!

Actually- it was funny bc in the morning I was thinking I didn't REALLY want to do it- but Emily and Lisa talked me into it... then right at lunchtime, Em called and asked if we REALLY were gonna do - so I got to talk her into it!  Gotta love being accountable to ppl!  I dont think we could make it w out it!!

So as far as food goes lately- its not going AS good... because - my SWEET family from France is in town which means lots of YUMMY (& not quite as good for you) foods... that I LOVE...  (Here's me w Marcel, & Serge)

My biggest weakness is DEF cheese!! We have had a cheese course the last two nights that I LOVED (too much!) and Tuesday night they made homemade fries!!  They were UH.MAY.ZING!!!!  Here are some pics of the cheese plate, fries, and my plates the last 2 nights for dinner!  (ps- the cheese platter was much more varied the 2nd night- but i was so busy enjoying it, i didn't get a pic!)

And then of course they want everyone to enjoy the wine... which is pretty tasty too (but def not on my 'good foods' list!)  All in all- fun times are being had w the fam! We love to eat outside on the beautiful deck @ my Aunt's house.  The first pic was while we were waiting for the fries to be done on the first night. The second is my mom and her 3 siblings.

Saturday's menu is roast & made-from-scratch rolls, among other things and then there's rumor of a "Tex-Mex Fiesta" on Sunday afternoon complete w Tamale's & Margaritas!!  Ay Yi Yi!!!

I think at this rate- unless the working out saves me- I'm not gonna win this week's challenge... but... oh well!!  There's always next week!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Week 3, Day 2

We completed another workout!  I REALLY didnt' want to!! But thanks to EMILY being dedicated- I decided it was worth it!

Today i really felt stronger doing MOST of the moves in RIU.  And I actually had more energy, etc!

Just another day to 'push play'!! 

I'm more motivated after i measured & looked at pics yesterday afternoon!  I took before photos on May 3 & I had the same outfit on yesterday.  A couple ppl at work said they could see a difference (I did NOT believe them!) so after the pics- i can see a TINY difference in the pic of my back/legs/etc... I'll show you two pics- the one w straight hair is wk 1- May 3, and the one w curly hair is Wk 3- May 17

Then I measured and lo & behold- I'm down a total of 9.25 inches!!! with almost 4 of those in my hips and an inch on each thigh!!  How fun is THAT!? After just 2 weeks- and only 13 workouts! 

People here have asked if I've changed my eating - I have.  I have been trying to do more fruits & veggies and I"ve ONLY had water to drink for 2 weeks basically (yesterday I got 100 oz down!!! I think thats my goal each day!). 

And then when I just REALLY want some kinda food (like fried stuff, cheese, chocolate)- I have maybe 2 bites or way WAY smaller portions (like take the NORMAL that I would typically serve and then cut it in 1/2 and then take a little less than that)!! For example- last week we had fried okra up here for an event.  I LOVE okra!  I had less than 1/2 of the 'normal' serving and I was def satisfied and then i skipped the roll & the dessert(it wasn't one i just LOVED anyway).

For me- if i have a "diet" or a strict routine- I'm NOT gonna stick with it.  I know myself.  I hate "rules" & "regimines" and so i need the freedom to change stuff up (afterall- variety is the spice of life right?!), the freedom to eat what I want, and the freedom to splurge if i 'need' it- without going OVERBOARD... but with the ideas I've started with- I have found I dont even WANT to splurge as much- and i LIKE lots of fruits and veggies- even having a spinach salad for lunch!  How cool is that?!

I'm so glad I decided to do this!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 3, Day 1

Today started with the Weigh-In... and while I wasn't expecting too much change- I was DELIGHTED to know that I was down 5 lbs from last week (can that be right?!) which gives me a total of 6lbs lost in 2 full weeks of working out.  Not bad.

I wasn't going to work out at lunch but thanks to my GREAT workout partner here at work- Emily- I did and am SO thankful!!  It was even EASY to stick to Fruit Only at our Staff Party today and I was so thirsty for WATER that the DP didn't even TEMPT me!! Seriously!  I didnt' even want it.  It sounded gross!  And I figured that I think I've filled my water bottle (25oz) up at least 2 times today so thats 50 oz of water so far! Thats good!! (esp for me!) I did KINDA want some cookies...bc they looked AMAZING but... its NOT worth it! 

Total Side note... but... speaking of Not worth it... I really thought about trying some Queso & Tortillas from Taco Cabana last night bc my friends all had it... but no.  I stuck to a yummy fruit smoothie - and I was totally satisfied.  Really. It was delish.  I was only tempted when that drippy yellow (fake) cheese was dripping off my friends tortilla... but as soon as the box was closed- I was over it!  YAY!  I totally think this is about the LITTLE choices.  Too often I've felt like - "oh its just ONE tortilla w cheese... that won't be THAT big of a deal" and really- its not... till you have ONE tortilla w Cheese, ONE piece of Chocolate, One... whatever and then you're up to a whole lot of JUNK!

So about our weekly competition to wear jeans an extra day instead of just on Friday.... I was in the lead... till Lisa weighed.  (Lisa's also the one who brought the awesome looking EVIL cookies I wanted to try!)  She beat me by a TINY little fraction of a percent!  UGH!  soooo close!!! I was at 2.55% and she was at 2.81 or something.  GRR!

Oh well- even more resolved to keep up the workouts and LOSE it in the end! :) This is fun! :)

Week 2, Days 4, 5, & 6

I'm combining this post bc, well, the last few workouts of the week didn't go exactly as planned.

Friday- (day 4) we didn't get to work out at work bc Lisa was off, Emily had something to do during lunch, and I was SWAMPED w work! I literally took 15 min off at lunch to eat and then was back at my desk till 5.  Fri night was a great graduation party (where i DID have a piece of cookie cake and LOVED every bite!) I got home around 10 and thought about working out... but just honestly didn't have the energy or the strength.  Here's a pic of me and Magen w the food on the right and the cookie cake on the left! :)

Saturday (day 5) I got up w an upset stomach (maybe it was the cookie cake getting back at me!!) and me and the roommate were goign to do RIU (ramp it up for future reference)... So we get started and about 15 min in I start feeling light headed.  So I get some juice to boost my blood sugar and drink some water and then i sit on the couch thinking I'll feel better and jump in... well then my stomach started hurting and I was feeling really clammy and decided I just had to sit it out.  I went to my room feeling like I might get sick and just laid on my bed under the fan.  Anyway- i felt better later but the day was filled w bridal showers and girlie movies so I didn't attempt another workout. Here's me and Chrissy at her shower!

Sunday (Day 6) I actually woke up early but decided to dance around to Worship music to get started instead of working out.  I only lasted through one or two songs and then decided to hop in the shower. We did goto the park after church and I played a little kick ball w Nate. Here's a pic of all the girls in my LG (minus Rachel) at the picnic.

After our nap later on we went to the pool w some friends and ended up in this guys vs girl game of keep away that was pretty intense!  We played for like an hr - moving around, jumping up, blocking, throwing the ball, etc and today my shoulders are sore - as well as my legs just a bit. So I think that counts as my workout- even though it wasn't really "slim in 6" or maybe even as intense.  At least it was active! (and SOOO much fun!) This was BEFORE we started playing hard core!

So anyway- i'm gonna say that week 2 was harder- but overall a success... BECAUSE today I weighed and I'm down 6 lbs since May 3rd!  And my coworkers said they noticed a diff when I came in today.  I'm going to take pics every other week in the same outfit to see if I can see it. 

The other news is- I think in percentage lost since last week- I'm the winner!! I lost 2.55% since last monday - meaning... I get an extra JEANS day this week!! Yippee!  Its not official yet bc all the girls haven't weighed in... So my boss, lisa might still beat me... but we'll see.  Till she gets here- I'm the winner! :) I'll keep you posted.

So total stats: 10 days of the Slim in 6 vids, 6 total lbs lost, 7 total inches lost.  Not a bad start!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Week 2, Day 3

Well i didn't make it to work out yesterday at lunch bc one of my sweet friends brought me homemade chicken enchiladas with an ice cold DP for lunch... So my plan was to do it last night after Lifegroup- BUT... I didnt.  I just honestly did. not. have. the. energy.

So I decided yesterday was my "off" day for the week- which means i have to get in 2 workouts this weekend.  At this point- my goal is to do them both in the morning on Sat and Sun before showering and getting ready for the day.   Hopefully Monday I will be able to report that that was true and i made it throught ALL 6 days of working out on Week 2.

TODAY i got to work out with my co-worker Emily.  She had to start a little late and leave a little early- but it was still good to have that accountability.  I know if she hadn't done it- I prob would have bailed... but once I "pushed play" - I knew I had to do it!

Today I'm also starting to drink one Protien shake per day.  We'll see how that works out.  Someone told me to drink it right after my workout... sooo I'm trying now... its not the best...its just really thick.  I may play around w this a little bit.  Anyone have any advice about protien shakes? or good post workout lunches that would be easy for me to bring to work?

I read somewhere that after your workout your body can absorb nutrients better than any other time.  It also said that you should have 3 parts carb to 1 part protien for the best nutrient mix.  I just dont know what i should eat!  I'm gonna try to goto the store this wkd for foods for the next couple of weeks - more fresh ingredients like fruits, veggies, etc, too hopefully!

I went down to the workout room at the church to weigh today - just to see... and I was down 4.25lbs from the beginning weight. Not too shabby!! :) I want to do inches again just to see if anything has changed since last friday - bc stuff like that (seeing even small-ish changes) totally motivates me to keep going!  It is when I dont see ANYTHING or FEEL anything that I get bored/discouraged.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week 2, Day 2

Today we decided to switch it up - as I said yesterday.  WE started the Ramp It Up vid and at the beginning it looked just like the Start it up... but after 3 rounds of "warm up's"... it started looking different.

The moves are basically the same, however, they do them longer and after doing a slow & Controlled section, they then do little "pumps" of each.  For example- you do 16 bicep curls on each arm w the resistance band - alternating.  Then you're done w that and you do 8 fast on one arm, and then 8 fast on the other arm.  Its killer!!

It is also 50 min long after the warmup and with the Yoga stretches at the end.  I didn't finish the stretches bc it was time to be back at work.

Right this minute (20 min after the workout) I feel QUITE tired!!  My arms are like Jello and I'm pretty sure my abs and booty and thighs will be KILLER Sore tomorrow!  Our plan at this point is to switch it up w Turbo Jam tomorrow (lisa had the video) which is supposed to be more cardio and really fast paced. 

Anyway- it still feels good to have worked out today even if i am rather tired at the moment. 

In other news- I decided to play Co-Ed softball again this yr on the MOose team at Mercy Place.  Its on Sundays starting June 20th and will be a great finale to the whole "Biggest Loser" competition.  I'm terrible at Softball- but i like being part of the team and hanging out... and I figure (once again) that if I"m going to end up spending every sunday at the fields, I might as well be getting some exercise!  Esp since I've decided Sunday is my "day of rest" from the workout vids.  We will see how it goes...

Also in other news- I'm planning a big 30th bday party on the 19th.  I think it deserves its own post though!

Ok - time to go back to work and see if I can function throughout the day!

the 30th Birthday - Coming SOON!

MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND!! :) Its going to be in DALLAS around 8pm or so on Saturday night the 19th.  Exactly 10 days after i turn 30!  It will actually be a joint party for me and one of my friends- Jarod Olds as his bday is on the 18th and I figured I could share my party (and have more help!)

ANYONE is WELCOME to come celebrate but if you could reply to this w your email- or email me at with your email address- then I will make sure you get the OFFICIAL EVITE!!

Its gonna be a party NOT to be missed! :)  (I hope!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week 2, Day 1

So these may get boring for everyone- and thats ok with me.  This is a good place for me to feel like I'm being accountable to someone(s) even if no one reads/comments!! So I'm gonna keep it up!

Just worked out at lunch here at work.  We did the Start It Up video one more time, but we're gonna move to Ramp it up tomorrow.  We're a little concerned bc its longer... and most likely harder.. but it will be good to challenge ourselves some more.  There was only one other girl who could workout w me today (Emily) but I'm so glad she did bc I was really thinking I might skip it today and do one tonight (which honestly isn't that likely bc of MOm's Night out and hangin w a friend later!)...

So the 2nd week has begun.  My goal is again- 6 days.  Todays workout was def the easiest of the last week (what a shocker- i know!) Hopefully i'm not too much of a baby tomorrow when we UP the pace!

In other news - the first unofficial weigh in was this morning and I'm still at 1lb lost - which is only .5% (even after the mothers day meals and desserts!!).  I'm going to do inches again today and every Monday as the official measurement on this journey.  However, this was fun to weigh in bc some of the girls had lost up to 5lbs and 3.64% of their starting weight!  Cool huh!? Its fun to see ppl around me making life changes! I hope we can all continue encouraging one another- no matter who the "winner" is.

I think bc we are working out and building muscle- that I'm prob not gonna see a ton of lb's come off till later... but thats ok w me. I feel stronger and I do not care about the number on the scale as long as clothes start fitting better, I have more energy, and I'm shaping up!

Week 1, Day 6

So I did a workout- by myself- at home- in the morning- on a Saturday! :)
yay ME! :)

I felt so productive Saturday! I was up at 8:15, cuddled w Nate a bit, then jumped up, put on my tennis shoes and PRESSED PLAY!

I worked out, showered, and was ready to go have breakfast at Kristen Gladney's at 10!  What a great day!

We made fresh fruit smoothies using her handy dandy Magic Bullet Blender(WHICH I WANT VERY MUCH!!!) and had tasty bagels too!

Then we got to chill w Nate and watch Follow That Bird (a Big- Bird movie!) and we LOVED it!! By 1, I felt like I'd had a full day!!  So I went home, worked on laundry, cleaned 1/2 the garage and got ready for my evening!!

Working out is fuN! :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Week 1, Day 5

Well, Lisa and Emily were gone today but Judy, Cynthia and Misty (and baby Carley) decided to work out w me today!!

WE did it during lunch again- in the nursery rooms while Carley (10 mo old) played in an exersaucer!  IT was fun! 

In other news- we girls decided to go ahead and weigh in today and measure just cuz we wanted to know where we stand after just 5 days (aren't we impatient!?!?! hehe)... So the good news is EVERYONE has lost at least 1 lb and EVERYONE has lost inches too!! 

Personally- i only lost 1 lb... BUT i lost 5.25 inches- after just 4 workouts!!  It definitely gives me the motivation to want to keep this up!  And I'm sure I"m building muscle right now- since I'm doing stuff I havne't done in FOREVER and that will weigh more- but ultimately cause me to lose MORE fat!! So I kinda expect to see more inches than lbs and feel better in my clothes... which is actually what I am most concerned about!  I also ALREADY feel stronger- just KNOWING i'm doing something GOOD!!  It makes me want to jog to the car instead of walk or take the stairs instead of the elevator!  LIttle things my friends, little things!

So the girls (em&Lisa) were talking about moving up to RAMP IT UP next week.  If we REALLY want to be "Slim in 6" I guess we need to pick up the pace a bit. I gotta admit- i'm a little apprehensive.  Its almost 20 min LONGER (thats nearly double) and supposed to be "harder" (and I def am not thinking Slim in 6 is super EASY yet!!)... It will be good for us - i just might be WORN OUT WAY faster!

I have one more START IT UP workout this week (I'm going for 6x a wk for the next 8 wks!) that I'm hoping to get in first thing Sat when I get up. 

Nate was asking to wokrout w me yesterday- so I think he'll help my motivation!  He was sad I didn't bring it home last night! :) So cute!  What a positive thing this has to be for him! I need to keep remembering that!  Its for him, about him and his lifestyle WILL be different than mine was growing up & has been lately!  He will WANT to be active and make healthy choices! I WILL model that for him over the coming years! I WILL! (I'm talking myself into believing it!!!) :)

Ok- till next week!!  Happy FRIDAY!



This morning - I heard Nate get up as I was in the other room.  Typically, he will get up, go potty and come find me - either to snuggle w me in my bed if I'm not quite up yet, or to give me a hug when i'm on the couch spending time w Jesus, or will at the very least poke his head in the room I'm in and smile.  All of this usually happens w in the first 15 min he's awake.

Today, he never came to say good morning or give me my hug.  After about 30 min (I was spending time w the Lord w my sweet friend LeeAnn) I went in to find him sitting in his undies and the t-shirt he slept in playing beside his bed with all the clothes (that we so carefully put ON the bed last night for easier sorting for me this wkd) strewn on either side of the floor. 

Come to find out- he had wet the bed last night and was searching for pants that were to his liking (Jeans w out holes in the knee- a rarity at our house).  When he couldn't find a pair, he just resolved to stay in his room and play.

I realized he never came to me because he was ashamed.  Ashamed he had wet the bed, and then ashamed he couldn't cover it up by finding clothes to his liking, and maybe even ashamed he'd made the mess w all the clothes everywhere after we just cleaned up last night.   So in his shame - he decided to just sit and play (in hiding) and never come seek me out. 

When I found him - not dressed and just playing after being up for so long, he looked at me almost as if he'd been caught doing something bad. The main reason I sought him out was because I missed the morning with him! I missed being the first one he ran to! I missed his little "I Love You Mommy"!  I missed his big hug and contented silence as he just let me wrap my arms around him tight and squeeze him.

How often do we do this with God?

How often- once we make a mistake, either accidentally or deliberately even, do we distance ourselves from Him? 

Maybe its because of fear of punishment, maybe because of shame or disappointment in ourselves, maybe just because we're embarassed bc its not the first time and its messy... but regardless- How often do we choose NOT run in to say "Good Morning God" bc we only see our junk and assume he does too?  How much does HE miss us?! How much is he sad/hurt that we didn't run STRAIGHT to him first thing?  How much does he want to help us clean up our mess, "put our pants back on", and move on to the rest of the day? How much does he want to hug us and tell us he still LOVES us - no matter how many times we 'wet the bed'?

Its crazy to me that the hiding and shame thing is so instinctual.  We dont TEACH our kids that- do we? We don't usually have insane consequences for thier trials.... and yet- they still hide and even lie sometimes when faced with 'sin'.  I think sometimes they know its the 5th or 12th time they've had the same issue and they FEEL instinctively that they should "have it" by now.   Don't we do that too!?  Don't we disqualify ourselves from being used by God just bc we did THAT again?

I am sure that is not what our daddy wants.  I am SURE that he LOVES us no matter what.  I am SURE that any problem we have or mistake we make can be made right SO much quicker with HIS help, His perspective, HIS grace.  I think he's more sad when we dont RUN to Him w our mistakes and instead run away from Him in hiding.

So my question to you is: do you believe you CAN run to him?  And do you believe (even the 20th time) that when you make mistakes and sin that he still LOVES you and LONGS for your hug in the morning, your smile, your voice saying "I Love You"? 

I think I'm starting to.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Week 1, Day 4

Well we did another workout during lunch today at work! Me, Emily & Lisa pushed play again and made another healthy choice!

It was fun! I'm definitely gonna be working on a Workout Playlist that I can put on instead of the cheesy music in the BG of this dvd.  I know I'm more motivated when I can sing along to a good song and it makes the time pass by much quicker!

So tomorrow neither of the girls are here so I may or may not get a workout in at lunch.  If I dont', then I need to squeeze in 2 more over the weekend (the REAL test!)  If i do- then I think I'll prob do one Sat after breakfast and be done for the week and take Mothers Day off.

I'll post again tomorrow if I actually work out... otherwise you wont hear from me till monday... when hopefully i'll have news of 2 more workouts! :)

I did it!

I worked out. at home. after LG. during Nate's bath. in my house. BY MYSELF!!

Victory is MINE~! :)

I'm not even as sore today- i just really feel stronger! 

the girls at work all texted eachother last night to keep us accountable... if I hadn't had that- (and the blog world) to be accountable to - I'm pretty sure I would have just NOT done it!  But it was FUN actually... AND felt good to sweat!  AND my little man came and "worked out" with me! SO cute!! He was doing the kicks and the crunches and was so proud of himself!  Oh how it made me want to do more and be a GOOD example for him!!!

God blessed me in my workout! And then one of my very sweet friends came over last night just as I was finishing the workout- so I got to chat w her till the (too)late hours and it was super encouraging!! What a great Wednesday! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Week 1, Day 3

So we didn't work out at lunch today.  I went shopping, Lisa ran home, and Emily had to cover the daycare bc they were short staffed....
BUT the 3 of us made a PACT to do our respective Videos TONIGHT - no excuses!!!  So I'll report tomorrow if we actually all make it- hopefully it will be YES and I'll get through the whole first week of workouts!

Till tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Week 1 Day 2

Well, we did it again. Day 2 is a success I'd say.  And the great news is- the other 2 girls want to do this EVERY DAY! 5 days a week! Together! They are super motivated by the # on the scale and the contest and just wanting to be in better shape overall. 

Some parts seemed harder today- but some were definitely easier.  I did get a little light headed after a million Squats-so i stopped before I did shoulder & tricep moves...but I figure I prob need a few more calories in me before we do the workout- so my goal will be to adjust the eating a bit tomorrow.

Anyway- i think i want this to be my place of accountability.  So maybe I'll be blogging more... afterall- this is WHY i started this blog in the first place...
to talk about my journey to become more FIT! (and why it hasn't had a whole lot on it in the last yr after I gave up on running)

Biggest Loser

Swimsuit season is (too) rapidly approaching... as is the big 3-0 birthday (only 36 days away from TODAY! YIKES!) and while I'm not the BIGGEST size I've ever been - that was last yr- I haven't made a ton of effort/progress to get back to "normal" (whatever that is!)

So... since some of the ppl at work want to start an 8 wk Biggest Loser competition - I figure why not give it a shot and make some changes.  There's no better time than NOW! AND ppl are going to be doing it around me so I might as well- while I have some support.

So last week I got online at Beachbody where a friend of mine is a "coach" and looked around.  His wife (mom of 2- also 30) just completed Slim in 6 and so i emailed her for the real life- "how does that work w your busy schedule and 2 kids and is it really as good as it looks" perspective. 

This is an excerpt from her email:
You definitely have to be mentally prepared before starting a beach body workout because it definitely takes time!! I started with Sim in 6 and I think its a great beginning workout. It comes with 3 main workouts, a stretching workout, an ab workout, and 2 bonus workouts. You do the first one - Start it up till it becomes easy. I did it 3 days. Its only 26 minutes long. Then you go to Ramp it up, its 45 minutes long, and the finally burn it up and its an hr. I definitely struggled with the hr one as far as time goes but I mostly just did it when the kids went to bed.
Its not too much. I think its $60. Slim in 6 is a great way start - I had really good results!! I lost about 8 pounds almost right off the bat and I lost 2 dress sizes. I lost tons and tons of inches. When I started I could only do 5 pushups and by the time I was done I could 50. The good thing about Slim in 6 is it comes with everything you need.
So... I thought about it, prayed about it, and tried to decide if I was really mentally READY to commit to something like that; READY to make a change in my lifestyle and be more active.  After about a week, the thing that stuck in my mind is "2 dress sizes and tons & tons of inches."  Bc at the end of the day- i HONESTLY dont care about the numbers on the scale... I just want to feel good when I get dressed in the morning.  So finally- I bought it! It was about $70 after tax and shipping and arrived at my office yesterday.

A co-worker and I did the workout during lunchtime yesterday - so that was fun!  We started with the "Start it Up" video (which actually plays for 34 min - but still seems manageable).  It wasn't totally easy- though the moves are simple - its just the endurance that was tough.  I think I only did about 3 pushups in taht segment and def got tired during the lunges!  But it was fast paced and doable.  I think I'm gonna like it! 

This morning I'm a little sore in my obliques, inner & outer thigh, and shoulders... thats gotta be a good sign that SOMETHING is working- right?!  Today another girl is going to join us at lunch- so thats 3 girls trying to change together! (makes it SO much easier!)

I dont want to put too much on this in the early stages... bc its really easy for me to START stuff- but not as easy for me to FINISH!  SOOO... just wanted everyone to know that i STARTED yesterday... and we'll see how it goes.  I'm taking "Before" photos today and used the little tape measure they sent w the DVD's to measure everything too... bc i have a feeling i will see more inches come off than lbs... but we'll see. 

Biggest Loser at Shiloh ends on June 28th.  The one w the most % of weight lost gets cash! Cash is good! :) There will be a boy winner & a girl winner.  I'm gonna try my best!