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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One Day at a Time

Today I woke up thinking, I've had it. I don't feel strong. I don't feel cute. I don't want to feel like this anymore. I've felt this way before. Lots. Today I got up and did something about it. I did one 15 minute work out. I drank one 8 oz. glass of water. I said one prayer for willingness. It all starts with one.

Dealing with my body, with my weight, with my health is overwhelming . It makes me cry so I push it waaaaaay back to the back of my brain and I try to focus on anything and everything else. I'm ashamed that I've let myself get so out of control and I'm really really really afraid that I will fail again. It's a constant struggle between feeling good about a positive choice and feeling really awful about how big I am and about how far I have to go to get "healthy." I keep reminding myself that I quit smoking this year (which is HUGE) and the very next thought is, and in the process you've eaten your way out of your clothes. And you know what that thought makes me want? A Marlboro and a Frappuccino. So I stop and I pray and I cry a little bit and I decide to do one thing better. Just one. And then I choose again. Just one thing. And then I do the next one thing...

I love to plan. I love coming up with systems and forms and tools for BIG changes. What I'm not so crazy about is following the plan. The twenty day clean plan (while brilliant) lasted about six days. One day at a time isn't just a cute cliche for people like me, it's the only way I can do life. It doesn't mean that I don't make plans or keep a calendar, it just means that the key to success for me is doing today to the best of my ability and letting tomorrow unfold when it comes. It also means that I get to choose my attitude today. I get to choose my outlook today. I get to choose what my focus is and how much energy I devote to productive things and that in and of itself, makes me feel just a little bit stronger than I did when I rolled out of bed this morning.

Peace, love & one day at a time!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas is Coming (the goose is getting fat!)

We have another melt down free holiday under our belts! Thanksgiving only had a hitch or two and I must say that the we are getting much better at working on the fly. Dad and Mary Ann (Steve's parents) weren't able to make it and they were greatly missed. I  McGyvered up some desserts without having to go to the store and no one left hungry.

I had my nieces over for a slumber party on Friday night and we got our decoration on. The first project we did were the beautiful glitter bulbs shown above. This was the easiest project ever. Some how I inherited a couple of strings of outdoor lights and we don't put up outdoor lights. Several of the bulbs were broken and corroded so this was something destined for the trash until I saw this little project on Pinterest! We unscrewed the bulbs, painted them with modpodge and glittered our hearts out! They turned out super cute and are in a glass jar adorning my mantle. The upside to a glitter project with three not so neat girls (and an aunt who's a straight up disaster waiting to happen!) is that not only did we make beautiful crafts but we also made a sparkly rug, a sparkly chair, a sparkly sink, sparkly's like a troupe of fairies came to party at the Love Shack! Honestly, I'm a crafter so things like this really don't bother me, but if you're messphobic, you might want to do any glitter projects outside (someone else's house).

We also painted these lovelies using vinyl stickers I made with my Cricut. The girls painted over the stickers. Believe it or not, I did not tell them how to paint their canvases (which is rare for me!) and I think they turned out super. I told them that we had to wait until the paint was completely dry before removing the stickers, but I lied. I peeled them off as soon as they left to go wash their hands. I've never been known for my patience. As a matter of fact, I hung them on the wall before they were dried so there are a few drippy dots that are all my fault. While my mom would save these forever, I will probably recover the canvases with burlap after Christmas and use them for a new project.

I also wanted to tell you about my photos. If you like the vintage look and feel of these pictures, and if you have an iphone or ipad (they've got to have it for android too, I'd think...), you must get the Hipstamatic app. I don't pay for apps, but I had to have this one and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! (And seriously, it was $1.99 so it's not going to break the bank.) You can mix and match films, flashes and lenses for various effects OR you can just shake the "camera" and it will choose a random combination for you! It comes with plenty of lenses and film to keep you playing for a long time, but there are little in app add ons (.99) that give you even more stuff to play with. Oh, and you can upload from the camera app directly to facebook or twitter! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot!

This morning it was (finally!) chilly here in North Texas and I needed something warm in my cup. I don't know why it is that when I need coffee the worst, I have such a hard time making myself make it! So I went to the pantry and made a very quick drink mix for mornings just like this.

Auntie Hoot's Mocha Mix

2 cups of sweetener (sugar or sugar substitute)
4 cups instant milk
1 cup dry coffee creamer
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 package of instant pudding (chocolate or vanilla)
1 jar of espresso powder
3/4 cup of cocoa powder

Mix together and store in a ziplock bag. Heat water in microwave & add 1/3 cup of mix and a couple of stale marshmallows. You can dress this up for gift giving by adding crushed peppermint (those soft ones should dissolve nicely in the warm liquid), homemade marshmallows or perhaps a small bottle of adult beverage for spiking. (If you're into that kind of thing.) Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More Crafty Fun!

 These are my crazy cute necktie wristlets. They are the perfect little bags to carry a cell phone, ID and keys. I'm making these for Christmas, so if you want one, let me know! $20 for my choice of tie, $18 if you supply the tie. They are also great for ipods, cameras and other small electronics.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Mac Daddy of Mac-n-Cheese

I have discovered the most AMAZING trick for making killer mac-n-cheese EVER! No seriously. Trust me, I'm a fat girl, I know comfort food. First off I have to give credit where credit is due and the original idea came from here. So on with our cheesy epiphany. I must admit that I found the idea of cooking pasta in milk suspect and when I told Big Daddy about this, he thought I was crazy as well but my curiosity was piqued so I decided to try it out.

I didn't have macaroni on hand, but I did have some spirals so that's what I used. I filled a sauce pan about half full of 1% milk. I slowly brought it to a simmer and then added my box of spirals. I  simmered the milk for seven minutes to cook the pasta and that's when the magic happened. You see as pasta cooks, it releases starch into the pasta water. When you cook the pasta in milk, the starch is released into the milk thickening just like it would if you were adding corn starch or flour. So basically in the process of cooking the pasta, you're 2/3 of the way home on a bechamel sauce (a basic white sauce) which is the base sauce for mac-n-cheese. So after simmering for 7 minutes I had a nice thick milky sauce to which I added a couple of fists full of grated cheddar cheese and a three or so tablespoons of butter. Voila! Add a little salt and pepper and you've got some super creamy mac-n-cheese. But wait! you're thinking, I really love the crunchewiness of baked mac-n-cheese! Have no fear my possums, I do too. So then I take the whole delicious, creamy mess and put it in an oiled baking dish, throw a few breadcrumbs on it and bake at 375 until bubbly. Duuuuuuude, it turned out super delish! (If I do say so myself.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gearing up for Giving Thanks

As I've aged, maybe even matured, my favorite holiday has shifted from Christmas to Thanksgiving. An easy case could be made for the fact that Thanksgiving is just easier, but I don't think that's it. I think what has changed is that I have experienced this shift from wanting to get to wanting to share. Honestly that shift has taken a too long and the transformation is by no means complete. What I like most about Thanksgiving is that it's a good time. We invite both sides of our families to our home and we pray, eat, and enjoy each other. It's just that simple.

Here are a few things I'm doing to prepare for out annual Thanksgiving get-together:

  • The 20 Day Clean Plan--each day I've identified one "zone" of the house I'll work on de-cluttering and cleaning. This includes closets and shelves behind doors that usually stay closed. If I complete this mission my house will be MUCH more organized before the real holiday slam begins.
  • The holiday mantle--I love holidays but I can't see decorating from top to bottom every month so I redo my mantle often. Since my living room and dining area are one in the same it packs a punch and is the first thing you see from the front door. The banner reads, "Give thanks" and the chalkboard says, "Count your blessings."
  • I also made a rag wreath for the front door. I should have made it smaller and fuller, but  it's still a cheerful addition to our doorway. 
  • I have made a chalkboard for our bathroom and I've written, "I love you because ______________________." Each day I write down one thing that I love about life with Big Daddy. I know it makes him smile and it's a lot of fun to come up with new ways to let him know he's appreciated. 
  • I am delegating. This year I have made a conscious decision to quit trying to do everything myself. I have wrestled with feeling like I waited a long long time to be one of the "grown ups" and it's my turn to do a whole holiday all by myself. I have had more than one meltdown about feeling like "my holiday" got hijacked and remembering those little episodes makes me cringe. After catering for a over a year, I've discovered is that it's no great privilege to get to do it all yourself and everyone enjoys the meal more when they get to contribute something. So each of the ladies in my family and Big Daddy, will be doing something to prepare our Thanksgiving meal. 
I hope you are taking more than one day to count your blessings and to let those around you know that they are loved. Love and peace to you all.