Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

Um, hi, where has the time gone? I feel like all I have been doing is breaking down boxes for recycling, cleaning up Christmas tree needles, grocery shopping, cooking, doing dishes and putting batteries in things. I am so looking forward to catching up with all my blog buddies and their fabulously entertaining lives. I really miss you all! I am so excited to read everyone's posts and share some of my own but I must admit, my house is a wee bit crazy right now (as I am sure yours are also) and I can feel the anxiety creeping up my spine... (does anyone else feel that way sometimes?) if I don't get some things back to normal soon. I hope to catch up next week once everyone goes back to school and I find the bottom of my laundry pile.

Until then... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

P.S. what do you think of my new hair cut? I had to see a different gal and she went a little shorter than I wanted, my family is saying things like, "oh, you got your hair cut" and "mommy will you ever have long hair again?" I think it might be a a little too Suzy Ormon-ish, oh well, thank goodness hair grows right?
Here is a side view, big tall hubby was playing with my new camera, please ignore my obviously not-posed self.

Again, best wishes to all you lovely ladies for a great new year's celebration, whatever it may entail.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Tanner

My baby is two today.

How in the world did that happen already?! You know those old ladies in the grocery store who tell you that time flies and "they grow up so quickly?" They are absolutely, 100% correct. I can't believe it.

He is such an awesome boy. He talks all the time, "reads" books, loves Elmo and animals and plants, always knows when I am sneak eating m&m's (of course I share with him!), gives the best hugs and kisses and is just plain adorable. I guess I love him a whole lot.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

Holy moly, we are so busy baking, cooking, wrapping, Christmas-ing, I have lots of good intentions to blog but in case I don't, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday, Monday!

Ahhhh!! Is it really only 5 days away? Christmas, how did you sneak up on me, again?! I will not bore y'all with all my woes about how I don't have enough time to do all that I want to do and I wish I was a millionaire to be able to buy everything I want for everyone I want and give lots away to charities... I will tell you that the presents I most look forward to are the ones in my stocking.
Not because I am hoping for jewelry (really, I'm not) I just like little things like scrapbook stickers, candy, and maybe even a pair of socks. Really. I swear. I am not a good gift receiver, I like practical, useful things. It drives big tall hubby crazy. We were watching this morning tv news segment about what women want (jewelry, electronics, nothing useful) and none of it even appealed to me. Oh well, guess I am unique.

Just one more thing to share...
(Photo from 2009)
When I was a kid. I wanted to be an astronaut like you can't imagine. I begged, I mean, begged my mom to send me to space camp. She never did. (I think she might even say she wishes she did now, but I haven't ever asked her.) My second choice was to be one of those gift wrappers at McAlpin's (a department store in our town). Those ladies worked magic I tell you. They would rip that shiny paper off the big roll, swish! Fold, tape, add ribbon, and voila! There hands flipping around at warp speed with beautifully polished nails. Ahh, the memories I have watching those gals, I remember when I was finally tall enough to see over the counter and I could watch them perform their magic up close, I was enthralled I tell you! A beautiful gift wrapped to perfection in less than five minutes. Does anyone use the department store wrapping gals anymore? Do they even exist? I hope so, it is a true art form. I am a pretty good gift wrapper myself but right now, it's crunch time and I am just happy to get paper on the darn things with the right tags. I have even enlisted the help of my elves (gasp! yes, I gave up some control!) and I don't even undo what they did and do it over because they used a whole roll of tape and/or wrapping paper on a book. My philosophy for the next couple days is to "get er done." So when it comes time to wrap some birthday presents friends and family, I promise to channel my inner-McAlpins-gift-wrap-lady and make it look pretty.

My things to do this week:
  • um, everything Christmas related- bake, cook, clean, wrap, shop, stay up late, eat lots of stuff I bake, enjoy Christmas morning and Tanner's birthday party...
  • get my hair cut, tonight! Yes! definitely need that!
  • deliver gifts to neighbors and community friends (mail carrier, dry cleaners, library lady who does story time)
  • make Tanner's birthday shirt
  • make Tanner's birthday cake

My menus for this week:
easy stuff because I have to host three big meals in one week, yikes!
  • chef salads
  • tacos
  • chicken chili
  • Christmas Eve dinner
  • Chistmas day lunch
  • pizza dinner with family friends (I am making appetizers and salad and desserts and ordering pizza)

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Christmas at my house

I love all the tours you blog ladies have been giving of your Christmas-y homes. So lovely. I took some pictures of our stuff. I can honestly say that I love our decorations but no one would describe them as lovely, elegant, or sophisticated. Maybe, homespun, whimsical, cute, but definitely not Pottery Barn worthy. Funny thing about Christmas decorations, I always wanted a perfect Martha Stewart holiday home until I had kids and then I just wanted it to be all about them. The stuff they made at school, pictures of them on Santa's lap, cute Elfs on Shelfs (I know it is "Elves" but Elfs sounds better!), is the stuff I want to have around me and my family. The only thing we did not get out this year was our mini winter village. We have gobs of houses and accessories and I am trying to figure out where we can display them and they won't be destroyed for next year. I am ok with not having them this year, Tanner is little and quick and those ceramic beauties that cost at least $80 don't stand a chance.

So here we go...

my favorite ornaments are the ones I make of the kids each year since their first Christmas (I put them mostly on the same tree, it's my scrapbook tree! just kidding)
(Sarah, do you see the b&w one of Parker? you made that tag for Asher's b-day party when you still lived here! I love it!) That other baby to the right is Zoe! So cute.
Here are this year's picture ornaments, I try to buy them after Christmas each year so they are super cheap. Then I store them until it is closer to Christmas, I like the photos to be as close to the same time each year so you can really see the progression. I had to add date tags to this year's ornaments because there was nowhere to write the date on these (the back is felt.) These came from Michaels last year.
Our niche, that snowman is huge but he looks kind of puny. Aren't my Longabergers so cute!? They are tree-trimming baskets specially made for putting on your tree. I like to admire them so I put them here instead.
Our computer room shelves, just added bunches of brick-a-brack, I figured when I put the other things back after Christmas, I will have to really clean these, good excuse.
The foyer table. I love this funky tree. I got it at Hobby Lobby once for $3 after Christmas. I usually make this area super pretty but Tanner kept grabbing everything so I just put some random stuff he couldn't mess up if he carried it around.
The mantle, I do the same thing every year. I might change it up next year.
The big tree, our trees always lean. Oh well, embrace the imperfections, right?
My tree! I have had this little tree since my first apartment. The angel is mine from childhood, isn't she cute? This is where I put my picture ornaments and things the kids make. I cry when I put this one up. Those picture ornaments kill me. Lord help me when my kids are grown! Incidentally, the big tree is mostly done by big tall hubby and kids, I just get stuff out and kind of help with clean up. I like to do the other trees because I am anal, I like to do it how I want and I don't want any help. I know, so terrible. They don't seem to mind. I do the other trees usually when they are in bed. And hubby likes bulb ornaments and garland, I prefer the cutesy ornaments and beads, this way we both get what we want! (I normally have another 6 footer in addition to this one, but I just got lazy this year, just putting up this 4 footer was enough.)
Look at this awesome sign, I won it! Woo hoo! Holla! I never win anything. Kerri had a giveaway and I commented on how great these signs look and I won. I couldn't believe it, I wasn't even trying to win. I really wanted her to know her signs rock. I really think she needs an Etsy shop, don't you?
Oh and in case you were wondering, I finished big tall hubby's cookies and other gifts for his staff. Whew! Glad I have a year to do that again. I hope we sell our house and get to move up to where he works soon, having two different school schedules is the pits!

There you have it, just a little bit of our Christmas stuff. (Man, have I used the word "stuff" a lot today! My high school English teachers would surely knock me down for that!)

Have a great weekend. I hope to get lots of wrapping and baking done.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not again!

OK, Mother Nature, one day of snow was a bit of an inconvienience. But another day, today, of all days? The day I have to bake 5 batches cookies and I ran out of eggs on the first batch and my kids are home from school, again. Seriously?! I'm not complainin', just sayin'.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

"We can't put our arms down!" I love torturing my kids!
Shoveling snow burns a ton of calories, right? That's what I told myself Monday as I was freezing to death trying to clear our driveway. The snowblower quit blowing snow about half way through, so I had to go all manual on our massive driveway.

Isn't it kind of silly to talk about watching my weight during this season of chocolate everywhere?! Seriously, I bought candy for teachers', friends' and community helpers' gifts and I swear I just keep having a little here and a little there. Ugh!

At my spinning class this week we were talking about the January rush would soon be on us. You know the crazy crowded, waiting for weights and machines that happens every January but stops by February because everyone and their brother decided to "get in shape" for the new year? Double ugh!

I have to go to a holiday party with my big tall hubby at work tonight and since I am a stress eater, I have been hitting that gift candy today, hard. Why am I stressed? Well, being around all these smart, educated, working, professional people, I get so nervous and worried that I will make him look bad. Too many years away from the workplace and adults will do that to a gal. Triple ugh!

I overslept today and missed my workout time. Will try to squeeze one in during nap/preschool time. Didn't even hear my alarm? I swear! Quadruple ugh!

So with all that, I find myself losing motivation. Usually I read a fitness magazine or book or check out a new DVD from the library to try. But the best motivator for me is new workout clothes. I hate to admit it. I know it is crazy but it works, for me anyway. I love new workout shoes, but those are like $100. Yikes! I love to browse the clothing section at Dick's but they are way too expensive for me. Those wicking shirts are great but not at $50 a pop.

I had to buy all new exercise clothes when I was Weight Watcher-ing hard and this was the way to go. I found the best workout clothes for the best price at Walmart. I know you Walmart-haters would never buy them, but if you are looking for inexpensive, cute, comfy, and washer/dryer friendly (some wicking stuff has to be line dried, who has time for that nonsense?!), the Danskin Now line is perfect!!! I found t-shirts and tank tops for $5-7 each. Pants and shorts are usually under $10. (Oh, and if you check clearance racks, woo hoo, shirts for like $2!) All my old stuff was about 10 years old anyway and short tank tops that exposed my belly were not going to work now. Those crazy '90's workout outfits! I really do try to make an effort to look decent at the Y. I don't put on makeup or anything but when I wear old junky clothes that I might sleep in sometimes, I swear I don't work out as hard.

I love all my Danskin Now pieces. I mix and match them and they are perfect for my gym workouts. If I was running a marathon or doing a triathalon (maybe someday!) I would of course buy the correct pieces at a specialty shop. (I've heard chaffing from a marathon is really horrible! So I'd be getting the right gear.) But for my YMCA bootcamp, spinning, and various other stuff, these are great.

So if you plan on hitting the gym or the pavement or the studio or whatever after the holidays, I highly recommend picking up some new duds, you'll be so glad and inspired!

Dear Santa, I'd like a Walmart gift card please ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Here is a little bucket of stuff I have been working on for a couple weeks. My Christmas cards. I know, I know, there are so many cute ones you can order and it is so much easier and faster and most people don't even care that I hand make my cards but I like it. I know the photo cards from Snapfish and others are very cute. I agree and I love to receive them. But, I love how my homemade cards look when they are done. I love adding just a teeny touch of something to make them "cute." I tell myself every year that I am going to start on them in the summer so I can not have to worry about it in December. But other things take precedence. I actually did start one year in July and finished them by August, seriously, it was great. Haven't done that again since. I am thrilled to say I finished these on Saturday and mailed them yesterday. I made almost 100, just a few shy. I am so looking forward to receiving everyone's cards. I love, love, love getting Christmas cards.
Whew! Now, can you pretty please remind me to start on these waaaaaay earlier for next year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday stuff

We are having a snow day today. No school. Not what I wanted for today. I have tons to do. But instead we played outside and now we are going to finish making sugar cookies. **sigh** All my "to do's" will have to wait.

I wanted to share my creative project from last week that I originally intended to make to get me out of my funk.

I started with these cardboard pieces. They are from a recent Costco trip. I bought Progresso soup and when I put the cans in my pantry, I noticed these perfect rings on the cardboard. I just knew I had to use them for something.

So I put some stickers on some with some snowflake tag things (found years ago on the Target clearance- I have like 200 of them so I have been using them for various crafts over the years!). I put a picture on one circle (an ornament for the tree) and you can see our book basket tag. I used Mod Podge over them all too, just because I was feeling so crafty.

I tied them to a piece of twine with ribbon scraps.
And I made a banner. I think next year I might drape it over the Christmas tree. It is a little small for the window. It says, "merry Christmas" but the lighting was bad and you can't really tell. Sorry!
I'm not sure I am totally out of funk, but I am glad I found the time to do something I wanted to do instead of all the things I feel like I have to do!

My weekly menus:
  • tortellini with spinach and sausage
  • baked chicken and veggies
  • oven fries and sub sandwiches
  • chef salads

my things to do this week:
  • make a dent in my wrapping
  • write master grocery list for Christmas/Christmas Eve/Tanner's birthday
  • make/plan menus for above three events (probably before I make the grocery list!)
  • adapt final gifts to buy list (I have to see what I still need to get- hopefully not much!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Badly staged photo but great idea

I used to love to go to Target but since Parker has had some gift cards and birthday money it seems like the only thing I get to look at there is the stinkin' toys! Grr! How many times can we look at Hot Wheel tracks and the Bigfoot guy we will never buy because he costs liek $200 bucks!?

Anyway, on one of our trips out of the Bakugan aisle, I cut through the bathroom stuff. You know soap holders, towel racks, all that cool stuff you only buy like once a decade or so. I saw the coolest thing, it was a knee pad for moms (or dads-if we moms are lucky) to kneel on while bathing little pip squeaks. It was rubbery/foamy (lack of a better word) and pretty cushy (lack of another better word) and it cost $20 something bucks! No way, that's like a whole new outfit (you know I am a red tag shopper, see yesterday's post) or pizza dinner at my house. I kind of walked by, eyeing it, sighing, glancing over my shoulder at it, saying I really need one of those. Giving little ones a bath is hard on the knees!

Then I came home and as I walked in the house through the garage, I spotted my kneeling thingy I use for weeding the flower beds just hanging there on a hook. (I walk by that goofy thing a hundred times a day but never paid any attention to it!) It was like the Target angel was calling me, "hey big dummy, you can use this thing and save 20+ smackers!"

For a couple weeks now, I have been using my weeding thingy for bath time and I must say it works! (Sorry for the ugly photo, I was hurrying and I think you get the idea.) I will admit the one at Target was a bit cushy-er but I think this works ok since I put the bath mat down and the weeding thingy on top of that. So moms of little people, if you have one of these in your garage, give it a try, if not, I highly recommend getting the cushy one from Target, your knees will thank you!

Here is the cushy one from Target.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I love a good clearance sticker

I am forever the bargain hunter. I know where all the markdown racks and shelves hide in every store I shop. I head to those spots almost every trip first, I can't help myself. I went shopping last weekend with my mom (actually I looked she shopped) at a real mall and I was kind of lost, not knowing where to look or start. It was so weird, I used to love to shop at malls but now, not so much. Blame it on having kids, I tend to stick to Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby or Michaels, Kohls, and of course the grocery: stores I can go in quickly and get out fast with crying kids. The mall was so not fun. I literally felt like I was dodging bullets in th perfume/makeup session (perfect because they just spoofed this on "Modern Family" this week). Clerks were kind of rude and twice salespeople ignored my mom and I and left us for other customers- once we were looking at expensive watches. It made me think of "Pretty Woman" when she went back the next day to show the snotty sales girls who wouldn't wait on her bags of goodies she bought elsewhere.

Anyway, the point of all this, I found some totally good deals at Kroger (grocery) of all places last week.

These are not the deal, just my bags piled up in the sink, ready to be thrown in the washer. Actually I wanted to show you our new faucet! Ours has been broken for about a year and a half and we called Moen (our faucet brand) and they sent us this one free! It's true, "buy Moen for life" their slogan. I just love having a working faucet. Big tall hubby installed it, I am so glad. Plumbers are expensive!!!
I scored this cute leaf and acorn hangy thing (saving for next year).
For this much... $0.29!
It was $6 before the sale. Like any good bargain hunter, I peeled back the sale sticker to find the original price.

I also got beat up boxes of tissues for .29 each and turkey paper places for .29 also (saving for next year.)
I don't care that the boxes are beat up, because I put them in these cutey pie Longabergers, no one knows any different. Well you do now, but you won't hold it against me.
I almost always stick to my grocery list but these items were such a good value, I felt like they were worthy of getting. I remembered when I came home that I had a coupon for Kleenex tissues so I found it and clipped it to my receipt.

The next time I go to Kroger, I will in my most polite way, ask for a credit or adjustment, I usually tell them I forgot the coupon at home. This is the honest to goodness truth. They always help me with this and I do not feel the least bit bad doing it. I just put the receipt in my coupon pouch for my next trip. Not a big deal and I do love saving money for my family.
Yes, I have an obnoxious coupon/sales binder. I'll share that some other time. Be on the hunt for those red and orange stickers girls!

cost for 3 beat up boxes of tissues: $0.87
cost after I took the coupon to Kroger and got an adjustment: free!
Kroger doubles coupons up to a dollar, so I got a dollar off my order, thus I guess I technically made $0.13! Yay me!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

Big tall hubby went to a conferencey-thing about tv and its effect on kids. (He brought home some really great information about ratings and I am so excited because I argue, yes argue, with my 7 year old about what is appropriate and what is not... we'll be going over that stuff dad brought home together.)

Anyway, he gave me the handouts (since I am the one in charge of tv time for the kids mostly) and this just blew me away...

A preschool child's risk of being overweight increases by 6% for every hour of television watched per day. If that child has a tv in his or her bedroom, the odds of being overweight jumped an additional 31% for every hour watched. (Source: Dennison, 2002, Pediatrics)

Holy smokers! Zoe and I just had a big debate/chat/talk about kids having tvs in their rooms. I am very much against it. She pulled the old, "so and so has one in their room..." I told her that she might never have a tv in her room and to just get over it. I told her she was not going to continue to be the best reader, artist, creative girl she is if she watches tv instead of doing other creative things. I was so glad to see this in writing. Sometimes that mother's instinct thing is pretty spot on awesome.

There is a TON more info about raising kids in this techie world we live in now at

Why am I sharing this on a "watchin' my weight post?" Well, I kind of figure, if kids watching tv negatively affects them, then guess what, it probably isn't too great for me either!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a tradition

One tradition we have done since Zoe was a baby (about one year old) was to get out the Christmas books on December 1st (or close to that!). I keep them in a small lidded basket for the rest of the year and I thought the kids were none the wiser, until I saw Zoe trying to sneak in a couple weeks ago. Stinker!

Anyway, I do not keep them with my other Christmas decorations (in the basement) because I add to the collection throughout the year. I am always picking up inexpensive books at garage sales and thrift stores. I like to know that our holiday books are all in one when it is time to pull them out.

The kids really like having all these "new" stories to read. They get so excited to read them even though we read them every year. I try to have a good mix of fact/fantasy/silly/serious/ you get the idea. (Once a teacher, always a teacher, I guess!)
I have heard of a bunch of you lovely blogging ladies doing this as well, I guess great minds think alike! :)

Um, they don't really need the tag labeling these, I just like making tags and using cute ribbon!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday stuff

Wow! That was a fast weekend. I feel like it came and went on one of these wintery winds whipping around our house right now! AND I don't feel like I got as much accomplished as I would have liked. Oh well. That's what Mondays are for, starting over, probably why they are my favorite day of the week.

This one if for Kerri, she told me my scrapbook sorting project from last week was stressing her out.
I got my family scrapbooks sorted! Yahoo! It can be done, now I should have been wrapping gifts or baking or some other holiday related "thing" but I did this instead. I also sorted the kids' pages but I haven't bought albums for them yet. I am pondering how I want to organize them so they went back in the box until I figure this one out. I also put these goofy tags on each album so when I do make pages, I can find the right album quickly. There are so many other cute ways to make tags but these are temporary so I don't care.

I know I should be enjoying the holidays but for some reason I am having anxiety. Actually it is a lot of reasons: buying gifts, wrapping gifts, taking Parker (the boy who wants something at every store) to buy gifts, planning holiday meals (and later preparing them), decorating (and cleaning up the messes after the decorating is done!), keeping up traditions, day to day life stuff like cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids. I am not coping well this year. Can't figure out why. Oh well, it will all come together, after many late nights of work. I am sure.

Here is something that I lose all control over during the holidays...
Messy kids' rooms. Is it me or do they seem worse than ever during the holidays?! This is Zoe's version of "clean." I swear she only got like 5% of my DNA. That girl and I do not think the same.

Dirty laundry and hair doodles (hello chocking hazards!) on the floor drive me crazy! There are places for that stuff and the floor is not it (I say that a lot!).
Not only are there beads everywhere (hello! More choking hazards!) But there are scissors on the floor!!! Don't even get me started on the books and toys all over!

I am not picking on my darling daughter, I love her tons and tons but when the rest of the house is in disarray, little things like this turn in to big things for me, the psychotic cleaning mom. By the way, her brothers' rooms are pretty much identical, minus the girly stuff.

See, I am Scrooge-y-fied this year. I am seriously going to do something fun or crafty to get me out of this bah-humbugness and into the spirit.

My Menus this week:
spaghetti and meatballs (special request from big tall hubby)
pork and sauerkraut with potatoes
crock pot soup of some kind, not sure yet
chicken stir fry with rice

My things to do this week:
assemble Christmas cards
mail Christmas cards
sort/donate all holiday decorations that are not being used presently
something fun and crafty- just for the heck of it

Friday, December 3, 2010

long cold dreary winter

OK, a couple days ago we had some snow flurries and yes, I was complaining. I know that winter is coming every year, obviously, but it doesn't make me like it any more. (Do you all get sick of me complaining about hating cold?! Sorry, can't help myself.) Now I know why my house is TRASHED all the time and it is so stinkin' dirty/dusty! It's winter! (Well, not officially, just in weather terms.) And my kids are trapped inside. Well, they will go outside only if I go too. Big wimps.

I have been back to my cranky, grumpy, grumbling self and I didn't even realize it. "Who left their boots in the middle of the floor? Who left all the lights on in the basement again? Who forgot to clean up the toys in the kitchen, I'm trying to make dinner here!" You get the idea. I was in the midst of an under-my-breath tirade about crunched up leaves all over the carpet drug in on someone's shoes when I realized I have about six months of this and I'd better get used to it. **sigh**

Here are some of our tried and true winter blah busters...

watching movies in our jammies (photo from 2009)
puzzles and crafts

baths in the big tub (or the pool as Tanner calls it)
I promise to try really hard to not complain about winter. I am listening to Jimmy Buffet and dreaming of the beach, think that will work?

where I wish we were...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

just wondering

Please tell me I am not the only mommy who feels responsible when her child makes a mistake?

You know like when your child throws a rock at the playground and hits someone.

Or when your child says, "look at that fat lady over there!" at the top of their lungs in the grocery.

Or maybe your child says something really bad on the bus and you have to deal with it when he/she gets home.

Or when your child goes in for his routine dental exam and the dentist finds three cavities! You promise you help him brush his teeth twice a day, even flossing them from time to time (come on, who flosses their kids' teeth every day?!)! You feel the horror of the dentist's glare over his safety goggles (aren't those things so obnoxious?!) and the embarrassment when you have to schedule another appointment for your child to get the cavities filled. Oh the shame of telling your big tall hubby about the cavities, he says, don't you make sure he brushes his teeth? (um, yeah, I do, every day and night as much as it annoys me!) Then do you vow to never let your child have sweets again? Well, not that I'd know anything about these things, I was just wondering...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

This is what learning a new Weight Watcher program on your own looks like...
You do not have to do it alone!!!

I was given the materials for our new Points Plus program a few weeks ago and I was totally overwhelmed at first. I had to miss a staff training session because we were going out of town and boy do I wish I had stayed home and gone to the staff meeting! So I read, and read, and read all the materials and attended another training session. Then I started doing the new program and by golly, I lost a pound my first week! Yipee! Now you gals know I post about my weight/health issues every Wednesday and I haven't lost a pound since JUNE!!! So this new program works! I have been dying to talk about it but we had to keep it hush hush until the new reveal this week. (Normally, we do not have to do things on our own but employees had to do the program first before members and since I missed the launch meeting, I had to go it alone.)

It is a lot like the old program that we do count "points" daily but now based on science and three years (!) of testing, food points are based on carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber grams. Yes! I was so excited. I feel like this new method is more like all the books and things I read about losing weight. Do not get me wrong, I love Weight Watchers, it has changed my life (and my family's), the old program worked, so did the one our founder Jean Nidech started in the seventies, but times have changed and I love it that WW has adapted as well. I love the idea of eating "real" food and less processed items (I did feel like WW focused on these sometimes).

I hope if you are interested in the program you take advantage of a free meeting. (No, I do not get paid to say that, I am only a substitute receptionist- someday I hope to be a leader, when the kids are all in school- I truly think more people could benefit from learning about healthy lifestyle changes.) Look here to find a meeting in your area. Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to eat some "free" fruit (those of you who are WW members, know fruit used to have point values, it "cost" you points!).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hot and good stuff

You have got to try this!

Holy yum! I just found my new favorite tea. It is Hot Cinnamon Spice from Caribou Coffee. I ran in there a couple weeks ago on a whim. I had just dropped off the kids at my mom's and I had five minutes to myself. Big deal unto itself! I would never go to a coffee shop with my kids, too many expensive treats just waiting to be bought (stuffed animals- ugh!, ginormous cookies, gourmet candies, you get the idea) and I am way too intimidated by all that coffee lingo. I have never developed the coffee taste/love so going to a Starbucks is kind of like going to a foreign country. I get stuff for big tall hubby sometimes when I am trying to suck up for being at Target too long while he is taking care of the kids, I mean, just because I love him! But then, I always get whatever the holiday special one is, like peppermint latte, or whatever. And I never say, "vendi" and all that other nonsense, I point to the big cup and say, "this size." Why pretend that I know what I am talking about!? Is it just me or are those coffee shop people snooty? (I'm sure not all of them are, before I offend anyone, just the ones I have encountered?)

Anyway, I was freezing (not unusual, I have no tolerance for cold) and I thought, by golly, I am going to get myself some tea. Wowzers, they have a huge selection. I asked the baristas what they recommended and they immediately said this flavor. It is absolutely delish! No kidding. It does not require any sweetener. AND it tastes exactly like a red hot cinnamon candy. Eeeeee! I love it. I told my mom all about it and she surprised me with this box. Sadly, I have drank about half of it already. **sniff sniff** I hope you get the chance to try it sometime, you won't be sorry.

You can order some here, if you don't have a Caribou nearby.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday stuff and scrapbooking

I am thankful to be home!

I am glad Thanksgiving is over. Whew. My tummy can't take any more! Coincidentally, today is the launch of a brand new Weight Watchers program. Yipee! I love it. I have been "doing" this one for a couple weeks (as an employee, we had to learn it before teaching to new members obviously) and it is so awesome. Anyone who wants to get healthy and maybe lose some weight, you should take advantage of a free meeting to learn the new program. Anyway, I am not even worried about Thanksgiving weight gain, because the new program has given me lots of freedom and I know if I did gain (which I probably did!) it will be super easy to get back on track. With that being said, I am glad to be home and eating my own food and exercising regularly. How can one long weekend throw me off so much?!

My Things to Do this week:
  • put away fall/Halloween decor
  • store Parker's clothes he has outgrown (for Tanner)
  • cut materials for my Christmas cards
  • sort two scrapbook albums and put pages in the correct order (see below)
  • buy needed scrapbooks at Hobby Lobby (sale this week!) for scrapbook pages (see below, again)
  • decorate our Christmas tree!

My Menus for this week: (easy week, because I know we will be busy)
  • we had spaghetti last night, so yummy after all that Thanksgiving food
  • tacos for the kids, tofu taco salad for me (Paul has PhD class- easy meal)
  • chicken pasta with bitter greens
  • shrimp sandwiches (repeat from last week, so yummy, have leftover shrimp frozen)
  • homemade pizzas
  • tortellini with mushrooms and peppers

I am a scrapbooking girl and have been forever. Really. I have old Trapper Keepers full of scrapbooks I made when I was a kid! I don't get enough time to do as many pages and albums as I'd like but on the occasion I do get some extra time. You can bet I am camped out at my desk with my adhesive and my scissors.

A couple years ago, I came across an idea from Stacy Julian (a pioneer in the scrapbooking industry in case you didn't know) that encouraged you to scrapbook whatever you wanted, in no order. OK, so this goes against what I had always done which was to scrap things chronologically. I had files set up for holidays, birthdays, by dates, etc. Then I started scrapping pictures I really liked or just wanted to get put on a page. Well the problem was, I still liked having my albums set up chronologically. (Stacy did not recommend this, she said to have album categories like "holidays", bugged me, couldn't do it.) So I started putting them in a big box until I could get them in their correct albums.

It looked like this...
Yikes! It would not close. Not good. So I sorted them by year (for our family albums) and by child (for each one of them)...
I have albums for 2006, 2007, and 2008. I have to buy one for 2009 and 2010. I also have to decide if I want one for each child for each year (of course their first year is huge) or for a series, like age 2-5. Not sure on that yet. (Hence getting to Hobby Lobby for the 50% off sale this week!)

Now I have to sort each year by date and put them in their correct album. It is a big project and I have decided that Stacy's idea just doesn't work for me. I guess I have to do it my way, and that's ok. The crazy thing, once I get the pages in the albums, the album will be almost done so I was basically still scrapping chronologically!

While I was sorting, I checked in here... (I forget about this basket because most of my "have to do projects" are on my desk)
Lo and behold, there was a project that I started this summer (it was a class with one of my favorite scrapbooking diva designers Margie Romney Aslett) and never finished. It was a shabby chic mini album that was supposed to be a banner you hang up. Well, as much as I love the idea, again, I had to make it my own. I have no where to hang a banner that won't get destroyed. Here are the pages...
Whoops, sideways, you get the idea.
I put my "cover" on some thick cardboard (Sarah, I thought of you when I did this!)
Punched some holes in the pages and put them on rings.
Added leftover ribbon to the rings.
Voila! Love it!
And I used the leftover paper scraps to make some cards. I just have to stamp some sentiments and they are done. I swear, seeing all my finished projects is so energizing! I could have stayed up all night cutting and gluing!