Thursday, August 13, 2015

No Mojo – On feeling uninspired and unmotivated

It’s easy to make good things happen while things are good. Making good things happen while things are plainly not-so-good is an entirely different matter. Learning to recognize when you need a proverbial kick in the pants is a good thing. Wallowing in the no-mojo zone is certainly a recipe for disaster.

I’ve been on a journey regarding gaining control over my weight issues since March of 2014 (well, who am I kidding – I’ve been on this journey since the appearance of my hips in high school!). The first few days were hard; then they got easier. Days and weeks turned into months and I successfully removed 68 pounds. I’ve done the yo-yo thing before. The weight loss part is relatively easy. It’s the maintenance part that’s hard. Really hard. To date, next to impossible.

When I signed up with the Medifast program in 2014 I figured I could eat their pre-packaged, pre-portioned food for however long it took to reach my goal. The real reason I bought the program was I felt they had success built in. Not only would I be able to work towards my goal for 7-12 months, but they also included a 10 week transition program and then one year of follow up after. I knew I’d need that part more than the weekly weigh ins to keep me on track initially.

Well, here I am, 17 months later, fighting the good fight once again. I tried to transition back to real food but in the midst of that my favorite counselor left, then the local corporate center shut down and you guessed it – life happened. There I was slipping back into old habits. Enjoying just a little too much. So now that I’ve packed on twenty something pounds I’m back in the saddle.

Today is Day 2 of the journey back down the scale. I’m trying to be proud of the 40+ pound removal that I sustained and looking forward to slimming down a little more and then doing transition right so I can stay there.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

House of Delegates Page!

We were so proud of our son when he was accepted into the State House of Delegates Page program as a freshman in high school. This meant that for the 9 weeks of the General Assembly, he was to live in a hotel in downtown Richmond (chaperoned, of course!). Each day he'd report to the General Assembly Building to carry out a variety of tasks. He did some filing, copying, mail delivery and lunch orders. He got to know his way around the immediate area of the hotel in downtown Richmond and had a fabulous time. He learned about the legislative process and about self discipline. Since he was living in Richmond during the week, he had to homeschool himself at night. He managed to keep his grades up the whole time and had such a wonderful experience. I'd highly recommend it for any self motivate, intelligent 13-14 year old. It was an adventure he'll never forget!

He is now a senior in high school. We truly believe that this experience along with his volunteer work with the rescue squad helped tremendously in the college application process. He was accepted at all five school he applied to and three of them gave him generous scholarships.

Please share any impactful experiences your school aged chidren have had! I have one more coming up through the ranks. Thanks!

Friday, April 24, 2015

James Bond is my husband

We had such a great time on our recent trip to Chicago. My sweet hubby hadn't worn a tux since our wedding day and he looked quite dapper!

Product credits: Template from the Life is Amazing 2 pack by Fiddle Dee Dee Designs at Scrap Orchard; Papers, embellies and word art all from Little Black Dress Kit by WM {Squared} at Scrap Orchard; Journaling font: Avenir

Disney suitcase mini book

My parents are huge Disney fans. They go every year, and this year was no different. When I saw all the cute pictures my mother was posting on Facebook, I knew I had to do something with them. I have access to all of my Mom's phone photos based on a automated backup system I set up for her on her phone to Dropbox. Since this handful of photos were the ones that she posted, I knew they must be the favorites.

I started by downloading the photos from Facebook and saving them into their own folder. Then I measured this adorable little Disney suitcase gift card holder I had purchased days before "just in case".

Using the measurements, I created blank canvas in PSE and created photo boxes using the dimensions for the planned photos.  I printed a bunch onto each page. 

Using my handy dandy paper cutter, I cut each column to the correct size. Once all the pictures were ready, I placed them in the order I wanted for the book. 

Then I used this awesome sparkle, glitter tape to adhere each page back to back. When all pairs of photos were adhered together, then I ran a larger piece of the glitter tape down the side of the hole stack, like a book binding, and finished it off.

It took less than an hour and my parents absolutely loved it. My Mom loved that it is small enough to carry in her purse to peruse or share whenever she feels like it!

Monday, April 20, 2015

1940s party fun!

It was so much fun to dress up for the theme night party at my hubby's National Convention in Chicago this year. The ballroom was decked out as a 1940s supper club. Fortunately, I had convinced my husband to play along and get dressed up for the event. It turned out to be great. The icing on the cake was the fake puffing cigar and the inflatable machine gun. He had a lot of fun with both!

Product credits: 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

First Car & The Bean

After having a wonderful time with a house full of visitors following immediately by a wonderful trip to Chicago with my hubby, I'm happy I had a few minutes to document some of the fun.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Smiling from ear to ear

My parents absolutely love Disney World. They love it so much that they go every single year. This year was no exception. They celebrated my father's 73rd birthday there just a few weeks ago. As my Mom says "After all, you only turn 73 once!" I suppose that's her translation of any time is a good time to go to Disney!

I love how happy they look when they spend time at the happiest place on Earth.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The grand plan is coming into play

Almost a year ago I wrote about my grand decor plan to create black and white collages for the letters in our last name to hang on a blank wall in our hallway. I actually bought the curtain rod over a month ago and today my sweet hubby & son hung it on the wall for me!

Since I've only completed three letters in our name so far, it'll be a while before I'm ready to hang our name, so for now it's holding some of my favorite layouts as placeholders. I love when a plan comes to fruition!

These are the letters I have finished so far...

See original post here

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The drive thru Nazi

I went to lunch with my best friend yesterday. Throughout the course of our three hour stint at Panera, we covered a myriad of topics. Yes, that says three hours! We hadn't really seen each other much lately since our schedules have been in opposition. Other than the obvious fact that we had a good time, seeing as how we didn't bother moving for three hours, we ended up talking about writing and scrapbooking - our two very favorite things. We've been exchanging prompts recently as a follow up to me doing LOAD in February. LOAD (layout a day) is a daily scrapbooking prompt challenge by the fabulous Lain Ehmann. Once LOAD ended, I had some withdrawals, so she swooped in to help me out.

She sends me daily scrapbooking prompts, and I send her writing prompts. Her  life is a little more 'full', so the prompts I send her are not quite daily. She's working on her first Great American Novel so I'm trying to help her exercise her writing muscles as much as possible so she can see that dream come true.

So, what does all of this have to do with a "Drive Thru Nazi"? During our lunch yesterday we meandered into funny stories and I told her about how my even tempered husband turns into a different person in the drive thru line. I gave her some examples, and since she knows him well, she was stunned and her immediate response was "You have to do a page about that!". At first I chose to exercise my veto option because I thought it would come off as mean and I didn't want to insult my sweet hubby. After having it roll around in my head last night and asking my kids their opinion, I finally figured out how to tell the story and capture the humor rather than the meanness. I am absolutely in love with this page that I never would have thought to do were it not for the prompting of my dear friend, and future New York Times Best Seller, Steph!


Product credits:
Template: Kristin Aagard, from her Say It Template Pack
Title alphas & flair buttons: Shawna Clingerman's, A Little Bit of This Kit at Sweet Shoppe Designs
Papers & word strips: Everyday Moments Kit by Studio Flergs & Mari Koegelenberg at Sweet Shoppe Designs

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Missing Uncle John

My Uncle John was a great man. He may not have been perfect, but who of us really is? I miss the smell of his pipe, I miss his hearty laugh and I miss the way he'd saddle up to the mic near the end of a party and belt out Jimmy Durante's Bill Bailey.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Medifast: Brownie Soft Bake Review

Think you can't have chocolate when you're on a diet? Wrong! I've been doing the Medifast Diet since March of last year and the two things that have kept me going are brownies and s'mores. How did I lose 65 pounds eating brownies and s'mores??? Luckily, this diet program includes some yummy pre-packaged foods and some smart choices with 'real' food and voila - success!

The Brownie Soft Bake is easy to make and very tasty. The batter is so good that I honestly don't think I've ever actually baked the whole thing. I usually enjoy at least a few spoonfuls of the chocolatey goodness before popping it in the microwave. You can vary the consistency of the brownie by changing the amount of water you mix in with it. A lesser amount of water will give you a denser, chewier brownie type treat while an increased amount of water will give you a more cake-like substance.

The great thing about all of the Medifast selections is that nutritionally they are all the same. So that actually means on the 5 and 1 plan I could feasibly eat 5 brownies in one day and still lose weight! There were some days where I ate as many as three and I still lost 65 pounds in 8 months!

Blast from the past

I stumbled upon this photo today from our wedding. I love how adorably young and cute my hubby looks!

I love that all these years later, we'll celebrate 23 years in June, he is still just as adorable to me.