Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What if? Detox Day 4

Finally.  A good day on this detox plan.  After headaches Monday through Wednesday, my body finally got used to not eating carbs.  Thank goodness... because my carb addition is something straight out of a Chris Farley skit (think 'Lay off me, I'm starving').  As I mentioned previously, beginning this intense of a diet without being more prepared is a terrible idea.  Never do it.  I had to drink a shake with only water and almost ralphed.  The shake is so nasty... not even fruit in it really helps.  Today, I had the time to do a little more grocery shopping, and with the help of a friend I was able to make a fantastic Poblano and Tomato soup.  I actually enjoyed my dinner tonight, despite it being extremely veggie filled and low in calories.  And those nasty shakes?  Taste so much better with a half banana in it!

Here is the recipe (I adapted it from the original version I got from my friend):

2-3 TBS garlic infused olive oil *got from Trader Joe's- SO strong!
              (or: recipe called for 2 T oil, 3 garlic cloves)
1 large onion (I used a sweet onion, like Vidalia)
1 large can of fire roasted tomatoes (or: recipe called for 1.5 lbs tomatoes)
2 Poblano peppers
1 quart vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Put oil in large pot, sautee onion (and garlic if used) for about 10 minutes, or until translucent
Meanwhile, place poblano peppers on a baking sheet and broil 5-8 minutes
Stem and seed poblanos

Place everything in pot, including oregano, salt, pepper and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  It already looks and smells delicious!

Once through cooking, place entire contents into a blender and blend thoroughly.
Note: do not fill blender too full, or this will happen (especially because it is hot)

After dinner, after feeling all proud of myself for making the easiest soup ever, I even had energy to go work out at the gym.  I love going there once I am there, I just need some motivation.  Luckily, there was motivation running on the treadmill nearby... wink, wink ;-) (sorry hubby!)

But seriously, it was tonight's soup and overall energy level today that made me start to think What If?  What if I really tried to eat like this all of the time?  I would feel so much better about myself, I would be healthier, have energy, and down the road would even be able to once again shop at stores that don't carry clothes for BFGs (big friendly giants for those who have never read Roald Dahl).  Something to think about...

And then I got home.  The husband went on a num-num making bender while I was working out, and there was not one, but TWO different kids of fudge.  And then I started having flashbacks to the lovely Giordano's pizza someone had for lunch while I munched on celery and drank a nasty shake.  And then the hubby was like, "Eat just a little bit of fudge!" (get thee back, devil!) I bet you are wondering, "Did she cheat on the detox?"  Nope! I have willpower, baby!  And I might still be dreaming of 17 days from now when I can eat fudge and pizza, but I am thinking just as much about how in 17 days from now, I might just want to keep up with my celery and healthy soup instead.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Detox Day Two

"Ladies, I have something to tell you... I am doing a detox, I am hungry, and I might be grumpy this week" was the first sentence uttered by me at work today. And although I wasn't grumpy, I WAS hungry. All day. But this is because I started this diet plan without food at home and completely unprepared for a fruit and veggie only diet.

So lesson one: stock up on veggies and fruit, especially frozen fruit that can go into your powder protein drink that tastes like doo doo.

Lesson 2: Put the book down before 2 AM, you psycho reading fiend! Because feeling empty inside, having day 2 of a dull headache, while also being exhausted? Is the worst!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

So the saying goes...

I realized that although I started this blog in order to have an outlet to vent about my struggles with weight-loss, I haven't actually written about this subject in quite awhile... last night my family went out sans kids for me, my sister's, and one of my brother's birthdays.  We used to do this all the time, but since my sister had my nephew four years ago, we really haven't gone out "big kids only".  We went to McCormick & Schmick's, one of my old favorites when I lived downtown Chicago.  I always loved their Martinis, and last night was no exception!  I treated myself to a couple of Sidecar Martinis, which are made with brandy (sometimes cognac), triple sec/Cointreau, and lemon juice.  Yum!!

What does this have to do with weight loss?  Absolutely nothing... except that it relates to one of my earlier posts about how I always decide to start "tomorrow", which is how I started to gain all this weight.  It also relates to the fact that I decided to do a detox, or purification after listening to a talk given by a local chiropractor.  I decided to take his advice, and am currently on day one of a 21-day process - smack dab in the middle of the holidays.  Horrible timing, I know.  But I realized today, as my husband was eating Thanksgiving leftovers that I REALLY wanted (and thought about fighting him for giving into), that I should not keep contemplating just starting the detox "tomorrow" in order to eat food that fit my mood.  I know I always feel like I have to hurry and eat something before it is gone and (think this in an ominous voice) I can never ever eat it again, but you know what?  I can always make a small turkey dinner for my family, really any day I feel like it.  Yep, what an epiphany. After all, my favorites are the sides which are not even time consuming.  The world is not currently on a sweet potato shortage, or a stuffing shortage (uh... I hope, or my epiphany will just be a lie).

So, as the saying goes, I actually grabbed the bull by the horns and started my detox.  I am doing the purification system by Standard Process, which seems to be tricky to find, because you have to buy it from an authorized provider and is on the expensive side.  Although I say it is tricky to find, actually I bought mine for less on Amazon (I saved like $60) compared to the chiropractor, but it wasn't the fiber version I had wanted. I also talked with my Aunt Kathie, who is a Naturopathic Doctor, and recommended I add a couple of things.  She is a wealth of knowledge in this area, and I certainly appreciate her helping me (Her practice/natural store would also be a resource for those in the area).  So far, I am hungry, because I was not overly prepared to start... I also have a bit of a headache (this is normal and expected), but I am glad I started today.  In 21 days I can have a glass of wine again... let the countdown begin!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's a Crafty Christmas! DIY Yarn Wreath

I love Pinterest! It has been so inspiring to me, especially all of the DIY ideas posted on there.  Every once in a while, something I like is from an Etsy shop, like this wreath at alexandranoel for $45.  I have seen similar yarn wreaths other places on the web and on Pinterest, so thought they must not be too terribly difficult to make, and for cheaper than I found on Etsy.  I was right!

So in honor of the Christmas season, I decided to make a yarn wreath in red/white, with felt poinsettias in both red and white.  Here is a list of the materials I used:

  • Red Heart brand yarn (the super saver kind) in both winter white and burgundy.  I picked both spools up for $2.39 each on sale.
  • Felt, in both "new cardinal" and white.  I chose felt from the fabric section, so paid a little more... I also bought way too much since I hadn't planned out what type of flower I wanted to create.  The felt I bought ended up costing about $10 total.  I could have spent less than $5.  I think this type of felt looks much better than the $0.30 sheets in the craft section.
  • Berry spray from the floral department, on sale for $0.99
  • Wreath- I found a 14 inch straw wreath for $2.99.  I picked this one because it was the only 14 inch wreath they had.  I left it wrapped in the plastic, and even then it was difficult to get my yearn to stay where I wrapped it.  Lumpy straw = no!
So even with my gigantic felt purchase, it still cost less than $20.  I am annoyed that I bought so much felt (I am always afraid I won't have enough), because I could have done this project for about $13 or less.

Basically, I sectioned off my wreath and drew lines, in order to try to make my stripes similar in size.  I am not going to show pictures of how to wrap the wreath, because you literally just wrap it.  At first I did just a single layer of yarn, and it looked awesome (very smooth), but when I switched to the white yarn, it didn't cover as nicely.  Next time I might spring for nicer yarn that is a little thicker in weight.

Hint on wrapping: I made mini yarn balls, one for each section I wrapped... I felt this helped a lot, because the wrapping is time-consuming enough without getting your yarn in a knot.  I also used hot glue to hold the yarn in place each time I began a new color... just a dab to make sure it was secure.

After I was done wrapping the wreath and fixed all its annoying straw poky-ness, I got to work on the poinsettias   To make the poinsettias, I just free cut out a large leaf shape.  Then I used that as a template to cut out 7 more (8 in total).  I then free cut a smaller leaf shape, and cut 4 total of those.  Here is a picture of a leaf that made up the larger petals on my white poinsettias.  I trimmed the edges to make a more pointed look AFTER I cut out all of the leaves using the template.

Next I made little slits in the bottom of the leaf, and used hot glue to overlap... I was trying to get more depth from the leaves.

Next, I glued four of the large leaves onto a small rectangular piece of felt like so:

And then glued the remaining four large leaves, and four small leaves into this arrangement:

I varied the size of the large leaves, in order to make a larger red poinsettia and two smaller white poinsettias.  I cut a few berries off of the branch I used for the sprigs, and used them as the center of the poinsettia... I finished the wreath off by gluing just a few berry sprigs around the flowers.

And there you have it, a pretty Christmas wreath in a poorly taken photo!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Thankful

I had ambitions for today... a mommy & baby trip to Starbucks, a little trip to the store, some playtime outside, a head start on the Thanksgiving cooking, and wrapping up the laundry and cleaning.  But we got to none of it because today was one of those days... one of those days where Ava needed a lot of extra snuggles, a lot of holding, a lot of answers to "That?", a lot of... well, Mommy.

But I have to say, that even though I didn't get anything done, I am so thankful for days like today.  I'm thankful that I have a beautiful daughter who is getting too big too fast, I'm thankful that she wants me and needs me to comfort her, I'm even thankful that she is getting into everything... I'm thankful that she empties out the cabinets, runs around with all of our plastic cups, throws our plastic silverware on the floor, and wants to know what "that" refrigerator is, "that" cookbook is, "that" gourd is, and so on.

I am so thankful that she marches her little chubby legs around in circles when she is "dancing", that she can't run yet, so when I say "I'm gonna get you!" she just shrieks with laughter and sticks her belly out farther while trying to get those little legs to move faster.  I'm thankful that when she is playing, she pauses to make sure I'm nearby, looks at me with those eyes that are so much like her Daddy's, smiles, and goes back to playing.  I'm thankful that she could spend hours diving into cushions and pillows, or rocking in the chair.  I'm thankful that she loves to look at books with me, and smirks at my funny voices.  I am thankful that she still fits in the sink for baths, especially when it is spaghetti night, and she wants to do it all herself.

I am so thankful for every precious moment with her, because I know that time is moving quickly.  Someday soon, she will no longer be my little babycakes... and I will be thankful for the little girl she has become.  But for now, I cherish all the things she does that make her "little" and thank God for the days that don't go as planned.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quickie craft

I have been a little on the obsessive side with making flowers lately... Now I just need to use them! These were the easiest so far to make, as I just cut out 5 petals, a round circle for the center, and a round piece of felt for the base. The same size circle for the center was also a sufficient amount of fabric for the button covering kit.

I used a VERY thin fabric, so thin that it rips easily. I think in the future I will try this with a heavier weight fabric, such as the kind used for upholstery.

Here is how they turned out:

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Has anyone heard of Birchbox? I first learned of it through my favorite hair-tutorial blog, and decided that a November birthday present to me was in order. I went online, and filled out my profile and signed up for the month's subscription (only $10!). What is it? Well... its a little sample filled box of products. And mostly not teeny little samples, but good sized ones that will last you. Oh! I forgot to mention that the samples are supposedly tailored to how you fill out your online "profile". As someone who REALLY loves products (my idea of fun... or procrastination... in college was a midnight trip to the Jewel cosmetics section) I thought this was right up my alley, and budget!

Here is my November Birchbox...
I LOVE Thymes products... and these 2 smell pretty good! I have tried both the eye concealer and the face wash... both of which I would possibly purchase. I can't lie, I would not wear the "Noel" colored nail-polish, although it is a fun color.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Proud Momma Minute

October 15th was Ava's first step... and now, a month later she is walking all over the place. She is just so much fun.... I cannot believe what I was missing out on before she came to us.  I thank God everyday for all of the joy she has brought into our lives!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sometimes it socks you in the chest...

"It will get easier," "Pretty soon you won't even think about it anymore."
This is what everyone told me nine months ago when I started to go back to work after having Ava. I still remember walking into the babysitter's house, her taking a look at me and asking, "Are you ok?" and me taking a deep breath trying to calm myself and bursting into tears. I had a meeting that morning as soon as I got to work. Everyone was excited to see me... was happy that I was back, but my friend took one look at me and ran over to give me a hug as I stood there with tears streaming down my face, silently sobbing.

And everyone was right. It got easier, but everyday around lunch I start to miss my little girl. Too bad the workday can't be a half day everyday... the summer came, and I am lucky enough to have two months off before having to go back to work. But those two months mean that I have to go through that adjustment period all over again.

Most days I am fine. I know Ava loves going to daycare, she doesn't cry when I leave, and she really enjoys playing with her little friend. I feel fortunate that she is in a daycare where it is just her and another little girl just 4 months older than she.

But today, for the first time, after I set her down and she toddled away, she looked back at me and toddled right back for a little hug. It melted my heart and just sort of socked me in the chest, thinking about how big she is getting, and how much I still hate to leave her.

Bathtime Fun

Monday, November 14, 2011

I got peed on!

Did I mention I work with preschoolers? I think I did, but did I also tell you that the women I work with are ALL amazing? I love that our team is so dedicated to the kids that we work with. We all truly believe that our kids have so much potential in them, and we all work so hard to create programming for them to ensure our kids are successful.

And... part of that programming includes potty training. Yep, we go where even our kids' parents do not want to go, because some of the children we work with? Are absurdly difficult to teach to potty train. No joke, we work on this with some kids for years.

Sometimes we have to work on things like... shall we say, the need to improve ones' aim. All that is needed is a little visual reminder (and sometimes a verbal one too) of the steps one needs to take in order to be successful at this noble endeavor. "Push it down" can be heard by our teachers-- the "precorrect" is key, you see? But even with the best of preparation, sometimes we forget! I mean it IS hard to remember...

And so we arrive at today. Approximately 3:30 PM. When one of our very BEST teachers walked in and exclaimed, "I got peed on today!" Because, you see, sometimes... when our kids forget? They let go... and you are standing directly above them trying to help. And then? You get peed on. In. The. Face.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gettin' My Craft On

Whenever I am out shopping, if there is a sale... I immediately run the other way. Kidding! But it feels like this is the case sometimes! I really am HORRIBLE at finding deals, despite the fact that I have seen the Supercouponing video. (Seriously, it is really easy... Jill Cataldo is a coupon goddess, and her site makes it even easier for the Chicagoland area) Ok, and supercouponing (is that a word-- haha it is now!)? is beside the point because I am talking about clothes and accessories, not grocery items.

Let's get back on track. I am horrible at deals. Part of this is because I live near downtown Geneva and they have adorable specialty shops that are perfect for my little girl. And at these shops, I always adore the accessories for sale. I mean-- accessories are the best friend of someone who likes to shop, but hates how they look in clothes! They instantly dress up an outfit. The problem is that I hate spending money on accessories! Call me cheap, but seriously... why spend money on things that will be out of style in a month?

So as I started to delve into the world of Pinterest (and by extension, Blog World), I realized... Holy Guacamole... these accessories are SO super simple to make, and I don't even have to sew! So here is my version of some DIY accessories.

First, I googled fabric flowers or something, and found this website, with SEVEN tutorials on how to make fabric flowers without sewing!

This is my version... not bad for a first attempt! (Next time I would use a different chain)

This necklace was inspired by Little Miss Momma's blog:
This is her pom pom necklace

Then I hopped on over to my Sparkle, and followed her rolled flower tutorial.

Here's MINE!! :) I love how these turned out. Good thing... because a bolt of fabric? Will make a million of these puppies (clearly I am a rookie crafter)


Friday, November 11, 2011

"Peas are Evil"

I have to say, as much as I dream of being a stay-at-home mom, there are days that my job makes me feel great. All through grad school, my training was in alternative school settings... That is, where children who are having trouble learning and functioning within the general education environment go. A few years I had an epiphany... One of those sock you in the chest, keep you awake at night realizations about what you enjoy and want out of a job. The truth is, I love the "naughty" kids. I don't mind being hit, kicked, spit at (ok that I actually do mind), sworn at, and you get the picture. Because these kids need someone to be there for them, to tell them they are good, even if their behavior is not. Some of the absolute BEST parts of my job are the things kids do or say to me. The Purple Candle is one of my favorites. I also love the occasional "your butt is huge" comment, to which I always calmly reply, "you are right, it's gigantic".

This year I am lucky to once again be in a self-contained school, but this time for preschoolers with special needs. At the library today, we were bring read a book about never ever eating a tomato... Or carrots... Or potatoes... Or peas. To which one of the children yelled out, "PEAS ARE EVIL!" and I thought to myself, yep- they are.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I mentioned that one of my goals has been to live life fully and be a participant in life, cause let me tell 'ya... For awhile there, I was headed to frumpy mom-ville, when really I want to be -- how does that song go? "One hot mama" ;-)

For awhile I had been holding on to this dream of having my pretty long hair while being skinny... But I got stuck in the grown out highlights + bun rut, so I decided to cut my hair. I mean it grows back, doesn't it! So I found this great blog, (here) and just fell in love with this style! I am also pretty sure Kate could be best friends with me.

So here is my new 'do after being inspired by one of Kate's tutorials. And I think this "new me" is one giant step toward being the on top of things-put together-superwoman that I aspire to be! Just pretend I have put-together-person makeup on.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I feel like I always get my best ideas for writing just as I am about to go to bed... Then I don't write anything down and don't remember to blog about my thoughts And this is how I go months without a new entry.
The exciting thing is that I lost 3 pounds. And yes I am celebrating the small things. I spent all of September and half October working out like a crazy person and I didn't even loose one stinking pound. So when I hurt my knee, I gave it a rest and have only been managing a couple of work outs a week.
I fluctuate between saying this is okay and being really hard on myself for being a failure. I think about all that I want out of life, and when it comes down to it... I just want to live life fully. Participate in life. Not let it pass me by... Before Ava was born, and even during times when I am not spending time with her, I can admit I haven't always been so good at that.
But changes have been coming! When I think about that - I feel like even if I have not reached any of my weight loss goals, at least I have made more of an effort to make changes in myself :)