December 29, 2011

The Weight Loss Goal Is Set

After a lot of thinking I've finally came up with a weight loss goal. I will be turning 30 in April and would like to have lost 40lbs by then. Along with that goal I would still like to run a will run a 5k in the spring.

I am going to train 3 days a week for the 5k and workout 3 days a week with 1 day off. I was doing this successfully with a personal trainer in the fall before I had surgery but feel back into bad habits during my recovery. Unfortunately personal trainers don't work for free so now it's on me.

I've decided that I will be using weight watchers online to assist me with my food choices. I feel that this is a life style change and that the weight watchers program is set up in a way for me to change my outlook on food. As I am going through this I hope to keep blogging about tips and tricks of my weight loss, review weight watchers online and find a exercise program I like.

I am sick of being the one with the pretty face. It's time for me to treat myself with the love I treat others with and not putting myself last. I am going to make sure I am a priority in my life and I will be proud of ever accomplishment on the way.

December 14, 2011

This time Will be Different.

This isn't one of those crafty posts but I will get back to that soon.

I have been a big girl for as long as I can remember. I've been working hard but not really getting anywhere with my weight loss goals. It seems when I'm making headway a bump comes along and I crash down. I really want to challenge myself, set a goal and push myself.

Right now before Christmas time there is lots of bake goods, dinners, parties and my ass is getting fatter. Well I don't think I can wait until New Years to make a resolution. I have today and I need to make a change.

So maybe I can change my patterns if I share it with those who pop in a read a little about our family. Maybe I'll feel some accountability if I write it out. Worth a try because I'm ready for change.

Now time for some goals:
1. Reevaluate what I eat. Start by tracking food so I can see what I'm eating when.
2. Exercise! I have been pretty good with this one but can get better. I'd like to commit myself to 3 workouts a week for at least an hour long.
3. Run a 5k in the spring 2012. Run on the alternate days I'm not doing my exercise program.
4. Water water water!! This is my new drink of choice.

Ok so here are some of my basic goals. I hope to make them more specific over the next week. I think that I'd like to set a goal with a timeline but I think I need to think about and sleep on it.

If you've had success with weight loss or have words of wisdom I'd love to hear it.

November 8, 2011

Once a Month Cooking are you crazy? Yup sure am

Hey remember me! The crafty Mom blogger. Ummm... don't think I can call myself that because it would imply that I have actually been blogging. So it's been a dog age since I've been able to sit and take a minute to blog but I'm hoping to make a change to that.

I wanted to share my recent project. It's not really crafty it's about food. With our little guy starting school it's been a struggle to have a meal ready quick enough so he can get to bed early enough without falling asleep in his dinner. I've been reading some different sites about once a week or month cooking. I found Once A Month Mom. I was floored at the variety of menus and the resources it provides. It has the menu with includes about 3 breakfast recipes, 3 lunch recipes and 6 dinner recipes. The idea is that you would eat each meal twice so you'd end up with about 24 meals. Other resources they have is a downloadable grocery list with a cell to put in how many people you are cooking with and it adjusts the portions. Recipes, labels for the frozen meals and instructions on how to use your time efficiently. I would strongly recommend looking through this site at all it has to offer.

Ok so as you can probably already  tell I decided that I was going to attempt this once a month cooking to see if I could save time and money. I'm a very frugal Mama and enjoy feeling like I'm stretching our family's dollar as far I we can. Just a quick side note about saving money, Mrs January is a fantastic site to assist you in that. I have been price matching my butt off and starting the couponing.

Anyways back on topic. Cooking, cooking and more cooking. Here were my thoughts before doing this.
  • I can hunt down my groceries price match
  • Buy everything in bulk when I could because we were cooking for 2 families
  • All the majority of my cooking will be done during an off peak hydro time making some savings there
  • I was going to do this with someone so we can share the work and make it fun
  • This would be a one day cooking marathon saving me time during our hectic days and reduce that thought about ordering out when all is falling apart
So the cooking marathon was on. My Sister in-law was going to jump in on this adventure with me. We went through the menus and whole foods were for us. I enjoy making our food from scratch. Well most of it anyways. I went out with our grocery list getting everything reasonable priced. They used all foods that are in season which helped a lot. So most of the food was bought and this is what my counter looked like. Mind you this is missing a few things as well. After everything was bought we spent close to $500.00, that's including all the containers to package everything as well.

The night before our cooking marathon we did all our prep and then some. We made sure everything was all chopped up. I decided I was going to get a jump start by making up all the bread and tortillas. First time making tortillas and I'm going to do it again they were so delicious and really not that complicated. After about 6 hours of cleaning, chopping,  roasting 12 squash and baking up all the breads we were ready to get started.

The next day started very early for me as our kids don't know the meaning of the work sleep in. So my day started at 7am where I jumped right in. The day was filled with hard work but for the most part I enjoyed it. I really do enjoy cooking. It was also nice to have a kind of kid free day.

The day wrapped up for me at about 9:15pm. I didn't take any breaks because my eye was set on the goal of finishing in one day. I was exhausted by the end I didn't even take any pictures of our mound of food.

So my thoughts after my once a month cooking experience.

  • I really enjoyed sitting down when everything was all done and feeling a weight being lifted from my shoulders. I don't need to think about what's for dinner every night.
  • $500 for 2 families of 4 to eat about 24 meals for each family (which will have a good portion of leftovers) is pretty good in my books
  • Instead of a one day grocery day I would have spread it out over a few weeks making sure to get things on sale
  • I don't know if I'd do it with someone next time. It was hard for me not to do everything myself because I wanted the best price for everything, to push and get everything done and having someone else cook our food was a little different too

So in conclusion I feel like this is something I'd do again. I feel like our family could save as long as I was organized and didn't rush though the planning stage. Plus the cooking in of peak times for our hydro is the cheapest way to cook because we usually cook during the most expensive time. The feeling that we are organized for food for those crazy days is a fantastic feeling plus we had our first dinner tonight and it was AMAZING!!

Have you ever done freezer cooking? Do you have any tricks or tips? As a newbie I'd love to hear them.

July 15, 2011

Do you have a green thumb?

Well the crafts have been in low supply we still have been busy as can be.
I am not a gardener at all but have attempted a veggie garden that we have grown from seeds. The kiddies had lots of fun planting and watering our seeds. We could figure out why all our cucumber seedlings were dieing until little monkey showed me. He was ripping off the leaves and pretending to eat them saying they were cucumbers.... Just makes you laugh.
So far no veggies yet but everything is growing so well. Who knows maybe I am growing a green thumb.

May 24, 2011

Bread Bread I love Bread

I've always found making bread VERY intimidating. Using yeast, punching things down, kneading and more kneading seemed like a lot of work. Some of the recipes I didn't have a clue what they were talking about. My friend Ginny (the one I wrote about) told me to check out Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day  Well I checked out this book and the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day out of our library and I have been having a good time.

It has been so EASY and simple to incorporated it into our menu for the week. Last week I made an olive dough and with that it makes 4 loafs of bread. We had two loafs of focaccia with onions and rosemary with our pasta. I also made Cheese and Spinach Calzones, which were AMAZING. It was thumbs up for these recipes and our company loved them as well.

I've also done the whole wheat dough and so far have made homemade cinnamon raisin bagels.

I am really impressed with these books and thinking that they are a good buy because there are so many different recipes. They take no time at all plus no kneading and the dough lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge. There are many different recepies you can make out of the one dough.

If you check it out or use these books let me know what your favorite recepie is.


Mirror Mirror on the Piano

I really wanted a mirror for on my mantel. I was seen a few fantastic mantels with these beautiful mirrors. When I was a the salvation army I found this mirror for $5.
I'm not a huge fan of gold so I decided to paint it a nice white. I don't think it's done yet because there is something missing. I might do some glazing to bring out the details but for now this works.
By the way it never made it to the mantel but it looks great on top of our piano.

Until next time,


A Thankful Tuesday

I'm so happy the nice weather finally decided to show up. Got to sit out back today and work on this project well the kids played. PERFECT day!

I read this idea in a parenting book I was reading. Once a week you sit down as a family and talk about thinks you are thankful for, for each family member. Some weeks you will find some silly things written on our fridge but we love this idea and I wanted to share it with you.

We were using post-it notes but I was sick of seeing those little yellow papers on the fridge. I decided to make little close-pin note hangers for each family member. Now we can use up that scrap paper from our printer. Works great for me!

Hope you have a sunny day.


May 6, 2011

Bottle it up

 This organization was inspired by my little Monkey after a disaster with finger paints. He had a wonderful time decorating our couch and floor in a matter of seconds. We all know that the craft cupboard slammed with everything and is off limits. So I wanted to make something easy for him to take that is ok for him to get on his own, without getting into to much trouble.

I started to organizing our abundance of crafty supplies for the kids. Finding old jars some with lids so we don't have any spills for things like beads. Paper to cover up the sticky parts of the a few jars that I couldn't get off and an old tray I had laying around.

I just love this because not only does it make it easier to do crafts with the children it lays out a bunch of different materials. Monkey usually pick up the beads and pip cleaner, and goes to town. This week he's been using his imagination with the other materials. A new favorite is Moms cut offs of fabric and coloured popsicle sticks.

After some tidying of the bookcase, adding a few extra doors and taking some toys away here is our revamped kids storage area.


May 5, 2011

Ginny is My Friend

My dear friend Ginny introduced me to the DIY and crafty blogs. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be writing this right now. She always tells me she isn't crafty but it's all LIES! She has a fantastic imagination and some of the beautiful things the does blows my mind. I just wanted to share my non crafty  super crafty decor friends works of art.

 The beautiful revamped wreath, that was washed out by the sun. A little crafty work with a glue gun and some colour to make it pop makes ones fantastic spring wreath.

This chair went from garbage to gorgeous with a new seat and some paint. Ta-da!

After a Ginny and Tammy adventure to pick up free windows a family was getting rid of, here is one of the many ways she uses them in her decor. Beautiful.

 Just look at these yummy treats she made. Raspberry mousse and focaccia. I know you are jealous because yes I do get invited over and get to have some fancy Ginny treats.

Can't wait to see what she comes up with next. hmmmm.... maybe a DIY blog?


Before There Was A Blog

 Well going through my pictures I found a few fun crafty things I had done earlier this year that I wanted to share. I really don't know where I found time to do these things but hey they got done and I got no sleep. That's what this Mama has to sacrifice to be crafty.

Like I said in my first post I started to crochet when I was expecting with my daughter. Since then I've been practising my skills and making lots of fantastic things. There are a few things I didn't take pictures of like a slouch hat for me and a mini bear for my Monkey but here are a few things I've whipped up.

These were just a few of the hats. Many of our friends got owls or skunks or ones with brims for Christmas. Well making these incredibly fun hats I seen so many adorable owl things. So I thought I'd try my hand at a little sewing. Which by the way I haven't done since grade school. I came across a pattern online and changed a few things and here is Sweetpea's little owl. She just loved the button eyes. I was going to make tags of different fabric on the wings but she was getting to be over that when I was making it.

I came across this photo well going through my project picture folder... Yummy caramel chocolate apples that the kiddos decorated. I think we will need to do this again soon... REALLY soon :)
Last but not least was a stool we found that the previous home owners left behind. Well my hubby was away on business I tackled this project but was so disappointed when I went to spray paint one night because the black spray paint was actually green. Being a very patient person... not at all... I went ahead and painted it green. After putting it in our bathroom I decided we are painting it cream but at least it functional now.

Until next time,


April 20, 2011

What's on the Menu?

Well I was going through some blogs I seen this idea for a menu at Johnny In A Dress. We always have a menu for the week posted on our fridge. Most of the time it gets lost after grocery shopping or somehow last weeks one shows up and everyone gets confused. So I thought this was brilliant and making a menu helps you budget your food cost. It's easy to over buy food for the week and then wasting it in the green bins.

My lovely Aunt was getting rid of a bunch of things and gave me a few picture frames. This one was broken so I fixed it up, painted it and put some fun paper in the back. The circular patten didn't really work out it was to busy and made it hard to read. I got my dry erase pens our and wrote out our menu for the week.

Thanks this was truly a fantastic idea Natalie and I love that it is eco friendly by saving paper.

To check out the original and other crafty ideas at Johnny In A Dress.

April 18, 2011

Easter is almost here

Well spring is here, even though right now it's snowing outside. The mantel is done with the help of my lovely kids and we are all ready for Easter.

We had so many of those plastic eggs around. My goal was to find some projects we could do with the kids. We painted them, made some musical shakers out of them and rolled them around in paint to make different patterns.

After we had fun rolling the eggs around I cut out eggs and laced them on a ribbon to finish off our decorating. We had a lot of fun with this one and I'm trilled it was a family crafty project.

April 11, 2011

Loving Photos

A few years ago for Christmas we really wanted to make something for the Grandparents. I know that the presents I love the most as those that people take time into making. So I just assume that everyone else is the same. I think it's so special when you receive something someone took time, thought and a little work into doing. I guess I'm a little sentimental that way.

We had our family pictures taken well I was pregnant with sweetpea. There were so many that we loved but didn't want to give the Grandparents a big bulk frame plus we wanted them to be able to update it as they wanted. We came up with an idea that turned into this ( Sorry about the poor photo, it's the only one I have of this project).

I printed the letters off from the computer. My husband took them and found some scrap wood, then cut them out with tabs at the bottom. Then made a stand and finished it up with the router. He stained and lacquered it, drilled holes in the top of the letters and twisted wires to hold the pictures.

I think that my husband did a great job and was able to learn a lot well doing his first COMPLETED wood working project.

March 28, 2011

Followers? Yes Please

I'm really enjoying my new found love for blogging. I'm just starting to figure everything out and one thing I've figured out is having no followers is no fun! So well I was over checking out Making the World Cuter I seen she was hosting a follow along party. I just had to get in on it. I'd like to think someone is going to read this new love.  So how the party work is you be my friend and I'll be yours. Just leave a comment that you are a new follower as well as where I can find you and I'll return the favour. Can't wait to see all the new people I will meet.

March 27, 2011

Mantel Madness

I'm determined to get Spring decorated because I need some assurance it's on it's way. The weather we are having isn't very promising and I'm totally sick
of looking at SNOW!

I've been reading through a few blogs and seen this  beautiful spring mantel by Craftyland.
This is one of her pictures.
Too cute!

I thought this was such a clean crafty idea, I decided to incorporate some of her ideas in our decorating. So late last night when all the kids were sleeping and we finished up Earth hour, I got some materials together.

I didn't have all the materials so I improvised and here are my little love birds.

Maybe next will be the flowers. 

Don't forget to go check out all the fantastic projects Kimberly is doing at Craftland.

Thanks for stopping by.

March 26, 2011

Let the flowers Blossom

We may still have snow outside but in our home the flowers are blooming. This was a family effort and lots of fun!
Little Monkey did a great job painting the flowers with his craft paint. Daddy Bear drilled the holes in the centre of each flower and assisted me in the wire bending. We used some scrap wire around that was perfect for our flower stems. What a fun easy project… maybe a good Mothers day gift.
Put a check by the first of our four spring mantel projects. Now on to the next.

March 24, 2011

Worker Bee Project Starts

Spring is here and along with our spring cleaning I’ve starting planning out our next projects. I started a book with all of my ideas. From reorganizing the small as can be laundry room, our bedroom project, the creation of my craft room and a few little things here and there. Always something to do but the best feeling is checking each project off.  
 Who needs Real Flowers?
One of my small projects I have been working on with the kids is wooden flowers. I do not have a green thumb so I’ve decided I can’t kill the wooden ones.  I saw 10 wooden flowers at the dollar store so I picked them up.

They are still a work in progress but Monkey and I have had a wonderful time so far working on this together. This is one of our additions to the creation of our spring mantel. I’ve seen so many great ideas on my list of “Wish they were my friends”.

It’s wonderful we were able to start the flower project because it is a quick and easy one that should be done this week. I need these small successes because we are tackling The Dreaded Flower Bedroom. Here are some before pictures.

Since taking these pictures my Mother and family friend have come by and helped us take down all the wallpaper. Thank goodness for them because I think that was one of the jobs I was looking forward to the least! Now that it's all done, it’s really opened the room. Time to start with our blank canvas and get ready for some creativity.  Some ideas have been floated around in our house. One thing for sure is we are going to be painting the furniture a nice cream and possible glazing. The pieces are so big and bulky so I think that will tone them down a bit. I am torn because I think I’d like to do something a little different and do the bed a different colour to stand out. We are also thinking of some kind of accent wall possibly wallpaper, mural or stenciled. Not too sure. I can’t wait until the day I can blog the final project because in my head it’s going to be beautiful!
Back to the sketch book for more ideas. Enjoy the sunny day.

March 14, 2011

Bookcase Crazy

 Well I’m just thrilled how Monkey's project turned out. I was kind of nervous to tackle this one but thought it would be a good starter project because I would like to redo our bedroom furniture. So I started reading up on how to make my ideas reality. I think I found my new hobby!
We really needed storage for our little guy’s books in his room because the box he decorated just fell apart. I looked at getting him a few storage bins to put them in but wasn’t 100% about it. I’ve been checking out all these shabby chic blogs and hear my friend Ginny’s plans of greatness; I decided to check out our basement.  I found this old bookcase that was in a pile of furniture we haven’t seen since we moved in. So excited that I could make something special for Lucas room off to the store to get supplies I went.
I picked up a spray paint primer, orange spray paint, spray adhesive, wrapping paper and modge podge. My project starts with pictures, then washing down the bookcase and leaving it to dry. Once it was all dry out came the spray primer. Once the primer was all done I did about four coats of the orange spray paint and painted Lucas name on the top. I was a bit nervous about putting the paper at the back because I can’t even cut a straight line but it was easier than I thought. I used one of my Andrews scrapers and an exacto knife. I trimmed the wrapping paper closer to the size I needed and sprayed the adhesive as the instructions directed. Then lined up the top and one corner and used my scraper carefully to smooth out the paper and adhere it to the inside of the bookcase. Once all the paper was attached to where I wanted it. I just ran my exacto knife over the sides and cut of the excess.
For my first furniture project I think this turned out FANTASTIC!! I loved that I spent less than $10 on my materials to refinish this. The spray paints were on sale and the dollar store had perfect wrapping paper. I already had a big container of modge podge and the spray adhesive was about $3 at Wal-Mart. The blue paint is leftover from his room from our previous house. The best part of this project was Monkey's face when I gave him his bookcase… priceless. The first thing he did was run and put a few of his books on it right away. 

Can’t wait to tackle the bedroom furniture and experiment with glaze next. Plus I have some beautiful flowers to come.

March 11, 2011

Vinyl Wall Art Envy

I always loved the beautiful vinyl wall art but found it to be a bit pricey for the big pieces. I’m not an artist by any means. I don’t have the painting talent some people posses but I was determined to make the kids rooms as fun as can be. After lots of browsing through different tree wall art and seeing a fun design of a stick tree with cut out map leaves at a nearby shop. I decided to venture into painting a tree for Sweetpeas room.  I got out my pencil and ruler and started to make the outline of my stick tree. I cut out two different sized leaves and a flower and away I went. It was missing something so my simple little bird came in and here it is my version of wall art on a budget. All the paint I used was leftover from our previous house and a little of my sons craft paint for a few details.

Projects I’m working on now are some really fun things for Monkey's room. I can’t wait until it’s finished. I’ll be posting about it soon I’m sure.

March 10, 2011

Craft Attack for Sweetpea

When I was near the end of my pregnancy with my daughter I had a made craft attack. I wanted her to have a very cute winter hat but I couldn’t get on in time for her arrival. So not knowing how to crochet or knit and having a fail attempt at knitting I decided to try my hand at crochet.  On to Etsy I went to find an easy crochet pattern. There on LilyKniting I found it a beautiful pattern. She was very helpful and encouraged me to try. For the next week I made as many hats in as many shapes and sizes as I could. I used the internet and my friend Ginny to teach me my basic crochet. This crafty little project started off my crafting kick I hadn’t had since I was a young girl. I used to love all things crafty and glad to have found that fun again.