March 29, 2011

Sneak Peak!!

I'm going to be guest posting on the Roberts Crafts blog this week. . . I'm going to show how to create all kinds of fantastic jewelry using scrapbook supplies!! I'm really excited about the projects I've done, and wanted to share a sneak peak of a few of them.

The only elements that did NOT come from the scrapbooking section are the parts of the earring that go through the ears (not studs. . . shoot, what are those ones called? LOL) and the green beads. Everything else is a scrapbook embellishment or paper. I have more earrings made using brads from the Posh collection of Teresa Collins Designs, and a leather bracelet cuff with Bo Bunny embellishments.

I can't wait to show you all of them! :)

March 27, 2011

April's Weekly Meal Plan

So for the first month of my year long plan, I want to focus on cleansing and cardio. Cleansing to get rid of the residual junk that I've put into my body. Cardio to jumpstart weight loss.

To do that, I'm going to go with a vegetarian diet for the month of April. This will also be a fantastic way to find new ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, which will carry over into the following months.

I want to focus on cardio for exercise this month to really jump start the weight loss and get results that will help keep the motivation there. (The first month is always the hardest, seeing results really helps push past that motivation block, right? lol) I'll bring in strength training later so as not to be all skin once the weight is gone. ;) I really want to have fantastic muscle tone and definition! (Without being mannish. Let's not go overboard now. hahaha)

Like I said, my meals are SUPER simple. I don't have time for a lot prep work and cooking. I also figure it keeps cost WAY down. And while I'm re-training my body to eat less and eat healthy, I'm keeping it the same meals for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner for a week at a time. Also a great cost saving measure. The dinners I've chosen will be so easy to just make a bunch of and separate into portion sizes for each meal for the week.

I came across this blog by Alicia Silverstone (yes THAT Alicia), who is a strict vegan. There were some really good looking recipes on there that I've linked to for some dinners.

Here we go!

Week 1
Breakfast: Greek yogurt, string cheese & a fruit
Snack: 2oz almonds
Lunch: Spinach salad, hard boiled egg (no yolk), poppy seed dressing (you really don't need a lot of dressing with this one. Trust me. Brianna's is the best brand I've come across)
Snack: Kashi crackers, Laughing Cow cheese wedge
Dinner: Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce

Week 2
Breakfast: Oatmeal (I found this amazing instant oatmeal called Oat Fit. I found it at Harmon's on sale for 50¢ a box, with 5 packets per box.)
Snack: Apple
Lunch: Gardenburger on Orrowheat bread
Snack: Carrots
Dinner: Spinach & Chickpea Coconut Curry (Make a bunch, separate into containers for each night's meal.)

Week 3
Breakfast: Protein shake (2 scoops vanilla or chocolate powder, 1 cup water, frozen berries, oatmeal, scoop of peanut butter. You can add some Greek yogurt to give it a creamier, smoothy type texture.)
Snack: Grapes, string cheese
Lunch: Baked potato
Snack: Hummus & pita chips (there is a roasted red pepper hummus in the grocery stores that is SOO good!)
Dinner: Bean & cheese enchiladas

Week 4
Breakfast: 2 egg whites/1egg scrambled, low carb tortilla, 1-2 tbsp salsa
Snack: Orange
Lunch: Salad
Snack: Cauliflower/broccoli with poppy seed dressing
Dinner: Whole wheat lasagna with Italian "sausage"

For exercise do anything that gets your heart rate up! :) Speed walk, jog, elliptical, dance. . . the sky is the limit on this one! I'll be doing the exercise bike and working out to a dance workout video I have. Do it for at LEAST a half hour everyday. If you need to, start slow and work your way up. Back when I was working with my trainer, he would have me go fast for 3 minutes, medium/slowish for two minutes. Repeat. Another way to not let your body plateau within the workout itself. I found that doing it that way, I was able to go a lot longer as well. Which only helps, right?

I'd love to hear if you have any great vegetarian recipes or resources that you've come across as well. I got a few a while ago on my facebook page. I'm sure there are tons out there! Feel free to substitute here and there. I know I'm crazy, not only because I dislike chocolate, but because I love broccoli and cauliflower as well. hahaha So if things like that aren't for you, definitely do what feels comfortable.

Let me know how you do as we go along the month of April!


Today I brought out the canvases and started on another mixed media piece. I've been wanting to make one for my mom for a while, and finally sat down to do it. :)


Ok, I honestly don't care that much for chocolate. But there was a pan of brownies sitting on the counter, and chocolate seems to be a (generally) universal temptation for everyone. Unless you're abnormal, like myself. hahaha So it worked well for this picture. But seriously. . . I've got plenty of things that I need to just put down and walk away from. Puh-lenty!

Over the last few, uh, months, I've been analyzing and thinking and pondering and just in general wondering what the heck went wrong when I was training before. Yeah, I was insanely hardcore into it. (Two workouts a day, two hours each. Obsessive much? hahaha) Yeah, I had some personal setbacks that made me turn back to emotional eating. And yeah. . . The thinner I got, the creepier the guys got. (Remind me to tell you the story of pool boy sometime. . . . *shudders* That's a classic creeper guy story) 5 months, 40 lbs down and then I just stopped. SO close to my goal!! And sadly, a year and a half . . . wow. . . almost TWO YEARS later, I've put it all back on plus some. (a lot) BLEH!

SOO not happy about this.

I've repeatedly tried to get back on the proverbial wagon since I took a flying head dive off of it. I just totally lost all drive and motivation. (I'm being totally honest in this post. No more sugar coating or dancing around the harsh truth for me!) But I just couldn't find my groove again. My gym time turned to commute time after I moved away from living up the street from work. That definitely didn't help. It's hard to find motivation when it's hard to have any consistency in a work out schedule.

So. I've come up with my new BRILLIANT plan. (Cause aren't all my plans brilliant? Ok. . . except for maybe a few. . . ;)

I'm building a mini gym in my room. AND I've outlined a new diet/exercise plan for myself. For the next year!

My idea is this. A big problem for me before was I hit that 40 lbs lost, and then I just plateaued. Nothing I did or changed helped. I was stuck. I don't want to hit that point again. So. I'm going to switch it up monthly and not allow my body to get used to anything before I've moved on to the next month. I've given myself one year to hit my goal. And believe me, it's a pretty lofty goal.

I seriously couldn't sleep last night, I was up until way too late outlining this, and I'm so excited to share!

Last week I took the kids to the Roberts Crafts family night that was designed by the Crafting Chicks. I'm using the Inspiration Journal to write all this down. (I had to throw that in. Bossman will be happy. hahaha)

How CUTE are these?! Seriously. :)
Ok. So the plan is simply this. Try a new diet and a new exercise plan each month. I know when I was training, we changed my workout each month. But my diet stayed the same. I can't help but wonder if that was part of the problem of my plateau. 

Diet: Vegetarian
Exercise: Cardio
Objective: Cleanse and jump start weight loss.

Diet: High lean protein, low carb, low fat
Exercise: Strength training
Objective: Continue weight loss by building muscle to burn more calories

Diet: Low calorie
Exercise: Yoga
Objective: By increasing flexibility you can increase muscle area that can be built up. More muscle = more calories burned per workout.

Diet: High fiber
Exercise: Endurance
Objective: Train the body to fill up on less food. Also build up strength by increasing endurance.

Diet: Low carb
Exercise: Strength AND Cardio
Objective: Cut carbs, increase protein, build muscle. By combining strength and cardio you will see an increase in weight loss and fat percentage loss.

Diet: High lean protein, low carb, low fat (by far my favorite "diet")
Exercise: Pilates
Objective: Continue to build strength to fuel weight loss.

Diet: Low sugar (seemed a fitting month for that)
Exercise: Zumba
Objective: Sugar amounts should already be cut drastically. Focus on maintaining this month. Shake things up and have fun with an entertaining workout like Zumba.

Diet: Low calorie
Exercise: Tae bo
Objective: Jump start maintaining through the holidays. Allow yourself to enjoy the holidays, but watch portion sizes. Great cardio and intro to kickboxing with the Tae Bo.

Diet: High lean protein, low fat, low carb
Exercise: Kickboxing
Objective: Fuel body and de-stress. Take holiday stress out by learning some good fighting moves in kickboxing.

Diet: Vegetarian
Exercise: Cardio
Objective: Cleanse and refresh.

Diet: High fiber
Exercise: Strength & Cardio
Objective: Push through the last "candy & treat" month.

Diet: High lean protein, low carb, low fat
Exercise: Endurance
Objective: Push yourself to goal.

So by April of next year I WILL be at my goal. :)

I'll outline in detail my weekly meal plans. Last night I was able to get through the first month before I finally crashed asleep around 2:30am. lol

I'm sure not everyone needs a full on year to hit their goal. This is just my personal year long fitness goal that I'm sharing with everyone and anyone who reads my blog. And, it definitely doesn't hurt to follow along whether you need weight loss or just a plan to stay fit. Or just to follow and have a year of workouts and meals planned for you. lol

Good luck everyone!! Sorry for the extra long post today. I'll do another post a little later with April's meal plans all laid out for you. :) Believe me, with three kids, a full time job and trying to start my own business, I keep ALL my meals pretty simple and easy to throw together. Cooking is one thing I do NOT have time for.

March 13, 2011

Dream Ring

Ok, so the other day I posted on facebook about the most random dream I had. Keep in mind, I don't have normal dreams. I wake up every morning questioning my subconscious sanity, seriously. haha! In this particular dream I got engaged to some guy who gave me a beaded ring. It was green and pink and sparkly! (Of course sparkly. ;) I woke up and decided I wanted to MAKE that ring!

What else could I do but make my "dream ring".

It's not exactly how it was in my dream, I didn't have the EXACT beads, but this is pretty darn close.

I made it a little too big, but for just messing around, I don't think it turned out too bad. :D

I had so much fun with it, I made another one.

Fabric Flower Project

Ok, back when I made the video with Kristine McKay on fabric flowers, I talked about different things you can DO with fabric flowers. One of those projects was a headband. Today I finally made one! The kids and I are going to be doing family pictures in a few weeks, and I wanted to make my daughter a super fun and colorful headband.

So here we go!

First, gather your supplies. I have strips of fabric ranging from 1" wide to 1 3/4" wide, a headband base, ribbon, needle, thread and a glue gun.

Take one end of the ribbon and wrap it around the end of the headband, keeping it at an angle to wrap around the rest of the headband. Hot glue it in place. (If you have the eye hand coordination to sew it as you go, go for that. I definitely don't have that kind of dexterity, and therefore use hot glue. lol!)

Continue wrapping around the headband, hot gluing as you go until you get to the other end, wrap and hot glue (or sew) down.

This would be cute just like this too! :)

Take a strip of fabric. Fold one end over slightly and secure it with a stitch. Then loosely weave the needle and thread through the length of the fabric.

Once you get through the length of fabric, fold down the other edge and secure with a stitch. Then pull the thread to scrunch the fabric. It will automatically make itself into a circular shape.

Wind the fabric on itself, creating layers. Stitch the layers together.

Tie off the thread and you're done with the sewing on that flower. You can add any kind of embellishment to the center, or just leave it plain. I love myself some bling, so I add things like buttons, rhinestones, brads or whatever I find that I think would be super cute. You could seriously use most any scrapbook embellishment.

This was a scrapbook embellishment that had a foam adhesive dot behind it. I took off the dot and glued it down. Done and done. :)

This was just a brad that I stuck the "brad" part through the center, spread the prongs to "extra" secure it, then glued down the button top to the fabric.

I had a felty button that I glued down. Then I removed the adhesive foam from behind the rhinestones and hot glued them down on the felty button.

This was an acrylic sticker thingy that I just glued down. I didn't end up using this flower on the headband, but I still wanted to show another way to finish a flower. :)

I took a rectangle of lace that had a scalloped edge on one side. On the un-scalloped edge, I weaved some thread through one edge. I gathered it then sewed through it to secure, making a clam shell shape with it.

Take an oval of felt. Glue or stitch the lace to one end of it.

Then glue/stitch your flowers onto the felt, placing them for your desired look.

I took another length of ribbon and glued it to the back of my felt, letting it peek out. When you turn it over you see the loops.

All you have to do now is glue it down to the headband!

I can't wait to see my little princess all dressed up for pictures (with her hair done. LOL) wearing this! I'm making the boys ties to coordinate with the colors in the flowers. It's going to be so much fun!

Other things you could add to your headband would be netting. You could either gather it under the flowers to have as a base, or create a veil. You'd make the veil part how I did the lace for this particular headband. You'd just cut it a bit bigger. Feathers are a lot of fun too! They create such a fun vintage look. I know at Roberts Crafts we're expanding our selection of feathers and felt and we've added fabric! The fabric pictured did not come from Roberts, I bought it before they put the fabric in the stores. But if you check out the Roberts Youtube channel, I made a video of the fabric we have in the stores. I know you want to check out my video editing skills! hahaha (Or lack thereof. ;)

March 6, 2011

Mixed Media FUN

I have been wanting to get into mixed media for a LoOoOong time, and when Christy Tomlinson invited me to take her She Art Workshop, I was THRILLED! I was always a bit intimidated to get into it because you truly can use ANYTHING to create a canvas. The thought of it was slightly overwhelming, to say the least. And I didn't really know anything about different inks, paints and mediums like modeling paste. This workshop has been fantastic for learning the basics of previously unknown mediums.

So far in week 1, Christy has shown us how to create a background full of rich layers and textures. We also created a girl, which is where the "She Art" comes in. Christy creates girls in a lot of her canvases.

I'm really happy with how my first canvas turned out! 

The words say "She Lives for The AdVenTurE"
My background is an old sheet of music, and a page from an old book, Mod Podged to a 6"x12" canvas. I used bubble wrap and ink to make the circle pattern in the corners. I have a brocade stamp that I stamped down here and there on the surface, edges and sides of the canvas. I found the fleur de lis stamp and it's my new fav! The chandelier stamp came from Roberts. I found it in the clearance section and I HAD to get it. It was a necessity! hahaha I put down a border sticker from Cosmo Cricket at the bottom, then mixed modeling paste with blue acrylic paint and smeared it on to the bottom right corner. I spread it around with a card, then wiped the excess paste around the canvas. Once it dried, I took a Colorbox ink pad and rubbed it across the canvas, getting all the creases of the paper and the peaks of the modeling paste. 

Christy provides templates for the girls. I am SO glad for this! Getting the proportions correct is something that will take me a while to get down. And I'm such a perfectionist it would drive me crazy trying to figure it out on my own. YAY for templates!!

Since this girl is supposed to be me, I wanted a saying that sums me up in a few words. Much harder said than done! There are so many amazing sayings, but I think what I chose pretty much sums me up. 

"She Lives for the Adventure"

Isn't that what life is all about? Learning, growing, exploring, making mistakes, trying again, learning more and taking in all you can? 

Seriously, you don't have to be an artist to take this class. It really is for anyone! There will be another offering of the class coming up, so don't feel bad about missing the first one. It's only $35 to register. You can't beat that! So click the link below and follow Christy's blog. Cause she pretty much will rock your world. She's so fun to watch in the videos, too. SO cute! Click the picture below and it will take you straight there. :)