Thursday, July 26, 2012

My weight loss journey as a mommy of 2!

Today I'm writing this post as it marks the exact 3 month mark since I made a major life change! (I had been running a couple weeks before this but it was just frustrating me and not showing results)  I'm hoping that maybe I can be an inspiration to all you other moms out there, or even for those of you who don't have kids but need come encouraging to get going on the whole fitness thing!

This is me 3 short months ago:

I have always been the person who struggles with her weight, I think it comes with the territory when you were always called the "fat kid" and were even pushed out of your group of friends in school for being the fat one of the group.  But on the positive you get to learn real fast who your real friends are.  I did eventually lose weight in highschool and came to terms with who I am.  I started liking myself and actually dating.  That was all in the past and now I'm a mommy of 2.  After my son was born the weight seemed to immediately disappear and I actually ended up being lighter after him then I was when I became pregnant with him, and all without even trying.  I expected the same thing to happen after my daughter was born 20 months later, but that was far from what happened.  I gained 30 lbs during my pregnancy with my daughter and after she was born only 8 of it disappeared.  Ugh!  I decided to be happy with where I was and I told myself that it was ok as I had 2 kids, it was my excuse.  Things didnt change as my daughter turned 1 and I actually hit my highest weight I'd been..... 165, which at only 5'7" is in the overweight catagory.  I also became a size 14-16 pants and an XL shirt.  I started becoming very unhappy and hated who I saw in the mirror everyday, I knew something had to change!  I used to be confident in my skin at one point and I wanted to be there again! 
One night I was awake late and was watching infomercials (I mean come on what else is on at 2am?!?).  I kept seeing all these commercials for weight loss programs and all the awesome bodies I wished I had, but none of them seemed worth trying, and then the Insanity infomercial came on.  I watched and when they said that it "puts a whole years worth of workouts into 60 days" I was sold.  I talked my hubby into trying it with me saying "its only 60 days, if we hate it we dont have to continue it after that".  Little did I know I was about to change my entire life!

We started our journey and the first week killed me everyday!  I was crying I hurt so bad, but I continued.  I continued through a knee injury that I acquired, I continued even if the only time I had that day to do it was at 1 am.  Week 1: done!  Whew! time to weigh myself!  0 lbs lost!  Are you kidding me?!?  I worked that hard for 0 lbs?!?  Here's me after 1 week:

This is where I made a major eating change as well.  I started counting calories, sticking to my calorie goal, and eating healthier foods.  Ok, now it will be better!  Week 2: done!  Again, 0 lbs!!!  Ok i'm frustrated!  I broke down crying!  My husband comforted me (he's lost 10 lbs by now), and did some research.  What we found is very important to anyone starting a high intensity workout who has not worked out before:  THE FIRST COUPLE WEEKS YOU MAY GAIN WEIGHT! that's right GAIN!!! UGH!!  the reason? your body goes into a freak-out mode and holds onto every last drop of water it can to protect your muscles.  Makes sense, so in theory it should all be water weight at this point holding on in there.  Here's me after 2 weeks:

Ok, I'll continue!
Week 3: done!  Now for the dreaded scale........ 5 lbs!  yes!!! 5 lbs gone!!  Its working, its really working!  I was on a mission now.  My original goal: get down to 150 lbs (this is in the healthy range for my height and I was going to be happy there).  That goal came and went and I needed a new goal...... ok, new goal : reach 145.  Again I continued with the Insanity workout.
Finished Insanity just 2 days before we were scheduled to run our very first 5K ever!  I figured I would be dying, I didn't run before (other than a couple weeks before starting insanity and I died during those runs) and I had just been doing insanity and not running, so my training was off I felt.  When we went to the 5K (the color run - if you want an extremely fun 5K to run - look it up!  Oh my gosh, it was amazing and I'm so glad I chose that one!) I was apprehensive but we ran it and we finished it in 32 minutes!!!  amazing!!  I was so excited!  Lets take a break for a minute and look at the pictures from the run!

Here's me at the starting line, all nice and clean!

Above: Here's my face after the race!  Not so clean anymore!  :)
Below: My after race photo!  It was a blast!!

The hubby's after race look!  I love that I have such a supportive husband through all this!

Now that the fun was over and so was Insanity (we now have gone through all 60 days), I was left weighing in at 145 lbs (my second goal).  But now I was addicted to working out and getting fit!  I continued on by running and biking and misc workouts.  Almost 3 months into my major life change this is what happened.......

That isn't the end though, I've continued and I've been currently working on the Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30! 
Here's me from today: (sorry for the poor picture quality)
I'm currently weighing in at 134 lbs and a size 5 pants!!  Keep in mind too that this is the body of a mom who had 2 kids 20 months apart!

So to all you moms out there who think that they can't do it, or that use their kids as an excuse...... I'm living proof that you can do it!!!  I have made a change in my entire family's eating habits, and I have so much more energy for my kids!  I feel better, I'm happier, and I'm teaching my kids good habits! I couldn't have given myself or my kids a better gift!  I'm going to be around a long time for my kids now that I'm healthier!  (And just as an FYI, I also did this without giving up my favorite foods....chocolate is still my favorite treat!  I've just learned to portion things better and fit in the bad with the good and switch things when I can, for example I have switched to frozen yogurt rather than ice cream, and in my baked goods I've switched from oils and eggs to applesauce and egg whites, these things make a huge difference in calories and fat!).  I'll be posting healthier recipes in upcoming posts.... stay tuned!  :) 

I hope this has helped encourage you all to get going on the healthy lifestyle!  In today's world obese is the norm, but you can change that, for yourself, for your family, for your friends.....Its worth it, YOU are worth it!  And if anyone needs someone to talk to for encouragement or to vent to about frustrations that come along with the road ahead, then hit me up!  I'm more than happy to help!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Freezer crockpot cooking!

This mommy has started a new adventure..... freezer crockpot cooking!  This mommy is already loving it!  What is freezer crockpot cooking you ask?  This mommy will tell you!  Freezer cooking is when you prep and cook food for a week/month all at once and put the food in bags and place in freezer so that when you want that meal you pull out a bag and all the work is done and all you have to do is heat it up in the oven.  While this is an amazing idea, this mommy doesn't want to actually cook a million pounds of food all at once!  This problem is solved with freezer crock pot cooking....... Instead of having to cook everything ahead of time you just prep raw food and throw it in a bag, then when you want that meal you take it out of the freezer, throw it in the crockpot (still frozen!) and let the crockpot do all the work!  This is truely amazing, and also saves a lot of money since you can buy the big bulk family packs of meats!  Here's the rundown of how you do it......

1.Make a shopping list from the recipes you plan on prepping
2. Shop for your ingredients (including freezer bags!) -make sure you catch all the sales!  :)
3. Label gallon size freezer bag with: Date, what meal it is, and cooking directions/time (example: 4/25/12 Teriyaki Chicken *Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to meal and cook on low for 8 hours)
4. Cut up all veggies in the recipe and place in bag
5. Place proper amount of meat in the bag
6. Add all spices and sauces
7. Seal up bag making sure to get all the air out of the bag that you can!
8. Shake bag a bit to mix ingredients a little
9. Place bag in freezer flat.
10. Repeat for all recipes you want to do!

When you are ready to cook:
1. pull out meal about 30 min before putting in crockpot
2. Place in crockpot and follow your directions on bag.
3. Let the crock pot do all the work
4. Enjoy a fantastic meal!

Isn't this the best thing ever?!  This mommy thinks so!  Shopping sales and buying bulk also saved this mommy a lot of money.  The last batch of freezer cooking meals that this mommy made cost $35 for all the supplies and this mommy was able to get a weeks worth of dinners for our family of 4 out of it!  That makes each dinner $5!! This mommy is so happy!  I mean really, $5 to feed a family of 4 with a nice hearty dinner complete with veggies......AMAZING!  AND..... it only took this mommy about an hour to prep that weeks worth of dinners!  This mommy is going to start going big and prepping a whole month's worth at once, then this mommy won't have to cook any dinners for an entire month!  Oh what will this mommy do with all that time?!?  There has to be something to fill that void......this mommy will figure it out..... perhaps a well deserved nap?!  Ahhhhh....... this mommy doesn't think that will happen but she can hope!  :) 

So you want to start freezer crockpot cooking?  Don't know where to start on recipes?  In reality you can turn any crockpot recipe into a freezer recipe with a few tweeks, but this mommy will give you a couple of recipes she used (found on various places online) to get you started!  Lets start off with a super easy one (this mommy promises this is the easiest recipe you will do)......

Apricot Chicken

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
8 Chicken breasts (you can substitute other cuts of chicken too!)
2 cups apricot jam
2 packages of dry onion soup mix
2 cups Catalina or French salad dressing

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. In a bowl mix 1 cup apricot jam, 1 cup salad dressing, and 1 package of dry onion soup mix
3. Place 4 chicken breasts in bag
4. pour mixture over chicken in bag.
5. Seal bag and shake
6. Place flat in freezer
7. Repeat for second freezer bag!

Directions for bag: Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with a favorite side (this recipe would be great served with rice!)

There, now wasn't that the easiest recipe ever?!?  And you now have prepped 2 dinners, how awesome is that?!?  And that took you probably about 15 minutes max!  :)   Lets move on......

Teriyaki Chicken

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
1 large bag of baby carrots (or whole carrots peeled and chopped which is what this mommy uses!)
1 Red onion
2 20oz cans of pineapple chunks
4 garlic cloves
8 chicken breasts (or other chicken cuts)
1 cup teriyaki sauce

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. Split carrots between the 2 bags
3. Chop red onion into large chunks and split between the 2 bags
4. Chop garlic cloves and split between the 2 bags
5. Put one can of pineapple chunks in each bag (undrained)
6. Put 4 chicken breasts in each bag
7. Put 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag
8. Seal bag and shake
9. Place flat in freezer

Directions for bag: Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to meal and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

Again, you have now prepped 2 more meals! This mommy bets you aren't even breaking a sweat yet!  Ok well let's try one more!  We'll steer away from chicken for this one!

Sausage and Peppers

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
10-12 italian sausages (or chicken sausage)
4 green peppers
2 red peppers
2 red onions
8 garlic cloves
4 cans of diced tomatoes (or cut your own fresh ones!)
olive oil (you will drizzle a little in each bag)
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. slice the green peppers and split between the 2 bags
3. slice the red peppers and split between the 2 bags
4. Chop red onions into chunks and split between the 2 bags
5. Mince the garlic cloves and split between the 2 bags
6. Place 5-6 sausages in each bag
7. pour 2 cans of diced tomatoes in each bag
8. pour a drizzle of olive oil in each bag
9. place 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning in each bag.
10. Seal bag and shake
11. Place flat in freezer.

Directions for bag: Cook on low for 8 hours.

This is another one that is great with rice!

There you have another 2 meals!  You have almost made a whole weeks worth of food for a family of 4!  Wasn't that easy?!?  If there is only 2 of you you can split the recipes into smaller sections and only use 2 pieces of chicken in each bag, or even smaller if there is just 1 of you!  This mommy also uses stew recipes, roast recipes, turkey recipes, meatloaf recipes, the list goes on!  This saves so much time and energy (not to mention the smaller amount of dishes you dirty!).  Give the freezer crockpot cooking a try, this mommy is sure you will fall in love like she did!

Go try it while this mommy takes a break since she has some free time now!  :) 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

25 things I want my daughter to know as she grows!

This mommy has posted something like this for the boy but now its time to post for the princess!  Some of the items will be the same as they apply to both.  The princess is only 1 but there are definate things I want her to know as she grows into a woman.  These are the things that I want my daughter to know....

1. You are more loved than you can ever imagine!
                - You have shown me that adding another child in your life never splits your love, it increases it everyday!  The moment you were born and I saw your beautiful face I smiled and all I could manage to say was "I love you".  From that moment on you have been my beautiful princess and I think the world of you!  There are no words to describe how much love I have for you my sweet angel!  I will love you forever through all the ups and downs of your life and all the mistakes along the way.  One day you will have children and I hope then you will realize the depths of the meaning of the 3 words I say to you so often...I love you!

2. You are matter your size!
               - Don't ever let the magazines and tv shows define to you what a woman should look like!  You are beautiful the way God made you.  Please never feel that you need to be a size 0 to be beautiful.  Curves are wonderful and "real" women don't look like a walking skeleton!  As long as you are healthy be happy with whatever size you are and love yourself, that will be what makes you the most beautiful!

3. Be creative!
               - Feel free to do whatever art of your choosing!  Follow your creative side and it will allow you to go far in life.  Just make sure you are being respectful of others and their possessions while doing so!  Creativity is never out-dated!

4. Accept others!
               - There are always going to be people that are different than you and that you don't get along with.  Just know that the differences are fine and you don't need to like everyone but you do need to accept them for who they are as they are also a creation of God!  Different is never wrong!  Never judge people no matter how hard that is, even if they are judging you!  Knows that only God can judge someone, leave it to Him!

5.  You are NEVER second to anyone in a relationship!
              - I can't stress how important this is!  There will be boys that come into your life and want you to be "seen and not heard", or just be a trophy on his arm, please please PLEASE never allow this!  You are a person and worthy of equality in a relationship, find that guy that holds you up, that helps you follow your dreams, the guy that wants nothing more than for you to be happy!  Those guys do exist and you deserve one of them!  Hold out for the best, never accept less, and once you find that guy love him with all your heart!

6.  Always be YOU!
           -This is a hard one, especially for girls.  Never let other people define you, you are an individual, please make sure you act as such.  Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in no matter what others say.  The right thing is not always the easy thing but is always the best option.  Follow your own dreams, do what YOU love to do, be who YOU are and never let anyone else tell you who to be!  Know that no matter what others define you as, you know who you are and being true to yourself will get you further in life then giving in just to be part of the "popular" girls.  Whethere you are "popular" or a "dork" or whatever other words people may come up with, being you is the greatest gift of all!

7.  Don't be afraid to get dirty!
           -This world is full of great adventures if you allow yourself to find them!  Don't be afraid to jump in the mud and make mud pies, or run through the sprinklers, or even help daddy work on the car!  Never worry if you end up with dirt under your nails, you are washable and you will miss out on so much if you don't just jump right in!

8.  There is nothing you can't do!
             - Yes you are a girl, but that does NOT mean that you can't do things!  Girls can do anything boys can do and most of the time they can do it better!  Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something just because you are a girl!

9.  Be a kid!
              -This is another hard one for girls as society wants them to grow up so fast into women.  Take your time growing up and enjoy being a kid!  Go run, jump, play, imagine, and just have fun.  You are only young for a short amount of time, there is no need to grow up too fast! 

10.  Please wear your clothing appropriately!
             - In this day girls clothes keep getting smaller and smaller.  I hope I have taught you well enough that this is not ok.  Wear clothing that covers you!  If parts of your body are falling out of the clothes you have chosen please choose again!   You can look "sexy" in clothes that are appropriate!  The attention you will get with inappropriate clothes is the attention you don't want!  Your underwear is not supposed to be seen through your clothes!

11.  There is no such thing as "women's work"
              - There are things that you have to do as a person, but that does not make them women's work.  Never let a man tell you he won't help because its "your job" to do it!  Remember that any man is capable of doing laundry, dishes, cleaning house, and taking care of kids, make sure that whoever you end up with knows that he should do these things too!

12.  Its ok to make mistakes.
            - Everyone makes mistakes, its how we learn.  Never be afraid of making them!  Just always learn from your mistakes and know that no matter how big your mistake is I will be there for you!

13.  Be a good sister and friend!
           - No matter what your brother is always going to be your brother and he loves you!  He may tease you and give you a hard time, know that this is just his way of making sure you are tough!  Family will be there for you when everyone else has turned their back on you, please never forget that. There are times when your brother may need you, be there to comfort and love him!  Never forget your family!  And make sure you love those close to you to the full capacity of your heart!

14.  You are a genious.
           -You learn something new everyday, never stop that learning!  Keep expanding your mind, you can do anything you want to do!

15.  Your body is a precious gift!
            -There will be boys who try to get you to do things you arent comfortable with or aren't ready for, NEVER be afraid to say no!  I want to be a grandma one day but please make sure its what you want before you make that happen, and make sure its very planned circumstances!  Always remember that if you say no and he's not willing to wait for you then he is NOT worth your time and energy! You are worth so much, please always remember that!

16.  Enjoy nature!
           - This is a beautiful world, go enjoy it!  Go walk in the park, dig in the dirt, watch clouds go by, whatever makes you happy just make sure you enjoy the beauty of the small things around you!  God made this world, enjoy His artwork!

17.  Always say thank you.
             -Recognize the people in your life who have helped you along the way and take the time to let them know the impact they had.  A simple thank you is worth so much more than you think!

18.  Forgive.
               -Sometimes people will do you wrong and it can be very difficult to forgive them, but please do so.  Holding on to the hard feelings only holds you back!  Forgive them and move on.  This will enrich your life greatly!

19.  Never be a part of teasing.
             - Girls can be more cruel than anyone, and often feel its ok to tease and make fun of others.  Please never partake in this no matter how hard it is to hold your tongue.  Teasing can ruin someone's life and I never want you to be a part of that!  Everyone has feelings, please respect them!

20.  Be careful of what you make public!
              -Its easy in today's world to get mixed up in things.  Never put anything out there that you wouldn't want the whole world to see/know for the rest of your life!  Once its out there you can't take it back!  And please never EVER get involved in "sexting"!

21.  Always be honest.
                 - Your daddy and I love you and make rules to protect you, please respect us for that by telling us the truth.  We never want to lose our trust in you, know that you are the keeper of that trust and only you can choose what you do with it.  Please never feel like you need to lie to us just to get your way!  Once trust is broken its hard to repair, plus you wouldn't want people lying to you so please don't do it to others!

22.  Be a strong woman of God!
                 - Life is much more clear if you lean on God!  Know that you are his miracle and he brought you here for a reason.  Live your life for him and he will help you through your journey!

23.  Keep moving!
             -There are tough days in this life, its not always going to go smoothly, but the important thing is you keep moving forward!  Don't let bad times hold you back from enjoying the good times!  No matter how bumpy the road is ahead of you just keep moving forward!

24.  You are always going to be my daughter!
               - No matter what you are my daughter and I will be there for you through everything!  I will always love you even if you make the wrong choice and go down the wrong path!  I'll be there to help you and offer a shoulder to cry on.  I believe in you and I always will!  I always want the best for you!  I promise there will be times that I drive you crazy but know that I hurt anytime you hurt and cry whenever you cry.  Please remember that you always have someone who loves you through it all! 

25.  No matter where you are in life you can always come home!
              - I will be here, always.  I love you!

Friday, March 2, 2012

DIY zebra print rug

This mommy is in the process of re-doing her living room.  We decided that we wanted black and white accents for the room, and what better accent then a great rug?!  Black and white of course!  The daddy and I looked everywhere for a rug and this mommy fell in love with a zebra print rug, it would be perfect, but looking at the price tag this mommy sadly had to walk away.  Looking everywhere for a rug that would be great this mommy couldn't get that zebra rug out of her head!  I could just see it fitting perfectly in the room and everytime this mommy walked into that room she pictured it in her head sitting there happily on the floor....... Sigh.  This mommy was about to give up when a trip to wal-mart brought this mommy to a plain low pile black rug, pretty boring but the $20 price tag was a perfect price, so this mommy decided to take it home and rework it to make it into that perfect zebra print rug! 
Almost frolicking back home this mommy had a plan!  The daddy helped lay it out flat for a while so that I had a nice flat work space, and guess what?  It was a perfect fit in the floor space we wanted to cover!  After this mommy let the rug flatten out from its rolled up state for a couple hours she was ready to get started! 
This mommy started with some masking tape and a picture from the internet (gotta love searches!).  Taping around the edge of the rug to form a border for the print and then taping a straight line down the center of the rug for guidance this mommy got to work!  Looking at the picture this mommy taped off some stripes on the rug, making sure to work both sides to make it somewhat symmetrical (not perfect but all zebra stripes are different so its ok!).  After about an hour of taping, this is what this mommy had........

Curving the stripes with masking tape ended up being harder than this mommy had anticipated, but after a while you get the hang of it!

This mommy was tired at this point, an hour of taping and only half way taped!  Time for a soda and cookie break!.......
After the much needed break this mommy came back and went back to work!  And about another hour later this is what she had......

Ah the finished taped project!  Oh if only masking tape were permanent, then this mommy could have been done!  But alas, this mommy continued.....

Going to the storage closet this mommy pulled out some leftover white house paint that she had left from another project, poured some in a pan and got her paint roller out and got to work!  This mommy is telling you though that those carpet fibers sure soak up the paint! (plus I'm sure that painting white on black was the harder choice than painting black on white but the black rug was cheaper!)  This mommy slowly rolled on the paint in each section making sure not to catch and pull up the masking tape.  Once the first coat was done this mommy started again with the second coat...... and the third....... it took 4 coats to get it as bright as I wanted it to be but it finally got there (you could stop after a couple coats if you wanted it to look a little more faded and not as bold but that's not the look this mommy was going for).  4 coats of paint done!  Now was the hardest part for this mommy, waiting for it to dry!  This is what I saw for several hours while I waited........

Oh, the torture! 

Finally it was time!  The paint was dry!  This mommy giggled with anticipation!  Excitedly this mommy grabbed at the tape!  The daddy helped pull off all the tape, and as we pulled the finished look started appearing and this mommy was so happy that the paint didn't bleed through at all! We kept pulling and pulling and pulling (my couple hours of taping gone in just a few minutes!)  This mommy smiled from ear to ear!  It was perfect!!  We put it in a different room for the night to make sure it was completely set before we had it where we would be walking all the time!  And this is the finished look........

Perfect zebra stripes!  It was just as pretty as any of the expensive ones in the store!  This mommy was so excited!

Well that's how this mommy made her own zebra print rug!  Feel free to try it yourself!  Its really rewarding when you get to the finished product!  This may be the start of an addicting hobby for this mommy...... hmmm..... well here's what it looks like in our half-done living room (complete with the princess playing around on it! Don't mind the mismatched pillows, the power wheels in the back, and the random stuff sitting on the chairs, like I said the room is only half done and those things will be fixed before its all done!)........

Can't complain one bit!  :)  For $20, some paint and some time you can have a one-of-a-kind rug!  This mommy loves it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

25 Things I want my son to know as he grows!

This mommy has seen many a post about things people want their daughters to know but not so much about what their sons should know, and while this mommy will probably make a post like this for the princess as well there are definate things this mommy would like her son to know.  Thinking about life, even though the boy is not even 3 yet, and how I want the boy to grow up and the type of man I hope he becomes makes this mommy write this, you never know what life will throw at you and hopefully I'll always be around to watch as the boy grows, but no matter what these are things I want my son to know!

1. You are more loved than you could ever imagine.
                - I never knew what real love was (no matter how much I thought I knew) until you were born.  The day I looked at you, my beautiful son, was the day that I felt what true love really was.  There are times that you drive me crazy and times when I get mad, and sometimes even disappointed, but through it all no matter what, you are my first true love and I will love you forever!  One day when you have children of your own I hope you will realize how much my love is for you. 

2. It is ok to cry.
                 - No matter what anyone else tells you, it is not "girly" or "inappropriate" for a boy to cry!  Crying shows feelings and everyone has feelings.  Even the toughest of men cry!  Never, ever, be afraid to show your feelings and cry if you need to!

3. Don't be afraid to stand out and be you!
                 - You are an idividual, not a clone of other people, please act as such.  Stand up for what you believe in, follow your own dreams no matter what others try to say, find your own passions, like what YOU like, and most of all don't let others define you!  True strong men are ones who lived their own life and never let anyone tell them who to be!  Never follow the crowd just to be "one of the guys".  Whether you are popular, or the "nerd", or whatever anyone else says about you, you are YOU and that is the greatest gift of all!

4. In a relationship you are only as strong as your other half!
                 - Your partner is your best friend, your equal.  You should always treat them as that.  Never put them down, never underestimate them, never take them for granted.  Hold them up when they are falling, believe in them and their dreams, be their strength, and most of all love them with all your heart!  Being compassionate and loving to them makes you a better man!

5. Accept others.
                 - There will always be people different than you.  Hopefully throughout life I have taught you that there is nothing wrong with different.  No matter who the person is, accept them, know that they too are creations of God and never judge them.  This can be hard, but know that you will live life more fully if you accept the differences!

6. Be creative!
                  - As long as you are respecting others and their possessions feel free to create art of your choosing!  Following your creativity will lead you to great places in life and will ever expand your mind.  You are never too old for creativity!

7.  Enjoy nature.
                  - Go outside!  You live in a beautiful world, take the time to see it!  The small things make the world beautiful, never overlook the small pebbles, or the ripples it makes when you toss it in the water.  Sit and watch the clouds go by, or go crazy and rock climb or go rafting!  Just do it safely and enjoy the time!

8.  Be a kid!
                 - Run, jump, play, get dirty, explore, even dig a hole to try to find China!  Have fun and enjoy your youth!

9.  Be a good brother, friend, and protector.
                 - There are people who depend on you and who love you.  Your sister will always be your sister, and there will be times she needs you, be there for her.  Family is the most important thing, they will be there for you when the world has turned its back on you, please never forget about them, and always protect them when you can!  You are a superhero to some!

10.  Please wear your clothing appropriately.
               - They say clothes make the man, so dress for who you want to be!  Please never wear your pants around your knees, and please don't wear vulgar sayings on shirts.  Its not attractive, or "cool".  Feel free to express yourself but do so appropriately.

11.  Take care of the Earth.
               - Its not just a trend to be "green", we should all do our part.  This is the only planet we have and you live here, take care of it.

12.  You are a genious.
              - Never quit learning, your potential is limitless, and you can do anything you set your mind to.

13. Know that some rules were not made to be broken!
              - There are times when its ok to follow your own rules, but some rules should always be followed!  There are rules you may not like but they were put in place to protect you and others, please think carefully before you act.

14.  You will always be my son!
              - No matter where you go or who you are with you are my son and I will always be there for you!  I will always love you even if you make wrong choices.  I'll be there to offer support and advice and to be a shoulder to cry on.  I will always believe in you!  I will always want the best for you.  I will drive you crazy at times, but i hurt when you hurt and cry when you cry, and no matter what you will always have someone who loves you, and I hope our bond grows stronger and stronger!

15.  Its ok to make mistakes.
               - Its how we learn.  Don't be afraid of mistakes just make sure you learn from them.

16.  Be a man of God.
              - You are a miracle, sent to us from God.  Always praise him and live your life for him.  If you live for Him life becomes more clear. 

17.  Be careful of what you put out there.
              - In this technology filled age its easy to get in trouble.  Be careful of anything you send to people, unless you want the world to see it don't send it.  Its easy to be careful if you take the time to think, and please please please never get involved in "sexting".

18.  There are no jobs that should be left as "woman's work"
              - Yes you are a boy, but that doesn't mean you don't need to do laundry, dishes, vaccuum, cook, clean, grocery shop, sew, or take care of the kids (when one day you have them).  You are capable of doing these for yourself, and its ok to do them.  There is nothing un-manly about it, in fact you will be greatly appreciated for it, and I'm sure your future wife thanks me already for teaching you this!

19.  Tattoos are ok, but think!
             - Tattoos are permanent, think long and hard about it before you get one!  I don't want you waking up one day with a name or picture that haunts you forever. 

20.  There is no shame in asking for help.
             - We all need a helping hand sometimes, don't be afraid to ask if you need it.  This includes asking for directions before you get entirely lost!

21.  Your penis is not a toy.
             -Use it responsibly.  I do want grandkids one day but please do it under planned circumstances.  You are responsible for your actions.

22.  Keep moving forward.
            - Sometimes in life you may feel like you are in a rut and are going nowhere, but know it is your choice to keep moving.  Keep pushing and you will go far! 

23.  Travel.
            - You want to take a summer road trip to see the country?  by all means, take the car and explore, but do so responsibly!  Soar through the world and enjoy it!  But just know, I do not want to have to come see you in the hospital!

24.  Always say thank you.
            - Others will help and guide you throughout your life.  Teachers included.  Always say thank you to those who help you!  And forgive those who do you wrong.

25.  You can always come home, no matter where you are in life.
            - I will be here, always.  I love you!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Yogurt Muffins!

This mommy found a recipe that has made it to the top of favorite lists in this house!  Both the boy and the princess are addicted and this mommy doesn't mind, I mean, who can deny the little ones a midday snack of muffins that are made with yogurt and applesauce!?  I found the original recipe at JCasa handmade blog which she adapted from The joy of cooking!  It was love in just one look!  You can check out her blog but I'm also adding the recipe here, and instead of canola oil this mommy uses regular applesauce!

You will need:
1 egg
1 cup yogurt (or 2 individual containers) -you can use any kind you like but this mommy uses the store brand vanilla yogurt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. applesauce
2 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
whatever add-ins you want (fruit, chocolate chips, etc)

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Either line a muffin tin with liners or spray a generous amount of non stick cooking spray into the muffin tins. (this mommy doesn't use liners as the boy is allowed to get a muffin himself and sometimes he forgets to take off the liner!)
In a bowl combine the egg, yogurt, vanilla, and applesauce.  Stir until it is all evenly combined.  In a seperate bowl combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Slowly stir in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined, make sure you don't overmix the batter as it will result in tough muffins!  Pour in your add-ins and stir until evenly distributed in the batter.  The boy loves it when I add chocolate chips! 
Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full in each cup (this recipe will yeild between 12-18 muffins depending on how big you make them!)
Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown!  12 minutes works beautifully for this mommy and her oven!
Take your yummy muffins out of the oven and cool!
But this mommy does warn you they are good! And they are addicting!  Be prepared to be making these a lot!  We have to have a supply of these on hand at all times, its the all time favorite snack for this mommy's house!  The princess has gotten to the point of pulling down the container of muffins and pouting until it is opened and she can have one, that's how much she loves them! 
Experiment with different add-ins and different yogurt flavors!  There are so many yummy possibilities! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The princess turns 1!!

This mommy is in disbelief..... the princess turned 1!  Where, oh where has the time gone?  How could it be that my little baby girl is now an active, energetic 1 year old?!  The last year has flown by!

This little baby girl......

Has become this big girl........

Oh how this mommy wishes time would slow down a little! It seems like only yesterday we were about to welcome our little princess into the world!

We celebrated with our friends and family with an owl themed birthday party!  A good time was had by all! 

Here's a look at our decorations!  Tons of balloons, hanging decorations (handmade by this mommy), owl pinata centerpiece (again made by this mommy), and a fingerprint tree for guests to sign.  This mommy was pleased by how it all came together!

This was this mommy's first time making a stacked cake, and boy was she nervous!  But after much thought and a little luck this mommy was able to pull off making this cute as can be owl cake for the princess!  And of course the cake inside was pink as well!  :)

Of course just one cake wasn't enough so this mommy made of bunch of these owl cupcakes to match!  We also had a matching owl smash cake just for the princess to destroy!  :)

We couldn't have asked for a better birthday party!  Here's a look at the day......

We started the day in an adorable petti romper and flower hair clip (the clip was made my this mommy).  This mommy was excited that the princess finally had enough hair for the clip to stay in!

The flower clip made it through the morning before she was done with it.

Right before the party we had an outfit change into a handmade tutu dress (again made by this mommy, seeing a trend? lol)  :)

Although leary at first, once she got a taste of the cake she dug right in!

She loved it!!

Opening presents began!  (note: the painted fingernails, especially for the party, her first time getting her nails painted!)

The boy of course had to help his little sister open the presents!

She got pink everything, and this castle (found at my local Michael's) was painted and walpapered by this mommy for her princess peg dolls.

She loved being the center of attention all day!

New toys are awesome!

Officially 1!!

The tutu suprisingly made it through the entire party pretty much clean!

The day ended back in her petti romper!  A quick picture with mommy! (please ignore how horrible this mommy looks!)

And the day wouldn't be complete without the boy giving the daddy some love too!  Oh how I love my boys!

So whether this mommy likes it or not the princess is growing up!  Soon she will be walking and this mommy is in for trouble!  :)  How sweet it is to be the mommy to 2 amazing children!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How I spend my "free" time

I thought I'd share with you how this mommy spends all her free time..... between work, 2 kids, babysitting, cooking, cleaning, sewing, family outings, craft shows, fixing up the house, and refurbishing old furniture this mommy needs to fill the gaps  :)  This is what she does...... she runs a photography business known as S&F Designs!  This mommy goes out and takes people's portraits (or pet's portraits in some cases), and also enjoys taking photos of all the beautiful nature around her!  I thought I would share a small peek into this mommy's "free" time work!




So there ya go, a very, very small peek into all my works!  This mommy would run out of blog space if she posted everything  ;)  Hope you liked the peek into my art!  And now you know what this mommy does in all her free time  lol!  :)