Monday, March 25, 2013

38 x 38 - Crafting for a Bazaar

Every year, Stacy and I talk about having a table at a bazaar. We'd sell a few Christmas items but more items that could be a Christmas gift. I mean, let's face the time Christmas rolls around and you go to a Christmas bazaar, are you REALLY looking for Christmas decorations? My answer is no...I'm looking for something to give as a gift. And while homemade snowmen, angels, and jingle bell-adorned crafts are beautiful, festive, and Christmas-y, I wouldn't want them as a present.

This year, we reserved a table and have set out on a mission to create enough crafts that we won't look foolish. The good news is it means we regularly schedule time to get together. Take this past weekend for example. We decided to spend the day together at Stacy's house and craft to our heart's content.

Armed with yarn, beads, scraps of paper, and all 5 Twilight movies, we were ready to go. Stacy knitted some beautiful scarves while I made magnets and jewelry. As we crafted, we made fun of Kristen Stewart's horrible acting, really awful graphics, and poorly chosen wigs and laughed at how much we love these cheesy movies! Here are photos from my projects:

First, the goal has been to try and use up many of the thousands and thousands of beads I have from various projects.

I love pearls and bracelets are my favorite piece of jewelry.
This seems nearly perfect. 

A charm bracelet with pinks and purples. I have to say making all those
little charms took longer than I thought they would. 

Another bracelet. I took random red and clear beds, made bead  units,
and strung three strands together with a lobster clasp. 

Moving away from bracelets. . . I'm new to making earrings.
They seem really easy but maybe too easy. Going to have to try a design
more exciting.

A necklace....the bottom part is two strands of pearls with Swarovski  crystals
as spacers, then it goes into single strands of smaller pearls. I'd wear this. 

Now to my a scrapbooker, I have TONS of leftover pieces of cute paper that I have a hard time parting with. I stumbled across a blog that explained how to use those scraps to create cute magnets and pendants (I wanted to make the pendants but couldn't find the squares locally so I went with magnets). Again, I tried to buy as little as possible. The paper came from my scraps, I did buy the flat-bottom glass marbles and the E6000 glue. They turned out really cute!

We're off to a good start!

Oh, one last thing....Stacy made Pioneer Woman's Berry Shortcake and you HAVE to try it. I was so busy devouring it that I didn't take a photo but it was maybe the best berry shortcake I've ever had in my life. Another was the perfect breakfast food. . . berries, orange juice, little shortcakes that look like biscuits, greek yogurt... I think I'd be happy every day if I woke up looking forward to this!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

38 x 38 - No Fast Food for 30 Days

Yippee! I did it! In the past 30 days I have not had a single bite of fast food.

Happy dance!

Do I feel different, you ask?

Accomplished, yes. Different, not necessarily.

To tell you the truth, I don't eat a ton of fast food compared to some of the stories I've heard. I'd say on average I eat fast food maybe two times a week. Honestly, it's usually not because I want it but because I'm too lazy to plan differently. I get up in the morning and think, "I'll worry about lunch later rather than pack something now." Then lunch time hits and I think, "I'll just drive through Wendy's" or McDonald's or Taco Bell or or or. . .

But then I eat it and I have eaters remorse. I'm disappointed I spent $5 on salt and fat. On top of that, I usually have a stomach ache and fatigue.

I can't say that I lost any weight just because of that. But I can tell you. . .

I've had about $25 more to spend on things I enjoy. 

It's helped me get back into planning my meals which in the long run will help me lose weight. 

It's made me feel like eating better is something I can totally accomplish. 

It's helped my afternoons at work stay more productive. 

And just in general, it makes me feel pretty good. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

38 x 38 - Complete a Charity Walk

My life could probably be defined by all the things I haven't done because of fear. Fear of failing, fear of being last, fear of not being good enough, fear of succeeding, fear of someone laughing at me. . . I could go on and on. 

Nowhere is my fear more evident than when it comes to things of the physical nature. I was raised believing that I was the smarty, nerdy, bookworm daughter while my sister was the fun, cute, sassy, and athletic one. I was clumsy and have always struggled with my weight while my sister is daring, agile, and thin. I quit volleyball because I wasn't as good as everyone else. I quit cheerleading because someone might see me and laugh. I don't run because I'm not graceful. I don't like to lift weights because I make faces when it becomes heavy. blah blah blah

In effort to let go of my fears, Completing a Charity Walk/Hike ended up on my annual list. I don't do these things because A) I'm afraid I'll be last, B) I'm afraid as I walk across the finish line the entire crowd will be laughing at me and calling me a fat a$$, and C) um, did I mention everyone might make fun of me for being last. 

Putting my inner wimp/whiner away, I brought out fearless me (she's a work in progress) and signed up for Klamath Union High School's Run for the Music which I can proudly say I completed! Now, technically, my list said I wanted to complete the walk in faster time than my last one but I have to admit that I don't remember what my time was last year when I did the Wounded Warrior 5k but I know it was right around the same time. I completed this 5k walk in 1 hour 2 minutes. 

Technically, this means I completed "half" this item because I need to push myself to do a little better. Now that I have a benchmark, I've selected my second *gasp* charity walk - the annual Pear Blossom Run in Medford Oregon on April 16th. So my goal will be to beat 1 hour 2 minutes. I've got this

Oh! Before I forget....about those fears.....
A) I was last but honestly, only because the group behind me that I fought to stay ahead of took a short cut at least a quarter mile ahead of our turnaround spot. Dang it!! Actually, truth be told, it became less about that the further I walked. 
B) The crowd was not laughing at me as I passed the finish line but the band WAS playing a triumphant little tune. 
C) No one made fun of me. At least not that I heard and honestly, I felt so good when I was done that it didn't matter. Who cares, everyone has to start somewhere. 

Wish me luck on the next one! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

38 by 38 - Try 12 New Recipes (No. 1)

A two-step cake that won't break the calorie bank? Yes please!

Sunday is my "pull out all the stops" dinner night. I'll spend all day in the kitchen whipping up something tasty and the kids know it's the one day a week they can expect dessert. Usually Sundays are also my "I don't care about calories" day. But this week I decided to try a dessert I've seen all over the pinterest it soda cake, weight watchers cake, or diet cake, it doesn't matter.....the concept is the same - cake mix and diet soda.

For my variation, I started with Pillsbury Moist Supreme Lemon Cake mix and Diet Sierra Mist. Most of the recipes I saw called for Diet Sierra Mist, Sprite, or 7up if it's a light colored cake and diet cola or diet root beer if it's a dark colored cake.

 Instructions are simple. . .
1 - open box of mix and dump in bowl.
2 - Pour in 12 oz of diet soda
3 - Mix up (there will be lumps)
4 - Pour in pan coated with non-stick spray and put in oven per box directions (baking for the least amount of time listed on box).


Was it good, you ask? Yes! The family loved it. Of course, part of it was the novelty. The kids were fascinated that that's all they would need. Rob (Mr. Chef himself) didn't believe it would work. It was moist and tasty. It seemed a little more lemon-y than usual but that could have been in my head.

It didn't seem to "rise" like a normal cake, resulting in a little bit flatter cake but it was really good.

I sliced up fresh strawberries with a touch of honey. Put that over the top with some light whip cream and it was delicious!

Calorie-wise I still don't think it's something you could eat on a regular basis if you're trying to lose weight but it's a good bet if you want something sweet. This cake (minus frosting) was about 170 calories vs. 250 regularly. If you skipped the traditional frosting like I did, you save even more. All in all, I say give it a try!

In other weekend news, not much happened. It ended up being a Nate-centered weekend. Marcus being the teenager he is ditched me for his friends. Nate however still likes me:) So I took him to the Rock, Gem, and Mineral Show at the fairgrounds (he loves rocks).

It was a great time. Here are a few photos:

Nate panning for gold

This plate of "food" is all made from rocks, even the plate

More "food" from rocks.

Under ordinary lights, these rocks were white, gray and boring,
But under black lights they were remarkable. 

Hope you had a great weekend!