Friday, November 29, 2013

A Quick Glimpse

I don't do the black Friday thing so I thought I would post a couple before and after pictures of our living room in the condo.  I still have some work to do (i.e. wall décor) and obviously it will look different when our ginormous Christmas tree is down but I like the way everything looks for now and I love holiday décor. :)

This is the main wall in the living room (before we painted).

 then after paint, furniture, décor...  I LOVE my canvases that I had printed of a few pictures I took in Venice, Italy last summer.  I kind of wish I had gone bigger though...oh well.  Color is Valspar City's a nice warm gray.

 This is another view of the living room before. 

Curtains are from Ikea and I love them ($29/pair!).  Pretty sure I have at least 3 Eiffel towers on my Christmas tree :) 

Here is a closer look at my pictures :)

 and as promised, here is my new hair (before...from last month & after).  I cut probably a good 6 inches off.  I didn't go as short as I had originally planned but it was a big enough change for right now :)  And I went darker because I always like my hair darker.
And I am down 88lbs :)  I haven't taken my progress pics for this month or my measurements but I will soon.  It's on the to-do list :)


Monday, November 18, 2013

Marvelous Monday

This is a marvelous Monday.  I took today off to recoup from the move this weekend.  We got so much done this was crazy.  We moved from our third floor apartment to our new condo within about 2.5 hours.  I'm tellin' you....crazy.  We are so grateful that we had a few friends lend a helping hand to get it all done.  We really couldn't have done it without them.  We even got most of our stuff unpacked already this weekend.  We still have quite a bit of stuff in our storage unit that we need to get out and go through but it will happen with time.

I'm really glad that we were able to get the keys to the condo early because having all the painting done the way I want it, is awesome!  I ordered 4 canvases from our trip to Venice and I can't wait for them to get here!  Other than that, I'll put up a few things here and there as I can find what I want.

On top of all the weekend fun, I weighed on Sunday and lost 3lbs from the previous week.  Which is a little crazy seeing as I haven't been able to work out since last Monday.  So I'm down 86.5 pounds!  I've been trying to only weigh once a week and I will continue to do that.  I decided a while back that even if I don't lose anymore, I will be happy and I will try to be the healthiest at this weight that I can be.  Not that I'm giving up hope on losing more ;)  I've been under the weather since last Sunday...stupid cold I think.  So I bought some hot green tea and it's actually quite yummy and a good change from cold water all the time.  I can really tell a difference in any bloated feelings I've had.  So I'll definitely keep it as a daily thing.  

Thursday, I will be doing something drastic to my hair.  I've had long hair for a couple of years now.  I decided that it's time for a change.  So I am chopping it off!  I'll probably end up cutting about 10 inches off.  I'm getting it colored too.  So I'll make sure to blog on Thursday and put a side by side before and after :)  I can't wait! I'm so nervous but I'm also really excited.

Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Wants

Since Christmas is right around the corner (yay!) and we're also moving into a new place this weekend (which means décor ideas galore!), I thought I would make a list of some things I'd like to have :)  Not that anyone that would buy me a Christmas gift reads my blog  lol  (wishful thinking I suppose). And my wants can be a little on the pricey side :) imagine that....

I really want to do a photo wall like this one that Tatertots and Jello did.  I think it's awesome and it's happy and cheerful and just really cool.  She put the full tutorial up here on how she did it and even where she got everything.  The picture frames can be ordered from Cut It Out and then you just paint them whatever color you want.  I think this could be a little bit of a pricey project and I would want it all completed and not just a piece here and a piece there so I'll have to save for just a little bit :)  The frames themselves aren't bad but they don't come with glass and they have to be spray painted so by the time you add all that together and then also order your adds up.  I really like the table she has here too.  She painted an old piece that her grandmother had.  I need to start perusing yard sales!
 I want this mirror from Ikea.  I like the thick frame and I like that it can hang on the wall or just sit on the floor.  And I like that it's only $99.  I need to be able to see if I look ok completely before I walk outside lol "Do these boots really go ok with this dress?" type of thing :)
This is a crappy picture but I want this lil' Pandora charm for my bracelet.  It's a gondola from Jared :)  It will be the only Pandora thing on my bracelet but WHO cares! lol
I'd like a new down alternative comforter/duvet.  Doesn't have to be this one but something similar.  I think I want a king size since Darren and I tend to tug the comforter back and forth between each other lol  I want to get my mom to make a white duvet cover and have a luxury hotel feel to it.
Along the same bedding line.  I'd really like a headboard.  I like the look of the button tuft headboards but man are they expensive (I'd say at least $400 in the store).  We don't have any bedroom furniture right now.  We have a chest of drawers that actually belongs to my brother but we don't have nightstands or anything so obviously I'd like some bedroom furniture.
Gift cards for clothes are always greatly appreciated and needed.  And now that I think about's sad that these are the only 4 stores I can think of.  I obviously need to get out shopping more.  I just can't ever afford clothes from White House Black Market or Ann Taylor or Banana Republic, etc etc.
If I had a spare $700 or whatever...I'd like a new laptop.  I'd like one that I can put Photoshop on so I can do everything on there that I want to for my blog without having to sit at a desk and do it because I sit at a desk ALL day long.  I don't want to do it at home too.
8. Random expensive wants? I'd like to travel.  I'd like to do a photoshoot with Bobbi+Mike. I'd also really like to have a baby.  Perhaps we can make all of that happen within the next couple of years :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Screw Society

Society scares me.  Everywhere you look now, you see a standard of "perfection" that we should all supposedly be living up to.  The overly photoshopped models in magazines, the makeup caked actresses, the 16 yr old models on the catwalk that haven't even fully formed into women yet... and "thigh gap".  Are you kidding me?  No wonder I've been on a diet since I was a child.  Society told me I wasn't "normal".  I fear for today's children.  I fear for a child that maybe even I will bring into this world.

Honestly, at this point in my life....I say screw society.  I may not ever weigh what the charts say I "should" weigh.  I'm pretty sure I will always have some flabby skin and not have perfect muscle tone or 6 pack abs.  But, I'm starting to like the woman that I see in the mirror.  Not because I've lost weight but because I'm an overcomer.  I no longer have high blood pressure.  I'm a lot farther from the diabetes and heart disease that I was spiraling toward.  My mind is clearer than it's ever been.  I'm strong and I've challenged my body to do things that I never thought I'd be able to do.  So instead of looking in the mirror and constantly seeing the minor imperfections, I choose to remind myself that I am beautifully and wonderfully made.  I am the woman that God made me to be and that is all that should matter.

I'm not saying we shouldn't work on ourselves.  I would certainly be a hypocrite if I said that seeing that I underwent surgery to help me lose weight.  But I didn't have surgery for vanity purposes.  I didn't have surgery because I wanted to get down to a weight where I would be more accepted by society.  I did it because I couldn't do it on my own and I was unhealthy and not living a full life.  It didn't have anything to do with my willpower or determination because I had lots of that.  Really, I think it comes down to genetics.  And I also believe that God allows you to go through things for a reason.  If I hadn't gone through all that I have, I don't think I would be the person I am today.  And I kinda like that person.  So in a round about way, I'm thankful for it.

And I'm just going to jump out there and say that society needs more "normal" me.  People who have gone through struggles but by the grace of God are taking back their lives and not letting the world drag them down because they aren't "perfect".

Ok...I think that is all :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Next Goal: Financial Freedom

2013 has been a big year for me (and us).  I had surgery.  I lost 82lbs (and counting).  We sold our house.  We moved twice ( of next week).  I'm becoming a runner (say what??).  My relationship with Christ is the best it's ever been.  Darren got a new job.  Who would have thought that so much could happen in one year?  I'm so grateful for it all.

While examining my current situation and reflecting on where I was at the beginning of the year versus where I am today, I'm choosing to take the next step to reaching my goals.  This goal is to reach Financial Freedom.... Financial Peace if you will.  Now that the house is gone, I feel like I can really tackle this.  Debt is an ugly word.  God doesn't want us to be in debt.  He wants us to be good stewards of what He has provided us.  We get into debt when we get caught up in our own wants and quick decisions.  I want to be done with it.  If being in debt is normal then I want to be the most abnormal one of them all!  Debt weighs you down and makes you feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.  Are people actually ok with this? Has it become a society "norm" that everyone has debt and it's no big deal?

So for the next however long, I'm going to write out my financial goals just like I do my fitness goals.  It shouldn't be any different.  I think you should have goals for many different aspects in life.  And on top of setting goals....also come up with a solution and a plan of action on how to reach those goals. 

I am a big Dave Ramsey fan and I think he has some amazing ideas but I'm not sure if I'm willing to give up cable and other "non-necessities" to go full on "gazelle intense" on my debt elimination (as of right now anyway).  I do believe that we are going to really need to write out a budget (each month) and stick to it.  After adding up how much we spend between groceries, eating out, and gas in the past month, it was quite eye-opening that we weren't really paying much attention at all.  Several years back, we did the envelope system thing for areas like eating out, groceries, clothing, gifts, etc.  It really helped.  You are much more emotionally attached to cash then you are to swiping your debit card.  It's easy to swipe that card and not think a second thing about it.  If you have cash in your wallet, you're more likely to think twice before spending.

My Financial Goals...
Debt Elimination
1) Credit Card (used to pay for house renovations)
2) Car (at least it's good on gas mileage)
3) Student Loan (the smaller one)
4) Student Loan (the big one)
5) Personal Loan (this is what happens when you have to pay the IRS a big chunk of money because you took the house tax-credit the gov. offered the year before you didn't have to pay it back and then you rent your house out and realize that that is one of the rules in which you have to pay it back all at once.  Plus add in a surgery and medical bills. Plus there was that pesky credit card that never seemed to get any lower.  That all lumped together because I thought it would be easier to handle equals a pretty icky personal loan and I believe Dave Ramsey would call it all "Stupid Tax". So my "stupid tax" is the equivalent of a very nice car payment each month minus the car....awesome.)
1) Emergency Fund (preferably 3-6 months worth of all our bills because with this never know)
2) Save for baby (which God willing, will hopefully happen next year)
3) Save for house (or at least a good down payment)
4) Vacation (paid in full BEFORE we go)
While these are my overall goals, I'm going to heed my counselor's advice in taking one month at a time and trying not to get ahead of myself.  I want to enjoy our life during the process.