Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So Long 2013...Hello 2014!

I can't believe another year has come and gone.  Overall, I think 2013 was a pretty good year.  Like every year, it had it's ups and downs.  I think for the most part, the good outweighed the bad....at least when I look back.  As I say goodbye to 2013, I just realized that I'm also saying goodbye to my 20's.  This makes me much sadder than just realizing another year has passed.  But I want 2014 to begin in a great way and I am optimistic that this coming year is going to be a great one (despite turning 30)!

My 2013 in a nutshell... 
~Lots of drama with our rental house
~Moving twice (from in-laws to apartment then from apartment to condo)
~Having major surgery (vertical sleeve gastrecstomy)
~Losing 90lbs thanks to that surgery (woohoo!)
~Darren got a new job with "normal" hours and room for advancement (yay!)
~Darren working 2 jobs for most of the year (it sucks...but we are grateful)
~Selling our house (Praise the Lord!)
~Finding out I'm going to have a niece soon (due March 2014)
~Camping for the first time since I was about 7
~Training for a 5k that I have yet to run lol
~Cruise to the Bahamas
~Adding lots of debt to our already huge pile thanks to the IRS and medical bills (fun fun!)

And welcome into 2014... I have lots of goals for 2014.  I want to make weekly, monthly, and yearly goals to improve every aspect of my life.  I'm still working on those goals.  Below are just a few things I hope to see in 2014.

~We are really hoping that 2014 brings us a baby.  I know that it will probably be closer to the end of 2014 but that's ok.  

~I also hope to pay off a good amount of debt and put some money in savings.

~I want to challenge myself in photography.  To pick up the camera more and be more creative.  I plan on doing a self-portrait challenge.... either 52 weeks or once a month... haven't decided yet.

~I'd like to blog more and do more graphic design.

~I have about 20-30 more lbs to lose and I want to do some major toning.  I also want to run a 5k.

~Traveling is always on my list but I don't know how possible that is going to be.

~I want to also do more crafty stuff and hopefully eventually start an Etsy store :)

~And I turn 30 in 2014 so I would like to go ahead and decide that 30 is going to be the best year ever!

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Happy Place: Craft Room

I haven't had a "craft room" since we first got married.  We rented a house and I did a lot of scrapbooking and card making stuff so we made one of the spare bedrooms into a craft room and I loved it.  Then when we bought a house and packed everything up, I got out of the scrapbooking thing and got really into photography so all my spare time went into that.  My scrapbook boxes never even got unpacked.  One spare room became solely an office with two desks and two computers since we were both editing a lot and the other was a "guest room" aka storage and where we put the dog crate lol.  Then we closed our business, moved in with my in-laws, moved into the apartment, and voila, here we are in our condo.  Since we have a designated office area (will take pictures once it's finished...whenever that is), I have a spare room (until a baby comes along that is).

My scrapbook stuff still sits safely in boxes in our storage unit and I've moved on from that (for now).  Thanks to Pinterest, I've found lots of sewing projects (who hasn't?!) that I've wanted to try my hand at but I didn't have a sewing machine.  So...I asked Santa for one :)  My Christmas this year pretty much revolved around sewing and all things related to that which is totally cool with me!

Here's a little sneak peek at my craft room the way it is right now.  I still want to get some things on the walls and put some curtains up (and I'm sure I will paint at some point) but for now...

I had a little fun at Hobby Lobby yesterday buying fabric.  I seriously could spend a small fortune in that store.  It's dangerous.  Do you gather a theme?  I like fun, bright springy colors and I like girly colors of course.  I have a couple projects in mind.  You'll notice an Eiffel Tower in there.  I think I must have an obsession.  They had about 4 or 5 fabrics that had Eiffel Towers or Paris themes on them and it was ALL I could do not to buy them all  lol  I settled on one (for now haha).

This isn't exactly the machine that "Santa" (aka my sweet hubby) bought for me but he told me he didn't mind if I exchanged it for what I wanted since I had been doing so much research on them.  He really is the sweetest thing.  He knew what he got me wasn't exactly what I wanted but he wanted to make sure I had one to open Christmas morning.  I love him Oh So Much.

I love this sign :)  I got it for Christmas too.

This is on the other side of my craft room (ick!).  Maybe seeing it often will remind me to use it! haha

In my future house (if I had my way), I'd like a room off of a main living area with french doors to be my craft room and personal office.  One big enough that I could put a nice big table in the middle so that when I have kids and they get big enough, they can work on projects too.  If my future children are anything like their mommy, they will love all things craft related from a very young age.  I don't like being secluded from everything and when I am, I'm less likely to work on anything that I want to work on.  Does that make sense?  I found this idea at The Inspired Room.  Doesn't it look perfect??  There are lots of ideas like that on her website.  That could get me in trouble ;)

Do you like crafty projects? Do you sew?  Do you have a happy place?  I recommend it to everyone :)

How do you like my new blog look and logo?  I like the way it turned out.  I got bored one night and played around with my wacom tablet.  I think I'll keep it this way for a while.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Welcome to the Caribbean Love

This year, we waited to take our vacation.  We were talking to our friends earlier this year and I mentioned how much I wanted to go on a cruise.  They had already booked their cruise for December to celebrate their anniversary so I can't quite remember if we invited ourselves or if it was a mutual agreement that we book ours for the same week and go together  lol  I'm going to go with the second option ;)  It was really tough to wait so long to take our vacation but we had SUCH a great time.  The weather was perfect.  While everyone was at home freezing, we were soaking up the sun in our bathing suits.  I want to be back there so bad.

These are our cool lil' towel animals that our room guy made for us each night.

We didn't even take our big camera out of the bag.  So it was a trip of iphone pics and selfies lol and for this time....that is ok with me.

Ah...the Caribbean. Can I please go back? umm...now?

We only took one picture of just the four of us. Crazy right?  We clean up pretty nicely though... and might I add that I'm about 75lbs lighter than I was when we went on our honeymoon cruise.  That was a nice feelin' for sure.

We went with Carnival this go around.  We went Royal Caribbean for our honeymoon.  Not really sure which one I liked better.  They were basically the same.  I will definitely spring for a balcony suite next time.  We had one for our honeymoon and opted for oceanview this time.  The size of the room is about half the size of the balcony room.  They decorated the ship for Christmas which was cool and weird all at the same time :)  On the last day, the crew put towel animals out on all the chairs.  I thought that was pretty cute.

Anyway....that's where I've been :)  I'll post Christmasy stuff tomorrow (maybe).


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Sunday Social: Week 7

I haven't participated in the Sunday Social in a while...mainly because I forget to do it!  Sorry :)  So if you want to participate, click the button below to get the questions and copy Ashley Lately's button then answer the questions on your own blog and put a link back on her blog so other's can read your answers :)

Sunday Social

1. What are your favorite Holiday Movies/TV Specials?
My favorite Holiday movie is Miracle on 34th Street (the 1994 version with Dylan McDermott and the cute lil' girl from Matilda...Mara Wilson).  I can pretty much quote that movie.  I also love the Santa Clause movies...the first one is my favorite though.  I love The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law too.  And I do admit to watching Hallmark movies even though they are all so similar lol
2. Do you do any volunteering during the holidays if so what? If not what would you do?
I haven't done any volunteering during the holidays.  I'm bad at that.  I do want to do a little something for all my neighbors this year though.  I want to get wisks and fill them with Hershey kisses and put a note on there that says "We wisk you a merry kissmas"  lol  totally lame but bound to make someone smile...right?  :)
3. What is your favorite toy received as a child for the holidays?
Honestly...I don't even remember what my "favorite" toy was as a child.  It really depends on what age I suppose.  I got lots of Barbie dolls.  I got a cute pair of skates when I was about 7 that I liked.  I remember a lot of things that I got and I loved them all but there isn't one particular thing that stands out in my mind.
4. What was your must have item in high school for the holidays? 
I remember one year, I really really wanted a Papasan chair to put in my room.  And I did get it.  Come to find out....those things are really not all that comfy  lol  I also really wanted my own computer and got that at some point too.  My parents were pretty generous at Christmas.
5. What do you do on Christmas Eve? If you are Jewish what does your family do for Hanukkah?
Christmas Eve morning is spent with my husband's family.  It was a tradition for him growing up on Christmas day morning to go to his grandparents (that lived on the same property) and have a big breakfast.  When we got married, we all agreed to move it to Christmas Eve morning so that when we had kids, we wouldn't have to tear them away and make them go anywhere.  So we have breakfast and then do gifts. 
Then Christmas Eve night, we go to my grandfather's house with my mom's entire family and eat and do the whole "white elephant/Chinese Christmas/dirty Santa" game which a lot of times just ends up being a big gift card exchange lol.  Unfortunately this year, my grandfather just had open heart surgery so plans for Christmas Eve are still up in the air.  Hopefully we still get together because if not, it will be the first time since before I was born that we didn't get together and that's kind of sad. 
When I was a kid, after we came home from my grandparents' house, we would get to open one gift.  I will continue that tradition with my kids for sure.  My parents got to pick which gift we opened but they never could remember what was in which box so one year, I opened a camera case....for the camera I would open the next morning! hah :)
I love the Holidays! Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Pinterest Craft: White & Red Yarn Wreath

I pin LOTS of crafts and "DIY" stuff on Pinterest in hopes that one day, I will make (or take) time to actually do some of them just to say that I did them (or I imagine if they actually turned out well, they would make nice gifts).  I saw this wreath on Pinterest and thought it was really pretty.  The link went to Better Home and Gardens so you can find the original tutorial there.  It obviously doesn't look as nice as the original picture but I thought it turned out pretty good.  The part that took the longest was wrapping the wreath in the yarn.  The whole project took me about 3 hours.

Here is a picture of the supplies you will need.  I got everything for less than $20 from my beloved Hobby Lobby :)  They include a 10in (although all I could find was a 14in) straw wreath, felt squares in red, dark green (tutorial calls for olive green also but I couldn't find it), 8mm pearls, Christmas greenery, a hot glue gun, and a skein of white yarn.  What they don't include in the supply list is pins that you will need to stick the greenery to the wreath.

The only way to do a Christmas craft is with the Christmas tree in the plain view :)

 This is how far I'd gotten in 30 minutes when I realized that this would surely take me forever lol  It's kind of an annoying process for a perfectionist and an impatient person but I wanted to finish it so I stuck it out.  You have to make sure you get the yarn nice and tight and you'll have to work it tighter together as you go along.

Here is my completed plain wreath and my felt roses that I made but forgot to take pictures of the process....they were super easy though.

Final thoughts on this project.  My greenery looks really dumb because I should have cut it down so that the berries were over the white part.  But other than that, for my first attempt....not so bad :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December Defeat

So far December has taken it's foot and stomped my diet, motivation, and exercise into smithereens.  It's full of Christmas parties and bad food partnered with cold weather.  I'm afraid to step on the scale and I probably won't any time soon.  I said to myself "this week, I'm going to cut my carbs and get this mess out of my body"....then I have a cupcake at work.  We are leaving Sunday for our week long cruise.  Then right afterwards is Christmas.  I think I'm just going to have to try to be as diligent as I can be and keep my "splurge" to one tiny something a day (in the evening) rather than "well I've already screwed up...there goes my day, where's the chocolate?"  Surely I'm not the only one that does that?  But that's what the old me on a diet would do.  I don't want to be the old me.  I like the new me.

I haven't exercised in weeks.  I went outside and ran for the first time last Monday (at 5:30am I'll add) and I wasn't even 2 blocks from my condo and I fell down.  I mean...I hit the ground like a big sack of potatoes complete with a big "umph".  (It's ok...you can laugh) Once I was over the shock of falling, I laughed at myself, got up and moved over to the road because the uneven sidewalk is what caused me to trip and kept on going.  I did 1.87 miles in about 28 minutes...jogging and walking.  I felt good for doing it until I got in the shower and almost passed out.  I had my arms up rinsing my hair and I slowly leaned against the wall and then sat down on the floor until the dizziness passed (better than going down and really knocking myself out).  It freaked me out.  I had been having some dizzy spells but it's really only been when I stand up so I thought it would go away.  That scared me enough that I went to the doctor later that day.  She told me I was probably really dehydrated.  I've been drinking a couple of cups of hot green tea every day for the past 2.5 weeks (about the same amount of time that I've been feeling this way) and since green tea is a diuretic mixed with the little bit of caffeine in it that will also dehydrate you....makes sense.  I haven't been willing to give up the green tea though.  It's a nice treat when it's cold and nothing is warming me up.  But I've been trying to be more diligent about drinking even more water.  But because of that and the fall, I've been a little skittish about getting back out there.  I know I need to get over that asap.  AND I have a treadmill in my spare bedroom so really...no excuses.  I bruised my knee and my elbow pretty bad with my fall.  But...I'll live :)

I'm not giving up.  I'm just being realistic.  I know I still have 30lbs to reach my goal and I absolutely plan on getting there.  However, I think I'm going to allow myself to enjoy the holidays (without getting too crazy) ...until December 26 and then it's time to say goodbye to the carbs.  I'm not waiting until Jan 1st.  I'm not waiting until a Monday.  The day after Christmas, I will go on a liquid diet for several days and restart my body.  And I'm taking my running shoes on the cruise with me and hoping that I can make myself get up and take advantage of the change of scenery (and weather) while I jog.

So that's my plan on getting through the holidays.  I'm sure it's not as good as others and I'm sure others are much stronger than I am but I think this is how it's going to have to be.

What are your plans to get through the holidays?  They are tough aren't they??  Not like we can lock ourselves away for the whole month. Oh yeh....I definitely forgot to take my progress pictures in November (I blame it on the move).  So I'll just have to do December....which may not be very good.  EEk.