Monday, April 28, 2014

Silhouettes and Simple Projects...

Here is a little project that I was excited to try. I had seen these cute silhouettes of children, framed and adorning their parents' walls. I loved this idea, but was too cheap to spend the money purchasing them from someone else, so I decided to make my own. Here is what I did, and what you can do if you want to make your own too:

Step 1: Take a photo of your child's profile. It will be easier (later on) if you do this against a solid coloured background. If your child has long hair, it seems to work best if it's being worn in a pony tail.

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Step 2: Print photo in whatever size you want the end product to be (I just used my computer printer)

Step 3: Cut out photo - don't forget to leave just a little bit of the neck, chest, and shoulders visible

Step 4: Trace cut-out onto black cardstock

Step 5: Cut THAT out

Step 6: Mount onto whatever background you like. I used white, but don't be afraid to use colour. A coloured frame with a white background would add a fun modern flair. I also liked the old-school style of mounting onto ovals, but many people choose to mount the silhouette directly onto the bigger background, and that looks great too.

Step 7: Frame your masterpiece. Voila, you are done!

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As long as you can get your kiddo to sit long enough to take the original picture, it really isn't a difficult or time-consuming project...which you know I love! And you don't have to limit the silhouettes to photos of children, either. A favourite pet, cherished item, hand print, etc. are all good ideas too! Be creative!

Additionally, I wanted a better way to display my daughter's school "artwork" rather than just stick it on the fridge. A simple IKEA picture frame did the trick:

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Creating things sure is fun, but also tiring. No wonder I have no energy for the gym!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fat-Free Friday and a Question

Before I get into the weighty matters, I have to ask a question: what do you like reading about most on this blog? This is something that I always wonder, which is why I ask you from time to time. Do you read this blog to hear about my weight struggle? To see my creative projects? Just to listen to me ramble about whatever? Is there something else you'd like to hear more about, or something different you want me to discuss? Please let me know...I'm always looking for guidance and suggestions (and guest posters, too!)

Onto weight. This week was a struggle again, but I've kept a much more upbeat attitude about it. I did hit my biggest goal, which was to AVOID BINGE EATING! So, regardless of anything else (re: EASTER DOOM! I swear Easter is harder for me than Christmas when it comes to food!), I am proud of myself this week.

I weighed in today at 167.8. Last week I was back at 170, so I'm pretty happy with this. I just wish I could stay on track for more than a few days at a time! Since the beginning of the year, I have been nervous about fitting into my spring and summer clothes. So, I bit the bullet and tried a bunch on.

The good news is that my shirts will all work, even if I don't lose another ounce. The bad news is that I really need to lose these last ten pounds in order to fit into my shorts. I mean, I can get them done UP, but...unless you want me wearing nothing but Mumu-style shirts to hide the jelly belly (and nobody wants that!), I need to do some work!

I am hoping that by (again) making goals for the upcoming week, I will stick to a healthier lifestyle. Those goals are: cut down on sweets, stay within my daily points, exercise 4 times, and stay hydrated!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homemade Board Game

As I've mentioned a few times in previous posts, I recently worked on making a board game for my (almost) five-year-old daughter. She really enjoys playing games right now, and I wanted her to have one in her favourite theme: My Little Pony. So, after pulling ideas of out of my head, I let my creative juices flowing and got to work. Here is what I did:

First, I bought an inexpensive board game, so that I'd have a board, a box, and dice. I covered the box with wrapping paper and decorated it to match the theme of the game. This part wasn't really fancy or special.

Next, I covered the game board with scrapbook paper so that you couldn't see the original design.

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Then, I printed out various images of characters from the show to use for the game. This was the most time-consuming part, I think, because I really got into it!

I used more scrapbook paper, cut into circles, to make the "spaces" for the board, and heavier paper stock for cards to go along with the game.

I traced and cut and traced and cut like crazy.

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Then the gluing began. You know the expression, "measure twice, cut once"? In this case, it's "check your layout twice, glue once"!

Of course once the board is done, you need some game pieces. Luckily miniature ponies are easy to fine these days :)

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You may also want to make a set of instructions of your game has more than a couple of rules - or am I the only one who forgets things that easily?

All in all, even though this was a time-consuming undertaking, it was also a lot of fun. I am pretty happy with the end result!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Mumblings

So, it is Easter Monday here, and even though my workplace is open, I was assigned a day off. Score! The weather is gorgeous today, so I think a leisurely run will be a must! And time outside with the kids! And maybe some ice cream? I am so glad that the cold weather is FINALLY starting to go away! I hope it lasts...

I have a chocolate hangover from yesterday, and am ready to get back on track today. However, even though I still want to re-lose at least 10lbs, I am really starting to let the guilt go. I don't want food to be associated with any negative feelings anymore. I don't want to divide my days into "good days" and "bad days" based on what is going into my mouth. I have to be kinder to myself...and I'm really starting to get that.

Other fun news? In the next six months or so, we are set to become homeowners. You may think this is crazy, but my husband and I are planning to buy my childhood home off of my parents. They will continue to live downstairs in the apartment they set up a few years ago. I am so excited to finally become a homeowner...and to decorate more of the house MY way :) I plan to take before and after pictures of the process, so I can share them on here...eventually!

I am also starting to think about upgrading the nursery to a "big boy" room. Donovan is still sleeping on his crib, and although he's so destructive that I'd like to leave him in there forever, I know that soon he will need to switch to a bed. Looking up ideas for his room is pretty fun. My husband works on airplanes, and would love to find a bedding in that theme. Something like this would be great:

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Then again, I love the colours in this one, even though it's a different theme:

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Decisions, decisions!

Anyway, enough about me. I hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend, hopefully with family and friends...and chocolate...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a Happy and Blessed Easter! Even though I have to work Saturday morning, and even though my husband has to work this weekend, I am so excited to have a few days of family time with my sweet little kids.

Hope everyone has a safe holiday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Simple Crafty Project

When my blog friend Katie made a post about these cute homemade scarf-style necklaces, I knew that I just had to try to make one or two. This is a very simple, quick project...which makes it fun for me. I like to see results quickly (why else do you think weight loss is so hard for me?). They took me about 20 minutes each, and I am so happy with how they turned out:

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I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture, but the silver one is actually shorter than the other. I used a full ball of yarn for the first one, and a bit less for the second. If you watch the "how-to" video on Katie's blog, she also talks about what types of yarn you can use.

Even if you aren't very crafty, I definitely recommend giving this one a go!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's SNOWING?!?!

Yeah. That.

Yesterday started out gorgeous - nice warm spring weather with a hint of sunlight. It started to rain later in the day, but was a nice spring rain. No chill in the air, nothing.

Today I woke up to snow. SNOW.

Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that the Easter Bunny is coming soon.

Look, I like snow. Probably more than the average person. But I like snow IN THE WINTER. Once the end of March hits, I'm starting to get sick of it. By April, I find it offensive. I'm ready for a change of season!

What is the weather like where YOU are? And am I so old that I actually want to know that?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Yummy (Milkshake-replacement) Smoothie!

I am forgetting about fat-free Friday today because, honestly, I don't want to step on the scale. I actually think that I've stayed the same (around 167), which is much better than gaining, but I just don't want to deal with the let-down that will inevitably come if I'm wrong about that. So...onto other things.

I recently discovered a way to satisfy my chocolate and milkshake cravings without going overboard on the calorie content. It's nothing fancy, but it does the trick, so allow me to share this simple recipe with you:

All you need is:

- 1 large frozen banana (definitely slice it up before freezing...your blender will thank you)
- 3/4 cup milk or almond milk (I have used both regular ol' milk and unsweetened chocolate almond milk. You also might have to adjust the quantity depending on how large your banana is, and how thick you like your drink)
- 1 TBSP cocoa power

Throw that all in a blender and blend until smooth. You might want to add some sugar or sweetener, so make sure to taste-test first. Personally, I am trying not to use too much artificial sweeteners these days, but I do use about half of a packet in these smoothies. I'm perfectly okay with that.

I would love you to share your own smoothie recipes with me, healthy or otherwise. Feel free to leave them in the comments section!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Know, I Know...

I've become a fallen blogger again! Only one post last week? What's UP with that?

No worries. I've been keeping myself busy. I had another crazy-pants moment and got myself set up with various craft projects, which my brain decided that I had to start IMMEDIATELY. It's been fun, but I'm not actually done any of them yet. I'm still working on my daughter's board game, and now some project for her birthday party (which is at the end of May. Hey, I DID say "crazy"!)

I've also been eating better and exercising. We've had some more warmer weather, and running outdoors has been amazing. Remember how I was frustrated awhile back that I was getting slower and slower? I think my last outdoor 5k time was 38 minutes (way up from my all-time low of around 31). Well, I am happy to say that I gave it my all the other day, and completed the run in just over 35. I'm getting there!

And, for the record...I CAN'T say that I'm missing the treadmill!