Sunday, March 17, 2013

Flowergirl Basket

This is what I've been working on lately. 

I can't show it on Facebook yet, since the bride doesn't want everything shown.  DS's best friend Vince is getting married Apr 6, and their daughter will be the flower girl.  The bride couldn't find a flower girl basket she liked, so I told her to get a basket, and I would put it together for her.  Here is the finished product.

I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out, and she is too.  I wasn't given much to go on, only to incorporate the color of the wedding.  It's on the Spirit of Norfolk, which is a boat cruise.  It should be loads of fun, if the weather is nice.  April 6 in VA is a bit iffy for a boat cruise, but we shall see! LOL

Just wanted to share, and I'm not sure a lot of people read my blog anyway! LOL

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Letter From Me, To Me

A Letter From Me, To Me!
The “homework” this week from the New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, was to write yourself a letter from the future i.e. next year.  Here’s my letter From Me, To Me!
Dear Me!
I am SO proud of you!  Let’s take a look back at your accomplishments this year.
You did a great job in getting healthier this year.  You managed to lose weight, get toned and you walked your @$$ off – almost literally!  See what joining Planet Fitness did for you!  Yes, I know you enjoy being outside, especially in the summer months, but it’s just not quite the same as getting in a good workout at the gym.  You managed to use several new pieces of exercise equipment too, and didn’t just stick with the trusty treadmill.
I loved how you took some of your favorite recipes (even those family recipes that have been passed down), and modified them – healthier, but still tasty and enjoyable.
I’m very proud of the way you encouraged several of your co-workers to become healthier.  You’ve been a great friend to them on myfitnesspal, showing encouragement and giving them a little nudge when they have needed it.  They also have given you nudges here and there – and that is a GOOD thing!  I know you can see the advantages of writing down your food and exercise and tracking.  Keep at it, even though you are where you want to be weight wise – you KNOW how easy it is for the weight to start creeping back on, and once it starts creeping, it comes back quicker.
You and Rusty just celebrated your 30th anniversary! CONGRATS. In this day and age, that is reason to celebrate! I know you both will enjoy the anniversary vacation you have planned.  I can’t wait to see you in your new bathing suit, be sure to get a picture of the two of you on the beach.
Here you are, looking towards the future.  You will turn 50 this year!! 50!!!!  Stay focused – the best is YET to come girl!!
Me !

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Setting Goals

Here it is, the big, bad and ugly.
Dec. 2011, Family vacation to Disney World

I think I had lost about 10 pounds from my highest weight of 215.  I was around 205 here.  Not a happy person - unhappy with my work environment and stressed to the max over anything work related. Not that my employer was the cause of my weight gain, but the stress of the environment didn't help.  I would come home, and just be mentally exhausted from all that was going on. When I think back over the years, in Dec. 1983, when DH and I were married - my wedding dress was a size 5 - A SIZE 5!!! I couldn't get one leg in a size 5 today! Birth control pills added 20 lbs, infertility stress added more weight, being a  (finally) new mom, plus having a career - no time for ME, the death of a parent, the remarriage of my Dad 3 quick months after my Mom passed.....then the fabulous 40's hit, and MORE weight gain.  LIFE and me not taking care of myself is what did it.  I was wearing size 18 pants and XXL shirts.

 Here I am today:
At 180 lbs - still not where I want to be....but, I'm getting there.  I'm MUCH happier -  I'm working on ME, taking time for ME.  I have a new employer and a job I love.  Family still has it's ups and downs, but I find if I put ME near the top of the list - then everything else will fall into place.

Over the past year, I actually got down to 171 lbs.  I use a Fitbit to track my exercise throughout the day, and I use (I use the iPhone app) to track my eating.  It syncs with my Fitbit so I don't have to worry about adding in my exercise, it automatically does that when I come home from work and pass my by computer.  I'm now in size 14 pants and size L shirts.  I have gotten rid of/donated/given away all of my size 16 and 18 pants, skirts, dresses and my tops/blouses.  I did keep one pair of size 18 pants, and I put them on occasionally.  That is one way I can see my weight loss - in pictures, I don't see it as much. 

I've joined the 8 week New Year's Weight Loss Challenge over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans - and partnered up with my friend Mel.  She has always been an inspiration to me and I am honored to be partnered with her for this challenge.  Our team name is FitBy50.  I have 21 months until I turn 50 years old (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN).....and I want to be healthier so I can enjoy the rest of my life.

My goals for the next 8 weeks are:

1. Track my food - ALL of it....the good, the bad and the ugly if there is any.  I have my Power Foods from Weight Watchers that I use, and an old Weight Watchers program that I refer back to...I just don't convert it all to points - I enter what I eat into MyFitnessPal....hey, it's FREE!
2. Walk at least 10,000 steps a day - Track via my Fitbit. I have a walking partner at work, and we have been slackers at walking lately.  I've already sent her a text message to "bring your walking shoes" tomorrow, as it's her first day back at work from the holidays.  Between my walk to/from the parking garage and then if we get in 25-30 minutes at lunch, I'm almost at my 10,000 just with that. 
3. Reacquaint myself with my treadmill.  I SO enjoy walking outside.  But, when the time changed and it started getting dark BEFORE I got home, well, there went my evening walks.  Since we do have a treadmill, I will turn on Pandora on my iPhone and get in a good 30 - 45 minute walk.
4. Fit-Abs calendar - The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans has a Fit-Abs Calendar for January.  The first week looks easy, then it gets harder :)  I have the "tire" around my middle, so any help in that area is a PLUS.
5. Lunch - brown bag it.  I eat at my desk, so we can walk (see #2 above).  I eat healthier when I brown bag, plus it's a LOT cheaper.
6. Weight loss - for the first 8 weeks, I would love to get back down to where I was in the fall - around the 171 mark.  Then, as the days get longer, and we have more daylight - I can start incorporating longer walks along the beach and outside.

After the 8 weeks, I'll update and put my goals for the rest of the year......I'm giving serious consideration to running a 5K.  In order to do that, I will have to work on ME a lot.....physically and mentally.  I would much rather be "behind the scenes" rather than out in public for all to see.  It took a LOT for me to post those two pictures above.  I HATE, HATE, HATE having my picture taken.  I see all the imperfections and fat rolls.  Even now, with today's picture - I'm not happy with it.  But, I'm putting it out there.  Working on ME and trying to accept ME for who I am.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Family Recipes

I love digging through old cookbooks. Especially those that are from churches and community groups.  An abundance of recipes - some passed down in families for generations can be found.

My mother in law also loved cookbooks, and had a huge collection of them.  Over the years, she and I gifted each other with cookbooks - one year at Christmas we gave each other the SAME cookbook as a gift.

I've been going through her recipes and cookbooks to find family recipes that I know were near and dear to her.  Since she is no longer with us, it's fallen on me to make sure these recipes don't disappear forever.  When my grandmother passed away, so did her recipe for the best ever Molasses Stack Cake.  It was so wonderful, and she only made it at Christmas.  I can remember her baking the thin layers, then assembling with her homemade applesauce between each layer.  The cake then went in the refrigerator a few days before it was cut and served.  Sigh......  I do have a recipe for a similar version, but none taste exactly like grandma's.

As for my mom in law, the most favorite dish she made was her sweet potato casserole - with a mixture of brown sugar and pecans on top, not marshmallows - Yuck.  Luckily, I have found her recipe for those, however, my son has told me twice now, that "it's not as good as grandma's".  I think grandmas just have that extra special love they add in when preparing their favorite dishes.

I snagged a few of her cookbooks and brought them home with me.  The Buckroe Baptist Church cookbook is from 25 years ago.  Since we now attend this church, I can look through it, and see recipes from ladies and their families that have been at this church for years.  Recipes from ladies that have passed on, and luckily shared recipes with us so we can continue to make these wonderful dishes.  The Hampton City Schools cookbook is special because Mom worked for them for many years, as a school bus driver.  The Sharing Recipes book is one from a former church, that Mom and I both contributed recipes to.  The Hampton Roads church cookbook is one that I helped organize and publish about 15 years ago. 

I'm also finding all sorts of pieces of paper with recipes written on them.  Mom used to make German Bologna at Christmas.  Tucked away in a page of the school cookbook was her handwritten recipe for German Bologna.  We haven't had this in many years, and I probably won't make it this year - but, I do have the recipe. :)

I have plans for the Belcher family recipes.  It is going to take some planning and organizing, but I can't wait to share them with you!