Apr 26, 2013

Our Wishing Tree

Okay - So I had this great idea to make this wishing tree and have this great tutorial! Well.. Ashley had more of a learning experience of her own. I will teach you what NOT to do when making a wishing tree! Haha!

First off - any time your going to do a project - I suggest you read ALL of the tutorial.. not just skim thru the pictures and decide you've figured it out! I also suggest you read all of the labels of all the materials you are going to be working with especially if it's something you've never used before!!

See I decided we were going to do a wishing tree instead of the usual guest book. First tutorial involved filling a pot with plaster of Paris. Well I had already had a barn wood planter made, which is not water tight. and I worried about the plaster leaking as it was drying. So then I saw another tutorial using spray foam. I already had a can here at the house and decided that I could totally just do that! So I got all my materials together and started making it up as I went along. Well, I quickly learned that you're only supposed to fill your container 1/3 of the way full. I came back to check on it and it was over flowing onto our hard wood floors. In a moment of panic I quickly started wiping it up with my hands and trying to get it off the floor and off the side of planter. With my hands covered in foam I quickly ran to the kitchen sick to wash it off. The moment I put water on this stuff it turned into a sticky tar that covered my entire hands. No matter how much I scrubbed my hands it just spread and remained super sticky. I then quickly got the can and read the label.. and there it clearly stated 'do not get in contact with skin. If contact occurs do not rinse with water. Use Acetone to remove from skin'. Crap. Acetone.. Nail polish remover!! I have some of that! ... WRONG. Hands covered in sticky tar I went searching thru our bathroom cupboards with no success. What kind of girl was I with no nail polish remover? That day I learned that my 3 year old son was pretty good at working my smart phone. I had to have him help me call daddy and put it on speaker phone. Of course Matt got a great laugh out of the whole thing, but when I told him that the foam was also on my engagement ring he was a little less than trilled. I still had 2 hours until he was out of work and could get me the nail polish remover. In about 15 minutes the foam had already started to harden. Which was good in a way - no more tar hands. But really it just meant that the crap was cemented to my hands. Even when Matt got home with the nail polish remover it did nothing. I literally soaked my hands in it and it took off maybe 50%. It has been almost a week now since it all and I finally have 90% of it off.

But yes - Here is my tutorial, of sorts...

First off here were my supplies:
  • Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks
  • Tree Branch (got mine here)
  • Planter (or ceramic pot)
  • Spray Foam
  • Moss (Got mine here) (or some other decorative material)

First off I hot glued my tree branch in the box. Mine had a curve to it a bit so I glued it in the corner of the planter so I wouldn't have to hold it while the foam was drying.

Next for the spray foam. Here is where I made my critical mistake. As you can see I filled my container to the fill point I wanted - not realizing the stuff was going to EXPAND! And it does! About double, if not triple, the amount you started with. SO ONLY FILL YOUR CONTAINER 1/3 OF THE WAY! Trust me! And if you get the stuff on your hands DO NOT ADD WATER!!!

Well- I don't have any in between pictures. Everything got pretty chaotic at that point.. But about 4 hours after the foam dried I got glued the moss on to cover the foam. My foam over expanded down the side of my planter and I wasn't able to get it off - so I improvised a bit and made some moss 'creep' out of the planter and up the tree a bit. 

Sorry this is upside down - But I used my cricut machine to cut out tags. You could just buy shipping tags. Again I have another custom made tag from Etsy. If you wanted to save a lot of time they also have premade printed tags on Etsy! All depends on the amount of time you want to spend!

And here's my finished project! Even with all the chaos I'm pretty happy with it!

Another pound..

Well - Last week was another bad week. I think I let the 20lb loss get to my head and I slacked. Big time. In fact I was scared of yesterdays weigh in.. I was almost certain that I was going to have my first gain - but to my shock I had a loss. Just one pound - but a loss none the less.

Seems like as I'm losing weight off my body - I'm gaining weight in stress. Seems like I've always lived a high stress life - but this week has been rough. We have been without our normal amazing babysitter so my Javion's behavior has been off the wall. Back talking, tantrums, destructive behavior. Heck yesterday he decided to destroy his bedroom dresser! Reaching my breaking point. Today has been no different. He goes to his grandma's house this weekend however and she seems to have a no-nonsense way with him that usually gets him back into gear. Hopefully with some Grandma Boot camp this weekend and going back to our normal sitting starting Tuesday he'll start to get back to my lovable boy.

Matt and I have been working on trying to get a house. With our situation this is the best time for us. With his condition he won't always be able to work as much as he does now - so we're trying to take advantage of that in the financial department and lock in a home loan now while we can. Lord knows my credit will get us no where. However we keep running into hiccups. Of course it's all just one thing after another.

On top of it all Matt's doctor's appt yesterday wasn't the greatest. He got a bit of a cold right when he got out of the hospital so his PFTs aren't where they should be and his weight is already dropping again. His doctor doesn't seem too worried - but prescribed him some more meds, including an appetite stimulant. He's been getting better on his treatments - I've even been able to get him to start doing his vest! I've started bartering with him with a reward system.. haha! Seems to be working for now!

Had another hit last night as well - found out that my Maid of Honor will most likely not be able to make it to our wedding. With 7 weeks to go it really put me at a loss. Anxiety kicked in hard last night and I had a panic attack right in my kitchen. Luckily I have some great friends out here who are willing to step up at a moments notice. Javion's babysitter Amanda has really become a great friend to me over the last few months. I had already asked her to be my personal attendant, so moving her up to a bridesmaid was a no brainer. Now hopefully the rest of the wedding plans can remain stress free. I did have another snag yesterday - Matt's aunt is a hair dresser and I thought that she was going to be willing to help out with all of our hair for the wedding day, but she isn't. Can't blame her - I waited a while to even ask her and she isn't my normal hair stylist or anything.. So just something else I gotta figure out!!

I'm going to post a tutorial for the wishing tree I made a few days ago. I had some major problems with it - so it should be an interesting blog! Stay tuned!

Apr 20, 2013

The dress..

Well I told you before about my wedding dress - got it a few months ago and was pretty embarrassed by the fact that it was clearly way too small. Now I had bought it small on purpose, so that I could put a corset back into it, but it was still humiliating. It's bad enough half the clothes I try on in the department stores don't fit - but to have my own wedding dress have the same amount of disappointment was dreadful.

I have great news! Not only did have have to exchange my undergarments because they were too small (ehh...) but my dress not only fit - but was LOOSE! by maybe a half inch or so. I was literally jumping up and down in the fitting room squealing!

The nice thing about the corset back as well, if I loose a few more inches before the wedding I'll be able to tighten it up myself.

Didn't do very well today - It was a cheat day. Sushi with mom and then I cooked dinner. And boy did I cook! Beef Wellington, steamed squash, crispy baked potatoes, and a frozen peanut butter cheesecake! Oh.. all so good!! Let's just say I'm counting out my weekly points now! haha.

Apr 18, 2013

The {first} twenty pounds!

That's right! Weigh in Thursday! Three and a half pounds down!! That puts me at a total of TWENTY ONE AND A HALF POUNDS LOST! If someone would have told me that I was going to lose over 20lbs in 6 weeks I would have laughed at them! But here I am! Over 20lbs lighter! All by eating right!

NOTHING fits me correctly anymore! Pants are falling off, shirts are loose. Yeah, even my bras and panties aren't fitting right anymore! Heck even my engagement rings is loose! It's an amazing feeling!! And I can't even say it was that 'hard'. Yes, there has been rough days.. Days that I have YEARNED for some tasty drive thru french fries or some warm cheesy pizza. And with weight watchers I'm still able to do this on occasion, and I have! I feel like I haven't been following as strictly as I should be - which makes me wonder just how much could I lose if I was!

So with this {first} 20lbs down, I have 20 more to go to reach my first goal. After that I'll need to lose another 24lbs to reach my second goal of 175lbs. From there another 25lbs to 150. After that point - well we'll see WHEN we get there!!

I went crazy today and decided to make some motivational posters to keep me on track.. Here's what I've come up with!

On the fridge to keep me from snacking....

On the bathroom mirror to remind me every morning... {hi..}

And my weight loss wall!!

I love my weight loss wall! It is visually helping me see how far I've come, and how far I have to go! It's right in my bedroom next to my closet, where I'll see it all the time. (And now everyone knows how crappy my handwriting can be.. eh)

Apr 11, 2013

My Wedding Invites

So I'm going to try my best and give a lil tutorial on how I did my wedding invites! I have to say I'm a bit proud of them! It was a labor of love! My Mother helped out a great deal and I'm so glad their done! I keep saying I'd never do anything so time consuming again - but it really was worth it! They look great!

First off here is where I had my inspiration. Found this on Pinterest and decided I'd give it my own spin.

Here was the finished product:

I ordered all my supplies from Paper and More. I was able to get all of my paper pre-cut which was a great help!

First off I used this mint pearl paper (The one thing the fiancee got to pick out, haha!). I had it custom cut, I believe the dimensions were 4 7/8th x 7 3/4th. You need it a bit longer than what it should be to take in account the lace edge cut. We punched the paper using this Martha Stewart Lace Edge Punch. Yes KMart! Gotta get those reward points! haha.

Next we stamped the invite wording. I got these wonderful custom made stamps made from Love To Create Stamps on Etsy. I also bought the ink pad from him - I would suggest getting some extra ink to refill it as well. We ran out and had to buy more at Walmart. It was not the same quality ink and it smudged a lot more!

Next for the RSVP card. We used the extra invite cards and cut them down ourselves to 3 1/2 x 5. We used another Martha Stewart Lace Edge Punch for these.

Again we used a custom stamp for the wording.

I also had a return address stamp made, and used these for the mailing address for the 4-bar envelopes we got. The great thing is that the address stamp is a self-inking reusable one! And it just says our first names so it can be used well after we're married! Well.. until we move that is!!

Now for the filler paper, I typed them up on the computer using word. I made and rotated the text box sideways to get the words to run along the side. I found a great tutorial on how to make your own map for the invites and followed that. Again I had the paper pre-cut, this time to 6 5/8th x 4 1/2. I shaved off an extra 1/2 inch off the direction cards so that they would layer.

As you can see I also made some QR codes for the maps and our wedding website! We love technology and I thought it was a neat touch. Others may find them ugly or tacky - so it's up to you! But here's the website I used to make the QR codes. I then saved the images and added them to the word doc.

Lastly I docked the invites inside the pocketfold. I bought some adhesive dots from Paper and More as well to do this. then I just stuffed them all! Make sure you put a stamp on the RSVP envelope!! Lastly I finished it off with a little jute twine.

I opted non-traditional and printed my envelopes. Again I used Word and some downloaded fonts. I trying to mimic the invite font the best I could!

Well I hope that was informative! We opted for a lot of the recycled colors - But Paper and More has tons of colors to choose from! You could easily replace the jute twine with some ribbon and go for a completely different theme! Also, these cost me in postage one regular stamp, plus 20cents extra. I had them weighed twice! The first time they said one stamp was enough, but somehow they gained weight before they actually mailed off.

Weigh in Thursday

Well just a quick update.. 2 more pounds lost! Making it a total of 18. I was hoping to hit that 20lb mark this week, but I was naughty. I had papa johns twice while visiting the fiancee in the hospital and McDonalds the other day. Granted I still counted and what not, it just wasn't too healthy. I've noticed I've been eating a lot more TV dinners as well. Sure they're only 5 or 6 points, but they're not healthy! I also need to be pushing more water! Any tips on that?!

Apr 10, 2013

I am MOM hear me ROAR

There it was.. The total look of fear in my son's eyes. I was yelling at him, and honestly scaring him. It was like a switch that flipped in my head. There I was, in tears, as my father yelled at me and I swore to myself I'd be so much of a better parent than he. That I'd never yell at my children.

Generally speaking I'd like to think of myself as a rather patient person. I've even been complimented on how patient I am with my son by others. I will sit down and have discussions with my three year old and explain to him what he should do, what he shouldn't do, and why. We discuss how bad behavior makes Mommy 'feel'. I am patient as I can be when my son wants to do everything independently and takes 3x as much as it should. But.. I have my limits as does every other HUMAN. And it seems I've reached that limit over the last few days.

The fiancee is still in the hospital and my son - Well my son is being the typical three year old that he is. Throwing tantrums, being uncooperative, and his newest thing - Not staying in his room or sleeping. I spent a few hours last night returning him to his room. Which is not as easy as it should be. My son has a whole 'routine' that must be followed for him to sleep. He needs a sip of water, then a hug, a kiss, a high five, and a 'dude' (fist pump). We have now added 'blow it up' and 'bring it back' to the fist pump as well. all of these things must be done with Mom, Dad, and Butterscotch (our PUG). Needless to say that in and of itself is frustrating. But now I have him coming out of his room every 10-15 minutes asking me for various things that he either doesn't need, or could easily get himself (i.e. 'Mom my blankie fell off my bed).

And that's it.. I snapped. I yelled. I screamed. I threatened. And what did it accomplish? Nothing. Now my son is scared and wants to sleep even less. He's crying and screaming himself because he's so upset. Now I'm crying because I've become the parent I never wanted to be. Unfortunately this isn't the first time this has happened. It seems when Mommy hits her limit she yells. And I always immediately feel like the worse parent on the planet.

I know for a fact I'm not the only Mother that has yelled at her child. We are all human. We all make mistakes. Unfortunately kids don't come with instruction manuals - just stretch marks! I'm not always going to be the Perfect A+ Mom. Not everyday is going to be a good day. It's about growing, learning, and moving forward. I can take what I did last night and figure out a better way I could have reacted, and use that for the future. Tonight has been a similar situation already. He has been up twice - the 2nd time with a dirty pull up. Staying as calm as I could I discussed with him about what he did wrong, what he should have done, and how it made me feel. I told him I was frustrated and tired, but I loved him and wanted him to get some sleep. I know that a lot of his bad behavior is due to his lack of sleep. I brought him back to his room and completed the entire routine for the second time tonight. I sprayed the room down with our 'Monster Spray' and made sure both of his night lights were set up correctly. So far - so good.

Even after our episode last night my son was still extremely lovey with me this morning, and actually cried when I had to leave him with the sitter - Something he hasn't done in a very long time. I don't want to say leaving my child crying made me feel good - but - it was nice to know that even though I felt like such a piece of scum parent, my child still unconditionally loved me, and didn't want to see me go.

Apr 8, 2013

Accepting Responsibility

Came across an excellent quote today that kind of made me rethink my post yesterday. Yes, there are many things in my life that can be attributed to the fault of my first marriage. But I was alive and in good mind, and I made the decisions myself. The failures of my past are a direct result of my poor decisions. Moving forward with that, I must - TAKE CHARGE in my life! I am still young and I have plenty of time to correct the errors in my past. It won't be easy - But nothing in this life worth doing is!

Feeling all around a bit better today! Got the stamps in for the wedding invites so they should be going in the mail tomorrow! One thing to check off the to-do list. I am doing a wishing tree instead of a guest book, and I'll try to remember to take some pictures of how I'm doing it to blog.

Apr 7, 2013

Time for a rant...

I am trying so hard to not stress eat! I believe it has to be one of my biggest downfalls! I want salty crunch snacks.. and I want to shovel large amounts of them into my mouth as fast as possible!!

Seems like I'm one of those people who are always stressed - Maybe I just don't know how to cope with it very well? Who knows.. But I'm always stressed about one thing or another.. My credit, my bills, my health, whether I'm being a good parent, my house, the chores, my family, my fiancee, and the list goes on.. Not to mention the fact that my wedding is just over 2 months away! And sometimes I feel like I've got nothing ready for it!!

Things have been rocky the last ... 10 years? lol. Well 5 years for sure. My first marriage was a disaster and has really set my life up for failure. Financially we destroyed my credit. 90% of everything was put in my name and now I'm left with the mess to clean up. I was talked into going to a ridiculous college with student loans sky high, had a car repossessed, 2 cell phone accounts taken to collections, and the list goes on. I could seriously sit here and cry just thinking about my credit. I'm 25 and it's completely destroyed. And now here I am trying to start a new life with my fiancee and I can't! Banks laugh at me! I have been timely on all my bills and started paying back some debts for the last 3 years now but my credit is going no where! It's getting to the point where I have started to consider the "B" word.. Bankruptcy :(.. As if my credit isn't destroyed enough - Let's just flush it down the toilet forever. It makes me so upset that I was SO dumb in my younger years. If I could turn back time I would!!

Health wise things have been so-so since Christmas. Back in December I had my first ever surgery. Had a rather large kidney stone and had to get it blasted and had a stint put in. SO MUCH PAIN! And then got influenza afterwords.. as did the fiancee which landed him in the hospital, of course. Even the little dude was sick in that round. It just seems like we can't catch a break!

And yes, the fiancee is in the hospital right now. For those of you who don't know he has Cystic Fibrosis. It is a genetic disorder that causes a build-up of mucus in the lungs and digestive track. it causes many respiratory and digestive problems. CF patients tend to get more infections in the lungs because of the mucus, and when it gets bad enough they need to go to the hospital for IV antibiotics. Usually when he goes in he's in for at least 10 days. My fiancees weight has been steadily dropping as well for the last few months so they put him in to fatten him up as well. They want 10 more pounds on him and as of yesterday he was up 7! So hopefully only a few more days! You'd be surprised how fast he can put weight on - But I guess it helps when you order triple portions of everything. I kid you not ... I watched that man eat a double order of chicken strips, a steak, a double order of french fries, and an order of carrots tonight! For kicks and  giggles I WW pointed it and it was 31pts!! I get 35pts IN A DAY! Can you see why it's so hard for me to diet? I have to make the fattiest foods possible with huge portions for him, and then make lean smart portioned food for myself!

We stayed in Ames this weekend to spend more time with the fiancee. My wonderful neighbor came over  and cleaned our house for us. Such a blessing! It seems like sometimes I just cannot keep up! I have been sick the last week or so and I just can't seem to muster up the motivation sometimes! I do not consider myself a slob - honestly it drives me nuts when my house is a mess! But I will admit I get lazy, and 9 times out of 10 my lack of motivation is greater than my frustration of the house being a mess. If someone wants to judge me for that, go right ahead.

I'm really trying to train myself to 'not care'. I care SO much about what other people think of me. I honestly stress myself out about it. I've realized over the last month or so that there are just some people you are never going to please, no matter how much you try. Maybe it was a bad impression, or maybe they generally just don't like you or your personality. You shouldn't beat yourself up over it.. just shrug it off and move on. SO if you don't like me, fine. I'd like to know your explanation, so I can decide whether or not I believe it to be valid or not. Not that it matters! I genuinely see myself as a nice, kind hearted, carining individual. Yeah I tend to talk too much and I know I can be annoying at times, but generally I find myself pretty like able. And if you don't like me somethings wrong in your head! It's hard for me to honestly believe some of that because of how hard I am on myself, and my total lack of self esteem.. But I know I need to boost that. Maybe if I keep telling myself how awesome I am, one day I'll believe it.

I really do believe sometimes ranting is the best medicine. I do not plan on making this blog purely for that - But I feel better now getting some things off my chest! Got another day off tomorrow and I plan on getting some more things done and being more PRODUCTIVE and POSITIVE!

Apr 4, 2013

One Pound at a Time..

Well, for the first time since I've started Weight Watchers, I've started to slip a bit. I did have one over indulgent day 2 weeks ago at my cousin's wedding - but last week was rough! I was doing alright up until Easter. My fiancee has been in the hospital now for almost a week (I'll explain later) and my son spent the weekend with my Mother.. So I was naughty! I ate what I wanted at work and came home and ate.. and went to my Mother's and ate. UGH! I hate how guilty I feel for it! And then I didn't even track Monday or Tuesday. I did eat (somewhat) sensibly however. Needless to say I was worried about today's weigh in..

One pound. I lost ONLY one pound! Going from 9.5, to 2.5, to 4.. and now 1. I keep looking at it so negatively when I should be looking at the positive! I LOST a pound! I did not gain but I am one pound lighter than I was last week. Yes, I could have done better, but I am one pound healthier! One pound lighter! One pound happier! One pound closer to my goal! And just for visual motivation and reassurance, this is what one pound of fat looks like

First wedding dress fitting is in 2 1/2 weeks! I'm so excited! I can already see a difference in my size as most of my pants are now falling off of me! Not to give too many details away about my dress in case the future husband is reading - but I bought it a size small so they could put a corset in the back. When I got the dress they had me try it on.. What an EMBARRASSMENT! I felt like a I was stuffed in like a sausage and she couldn't even zip it in the back. I wanted to cry right then and there! Just like every other shopping experience I've had. I have a vision of how I want to look.. I often find myself piecing together outfits that were just not meant for my body type so either - A. I can't find it in my size or B. I find it in my size but it looks HORRIBLE. Heck just last weekend I was trying to shop for some new dresses, since I have several family things coming up. What a nightmare! Nothing fits in the regular department and there's nothing cute in the plus size department! *sigh* "Fat Girl Problems" I always say.. NO MORE! I will not living idly like this any more! I deserve to be happy!!

So here's to a better week! I am tracking again, and now that the weathers getting nicer I want to start getting some walking in! I know my son will be thrilled! So get out there people and enjoy Spring!! It won't be too long until we're all melting in Summer and praying for Fall!