Friday, October 28, 2011

Hair How To's

My hair is getting a bit too long for me these days, and I have decided I had better start playing with it before I get fed up and chop it off. So to make my life a little easier I have compiled my favorite hair tutorials from the blog A Cup of Jo...yes, that's right, I did this mostly for me, but I know you'll love them too. Just click the link below each picture to get to the tutorial. Have fun.

A Braided Crown
Messy Side Ponytail

Messy French Bun
Braided Top Bun

fallin in love

Being greeted with a smile.
 Autumn is back again and that means it's time to hunker down and get busy about being cozy. Though the fall season has only just begun, I have been diving in head first, and enjoying as many autumn delights as possible. There are so many things I love about falltime, that I thought I might compile a list of some  favorites...ahem:
Bringing home new delicious discoveries

Induging in said delicious dicoveries

Pumpkin pie made from a real pumpkin.

Coffeehouses with good books

...and good board games,
...and, of course, really good coffee.

Hay rides and wild windy skies.

Flaunting a sexy halloween costume. Naughty!

Petting zoos.

Pumpkin patches

Fall farmers markets

And best of all, Saturday mornings when everyone's home drinking hot, creamy coffee, eating chocolate chip pancakes, and keeping warm together.

What fall pleasures have you been able to enjoy already, and which ones are you anticipating?

P.S. Thanks to all the blogs that made this Fall Follower Fest possible! Great idea!

Monday, October 24, 2011

feelin groovy

Good morning girls and boys,

I had an amazing week of fitness and health. Finally back on track...and I must say that I'm impressed with this Cassey at because she seriously knows her stuff! In just one week of doing 30 minutes a day of her workouts and eating well I made more progress than when I was doing a cardio and pilates combined 1 hour a day regime. Clothing that was tight on Monday were actually loose on Friday! Loose folks! That's only five days...and no, there was no fasting involved.  Here are the two workouts I've been doing:

The 20/20

and here's  a link to the easy printout version of the 20/20 workout: 20/20 printout.

The Muffin Top Meltdown

...and if you're interested in seeing a sample of my healthy eating then go to this link. Let me know if you decide to try's been amazing for me. Oh, and my back pain that I've had since forever is not only gone, but muscles have started to take it's place. How cool is that?

Friday, October 21, 2011

a great little space

I love this comfy little space. Don't you?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

baby e- course

The lovely ladies at A Beautiful Mess have done it again. They have created an e-course that should entice all of my expectant mother readers (heck, I'm enticed just because it's an affordable way to learn something new...and everything in it is soooo adorable). It is the "Baby on the Way" e-course. This course teaches how to make a plethora of ridiculously cute baby items and it is only $32.00 for the course. It is a great way to use that 9 months of waiting and waiting, whether you are the mother, grandmother, or just a doting friend dying to hold the bundle of joy. Check out these great creations you could begin making right now!

Oh so great...oh, and these ladies offer other e-courses as well. Some to make you a better blogger, others to teach you how to make your own fashionable clothing and accessories. If your interested in seeing the full list of other courses that they have to offer, well, then just follow this link to your hot new-found hobby.

Coffee Hop

While my mom was here I think we went to every single amazing coffee shop in the area. This is a little photo essay of our trip to Bean There.

I love that Mom isn't camera shy. 

 (LOVE their Mocha's...try one with Amaretto if you get a chance)

Ya know, cafe's are so kid friendly now...they all have board games now and that keeps the kids so happy.

A lovely mess

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

thrift brag

So I went to the thrift store the other day and here is what I scored (my thought process as I was shopping is represented in the photo captions).

"Oh, this is a neat, functional, little container. How cute. I wonder what's inside."



The end. (Wooo hooooo! Love Thrifting!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

free to enjoy

I've been thinking about this blog and what I use it for. I don't use this blog to evangelize. I use it to savor all the blessings that come with a life bonded to Jesus. I believe that he loves to see me be passionate about so many things, and be inspired, and savor life.....kind of like Julia Childs' husband in that movie "Julie and Julia". He is so in love with her that he loves just seeing her enjoyment doing the things she loves to do. He invests in her joys. He frees her to enjoy them...he frees her with his love. At this moment I cannot believe that I ever thought my passions, and heartfelt enjoyments were getting in the way of He and I. I'm sure they have the potential to, but they aren't right now. Right now that is what I am thinking about. How he loves me so well.

photo credit:

Vander's Birthday

 We recently finished off the yearly birthday decathalon with my 3 year old's birthday party. Vander is still my baby in so many ways...we have quite a different kind of bond: He was my first and only home birth and was my biggest at birth- 10 you can imagine what an event having him was! Nothing really went wrong at his birth, but it was challenging, so I have always said that our bond is one much like war buddies. I remember when he finally came out into the world. I was looking at him, and he was looking at me and I felt he was thinking the same thing I was: "You and me, baby...teamwork. We did it together; we made it through...war buddies." In honor of his 3rd year of life, and after the wild month it has been in the house we made this party a simple, quiet family party for my little man of few words, but big actions. I love you, Vander!
I couldn't get past how cute the Paul Frank monkey stuff at Target was so it became the theme.

monkey, monkey, monkeys everywhere

I call this one "Richie Tenenbaum Monkey". He's my favorite. 

A suprise visit from Auntie on Skype all the way from Egypt! We miss you!

Do you need a monkey in Egypt?

Everyone yelling "Blow them out!" Inside Vander's head: "Are you kidding? This is the closest you've ever let me get to fire!"

Nom Nom

The next morning: only minimal party fatigue. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

trompe l'oeil

Here's a thought I had this evening: How stupid are we to compare ourselves to a photograph of someone else? All a photograph really proves is that for 1/16th of a second a person was able to look perfect. Anyone can do that.

photo credits:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

getting back what was gained

Since July things around here have been busy. From our vacation in Maine to a church conference, then our anniversary celebration and some welcome home and going away parties in August, to September with visits from family and many, many birthday parties (all 3 of my kids birthday's are about a week apart)...well, as you can see, there's been lots of cake, ice cream, and general revelry. I realized a few weeks ago that my well-balanced and happily maintained body had taken a bit of a hit...8 to 10 pounds extra kinda hit. I'll admit I was surprised because any of you who know me get that I eat super healthy and exercise 5 days a week...but apparently that isn't enough to account for all the extra sugar in my bloodstream...not to mention that my days have gotten so busy that I realized my diet has lost a bit of it's balance. When all was said and done and I finally had time to think about it I realized that I feel more out of control than in balance. Now, I absolutely don't believe in diets, but I do believe in getting back on track so here I go. I have mapped out my plan (basically returning to my regularly scheduled eating life) and I thought, well, why keep it to if any of you are interested then please join me. Here's how my life used to look- a sample menu:

  • 36 oz. of water in the morning before breakfast

  • 1 egg for breakfast cooked any way, but with no cheese or anything on it/ a slice of toast with minimal butter and minimal whatever else on top

  • A handful of peanuts and raisins for a quick snack mid morning

  • 36 oz. of water before lunch

  • Green salad with a combination of other veggies on top, and the occasional croutons or crushed tortilla chips and one Tablespoon of dressing of choice- usually a vinegarette of some kind. An apple or other fruit if I'm still hungry after the salad.
  • One block of dark chocolate for a pick me up.

  • A few cups of lightly buttered popcorn or a cup of yogurt with a little granola on top for a snack.

  • 36 oz. of water before supper

  • A handful of nuts and raisins while I cook supper

  • Any kind of main course that is clean and healthy food- usually vegetable based...nothing processed or fake...but only one serving. One or two servings of veggies on the side. 

  • A cup of decaf with a Tablespoon of naughty sweetened creamer for a treat later. 

So that's the general idea. Mostly fruits and veggies. One serving of anything is enough...if you're still hungry grab one serving of something else from another food group. It's a good way to keep my diet balanced, and making sure I drink my water before meals ensures I get enough, and ensures that I'm eating because I'm hungry and not thirsty (a common problem for most folks that can lead to overeating). For the first week I'm eliminating all desserts, then after that I will be able to enjoy them as they are meant to be enjoyed...savoring every bite...right now I'm too unbalanced and find myself eating too fast. 

I will also spend this week getting back to what I was used to doing...sitting down for every meal and enjoying every bite. I like to make beautiful foods and enjoy them and when I do this it stops being about only filling my stomach, but nourishing all of my senses. I'm an artist, what can I say...I love beauty and savoring good things. I've heard that one of the reasons people overeat is because they don't pay attention when they are eating. They are usually doing something else while eating (reading, computer, work, tv) and just shoving in. I find this true for me. Slowing down and enjoying every bite I eat makes me feel rested, relaxed, and pampered. When I eat like this I don't feel the need to eat alot because I'm not using the food to fill in for the lack of time I'm spending on myself. It becomes what it is meant to be: nourishing in more ways than one. 

In the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" the author, Mirielle Guiliano, says that French women are never starving, and never stuffed. I love that feeling, but in this day and age, in this country it's something you have to teach yourself. It isn't a value that is passed down.

So come along with me and let's enjoy this week together of getting back on track. Oh! I almost forgot. I found this great little blog today through my sis in law called Blogilates. I love me my Pilates and I switch off between cardio and pilates during the week, so to have a little fun and try some new moves I'm going to be doing the 20/20 workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week, and the Muffin Top Meltdown Tuesday and Thursday. This girl who does these workouts is in beautiful shape and is absolutely cute as a button to watch so if you're interested in trying them out with me, then come along, and leave me some comments along the way to let me know how you're enjoying it all. Until Monday!

photo credit: