Super Craft Saturday: Pallet / Reclaimed Wood

I found a free pallet on the side of the road so I loaded it up into my car.

I have some thoughts floating in my head of what I’d like to do, but I have yet to decide.

I looked at a lot of ideas online and found the following link with a lot of wood project ideas.

75 reclaimed wood projects

What would you do if you had a pallet or what have you done with a pallet? What is your favorite re-use project?

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Feature Friday: Healthy Living

Today’s Blog is written by my sister Josie.

I want to give a few personal tips for maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight. I am at a weight right now that I like and feel good about but this hasn’t always been the case. I usually judge my weight based on how I feel in my clothes and not so much on what the scale says. However, just like most women I know, including myself, we go through seasons where we put on weight and lose weight. My hope now is for maintaining my weight. I am not an expert on the subject but I have some things that work for me and wanted to share how I have been able to achieve weight loss success.

I went through some emotional things in my early 20’s which ended up effecting my physical body. I gained weight and ended up weighing a little over 30lbs more than I should have and was used to. Once I was back where I needed to be emotionally I realized I needed to do something about my weight and began a journey on becoming healthier. I will share a few of the things that started my weight loss and things that I use to this day; close to ten years later.

The following picture is the best before picture that I am willing to share and at this point I had already begun to lose weight.

Heavier side of Me: 2006

My First Weight Loss Accomplishment

I began to drink more water than any other beverage. It was a big deal for me because I LOVE  my sweet tea and at the time I had a pretty strong attachment to Mountain Dew and coffee. I stopped drinking soda altogether and began to limit the amount of sweet tea and coffee that I drank. I think it is best to make small changes because they are more likely to stick if you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself. When I first stopped drinking my sugar filled coffee and soda I lost 10 lbs in just a few weeks. That jump-started the rest of the changes I made because I began to feel better and it motivated me to make better choices. I still drink water more than any other beverage but when I do want coffee or the occasional soda, I limit the amount and add it into my calorie count for the day. This leads me to my next point.

Second Important Key to Weight Loss

I count my calories. When I first stared counting calories I wrote everything down that I ate to keep track but after a while it just became second nature. Now I know the calorie count for most of the foods I love to eat and can keep track mentally. I have a resource that I use and recommend that will calculate what amount of calories you should have in a day if you want to lose, maintain, or even gain weight based on your age, height, and activity level. I love this tool and especially the zig-zag feature. It will allow me to eat different amount of calories each day which will prevent my body from reaching any plateaus. I limit the amount of sweets and carbs I eat and drink but do not cut anything completely out. I believe in moderation for all things and portion control versus deprivation. I heard a tip from a nutritionist in the past who said it’s okay to have 200 “cheat” calories each day. I also have 1 “cheat” day per week to keep myself motivated. But even on that day I don’t eat everything I see, just the things that I normally don’t eat like pizza or brownies I may indulge in on these days.

Calorie Resources

Resource for calculating calories needed: Calorie Counter

Also if you would rather not write down the calories, you may want to use an online app like:
My Fitness Pal.
This app is also available in the Android and Apple markets.

Food That Works for Me

As far as actual foods, one go to food that has helped me maintain and lose weight is soup. Campbell’s Soup has some pretty healthy options available now and they carry some of my favorites like Healthy Request Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup. If I need to lose a couple pounds quickly or want to jump-start any weight loss I will replace one meal a day with one healthy soup and it has done wonders. I told my mom about doing this a couple years back to replace her meals at night because she had to eat late due to her work schedule and she lost 20 lbs in less than a month!

Important Weight Loss Element

Let me not forget to include adding some movement to your daily life. I started running a few years back and that was awesome for my body but I don’t do as much running now. I mainly walk and use Kettle Bells, which I can expound on more in another post. However, moving in some way is important to your overall health. Walking is awesome and will help you drop pounds if you add it to your diet changes. I would suggest getting a pedometer and keeping track of your steps. 10,000 is the recommended amount of steps you should take in a day. Add more steps and you’re doing even better.

Here is me before a run I completed in 2008.

July 2008

After 4 mile run!

July 2008 After 4 mile Run

I hope that what has worked for me in my journey to healthier living is helpful to someone else. Feel free to share anything you do that works for maintaining a healthy eating plan or let us know if you decide to make any of these changes.

This is me currently, in my maintaining phase.

Thanks for reading,
Josie

Throwback Thursday: Halloween 2006

In 2006 my friend Lindsey and I were working in the same department. Our whole customer service team decided to dress up for Halloween as a military unit.

We also both entered our pumpkins in the Pumpkin Carving Contest.

Lindsey made a devil pumpkin. How adorable!

I made an angel pumpkin.

I think our pumpkins really stood out because we carved, painted and added accessories!

Are you pimpin’ out your pumpkins this year?

 

Wisdom Wednesday: Facebook Customized Posts

Let me start by saying–if you do not have a Facebook account, you will probably not find this post useful.

However, if you do, this may interest you.

Did you know you can choose who you share information with on Facebook?

I love that Facebook has so many customizations now on the the newsfeed / timeline layout. Here’s a tutorial on how to customize your readership/audience–which I use all the time to communicate with close friends, family or you can even post to yourself.

You have to be on a desktop to do this.

This is especially useful if you only want to share certain things with certain people and not everyone. Or if you know someone dislikes certain types of statuses, you can exclude them in your post. Or if someone only posts rude comments you can omit them from seeing your posts.

**Obviously Facebook is a public forum, so we should never think that what we post is private. However I do feel that there is a certain internet etiquette that we should consider. For example, if your friend posts everyday about how they’re tired of hearing about the election, you could omit them from your daily political posts. Otherwise, you may find them to no longer be on your friends list. I realize this is a touchy subject, but typically most of the people on my friends list are actual friends. So I normally try to apply the same etiquette on Facebook that I would in person.

To create custom groups, you can go here for instructions from Facebook: Customize Friend’s List.

Then to post to one specific list or to omit a list from your post, follow these steps:

What are some Internet / Facebook etiquette points that you feel should be followed?

Tasty Tuesday: Marshmallow Delight

A few weeks ago one of my bosses (I have 4) was telling me about this “Marshmallow Delight” from Publix.

See picture below.

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I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So I went and bought two containers of it. I shared some with my mom, and then the 2nd container I shared with coworkers. But it was gone in 2 days.

Then I decided to make it on my own.

I looked up some recipes, and there are so many out there, I just decided to wing it. If you want to google it, you’ll find it under a variety of names, but the most common and familiar name to me is Ambrosia.

If you want to make some yourself, I will share the ingredients I used, and really it’s up to you what types of fruits you like and how fresh you prefer them.

I started mine by making whipped cream. Ever since first trying fresh whipped cream (I think at Cheesecake factory) I can not go back to the whipped topping in a bowl. I will eat it, if that’s what is served, but it’s not my preference.

I took a quart of heavy whipping cream and added a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Then used my hand mixer with whisk attachment to beat the cream into stiff peaks. You have to be careful not to whip too far, or then you have sweet butter!

I did not measure the exact ingredients, just eye balled it.

1 8oz container of sour cream
1 can of mandarin oranges (drained)
1 can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 jar of maraschino cherries (drained)
1/2 bag of coconut
small bag of crushed pecans
1/2 bag of small marshmallows

Continue reading

Merry Monday: Mother Follow Up

After I posted last week’s post, I read it to my mother (here’s the post in case you missed it).

She laughed of course.

Then later in the week while we were having a conversation about some people that she has recently had confrontation with, she said “Now Angie you can’t blog about this.”

So I informed her that any of our conversations are potential blogs. But that this one time I would give her a pardon.

I will say this–without revealing her confidential information–someone looked at her purse.

Now if you read last week’s post, you will understand that she does not do well with people who do not respect the purse. She did not do anything to this person that would cause her to be in trouble but she did address the situation.

I can guarantee that if my mother had TV cameras following her, she would cause more buzz than Honey Boo Boo and her mama June.

But I doubt my mother would ever agree to that type of fame. So we will just have to settle on discussing the funny things my mom does on this forum.

What does your mom or dad do that they wouldn’t want to share publicly?

Soulful Sunday: Be a Kid

I don’t have a lot to say today, but I want to encourage you to remember your inner kid!

Today I was watching the Disney channel briefly, they have a lot of cute shows, and I watched an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place.

The youngest child was working as a fortune teller in a carnival game and he was called Salazar (something like that). It was really funny that he kept talking about how awesome it was to have a beard and mustache, so I decided since it was so fun I would like to try it out.

Here’s me with a great ‘stache. For the record, I drew it without looking in a mirror!!

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Don’t forget to have fun. Life is too short to always act like a grown up. There’s a time for hard work but there’s a time to play as well!

Do something fun this week! It will make you feel so good!

Edited–Super Craft Saturday: Sequin Wrapped Beads

To my subscribers: Please disregard my earlier post from tonight. I apologize for posting in error!

Many of my friends and family would consider me crafty. Although I can do and have done crafts, I do not think I’m more crafty than the next person, I’m just more open to learning new things.

If I see something in the store or online that is expensive to purchase, and I can see that it’s easily constructed, I’m apt to spend more money on the supplies to create my own version. Then if it goes well I will make more to give as gifts. And depending on how interesting the item is I will occasionally sell the item.

I do think of myself as artistic and I have moments of creativity. However, to make a craft, I do not think that one needs to be creative or have special skills. With all the projects and tutorials online (Uh, Hello Pinterest), crafts are a dime a dozen. Almost any craft I have ever completed has usually been inspired by someone else. Even if my project turns out a little differently.

More than anything, if I create or craft something, even if it is a replica of someone else’s project, I feel a sense of accomplishment. To me using my motor skills is therapeutic. Whether it be time consuming or a quick project, focusing my mind on the task at hand relieves a lot of stress and occupies my thoughts with creative energy and expression versus mundane daily tasks.

Some people have said “I don’t have the patience for that.” But if they were to actually try, they may be surprised.

I have never taken a jewelry making class, but reading a Martha Stewart tutorial for a project inspired me to make a necklace.

Here is the Martha Stewart tutorial if you are interested: Sequin-Wrapped Beads.

The next picture is my version. The cost of this project was very inexpensive and I ended up giving it to my BFF Tash, in Texas.

 

The only thing I had to buy for this project was the glue to attach the sequins and the wooden beads, I already had the sequins and ribbon. For the ends of the ribbon I used a lighter to burn the edges and seal them to prevent fraying.

I share my projects with friends and family not to brag or boast, but to hopefully inspire others to try something new.

What have you made with your hands lately?

 

 

Feature Friday: Nails / Face Care

Beautiful Sister Josie

Today’s blog is a continuation from last Friday, written by my beautiful, talented, gorgeous sister, Josie!

Follow Up

Last week I promised an update on trying out the Nutra Nail Gel Nail color.

Well, I would not personally recommend this product.

If you remember from my last post I talked about how the gel had gathered around my cuticles and was not coming off, however; this area started cracking on day three of wear. Once that started cracking I had to start peeling it off because it was irritating me. By day four I had taken most of it off so I had to get the polish remover out because it was looking awful.

The directions said that for removal I would have to press the cotton ball with acetone on the nail and wrap it with foil for 2 minutes. I did not do all of this but simply held the cotton ball with polish remover on my nails for a minute or so and the rest came right off.

I did not like the condition of my nails after the gel was off either; it left them dry with peel marks on the tops. I have strong nails so they rebounded quickly but if you have thin nails or have any trouble growing your nails out this product may do a number on them. If you choose to use this product proceed with caution.

Onto this week’s topic: Give your skin some love.

I want to share a make-up product with you that I love.

In the last few months BB (Beauty Balm) creams have been all the buzz. If you are not familiar with this item it is a tinted moisturizer with several benefits to your skin.

I have used regular tinted moisturizer by Covergirl since my early 20’s and prefer it over regular foundations. It has sunscreen in it and is light on the skin. Once I started hearing about the BB creams I had to check it out.

A lot of brands are carrying these BB creams but I went with my tried and true brand of Covergirl. All of the brands that I have looked at offer the same benefits so I think it is just up to you what you want to pay and what brand you prefer. I was not disappointed by Covergirl’s results or price.

Some of the benefits for your skin are:

  • Won’t clog pores
  • Improves skin’s elasticity
  • Natural looking
  • All day hydration
  • Smooths skin
  • Protects against sun damage
  • Improves skin’s overall appearance

Since I bought it, I have been using it everyday and I am already squeezing the last bits out of my first tube and will be purchasing more this weekend.

Give it a try and let us know what you think or let us know if you already use it.

Thanks for reading,

Josie

Throwback Thursday: Love in Any Language

When I attended elementary school, we had an annual World’s Fair celebration for one week each year. During this celebration week, we would study other countries of the world including their customs, culture and even taste some of their delicacies. I remember one year we studied France and made Crêpes!

During the World’s Fair week we listened to a theme song each day played during the morning announcements.

I enjoyed the song so much that I sang it in our talent show in 4th grade. And each morning instead of the original song being played, the administrators played my version of it. They also played my version when I was in 5th grade.

The song was a little cheesy and the original singer was a little operatic, but I thought about the words to this song and I think our world and definitely the U. S. A. could use a reminder of the lyrics–right about now!

Basically the song says that although we all have differences, are hearts are the same. We need and want to receive and give love.

Regardless of our differences or political preference–let’s get back to what really matters in life: Love!

Mean and hateful people are usually people that need love most. So if you have some angry/bitter/hateful people in your lives right now, show them some love.

I can guarantee it will make a difference.

Love to you all!

Angie