Thursday, July 26, 2012

The History of My Body (aka TMI)

This is my story:
  • I was born skinny.
  • I ate whatever, whenever and I stayed skinny—until I had my first baby.
  • Then I got fat.
  • Then I got very fat.
  • Then I lost the weight and I was normal.
  • I stayed normal for 13 years.
  • Two years ago, I put on about 30 pounds and I can't get it off!
The End

Okay, it's not really the end—because I'm not letting it end there. I want that 30 pounds off. Not so much for the esthetics (although that is definitely part of it) but there is a certain weight where I feel comfortable moving through this world. I feel both strong enough to move furniture and yet light enough to dance.

I like it when I feel that way.

For me, body weight is not simply calories in vs calories burned. Yes, I am a stress eater. But my body is also a stress weight-hoarder. When I'm stressed, it takes fewer calories in to gain the weight and lots more calories out to burn it.

A couple of years ago, I got really stressed and it seems like it's been one thing after another since then. So even when I'm being very calorically careful, I still hold on to that weight.

And that is why I'm doing this Lighten-Up Online Weight Loss Retreat. It's not just diet and exercise. It includes:
  • learning about healthy foods that optimize weight loss and fight cravings
  • finding the best exercise program for you needs
  • changing your attitudes and mindsets to allow you (ahem, me) to stress less
  • changing your surroundings to support your emotions
  • building healthy relationships

Lighten-Up is a holistic program that addresses the whole of who you are.  There are several "experts" in a variety of areas to help you. And you get a whole boatload of cool stuff to help you through the program.

I'd love to have some friends take this journey with me. If you're even slightly interested, go read more about it here.

Sign-up Deadline is Saturday, July 28th!

And if this isn't the right time for you, that's okay, too. I'll be blogging about it starting the first week of August and you can follow my progress.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Flunny Flip Flops Pt 2

Earlier this month, Burrito & I made some cool flip flops. (See full instructions here.) Yesterday, Shrek and Zee came over to make theirs.

Me: Hey, you want to make some cool flip flops?

Shrek: Sure. But first, can we go to that park that my mommy helped build? She worked really hard sanding down the wood so we wouldn't get splinters.

Zee: Park! Go to park!

What could I say?

 Shrek exploring the Dinosaur head.

 Zee loved the sand. He put it on everything—
the dino head, the bench, his feet, his face...

 I had to bribe him to get this one.

"Faster, Grandma! Push faster!!!"

And now for the flip flops...
 Shrek very meticulously chose his designs, colors and placement.

"I gotta' poke duh puppy eyeballs out."

 Shrek's final masterpiece.

Zee's final masterpiece.

All in all, this pinterest experiment was a success!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2012 Summer Book Trek--I'm In!

I haven't participated in a really fun reading challenge in years!

(Well, okay, I did the 2012 Whitney Read 'Em All challenge and the GoodReads challenge but...uhm, never mind.)

I used to host reading challenges here, too—but somewhere along the line I stopped. What happened with that??


When I saw LDS Publisher's Summer Book Trek challenge, I decided to go for it!

Quick Summary:
  • August 2012
  • Novels by LDS authors
  • Lots of prizes

First step, creating my reading list. I've decided that rather than list what I think I'm going to read and then adjust the list (because I always do), I'll just add the next book after I finish the one before it. So here it is:
  1. Paige – Annette Lyon (4 stars; another great addition to this series)
  2. Endlessly – Kiersten White (5 stars; one of my fav series & not disappointed in the ending!)
  3. Hatter – Daniel Coleman (4.5 stars; wish I'd read it in 2011. Would def have nominated it for a Whitney!)
  4. Guardians of the Hidden Scepter – Frank Cole (4 stars; I liked many things about this book but felt some of the violence was a little harsh for targeted readers, ages 12-14.)

Come join me in some reading fun!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Flunny Flip Flops

My grandson, Burrito, and I were cruising around Pinterest the other day and this pin caught his attention:

Unfortunately, the original pinner didn't link to a site with instructions. The image didn't even have a name. So we made one up: Flunny Flip Flops.

(Yes, okay. He inherited my love of puns.)

(Of course, he's four. That might explain it.)

Anyway, it looked pretty simple so I got all the stuff together and when Burrito came over for Grandma Day, we made some. Here are my step-by-step instructions.

What you'll need:
  • cheap flip flops
  • pre-cut sponges or foamies (trust me, you WANT pre-cut)
  • good glue (E-6000 or GOOP)
  • U-swirl, optional

I started with Old Navy flip flops that I got at their annual $1 Flip Flip sale.

I didn't have any pre-cut sponges but I did have foamies. Lots and lots of foamies.

It's important to organize your foamies so you can look them over and pick just the ones you want.
You want to pick shapes that are unique and easy to recognize. If there are holes in the foamies (like eyes, nose, etc), poke those out before gluing them on.

I pulled out the "super special glue made especially for gluing foam pieces" and Burrito got to work.

We discovered one thing really fast—the foam glue wasn't working. It wouldn't adhere to the rubber very well. Which is odd because foamies are a kind of rubbery thing, right?

So even though it was 200 degrees outside, and I had a 4yo and baby in carrier, and it was laundry day (meaning, I was in raggedy sweats and an oversized t-shirt), we took off to our local Hobby Lobby for REAL glue.

(I was looking for E-6000 which I've used before and pretty much glues everything. But I found a multi-pack of GOOP® glues, and decided to give that a try. The blue all-purpose Goop worked like a charm.)

Since U-Swirl was right across the street, I asked Burrito if he thought we should go for frozen yogurt.

He said, "No, thank you, Grandma. I don't really care for frozen yogurt."

So I said, "How about some ice cream?"

Baby Romeo gave me the look that said, "Not only did you not get any flip flops for me, but you're also not sharing your frozen yogurt! And as soon as I'm old enough to talk, I'm telling my brother that you tricked him!"

Back home again, we finally finished the flip flops.
The swirly design at the top of the left shoe is Neptune. In case you were wondering.

Tip #1: It's better if you use foamy letters without the sticky backs. For shapes, it's not a big deal because you can just flip them. But letters have to be put on backward. If they're sticky, you'll hear that annoying stick-rip-stick-rip sound when you walk.

Tip #2: Be sure to turn your letters backward and spell words in reverse so they'll make the imprint the correct direction. 

Tip #3: You want around 1/4" height in the sponges or foamies so they'll make a good impression. If yours aren't thick enough as is, just glue two of them together.

Tip #4: Space the designs at regular intervals between toe and heel, and to the sides. This will give  you a nice balanced sole. (See how we added the moons up by the toes?) If you don't, they'll make you walk all lopsided and your friends will make fun of you.

Will our Flunny Flip Flops leave cool imprints in sand and dirt? I don't know. We didn't get a chance to test them out. But despite the glue issue, I'll call this one a success.

Next week, Shrek and Zee get to make their flip flops.

Monday, July 02, 2012

PIN-demonium: Printable Blog Planner

I've decided that I need to try out some of the things I've been pinning on Pinterest. So here goes...

I am a blogger. I have a couple of highly neglected personal blogs and I do a business blog (which is really more of a portfolio). I also get paid to write blogs for several companies.

As you can imagine, it's really tough to track all that blogging—what with the deadlines and guest posts and special events and all.

So when I saw this pin for a printable blog planner from Infarrantly Creative ...

I decided to check it out—just to see if Beckie's system was better than mine.

This is what I liked about her planner:
  • It's pretty.
  • It's colorful.
  • The weekly pages have nice big blocks to write in.
  • Love the file folder idea to hold the finished weeks out of her way. 
What I didn't like:
  • The monthly squares are too small for me.
  • You have to hand write in the day and holidays.
  • By the time you print and bind it, it costs a little more than my current system. Plus I'm lazy. I like to order things online and have them sent to me rather than get in my car and go have them bound.
But Beckie's system might work perfectly for someone else, who isn't tracking so many blogs all at once. In fact, it might be perfect for you! Go check it out.

Here's the system I used—as well as a couple of Beckie's ideas that I've decided to incorporate into what I'm already doing.

A few years ago, I started using the Mead Large Monthly Planner (TL260-10) to track my blogging. It's 9 x 11" and has big unlined squares to write in. I have a separate calendar for each company I blog for, plus one for my personal blogs. (I love it when I can find them in multi-colors, but that's not always possible.)

Here's a photo of one of my client blog planners and how I use it:

  1. First, if there's some kind of special event—like blog anniversary or contest—I write that up at the top of the month. This helps me remember to do it.
  2. I never blog on Sundays, so I use the Sunday squares to track which week of the month it is. I do this because some post topics vary depending on which week it is. (Example: 1st week I might write about books, 2nd week I might write about music.) I write the number in a colored felt tip pen so it stands out—because I need that visual cue.
  3. The date numbers and national holidays are pre-printed. I like this because I'm lazy. I highlight in yellow the holidays that I need to consider when creating the post for that day.
  4. If I'm going on vacation or out of town for some reason, I circle the start date and draw a little arrow (--->) to remind me that I need to write these posts ahead of time.
  5. I do the same thing at the end of the vacation, with the arrow pointing the opposite way (<---). This is a very visual reminder of extra plan-ahead work.
  6. In each square, I write in the title or topic of the post for that day. I check the date number when the post is written and scheduled. For some clients, like this one, I sometimes do multiple posts in one day so the BIG SQUARES are an absolute necessity for me.
Ideas I stole from Beckie:
  • Going to start tracking my stats. I'll do the business ones daily because I need to know which days of the week and which topics get the most interest. (The big squares make this easy.)
  • Blogger to Encourage: I really like this idea—sort of a karmic, pay-it-forward opportunity. So on the Sunday block, I'm going to list specific blog to visit and comment.
  • I like that she does three projects a week. That will work great for my personal blog. Except maybe I'll start with two and work up.
  • I love that she has pretty covers on her planner. While I can't really add a cover to an already bound planner, I can add pretty stickers to it.
I'm interested to hear how you plan your blog—if you plan your blog. Do you have a different system that works for you? Do you track something that Beckie and I have overlooked? If you adopt Beckie's system, be sure to go give her a shout-out and let her know how much you like it.

*This post is part of Pindemonium—where I actually try out the things I pin. Come visit me on Pinterest at