Friday, February 9, 2018

Attractive Magnet Attraction

Recently, while avoiding housework, I came across a blog post with the prettiest little magnets. I immediately commented that I was totally gonna make some! For the life of me I cannot find that post now. If I find it I will update this post. **

I went, with coupon in hand, to my local craft store and came home with a spring flower bunch. Not crazy expensive but pretty; I paid $5. I picked one that had different sized flowers in it. I didn't want to them all be the same. A package of magnet buttons finished my purchase for a grand total of $7.

With scissors in hand, cut off leaves that will be the base for my flowers. Some of the leaves I trimmed down a bit so they weren't so big. Put a dab of hot glue on the magnet and attach your leaf. (My hot glue gun is ancient so I am always careful to not burn my skin off when attaching things!)

I cut the blooms off the bunch that I wanted to make into magnets.

You want the flower to sit flat on the leaf secured to the magnet so you have to cut the base off. I cut them one at a time and glued them. The will fall apart without the base securing them so cut then glue right away.

That's it! Easy right?!?!

I am using them during Valentine's on my magnetic chalkboard but I think I will be using them far into Spring and possibly Summer. Stay tuned to see where/how they show up next!

Thanks for stopping by today! 

** Update: Found the original project at Kreativ K

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Life With Lorelai, French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique, The Cottage Market, The DIY Village, The Boondocks Blog, Ms. Toody Goo Shoes, Pieced Pastimes, One More Time Events, Finding Silver Pennies, Life On Lakeshore Drive, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrifty Things, The Painted Hinge, Coastal Charm, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Skip To My Lou, Plucky's Second Thought, Mad In Crafts, The Dedicated House, Our Home Away From Home, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Cupcakes & Crinoline, Home Stories AtoZ, Lou Lou Girls, Celebrate & Decorate, A Stroll Thru Life, April J. Harris, Savvy Southern Style, Gingersnap Crafts, DIY By Design, My Repurposed Life, The Vintage Nest, The Pin Junkie, A Delightsome Life, Imparting Grace, The Charm of Home, Katherine's Corner, Up To Date Interiors, Our Hopeful Home, Our Mini Family

Friday, February 2, 2018

Decorating for Valentine's Day

With the passing of January my winter decorations are put away and I pulled out some things for Valentine's Day. I don't own a lot of decorations for this holiday and it is such a short time period so I usually don't do much. I decided to start in the living room this year.

I moved my picture of Paris to the hutch top in the living room; Paris is known as the "City of Love",  after all. I purchased the drawing in 1981 while on a trip to Paris with my parents. We had visited the artist's market a few streets away from Montmartre's Basilica of the Sacre' Coeur and this pen and ink drawing was all I could afford. I have loved this drawing since I bought it and have never regretted the purchase.

I felt the need for some color and thought the bridge needed a garland to dress it up for the holiday.

I went to the hardware store and grabbed a couple pink paint sample papers. Using a paper punch I cut a bunch of dots in different shades of pink and mixed in some red ones. Here is the tedious part... I lined up the itty-bitty dots in the pattern I wanted. When I was happy with that I had to turn them all over... itty-bitty little things are hard to get hold of! I then eye-balled the length of a piece of string and dipped it into glue, saturating the string. Now, stretching the string out, I laid it upon the dots and let it dry. Ta-da! A garland! I secured it to the glass using glue dots from the craft store. I had everything on hand so for me this was a free project! Sweet!

I cut hearts from some of the paint sample cards I picked up and secured them to a piece of twine with tiny clothes-line pins.

And sprinkled hearts in different places as needed.

The kitchen did not escape some Valentine decorating. My chalkboard reclaimed its rightful place after serving me well in the living room during the Christmas holidays.  After finishing my chalk art on the board I realized it was too small and a little off center. I truly contemplated erasing it and starting over... for about 3 seconds. It's only for a couple weeks and then it will be gone so... it''ll be fine... right?

These pretty little flowers are actually magnets I made! Yes, my chalkboard is magnetic. You can see how I managed that at this post: Chalkboard DIY. I will share details on the magnets with you soon. 

The cow I purchased at Vintage Prairie Home got a magnet flower, too!

I'm not crazy overdone for Valentine's Day but enough that we are celebrating the gift of love and family. Mister proposed 22 years ago in honor of Valentine's Day and I will forever connect that gift with the love the Father has shown me; for if he gave his only Son for me would he not also give me everything I need? ... Including a godly man to care for me and lead me?  Of course, I am paraphrasing... this is what it actually says,,

 "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? " Romans 8:32

These decorations will be up only a few short weeks and though I do not know what those weeks will bring I do trust the the Lord knows and that he will give us everything that we need for the journey. 

Next stop is Spring! Who's counting down with me?!

Linking to Parties
French Country Cottage, Chic On A Shoestring, The Cottage Market, Life With Lorelai, The Boondocks Blog, Shabby Art Boutique, Ms Toody Goo Shoes, Pieced Pastimes, One More Time Events, Ducks n a Row, Finding Silver Pennies, DIY Show Off, Life On Lakeshore Drive, Coastal Charm, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Skip To My Lou, Plucky's Second Thought, The Dedicated House, The Stone Gable, Celebrate & Decorate, Our Home Away From Home, Itsy Bits & Pieces, Cupcakes & Crinoline, A Stroll Thru Life, The DIY Dreamer, April J. Harris, Savvy Southern Style, Gingersnap Crafts, DIY By Design, The Vintage Nest, Jann Olson, A Delightsome Life, Katherine's Corner, Imparting Grace, The Pin Junkie, Our Hopeful Home, Up To Date Interiors, Common GroundThe Charm of Home

Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Decorating

It is snowing again today. The temperatures have been so strange. For over a week it was below freezing... like way below and then the temperatures shot up to 60! Then the deep freeze returned. And, as I said, today it is snowing so I am home. That means I have to time to take a good look around, straighten and fuss a bit with things I've not had time for.

Christmas seems like it was so long ago! I had to be very pro-active about getting my decorations for the holiday put away. January 2nd we back into the swing of my baby's senior year of high school and I had two jobs that took we away from home so I knew that I would not have time to worry about Christmas decorations past January 1st.

There is a sadness that comes with taking out the decorations and I am usually left feeling like my home is naked. I know for some people there is a feeling of freshness... a little breathing room, if you will. Or maybe, it's like eating all the junk food around the holidays that leaves one really just craving a simple, well executed steak. Either way, I was not quite there. I decided to put away all the Christmas decorations except for those things that could just pass as "winter".

I left the greens out on the hutch top in the living room.

The ladder stays dressed with warm blankets that are ready to curl up with on a snowy day.

I cleaned up the buffet in the dining room.

And, redressed the table a bit...

Mister found these plates at Crate and Barrel. He likes to dabble in design stuff once in a while and if I can just let go of my ideas for things a bit he usually does pretty well. Dressed with my great-grandmother's silver and some crystal water glasses, the table is ready for dinner and guests.

I replaced some of the red dishes in the kitchen, left the greens and cocoa/coffee station.

I think I will grab a hot cup of cocoa and start planning some Valentine's decorating while I watch the snow fall. Thanks for stopping by... you're always welcome here.

Linking to parties:
The Dedicated House, Pieced Pastimes, Finding Silver Pennies, Nifty Thrifty Things, The Painted Hinge, Life On Lakeshore Drive. DIY Showoff, Create With Joy, Coastal Charm , I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Plucky's Second Thought, Celebrate & Decorate, Our Home Away From Home, Make It Pretty Monday, Cupcakes & Crinoline, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style, DIY By Design, Ducks N A Row, The Vintage Nest, Share Your Cup, A Delightsome Life, Katherine's Corner, Imparting Grace, The Pin Junkie, Our Hopeful Home, Up To Date Interiors, French Country Cottage, The Cottage Market, The DIY Village, Life With Lorelai, Olives & Okra, Follow The Yellow Brick Home

Sunday, January 7, 2018

I Have Lost It

Some of you may have seen the title and thought "We already knew that!" And, to some extent I can agree with you, though it is never easy to take an honest look at one's self in the mirror, metaphorically speaking.

And, sometimes it is hard to look at one's self in an actual mirror.

Easter 2017

No, this is not a New Year's Resolution post about losing weight... but it kinda is... sort of. I'm not writing about what I want to do but rather what we have done... and a bit about what we want to do.

I've tried several kinds of diets. I can't say I've tried all the diets out there because, honestly, I give up if it's too hard. I did learn that any diet, if followed, will produce results. Progress was always slow and steady and sometimes kept me motivated.... for a while. I hate the idea of spending money to loose weight. Sadly, I did spend money and told myself it would help to keep me motivated-the fact that I'd spent money on it. All the different diets produced some results but not lasting results. Dieting, alone, was not the answer.

Exercise! That's what I need, I resigned myself to this thought. I signed myself up at one of the $10 per month gyms and committed to going three days a week. I spent an hour walking on the treadmill and 15 minutes doing weights in the girl's room. I did this for over a year. All of this produced no, zilch, nada, zippo, nil results. I would waiver back and forth in a 5-10 pound range but nothing lasting and nothing motivating. I was 52 years old and not getting anywhere in my attempts to loose weight and had grown tired of fighting for it. Maybe I was supposed to be fluffy! My doctor did not agree. She said my cholesterol was borerline, put me on blood pressure meds and counseled me to start the DASH diet. Bleck!

Mister stumbled across some diet information with scientific explanations as to why it worked. We were watching videos and wrestling with the changes it would mean for us and trying to decide whether or not it would work for us. Meanwhile; I was watching a friend of mine loosing weight and fast. She and her husband had set their minds to loosing some weight for an upcoming family event. When I asked her what it was she told us it was the same program we had been looking at. Hmmm....

So, "what is it" are you asking? Keto. Have you heard of this? Essentially it is a low carb/high protein diet but we added a bit of a twist. We threw in intermittant fasting with it. You eat dinner and then do not eat again until 16 hours later. So, finish dinner at 6PM and your next meal is 10AM. It is important to read about this if you are a woman of child bearing age!

Intermittent fasting allows for your morning coffee (necessary for the survival of my family members) but no sugar and if you're using cream make sure you are not consuming more than 50 calories during that fasting period.

We, Read. A. Lot. Ruled Me is a great source! If you are considering this diet read everything you can. Information is your friend in all this.

After several days of detoxifying our bodies from sugars (carbohydrates) we both felt a bit sluggish and like we were walking around in a fog. This is affectionately known as the Keto Flu. It lasted 2-3 days. Zucchini noodles replaced spaghetti, cheese and high fat cream replaced traditional low-fat products. Veggies baked and roasted in butter and covered in parmesan replaced steamed broccoli and carrot sticks. The high fat content and protein leaves you walking away from the table satisfied.

For us, getting started, we had to determine how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fat we needed to be taking in to optimize weight loss and I set a goal for myself to weigh 145 pounds. We used this calculator. We knew we had no clue about what the numbers were on the foods we ate or how to judge it by eye so we took advantage of free online counters. I used My Fitness Pal. Mister used an app called Stupid Simple. These are vital! Do not skip this part! You need to weigh your food and keep track! On My Fitness Pal you can also monitor your water intake, exercise and progress. For me, absolutely necessary. I also continued to attend my gym three days per week.

What was the results of all this, you may ask. Well, I started my program with a starting weight of 178 pounds for my 5'4" frame. We started the beginning of May 2017. By October 1st, 2017 I was down to 145 ponds! I reached my goal! That is 32 pounds in 5 months!!!! I went from an Large to a Medium; a size 16 to a size 10/12 (depending on the clothing).  Mister lost 45lbs! (In my opinion, men always loose faster than women-frustrating!) I am not taking blood pressure medications any longer and I did not have to succumb to the tasteless diets. My doctor said "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it." Yippee!

Not gonna lie, giving up carbs was hard. Mister is way better at it than I am. I need a piece of chocolate now and then. You can do that with Keto; the higher cocoa content the better- seriously! Just make sure you document it in your tracker. Christmas and the holidays were hard. I really had to pick and choose the things that were "worth it". I didn't count anything for the last two months but was mindful of my choices. All in all I did put on a couple pounds over the holidays.

Now we are past all that and Mister and I are back on the keto wagon. I have a new goal set. If I reach it I will actually weigh less than I did after my first child was born 32 years ago. It's not a crazy goal; we're talking another 12-15lbs. I know it means I have to recommit and maybe use the tracker again for a while. Hopefully, letting you all know will help keep me accountable, too.

We have come to realization that in order to keep a handle on this we will need to keep a keto frame of mind as a lifestyle-not a temporal diet. And so, not a resolution but committed. I will keep you posted on my progress.

I have pinned recipes, calculators, ect on my Pinterest page. You can visit there and find help and info. Yes, I have lost it. I have lost weight, I have lost a dependency on sugar that so much of our American diet incorporates. I have lost inflammation in my knee joints. I have lost a few clothing sizes! I have lost my old wardrobe and it is so much fun shopping for new clothing. I am actually looking forward to swimsuit shopping this summer! How long has it been since I said that?!''

Oh, and just as a side note: my friend who was doing this five months before us has lost over 100 pounds!

August 2017

** We are not doctors, we are NOT endorsing this officially or suggesting you should jump on the band-wagon. I am just saying this is what we have done and it has worked for us. If you think you may want to try this please do your homework.