Sunday, September 8, 2013

Jumping on the Advocare Bandwagon and Trying the 24 Day Challenge!

It's been a very long time since I blogged here (any blog time I have lately has been dedicated to my business blog), but when I decided to try AdvoCare's 24 Day Challenge, I knew I would want to document my journey and this lonely lil' blog seemed as good a place as any!

I'm starting the challenge tomorrow, along with my live-in boyfriend, Babe (obviously not his real name - he's ├╝ber private and doesn't quite "get" why I need to post all this in cyberspace) and my mom (Mom, of course!). We all have different goals (hopes?) for the challenge - I'm hoping to shed those pesky 5 pounds that my body thinks it needs that I feel better without; Babe has 15-20 pounds he's hoping to get a jumpstart on losing, and Mom is looking to get off the plateau she's hit in her weight loss. 

advocare 24 day challenge
Our Advocare 24 Day Challenge gear!
What first turned me on to AdvoCare was the rave review a girlfriend from junior high gave after completing the challenge about 6 months ago. She had struggled to lose the last bit of baby weight from her third son, and like me, had some very unhealthy eating habits. The challenge was tough, but when she was done with it, her cravings for carbs and sweets were completely gone! Also gone were the intense migraines she'd suffered from since her teenage years. In the months after completing the challenge, she has been able to maintain the healthy lifestyle the challenge helped her achieve - still no more migraines or cravings!

I'm fortunate to not suffer from migraines or any other health issues, but I crave carbs like nobody's business, and I generally have the eating habits of a six-year old. I routinely count calories, and almost always manage to stay within my allotment for the day - I try for a net of 1350-1500, after taking into account the calories burned during my workouts. (My Fitness Pal is excellent for food tracking, btw.) But I've never concerned myself with the quality of the calories (and in turn, the food) I'm consuming. I eat a ton of processed and prepackaged foods - Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones frozen meals, Fiber One brownies, Goldfish crackers, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Special K crackers, tons and tons of Honey Nut Cheerios. These foods sustain me, and for the most part are low-caloried, but they are certainly not "clean" and filling up on them often leaves little room in my daily calorie allowance for fruits and vegetables. I'm so ready to change up the way I eat, and am excited for AdvoCare to help me do that.

We hit up Costco and our local Co-op yesterday for lots of fresh fruit and veggies, nuts, and organic chicken and ground turkey. The fridge and pantry are stocked, and we're all ready to get started!

Wish us luck!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

FMM: All The Single Ladies (and Gents)

It's been FOREVER since I've blogged but Kenlie posted today's FMM topic on Facebook yesterday, and I knew it was one I couldn't pass up! Visit her blog to join in the fun!

Here we go!

1. What is your current relationship status? Are you happy with that status? I'm single. Am I okay with it? Umm, not so much... It's been about six months since I've been in a relationship. I've dated a little bit in that time, but nothing serious, and I am definitely ready to find Mr. Right!

2. Do you find it enjoyable to take care of someone in addition to yourself, or do you prefer to be responsible only for yourself? I've enjoyed being responsible for only myself for the past few months, but I love spoiling and taking care of my man when I'm in a relationship so that's something I'm ready to be able to do again {hopefully soon!}.

3. What's the most important physical characteristic in your mate/potential mate? I love a man with muscle. My favorite is a "V" shaped back. =)

4. What's the most important (non-physical) characteristic in your mate/potential mate? I can't limit this to just one! I'm looking for a man who is intelligent, driven, compassionate, financially stable, loyal, passionate, and affectionate. Really the list goes on and on...

5. Is it important to you that your significant other have the same hobbies and interests as you? Not really. It would be nice if we had a few of the same hobbies, but I also think it's important to have separate interests. I do love to dance though, and hope to find someone who enjoys it too. =)

6. If you could go out on a date with a celebrity who would it be? I have a major crush on Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jax on "Sons of Anarchy." He's definitely my top pick for a celebrity date! And really, can you blame me?!? He's gorgeous!

7. What's your idea of a good first date? I like something simple, especially if it's someone I've met online and our first date is also the first time we are meeting. Coffee is a good choice ~ it's fairly low-key and coffee shops are usually quiet enough to allow for easy conversation, and if things aren't going well, you can escape after 20-30 minutes!

8. Are there any traits/habits that you'd consider a deal breaker? I won't date a smoker or a man who is not interested in having children.

9. Okay ladies...Facial Hair: Yes, or No? I like a little scruff but it always seems to leave me with whisker burn after a good makeout session...

10. Would you marry someone who is opposed to diamond engagement rings? Yes, but only after I convinced him that a diamond engagement ring is a must! I ADORE diamonds ~ they really are a girl's best friend!

11. What do you wish you could do differently in your next relationship? I have a tendency to let past hurts and disappointments impact my relationships... I'm hoping to nip that in the bud the next time I start dating someone new.

12. Is there anyone from your past that you'd like to date again now? There is one guy from my past that I kinda consider "the one that got away" but there is a huge difference in our ages (18 years, which was the primary reason we stopped dating the first time around), so I'd only like to date him again if we could somehow make him 10 years younger. =D

13. Describe your worst first date story ever. Let's just say that it started with him telling me about his complications from bladder reconstruction surgery and ended with him accidentally showing me a picture of a body part that's generally covered by a bathing suit. WORST FIRST DATE IN THE HISTORY OF ALL FIRST DATES.

14. Describe the perfect date with your significant other. I had an amazing first date with a guy I dated for 2 1/2 years starting the beginning of 2008 ~ I'd say it was as close to perfect as you can get. We'd known each other {and had crushes on each other} since 7th grade, so I was really comfortable with him and we'd already shared our second "first" kiss {we dated briefly in high school}. We met up early in the day on a Saturday and heading down to the Pike Place Market in Seattle {which is my favorite "tourist-y" thing to do downtown} ~ while we were there, we took silly pictures in a photo booth, held hands and enjoyed people watching. We then went to lunch/dinner at the Spaghetti Factory, where he made me put one end of a piece of spaghetti in my mouth while he had the other, so we could have a "Lady and the Tramp" kiss. After that, we went dancing at the country bar where we had reunited. He made me laugh the whole time, and it was just a perfect date!

15. Would you date someone shorter than you? I'm barely 5'1 ~ they don't make guys shorter than me!

16. Share one (or a few) bonus traits that would be fun to find in an significant other (even if they aren't as important as other traits.) I would love to find a guy who already ballroom dances. It's something I would love to do with my future partner, and it would be awesome if he already knew how so I didn't have to patiently wait while he learns!

17. What's one thing you'd like to do with a significant other that you've never done with another? This sounds really cheesy, but I want to be in love and have a healthy, happy relationship! I've been in love before, but the relationship was far from healthy and happy, so that's one thing I really would like!

18. PDA: Yes, or No? Yes, but only if it's tame enough that it won't offend others. I love holding hands and kissing, and generally am always touching my partner in some way when we are out together, whether it's actual hand holding or body contact, or just my hand on his leg.

19. Do you kiss on the first date? It's been known to happen... ;)

20. Who, if anyone, makes your heart flutter? Okay, again this is really cheesy, but the thought of my future hubby makes my heart flutter a bit. I spend a lot of time thinking about him and praying for him, as I truly believe God has picked him out for me and we're just waiting on the right time to meet.

Happy FMM!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ Yes or No?

It's been months since I've participated in Friend Makin' Mondays or even written a blog post... Today seems as good a day as any to jump back in so here we go! To join in, visit the fabulous Kenlie at All the Weigh!

FMM: Yes or No?

  1. Do you use coupons? Yes! I'm just starting to learn how to use coupons combined with in-store specials to maximize my savings. I absolutely love Extreme Couponing, and while I don't see myself ever having a stockpile that takes up my entire basement, I do think there is a lot that can be learned from the show about saving money!
  2. Do you like football? Umm, not so much. But don't tell my boyfriend! =)
  3. Are you in a relationship? Yes. I've been dating an amazing man named James for about four months. I'm completely crazy about him. It took us a long time to find each other, but he was so worth the wait.
  4. Is your phone always within arm’s reach? Almost always. The only time I don't have it on me is when I take Daisy on walks, which is probably really silly because I should have it in case of emergency... It's just nice to feel "not connected" for a little bit each day though.
  5. Do you like thunderstorms? Yes, as long as I'm inside and don't have to drive anywhere!
  6. Can you cook? No, not at all. James is a fabulous cook, which doesn't give a lot of incentive to learn... A couple only needs one cook between the two of them, right?
  7. Are you – or have you – lost weight? Yes.
  8. Do you know how to read a map? Not really. That's what my former Eagle Scout beau is for! =)
  9. Do you wear makeup? Yes, almost every day, but if I'm feeling lazy, I'll skip the eyeliner.
  10. Do you read regularly? Yes. Since I quit my day job and am fully self-employed, I've had so much more time to read. I love it!
  11. Are you publicly affectionate? Yes, very much so.
  12. Do you like picnics? Yes, but it's been years since I went on one.
  13. Do you have a/c? In my car, yes. In my apartment, no. In the Pacific Northwest, there's really only one week a year that we even need a/c, so most houses and apartments don't have it. We just suffer majorly that one week when it's actually hot here!
  14. Have you ever been out of the country? Yes, but only to Canada and Mexico. Kinda lame... We have big dreams of honeymooning in Europe. We'll see! ;)
  15. Do you know how to ride a bicycle? Yes, but I haven't been on a bike in more than 20 years. Long story, but I was in a bad bike accident when I was nine and lost my permanent front teeth as a result. It kinda soured bike riding for me!
Happy FMM to all!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ Everyday Things

It's been a LONG time since I've done a FMM, but this one was short and sweet, and it seemed like the perfect way to rejoin the party! Visit Kenz to learn more!

Here we go ~ Everyday Things!

1) What is your favorite part of an average day? My favorite part of the day is when I get a “good morning, baby ” text from my sweetie ~ usually between 7:45 and 8:30.

2) Is there one food that you eat every single day? If so, what is it? I have some sort of chocolate every day ~ I usually start the day with a chocolate Vitatop, which is surprisingly filling! And I always have Andes mints in my pantry, so I munch on two or three of those every day too. I’m a certified chocoholic.

3) Are you an early bird, or do you prefer to sleep in late? I’m an early bird ~ usually up by 7:30 on the weekends. Lately, I’ve been up pretty late on Friday and Saturday nights though, so if I can, I sleep in until 9 or so. But I always feel guilty when I get up that late ~ it feels like I’ve wasted part of the day!

4) Share one thing that you're looking forward to doing this week. My new beau, James, and I are going salsa dancing Saturday night with two of our good friends who recently became a couple. It’ll be a nice change from our usual Saturday night out at the country bar.

5) What's for dinner this evening? I have a ton of orders to work on tonight, so dinner will be simple ~ Red Baron’s cheese and garlic French bread pizza (which is really just fancied-up cheesy garlic bread) and salad. I love a meal I can just toss in the oven ~ pizza is a definite staple in my diet.

Happy FMM, everyone!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Garter of the Week ~ Gorgeously Glam Garter in Petal Pink and Hot Pink with Swarovski Crystal and Marabou Feathers

I thought it would be fun to start a new post featuring a new garter every week. Each week's garter might be one of my bestsellers, a new design, or a personal favorite. And best of all, the featured garter and its set will be 10% off in my Etsy shop for the entire week!

This week's garter is my Gorgeously Glam Garter in Petal Pink and Hot Pink with Swarovski Crystal and Marabou Feathers. Pink, pink, and more pink ~ it is one of my absolute favorites. I don't think a garter could get more girly than this! It was originally designed as a custom order for a bride in Pennsylvania in April 2010.

The garter is available here and the set here; both will be 10% off through next Monday.

I would love to hear what you think of this garter ~ love it or hate it? Would you like to see it in a different color? Tell me what you think!

And be sure to check back next week for a new Garter of the Week!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taking a Leap

I come from a long line of non-risk takers. We don’t bungee jump or sky dive ~ generally, the McCormicks and Woolslayers {my mom’s side of the family} play it pretty safe. And while I’m not much of a risk taker, I am definitely a dreamer. I dream about my dad walking me down the beach to marry the man of my dreams in a beautiful, intimate wedding in Hawaii. I dream about what it would be like to be married to this man and to have two beautiful children with him ~ will our kids look like me? Or will they have the dark hair and dark eyes of the typical man I am attracted to? Will I love these children so much I’m afraid my heart will burst? And I dream about the day that I will be able to support myself fully with my garter business, the day that I will be able to give notice at my day job and hopefully never be employed by someone else again. To be able to focus 100% of my “work” attention to my own business, instead of working for “The Man”? To dedicate 40+ hours a week to working on new designs, cranking out existing orders, doing what I can to be a part of so many brides' big days? To be my own boss, to answer to no one but myself {and the occasional bridezilla}? That is my dream.

Tomorrow, I'm taking a huge step toward making that dream a reality. Starting this week, I will no longer be a full-time employee but instead will be working 32 hours at my day job. I'll still be working five days a week, but every day except Wednesday I'll leave at 2:00. I am over the moon at the prospect of having an extra 8 hours every week to work on garters {and hoping that the extra garter time might mean the end of the 80 hour work weeks that I've been plagued with since Christmas}. It's scary but very exciting ~ on the one hand, I'll now be relying more than ever on my garter income for my monthly expenses, but on the other hand, it was something that I had to do if I ever want to grow my business to the point where I can be self~employed and financially secure.

I’m hopeful that my new work schedule will allow for more time for blogging, which I truly do enjoy and really miss. I envision this blog becoming a blend of all aspects of my life ~ my life as an artist, the growth of my business, fun time with Daisy, and maybe even the occasional post about my search for love. I hope you’ll join me as I continue my adventure!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Back to Blogging...

I have been away for far too long, and I can honestly say that I've missed all aspects of blogging ~ writing posts, leaving comments, receiving comments, and just connecting with people who I will probably never meet in real life, but feel I have come to know so well through our online connections. I'm anxious to get back to this!

Life has changed a lot since my last post, which is mainly why I've been away so long... Nate and I decided to end our relationship shortly after I posted last, and while the time after our breakup was very difficult, I am happy to report that I have recovered fairly well from it all and that Nate and I continue to be very good friends {he actually came over tonight for a lovely dinner of fish sticks and pizza rolls ~ in case I never mentioned it, cooking is not a skill I possess...}. Daisy and I are now living in a cute little two-bedroom apartment, and are adjusting to single life rather well. The garter business continues to grow, and I continue to remain hopeful that one day I will be able to support myself fully this way. I'm going to keep this post short and sweet because my sewing room is calling, but I do want to share a few sets from my new line of sports garters...

Dallas Cowboys Garter Set

University of Alabama Crimson Tide Garter Set

And of course, a Seattle Seahawks garter set...

I am really excited about these garters, and hope to eventually have all the NFL, MLB, and major NCAA teams represented in my Etsy shop. I would love your input ~ what do you think of the new line? What teams should I do next? Would you consider getting a garter inspired by your man's favorite team for your wedding? Or if you're already married, do you wish a garter like this had been available for your big day?

Until next time...