Friday, May 29, 2009

Gorgeous Granny Square Afghan & a Link to an Amazing Tutorial for Joining Granny Squares

I was doing a little Craftster browsing on my lunch and came across a post sharing this beautiful granny square afghan. I LOVE to crochet and have always loved the look of projects made out of granny squares, but have always been too lazy to attempt making one. You make all your squares, then you have six to eight tails to weave in for EACH square, and you have to sew all the squares together... What a pain in the butt!

Until now! The creator of this gorgeous afghan shared a link she found for joining the squares as you go. The tutorial is by Sarah London Textiles and features step~by~step instructions and pictures. Fabulous! Right now, I'm wishing I hadn't received FOUR orders for garters today so I could spend my weekend making these fun little squares rather than being hunched over the sewing machine. Such is life!

Fabulous Finds Friday & Friday Confessions ~ May 29th

It’s almost the weekend! The weather is beautiful here in Washington, and I’m excited to spend some time outside tomorrow! As it is Friday, it’s time for Fabulous Finds Friday and Friday Confessions!

Just a few finds this week ~ I’ve been spending a lot of time on garters and not a lot of time on the Internet. But I did run across this awesome tutorial for a basket made out of newspaper. I have long been a basket lover and I think this one is absolutely adorable. It would make the perfect magazine holder! Let the newspaper collecting begin ~ I want to make one!

I’ve been crocheting some flowers over the past week or so to start using on little girl hair clips {my next business venture ~ I’ll share some of the flowers next week} and found this cute mollie flower pattern while looking online for a little inspiration. I don’t know what I’d ever do with these little flowers, but they sure are cute!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And now onto my confessions. It’s been one of those weeks, so there are quite a few of them!

~ I washed all of my work pants {that fit} Monday afternoon, figuring that would give them plenty of time to air~dry. It didn’t. I went to work on Tuesday in semi~wet pants. They were finally dry at lunchtime.

~ I had the fabulous idea of trying to get 48 of my daily 64 oz of water in at work on Tuesday. Halfway through my second 24 oz bottle, I realized what a mistake this was. I spent the remainder of the day running to the bathroom every 15 minutes!

~ I totally almost fell out of the shower yesterday morning. I was turning around while standing on one foot and almost lost my balance. If I hadn’t caught myself, I’m sure I would have gone flying out of the tub and landed in a pile of naked wetness and shower curtain on the floor. A disaster for sure!

~ Nate made chocolate chip cookies Tuesday night. {He’s been doing quite a bit of baking lately and the dieter in me who’s trying to shed 10 pounds objects!} There were just a few left last night, and after checking with him first, I chucked them in the garbage. They were sitting on the top of the garbage {it was beyond time for the garbage to be taken out} so to make extra sure I wouldn’t be tempted to pull one out {gross, I know, but they were fabulous cookies!}, I swept the kitchen floor and put the sweepings on top of the cookies. Cookie temptation avoided!

Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Favorite Thing of the Week ~ Levi's Commercial from the Early 90's

I just found my favorite commercial EVER on YouTube ~ do you remember it? Love it too?!? Dear Boyfriend's favorite is that Burger King Mini Sirloin Burgers commercial, but I don't think that one comes anywhere close to this fabulous piece of advertising!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ Progress Update

It’s Wednesday and time for Extreme Makeover: Me Edition with Amber once again. In case you don’t know the drill, each week we share how we did with our eating and exercising the week before, offer up our goals for the coming week, and answer the question Amber has posed for the week. This week is a little different ~ there is no question to answer, so we’re just updating each other on our progress.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This past week was a struggle. I made a series of poor food choices, and although I did four sessions of Pilates, two days of cardio, and a hike with Dear Boyfriend, I didn’t lose any weight. We had not one, but two, family get~togethers over the long weekend, and as always, both involved a whole lot of good {and fatty} food. I always have a hard time staying away from the food tables, and this weekend was no exception. I think I am going to have to start bringing my own food to these events {we usually get together at least once a week} if I’m ever going to get the numbers on the scale to head in the right direction.

Even though the week was a challenge, I’m trying my best to stay positive. Nate and I started working out together in our exercise room again last night, and I’m hoping that having a workout buddy will help me stay motivated to actually use our fabulous exercise room, complete with stationary bike, elliptical machine, and Bowflex~like strength~training machine. We have decided to start eating dinner at the table instead of in front of the T.V. I’m hoping this will help me to be more aware of what I’m eating and to stop when I’m full. I am also going to start using smaller plates and bowls when I dish up my dinner so my portions are smaller than what I’ve been taking lately. Hopefully these changes will help me start to see some results!

This week’s goals:

~ Focus on portion control when preparing and serving meals.
~ Continue with my 30 Session Pilates challenge, completing at least 5 sessions. I am a little over 1/3 of the way done with the challenge, and feel good about the changes I’ve started to see in my body.
~ Complete 4 sessions of cardio, including one hour of walking at the Relay for Life on Saturday.
~ Keep drinking lots of water.
~ Stay positive!
Good luck this week, everyone!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One of My Favorite Books Has Been Made Into a Movie!

I first read The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger sometime during the winter of 2004~2005. I fell in love with the book right away, although it took a few chapters to wrap my head around the somewhat confusing premise ~ Henry meets Claire for the first time when he is 28 and she is 20, yet she has known him since she was six. Basically, it is the story of a couple in love who together cope with Henry’s uncontrollable time travel and his sudden appearances into and disappearances out of Claire’s life. It is a fabulous book that never fails to make me cry every time I read it.

I recently discovered that the book has been made into a movie staring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, set to open August 14th. I can’t wait to see how this wonderful love story transfers to film, and encourage anyone who plans on watching the movie to read the book first. You won’t regret it!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ How I Met My Sweetie

This week for Friend Makin' Monday, in honor of Kasey's anniversary, we are sharing how we met our significant others. I'm a little late in posting, but am excited to share our story! I've mentioned bits and pieces of the story in other posts, but here is the whole thing. :o)

Nate and I first met in seventh grade choir. He was a bass and I was a soprano, and we sat across the room from one another. I thought he was absolutely adorable and quickly developed a big crush. I don't know that we even ever spoke a word to each other that year, and although we both continued with choir, we never had another class together. I do remember being very jealous of the girl he "dated" in ninth grade, but our paths rarely crossed and I began to do my own fair share of "dating."

Our high school had casual dances after each home football game, and Nate and I shared our first dance at one early in our sophomore year. We continued to dance at these dances together {we were well known for our dirty dancing skills ~ what can I say? I wasn't an angel!}and went to homecoming together. We watched a couple movies at my house with friends during that fall, but once football season was over, we went our separate ways. Fast~forward several months to February ~ I needed a date for the Valentine's Day Tolo {girls choice, of course} and I asked Nate. We had a good time at the dance and shared our first kiss, but he wanted someone to pursue him {yes, he was one of THOSE boys} and I wasn't willing to do the pursuing so that was the end of that. A few months later, we went on a big overnight trip for a choir competition {I was in the Treble Choir and Nate was in Men's Choir}, and after a day of major flirting, it seemed like we were finally about to officially get together. I turned my back for a few hours {I was momentarily distracted by my first boyfriend who had broken my heart the year before and wanted to get back together ~ he looked so cute in his white tuxedo that all the guys in Men's Choir wore} and one of my good girlfriends snatched Nate up! I wasn't overly upset though ~ we all stayed friends and even double dated several times over the next six months or so with a guy that I began dating shortly after that choir trip.

High school ended, I went onto college, and I honestly didn't give Nate much more thought. I'd heard that he and his older brother were both in Iraq, and prayed for their safe return, assuming that they both made it back safely when I didn't hear otherwise. A few years later, I connected with my old friend on myspace and learned that she and Nate had broken up shortly after high school. Nate was also one of my myspace friends, but I was in a serious, long~term relationship and didn't make much of an attempt to rekindle our friendship.

Fast~forward again to November 2007. I was single and enjoying a night out dancing at our local country bar. While on the dance floor, I looked over at the bar, and there he was ~ a little older and more broad~shouldered than the guy I'd had such a crush on in choir but still the same adorable Nate. We smiled and waved, but I was too busy dancing and didn't go over to say hi. A few days later, he sent me a message on myspace, wanting an apology because I hadn't come over for a hug when I'd seen him. I offered to make it up to him by taking a two~step lesson with him the following week. We went to the lesson, and I quickly remembered how much fun we always had together on the dance floor. {We laughed and talked so much that I'm surprised the teacher didn't kick us out!} We met up for several more lessons, and had our "second" first kiss a few days before Christmas. We went on our "second" first date on January 5th, 2008, and have been inseparable ever since.

So there it is ~ how I met my sweetie! Not the most exciting story by any means and it's definitely a little long, but I love it just the same!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

“IF, THEN” ~ A Logical Approach to Healthy Living

For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived by the scale. What it says each morning affects not only my mood for the day, but also how I feel about myself. I did try for several months last year to stay off the scale, but ended up gaining five pounds in the process. I was literally lost without it, and was shocked when I got on it and discovered my gain. I’m back to my daily weigh~ins, and probably will stick with them always as they help to keep me on track, but I am trying to readjust the way I look my quest to find contentment with my body. Instead of approaching my efforts as “weight loss” oriented, I am looking at them as more “healthy living” oriented. While the idea/goal of losing X pounds in X days/weeks/months is a good one, my ultimate goal is to live healthy and be happy. In order to do that, I can’t just do a crash diet until I meet my goal weight ~ I have to make lifestyle changes and stick with them always to maintain the body I want.

To be perfectly honest, if I was happy with what I saw when I looked in the mirror and if my clothes fit well, then I really wouldn’t care what the scale says. {Although if it happened to rest at my “dream” weight, I wouldn’t complain!} This leads to my new approach to healthy living ~ “IF, THEN.” I was daydreaming the other day during a meeting {shush ~ don’t tell my boss} about how everything we do has consequences ~ the whole “if…, then…” equation. If my boss discovers I was daydreaming, then I’ll get yelled at; if I watch “Out of the Wild: the Alaska Experiment” with Nate without complaining, then he’ll sit through “Grey’s Anatomy” with me; and so on and so forth.

I can apply this same logical approach to my healthy living strategies, considering the consequences to my actions:

~ If I eat this piece of chocolate at work, then I have to skip the extra piece of bread at dinner.
~ If I work out an extra 10 minutes, then I can treat myself to one tablespoon of my fatty poppy seed dressing.
~ If I do Pilates instead of vegging on the couch, then I am one step closer to reaching my goal of being content with my body.
~ If I go on a four mile hike today, then I can reward myself with pasta with alfredo sauce instead of my usual marinara.
~ If I eat an extra piece of cake tonight, then I will have a new dimple on my butt tomorrow.

My hope is that adopting this “IF, THEN” approach will help me really think about the consequences before grabbing a handful of chips, mini candy bar, cookie, etc. as I walk by the “food table” at work {I am a notoriously horrible impulse snacker}, as well as the other consequences of my daily eating and exercising behaviors.

Do you think my “IF, THEN” approach might help you?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ Guilty Pleasures {And Healthier Alternatives}

I am so happy to have joined in on Extreme Makeover: Me Edition, hosted by the lovely Amber at {aefilkins}. The support the ladies who participate in the group provide for one another is astounding, and knowing that I will be “reporting” my accomplishments and downfalls each week has really helped me stay accountable in my quest for healthy living.

For those unfamiliar with Extreme Makeover: Me Edition, here’s how it works:

Directions: Every week, you'll do a specific post on your blog in regards to Extreme Makeover--Me Edition.----Pretty much, just update us on your progress. How did your week go? Did you struggle? How were you successful? Do you have any great tips? {I think it's also important to celebrate even little successes}----Answer the specific question or topic that I pose each week.After you've finished your post, view that specific post {either view your blog & click on the title of that post, or go 'edit posts' and 'view'}. Grab the url and post it into Mr. Linky on
Amber’s blog. Simple as that!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This week wasn’t a fabulous one... I actually gained a pound and a half instead of losing! I celebrated my 29th birthday on Sunday, and the whole weekend was a pigfest {which obviously explains the weight gain}. I’ve already lost half a pound, so at least I’m on the right track again!

My goals last week were to:

~ Add cardio back into my workout routine. {I’ve been focusing most of my attention on strength training and Pilates, and really need to get back on the elliptical machine.}
~ Do 5 sessions of Pilates.
~ Continue eating a salad at least once a day. {I have done this every day for almost two weeks and feel really good about it.}
~ Limit my random snacking ~ this really is my weight~loss downfall. I’m a horrible snacker.

And I pretty much failed with all of them. Nate and I did go on a 4.2 mile hike on Saturday, so I did get a little bit of cardio in, but I only did 3 Pilates sessions and had a ton of random snacks. {Nate made cookies. I couldn’t help myself.} I was successful with my salad eating though, and have actually started having a salad with lunch AND dinner every day, so I’m excited to see if that helps me achieve the results I want.

This week’s goals:

~ Reattempt to add more cardio to my routine. I am going to do three sessions of cardio in addition to another 4 mile hike we have planned for this Saturday.
~ Do 5~6 sessions of Pilates.
~ Lose 1.5 pounds {with the goal of losing three pounds by the end of the month}.
~ Increase my water intake. A few weeks ago, I was drinking as much as 48 oz of water at work {with the help of Crystal Light On the Go packets} ~ lately I’ve been slacking and am lucky if I’ve had half that a day.
~ Limit my snacking to healthy foods only. I found some great recipes for smoothies made with yogurt and whey protein powder over the weekend, and bought the supplies I need last night. If they’re any good, I’ll share the recipes later this week!
~ Limit myself to pasta once a week. Pasta is really my downfall, and Nate and I usually eat it 3+ times a week. Not good at all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Amber’s question this week is to: Name your guilty pleasure{s}. Think of a healthier choice you could use as a substitute.

~ Poppyseed dressing. With its 150 calories and 13 grams of fat per serving, this dressing is equally delicious and horrible for you. And I love it. I do try to limit myself to it only once or twice a week, and always eat only half a serving when I do have it. Really, any dressing is a healthier alternative! My favorites are Wish~Bone’s Asian Silk Salad Spritzer and Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard dressing.

~ Garlic bread. I love it. And could easily eat a whole loaf if left to my own devices. Instead of buying it at the store, Nate and I share three pieces of whole wheat bread topped with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray and seasoning salt, broiled in the oven. It’s a good alternative, and when the three pieces are gone, they’re gone. No left~over loaf to tempt me.

~ Ben & Jerry’s mini Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. Weight Watcher’s has a great alternative in the same flavor that’s only 140 calories and 1.5 grams of fat compared to Ben & Jerry’s 220 calories and 11 grams of fat. I haven’t tried Weight Watcher’s yet, but there are two servings of it waiting for me in my freezer!

~ Brownies, chocolate cake, cheesecake, etc. {Pretty much any delicious dessert.} Angel~food cake topped with strawberries is a fabulous alternative. So yummy that you don’t even need to top it with whipped cream!

I wish everyone good luck with their goals this week!

~ Heather

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Daisy Girl

New Daisy pictures! I am in love!

Isn't she adorable?!?

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ Another Q & A

It's Monday and time for Friend Makin' Mondays {hosted by Kasey at All That Is Good} once again! Today we're doing a little Q & A...

You wouldn't be caught dead where?: On a ski slope. I’ve never been skiing, but the thought of going downhill fast and having little control over my ability to stop terrifies me! {Yes, Nathan, I’ll go up to the mountain with you, but you can bet I’ll be spending my time in the lodge by the fire!}

Do you have any hidden talents?: I can pick up things with my toes.

Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at: Crocheting {I won Grand Champion the first year I entered something in the fair} and math

Name two things you consider yourself to be very bad at: Pretending to be in a good mood when I’m in a foul one and cooking.

Have you ever won a trophy?: Not for anything sports~related! I think I recall getting a trophy for something, but I sure can’t remember what it was for…

Name one thing not many people know about you: This is a tricky one… I’m an open book {especially after the 100 facts about me post I did last week!}. I think the few little things I’ve kept secret are things that should stay secret. :o)

Name your earliest memory: I was in my crib in my parents’ bedroom {relatives were visiting so they’d moved the crib out of my room} and I’d pinched my finger in the bars of the crib somehow. I was crying because it hurt, but the adults were talking really loud and no one heard me. {My mom is absolutely horrified that this is my first memory! I think we figure I was around 18 months old based on when my parents remember these relatives were in town.}

What was your favorite musical group in jr. high?: Collective Soul ~ are they still around?

What was something the worst roommate you ever had did?: I went home for the weekend my freshman year, and when I returned, the quilt I had spent hours and hours making the summer before had lost color in a bunch of spots. I never got confirmation on what she’d done, but my best guess is that something spilled on it and she threw it in the horrible washer and dryer in our dorm, which stripped the color out of some of the fabric {which, by the way, was not cheap fabric!}.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?: In kindergarten, I wanted to be a police chief. Later on, I wanted to be a veterinarian.

What was your worst dating experience?: I think the four years I wasted with a lying, cheating cowboy top my list of worst dating experiences… Cowboys may be appealing in their cowboy hats and Wranglers, but they’ll break your heart as many times as you’ll let them!

If you were about to die, what would your last meal be?: Chicken and white sauce over rice. Or steak. Or my mom’s spaghetti. Or Nate’s mom’s mayonnaise chicken and macaroni. So hard to decide!

Who is the most important person in you life?: Nathan

If your house was on fire, what 3 things would you grab on your way out?: Nate {if he was unable to get out on his own}, my external hard drive that holds all my pictures and my entire music and audiobook collection, and Daisy {assuming this fire takes place in four weeks and five days, and she’s come home to live with us!}

Have a wonderful Monday!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Love, Sweet Love

I can’t say exactly why, but today I am filled with an overwhelming feeling of love for Nate.

The man who cooks me dinner every night, who calms me down when I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic after having a bad dream, who makes me laugh every day.

The man with whom I share my home, who I have had a crush on since I first saw him in seventh grade choir.

The man who tolerates my craft messes, who bakes me cookies, who doesn’t mind my daily {sometimes hourly} exclamations that I can’t wait to bring Daisy home.

The man who earns the title of “Best Boyfriend in the World” every day of the year, and who completes me in a way that no one else ever has.

The man I adore with all my heart.

The man I hope one day asks me to be his wife.

I love him more today than I did yesterday, and know that I will love him even more tomorrow. It is a beautiful feeling ~ my heart is rejoicing. I am in love.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fabulous Finds Friday & Friday Confessions ~ May 15th

Welcome to Friday! And welcome to Fabulous Finds Friday and Friday Confessions!

Just a few fabulous finds for this week, but this first one is a goodie so it makes up for the lack of other fabulous finds. I ran across this website ~ Awkward Family Photos ~ yesterday and just about died laughing. There’s not much better for a good laugh than a bad family photograph. Check out the site and enjoy! In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites {and believe me, it was hard to pick just a few!}:

My other two finds are sewing~related ~ I saw this adorable little bitty bug pincushion pattern on several different websites {remember my love of pincushions?!?} and may have to make one this weekend. I love how teeny and cute it is! I have a big ol’ ugly pincushion from Joann’s that I use while handsewing, but considering I only have one needle in it, I really could get by with something smaller. This pincushion is perfect!

I also found this cute yoga mat strap pattern that I thought I’d share. I sure don’t need one as the only journeys my yoga mat makes are to the living room and back from its storage spot in my sewing room, but I thought it was worth sharing! Perfect if you travel back and forth to a yoga or Pilates studio!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now onto my confessions…

~ I have always HATED dirty dishes left in the sink (as mentioned here and here). Without a doubt, it was one of my biggest pet peeves. Until now. As we are sans dishwasher and have to wash everything by hand, I’ve discovered that I don’t so much mind leaving the dishes in the sink to be dealt with later.

~ I totally dropped the ball on Mother’s Day this year. Saturday at noon, I still had no idea what to get for my mom. Best Boyfriend in the World to the rescue! He suggested we take a portrait of ourselves in his photography studio, get a few copies printed up at WalMart, and buy nice frames for them. Voila! Great present for both of our moms and my grandma!

~ I love having a clean house. But I hate to clean. So far, I haven’t figured out a resolution to this problem… Well, in a way, I have ~ I don’t clean as often as I should. Bad Heather. Don't tell, okay?

Have a fabulous weekend! I know I will ~ I'm turning 29!!!


Etsy Selling to Brides {Or Etsy Selling to the Most Difficult and Demanding Demographic EVER} ~ A Tiny Rant

I love working with brides to meet their needs and create the perfect garter{s} for their special day. I really do. And I love making garters in general. I love picking out the ribbon, doing the actual sewing, and picking on the embellishments for each garter I create. But contrary to popular belief, I do not do these things out of the goodness of my heart. While I take pleasure out of these things, my garter business serves first and foremost to supplement my income, which during these rough economic times is turning out to be essential.

My garters are competitively, and I feel reasonably, priced. All my individual garters are between $9.99 and $12.49 {garter sets are usually double that}, and considering that I spend between 45 minutes to an hour on each garter, I’m not raking in the bucks on this business endeavor. But I am okay with that. The cost of materials is minimal, and my profit thus far has been sufficient. I enjoy what I do, and it's nice to earn a little extra money being creative. But I don’t really feel that I can afford to sell my garters for anything less than their current asking price.

When a bride asks me for a discount when purchasing more than two garters, I don’t quite know how to respond. I understand asking for a discount when buying “in bulk.” I really do. And I’ve read enough bridal magazines to know that it is suggested that brides ask their vendors for discounts. But I have to wonder if that suggestion should really apply to handmade items… I mean, how much of a discount can I be asked to give when it will take me the same amount of time to make their items whether they buy one or five? And when my profit is so minimal to begin with!

Take for example a recent request I received on Etsy. The bride wanted four toss garters {one in each of her wedding colors, which were red, orange, lime green, and purple} and one keepsake garter. The garter style she had chosen for her toss garter is one that I sell for $9.99, and she wanted to know how much of a discount I could give her. I thought about it, and responded that I could do each of the toss garters for $8.99 and the keepsake garter for a flat rate of $9.99, regardless of what options she chose for that garter. This seemed fine to her, and I went ahead and ordered orange and lime green ribbon as I did not have it in stock. But when I followed up with her to let her know the ribbon had arrived, she responded that she had decided to go with a different vendor who was “willing to work with her budget.” I was left feeling slightly irritated {now I’m stuck with orange ribbon no other bride will possibly want} and wondering what I had done wrong. She had never mentioned "her budget" and seemed alright with the deal I'd presented. A ten percent discount on a handmade item that normally sells for an already low price seemed adequate to me. Maybe it’s not?

I would like to work out the kinks in my “discount for bulk orders” process so I don’t lose out on sales or get stuck with more unwanted ribbon in the future. Do any of you have suggestions? Should I have offered her a higher discount? Asked what her garter budget was when I got her initial request? HELP!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ My Inspirational Photos

This week for Extreme Makover: Me Edition, hosted by the lovely Amber at {aefilkins}, in addition to sharing our goals for the week, we are sharing photos that inspire us in our “weight loss/get healthy/get happy about our bodies” endeavors. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Daisy de la Hoya has recently become my inspiration, in part because she is only two and a half inches taller than me {there aren’t a lot of teeny celebrities} and because we are fairly close in age {some reports say she’s 33, others say 25 ~ either way, she’s close to my 28}, but mainly because I think she’s absolutely adorable. {Please note that my desire to have her body does not include a wish for fake breasts!}

I am also inspired by a picture of myself that I took and sent to Nate during a trip to Hawaii right before we started officially dating. This was in December ’07 and was the first time in a long time that I was completely satisfied with my body. I gained about ten pounds and lost some of my definition in the first few months of our relationship ~ I started eating more {Nate’s family is Italian and their weekly get~togethers always include delicious food} and working out less, and have been struggling to get my Hawaii body back ever since. {Apparently my body likes the extra weight a lot more than I do because it sure seems reluctant to let me lose it!}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My goals for the week are to:

~ Add cardio back into my workout routine. {I’ve been focusing most of my attention on strength training and Pilates, and really need to get back on the elliptical machine.}
~ Do 5 sessions of Pilates.
~ Continue eating a salad at least once a day. {I have done this every day for almost two weeks and feel really good about it.}
~ Limit my random snacking ~ this really is my weight~loss downfall. I’m a horrible snacker.

I hope everyone has a fabulous week and I wish you all luck with your goals!


Monday, May 11, 2009

100th Post ~ 100 Fun Facts About Me!

I can hardly believe that I’ve made 100 blog posts in less than six months! In celebration, I’m going to take a page out of Rhonda’s book and share 100 fun little facts about me that you may or may not have already learned from reading my blog.

1. I was born May 17th, 1980, the day before Mount St. Helen’s erupted. {The eruption was quite a big day in Pacific Northwest history.}

2. I am an only child.

3. I am also an only grandchild on my mom’s side. {Needless to say, I am slightly spoiled…}

4. I was slow to take my first steps ~ I didn’t walk by myself until I was 13 months old. And my first unassisted steps were actually taken at a run ~ we were at a church picnic and a little boy ran by and I took off after him. I suppose that should have been a sign that I might be a little boy~crazy…

5. I started ballet at age four, and continued on with it through elementary school, high school, and college. I took my last class in college at age 22, and I don’t miss it at all! {Spending 3+ hours a day in a leotard and tights was not a fabulous thing for a girl with body issues…}

6. My first pet was an Abyssinian~Somali mix named Tinkerbell. She was a gift for my fifth birthday.

7. In kindergarten, I wanted to be a police chief. Fortunately, my desire for a career in law enforcement didn’t last past elementary school.

8. My favorite teacher was my second grade teacher, Mr. Weatherbie.

9. My childhood best friend was a girl named Christina who lived in my neighborhood. I recently made a garter set for her for her wedding. She and her husband honeymooned in Thailand.

10. My current best friend has held the best friend title since we were eleven. I was her maid of honor and made her garter set for her wedding. She and her husband also honeymooned in Thailand.

11. I will not be honeymooning in Thailand.

12. I have always been a crafty person, beginning with friendship bracelets and lanyards in elementary school.

13. Nate and I met in seventh grade choir. We sat across from each other ~ I was a soprano and he was a bass ~ and I had the biggest crush on him.

14. Nate and I went to several dances {including Homecoming and a Valentine’s Tolo} together our sophomore year. We also ate lunch together almost every day during the fall of that year.

15. We almost got together “officially” that year during a choir trip but I was momentarily distracted by an ex~boyfriend who was also on the trip and one of my girlfriends snatched Nate up.

16. My first job was drying cars at a car wash. Not the easiest considering I’m 5’ ½”.

17. My favorite fruit is raspberries. They are the one food that I have a really hard time sharing ~ I want to eat them all myself!

18. In high school, I was a cheerleader for wrestling.

19. Many of the boys I dated in high school were wrestlers. :o)

20. Most of my best memories from high school are choir~ or wrestling~related.

21. My all~time favorite job was my college summer job ~ I worked as a hostess and in the kitchen at the Olive Garden.

22. My family all thought it was hilarious that I worked in the kitchen considering I don’t cook.
23. I have absolutely no will power when it comes to resisting chocolate.

24. I was on a dance team in college. We performed at football and basketball games, but our all~time best performance was in Disneyland.

25. When it comes to dessert, unless it’s chocolate, I don’t waste my time.

26. I learned to tat in college, and belonged to a local lace club that met once a month. I loved the lace I was able to make with a bit of thread and a tatting shuttle.

27. My favorite color is pink.

28. I have two kitties ~ Jasmine and Lily.

29. I went on two week~long mission trips in college ~ one to Mexico and one to Vancouver, B.C.

30. I started ballroom dancing in college and taught a social dance class spring quarter of my senior year.

31. I graduated cum laude from Western Washington University in 2002 with a B.A. in Sociology.
32. I often wish I’d pursued a career in the Sociology field ~ I loved the research projects I worked on during my senior year and think I really would have enjoyed continuing with that.

33. I have a slight case of ADD ~ I always have to be doing something with my hands or I go a little crazy.

34. My first job after college was a sales specialist position at Victoria’s Secret.

35. I amassed quite a panty collection during my time at Victoria’s Secret ~ I could easily go two months without having to wash panties.

36. My favorite movie is “Crocodile Dundee.”

37. I graduated from grad school in 2006 with an MBA in Accounting.

38. I love to dance ~ salsa and West Coast swing are among my favorite styles. But I love cha cha, tango, rumba, and waltz too. Really, I’m not picky ~ I just love to move to music!

39. Nate and I reunited after twelve years apart after running into each other at our local country bar. {I used to be a regular there ~ not to drink, just to dance.}

40. I’m not much of a drinker, but when I do drink, my alcohol of choice is vodka. I love lemon drops and Vodka Crans.

41. I am very close to my parents and talk to them both several times a day.

42. I L~O~V~E the Harry Potter and Twilight series. I almost always have an audiobook from one of the series playing for background noise in my office.

43. I currently am an accountant for a small community bank.

44. My biggest responsibility at work is Accounts Payable, which occasionally bores me out of my gourd, especially on Wednesdays when I spend about two hours stuffing our weekly checks into envelopes.

45. I started at the bank as a teller. I miss the customer contact. A lot.

46. I taught myself how to knit and crochet.

47. I assist Nate when he DJ’s for weddings.

48. One of my biggest fears is that I won’t be able to get pregnant when the time comes.

49. My favorite dressing is poppy seed.

50. I am super duper excited to bring my puppy home in five weeks and four days.

51. Nate and I have dreams of one day owning our own wedding venue.

52. I own enough yarn to open my own yarn shop. It really is an addiction…

53. I started my garter business last October.

54. I love pasta, so it’s probably a good thing I’m dating an Italian.

55. I broke my front teeth in a bike accident when I was nine. Twelve years, two root canals, and a run~in with a solid chocolate bunny at Easter, the teeth broke off at the bone line and I had to get oral implants.

56. I haven’t gotten on a non~stationary bike in almost twenty years.

57. I love to do jigsaw puzzles.

58. I am lucky to be with a man who cooks dinner for me every night. {I hate being in the kitchen.}

59. I collect Longaberger baskets.

60. I was a Longaberger consultant for a short time. {That only lasted until I realized that I am not a fabulous saleswoman. The discount was nice though!}

61. When we’re camping, if I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I can’t manage to squat and NOT pee on my ankle. It happens every time!

62. I have a green~cheek conure named Cricket. We got him when I was in sixth grade, and feel so blessed that he is still alive and kickin’ seventeen years later.

63. Probably my worst habit is leaving my craft supplies all over the house.

64. My dream job is to be a stay~at~home mom.

65. I have been to Hawaii six times.

66. I love to work out, but hate to play sports. P.E. was far from my favorite subject.

67. I danced the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy three years in a row in my studio’s production of “The Nutcracker” {hence the “sugarplum” in my business name}.

68. I love to read.

69. I’m having a much harder time than I expected coming up with 100 facts to share…

70. As a child, I was deathly afraid of our house burning down. I used to lose sleep worrying about it. I even prayed that the neighbor’s house would catch fire because I rationalized that if theirs burned down, the chances of ours doing the same were much slimmer. {Horrible, I know.}

71. Nate and I enjoy hiking. We are really fortunate to be close to many beautiful trails.

72. In junior high and high school, I was known for ALWAYS having gum. No bad breath for me!

73. I shopped at Abercrombie and Fitch before it was cool to shop there. :o)

74. I collect Fiestaware. After years of just sticking with white, I’ve finally branched out and gotten some of the fun colors.

75. I love white ~ in addition to the white plates, our bed linens are all white and our bathroom accessories are white.

76. I watch way too much television.

77. I have flip flops in almost every color from Old Navy.

78. I have always wanted to go to Australia.

79. I would love to snorkel on the Great Barrer Reef but snorkel masks make me claustrophobic.

80. Nate and I love to duet in the car. Our favorite songs to sing are “All for Love” by Rod Stewart, Sting, and Bryan Adams, and “500 Miles” by the Proclaimers.

81. My middle name is Terese.

82. Nate thinks I’m addicted to the Internet. He may be right…

83. “Gone with the Wind” is one of my favorite books.

84. I routinely find clothes in my closet that still have tags on them.

85. I am blessed to have been accepted wholeheartedly by Nate’s family.

86. My eyes are almost always closed in pictures. I dread seeing how my wedding pictures turn out!

87. When vacationing, I usually pack more bikinis than our trip has days. And end up wearing only one or two of them.

88. The only cars I have ever owned are Toyota Camrys. {I’ve gone through three of them and can’t imagine driving anything else.}

89. I have bins and bins and bins of craft supplies. But whenever it’s time for a new project, I usually end up back at the craft store instead of using what I already have. My excuse is that it’s too hard to find what I have. It may be time to get more organized…

90. I have a running argument with Nate about whether he should put the toilet seat down or I should put it up after use.

91. I really enjoy doing Pilates. It relaxes me like nothing else.

92. I can read the same books, watch the same movies, and listen to the same songs over and over without ever getting tired of them.

93. My dad’s name is Dallas and my mom’s name is Laurie.

94. I hate vacuuming.

95. I am secretly terrified that I will have all boys like Nate’s mom did. I will be heartbroken if I don’t have a girl, and I’m not sure I can handle three boys that are as wild as Nate and his brothers were!

96. Mark Walhberg is my favorite actor.

97. I believe that diamonds really are a girl’s best friend.

98. I can’t wait to share some of the movies and music I enjoyed as a child with my future children.

99. First thing every morning, I pee and then weigh myself.

100. At 28, I still can’t eat ice cream without getting it all over my face. Or my shirt.

Hope you enjoyed this! :o)


Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Confessions & A Recap of My Week

It’s been another one of those weeks and I haven’t had much time to make any fabulous finds. So instead, I decided to follow up my Friday Confessions with a little recap of my week as it’s been a somewhat unusual one. Without further ado, here are my confessions...

  • I was proud of myself for only eating four of the delicious chocolate chip cookies my boss brought in on Tuesday. {In my defense, they were fairly small.} If I keep this up, I will never get Daisy de la Hoya’s body!
  • I am horrible when it comes to getting my hair cut. I routinely go six months between trims. {I can get away with this somewhat because I have long hair that’s pretty healthy.} I just hate going to the salon! I’ve had too many bad haircuts. The last time I got my hair cut, the “senior master designer” at Regis who cut it completely butchered it {i.e., did her own thing rather than doing what I asked for} so obviously I’m scared to go back there. But as my last cut was in October, it’s time to do something. I finally broke down and scheduled an appointment at Gene Juarez on Monday. Fingers crossed that this cut will be better than my last chop job!
  • I have the worst short~term memory on the planet. It is not uncommon for me to ask Nate 2 or 3 times within several minutes if he slept good, how his day was, or if he had a good workout. Not only do I forget that I already asked him the question, but I also FORGET HIS ANSWER! At first, this really irritated him, but now we both just think it’s really funny. Well, I think it’s really funny. He may just tolerate it silently…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I reopened my garter shop last Friday. I still don’t quite have my inventory as well stocked as I’d hoped, but I’m working on garters every spare minute I have. My goal is to have at least three of every garter I make in stock at all times so I can get orders out more quickly. {By this I mean just the garter body without the embellishments ~ I can store them easier without embellishments and adding the embellishments is by far the quickest step of the garter~making process, so it’s really easy to slap them on when I get an order and get the garter{s} out in the mail.} I’m so glad to have my shop back open, even though my sewing room is still a work in progress because I’ve received multiple orders in the past week including SIX requests for custom garters!

In other wedding industry news, Nate and I made the decision this week to start a small wedding decoration rental business. {This ties right in with our future plans of having our own wedding venue.} We’ve started searching on Craigslist for gently used decorations, and made a trip down to our local IKEA on Wednesday to pick up some candle holders and vases. We’re so fortunate to be so close to this amazing store ~ we’re only about forty~five minutes away. As always, our trip there was enjoyable, until SOMEONE STOLE OUR CART!!! We had about fifteen items in our cart, included the reusable shopping bag we bought on our last visit. We were looking at pillows and had wandered away from our cart momentarily ~ when we went back to get it, it was gone! Fifteen minutes later {after we’d gone back through the store and re~gathered everything}, the cart was returned ~ some batty woman had wandered off with it thinking it was hers. The trip was mostly a success ~ Nate found some curtains for his photography studio and we got a few odds and ends for the house, but we were a bit bummed when the duvet cover we fell in love with was not in stock in the size we needed. No matter ~ it should be in in 7~10 days, giving us an excuse to go back!

On the way home from IKEA, we stopped by the hospital to visit Nate’s dad, Doug, who had been admitted for surgery following a discovery during a routine colonoscopy that day. His surgery {which was yesterday} went fairly well ~ from what the surgeons saw, the mass was caused by diverticulitis and while they won’t know for sure until all the pathology comes back, they’re 90% sure that it is not cancer. Great news. But the surgery was more involved than anticipated, and Doug has a seven to ten day hospital stay and a six week recovery ahead of him.

That’s it for my week {so far}. We’re hoping to have a somewhat relaxing weekend that I’m sure will include several trips to the hospital. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ One Thing I Love About Myself

I met Amber of {aefilkins} on Monday through Kasey’s Friend Makin’ Mondays. She. Is. Awesome. And she hosts Extreme Makeover: Me Edition every week, which I am very excited to join in on today. Here is a quick overview, but to learn more, visit Amber’s blog. Each week, participants update each other on their progress and share any tips they’ve discovered, and answer the weekly question that Amber has posed.

My week health~ and body~wise has been so~so. On Friday, I decided to start a 30 day Pilates challenge {which I didn’t actually start until Saturday ~ always the procrastinator!}. I did pretty well the first few days ~ I completed three of my 30 sessions Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and then I took Tuesday off to let my muscles recover. My plan was to do my fourth session last night after our shopping trip to IKEA, but we ended up visiting my almost~father~in~law in the hospital instead. {To read more about him and why he’s in the hospital, click here.} I’m hoping to get my fourth session in tonight, but that will all depend on how his surgery today goes and whether or not we spend the evening with him and the rest of the family at the hospital.

My eating has been so~so as well. I really struggle with snacking, and have a particularly rough time avoiding the snacks that always seem to be available in my department at work. This week has been no exception, especially with the temptation of delicious Cinco de Mayo treats. And having pizza for dinner one night and pasta for the following three nights probably wasn’t the best move either… But I did stick with my plan of eating a salad at least once a day every day, and have had one every day since last Friday. My big thing is to keep reminding myself that this is a journey and if I stumble one day, I can pick myself up the next.

This week, Amber has asked us to share one thing that we absolutely love about ourselves. Because I've been so down on myself lately about my body, I decided to share one thing I love about it, which was actually pretty easy ~ my back is {and always has been} my favorite body part. I still have my ballerina back and shoulders, and love to show them off in halter tops and backless dresses anytime I can.

I look forward to offering support to and being supported by each of the other participants of Extreme Makeover: Me Edition!


Favorite Thing of the Week ~ My Pup, Daisy {And a Request for Puppy Advice}

My favorite thing of the week is Daisy {who, by the way, is not named after Daisy de la Hoya; as much as I love her body, I would never name a puppy after her!}. The breeder sent me a few new pictures last night, and I am so excited to share them. I love that she’s finally starting to look like a puppy, not a guinea pig! Six weeks, two days, and counting before she comes home!

After posting Daisy’s first pictures last week, I received several comments asking what kind of dog she is. She is a Papillon ~ you can read more about the breed, my decision to get one, and my search for a breeder here. Here is a picture of what she’ll look like when she comes home.

And what she’ll look like full grown...

Daisy will be my first dog and I’m starting to get a little nervous. My concern is that I will baby her too much and not focus enough on disciplining and training her. Obviously I want her to be a well~behaved and happy dog, but I’m fearful that if I treat her the way my gut instincts tell me to treat an adorable little puppy, she will end up being a spoiled brat. I have done lots of reading and watched many episodes of “The Dog Whisperer,” but would love any advice any bloggy friends have on bringing puppies into the home and turning them into wonderful dogs.

Thank you!


Prayer Request for My Almost~Father~in~Law

Please say a prayer for Nate’s dad, Doug today. He went in for a colonoscopy yesterday, and they found a large mass in his colon. They are doing surgery today to remove the mass and his left colon, and there is some concern that it may be colon cancer. They did a CAT scan last night which showed that his liver is clear of any masses, which is good news, so we are hopeful that whatever this is, it is confined to the colon. Please pray that the surgery goes well and that his recovery is smooth.

{I do want to offer a little explanation as to why I refer to Doug as my almost~father~in~law. Even though Nate and I are not married {yet}, I consider both of his parents to be my family. “My boyfriend’s dad” and “my boyfriend’s mom” just aren’t sufficient terms for me ~ they are both so much more to me than that.}

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Want Daisy de la Hoya’s Body!

Because we are all friends and I feel I can trust you, I’m going to make a confession ~ I watch trashy reality dating shows on VH1. I haven’t watched them all, but once I get sucked into a season, I watch ‘til it’s over. I’ve watched multiple seasons of Flavor of Love, I Love New York, and Rock of Love, so naturally it follows that I have started to watch Daisy of Love. While Daisy is a bit of a dummy, has too much collagen in her lips, and wears more makeup than she should (she looks far prettier with less on), there is something adorably endearing about her. I really want her to find love this time around! Plus she’s got a rockin’ body. And I want it. I love that she’s a little curvy, not skin and bones, and that she’s a shorty too. (She’s 5’2 compared to my 5’ ½”.) She has toned arms, defined abs, and gorgeous legs. I know it’s probably really silly to base weight loss goals on a reality star’s body, but my new goal is to get her body (minus the silicone breasts). I’m hoping that watching her every week will help keep me motivated to stick with my new healthy living plan.

What do you think? Have you ever set weight loss goals based on a celebrity’s body? Or copied a celebrity’s hairstyle or style of dress?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ Favorite Toys

Today for Friend Makin’ Mondays (which is being hosted by Amber at {aefilkins} for Kasey), we are sharing five toys that remind us of our childhood. It was so much fun to go back and think about which toys I loved to play with as a child. What a great way to start the week!

1. Cabbage Patch Kids ~ I loved Cabbage Patch Kids. My first one was a girl with long red hair that came in braids.

2. Care Bears ~ Care Bears were another big favorite. If I remember correctly, the Care Bear and Cabbage Patch Kid crazes coincided one Christmas. Many family members were searching for both for me, and several rainchecks came in right before Christmas. I really raked it in that year with two Cabbage Patch Kids and three Care Bears.

3. Barbie ~ Like many other little girls, I was a huge Barbie fan. I actually sold my Care Bear tricycle to the neighbor when I was four or five and used the money to buy my first Barbie, Peaches n Cream Barbie. I do remember being quite frustrated that her clothes were hard to get on and that her shoes never seemed to stay on her feet…

4. Legos ~ I spent many hours playing with Legos. I liked both the Duplo Legos (I think because I could make bigger creations with them) and the regular~sized Legos.

5. Little People ~ I L~O~V~E~D Little People. They weren’t nearly as cute then as they are now, but they were still a ton of fun to play with. I can’t wait until I have children of my own to buy these adorable little toys for.
Join in the fun by visiting Amber's blog!

Have a fabulous day!


Friday, May 1, 2009

The 30 Session Pilates Challenge

I woke up this morning in a fabulous mood. The sun was shining, the birds were singing… (Well, I’m assuming they were. I couldn’t actually hear any birds singing because all our windows were closed, but you catch my drift… It’s a beautiful day!) And it’s the first day of May, my favorite month of the year! I love May so much, not because it’s my birthday month, but because it’s the month that spring REALLY arrives here in Washington. I love spring ~ all the flowers are in bloom, summer seems just around the corner, and we Washingtonians start wearing shorts and tank tops far earlier than we should simply because we equate sun with warmth. (Never mind that the forecast is for highs in the low 60’s ~ it’s sunny! Bring out the summer clothes!)

My good mood increased when I got on the scale and saw that I’d lost another half pound, bringing my loss since Monday to one pound. As part of revisiting my New Year’s resolutions, I’ve been writing down everything I’ve eaten this week, as well as all the physical activity I’ve done. A quick look back at my log showed that I’d lost my two half pounds on the days after I’d done Pilates. Hmmm, I began to wonder if there was something to that…

I started doing Pilates about eight years ago in college. I got this amazing video (on VHS, although now of course is it available on DVD) and was soon hooked. I especially liked what the instructor said ~ “Remember what Joseph Pilates said. You will feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 sessions, and have a completely new body in 30 sessions.” I did notice changes in my body at the time, but was never overly consistent about my Pilates sessions to achieve the “new body” Joseph Pilates promised I could have. I did continue with sessions two or three times a week, and was fairly pleased with the results.

The frequency of my sessions decreased when I moved last winter. My favorite place to do Pilates is in the living room in front of the TV (I no longer use videos but like to watch TV from my mat to keep my brain occupied), and this isn’t always easy when you share a living room with three other people. (Turns out that no one likes legs flying in front of the TV set while trying to watch their favorite show.) Now that we’re on our own, I’m trying to get back into my old Pilates routine, and have decided to try a 30 session Pilates challenge. My goal is to get in 5 or 6 sessions a week, so by mid~June, I should have completed my 30 sessions. I am hopeful that I will see real results from this ~ after 18 years of ballet, my body seems to respond well to Pilates as much of its stretching movements are similar to those done in ballet. I’m going to take my starting measurements tonight and Dear Boyfriend has offered to take a “before” picture for me that may or may not be posted at the end of my little challenge. We'll have to wait and see if the end results will make up for the embarrassing "before" shot...

Excited about the promise of a "completely new body" and anxious to share my results,