don't poke fun.

 first of all.  posting these photos is something WAY out of my comfort zone...i don't tend to be a vain person but I am SO proud and pleased with the results of the shred thus far.  i'm on day 15 today so i thought i would share a progress photo.  i don't have a before photo so you will have to take my word that everything i point out is new/bigger/smaller/better.  okay? everything i have pointed out in the photo above was either not there or VERY squishy.
and maybe you think my results aren't impressive...that's ok too.  i'm in love with them. :)
areas of improvement:
thinner waist
thinner thighs with more muscle/less jiggle
i can see stomach muscles trying to peek through!
way less muffin top!!
very nice toning in my arms and upper body.
i have more energy and feel WAY better (who knew that was true?)
i haven't lost any weight but like i said...i don't have much to lose BUT i can tell that my mushy, squishy parts ARE being swapped out for lean and tone parts and that is ok by me. 
i am doing this with a partner who has lost 22lbs to date doing this. 
i have not changed my diet too much but since starting this 
i WANT to eat better and snack less and eat better things. 
so there it is.  my most vulnerable post to date. :) i am so happy to hear from those of you doing this with me.  i am ENCOURAGED by you all NOT to quit even though i WANT to each and every day.
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funny boy.

moses nearly got kissed by a girl on the playground yesterday.  
after being mortified that we saw it we asked him...

us: moses, why did that girl want to kiss you?
moses: because she loved me.  but i don't love her.
us: maybe she thought you were cute.
moses: i'm not cute.  hoho is cute.  i'm smart.
she tried to kiss me and i yelled and ran away. 
and then she turned into a frog.

we will be ok with this stance on girls and kissing for many years. :)

p.s.  i added the answers to the previous post in the comment section of that post.
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crafty IQ



 so i got to cleaning out my sewing table drawer this morning...and realized that i have a random assortment of crafty tools...some, i am sure i wouldn't be able to identify if i just stumbled upon them...so here's a little game for you...see how many you can ID...they are all independent of one another...all found in any craft store. :)
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7

i'll hold off publishing the comments until the next time i post to tell you what they are. :) 
happy crafty geek monday!
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sunday sweetness.

 i finished up another sweet little baby blanket in my own round pattern...i added some flowers and a scalloped border to this one...i'm in love with these...they are very stress relieving to make as i tune out to watch a movie...i can't wait to see a photo of someones sweet baby curled up in one of these blankets...
this one is a little more petite in size than the last two...it's in the shop now if you want it to be your baby that makes me smile by being wrapped up in it. :)

i finished day TEN of the shred this morning!!!  i am SO SO excited.  i really FEEL stronger and better and more tone.  i also tried on my new bathing suits last night and really SEE a difference.  I have lost any weight BUT keep in mind that i didn't have a bunch to lose in the first place and really feel like i am just swapping out my post baby squish for lean muscle.  my husband says he can see a difference...and really, his eyes are all i care about outside of mine anyway. 

in the "life altering news" category...i honestly can't believe that we are starting another week with no news on the news we are waiting for.  we are waiting to hear about big things...and you WOULD think that after months and months of waiting that i would be much better at it.  instead...i am just getting better at KNOWING that God is still working, even when i can't see/hear/feel Him.  

i keep telling doug that i feel like i am living on a diet of crumbs, teeny, tiny bits of encouragement that show things are moving...and why that CAN be sustaining at times...when the flow stops it is just hard to push through.  i NEED encouragement.  so as we step into a new week...i pray hard for news AND to still know that God is working even though i can't see or feel it.  make sense? 

how do you sustain yourself when you can't feel/see/hear Him?
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the mother of invention.

 so i mentioned that we moved aaron to a toddler bed ON his second birthday.  
his no fear tumbles out of his crib made it necessary. 
well...the second night in it he fell out.  
i went to his room and found him asleep on the floor...he stayed asleep as i picked him up and put him back in his bed. 
the next day i managed to figure out how to make a full size bed rail work for this little bed and that worked well for a while. 
until...he started using that railing as a balance beam.  for real. 
so i took it off and thought for sure he would "get" it now and not fall out of the bed. 
i thought wrong.
 clearly he needed something...just enough to keep him in, but enough to let him get out safely.
because he fell out again. 
 it also needed to be something that would NOT let him practice his parkour.
 this is what i came up with...it's basically a very sturdy canvas bed rail...with pockets.
 i used sturdy ties because i thought they would be stronger than buttons or velcro or anything else i could think of....
i added pockets on each side to hold books or some of the million and one animals he insists on sleeping with.

seems to be working great.  no more falling out of the bed, he can get out safely and no more parkour in his bed. 

if only that would fix all of his naughty.  yesterday he had to learn the hard way that having light bulbs in your room is a privilege NOT a right. 

in other news...i have completed day eight of the shred!! once again, this is HUGE for me.  and i feel GREAT.  as crazy as it sounds, i feel like i can start to feel the body of my 20's (pre-kids) coming back to me...i have more energy and TONS more endurance.  how are you doing?

in other other news...we still have a LOT of question marks for our future.  house, job, life, etc.  i would appreciate your continued prayers...overall i seem to be much better at "handling things" but at the same time my hopes are SOARING once more...i know that God is good and He is going to work it all out...and if it's not all worked out...then He's not done. 

happy friday to you!
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and this...

is the reason why we have a child lock on our fridge.  
and probably why we are on our second one.

this child takes mischief to a whole new level.
but look at how much he enjoys it. 

xo
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make this for dinner.

 this is one of my new favorite go-to meals.  
the best part is that it is finished in a matter of minutes...and it's super tasty. 
i call them french dip sandwiches...but there may be a different name for them out there. 

all you need is:
a 1-1 1/2lb roast
one packet of french onion soup mix
one can of beef broth

a loaf of french bread
mozzarella cheese 
(i used a shredded mozz/provolone blend)
 put the broth and soup mix in your crock pot...stir it around to mix it up. 
add your roast, put on the lid, set the crock pot on high and walk away for 6-8 hours.
yessss...i love having dinner technically done before lunch, right?
 30 minutes before you are ready to eat take the roast out of the crock pot and shred or slice it.
i cut mine in thirds and was able to put a third away for dinner the next day.
keep the broth in the pot on low for now.
 slice your french bread in half length wise and pile on the meat and cheese.
 wrap it all in foil and put it in a 325 oven for 25 minutes.
 get it out of the oven and slice it into individual sandwiches...i make mine about 2in wide each. 
serve with a couple of sides...i did corn and a big salad. put some of the "juice"  or au jus from the crock pot into little bowls to dip the sandwiches in...

with just the two of us eating these there were not only leftover sandwiches for lunch but the next day but i was able to use the other third of the roast...add some mashed potatoes and rolls and dinner was a cinch the next day too!

i'll be making these for years i'm sure. :)

in other news.  i just finished day six of the shred.  and i am happy to report that i am almost over all of the soreness...i can move freely and i was able to do more the the entire workout than i have been able to do to date.  

results i have seen so far:  increased endurance, more shapely arms and more firmness in my middle...especially the love handle area. :) 

i had started with 10lb weights but today i did it with 5lb ones and it seemed like a much better fit for me. :) 

and is it just me or do you expect her to say different things everyday...even if it is the same dvd...no?  just me?  ok...that's cool.  

how are you doing?  i am thrilled that SO many of you are suffering working hard along with me. :)

xo
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just so you know...

i just finished up day four of the shred!  i am super proud of myself...and am already seeing results!!

i know that some of you more athletic types are thinking..."big deal, it's been four days, what a wuss".  

yes, i am a wuss.  four days in a row of exercise that is kicking my booty is big for me.  
allow me to present some evidence.  

article number one: these are my "athletic shoes".  i wear them any time i am going to exercise or do anything remotely athletic.  i have dutifully worn them each and every time they were deemed appropriate.  aren't they in great shape?  no stains, minimal scuffs, 100% tread on the bottom. 

know what's wrong with this photo?  i bought them in 1997!!!  
they are 14 years old and in excellent shape.  i could lend them out without fear of embarrassment on their condition or smell.  need i say more?

article number two:  in high school i ALWAYS offered to sweep the gym floor in lieu of participating in class.  always. 

so you see...it IS a big deal to me. :) it IS getting easier and I am finding it less and less necessary to concentrate hard on my walking to avoid looking like a clobbering camel due to muscle pain.

I've gotten several emails from some of you who have decided to do this with me...that makes me so happy!! yay us!!!

tell me why you aren't doing it?
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thanks to you. :)

thanks to all you lovely people who have encouraged my 30 day shred challenge.  i'm happy to report that i did day two this morning...and i plan on getting day three done before church in the morning.  if you are thinking of trying it...start now!  we can encourage each other!  i got a little extra motivation (on top of all of you) from googling "30 day shred results" and scanning the pages for body types similar to mine...enough motivation for me!  and really, if i can do it, anyone can.  i promise that i hate exercise more than you and i plan on pushing through twice over before going to Florida in may. 

i currently can't raise my arms to wash my hair...but i'm sure that's a temporary condition.

join me? 
if you follow my facebook page you have seen this cute shirt...i have gotten lots of emails asking for one but at the moment i am not taking orders for them, this was for a family member, BUT...i am willing to put together a few DIY kits for you to do them...the kit would contain no-sew iron on backing with letters pre-traced on, squares of fabric, two buttons and embroidery floss.  
you just iron the backing onto the fabric, cut out the letters, peel the paper, iron onto your shirt. 
the only sewing you would have to do is to sew on the buttons.  the kit will be $5 with $1.50 shipping.  you can put it on any shirt, tote, pillow, etc. 

email me at ricracandpompoms @ gmail.com if you would like a kit...can also be made for big brother, little brother, little sister, etc. 
i've also been having a lot of fun with a couple of these orders...i never get tired of these happy, happy pieces of art. :)

hope your weekend is a happy one!
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omg. who am i?

um...so, i hate exercise.  
like really hate.  
mostly because i have zero coordination.
i took a class once at a local rec center...kept to the back of the class and still managed to be the center of the instructors attention.  he seemed to enjoy my dysfunction.
that was at least six years ago.  since then the only exercise i get is long walks in nice weather and bending over to fetch the things that have fallen under the couch.

but somehow i have managed to talk myself into this.  30 day shred. 

cause lately something has stirred in me.  i can't get the thought of turning 32 this year OUT of my head.  how in the world am i turning thirty two? 

so there is that part.  and the other part is stress.  i need somewhere to channel it. 

and i am counting the days to our Florida trip. 

and i don't want to look good "for having two kids"...i'm not overweight...just eh.  
i'd prefer wow.  just saying.  is that lame?

and the stress.  yeah.  there is that.  
i treated myself to new swim suits as motivation. 
(from Lime Ricki). 

i just finished my first day.  oh. my. word.  killmenow. 
i thought my heart was going to stop.  
and i kind of hate jillian right now. 
but i'm trying not to take it personally.  

have you done it?  are you awesome now? please feel free to cheer me on. :) 

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20 minute crafter: fabric covered photo mat

i had this adorable print from modmemento and just knew it needed a frame and mat with a little spunk...i bought the frame ($5 from micheals) and it came with a BLAND off white mat...i thought for a minute and came up with this fun and funky alternative...and the the best part is that i had everything on hand...you just may too...
you will need:
a mat
a piece of fabric a couple inches taller and wider than your mat
heat and bond no-sew variety.
iron
cut your piece of fabric a bit bigger than your mat...i used about an inch on each side...do the same thing with your heat and bond...iron the heat and bond onto the back of your fabric and peel off the paper backing...
center your mat under the fabric and cery carefully use your iron to tack the fabric in place...be sure to not go crazy or you will iron your fabric onto your ironing board...at this point you are just trying to hold it in place...
flip over...cut a triangle off of each corner...fold in and iron in place...like wrapping a gift...
once you get the outside finished...cut out the center rectangle of your fabric...be sure to stay an inch or so away from the edge...cut from the corner of the fabric to the corner of your mat...fold in each as before and iron down...
this photo shows a little better what i meant by cutting to the corner.  fold each side in and iron flat...when done with that you can turn it over and iron the front flat down...
add your print and pop it in a frame...unique and colorful cuteness. :) 

sorry the photos aren't super...we are having a dreary wet day here with minimal sun...i'll answer any questions in the comments. :) 


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roller coasters.


a few weeks ago we took a little road trip to a nearby city.  we ended up in one of those little amazingly, overpriced arcade type of places.  inside was a little version of a roller coaster.  possibly one of the most tame ones that i have ever been on...and back in the day there was none that i wouldn't go on.  

growing up we lived near kings dominion and there was always some new and daring rollercoaster to try...backwards ones, upside down ones, ones where you dangled and dipped and went straight up in the air.  i could take them all.  i enjoyed them.  i waited in line for them.  it was fun.  

fast forward to this tiny little roller coaster.  a roller coaster that went around in a small oval and up and down in the most tame of ways.  a roller coaster that moses was excited to ride.  that he couldn't ride alone.  someone had to go with him and doug was not going to do it.  so i did.  i didn't think anything of it because i have been on countless roller coasters 1000's of times more crazy than this little rinky dink thing.  and let me tell you what...it kicked my butt.  i went from complete roller coaster tolerance to zero roller coaster tolerance.  i was dizzy.  i was sick.  i was ill.  i did not like it. 

it's the same for me now with the roller coaster known as life.  back in the day i seemed much more equipped for the crazy ups and downs that came with life.  maybe it was because i was just focused on survival and not really learning...and now learning is the most important to me.  

i'm on the verge of losing track of the ups and downs we have gone through in the last few months...we'd have a dream then have it dashed...mourn, breathe, recoup...dream, dash, mourn, recoup, dream, dash, mourn, recoup...it's a cycle we are in at the moment...this last weekend was no exception.  
in the midst of a celebration, surrounded by family we had more dreams dashed.  we pushed through.  i had my cry and the party went on.  

hope has never been so hard.  i never knew it to be such a painful thing to endure.  but it is.  it's wonderful and cutting all at the same time.  

all the while these things are happening, we know that we know that God's plan is best, that He knows our path and route and has it all planned out.  we are both very ready to accept His choices for us.  but figuring them out has been tough.  

the valleys and peaks have been not so drastic as they once were.  i'd like to think that is part of our growth...that when you are hanging on to Him, He keeps you from the depths and manic highs that the world throws at you and keeps you on a more even path instead.   

He keeps us dreaming at the slightest sign of hope.  even though i am so wearied by the hands of hope.  and even though i promised to give it up to save heartache.  here we are again at it's door.  
and the cycle begins again.
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party uno.

 we had a mini party for aaron on his birthday...
 ...with many VIP's...
 and special guests...
 ...there were cupcakes...
 ...and singing...and blowing out candles...
 ...a happy two year old...
 ...and a surprise at the bottom of each cupcake...
 ...that the birthday boy enjoyed...
to the best of his ability.  :) 

xo
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