Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Word For The Year

All over the blogs, I have been seeing posts about choosing a word for the year. 

And since I always like to be sure that I am at the cutting edge of the newest trends.... OK, so maybe not, really, but it seemed like a good idea, I decided to find myself a word for 2011. 

After a great deal of blog surfing and perusing long lists of words, I narrowed my choices down to ten.

Diligence,  Manage,  Persistence, 
Strive,  Accomplish,  Complete, 
Maintain,  Pursue, Regroup
{It's been a rough year, people!}

Each of those words made the top ten list, but I narrowed my choice to the one word that really embodies what I want to do with the coming year.

My word for the year is.....


Focus on what is important, what I need to finish, what I want to accomplish, what I want to be when I grow up, what I need to change. 

Dude, ... I need to make a list!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lap Band Update

Looking back at my blog, one of the things that I had on my "list" was LOSE WEIGHT 

I did have my lap band surgery on November 17th.  It went very well and I am pleased with the results. 

I have lost 40 pounds as of today.  Seven weeks since the surgery and two weeks of very restricted diet before.  That is almost 4 and a half pounds a week.  During Christmas and Thanksgiving.  SWEET!

Nope, I am not posting any fab before and after pics 'cause we are definately not "after." 

Maybe just sort of barely started, actually. 

Lap Band was a big decision for me.  I really felt for years that with God's help I could lose the weight.  But as my diabetes got worse and I felt more and more tired, I finally realized that maybe God was telling me that Lap Band was the help that I was looking for.

It hasn't been easy, but it has changed my relationship with food.  Eating is just something I do now {at least most of the time} and not entertainment or comfort.  I hope that with God's help I can completely change the destructive relationship that I had with food into a simple "Eating to Live" attitude.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

3 in 30 Challenge

As I was strolling through Blogland, I came across this great challenge. 

Meghan over at The Tuckers Take Tennessee has challenged bloggers to pick 3 goals that they want to accomplish in the next 30 days and join her in being accountable to meet them.

You all know how I love me some lists, so .... here goes!

1.  Figure out a daily, weekly, and quarterly housekeeping plan that will keep the house nice with a minimum of effort.

2.  Pay off one credit card entirely!  {better be a little one}

3.  Get some 3-D cutey decor on Etsy.

Okey Dokey, folks.  There it is.  Now I just actually have to do it!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Paper Bag Palm Trees

Why, Oh Why did it not occur to me to take some pictures of these palm trees in progress?  Silly, I know!

Pool Noodles are the secret to making palm trees.  I taped two pool noodles together end to end with duct tape.  Then I spray painted them brown.  Each tree took about 100 lunch size paper sacks.  I cut the bottoms off of all of them and then smooshed them down together.  I slid the bags onto the pool noodles until I had the whole thing covered.  The bottom and top bag got taped onto the pool noodle with masking tape and kinda scrunched around to cover up the tape.  After that I took them outside and sprayed a little brown paint on them to give them a bit of texture.

The palm leaves required 24 inch florist wire, hot glue and tissue paper.  I cut the paper in half and laid the two rectangles end to end overlapping a little bit.  Then I ran a generous bead of hot glue down the length of the paper starting about an inch from the end and embedded the wire in it.  It took two pieces of wire for each one that overlapped in the middle and stuck out a few inches on one end.  Then I glued the other piece of tissue on top over the same glue line.  Next, I fringed the sides of the palm fronds.

I used fishing twine in the top of the pool noodle to hang them from the drop ceiling.  Then I jammed the wires into the hole in the end of the pool noodle and used more fishing line to position the fronds.

Clear as MUD!


When we last visited the Children's Church, the waterfall was a flat, one-dimensional painting on the wall. 

After wrestling several pieces of 2 inch styrofoam insulation into submission we have a 3-D waterfall with "water" and some fancy greenery.

One larger sheet of foam was carved out with a hot knife to match the general shape of the waterfall.  Then layers of foam built out the actual bed of the stream and smaller pieces of foam formed the front of the rocks. 

The actual water is made from three layers of fabric.  A more opaque base is fluffed up with blue net and then covered with a shimmery, sheer layer of fabric.  A string of Christmas lights under the fabric adds a bit of sparkle. 

Rocks carved from foam and some faux ferns make it look a little more real.

Makes me want to go find a nice quiet waterfall to sit beside and relax from this crazy Holiday season.  I need to find a recording of rushing water!  Won't be able to sit around long....I'll have to run to the potty!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year and New Recipe

We celebrated a Fun, Frugal and Fabulous New Year's Eve last night. 

Cards and Food! 

A very nice time with my mom, my oldest son and his girlfriend.  We had homemade pizza and some appetizers.  Pretty much our typical New Year's Eve menu. 

But .... as I was running through the grocery store to pick up the last minute ingredients I remembered a post that I had read here on Make It and Love It about Brownie Covered Oreos.  So I grabbed a package of store brand Oreos and a brownie mix.  A grand total of $4.00, (which could have been much cheaper if I had some couponed brownie mixes in my pantry ... shame on me!). 

When I got home I took some time to peruse the beautiful tutorial here at Picky Palate

Looked simple enough! 

I was a bit nervous because my muffin tin looks a little vintage rather shiny and non stick like the one that she used, so I sprayed the heck out of it with some cooking spray.  I dipped those bad boy oreos in the brownie mix and plopped them into the muffin pan.  The only problem that I ran into was that then mix I grabbed was an 8X8 pan size.  It was enough to cover two dozen cookies, but the last few were a little skimpy.  Next time I will get the family size brownie mix. 

I shoved them into the oven and baked 'em at 350 for 13 minutes.  Ran a knife around the edge of each one as soon as they came out of the oven.  Perfection.  They popped out of there just like a non stick miracle.

The recipe called for white chocolate drizzled on top, but for some reason my thoughts turned to powdered sugar .....  Which led me to a stencil snowflake. 

Of course, I had to root around and find a stencil.  I discovered one with the "Perfect Brownie" pan we got for Christmas last year, but you could easily punch one from cardstock or cut one out with a Cricut or some such device.

A couple of minutes later I had the cutest, yummiest cookies of the holiday season. 

None of them survived the evening.