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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wedding Crafts on a budget

Well it has been a while since I last posted anything.  My wedding was last weekend so I have been a busy bee getting everything together!

 I want to make it clear that I was not trying to have a 'trendy' vintage wedding like so many people are doing right now.  I love the idea, but I wanted to try and make it look like my wedding decor could have been used in the 1940's.  During that time almost all resources were used for the war effort leaving civilians to make do with what they had, or make it themselves.  Since losing my job I actually ended up having to ration my money like many would have in the 1940's.  Good thing I had already picked out this theme for my wedding.  So this is a post about some of the things I made and how much it cost.

First I will show off my bridal bouquet
 My Mother In-Law had to specially order the purple carnations, which I thought was crazy! Carnations can be dyed any colour.  I had planned on using the beige coloured tulle That I used for my original bouquet post.  But I thought the colour was wrong, and I happened to have this white tulle, which happened to be wrapping from one of my bridal shower gifts.  I also put in some crystal picks I got on sale from Micheal's and wrapped the stem with the same ribbon as the boys medals. As I did not pay for the flowers I can't give the total price of my bouquet.  Here is the break down of what I bought
35 white carnations at $0.80 each - $31.64 with tax
1 Spool of ribbon using 40% off coupon - $2.40
Flower Tape using 40% coupon - $4 (3 spools came with this and I have 2 and a half left which means I only used about $0.66 worth)
Pins - $1.13 from the dollarstore
Flower Picks $5 
The cost without my purple flowers $43.79

Use coupons when you can! 

  I also made my own centrepieces to go with our WWII time theme.  
I found small mirrors at the dollar store to use as chargers. I have 6 mirror tiles from my brother's old house so I only had to buy 6 more.  The small jam jars and quart pickle jars were found at half price after last years canning season. When planning a wedding on a tight budget it is nice to have a full season beforehand to purchase 'out of season' items that you wish to incorporate into your decor.  The floating candles I made.  I thought I had written a post about how I made them, but I did not so I will later and link it back.  I used food colouring to make the water purple.  Inside the quart jar is a bundle of white mini carnations to go with the bridesmaid's bouquets. These were purchased from Costco for $10 a bundle.  Very inexpensive and went well with the theme.  I became very savy with Microsoft Publisher and created an air mail letter that soldiers were given to write home with.  One was placed at each table for our guests to write in. I printed off pictures of air planes flown in the Second World War and used them as table names.  The card stock was purchased on sale for 2 for $1.  We used 4 for the pictures and the small tent card with the air plane facts.  Since I printed the pictures out myself I did not pay for any printing fees, and The ink cartridges cost $30 which was used to make all the reply cards, save the date cards and address labels. 
Total cost for each of the 12 centrepieces was $5.30

To help keep the 1940's War Time Wedding theme alive I made some tissue paper decorations for the walls ceiling.
The dollarstore has a great variety of tissue paper for cheap!  Which was perfect for me since most decorations were made of tissue paper.  I did not want to pay $7 for one medallion so I just made my own by accordion folding the paper and then making it into a circle.  Easy.  I had created a stamp that looked like a postmark with our names on it and taped it to the centre of the medallions.   I found the letters on the Martha Stewart web page, these were used to label the guest book, table for cards and gifts.  I also made some tissue paper pom poms that were meant to be hung from the ceiling, but instead they were hung from the walls. 

I will post more once I'm organized. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Testing Workout Videos - Video #2

Since I wanted just a plain old aerobic workout video without dancing, I looked for a step aerobic video. I do not have a step, but I can at least still do the movements without the step.  For this test I chose Step Aerobics Step by Step with Jenny Ford.  I have done this workout once, and so far I really enjoyed it.  Will keep you posted with my progress at the end of the week,

Workout Video #1 Review

I know,  I have not posted anything in a while.  I did do the workout video Burn Fat Fast Cardio Workout every day.  I did think I was going to get more coordinated as the days went by, but this was not the case.  I found myself losing drive to complete the movements and thought the dance moves to be a little silly as time went on.  I'm not coordinated and don't need all that extra fluff.  

However, if you are coordinated, like to mix dancing with your workouts this would be a good change to your routine.  If you can get past the super happy voice of the instructor.  The video did it's job in terms of making me sweat and get my move on so to speak.  But I lost interest when I wasn't able to do all the movements.

So my rating this video for someone like myself, who is not coordinated, can't dance or hold a beat would be to bypass this workout video.  Too much going on and when I was getting confused with things and then the added happy high pitched voice of the instructor made me frustrated.  Even thought I did get worked out, I hated knowing I had to do this video and lost motivation.

But, if you like to dance and can do more than one thing at a time this video could be for you. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ring Bearer Pillow Alternative

As mentioned before I like to do different things when it comes to my wedding.  I also don't like the idea of something being useless or gone to waste.  This is why I didn't want to have a usual ring bearer pillow.  I wouldn't know what to do with it afterwards,  and I would have 2 of them since 2 of my nephews are my ring bearers.  I would never dream of using them as a throw pillow or put it on my bed.  I'm not a frilly person.  I had seen some great ideas, of bound books, and paper flowers. But what would I do with them after, and I need to keep this wedding as inexpensive as possible.
While I was out last week perusing my favourite and yet not so favourite store I found these wooden hearts. I bought 2, and each on was under a $1.  I knew I had some twine and figured I could make something interesting for the ring bearer pillows.  I wrapped the twine around the heart making it slightly messy on purpose, I don't like perfectly neat crafts.  

  I then looked through my stash of ribbons and found a nice lacy one with gold edges and tied it through the middle of the top, so the ring will hang in the empty space in the centre.  

After the wedding we can use the hearts ti hang on our wall in the bedroom, or as our 'First Christmas' ornaments.  I think they look wonderful and I'm glad to have made a good ring bearer pillow alternative. And it was very easy and inexpensive.

Aug 22, 2012 Weigh In

I'm very elated with my weight this week!  This morning's weigh in was 162.8 lbs!  I've finally lost all the weight I gained from when I went home to my parents house.  Took a few weeks, but it has happened.  I'm almost in the 150's, I think i was 21 the last time I weighed in the 150s.  This is so exciting for me.  

I still don't notice much of a change, but I look at myself everyday.  I think tomorrow I might do some measurements.  But it is really nice when I see someone I haven't seen in a while and they notice I have lost weight.  

I'm hoping the video I have been doing everyday is helping,  I will rate it at the end of the week and pick a different one to do next week.  I really want to get rid of the back fat,  yesterday I tried on my wedding dress, and it was pouring over the back of the dress....not attractive.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Testing Workout Videos - Video #1

Since I have to increase my cardio I have decided to test out exercise vidoes.  As I do not have a lot of money and there is this wonderful thing called the internet with millions of free workout videos I will be searching the web for something that makes me sweat, keeps my heart rate up, and is simple enough for me to follow.  I'm not coordinated at all!  

This week I'm going to start off with a video I found on YouTube called  Burn Fat Fast: Cardio Workout uploaded by BeFit. The girl is very up beat and I will say it was kind of funny to listen to her.  But the name of the game is getting in shape, it's only 20 minute workout so I would recommend doing your own warm up and cool down, just to make sure you are in your target heart rate for 20 mins.  There were some funny booty shakes that I wasn't able to do but perhaps by the end of the week.  I was able to follow the instructions for the most part,  there was a movement towards the end that I just wasn't able to get the timing and direction right. 

I will do this workout every day until Saturday and tell you if I get better at it, and if I can stand her upbeat happiness.

Aug 19, 2012 Weigh In

Yes it has been a few weeks since I posted.  I'm still bobbing between 166 and 164 Lbs. It is clear that I have to up my work outs and continue to keep track of what kind of food I'm eating....So I will be looking for some good workout videos that an uncoordinated person such as myself can follow!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Herb Drying Time!

The time has come to start drying the herbs from the garden for winter.  In keeping with trying to live simpler and use less money to live we decided to dry the herbs this year.  The thought didn't occur to us at all last year.  Colin had dried a few sprigs of rosemary earlier in the summer because he was training the bush into a tree and I loved the taste! The taste of fresh dried rosemary is a million times better than store bought dried herbs.  It makes me wonder why everyone does not dry their own herbs.  
So this morning off we went into the herb garden with the lovely garden basket my brother gave us for Christmas, and chipped some herbs.
We picked onions chives, rosemary, dill (our dill didn't turn out very well this year it was too hot), lavender, sage, parsley and peppermint. 

It is best to pick the herbs in the morning after the dew has dried on them and before the heat of the sun wilts them and dies out their oils.  

I shook them all to get any bugs off them and rinsed them out.  Then lay each sprig out and patted to dry.  You don't want to bundle wet herbs, this is cause mold to grow.

After they were dry I removed any discoloured leaves, as well as leaves with holes in them.  and picked off the leaves on the bottom inch of each sprig.  This gives a good space to wrap the twine around.  

 I tried to make the bundles small and interspersed the leaves so air can move through them.  Once again we don't want any mold to grow on the herbs. I also made a little hook out of some garden wire to hang on our ceiling fan in the kitchen.  

Most people hang their herbs to dry in a dark, cool ,airy, well ventilated room.  We don't have a room with those three attributes, but the most important of them important is the cool, ventilation and air flow.  So we picked the kitchen, which has been the place of herb drying for hundreds of years so I'm quite sure we can not go wrong.  We never use the fan so there is no fear of them being knocked off.     
I made sure the bundles were not touching their neighbours and will be doing a daily check to ensure their is enough air flow going through them.

They should be left to dry 2 to 4 weeks.  And after that you have delicious dried herbs!

I have some glass jam jars I am going to use to put the herbs in when dry.  A good seal is required when storing the herbs.  And they will last up to a year. I plan on using the rosemary, dill, chives and some of the sage for cooking.  I will use the peppermint, lavender and sage for scented sachets.  I can't wait until they are ready!     

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aug 1, 2012 Weigh In

Last week I went back to my hometown with Colin to do some wedding work, and since my laptop was stolen last fall I was not able to update my progress.  I was 163 when I left,  When we came back home I weighed myself and was 167 again!  I wasn't exactly surprised at that measurement though.  Back at my parents house all my rules flew out the door.  Another good learning experience for me though,  next time I will try harder and be more prepared mentally for what is to come.  

Things I did that I shouldn't have:
  • One of the days we helped out close friends that were moving.  An entire day filled with lifting and stair climbing.  Great workout!  But we ate pizza all day....Not good
  • Another day was a friends birthday.  I did well until chips were put in front of me (we saw what I did at Colin's birthday) So I sat for 20 mins and just ate one ofter another....
  •  I didn't drink a large glass of milk before each meal
  • and I had white potatoes 
It's amazing how quickly the pounds return! When we got back home you would think I did everything in my power to get back on track again.  But I didn't,  It was like my mind was still on vacation.  It has only been in the last few days that I have been able to get back on my feet with my routine.  

This morning I weighed in at 165.3.   2 pounds, not bad, but not that good.  It seems that I keep taking steps back for every one forward.  But I will get past this,  hopefully learn something and use it in the future when I get off track again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012 Weigh In

Today's weigh in is 163.8 lbs! It has been about 7 or 8 years since I was this weight.  I must admit to doing a happy dance in the bathroom this morning. This result was much needed.  I know I have been losing about 2 pounds a week, but I have to say I have not noticed my body change, well besides my face is not so round anymore.  When I look down I still see my giant belly with no change.  In fact yesterday I had a little cry because I was losing hope.  I know I see results on the scale, but when I'm not seeing a change in my appearance it's a little (a lot) disheartening.  

I had been avoiding measuring myself and trying on some of my "I will fit into this one day" clothing stash, but I felt good today so I put on a top that I have not warn in about a year because I felt it was far too tight.  The shirt fits nicely! Later on I gathered up more courage and tried on a pair of dress capris I bought a few years ago and never wore because they were too small.  They fit!  In fact they are a little too big.  This made me feel even better about myself so I did the unthinkable!  I tried on the super tight pair of jeans i bought last spring that fit in the store but not when I got home....I hate when that happens!  I wore them for about 10 minutes and got tired of not being able to breath.  The jeans do up without a fight, but my "muffin top" pours over the sides.  This didn't upset me because I was able to do them up as well as breath in them, which is a significant change from the last time i had them on.  If it was cool enough to wear them I could just have a sweater on to cover my 'muffin top".  

Things I did this week:
-I have continued to drink a large glass of water before every meal, including snacks.
-White potatoes are still a bad word in this house...well Colin gets to eat them.  I roast other vegies
-Went to bed hungry ( not starving just hungry)
-Had protein at every meal including snacks, this helps to keep me feeling full longer
-no carbs after lunch.  Carbs while delicious, don't keep you feeling full.  And worst of all make you crave more
-measuring proper portions. Half a chicken breast is one serving,

Colin and I didn't go on our usual long walks this week as he hurt himself playing soccer, but we still went for small walks around the neighbourhood. 

I'm so happy about my weigh in this week.  As I said I was loosing, not hope, but I guess some drive.  Seeing the results on the scale in one thing, but seeing your appearance is another.  And lets face it, people don't lose weight just because they don't want to see a certain number in the scale.  They want to look nice, not see rolls of fat.  Trying on my old clothes was good idea for me today.  I just have to make sure I don't try on stuff too often. 

13 more pounds until my goal wedding weight on 150!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trying to Live the Simple Life

As I have previously mentioned, I lost my job about 4 months ago and I have not been able to find another as of yet.  So I have been trying to find ways to save money,  Which I have found from searching the internet, many people are doing the same. The majority of folks are still living beyond their means and are trying to keep up with those "Johnson's".  

Colin and I have decided we don't care what the "Johnson's" are doing! We must save money and cut down on expenses.  When we have that mastered I will be sure to let you!  Here are a few things we are trying out at the moment.

Plastic zipper bags, everyone uses them for snacks, sandwiches, leftovers, as pencil cases.  I have decided to eliminate that expense completely.  I know you think oh that's not really going to make a big impact, but they cost between $5 to $7 a box, which lasts for about 2 months.  At least they did in my house.  that's over $30 a year.  Which to be honest I would rather save or spend elsewhere since I'm just going to throw it out anyways.  I remembered something my aunt used to do all the time, she would cut open the milk bag and wash it out.  There was always a milk bag drying on the banister at her house.  She would use the bags for my uncle's lunches and anything that needed a bag.  What a great idea, the milk bag was going to be thrown out anyways, might as well get a second use out of it before it goes in the trash.  a reused twist tie works great to keep it closed, or I have just folded it over when storing a tomato that has been cut.  

Energy savings.  I do think this is an issue for most everyone.  Where I live we have "Smart Meters" which basically means we have to pay more to use electricity during certain times and days of the week  Not the best idea, in my opinion to prevent brownouts and whatnot.  They are really just making sure the little guy lives in the dark until 7pm. But anyways we have had to change when we do laundry and run the dishwasher. Computers and TV's do not use much more energy than when turned off, so it's the big appliances that we have to watch out for.  I dry the towels and sheets on the little umbrella clothes line we purchased last summer.  It's was $60, not exactly a cheap item but I love the nice smell, and we don't use the dryer for anything but our clothing which is 2 loads a week.  
We also turn the dishwasher off when it hits the drying cycle.  The dishes can air dry. 

Cutting down the  grocery bill. This on I think is the hardest challenge for us.  We spend far too much money at the grocery store.  I'm terrible at planning out meals, or even just sticking to the list I have made. I will need to work on that.  But we do have a so called "Victory Garden".  I know I was not around during the Second World War, but I have been doing a lot of research on that era.  It was a touch time for everyone.  With the war on people from all around the world had to ration everything because the resources were needed for the war effort.  The Governments called on the civilians to create "Victory Gardens" so they could grow their own food as many farmers were asked to farm goods that could be made into rations for the men in the field.   Now I know that after the war many people continued to grow a vegetable garden.  But in recent years people have stopped because they didn't have the time or want to spend their time on a garden that may or may not produce what they want.  I am very lucky to have Colin, he has a big green thumb, I'm afraid I just don't know what I'm doing in the garden nor know what is a weed and what is not! Over the winder he grew from seeds vegetables in the basement. My parents gave us a couple of light fixtures used for growing plants indoors.  Colin researched what light bulbs to use at what times, and thankfully they are the low energy type.  We were able to successfully transfer most of the plants into the garden.  A few died, we think it was because it is so hot and humid out.     
Green peppers and cucumbers

 Colin made a quick lattice for the cucumber to climb out of wood we found in the garage from the previous tenants, and bamboo sticks from the dollar store.  This year he put plywood under it because last year the weeds grew and made it difficult to see when the cucumbers were ready to be picked.  

Also please note we would make the area around the garden prettier, but as I said we rent this house.   

Two mounds of compost soil and sheep's manure were made and compacted down for the row of green peppers and row of cucumbers.  We planted marigolds around the boarder to keep little critters from eating our plants. 

Lettuce was planted in the side of the pepper mound. 

 A larger circular mound was made in the middle for onion, cauliflower, arugula, spinach (which is not doing well) and watermelon.
On the lattice was have tomatoes and sweet peas.  The tire rim in the back is our compost. 

Things are starting to become ready to eat now.  I have not bought lettuce in 3 weeks!  That's a savings of about $16 already! The only problem is that the romaine is almost gone so we have to grow them in sequence so there will be a steady supply.  I have also talked to Colin about the possibility of have some of the vegetables grown inside over the winter.  We can save over $20 a months on growing our own lettuce, imagine how much more we can save. 

If you have any other neat ideas I would love to hear them. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Medal Boutonniere

I had been looking for a new take on the boutonnieres for the guys in our wedding party. I wanted something to go with theme we have going which is a 1940's War Time Wedding.  I was perusing the web when I saw the idea for vintage war medals. I immediately loved the idea, it's a very different idea then the usual flower.  Not that there is anything wrong with flowers, I just wanted something different. 

I was really excited because my brother is wearing his Royal Canadian Air Force uniform, and he already has real medals. So I would not have to make him one, but since he has his own real medals I needed to make sure the ones I made looked somewhat real, and nice.  Before I decided to make the medals I thought I could buy some.  HAHAHA!  I totally forgot that they are collector's items.  

 So the time to search for materials.  I had thought of pendants, coins, medal buttons.  Anything that was metallic and round of a sort.  I found some nice aluminum pendants at the dollar store, but there was not quite enough for all the men.  I bought them anyways thinking we would go to another store.  

A few days later I went to Micheal's and wondered into an isle I never ever go in. (I'm a frequent Micheal's shopper) At the end of this isle were these pendants! How perfect for my purpose! I was told to go down the isle by the ghost of Micheal's I just know it! haha.  

Since I had a bunch of bar pins and hot glue I only needed ribbon and something to go over the long pin.  Finding ribbon was harder than finding the pendants!  I wanted to use the same colour of purple as the girls dresses, but I was unable to find it in ribbon form.  I settled for black with white diagonal lines.  I'm happy with the choice, looks better than I had originally expected. I stumbled across these inch and a half long medal things, for a lack of a better word, at Micheal's.  They were the perfect size to cover the long pin.

 I'm sure anyone can figure out how to make them,  but if you are anything like me I like to see what other people have done to help with ideas.

 First I pulled the ribbon through the loop hole at the top of the pendant making sure the pattern side is facing out.

 I matched the ends together and hot glued them. I also folded the part of the ribbon that is now narrow in the loop, to make it neat.

I hot glued the top of the ribbon to the long pin on the sticky side.  Make you the pin is on the right side here, the pendant should be facing out. 

I then hot glued the medal thing to the front and put a strip of the plain black side of the ribbon across the top of the pin so it looked clean.

Medal Boutonnieres for groom, best-man, groomsman, ring bearers, and fathers.
Here is what they all look like.  To make sure Colin's stood out he has the top 2 on the left.  The next 2 are for his brother/bestman. I gave him a plane to signify the fact that he is Colin's wingman. the top 2 right are for the ring bearers. Bottom 3 on the left are for the 3 grooms man and the remaining 2 are for the Dad's.  I'm really happy with my craftiness on this project.  I think They are going to look amazing on the day of the wedding.

July 11, 2012 Weigh In

Odd, I had made this post lastnight on my phone, but I guess it did not save.  Oh well.  So the weigh in yesterday was 167.1 lbs.  Not much of a change, but at least it didn't go up.  There was still a lot of chips and other bad and yet so yummy food in the house. Since I knew I could not avoid it or I would end up binging on it, I would have some chips with my lunches and such.  But I would make sure I only had a handfull and no more.  I was surprised I didn't keep digging in the bag for more.  Now I know I can eat chips in moderation.  But this does not mean I'm going to go out and buy chips and crackers.  The only reason they were in the house was because friends brought them for the party.  I don't buy chips.  I try not to buy anything that comes in a box or is processed.  
I make my own turkey burger paddys, and turkey meatballs with out breadcrumbs. I love a couple of meatballs in a low sodium chicken broth with a few sprinkles of fresh parmesan cheese and spinach leaves.  I think that is my favourite lunch.  
I also have a herb and vegetable garden in the back, which I will talk about in another post, that I use for some fresh produce.  I would love a greenhouse to have fresh fruits and vegies all year long. 
I also drink 1 large glass of water before each meal now, instead of the small size cup.   Colin and I have also been going for long walks a few times a week.  Our speed and endurance is better each time.  We feel good.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012 Weigh In

OK, so I completely failed my party challenge! There was chips, and hotdogs, and buns and alcohol.  Everything that I have been staying away from for the past 5 weeks.  All the stuff that I love and crave!  I had thought I had finally moved on, as I have not felt the urge to eat that stuff for a couple of weeks.  I was doing so well, when I would walk in the carb of death isle I wasn't salivating, my heart would not race.  I would look at the crackers and chips and feel disgusted! All that greasy salty crunchy badness. 
Well it turns out my empowerment only goes so far at this point.  When people were eating it all in front of me it was hart to fight the craving.  It was a 2 day bad.

So I weighed myself on Sunday to see what the damage was...171.3  AHHHHHHHHHH!!! Serves me right though.  I knew what I was doing when I was eating and drinking all that bad food.  But then I made it worse!  I felt so discouraged I ate chips and banana bread all day! Colin and I went for a much needed walk that night, and I felt so sick, so bloated so icky! But perhaps there is a silver lining here.  Eating that salty garbage and feeling sick will hopefully be a deterrent for the next time I decide to not watch what I'm eating for the sake of having fun.  And I'm also quite sure I would have had friends if I had good food to eat.  

So on Monday I went back to eating protein at every meal, no bad carbs, water before I eat and making better choices with respect to what I'm putting in my mouth.  I have also done something in the past 3 days I have not been able to do EVER in my life.  I had spinach and carrot chips.  They are like regular chips just not nearly as bad.  I realized this weekend that I will at times be around the foods I used to crave and run to.  I have to learn moderation. So with my lunch I had a handful of the spinach chips. Which is a quarter of a serving size.  After I finished I did not put my hand in the bag to get more.  I was done and put everything back! I'm not planning on having these chips all the time.  In fact I wont buy them again until we have another party or something.  But at least I know now I can eat a handful and not go back for more.  

This morning I weighed myself again.  168.8! I lost almost all the weight I gained! I felt so happy and empowered!  Lesson is there will be road blocks. Get over it,  don't wallow in defeat.  Tomorrow is a new day and you can do it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20, 2012 Weigh In

So this week I weighed in at....168 lbs! I'm in the 160s now! I was so happy when i saw that number i did a dance and ran down into the basement to tell Colin! It's been years since I saw a number that low.  It's amazing how the confidence and strength come when you lose a bit of weight consistently.  I've been losing 2 pounds a week and I'm happy with that.  The number keeps going down.

I'm still drinking water before each meal, I have not had a refined carb in weeks.  The only carbs I eat are whole wheat.  And  only the whole wheat that has whole wheat flour as the first ingredient.  Reading labels is big help in losing weight, and eating right in general.  We should really stop eating all that processed garbage.  It's practically plastic with all the preservative put in.  I only buy things that have one ingredient, or if it's something like bread I make sure it only has a few ingredients listed. I feel good and clean, if that makes sense, inside now.  I have more energy, I feel happier, i think my nails even look better! 

I hope to be at 150 lbs by my wedding in October.  But I feel very confident I can achieve That goal.  I've been working hard and as every day goes by it's easier to say no to things like pizza and fast food burgers. I don't even know when the last time I had a cracker was!  And i love crackers.  

This weekend will be a challenge for me though.  It's Colin's birthday and we are having a party, with junk food and beer!  but I have prepared myself.  I'm going to drink water with lemon and peppermint,  i made turkey paddys,  veggi trey, hummus, and fruit. So I think All will be good! Wish me luck!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wedding Save The Date Post Cards

So My wedding is four months today! Wow time is flying by.  I sent out the Save the Date post cards a few weeks ago, and thought I would share them with you.  In keeping with the DIY and WWII theme, I made post cards using Microsoft Publisher.  I only have the 2003 version so there is a small chance they would have been cooler if I had the 2007 version. But it's just a small chance! hahah 
We didn't get engagement photos done so I had to search our photo stash for a picture of the two of us looking nice.  Colin usually makes funny faces in pictures so it took awhile.  This picture was actually taken when we first started dating! 

I used my Adobe Photoshop program to make the picture look kind of like a stencil, as I wanted to have a 1940's propaganda poster look.  I downloaded the fronts from Font Space   This website has loads of different fonts that are sure to fit any theme. The front Font is called 'American Captain'  I used a clipart picture of a pointing finger to go along with the propaganda poster theme.  
 For the back of the post card I looked at pictures of real vintage post cards and made my own design based on them.  The font here is also from Font Space, it's called 'Twentieth Century Poster'.

The hardest part of this was making sure everything printed out properly! I wasted a few pages of cardstock on this project!  

I think they came out really nice and fit perfectly with our theme of a World War two era wedding.  And it didn't cost much money either! Just the cost of the cardstock. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012 Weigh In

Today's weigh in is...Drum roll please!

Yay, I'm almost out of the 170s! I must say this whole losing weight is hard, but it's because it's a lifestyle change.  I stopped eating white potatoes...Anyone who knows me knows I love potatoes.  Roasted is the my fav.  But I just roast other veggies now, like cauliflower or parsnips. I also drink a glass of water before each meal. I know everyone has been saying to do that for years, but it works!  I get fuller faster so I don't end up over eating.  Plus it helps me get the 8 glasses of water in each day.  I feel so good now.  I wore shorts yesterday that I bought a few years ago but wasn't able to wear.  How exciting is that! The new me is around the corner!  

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 8, 2012 Weigh In

So it's been awhile since I last posted anything.  I've been so busy lately with the wedding only 4 months away.  Exciting!  And also very nerve racking,  I feel that I still have so much to do.

Anyways today's weigh in is 172.3! YAY!  I broke through the 175 mark.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 14, 2012 Weigh In

OK well I guess I will post my Monday weigh in and measurements.
177.3 lbs
Chest - 44
Waist - 45.5
Hips - 43.75
Thigh - 20
Upper Arm - 12.25

Looks kinda bad!  But hopefully posting this information for who ever to see will help motivate me to make those numbers go down!  

I walk/ran three days last week.  I was hoping for more but my excuse was weather.  I know a true athlete would not care.  Hopefully I can change this for this week.  I also started to spray lavender fabric softener mixed with water on my pillow before bed to help me sleep.  I think it has worked well.  I don't don't spend as much time tossing and turning.  So that was a good trick.  I still don't like getting up in the morning.  I will have to find something that is good for that!

Well on to week 2! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The 9 pm Carb Cravings

So every night at about 9pm I get very strong carb cravings, and I have not been able to ignore them yet.  They are so intense! I can't help but feel I should be able to conquer these cravings because I was able to quit smoking cold turkey 4 months ago.  It wasn't easy at all...but I sometimes feel that quitting smoking was way easier than getting fit and losing my excess fat.

I bought hummus yesterday to eat with my carrot sticks, but someone ( we wont mention who) didn't put it in the fridge.  I was hoping to snack on that tonight when the urge comes...but I think I will have to go sans hummus.  OH well.  Carrots are good on their own, I just don't find them satisfying. That's why I love carbs.  They make me satisfied faster than other foods, however the fullness feeling does not last long so that usually leads me to eat a whole damn bag of chips....

Ah chips the greatest and yet worst invention.  Most people say chocolate is their weakness, but chips are mine.  Don't get me wrong I enjoy sweets.  But I would much rather have salty chips or crackers.  Yesterday when Colin and I were in the grocery store we went into the chip and cracker isle and my heart was racing, i started to salivate all I could think about was how much I wanted a box of crackers.  It was exactly the same feeling I had when I wanted or was about to have a cigarette.  Crazy! I'm actually addicted to salty food.  I always joked about the fact that I was addicted to food, but my reaction to the chip isle last night was a HUGE eye opener for me.  Maybe now that I know it's a bigger problem then I had initially thought I can take better care of my cravings.  

And you will be happy to know I did not get anything salty.  Well that's not true, I got a bag of those Twistos things.  It wasn't worth it!  they were ok and only 90 cal. but the cost was too much for what you get.  Which I guess the same can be said for a regular bag of chips too.  I did buy dried cranberries.  I'm going to snack on them as well as put them in salads.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weight Loss Motivation Time

So I have been trying to lose some weight for a while now and it seems like I'm not getting the results I want.  But then I'm only measuring one thing.  My weight,  seemed like a good idea to me, I'm trying to lose weight so I why would I measure my progress in another way?

Well I think I'm going to have to reevaluate....I keep gaining and losing the same 5 pounds every week. So I think two things need to be changed, one is my workout routine and the other is measuring other goals for myself other than pounds lost.  So I'm going to think more about my overall fitness level/ endurance and strength and setting smaller goals to focus on.

Now I have noticed more endurance on the part of my lungs for sure.  I quit smoking 4 months ago so that is also a huge impact on my aerobic abilities.  But I feel good when I walk I'm not gasping for air as much nor do my lungs hurt after only a little bit of working out.  

Last week I added walking for a half hour to my daily workout routine, I find it it's a great way to release stress, be by myself and just work out in the open air. After my first walk my arm, shins and feet were KILLING me! I found an article on SparkPeople about the proper way to walk.  Which I thought was silly since I have bee walking most of my life! But it turns out most of us are walking improperly, I usually drag my feet and over pronate.  While the only thing I can do to stop over pronating is correct foot wear I had no idea that dragging my feet would cause aches and pains in my legs.  Rolling heal to toe and lifting the foot up off the ground is the right way, making sure your toes face the front and not inward or outward.  I know I know, we all know this!  But do we practice it?  Think about it the next time you walk, I bet you will find you are doing it wrong.
I also read that your arms should be bent at the elbow like a runners while walking to lose weight.  This helps to propel you forwards without taking too large of a stride.

This week I have incorporated jogging 1/3 round the track every other lap.  I plan to work up to half the track, then jog each lap, eventually working up to jogging a whole lap.  It's been a long time since I have been able to do that!

Ok so my weeks goals are:

1, to walk/run 5 days this week
2, not weight myself
3, read a motivating article about nutrition and fitness everyday
4, reduce stress with yoga

Wish me luck!  I will post my progress next week.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vintage Inspired Wedding Ballerina Bouquet

As I'm planning my wedding I have also been searching high and low for cheep alternatives to just about everything. I found myself worried that I was going to have a tacky wedding! My 'dream' wedding was to be married at a Pioneer Village near my hometown.  That venue dream was squished because the buildings are not heated, and my wedding is in October.  So that idea was shot down.  We found another venue that fit in our price range as well as I would rather my money go to them then a hall.  Our reception will be held at one of the Royal Canadian Legion Branches.  The hall (which is a large Edwardian House) is very nice with military hero pictures and history.  Two things I'm in love with.  So the wedding theme was changed to accommodate the venue to 'WWII Era Wedding'.  I'm in love with this theme! As you don't know me very well yet,  you won't know that I am very passionate about military history and the men and women who give up so much of themselves to keep us safe know and in years past.

Anyways, back to the flowers.  I was researching wedding bouquets that women would have used during the 1940's and I came across a bouquet called 'ballerina bouquet'. Because flowers were expensive and scarce due to the war, tulle was used around the bottom edge of the bouquet to make it look fuller. I thought this would be the perfect style of bouquet for my wedding, it fits the 1940's war time theme and it's inexpensive.  

I decided to use carnations for my wedding flowers for a few reasons, the first being they remind me of my Gran, she loved red carnations; the second reason being they are a very hearty flower and wont wilt as fast as other flowers; lastly carnations are a very inexpensive flower.  

I raided my fabric stash and found a cream coloured tulle with shiny beads and crystals sewn into it. I watched about a hundred videos on how to make a bouquet and I was fanially ready to have a go myself to see if I had bitten off more than I could chew.  As I was placing each flower in my hand in the shape I wanted, I wrapped a strip of tulle about 3 inches long around the carnations.  I also used florists tape to keep the carnations together.  Then I wrapped the tulle down the stems and used a couple of my sewing pins to keep the stem wrapping in place.  I think for my wedding I will use ribbon to wrap the stems.

 I think the bouquet turned out very lovely if I don't say so myself. I'm going to make the bridesmaids out of the white carnations and my bouquet out of a deep purple of the bridesmaids dresses, which we have not found yet!  Less than six months to go!!!

I also made a corsage


Saturday, April 14, 2012

My First Post - Inspiring Thoughts

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  I started this blog because of an article I read in my Weight Watchers magazine titled "What are you, Chicken" Written by Sandra Gordon.  I know what you are thinking now,  this is going to be all about wight loss and how chicken is the only thing to eat.  Well you are wrong!  The article is about facing your fears, putting yourself out there and changing your life into something you are happy with and proud of.  

This hit the spot with me for sure.  I lost my job a couple of months ago due to restructuring of the place I worked.  I spent the first month and a half feeling sorry for myself and crying just about every 10 minutes....Pretty sad existence if you ask me.  I was just worried about everything being all wrong and not focusing on what was right in my life and what needed to be changed. I would go to interviews and think I did great only to hear back that I don't have enough experience.  Once again where do I get experience if no one will hire me.  So I sunk deeper into the slum I had made for myself, started to gain the weight I had lost back and hid in my house.  

The sun, what an amazing thing that sun is.  The sun came out mid March and I started to feel good inside.  Mostly because it was nice out,  the birds were chirping the weather was warm, I couldn't help but feel good.  I started to work out again, made lists of what I wanted to accomplish that day, making healthy meals for my fiance and myself (even thought he is pickier than most kids).  But I'm still in a rut, unemployed and have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.  To top it off Colin and I moved 200km away from our family friends a year and half ago to make what we thought was going to be a better life for ourselves.  There is something about spending time with people you have known for years and shared so many memories with. 

But back to the article, the premise was that I was standing in the way of my happiness, by not taking chances and always chickening out.  I made a list of 10 things I wanted out of life in the next 5 to 10 years, and then asked myself what am I doing to make these things happen?  Well nothing! And it was excuse after excuse reasons why I'm not doing things like selling my knitting, or sewing, trying to help others. Most of it was I, like most people, am afraid of failure.  But then i read this " When things don't go your way, you didn't fail. The experiment did." It was like a bright light signalling to me! I have been told this in different words before, but last night the meaning finally dug in and I understood.  

So here I am putting myself out there and hopefully I can inspire someone else today.