The 6 Week Weight Loss Challenge is Over… And has been for awhile.

It’s been so long since I have updated this website! I’m not doing so hot on this New Year’s Resolution huh? This summer has just been crazy busy. Every weekend we’ve had events. As much as I love summer… this one has just been non-stop and I’m ready for fall. Football, sweatshirts, tailgating, bonfires… it’s going to be amazing! Best of all, I get my weekends {and weekdays for that matter} back!!!

But anyway, back to what this post is about! As you have read previously, I have started this weight loss journey for real. And things have changed, for the better! I just haven’t posted about it… but that’s all about to change, I promise. I’m going to start at least letting you know where I’m at weight wise.. even if it’s just a number in the post.

If you are friends with me on my personal Facebook page, you probably already know the news regarding my 6 week challenge at Elite Edge Gym, however, if you are not… well here it is: I lost the 20 pounds!!! Not an ounce over or under… exactly 20 pounds.

I am so relieved, as if a huge boulder was taken off my shoulders. During the last week of the challenge, I only had 3 more pounds to go… which typically would have fallen off easily judging from the previous weeks, but for some reason, those pounds were sticking hard the remaining 6 days. And I really think it was stress related.

But in the end, I did it!! That is $300 I got back into my bank account. Seriously… it’s such an amazing feeling, knowing I accomplished my first real, hefty goal. In reward for my 20 pound weight loss, my husband told me I could purchase a pair of cowboy boots to replace the last pair I had to give a burial to on that dreadful, September day… So that following Saturday, that’s exactly what I did, I got a new pair of boots. And I couldn’t be happier with my first weight loss reward.

I’m still debating what my next reward is at the following 20 lbs lost, which I’m aiming to complete by end of August, beginning of September. My reward was going to be a new swimsuit… but at that point, summer will be over. And by next summer, I better be at my end goal & wasting money on a new swimsuit now {at the end up swimsuit season} seems ridiculous to me… so I am still deciding. If you got any ideas, please let me know! :)

Anyway!

I now also get to update my chart and pictures. I forgot to write down all the measurements for the 220#, so one column will be missing those… and I forgot to take pictures at the 210#, but you’ll get the idea. :) I promise I’ll start to remember!

Start 220# 210# 200# 190# 180# 170# 160# 150# 140#
L Bicep  14″  13.5
R Bicep  15″  14.5″
Boobs  47″  43″
Under Boobs  42″  39.5″
Belly Button  51″  47″
Hips  50″  47.5″
L Thigh  27.5″  24.5″
R Thigh  27.5″  25″

 

220 pounds

220lbs-1

220lbs-2

 

Right now, as I type this post, I am soooooo close to 30 lbs.. so I’m about to update all these pictures and chart here in the next few days!!!  {Hopefully}

So now you’re probably wondering what I’m doing now? Or maybe no, but I’m gonna tell ya anyway. I got myself a trainer, named Michael Turner, for the next long haul. I met him at Complete Nutrition in Ankeny {while I was still with Elite} when I was getting more protein powder. He’s the manager there and helped me a lot and we just hit it off right away. Then he mentioned he was a nutritionist and trainer… so I kept his card just in case. And I am so glad I did!

He’s pretty similar to Elite in regards to the food plan {my macros are higher for what my body actually requires}, but it’s much more personal than the large group at Elite.

He actually pays attention; telling me how much to lift, counting for me to ensure I don’t miss one rep. And I actually come home shaking. And I love it.  We have so much fun even if I am cussing him out the entire time… which he loves! I absolutely LOVE lifting and my favorite part is when I hit muscle failure and I literally can. not. do. another. rep.

Clothes that haven’t fit in years are starting to look nice, or dare I say baggy? And people have and do notice a big change, which in my honest opinion, is the best part about this whole journey… I can see the tiniest of change, good or bad, but when it’s drastic enough that other people notice?

It’s awesome sauce.

So I’ll leave you with this for now. But look for another update next week… Good or bad, because I’m surprising Jason with an adult get away trip for our anniversary, and we leave Thursday… But I plan on at least running 2 of the 3 mornings {while everything is quiet} during our vaca. All this will make sense next week when I tell you all the dets! Promise.

And I’m hoping to have another photo dump post soon also! It’s been so long since I’ve posted my offspring!

Hopefully everyone has an amazing week and I can’t wait until next time!!

 

 

Kicking Fat’s Ass Update

It’s about time for an update, ya think? It’s been awhile. But honestly, I have been kicking my ass. In such a good way.

Long story short for the first part of this post, I’m down 9 lbs in 3 weeks. Which is dang amazing really. 3 lbs a week! I never have been able to do that, ever in my life. Maybe a pound or two at the most, every other week or so.

I’m starting to see muscle show up on my body. I bent over to tie my shoe, and BAM! In my face was this calf muscle… it popped outta no where! “Hello there you sexy calf you. Welcome back”

Now for the long story… yet still a short version.

I did the 3 weeks of Kosoma with my cousin’s girlfriend Emily. And I really enjoyed it. It was fun, I walked out of there incredibly sweaty after each workout. However, I was still learning a lot. I didn’t loose any weight while there. But I noticed I was getting stronger.

At the beginning of the Kosoma free trial… I couldn’t do anything. Literally… burpees? HA. You’re funny. I couldn’t get from a squat to my feet jumping back & then forward… but then they wanted me to stand back up and jump again? Ya… They were lucky I could even stand back up at all.

I literally could only walk my legs back; walk them forward; somehow, got myself to stand up, and “jumped” but my toes were still on the ground. I was a mess. I was like that for every exercise we did.

Kosoma really opened my eyes on just how out of shape I was. And it was embarrassing. My three weeks was coming up and I knew I couldn’t join. It’s too expensive.

During my last week of Kosoma, my cousin Travis stopped over & mentioned he had a test run at Elite Edge Gym. I hadn’t heard of it, but the more he was telling me about it, the more it seemed pretty similar to Kosoma. Music loud and pumping throughout the gym, a coach in front telling you how or what to do, a clock running, high adrenaline. But then he mentioned, “They’re the home of the 6 Week Bootcamp Challenge”. Okaaaaay… and that is…?

Loose 20 pounds in 6 weeks and the whole thing is free. Yes. Free. $300 paid for. But if you don’t loose it… you’re stuck loosing the money. And that’s a shit load of money.

And it’s strict, they give you a food list you can choose from. No alcohol {ya’ll know how hard that is for me}, no bread, no pasta, no dairy, no recipes. Literally, just simple foods. A piece of protein, some veggies, and a little bit of fat. Luckily, you get one cheat meal every week where anything and everything is okay to eat or drink.

That. Is. It. The nutrition is determined by Macros. Girls must eat 100 grams of protein, 50 g of Net Carbs {Carbs – fiber}, & 50 g of Fat a day. Which is lower than my numbers probably should be. However, this is a 6 week body bootcamp! Not a little walk in the park… quite literally.

The only thing that makes me slightly uneasy is all women, no matter the size, had these same numbers. Women who are twice my size or half my size all had to eat the same numbers… which I feel shouldn’t be the case. But they’ve been doing this for a long while and must know what they are talking about.

But, after much deliberation, and contemplating, and chit chats with the hubs about it.. I decided to go for it. Jump in with both feet. This was an incredibly tough decision. $300 is no joke. And I’m so happy I did. {Although, the 6 weeks isn’t done yet… so we’ll see}

I was incredibly petrified at the first workout. This is an intense journey. And I’m so scared to fail. For a number of reasons.

But walking out after that first class, my spirits were lifted. I don’t know if it was because I had just got done with 3 weeks of Kosoma or what, but I didn’t leave that class dying. There were other’s who were seriously struggling and seeing them with their struggles hit home. I was just there 3 short weeks prior to that night. Although I still struggled thru the first week or so’s workouts, I know how difficult it is in the beginning. But it also made me realize while I didn’t loose any weight at Kosoma, it definitely made me stronger. It prepped me in some way, both mentally and physically. And I walked out of Elite’s first class accomplishing all the workouts. I was a hot mess, but I had done it.

And I’ve only gotten better from that day, 31/2 short weeks ago.

Like I mentioned earlier, at 3 weeks in, half way there, I’m down 9 lbs. I would have felt better being down 10, half way down at the half way mark. But 9 lbs is 9 lbs. I have never accomplished 9 lbs in 3 weeks. Not even in a month. So how can I be upset about this?

And not to mention, 1 more lb down, I get to update my graph and picture!!!

My goal is 13 lbs down by Monday. I can do this… it’ll be tough, but I can.

With that said, I decided I needed to add a little more umph to my already 5 weekly workouts at the gym. And I have decided I’m going to go for a walk every day with part or all of my family. Not anything huge, but enough to burn some calories.

Tonight was walk number one of the week. :) The hubs took the oldest two fishing, while I took the remaining peeps & pups. I loved it. And who can say they walked two great danes and twins all by themselves? This gal, that’s who. But Moose and Diesel are great walkers. They don’t tug at the leash, they stay by my side, they don’t chase after things or other dogs. I take them for a walk, they don’t walk me. And my walks are far more enjoyable for that reason alone :)

Can’t wait to update you this coming Monday!

Official weight-in day! Hopefully, I’ll be down 13 lbs!

Going for a walk

Hitting Rock Bottom

Have you ever hit rock bottom? And I don’t necessarily mean just in fighting obesity… it could be with anything; an addiction, a habit, a relationship, anything that tore you down?

It’s not a fun feeling. In fact I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The realization of that rock bottom takes over, consumes you, brings on panic attacks, and breaks you down. To be honest, looking up is completely overwhelming. To see the light at the end of the tunnel seems so impossible, but when you’re sitting at the bottom, hugging your knees, trying to find your breath between your tears, you have no other choice but to stand up & begin the journey towards that light.

It’s an experience alright. And one I pray you never have to go through. But if you do, know you aren’t alone. So many people have had to hit rock bottom before they’re forced to find an escape. And that escape is a process.

My rock bottom? Was this past Saturday night. It was the first night since my birthday back in February, that we didn’t have any small people with us. Broden was at his mom’s, and the girls were with my parents. And we finally had a night to ourselves. And I couldn’t have been more excited for it. It was such a sigh of relief to have him all to myself.

I had dropped off the kidlets and by the time I got home, it was time to shower. We decided date night was Texas Road House {we had a gift card}, and there is no such thing as getting there early on a Saturday. So I hopped in the shower, and once I got out, I realized, for the first time, our towels weren’t wrapping completely around me. Not even close.

Oh well. I knew I gained weight. It wasn’t a surprise really.

But then it was time to get dressed. During the week I work at my in-home daycare… nice clothes aren’t required. I’m up and down all the time, running around, chasing and lifting little squirts all day long.

So it’s rare when I do get to dress up. And Saturday, my date night with my hubby was the first one in a long time. I knew my jeans were getting tight. Like really tight. But Saturday for some reason, it was especially hard to get those suckers on. I really wanted to blame it from still being damp, ya know the feeling: trying to put clothes on when you’re not completely dry from your shower can seriously be a daunting task. But I knew that wasn’t the real reason.

I finally got my jeans on… and it wasn’t pretty.

Next up was tops. I tried on most of the shirts in my closet. And nothing. Not one. single. shirt. fit. How does that even happen? And clearly… I had to find something… I can’t exactly walk out in public top less. So.. I just settled on something. Knowing damn well how awful it looked.

In the duration of the time, Jason was in the shower. And once I finally settled on something, I moved into the bathroom to start my hair. And it was taking all the strength I had to not start bawling. Jason was done showering, got dressed, and instantly knew something was wrong.

He tried to talk to me, he tried to get me to tell him what was clearly bothering me, but there was nothing to say. What was there to say? How on earth was that conversation supposed to go? I was hiding my tears while blow drying my hair and trying to control my quivering lip. I am obese. And there was no hiding from it anymore.  There was no more turning my head from the obvious.

I do not have one piece of clothing that fits. Not sweats, not underwear, no shirts, pants, absolutely nothing in my closet fits me.

Now typically, when one complains they don’t have any clothes to wear… everyone knows they are completely over exaggerating. You know they really have their closet full of clothes, their spare room’s closet full, and totes beyond your wildest dreams that are not longer in style as of last month.

I, however, am not exaggerating. My maternity clothes don’t even fit. And I think that’s what made the realization hit as hard as it did. I was pregnant with twins, in addition to four gallons of extra fluid, yet, the preggo clothes fit then, and now they don’t.

It’s just down right embarrassing. It’s an awful feeling.

As I finished getting ready, I continued on with my pity party. I cried. Had a few panic attacks. I sat and thought, & pondered how the hell I let myself get here. I remembered my totes I have in storage of all the clothes that I use to wear. My skinny clothes as I call them & I refuse to get rid of. I will wear them again. What’s the point in getting rid of them now anyway… they are 10 years old… completely out of style. But once I’m that small again, I won’t even care! Hell, I’m 30 with a small herd of children. I make my own damn style. I’ll just be excited because it’ll feel like a whole new wardrobe!

And that’s when the hardest part of my rock bottom hit, while I was wallowing in my own self pity, I manage to realize I have almost 100 lbs to lose. Just wrap your head around that. 100 lbs. 100 fucking pounds. I have never… ever… once imagined being able to get this big. Yet, that day I never thought I would see, is here. Que: my last panic attack for that day.

Then I decided it was time to buck up. This 100 pounds doesn’t define who I am. The person I am is hiding inside just dying to be released. This 100 pounds isn’t permanent. Just because it’s here now, doesn’t mean it’s here to stay. I can change this. It’s a giant climb out from the rock bottom, but it’s possible.

And I’m going to fucking do it.

Writing my last post, it hit me like a ton of bricks just what my first hurdle would be: doing this weight loss journey for me. Sure I said I wanted to lose weight in the past, who doesn’t? But I never wanted it for me. In fact, I always had a work out buddy. Which is great, don’t get me wrong. I highly suggest having one if it fits your needs. But make sure you aren’t using your work out buddy as a crutch. Last summer I worked out with my cousin, Beth, a lot. We rode bikes before work, sometimes hit the gym, worked out in my basement a couple times.

flipping tire

But every morning, I hoped and prayed she would cancel. I would listen for that text to come through and cringe just a little bit when it never came. But when it did? I would lay back, close my eyes, go back to sleep, and completely forget about the fact I was missing my workout. I would use my workout buddy as my reason for working out at all and also my excuse as to why I missed it. I never thought twice. If they canceled, I canceled.

I could have easily gotten up anyway and went for that bike ride. But didn’t. Because my crutch wasn’t there to ‘help me’.

I didn’t need help. I didn’t need a workout buddy to make me exercise. I needed me to want it. And I just didn’t want it bad enough. Because I hadn’t hit rock bottom.

This week, Kosoma started a 3 week free trial, and while at one the Campbell’s famous BBQ’s, my cousin Brett’s, girlfriend, Emily {are you following me?} told me about this free 3 week trial and asked if I would be interested in joining her. Knowing about my previous night, I just went with it. I was scared out of my mind if I am being honest. I heard Kosoma was tough. And I’m not in shape enough to be tough. But what did I have to lose? Besides weight? :)

Day 1: sucked balls. In fact, getting into my Yukon about made me topple over and fall to the ground. I could barley lift my arms to the steering wheel and switching my foot from the gas peddle to the brake and back to the gas… was almost impossible.

But almost impossible, almost fell, and barley lifting my arms? It wasn’t “I couldn’t”. It wasn’t “I couldn’t get into my Yukon” or “couldn’t lift my foot for the gas and brake peddle.” Which meant I couldn’t be as weak as I originally thought I was.

So I went for round two Tuesday night. And it hurt just as bad as night one. But I once again, walked out of there, got into my vehicle, and made it home. Without collapsing.

But on day three, my first giant hurdle was tested… because Emily couldn’t go to Kosoma last night. And for the first time in a super long time I didn’t even hesitate. I knew for a fact, I was going regardless. Because I was doing this for me.

And what made me feel even better? When I got home, my husband looked me in the eye and said “I am so proud of you. I know how bad you are hurting, and I know what the old you would have done when you received Emily’s message. And you went anyway. You’ve been talking about this for a long time & it’s time to just do it.” I have realized I am not using her to get my workouts in. I am just fully enjoying her as an actual workout buddy. What a work out buddy should be.

This is for real. I’m doing this. I may hurt for a long time. And I may have to fall down on the toilet because my legs can’t let me down easy… but I’m doing this. For me. And that statement is such a breath of fresh air. Which means I’m one giant hurdle up from that rock bottom.

The New Me

Part of my New Year’s Resolution goals was to lose this weight once and for all. To not start over again & instead to continue on with my journey, even if I fail a day or two here and there.

I hate how this weight is literally keeping me down… in more ways than one. It’s depressing and you can’t run from it. Or run at all. It changes your relationships with people, the ones you truly love. Even though, you know they will love you regardless of what you look like… it’s hard to be the same confident person you were just years ago.. it changes things, your perspective on things, your outlook on life. And things that were so fun before and a constant in my life, are no longer. Take for example something as simple as taking pictures.

I used to love being in pictures… now my heart drops whenever a phone is brought out for a ‘selfie’. I always hate how I look, how I ruin the picture.

I also feel like everyone is always judging me. I watch everyone’s eyes… it is now a habit, and as soon as their eyes detour from my face to anywhere else on my body, I just know what they are thinking. And it could possibly be they are just zoning out and that’s where their eyes just happen to land. But regardless of the intentions or what they are thinking, that’s what I think. Every. Single. Time.

And please raise your glass and take a drink with me if you have that friend who always tells you how fat they are yet they are half the size of your leg? Maybe they don’t realize how that makes you feel… maybe they don’t realize you’d do anything to look like them… the ever-so-fat person they think they are? It’s down right hurtful. I hear it constantly from tons of people… some people I don’t know, some that I do. 90% of the time they are just fishing for compliments. And I don’t give them any. And maybe the other 10% have as bad as self esteem issues as I do. But either way, there’s a way to go about it to not make the actual ‘fat’ person feel so low about themselves.

 

IMG_7420

I am tired of hearing everyone’s opinion how I should eat. Of those who have claimed to know it all, non are even a licensed dietitian. Everyone has a different opinion and they all think that’s how I will lose the weight. Although, some of these crash diets aren’t doing their body justice like they think it is… but who I am to tell anyone that? If they have found what works for their body, then great! Kudos to you! But please, don’t tell me that’s exactly how I should eat as well. I have read enough trainers’ blogs, books, and even had a personal trainer myself to have a guideline of how to eat. If all the professionals have used the same eating tactics for decades upon decades… it must have some truth behind it & work. I know my body needs all the food groups… and I personally don’t think starving your body of one or more of those groups is the answer. But that’s my personal opinion, in which everyone is entitled to their own. So for me, I know what to do… and it doesn’t seem too difficult. I just need to plan and prep for the week. Something I really need to work on. The quote “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” couldn’t be more true in the weight loss regimen. And that’s changing for me now.

I knew back in my younger years that I was not like most girls my age when it comes to my weight. I remember very distinctly going back-to-school shopping in junior high… 7th or 8th grade. I was so ecstatic, after all, I was getting new clothes to wear for the following new school year. Of course, we go straight for the juniors section in the department store. There were so many clothes that I instantly fell in love with. I was grabbing all the mediums of all the cutest styles. While walking to the dressing room, I was trying to determine how I was going to narrow my search down to just three outfits! However, once in the dressing room.. I discovered every single one of those shirts were skin tight. So I asked my mom to go get me all larges, having a slight panic attack. She came back with the larger shirts and much to my dismay, they were all, still, too tight. I didn’t even attempt the next size up. I was in junior high… I didn’t want the XL’s. As I took the clothes back to the racks, I took a mental note looking for any XL’s in those tops… just in case the rest of our trip had this similar outcome. And there weren’t any. And the rest of my trip went exactly like that. I ended up with my three new outfits, and while I liked them, none of them were my first, second, third, or even fourth choice.

It wasn’t fair, I wasn’t eating crap all the time. I was still active between dance, softball, and volleyball. So why me? I remember feeling like I was already bigger than all the other girls because I swear I was a foot taller than them all. Walking next to girls in the hall who were short, petite, skinny and cute, made me feel like an Amazon woman, hovering over all of them, like an elephant stampeding it’s way thru a herd of deer.

In addition to that, I couldn’t even fit into my normal size clothing. I was never a size 0… or even a size 6. But I was happy with where I was. Going two sizes up was a hard one to swallow. Emotions are already a crazy whirl-wind at that age and there’s so much pressure to be liked and to fit in. And yet, I felt like the black sheep, all because I was taller and bigger than everyone. And I was only in Junior High.

Once I got to my freshman year, I did lose the weight & I didn’t even have to try. I was much more active between dance, drill team, pitching practice, and softball practices. And I got back to my normal size and even lost a little more… but in the back of my mind I knew I was going to fight this weight as soon as I became inactive… or even just not as active as I was then. I knew it would be a constant battle eventually in my life. And unfortunately, I was right. But that doesn’t define me.

I am so ready for a chance. I’m ready to live. I’m ready to love being outside and active. I’m ready to want to go for a random bike ride with my offspring. I’m ready to take my family to the pool or on a boat ride.

I want to be an active parent. I want my children to grow up knowing it’s normal to be active. And not sit around and watch TV. So as my first picture said, this is the last time I start for the first time. It’s now or never.

Let’s be honest. I’m not getting any younger here. My skin’s elasticity is diminishing fast if it wasn’t already destroyed by the giant twin belly I had. It’s time to do this now. If I wait another decade like I did in my 20’s… I’m going to be 40, the twins will be 11, Kensli 14, Broden 21 & I am going to be so insanely busy by this point. I need to be fit within a year or two and I need to do this now.

So it’s time. And I have to do more work this time around. I gained all that I previously lost, plus some. Plus a lot really. But these goals are going to become a reality. There are so many reasons I want to be fit. Not just skinny. But fit. The way I look and feel isn’t who I am. This isn’t me.

I’m starting this up again for the last time and I am going to be strict. My posts maybe boring as this is going to be my live journal. Feel free to skim.

But I’m going to do this like I did previously. But just for the sake of making this simple {and not making you click through this blog} , I’ll repeat the rules in this post.

I’m baring it all again. For the sake of accountability. And maybe if you are in the same spot as me, a little inspiration. I’m going to do this. You can do.

Start 220# 210# 200# 190# 180# 170# 160# 150# 140#
L Bicep
R Bicep
Boobs
Under Boobs
Belly Button
Hips
L Thigh
R Thigh

May 4th ~ my starting weight is 230 lb. I’ll take some pictures tonight, take my measurements, and update this post afterwards.

August 4th ~ 1st Quarter Weigh In:                   {Goal: 199. Down 31 lbs}

November 4th ~ 2nd Quarter Weigh In:           {Tentative Goal: 174. Down 25 lbs}

February 4th ~ 3rd Quarter Weigh In:              {Tentative Goal: 159. Down 15 lbs}

May 4th~ Final Weigh in:                                    {Tentative Goal: 140-150 lbs! Down 9-19 lbs}

I plan on taking a picture after every 10 lbs lost.  I’ll take a front facing and side facing picture. When I take a picture, I’ll also add to the above table. I’ll create a new post with updated info in the table with all pictures for comparison.

My official weigh in dates is as listed above with my tentative goals. But I will also weigh in every other Saturday morning.

My biggest difference this time is how I’m going about it. I read Chris Powell’s Choose to Lose and I am going to try to follow his advice.

In a giant nutshell, this is what he preaches.

Each day you eat 5 meals. 6 am, 9 am, noon, 3 pm, & 6 pm. {You can choose what hours you want to make your meals.}
Monday, Wed, & Fridays are low carb days. Your first meal of the day is a protein and a carb. The rest of your meals consist of a protein and fat. You also must do one of the given Shaper Exercises which are resistance-exercise circuits. Shapers are after high-carb days, when your muscles are fueled up and ready for max performance.
Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturdays are high carb days. Every meal is one protein and one fat.
Every meal should have veggies shoved in there also.
Sunday is a free day with no ‘diets’ or workouts.
He also wants you doing certain Shredder Exercies {These burn the fat}Monday through Saturday and prefers you to split them during your day because you burn twice as much even though you’re exercising for the same amount of time. The more you shred, the more body fat you burn. The more time one dedicate’s to shredding, the faster the weight-loss goal is reached.
So look at this post as my first Weight Loss journal entry. I’ll post again at this week to show you where I’m at.
Who’s joining me in this journey? Who has a little bit of weight to lose? Or maybe a lot like me? Or are you just wanting to get healthy or toned? Either way, let’s do this!

The Amazing Entertainment Center… So far.

I left you guys hanging… In fact. I left you hanging on a lot of things for over a good month now. Sorry. You would think I have a herd of children, a house that’s too big to keep up with all the cleaning, and a job that is in my home and destroys said home on a daily basis.

Oh wait. You’d be right. On top of all that, the cord that connects my computer to my external hard drive is loose, or something, because it connects for a few seconds than disconnects, and it goes back and forth. So I had to go to Best Buy and get a new cord and now I have access to all my pictures again! For more than 10 seconds at a time :)

And lastly, to be honest. I have just been in a funk. I was so motivated to get shit done back in January and February; then my husband left for England; I did a lot of work around here… he came home, wasn’t too thrilled or impressed… and it killed my motivation. Ugh. And I’m at a standstill with most my projects because I need his help now, but it takes a long while to get him on that.

But when it comes to these scenarios, I think my Aunt Pam nailed it on the head. For her birthdays and Valentine’s Day, all she asks of my handsome Uncle Scott is to finish a honey-do list. Dude! Is that not the most brilliant idea you have ever heard????? Personally, I think she is one smart lady… A lot of people often think “What would Jesus do?”. My motto? What would Aunt Pam do? Much better question. And I usually like the answers that follows it.

Anyway!

I left you with this post. I showed you the samples of what I came up with:

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Ahhhhhh… that’s a beaut right there.

While the hubs was away, I did manage to finish part of the entertainment center, and my awesome cousin painted one of my walls in Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray {but in Behr’s paint- it’s amazing paint!}. I helped a tad bit.

And the wall color is perfect.

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She helps me paint all my walls, and always writes a note starting out… isn’t she precious! I especially love the giant MAR {& tiny}issa. MARissa. Ha! Thanks Bethy & love you!

It makes everything on that wall pop! The windows and door suddenly look more white {and they are far from white… they weren’t even white when we moved in!}

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I’m also excited to put up some glam decor in the area between the entertainment center and window… It’s really going to look amazing. I have a few ideas I’m toying with. But that won’t be done for a long while. Don’t look for that post any time soon.

Now moving onto my entertainment center. Isn’t she gorgeous?

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I couldn’t have been more proud and impressed with myself than I was after those boards went up! I am in love!

Wondering how I did this? Wanting to do this with an area in your own house? Well here… let me fill you in on the know-how!

I purchased:

(9) 1x6x8′ Pine boards from Home Depot.
(1) Sample paint of Herbal Tea {green}
(1) Sample paint of Beach Towel {blue}

What I also needed, but already had in my garage was:

Minwax Dark Walnut Stain
Target Diaper Cloths, White
Orbit Sander
Chip Brushes
Chop Saw
Nails
Some manly muscles!

So I started by chopping the boards to length with the chop saw. I needed 7 boards at 7′ long. The last board, I needed 8- 2 ft boards, totaling the 2 remaining boards. The reason for the 2 ft boards is because there is a giant hole in the middle of the entertainment center for the wall mount to hold the TV {because as you can see in the picture below, the mount is connected to the wall… not the entertainment center}. On either side of said hole, is 2 feet to the edge. Make sense? Good.

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Once that was done, I started painting with the chip brushes, beginning with the lightest color paint first. The green.

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I literally slopped it on. But in a very thin coat. A dry brush basically. I dabbed the ends of the brush in, got most of the paint off the brush, and then brushed it on the boards. Repeated until it was covered. With this process, you are still able to see the knots and grain of the wood thru the paint.

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Once the green is on, you repeat that entire process with the blue.

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Isn’t a beautiful turquoise color? Perfect. That’s what I was going for.

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Sorry, this picture is kinda blurry, did not realize that until just now…}

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Then, I sanded most of it off. Yup. You read that correctly. I used my orbit sander and sanded it back down to the wood grain.

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It was glorious.

There were some boards I was absolutely in love with. Some I was nervous about. And some I thought were going to turn out disastrous. You never know. You can’t keep them all the same obviously.

But then it was time to stain. And turns out, staining is my new favorite thing! I’ve always heard how awful and dreadful it was… but I personally found it fulfilling… maybe because it was bringing my vision to life? Who knows… maybe because I’m just weird. My only suggestion… get gloves. Or your hands look like you just walked out of a coal mine, for a long time.

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I did one board at a time. Literally slapped stain on the entire board, then took a white, diaper cloth and wiped it all back off. Now, I did quite a few practice rounds and tried a couple techniques. I experimented with leaving the stain on for 5 minutes or longer and then did the opposite and wiped it off immediately. And I found that it doesn’t really make a difference with this stain color choice. But I did note with each sample I created {when wiping off immediately}, the stain turned out a different color for each sample, even though I was leaving it on the same amount of time. But I loved that! I loved the un-perfection in this perfect piece of furniture.

Then, it was time to hang my boards. The moment of truth. My daddy-o and cousin Travis were huge helpers. The day Jason was to come home felt like the final day of a House Crasher episode.. ya know the Crasher series on the DIY network? Where it comes down to the wire in the last few hours and everyone is scrambling to get things done before the home owners come home??? Ya. That was us.

But they were my Rustic-Board-Hangers. Ya… that’s a thing.

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But just a friendly reminder… this was the black wall before the new planks… the wall that showed every imperfection in the construction… and my husband even did a great job building this thing!

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One board at a time… I chose which board was next. They would pick it up and nail it in… And the process would continue. As I watched it come together, my heart leaped! I couldn’t have been happier!

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The above image makes the room look so tiny… but I promise it’s not as tiny as it seems here!

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It ties so much together! The new wall color, the other gray wall. The coral wall. The newly painted mirror, my picture frames… Everything! It was perfect. Even my babes were perfect… they didn’t even notice anything was going on around them. Just played with each other. Good girls.

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Every time I would walk into the living room, I would stop and just observe. What a difference an entertainment center can make! As I mentioned in my other post, I loved the construction, my husband did an amazing job, and the storage! It’s what I wanted… but my design element was awful. {Hey, gimme a break, I’m learning as I go here.} And now that I know what style I’m wanting for this house, it comes together much easier.

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Next step is the 3 long and skinny compartments just under the plank wall. Where the receiver, Blu-ray player, internet modem, etc is all located. Time to get those bad boys hidden because my twinnies are pulling themselves up and this current set up is just not going to work!

Stay tuned, because it’s almost done! :)  In the mean time, here’s a sneak peak!!

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Until then, Loves and Toodle-o’s!!!

A Little Face Lift Inspiration

Howdy Tipsy Sippy Friends!! Are you still patiently waiting for the second half of the pallet project?? I am too… I promise, I’ll post it asap. I’m hoping this next week I will have it completed!

But moving onto another project.. because who doesn’t like to have 5-10 unfinished things going on at once?

Remember our wonderfully built entertainment center?

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I designed it initially thinking we wanted modern. Black, sleek, & shiny. Black= Dust magnet. Sleek= too many sharp edges and straight lines. Shiny= shows every finger print, scratch, dirt, and any imperfections in the construction.

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This is one beast of a display and while there’s some major setbacks, there are some major pro’s as well.

I love the storage. It hides movies behind the top portion to keep it out of eyesight. Jason and I both don’t enjoy having movies out and seen by everyone… it’s an eye sore. So I designed a way for it to not be seen.

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The bottom portion just under the TV space has three spaces for components. We have our Blu-ray player, Direct TV box, Receiver, Wii, XBox, and internet modem. In the beginning, we wanted tinted glass to cover those spaces because I have children here. All. The. Time. And I don’t know if you know this, but all those little components have a lot of fun buttons that make noises and light up… Every fresh walking toddlers’ dream. So I knew something needed to cover those areas. And glass it was because it was clear to allow the remotes signals to pass and looked modern enough.

But I really think glass would have been just a tad too dangerous… and not to mention expensive. Which is why we never ordered it.

The two big bottom drawers were just an epic fail on my end. I wanted them to be huge to hold all the giant Wii crap we have that’s bigger than any bin we could have bought… and so I designed it that way. But what I didn’t think about was how heavy that was going to be… and how impossible it would be to move those drawers in and out {especially for little kids} to get anything in those drawers. Yes, there is hardware to help it move, but the drawers are so heavy… it doesn’t really work well.

So with the help of a few others, I have come up with a new design. Here is the rough draft of the face lift:

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Now work with me here… I didn’t even bother with straight lines as you can clearly see.

So for the top half, the wall behind the TV. I decided I wanted color, pretty, & rustic. I didn’t just want plank boards that looked old. Because I love the  Rustic Glam… not plain ol’ Rustic. So in my search for inspiration, I found this:

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{Please click the above picture for the source}

Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? So I decided to give it a whirl on some scrap wood and it’s not as bright as the sample, but I’m still loving it!

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Don’t mind the dust… I’m getting to dusting soon!

For the base of the entertainment center, I’m repainting all the black that will be visible to the guests’ eyes, white.

For the three long, skinny component spaces, I plan on making a door that swings open towards the floor complete with a perforated aluminum in the middle to let remote signals pass and a knob for opening and pulling.

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{Please click the above picture for the source}

All my hardware will be oil rubbed bronze and I think it’ll be the perfect touch to the three component drawers & the new giant doors to replace the drawers at the bottom! {Was that not a lot of D words towards the end of that sentence??}

I want to take the face off of the bottom drawers and reuse them. I will cut both directly down the middle to form two of the same sized doors. I’ll be adding trim pieces in the middle of each door similar to these pictures I found:

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 {Please click the above picture for the source}

In addition to the trim work, I will also be adding oil bronzed handles as well. All doors will also have a magnetic closure {I don’t want too easy of an access to tiny grubby hands!} to help keep them closed.

I also have decided to paint my back wall with the window and back door this color:

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{Please click the above picture for the source}

With all this said, my plan is to have at least the back wall painted and 60% of the face lift done by Saturday.

Why by Saturday you ask? Because my husband is out of town on business {again} and gets back Saturday

…And while the husband’s away… the wife will play {with power tools and paint}

So stay tuned for my post following his return :) I can’t wait to show you the finished projects!

 

Pallet Coat Rack Part 1

I haven’t done very good sticking to my posting schedule of every Monday and Thursday huh? I’m getting at it. I have numerous posts started, just need to finish my projects so I can finish the posts! They’re coming… I promise.

So, if you have ever been to my house, you know there is no where to put your coat. And for the longest time, I never really thought twice about it… But within the last year or so, I’ve realized “Damn, it would be really nice to have a place for purses and coats for guests.

When you walk in, the first thing you see is the coat closet, and that is always a disaster. I can’t expect guests to actually hang up their coats in there. And anyway, I want to re-model that entire closet. I don’t like how it’s such an eye-sore right when you walk in. Eck.

But when you walk in, there is a pretty big wall to your immediate left behind the front door. That is perfect for something. It took a looong while for me to come up with exactly what I want. I knew I needed something thin, anything that stuck out too far would get hit and chipped by the big door. And I wanted something that held more than 3 or 4 coats and purses. More like at least 12 hooks. So when I saw this on Pinterest, I fell in love with it and knew this was going to be my inspiration.

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I have been holding onto a pallet I picked up on the side of the road for a long while now… going on almost two years. And I just didn’t want to tear into it until I knew for sure what the perfect project for it was. This thing was an incredibly nice pallet! One of the better ones I’d seen… and it was free, so I wanted to make sure I used it well and not have any regrets shortly after tearing it apart.

And I found it.

A coat rack. A free pallet and a need for something to hold coats is going to come together super nice on my wall.

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I started by loading up my pallet into the Yukon to drive to my bestie Kelley’s house. She has a heated workshop with running water and electricity… Score!

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We may have had our safety goggles on… but I’m pretty sure some of the moves we did that day were not safe in the least bit… But we walked away with all limbs, toes, and fingers in tact. That’s a score in my book.

Once we figured out the first few steps of how we were going to assemble it, we dove right in.

The problem was, I needed both sides of the pallet. So we had to somehow split this beast in half width wise. Think oreo cookie and you have to cut the frosting in the middle in half without breaking the chocolate cookie on the outside…

The other problem was we had limited saws. We had a reciprocator saw, a circular saw, & a jigsaw. And we had limited space to work in because there is only a 6″ opening in-between the two out side panels.

Since there were 6 ‘planks’ on both sides of this thing, we decided to cut it down to 2 slabs, 3 planks each. It’d be easier to gain access to the middle we were trying to cut at.

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We did have to take a quick break because some of the rubber material on the outside of the reciprocating saw was falling off… we had to reinforce with some duct tape. Seriously? What does duct tape not fix?!?

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Once that all was taken care of, we got back to it until there were two pieces.

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We then used the circular saw to saw in half the two outer boards we had access to. Those were the easy ones. It was the two inside 2×4’s we still weren’t sure how we were going to cut.

Once the outers were cut. We talked and pondered and brainstormed how the hell we were going to get to the center two boards, cut them in half without taking the planks off on the outside.

We finally just went with the reciprocator saw. It was just going to be a sloooow process. We think we had the wrong type of blade for it, and the wood was thick anyway. And there was just not a good angle to go about cutting it.

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This part took… awhile.

And awhile.

And awhile.

BUT! The end finally came! And we got all the halves we needed!

Next was time to use the circular saw to make everything somewhat even. We needed the now, 1×4 all to be approximately the same size, so next up with the circular saw.

Now tipsy friends… I’m no stranger to power tools. But this beast of a saw for some reason scares the shit out of me. It is intimidating. And when you are literally throwing your entire body into this saw to get it through the knots and nails {probably wasn’t supposed to cut thru metal… but we got ‘er done anyway} it tends to make the heart skip a little faster.

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Finally… after countless hours of pushing, cursing, sore arms and power tools, we finally had everything cut down to size how we needed it.

So we laid it all out how I want to nail it to the wall so we could figure out the remainder of this project.

Which will be a whole new post. :)

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Thankfully the hard part is done. The rest is going to be so much simpler. Can you envision it yet?

I can… and I can’t wait to show you the rest!

After all those hours spent on power tools and a stubborn pallet, we decided it was time to treat us to Mexican! Indianola has an awesome Mexican restaurant called La Casa and I try to make it there any chance I get when I’m in I-town.

As Kelley and I are munching away on some chips, cheese, and our margs, the waiter brings us four shots of tequila!!! You read that right… I never, ever do shots. I don’t like them and I can’t ‘shoot’ straight liquor.

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But. Since we had a super successful day, it was tequila vs any other kind of liquor, and it was free. I made a go of it. But not without the proper steps to prepare for this shot. Salt on the left hand, which was holding the lime to finish off the shot with, and the actual shot in my right.  {I may have even dumped some of the shot in my marg so it wasn’t a full shot}

No more shots for this mama for a good long while…

Toodle-o’s Tipsy Friends

Happy New Year!

So how was everyone’s Christmas? Our family had an amazing time. We had multiple Christmas’s and our children are SPOILED! So am I for that matter. It’s so fun watching all the kids open their gifts. That’s my favorite part of Christmas is the giving and the children. And of course seeing family we don’t get to see quite as often.

I got a lot of things for Christmas that I asked for. Including some cool gear for snappin’ some photos, a work out bench, a new Kindle, & some tennis shoes!

One of the things I have been asking for {for the last few years actually} is a scroll saw.  I asked for the Ryobi Scroll Saw which would work fine for the random projects I have floating in my head!

But instead, my parents hooked me up with an industrial, beast of scroll saw! Complete with a giant motor and huge stand! This thing is awesome sauce! It’s still at my parents so I don’t have a picture of it yet, but once it’s in my grubby little hands, I’ll be sure to show you!

Apparently it was sitting at someone’s house {whom they knew?} and had not been used, just taking up a lot of space. So they gave my parents a super awesome deal, & well, the rest is history!

I could seriously build a house with this thing! Now that I can do so much more than a few tiny projects, my mind is really, really spinning with some cool thoughts… just need to get them down on paper some where…

Which reminds me, I have started probably 10 notebooks for project thoughts… but I always misplace them and start a new… some day I’m going to find that stash…

But anyways. Back to the point of this post.

 

HAPPYNEWYEAR

cheers

I hope the Christmas hustle & bustle has settled down a bit and I hope you have managed to make room for all your new goodies {we are yet to be completed with that part}.

Have you thought of new resolutions? Are you even a new resolution-er? Are they work related or personal goals? Maybe you want to aspire to do something that you have never done before? Become a healthier you and push yourself to limits you never thought possible? These are where my goals are headed.

I’m not typically a new year’s resolution gal. Usually mine are your typical ‘lose weight‘ resolution. But, this year, I have a few with actual details. Not many, but enough to keep me working through out the 2015 calendar year.

With this past year, we had a lot of really high ups and some pretty steep downs in all different areas so I have to say, I’m excited to start fresh. Maybe just a normal year… with not too much excitement? Na. That’s not how we do things ’round here.

A) We’ll start boring. Yes to lose weight. I want to lose 80 lbs in a full year. Difficult, but not impossible. I asked for a weight bench {for Christmas} so I could start doing different exercises with that, including free weights. I love lifting. It’s the cardio that I’m not such a fan for. With the holidays and the busy season, I got hit hard and exercising just took to the back burner. At first I tried to fight it and worked hard at trying to work it in. But it never worked and it made me feel even more guilty and more of a failure than I would have if I would have just said, ya know, you’re not meeting your goals anymore anyway, let’s just put this on pause. Come the new year, you’ll see a new me. I bought Chris Powell’s book Choose To Lose and I’m about 37% done. {Kindle’s, turn out, don’t give page numbers, just percentages… which I’m not a fan of, but I can deal}. It’s such a good explanation of everything and he dumbs everything down for me. So much of it makes sense now. He is such a huge inspiration and I love his show. In fact, my whole week was just off if they post-poned his show for any reason. I can’t wait to get going again. So look for that series after the first of the year.

B) I want to teach my children to be more giving & to inspire them to show the path to their peers. Teach them that receiving is not everything & that giving has so much more fulfillment. Giving is what brings out the best in people. I feel this is important for our children to learn. The world is full of so much hate and I, as a parent, need to teach them how much good they are capable of, regardless of the situations. To look for the good in the bad. To want to make someone smile just because. To help restore everyone’s faith in humanity. So a big goal of mine is teach my children to give.

C) Blog at least twice a week. Monday and Thursday. I feel that for right now, is a good number. If I can fit more in, then great. But I won’t feel like such a failure if I can’t. To have a schedule is exactly what I need to get my life organized. And that’s part of this… I need a blogging calendar to help me organize my thoughts and posts. So I’ll be looking for one {on Pinterest} that fits my needs. I’m hoping if I can keep up my blogging schedule, I’ll be able to move my blog to the next level by end of year. But we’ll just have to see :)

D) Become a better photographer and start taking myself seriously. I would really like to further my skills but my doubts in myself are holding me back. I want to be able to contribute more financially to my family and I really want to do that with photography.

E) And last, but not least. To become a better person myself, in addition to becoming a healthier me. It may come as a shock to you, but I have my faults as well. {Please… please, settle down… I know, but stop with the surprised faces.} I have so many angles that I would love to work on. Including being quick to judge, being more thoughtful, and being a better wife and mother. Which are the two main areas of focus for me.

So there you have it, my 2015 goals. They will be work… but all for the better. For the much better.

I hope you all keep safe tonight and have DD’s!!!

Have fun smoochin your one and only at midnight! Whether that be your significant other or your best friend!! :)

 

learn from yesterday

A DIY Gift for the Small Princess in Your Life

Since we are short on funds, I needed a gift for my tiny girls at my daycare on the cheap. And recently, as in, the last I-don’t-know-how-many-months, they all have been pretending to be a princess, playing dress up, and fighting over crowns and wands. So I decided to make each girl a wand of their own and found a cute little tiara/crown to go with… a little Elsa inspired.

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First, I gathered all my supplies from Joanns. 2 3-ft wooden dowels for $.99 each. 2 3-ft Sparkly ribbon and 1 simple blueish/turquoise-ish ribbon. And last but not least, 1 6-ft blue boa. IMG_5639

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First, I used our chop saw to cut the 3 foot dowel in to 3 1-foot pieces. I needed 4 wands, so I cut one more wand from the second 3 footer dowel.

Then I decided it was time for a drink. So my next step was to the kitchen to make myself one. Who does crafts or projects without one?

I then cut off a small piece of the sparkly ribbon to hot glue at the end of the dowel to keep the wood from showing.

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Then I took the same ribbon and spiraled it all the way around to the other end of the dowel, making sure the sides were flesh with each other as shown below. You don’t want any gaps between each level. You will however have some exposed wood at the top, which is fine. The boa will hide all of it.

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Afterwards, I cut the blue ribbon to approximately 11 1/2″. Each wand gets two blue wisps. So I cut 8 in all.

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I took one ‘wisp’, put a dab of hot glue in the very center, and pressed it against the top of the dowel, on the exposed wood.

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Then I took the second wisp, placed another dap of hot glue in the center of it, and pressed it on top of the first one, but in the opposite angle. Making a cross with both ribbons.

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I then cut the boa to 5″. Again, each wand gets two. And let me forewarn you… you WILL get feathers everywhere. Luckily, I have a handheld vacuum, and I vacuumed the floor, the island, the desk, my sweatshirt, my pants, and a few other places. You have been warned….

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I took the first 5″ boa and pulled the feathers back as best I could. I lined about an inch with hot glue and pressed against the top of the wand between two wisps.

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I then did the exact same thing to the other end of that same 5″ boa strip: put a 1″ strip of hot glue and pressed it against the wand between two wisps right next to the first spot the other end of the boa was already glued to. It does make a tiny little loop on top of the wand – perfect!

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Repeat with the second boa and the two remaining spots between the wisps. Creating another loop on top of the wand right next to the other.

After that, you are basically done. But you have one last step. Notice how the end of the blue ribbon frays? That’s just from one little snip.

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So what you do, is take a lighter and move it close to the end of the blue ribbon. And what happens is it ‘melts’ the ends together to create a singe which won’t allow the ribbon to fray ever again!!

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After that, you are done my tipsy friends!!

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Pair it with a one dollar tiara or crown also from JoAnns, and you have a happy tiny person in your life!

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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I hope with all the hustle and bustle you take a moment to remember what Christmas is all about.

I am so excited to spend our first Christmas as a family of 6, this year adding two very healthy baby girls. Making new memories and seeing the older two enjoying themselves. I love getting to see everyone and relaxing while watching all the youngster’s have fun.

I didn’t get to send out a Christmas card this year, it just wasn’t in the budget. So this will have to do ya’ll!

Here were our out-takes, it only took 5 tries.

Take 1:

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Take 2:

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Take 3:

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Take 4:

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 {Can you believe, this was our FIRST family picture since the twinnies were born? 9 months later. Sad. But true.}

Merry Christmas to All!! And to All a Good Night!!! Ho Ho Ho!