Monday, June 3, 2013

Mantle Change

Since I'm off for the summer it's easier to get each room deep cleaned.  You know what I mean?  Everything dusted thoroughly, moved, swept and put back.  So far I feel pretty good about what I've done.  I've been off for not quite a full month.  I've done my bedroom, dining room and family room.  Yesterday we did yard work.  Last week I went shopping and felt inspired to move things around a bit.  I also went to some garage sales during the big 40-H garage sale.  I found a few things mostly glass ware for my kitchen. 
My mantle was in need of a change.  Here is what it looked like for the last month. 

Look closely and you will notice that it looks different than the one I had before.  Notice the ends.

Compare to last year

Last year we found that huge beam at an auction.  My DH put it up for me earlier this year.  Isn't it neat?  Just like the old mantles, rough cut.  I love it.  Best part is it was very inexpensive.  We've looked into rough cut beams and you can't find them.  When you do they cost quite a bit.  

More spring things

I'll be back soon to show you how I changed my mantle up for the summer! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013


There is something about tying an apron around my waist that makes me happy!  I'm not sure what it is about aprons.  I certainly didn't give much thought to them when I was younger.  I thought they were something old ladies wore :(  Now I see a purpose.  I have a connection to my past and my present.  Several years ago I lost my mother.  Many of you that have followed me for a long time know what a huge loss that was for me.  However, I now embrace these memories I have of her and realize that why she isn't physically here I feel her presence many times.  Usually in the kitchen...while I'm cooking or baking.  I hear her voice.  I feel like she is with me. I was thinking about her and my aunt yesterday as I was kneading dough.  I cannot think of anything more satisfying than baking a loaf of bread.  It's so therapeutic.  I couldn't for the life of me remember when I was taught me to knead bread.  I'm positive it was my mother.  I know that a lot of what I learned was through trial and error on my own.  As a child I never was interested in cooking, really.  When my mom tried to show me I was very impatient and disinterested...until I became a young bride then her phone was ringing daily!!! LOL  I can relate to this now because my daughter is the exact same way.  :) 

Aprons mean many things to me but homemaking is at the heart.  I feel like I'm putting on my uniform for the day.  I find it a comfortable part of my routine.  Even when I am working I love being about to come home and put on this apron.  At church socials I put one on to help prepare dinner or do up the dishes.  When I bake I always wear my apron.  When we have guests and it's time for me to dress I put on an apron so I don't get dirty.  I love it when my kids come home from school and ask if I have made them something yummy.  I do admit that I don't always wear one when I clean (sometimes I'm afraid ruining my cute aprons) but when I'm at home I usually am in an apron at some point during the day.  

So here's a question for you do you prefer full or half aprons?
I love them all in cheerful colors. :)

Do you wear aprons when you bake/cook or both?  Do you still wear them?

I still love to watch Lucy!  She cracks me up and the kids like it too. 

What do aprons mean to you?  Do you embrace them? 

Shout out to my blogging friend Sandra, go check out her blog I was inspired by her latest post. 

What are you up this summer?  I'm looking forward to lazy summer days by the pool with the kids, lots of grilling and no teaching for me.  Yeah!  I am still teaching fitness though. :) 

Happy Homemaking,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again...Yummy Tag a Long Bars!

Hello, I betcha thought I disappeared off the face of the earth.  I'm not sure why but blogging has been very difficult for me in the last 6-9 months.  I used to get energy from it and then found myself dreading it :(  I will try but not promise to do a better job of posting more regularly.  I have missed my online blogging buddies!  I've been peeking in on you from time to time.

I made these yummy bars after seeing them on Picky Palate, one of my favorite bloggers!  I will link the recipe below.

These are so tasty.  Not healthy though :( 

Step one- mix up your cake mix, egg and stick o' butter.  Prepare a 9 x 13 pan lined with foil and spray with non-stick spray.  Pat away...

Next throw in some milk chocoate chips or semi-sweet for good measure.  I used what I had :)

Then the magic happens, mix together 1/2 cup peanut butter and one can of sweetened condensed milk...pure heaven I tell ya!
Next take your favorite Girl Scout cookie, I used about 8 of those Tag-a-Long beauties and chop them over the top of this creamy layer. 

Kevin and Amanda's version

Bake at 350 degrees for around 20-25 minutes.  The center will be a little soft but remember you have an ooey gooey middle here.  :0  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year Updated Goals from 2012

Happy New Year!  I'm always happy to see a new year come.  I think it's a great time to make plans, set goals think about what you've accomplished for the year.  While I don't think each area of my life I accomplished my goals I believe I did excellent in at least one!!

I blogged about this earlier this year.  Like many of you I made a goal to be Fit for 2012, not just because it was January or that's when you make resolutions but mainly because I was turning 40.  I wanted to feel better, have more energy, be a great example to my kids and husband.  The list goes on and on...

I shared in an earlier post what has worked for me.  I'm now in a maintenance phase so I have changed and tweaked things a bit.  I feel it's important to show you my before and afters and tell you what really was magical for me.

First, let go of negative body image and thoughts.  If you want to make progress this is a must!!

2.  Make your workout time your priority.  No more excuses!! Don't use the mom excuses either, my kids are little they need me, I have to take them to _____ practice.  NO, put yourself on that calendar.  I don't care how full it is!

3.  Clean eating is a must.  Don't let your mind play tricks and tell you that you'll work off that donut later etc.  That donut will go directly to that fat on your hips or abs and will take a year to work off.  Ok...exaggerating a bit here :)

4.  Don't let yourself get hungry...plan your snacks and meals and be consistent.  Allow yourself to have occasional treats.  Pick one meal or snack and that's it!

5.  When you've worked really hard and feel like giving up DON'T!!!  You know when you hop on the scale and you've been eating very well and working out and you've lost 0 lbs or just 1.  This is where most people fall off the deep end.

6. gotta have hope or it won't happen.  I heard Jillian Michaels recently say this on the Dr. Oz show and I agree with her 100%

7.  Find your go to work out that you really love doing, try a little of everything!  Then when you're having one of those days this is the work out that you will stick to doing!

Here's my before shot I am sharing with you all... this wasn't easy to do I really hate this picture.  It's not from the front but you can really tell. You know when you see yourself from behind...and you think I'm that big?  This was my wake up call.

Late summer  2011


weight 162, 5'5" Size 10-12
This shot from the front around the same time.  You may remember this one from my give away.  
one year later
late summer 2012


Fall 2012
Weight 130, Size 4-6

Yeah!!!! I'm so proud of myself because I did it.  No one else but me.  Here's what worked for me and there's no magic formula.  The hard work does pay off.  To be honest with you I wasn't sure I would lose it this time last year.  It took a whole month and a half to lose anything!!!! I was frustrated.  I wanted to give up but I didn't. 

Cardio 4-6 x weekly when I was in the losing phase 30 min. walking, 2 -60 min. sessions of Turbo or heart pumping cardio like running etc.

Strength:  2-3 x week Kettle bell is my #1 choice.  Weight training is the secret of my success if you want to call it that.  It's really very simple the more muscle you have the less fat you have.  You gotta pump iron ladies!  

Flexibility:  Pilates 2x weekly.  Yoga is great too.  
one day of rest

Diet:  High protein, low carbs (whole grain carbs, good carbs), good fats (olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, avocado) Very few processed foods, lots of fruits and veggies.  I planned my meals and snacks and once a week I had a treat.  

If you want to see more posts about my fitness routine/diet please let me know in the comment section or feel free to ask questions!  Love to share :)