Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dabbling in Jewelry

Well, you know how one thing leads to another. This post has practically nothing to do with HWHL blog, but Melissa's awesome exercise bracelet she found thrifting led to some wishful searching for the source, and that post led to someone (I think it was Jill) asking to see some of my jewelry. So here goes:

This is my latest creation, and my current favorite set to wear

A turquoise set I made for Sue this summer. I've been meaning to make one for me and my mother, but haven't gotten to it.

Also one of my current favorites, a short necklace, choker-style. Love the coral color, matches a shirt I have.

Binky clips seem to be a specialty of mine. It's what motivated me to start learning beading in the first place.

Emma binky clip

Sue's baby Mack binky clip

I love this pic, I should frame it. I can only aspire to photograph like Sue...
I liked the ladybug binky clip so much, I wound up making a matching necklace and bracelet.

Got bink? This is about a year ago, and this whole binky-making thing is probably the main reason we are approaching her 3rd birthday and she is totally addicted to binkies. I'm constantly yanking her binks out of her mouth so I can understand what she is saying. Emma tonight -
She was with me at the docs this week when we were getting Sammy's shots up to date, and he commented, "She's getting a little too old for those." Sigh...

One of the first jewelry sets I made.

This post (click here) tells the saga of why I started beading. It didn't take long for it to get out of control, and now I have a HUGE utility tote (the 60 to 80 gallon kind) full of jewelry supplies. I have craft-supplies issues. I'm an addict. I need a sugar daddy or benefactor of some kind. Either that, or I need to quit buying so much stuff!!! But a girl can dream...

My tools for success.....

I got through this challenge pretty successfully this time....for me that is. Here was some of the things that helped me along the way!

My calorie counter app on my phone. I can look up foods, restaurants, etc. and then add it to my food diary for the day. If whatever I'm eating has a barcode, I just scan the barcode and all the nutrition information pops up for me. It so easy to use and super fast. It also counts my exersize calories for the day. Its usually pretty close to what my treadmill says since I can add how fast I was walking/jogging. Pretty nifty.

My water bottle. Grabbed a couple of these at the beginning of the challenge. The bottle is 33.8oz which means if I drink 2 its just over what I need to drink for the day. I keep this on my desk and drink it throughout the day, and have been successful at drinking 2 a day every weekday. Yep, still working on the weekends. We get Alhambra water delivered to my work so it's always nice a cold...and not from the tap. I'm weird about my water...

Chocolate Peanut Butter protein bars. When everyone else at work is downing brownies, cookies, candy....I usually grab one of these for a mid morning or afternoon snack. It hits my "I really need some chocolate right now" mood and also makes me drink lots of water. Bonus!

Baby steps! I'm definitely no where near my healthy vision but I've taken a lot of baby steps in the right direction. If I have to drink a soda, I have a diet. I know, I know...I shouldn't. Sadly, soda (or pop for all of you east of California) is almost like a release for me. Like shoving a brownie in my mouth. It's a baby step I haven't gotten to, but at least I've cut the calories.

Hope you all had a great couple of weeks!

Can't wait to have some of these tomorrow! They're staring at me right now!!


Thanks Audrey for the reminder to post so I can be in the drawing for Melissa's awesome bracelet.
SO, I am posting ;)....
Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Taking a Time Out

I went to a fantastic women's conference last night, but I will admit, before leaving I was dragging my feet. There were so many things I felt I needed to get done (my workout being one of them) that I just didn't have any desire to go. I should know by now that if there are forces working against me to go to something I should do everything in my power to be there because it is ALWAYS worth it. How ironic that the subject of the conference was about taking time to be still. More specifically taking time out each day to have one on one time with Heavenly Father.

They had 6 women speak about the experiences they had after taking on the challenge of making time to be still. These women all had different challenges (some of them incredibly difficult) but they all expressed how much lighter their load seemed after starting this challenge. Their circumstances didn't necessarily change but they were more in tune with the spirit and received inspiration to help them get through their trying moments.

My life has seemed very chaotic lately and as cliche as this may sound, this conference was an answer to my prayers. I knew I was missing something but couldn't pinpoint what it was. I kept trying to run faster and faster not realizing that the solution was actually to slow down.

So my advice to all of you today is to slow down and take a time out; enjoy a walk with your children, read your scriptures, say a prayer, etc. even if that means you have to send your computer to the shop;)

Love you all and hope you have a Fabulous weekend.

It Could Be Worse

Some days we fall off the wagon and eat too many calories.

Some days we don't drink enough water.

Some days we don't get the exercising done.

Some days we don't care about being fit.

Some days we hit a plateau.

Some days it's hard to remember we're trying to drain the swamp when we're up to our tushies in alligators.

Ladies don't get discouraged and give up when you don't quite meet your goals, remember... "We Can Do Hard Things"... and God willing, tomorrow we will get a new day to fight and conquer those snapping gators.

More on Hot Chocolate

This is my trick when it comes to hot chocolate. For the past couple of years I've either used a 25 calorie or 50 calorie hot chocolate packet. I've never been one to use milk in my hot chocolate because so many hot chocolate mixes come with dried milk in them, so that wasn't hard for me to get use to.

I add 1 Tablespoon of this delicious stuff and I'm looking at 55-85 calories. I get a little chocolate fix and some yummy creamer to go with it. Right now I have a Carmel flavor in the house.

I thought I'd just let you know what I do to still get my fix sometimes since I outed the shoveling calorie myth last night.

It's been a rough climb...

I have often talked about my daughters journey. It's been life changing and I am so glad we have learned and continue to learn so many lessons.
One thing Emily has been struggling with is growing. The doctors are ALWAYS on me to get her to "Power Pack" and gain weight. It's amazing what happens when kids KNOW their parents want them to do something...(I am sure you can imagine!)

WELL, I am HAPPY to inform you that Emily has gained 1 pound and grown 1/4 of an inch in the last 6 months. She is now a whopping 43 lbs. and 46 3/4 inches!! Yes, very small for a 9 year old BUT she is gaining and growing YA HOO!

The funny thing is that when I told my hubby I am thinking it's all the sourdough bread she's been eating (it's her newest love)... He went off on how he heard that too many carbs can cause diabetes.
"She has got to stop eating so many carbs!"
Yes, she is a carb addict but I seriously doubt she is on the road to diabetes at age 9! I guess I can't win. The doctors don't care where the calories come from, If they had it their way she would be eating ice-cream all day.
I try to balance it out by making her try a few bites of dinner before eating her staple foods of rice, sourdough bread, pretzels and cheese. She does have peanut butter with her pretzels sometimes and loves cucumbers which of course are FILLED with calories :)

I guess my reason for posting is that we need to celebrate little successes, EVEN if others make you feel like you have so FAR to go before you've reached true success.
Yes, Emily needs to have more balance in her diet. BUT for now, I am going to celebrate the fact that she is actually eating and growing... the rest will come; one bite at a time :)

Food failures

So, I've been on a cooking rampage over here, trying eight new recipes over the past two weeks. Problem is, only one has been a resounding success and only with me: the broccoli salad I wrote about last week. And all that food failure finally caught up with me yesterday in the form of about 10, but I kind of lost count, oatmeal cookies {also known as the boyfriend cookies}. The straw that broke my camel's back was my childrens' reaction to the homemade chicken nuggets: they would barely even take the required one bite. I had to remind them to not insult the chef and stop making gaging faces, all the while totally, and secretly, agreeing with their culinary assessment.

So here's a new lesson learned for me: DO NOT bake cookies during new recipe trial weeks because they will ALWAYS be successful and you will inevitably eat them all to make up for the food failures in other areas of your life. Agh!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Put down the Hot Chocolate!

Ever wonder how you got where you are and why it's so hard to fix those little habits that hold you down? Two years ago I suffered from a serious case of depression in which I self medicated myself with LOTS of food. I didn't really start working my way through things until last February. I had a lot of self analysis and relationship analysis. I wrote about this a lot during the beginning of last year.

This one however has scientific research to back it up. For some reason women think it's ok to eat a little more if they've worked out that day. I know isn't that strange? But, there have been tons of studies that point to this.

As we've finally had out first snow storm I reflected on last years "Snowpocolypse" in which I did some funny things. When you have over 100 inches of snow in four weeks there is lots of shoveling to be had. Every time I went out to shovel I would come inside and decide that I deserved some hot chocolate and cookies. Who wouldn't? It's cold, you need some comforting treat and you just burned calories you normally wouldn't, right?

Well ladies, I'm hear to tell you don't do it. I have a caloric study going on right now that I will tell you more about letter but I have a little snipit to share.

First, when it's cold and snowy outside you are more likely to be less active inside. You want to curl up with a good book or watch a movie. You may not go out to run errands or other things that may be part of your normal activity level.

Second, you are not burning as many calories as you think shoveling that snow.
I went out and shoveled some seriously heavy snow last night. I burned 185 calories. That's not even enough to cover a cocoa and a cookie. What it's really doing is offsetting the fewer calories you're burning by laying around.

So, choose your beverages carefully and find a small piece of chocolate instead of the cookies. You're healthy body will thank you.
Hello Ladies. My computer was in the shop for over a week, and let me tell you, I was going a little crazy at first. Then guess what happened? My house became immaculate. Isn't that weird. Like magic!!!! When my husband got back from being out of town, he was just as surprised at the order of our house. How is that possible with 4 little children and a mom home alone? I had to giggle when I figured out the secret ingredient.... wanna know what it was? You're smarter than me and have probably already figured it out.

No computer.

I didn't realize how much time I spent on the computer, researching, browsing, stalking. In fact, my kids were so happy during the week, and I think I was because I wasn't distracted. In light of this new found discovery, I have made a goal to stay off the computer until my kiddies are in bed. I usually have to stay close by when I tuck them in, so naturally it would be a wonderful time to catch up on my internet stuff. Anyway, this is my 30 pt goal for the challenge, and I figured if I told ya'll, I would have to do it. How do you guys balance your computer time into your day?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Music as a Motivator

I love music! It is such a powerful medium. Lately as I am driving to and from my Irish dance class, I have the rare opportunity to crank the radio and sing along like no one is watching (except the people in the car next to me at the stoplights, but really who cares). It is actually a great stress reliever and its gotten me thinking about some of the songs I actually find motivating in a "Healthy Wife Happy Life" kind of way. If I was still in high school I would make you all a mixed tape :) but oh technology is wonderful and I can just put the playlist right in this post.

So here are some of my motivating songs in no particular order:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

I could really get out of control with this so this is just a taste. If you don't have time to listen to them all just make sure you listen to "Just the Way You Are" because that one is dedicated to all of you AMAZING gals. Now your turn, what are some of your motivating songs?

Charming Part Dos

This is my post about links to sports/exercise charms. I'm a beginning beader, and have more enthusiasm than time to bead, but I've made a few jewelry projects so I just had to see if I could find anything similar to Melissa's awesome bracelet on the 'net. And I didn't, but I didn't have more time, unfortunately. But I did find some interesting sports/exercise charms. Here's a list of what I found: - Lots of cute charms, many different sports but especially for runners, to commemorate achievements. Like a charm that is simply "26.2" for the marathon runners. - major jewelry-making supplier, gobs of charms, search for one you like - again, lots of cute charms, but mostly gold. I'm a silver girl. - a few charms about sports/exercise, but I got sidetracked on the snowflakes, my jewelry weakness. - This is the source I use for all my beading supplies, because of the All-Assortable Pricing. - another large supplier


Look what I found thrifting today! This lovely little bauble that screamed out to me "Why hello Healthy Wife, won't you find me a new home?!" Being the kind-hearted shopper that I am, I obliged. Sort of. Because I actually need your help too. Who wants the bracelet? Cause I'm sending it to you, that's right YOU.

All you have to do is post twice before this challenge ends and I'll put your name in the hat. I want more company here in posting land and I know you all have some interesting things to say.

Won't this be a fun-to-wear reminder of what we're up to here?

Check out that water bottle charm and that teeny tiny little dumbbell. Precious, I know. And I love that it's got blue beads, because I miss the blue sky and the sun.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A study in Pickle Chicken

So a couple of weeks ago when Missy posted about Chick-fil-A I don't think many of you understand the deep love the two of us have for that restaurant. It's kind of funny...but I'm totally serious.

One day I was telling her about a friend who had seen me eating the Chick-fil-A sandwich and only half the bun and how she asked why I didn't just get the chicken strips. My response was that I thought they tasted different. Missy, who's brother who is the owner of the Chick-fil-A in American Fork, picked up her cell phone and called her brother right there on the spot. What we learned is that both the chicken breast and the chicken nuggets are brined in pickle juice and the strips are not. I thought this was so cool...I mean that I could actually taste the difference.

That evening when my husband came home from work I told him about it. He suggested doing it ourselves. And thus was created one of our families favorite dinners: Pickle Chicken.

One large jar of dill pickles.
Panko Crumbs
Salt and Pepper

I use chicken tenders but you could use breast if you choose.
I usually unthaw 20-25 tenders in a large Ziploc bag. Once unthawed I pour ALL of the juice from the dill pickles into the Ziploc bag and let them marinate for several hours. All day would be good. The longer they marinate the more pickle taste you'll find.

When I'm ready to cook. I preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9x13 pans with nonstick spray.

The breading process takes three bowls.
One with flour with salt and pepper in it.
One with 4+ eggs beaten
One with the Panko crumbs

Dredge the chicken through these bowls in the above order and place in pan.

Cook for 30 minutes or until no longer pink.

I serve mine with salad or a vegetable.

YUMMY! Don't substitute regular bread crumbs...Panko is the way to go.

1 minute lunch

Do you have a favorite quick-fix can of soup? My thinking is that winter's best lo-cal hot lunch is soup. Much as I love salads, when it's cold, I crave something that steams and takes a while to eat and is chunky.

Here's one of my favorites: Amy's organic roasted vegetable Southwestern. It's got a bit of spice and doesn't have that weird canned taste that some soups have. One and a half cups, only 210 calories.

Monday, January 24, 2011


My husband and I were having a late night discussion the other day. You know the kind, where afterward, you can't fall asleep because you're still thinking and pondering.

We were talking about a friend who has long said that he wants to write a screenplay. My husband has tried different strategies to motivate him to get started. None of which has worked. So now whenever his friend has a new screenplay idea or is reading the latest screenplay writing book, my husband says to him "Just write." {like Nike's Just Do It, right?} My husband then declared that this friend didn't have a lot of discipline in this area of his life. And I said "But he is very disciplined person." And that's where the debate began

H: How so?
M: Well, he did train to run a marathon last year. That's discipline for sure.
H: No it isn't.
M: What?! Yes it so is!
H: No it isn't because he likes running.
M: So it's only discipline if you do something with regularity that you don't like doing?
H: Uh huh.
M: Can't agree with that. I enjoy cooking. Didn't use to, but I do now. Still I have to discipline myself to find new recipes, to grocery shop for ingredients and to make the time to make them. Plus, think of the mental discipline to get through an entire 26 miles. He may like running, generally...but he still has to wake up early or otherwise make the time to run, do it no matter what the weather; eat right so his body will have the energy to do it and so on {O.K. I wasn't that eloquent at the was close to midnight.}

So, ladies, I put it to you: how do you perceive discipline? I did look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary {English geek that I am} and definition numero uno was this: "chastisement or correction undergone as a penance; self mortification." Yeah, that's just not right, although kind of fitting with husband's theory. My thinking was more along #4 : "Instruction fitting one to perform an actiivity; training" or #5 "The system of order and strict obedience to rules enforced by pupils, soldiers, or others under authority; a particular instance of this."

Just to throw more fuel into the fire, here are a few choice quotes:

“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” Roy L. Smith

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Jim Rohn

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” Zig Ziglar

“Discipline is remembering what you want.” David Campbell

I'm sure you have areas of your life where you think "I'm not disciplined whatsoever." But then what about the areas where you are disciplined? Do you perceive yourself to be well-disciplined if you always clean once a week? I do! Do you perceive yourself to be well-disciplined if you pay your bills on time? I do! Do you perceive yourself to be well-disciplined if you follow any at-home routine with regularity? Because I do.

I often think of discipline in terms of another very similar word: disciple. We know the disciples loved their teacher. We also know that they didn't, couldn't actually, succeed at strictly following the commandments set forth by their teacher. They were human and flawed. But they kept trying, they kept running the race. They were disciplined.

Now, I'm off to be disciplined in my laundry room.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Me - back when I started last summer, 235 pounds.

You know, I've kind of been struggling with motivation lately, kind of going "Meh" about calorie-counting and making the scales read lower. The holidays were a struggle, and I have a confession to make about how I felt about the session that ended on Dec. 17th. It was kind of a bratty attitude, considering the fact that my effort wasn't up to par with how I'd done in the past. But I was really annoyed that I lost the challenge by only 14 points. Granted, I hadn't tried very hard, so it wasn't like I worked my guts out or anything and "deserved" to win. But I'd come so close, and for a few hours thought I might actually get a pretty necklace. Yeah, I feel like a dork admitting how shallow I was. But I think that's the first time it became kind of concrete that winning sessions just wasn't a very strong motivator for me anymore. In the summer and early fall it was fun for me to squeeze every point possible out of our sessions. I just don't feel that way any more.

Looking at my weight chart, I think 11-8 was when I pretty much started coasting. Two-and-a-half months!! I've been wasting my time, or at least not making any progress. Sometimes taking a break can be a good thing, but I think that's probably been going on long enough.

A few of you suggested going back and looking at my original post and goals. And you know what? You were right. Because the idea of hitting summer still at my current weight would be really depressing, like tripping at the finish line. I would really like to be in the 160's by then, where I envisioned myself back when I started at the end of June last year. 20 pounds in five months should be totally doable. But I've got to find my own personal motivation again...

P.S. Sorry, I was supposed to post or comment about previous fav posts. But I started at my original post and got sidetracked. I'll go back and read older stuff tomorrow and comment.