Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody! (Free cards?? Thanks Shutterfly!)

Posted By: Leah

I have so much to be thankful for.
What are you thankful for this year?

I sent the cards (above) the day before Halloween, I loved them so much! I have been putting all my pictures on shutterfly ever since I 1st got a digital camera in like '04. So my entire life (it seems) is on that one site. They are forever offering awesome deals and promotions, so I can get super cards (like the one above) at a great price. The fam loves getting cards all the time and I like for them to see how Gav looks throughout the year. Courtney took the pics in the card above, arent they awesome???

Anyhow, if you have never used Shutterfly I highly recommend it... and... right now they are offering 50 free cards to bloggers who want to talk about their shutterfly experience, so you know I had to join in! I have already ordered my holiday cards (from shutterfly ofcourse!) but with 50 free, I will come up with another holiday (new years? is it too soon?) I'll show you my amazingly darling super special holiday cards closer to the time. In the meantime you can check out shutterfly's cards for yourself.

Click to take a peek at thier super cute Christmas Cards. I am friends with people of all faiths, so I usually send one of the Holiday Cards. They have this new ultra luxe paper (it's what my thanksgiving card is printed on). It is like thick linen... totally fabulous! it's hard to tell online, but here are some more Christmas Photo Cards

They also have other photo-gift items like personalized mugs, wall canvases, ornaments, even totes and jewelry!
Great gifts for the fam for sure!

Speaking of the fam, I send everyone birthday cards with Gav's cute face. You can also create Birthday Party Cards. They are constantly updating their designs, so I never send the same one twice. I have always wanted to host a holiday cookie decorating party... wouldn't that be the coolest ever? They have darling Holiday Invitations that would be so perfect... maybe next year???

This isn't what I ordered for my holiday card... but I have a super cute idea in mind for how I want to use this one. Aren't they so cute??? And hello, there's glitter on it... fabulous! so *hopefully* my idea will work and I'll make my dad or somebody snap this 'dream photo' I have and it will be so beyond fabulous!!!!

So you want to get in on the awesome free 50 cards promotion too, right? Do you use shutterfly? You really should... in my opinion it's way better than the other photo sites... but that's just me! Anyway, click here to get set up to get your own 50 cards. You have to be a blogger, but if you are reading this, you probably already are!

Friday, November 19, 2010

What up csn?

Posted By: Leah
CSN has been sooo generous to let me do so many reviews as of late, I have gotten so many items that I like and may want to give for xmas gifts. Guess what? They have offered to let me do another review :) I haven't gotten any of their home decor items to review. So this time I'm thinking about some of their fancy-schmancy bakeware or maybe art. I could even look at their tv tables. So many choices!

The best thing about their site is that you can get the price super custom... like if I wanted to randomly spend $17, I could! I love that kind of stuff!

This weekend I'm kitty sitting and so excited! it's a kitty play date!!!!What are you doing this weekend?

My friend is famous!

Posted By: Leah
I'm so excted! I just had to share. I went to log into my yahoo today, and saw my friend Deanna on the homepage! I had to do a double-take! The article features how she's survived in this tough economy through her and her husband being laid off, etc. She is truly one of the most positive, upbeat people I know. She is so supportive of her friends, family, co-workers, etc. She has had some bad luck but has remained strong. I hope this story can provide others with hope :) CLICK HERE to go to the story. PS isn't her husband Brian a DOLL???

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fruit till noon, raw till dinner.

Posted By: Leah
For you guys who have followed my blog for a while, I sometimes get super excited about what I'm eating and take pics and post recipes, etc. Othertimes I'm just bored of talking about it. But if you have been missing my vegetarian (most of the time)/vegan (sometimes) posts... Today I feel like talking about food!!!!

We had final weigh-ins for biggest loser yesterday, this is the 3rd session this year. Since january I've lost I think 21 lbs total... well, that I've kept off. Technically I've totally seen way lower numbers on the scale, but we won't count that because I was only there for maybe 15 minutes lol. but I think 21lbs consistantly is a safe number and I'm okay with it  :)

so anyhow, i know you are all jealous of me (ok prob not but maybe! lol) and want to know my 'secrets' which are not secrets, but some people just want know exactly what I eat. I do love to talk about food (I lead a weekly group on being healthy for my work-crew) (people want to be like me, I know it!) so anyway, back to what it is I actually eat.... you ALL KNOW about fruit till noon. I preach this like nothing else. you must not consume anything except for water, hot tea (not coffee, if you want a hot drink), and fruit until 12 noon. I am over beating it into people, so google it if you want to know more. trust me, this works like nothing else. so what's the next step if you want to be ultra healthy in an ultra easy (and cheap) way? do fruit till noon and then raw 'till dinner.

If you've ever read of heard of Skinny Bitch this is what the book's all about. It took me a while to understand how and why, but if you want to skip the rest of this post, and buy Skinny Bitch used on Amazon for $4, feel free.

I don't know about you, but I will eat anything that I bring for lunch. Yes, I do have the hospital cafeteria right by me, and yes I'll totally hit it up from time to time (and I *may* order the chicken salad wrap), but most of the week I'll eat whatever I brought. What's important is a full belly. What did you eat 2 tuesdays ago? ok, unless you are on WW or tracking your food, and can look it up, you have no idea. Why? because it doesn't really matter. It really, truly, was not an important meal to you and the only important thing is that your belly got full, right? right.

A few mos back I went on and on about the pleasure of food. How appealing it is to look at amazing food. How I totally watch food network and love it. Where I'm going with this is that people 'think' they must have spectacular, delicious, exciting meals 3 times a day. But they don't have time or energy or money. So what is the easiest? something that 'sounds' good. it has been proven time and time again people desire food that has a combination of fat, sugar, and salt. this makes their belly happy (think: cookies, or fries, or chips, or a cheeseburger, or polynesian sauce on a chick fil a sandwich... YUM!) 

it is pretty rare that people crave a salad... if they do, it's probably what's on the salad (bleu cheese (salt, fat), dressing (sugar, fat, salt)). See where I'm going with this? So what I'm telling you to do is to get the heck overyourself.

yes, I said it. You do not need to have fat/sugar/salt to get a full belly. you need calories for a full belly. These can come from a variety of things. You know weight watchers and the whole flex points thing? the trick is to find the most filling/exciting foods with the lowest point values. people go crazy over those hostess 1-point 3-pack mini hohos. But guess what? that's not a filling lunch, and trust me you will be hungry in about 5 seconds. So what else can you eat that's low in calories? vegetables! Back to good old WW (yes, I'm a WW lifetime member / dropout for the record) you can eat as many vegetables as you want for..... zero points!

Calm down, I'm not going to tell you to eat nothing but vegetables or to go join WW, I'm not that lame (even though I am jealous of jennifer hudson)! this is what I'm going to tell you to do and it's cheap and easy...  eat fruit till noon. just freakin do it. You will have crazy energy and love life. stop hating and do it already.  have you read the book i recommended forever ago by Harvy Diamond called "Fit for Life?" there are a bunch in the series, I have "Fit for Life, not Fat for Life" but they are all basically the same. Again, feel free to google it, but in a nutshell, it is way better to eat live, living foods because they are more nutritious. (duh) the end. Harvey Diamond's goal is to eat 50+% living food a day. By eating fruit till noon and raw till dinner (I mean I have a piece of fruit for breakfast  or cut up veggies for lunch anyhow, it's cheap and easy). you get like 70% raw and will feel spectacular.

so now you want to know what's up with dinner. Well friends, here's the good news. by eating so much raw food you will not be starving or even hungry for dinner. something about all that rawness is an appetite supressant. how would you like to eat a sleeve of cookie dough for dinner? Yes please! lets say that weighs 1/2 lb. Ok how would you like to eat 1/2 lb of... some delicious .... lettuce! that'll be maybe 10 cups of lettuce, right? you will not be starving and you can eat what you want for dinner and not be ravelous and eat a bag of cheetos while your lean cuisine is in the microwave. (no, don't go eat 10 cups lettuce. you are missing the point. you couldn't eat 10 cups of lettuce if you wanted to. but you COULD eat a sleeve of cookie dough). Oh, and don't even think about not using some kind dip/dressing on your salad.

Ok, I'm rambling but the point I'm proving is if you trust me on this, eat fruit till noon (any kind as long as it is raw, not canned, or a juice (unless fresh squeezed)). and then do raw till dinner (salad, veggies, google 'fun easy raw foods') then for dinner you can eat whatever you want (within reason). I have been totally vegan recently (yay) and so for dinner I've been making different kinds of chili with a side of potatoes or tempeh or anything that sounds good. even nachos. The exciting part is I am using tofuti sour cream (it's saltier and thicker than the regular kind, way better!!) and Galaxy brand cheddar  rice cheese (it even melts!) and throwing that on everything I can find! Yes sour cream and cheese totally have salt/fat/sugar... the good stuff I crave. But the animal-free kind is better for me (have we discussed my over the top cholestrol? ok lets not). But I find myself fuller faster, having more energy, and clothes fit wayyyy better!

No one believes me but I only spend about $20/week on groceries. Yes, I buy the expensive dairy alternatives, and hello philly swirl popsicles (I'm not anti-corn syrup... yet!) a bag of apples is like $3, vegetables are really not that much. I am cool with my beans coming from a can, but dry beans cost pretty much nil. I do rice, and trust me when I say faux sour cream and faux cheese is fab on EVERYTHING!

so yes, this long blog post is what I'm eating and what I plan to eat until I get bored and unmotivated again hahah. The good news is I've kept the 20+ lbs off for 8 mos or so and I don't feel like I'm dieting. yes, I eat cupcakes and ice cream, and may have been going to chick-fil-a once a week for 2 mos straight... but when you eat mostly healthy, your body forgives the not so healthy stuff and you still look hot! isn't that's what is important anyway? and could you get away with eating chick fil a every week and crazy amounts of halloween candy, etc? no probably not... and you know why? because you aren't doing fruit till noon, raw till dinner. so booya! in yo face! I got the secret and now you do too!!!!!!!!

{ps all pics are from google images}

Monday, November 15, 2010

hey you guys!

Posted By: Leah
So I promise I'm still here... even though I may not show up on your blogger feed anymore... or ever get the chance to post, I'm here and doing well!!!! I have so many pics to edit and post... but just so you all know I'm not just kidding on all my adventures I'm going to post some un-edited pics so you can get a tiny taste of what's in store...

I think we already covered halloween... or did we? Wait... I did edit this one, weeks ago... look at that cute watermark at the bottom, who knew? is gav 4 or ... 24? will we ever know?

this was a message from Gracie to lauren's kitty LE.... that pin sold at the craft fair last friday, I wonder if the person who got it will ever know it was worn by a 5 month old kitten? haha probably not!

Oh yeah, so gav and I went to the grandover. I like to brag about stuff like the rack rate of the room. If you aren't in the hospitality industry, 'rack rate' is the maximum they can charge for a room, and that's what they post on the back of the door. it's most exciting in vegas where you pay $49/night for a suite at mgm, and the rack rate is like $600/night. good stuff!

what's the grandover? it's this hotel right off of I-85 near high point/greensboro in NC. It's pretty nice. I am the biggest hotel snob in the world so of course no, it's not the nicest place I've ever stayed. and yes, I've worked and stayed in nicer. but it was free, so what the heck?

i forgot to bring my flip-flops for the indoor pool/spa... so i had to sport my sparkle toms (my other choice was ankle boots. neither was that hot with the tankini.

Gav in the indoor pool.

Ice cream for dinner... ok this is getting extra random, I know...

We went to build a bear at the mall for our evening activity. check out HK's panties lol!

Gav took the most fun bath ever


here's my proof I was really there too.

oh and the view was really pretty!

ok well that's it for now! I will do a real post one of these days :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Flashback Friday - Babymoon in Vegas, Baby

Posted By: Leah
This is me 21 weeks prego in Vegas getting ready to go to dinner at SeaBlue (at MGM) where we sat next to Howie Mandel (this was 1st season of Deal or No Deal aka 2006). I thought I looked HOTT (which now I know is totally False LOL).
Last week I was putting together my holiday card via ShutterFly and got sidetracked looking at pictures of my prego belly. I've moved jobs 2x and live in another state since I was prego w/ Gav 4 yrs ago, so lots of people who are in my life currently haven't seen pictures of me pregnant.

Honestly, being prego was one of the best and happiest times in my life. Everybody was SOO nice to me, I felt amazing (and LOVED the attention from friends and strangers!) it's such a fun time with anticipation and excitement. Anyhow, I'm kind of a big traveler (not so much recently, but Gav and I are taking a mini (free) vacay this weekend to a FAB hotel (ok, it's because of work, but whatever. hello indoor pool). more to come on monday, I don't want any stalkers/lurkers showing up even though I'm pretty sure this place is on point w/ security).

ANYHOW so Jason and I used to go on vacay all the time, and we went to vegas every year for I think 3 or 4 yrs in a row. It was FABULOUS. So I totally booked us a trip before I got too prego to travel and we lived it up one last time in vegas.
We stayed at MGM, just because it's a decently central location to our fav spots. I was a creeper and took this picture of the people on the balcony across from us in their bathrobes. hahah. I have never been much of a drinker, but I cannot tell you how badly I wanted just 1 sip of a margarita. I didn't have one (Gav would have never known, I'm sure) but I felt good at the time I did the right thing. However, at the said dinner above at SeaBlue I did eat the crap out of some goat cheese and caviar so whatever, nobody got lysteria.

We rented a car and drove up to Red Rock Canyon. Actually Red Rock Casino opened the weekend in April we were there. We were going to go out to it, but I was hella tired. Sting showed up and performed a free show. Leson learned, if you are in Vegas, just go to everything you are invited to. We also went to Valley of Fire which is like 1 hr north of the strip. It was way prettier than Red Rock canyon. You totally should go there if you are in vegas. 
PS good lord my face was big. I think I only weighed like 156 (maybe more like 165) at that point. So not super huge, just I think all the weight went to my face hahah. PS for the record, that's the #1 way to tell what someone's having... with a boy their face (specifically jaw) gets really fat. Again, I thought I was cute and really I was a mess!

The pics below are me at Red Rock Canyon (see, not as pretty), me stalking the Top Chef season 1 cast as they filmed their finale, and my fav view of the strip (1- at night 2- it looks all hustle-bustle).

To see more people's flashbacks or to link up on your own... visit my girl Tia from Tia and Christopher or click the button below!

Flashback Friday Button

Thursday, November 4, 2010

So who lives around here and wants to get in on some AWESOMENESS?

Posted By: Leah
And by 'around here' I mean North Carolina, specifically Greensboro. So what is this awesomeness I'm talking about??? Only one of the biggest highlights of my entire year... the Moses Cone Craft Fair at my work! Yes, I'm inviting YOU! It's next friday, November 12th from 7am - 6pm. Bring the fam, it's free and it's in the hospital! Yes in Moses Cone classroom 0030.

Why am I so excited about this? Well craft fairs are fun of course, but they are even more fun when all of the artists are the amazing, talented, life-saving co-workers of mine.. and ME! I think it's usually about 30-50 vendors (sorry I can't be more specific, it is 3 huge packed out rooms with the airwalls opened for one massive room).

And these aren't normal boring lame-crafts (ok well I guess it is a matter of preferance) but to me it's like an indi market of sorts. But with food and just all around awesomeness. Ok i know, I'm still not being specific. Here are some for real examples of items my besties from work and I will have at our tables (PS we will be all lined up along the back wall).

Cindy makes Hoots. What's a Hoot? it's a tiny, super soft stuffed owl of course! Gav has a pirate one from her he LOVES (it was his show and tell today, actually!) she has I think maybe 45-50 she's bringing. Only $8-$10 each. but they are big enough to be a toddler's pillow. such cuteness!

Courtney makes tutus. And yes, I have worn one of her tutus and I liked it and I want my own BAD. Technically they are for little girls (she does pet ones too) but I told her I'm going to the club rocking a tutu... yeah... we'll see hahah. She's charging I think $12 each. I'm telling you, this craft fair is like etsy and santa's workshop come to life!

I of course have ShopLeah my (sorry for the low inventory, I have been keeping most of what I've been making on reserve for the craft fair where I usually sell out). I always offer the most amazing deal ever. $5 for one hair clip/pin/toddler set and 3 for $10. I know, it's amazing! I have literally a hundred or more sets so it's going to be so exciting.
And so much more but that's your preview for today!

I do so much of my holiday shopping at the craft fair... last year I got my dad this amazing bowl that was carved from a tree and even had bark on the top. I got another family member a scarf, there is delicious food and baked goods. It's so great!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cougar with Candy

Posted By: Leah

So what was I this year for halloween? I was a cougar passing out candy of course! Hahaha. Gav went trick or treating with his dad, cole, etc.  and I was armed and ready with my Hello Kitty candy imported straight from Japan (it really is very good. I passed it out at work, at gav's school, to random strangers, etc lol). PS not sure why I was making that creeper face. I never know if I should smile, laugh, look serious, etc. in pics I take of myself hahaha

Oh, and yes, this picture has been flipped, it looks better this way, if it wasn't the Hello Kitty would be backwards because it is in a mirror, hi?

PS- HILARIOUS (sorta) story that I can't post on here. But if you want a good laugh or ... something like that I'll be happy to e-mail you!

PPS - so I don't know if this post is the most appropiate place to post a Mother Theresa quote, but I like it so here it is:
"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." ~Mother Teresa
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