Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Good Bye Picnik :(

Posted By: Leah
So don't even lie. You know you love picnik just as much as I do. And you were crushed when you got the e-mail that they were shutting down the site April 19. (Wait, you didn't know? Yeah it's real :(
BUT good news, is all their premium features (like backgrounds, editing tools etc) are now FREE until picnik ends. YAY!

In the spirit of getting the most out of Picnik I have made a ton of buttons for the new series I'm going to have on my blog. It's called "Making Pinterest Real."

I make sooo much stuff I see on pinterest. Sometimes I blog about it, sometimes not. But I think I should give pinterest a little more credit, obviously. So here are a few of the buttons I've made. I think it would be wayy more fun to have a new button for each item, right?

I already have two v-day projects coming up soon... I figured I'd theme out the button, and that's where my idea began.

PS, yes I know this is the craziest picture/expression ever. And no it doesn't include my bangs or glasses. But whatev! I like the hilariousness of this pic and am working it hahah.

I'm super excited about this. I can't wait to share all the stuff I've made that's (for the most part) turned out awesome!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Self Photo Challenge

Posted By: Leah

I JUST snapped this one of me. Yup this is really me. really at work. With Gav's preschool art creations behind me. And (taking Inspiration from SS's Currently),

Currently I'm...
Obsessing over: Why it seems like EVERYONE is being so annoying. Seriously. Every single person I know (ok like 95%) are suddenly being straight up haters. I feel like all I do is try to explain myself. AND I'm sorry that I'll judge ppl who I think are lazy/unmotivated/cheap/slackers but it's annoying to me because that's not how I am.

Thinking about: Myself on the road to being more at peace. I had an entire weekend off. No child, no bf, just me and my apt. I cleaned all but 2 rooms (technically I hadn't put away our 500 bags from traveling / xmas gifts. However I have had the tree/decor put away for a month. It's something, right?)

Anticipating:
A check in the mail. I did my taxes. That turned out well (this is the best time of year to be a single mama!) and got my 1st massage in like forever (using a gift card I got for xmas).

Wishing:
My stuff would sell! I listed 10 things on ebay (free listing last Thurs & Fri) so hopefully i'll clear even more stuff out... but make $$ on them (Good Bye, American Girl Samantha's Brass bed. Please be worth $100++)

Eating:
I went to Greek, Fro yo and the $1.50 Movies with Lauren sat night and saw Tower Heist. It was actually really cute. I didn't know what it was going to be abou (and for $1.50 who cares) but it was a lot like Ocean's 11 (one of my all-time fav's) and kind of funny.


Listening to: 
I went to Church Sunday for the 1st time since xmas and that was good. Except during one part I did get really inspired... to make a shopping list lol. So right after church I went to wal-mart and got a pile of cheap groceries, and some stuff to work on Gav's and BF's vday gifts (I can't really give away what BF is getting, but i've been working on it via ebay, etsy, etc. for a while)

Working on:
Then I went to Barnes & Noble to work on my dad's bday gift (it's next weekend). I'm not giving that away either (IDK who in my fam reads my blogs... ok probably nobody LOL) and I saw this ADORABLE HK gift card holder. I had to take a pic. It's the cutest thing ever!

Geez, it kind of looks like I did a ton this weekend. But I also did a lot of cleaning which is really good, and I always put it off. And that's pretty much it. Back at work today. And there you go!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Firm Fridays

Posted By: Leah





So... IDK about this whole weight-loss thing. I mean I'm not a failure (I've lost a good 5 lbs total, down 2 lbs this week officially at WW). but this time it's different. not in a good way.

If you've followed my weight-loss though the years on this blog (I dropped over 20 lbs in 2010) I get really fired up, go hard, make my goals and sort-of can maintain it.  Well this time, the whole go-hard aspect isn't really working as I wish it would.

I'm thinking if I post about it, I can gain better insight and find some solutions.

I'll start with the good:
1- My work is the best, most supportive part of the whole journey; We have free fitness classes (hello body pump, 2x a week, i've never lifted in my life prior to now.)
2- WW at work (and I go with my friends/coworkers. great support/accountability)
3- My work friends are ALL on this weight-loss thing too. Have you seen their blog (the healty system we work with sponsored them last year on getting them started, which in turn got me into the classes/WW etc)
4- Even RIGHT THIS MOMENT I'm drinking a green tea and have a protein smoothie Courtney brought me this morning. I mean these girls make it easy and fun.
5- We have a gym AT MY WORK that's free. And nobody ever is in there but me, so I can get my work-out on during my lunch hr (when I'm not at body pump or WW, so that leaves Mon & Fri).

The not so good:
1- I have a boyfriend. I mean ok actually this is a really great thing in all ways minus the me keeping skinny. And even though he fully 110% supports me eating healthy, he eats super healthy and clean, etc. Something happens on the weekends...
2- Specifically what it involves is going out. This can include, but is not limited to having a beer (or 2), eating at restaurants (like NICE ones with deliciousness. hello fried goat cheese bruchetta and crepes and stuff).
3- I TOTALLY use our long-distance relationship as an excuse not to eat healthy. And yes, granted if I was perfect during the week I could be a little (or a lot) slack on the weekends and be fine.
4- I have a kid. Granted he eats healthier than I do (NO Mom, don't eat my xmas candy, you said you wanted to be healthy!) But again, I use him as an excuse to hang out in the evenings and SOMETIMES do a little Just Dance faux-workout.

So all I can say is this time it's DIFFERENT. Since having Gav, I've lost 20+ lbs on 2 occasions. 1st after I had him on WW and then again when I went Vegan. But if you've noticed it's the SAME 20 lbs. Thus the SAME i'm trying to knock back off... AGAIN this time.

Clearly the only person I have to blaim is myself. But in the whole having fun, living in the moment, I find it difficult to eat as well as I once did. I allow myself less time to plan meals, shop, cook from scratch and keep it up (or go even harder) on the weekends like I used to. It's sooo totally my own fault. I just don't have the motivation I have had in the past for this.

And I see it more as a destination instead of a journey. That's probably the problem. Instead of making small changes (like I truly am doing) and making it livable, I want it all right now. I want to lose 5 lbs in 1 week and then 5 lbs the next week and then be where I want to be.

I read sooo many blogs, go to WW, discuss the whole weight-thing with people all the time. It's just little mini, baby choices I need to turn into habits. I need to really make it a priority. I talked about this a couple weeks ago, but I think this is going to help me. I need to work on visualisation. I need to think about WHY I'm doing this this time. I need to have acutal goals for myself, not just WW goals they give me (and i think my lifetime weight is too low for me to maintain for more than 5 sec.)

The good news about this weekend:
BF is in FLA this weekend so I won't see him at all (AKA no going out anywhere, no temptation of unhealthy foods/drinks etc). Gav is w/ his dad in VA this weekend also, so it's all me. Therefore I have NO EXCUSE to not eat super crazy healthy, go to the gym every day, and really take care of myself. I can plan menus, go groc shopping, make lunches for the entire next week, and feel in control once again. It's going to be good. This is seriously just what I need to get my mind where it needs to be to be successful. So often I feel like life's moving so fast all around and I get kind of overwhelmed (have you read my post from earlier this week?)

So that's it for my firm friday post for this week. Blogger is lame and takes literally 24-36 hrs to publish my posts recently, so it'll probably be more like firm Sunday buy the time you read this. But oh well.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So What! Wednesday - Pics/Work Edition

Posted By: Leah
Linking up with Shannon to do a little not so much venting. more like sharing:



So what if I didn't track one single thing this week for WW. I lost 2 lbs (not even sure how) and I feel really good about that.

So what if I brew tea at my desk... like loose-leaf tea. And people come by and see my random tea leaves and think it's who even knows what on my desk and make weird comments.

So what if I carry 31 Gifts products and talk about them like I'm selling them but totally am not (check out my 2 lunch bags today).

So what if having bangs/glasses makes me think i'm zooey D's twin and my self esteem is infinity times higher. Thanks Jess Day! (And I may be known to run around singing "Hey Girl! Whatcha Doin'")


So what if planning trips, even if I don't take them, makes me so super happy (hello orbitz, where would I like to go this weekend?)


So what if my nail polish is beyond chipped and I don't even care

So what if I wear TOMS every single day, even (especially) to work

So what if I run all the way up 5 flights of stairs and back down every time I get up to go to the bathroom (and I work on the ground floor). Just to get a tiny work out in.

So what if I have a Hello Kitty shrine beside/behind one of my monitors

So what if we had a welcome breakfast for a new employee today and I had a piece of delicious, amazing cream cheese pecan coffee cake.... and it was weigh-in day right after that for WW.

So what if I donated blood yesterday and feel all elitist like I can save lives and am a super hero (I have O neg blood, so I sort of am)

So what if I watched Friends for an hour while waiting to donate blood/while donating blood and I thought it was AWESOME and wondered why I don't find it on TV every night and watch it.

So what if I'm super totally vein and my bf is too and people crack up when we talk about how awesome/adorable we are. But we are being serious.  (and the chick behind us and the dude look like anorexic zombies)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

400th POST!

Posted By: Leah
Oh wow this is my 400th post. I have for sure been through some ups and downs on this blog (Mostly ups, I mean it is called the Lovely Life of Leah, not Depressing McDepresserson). And right now I'm feeling.... overwhelmed. I only have one kid and his extra curricular activities are wearing me down just watching, so I can't even imagine how worn out he must feel.

So I've decided to cut back, not just in his sports and stuff, but in my own life as well. It's so easy to get my hands in so much that all of a sudden none of it is fun for anyone. I'm doing this at work too, trying to delegate things that I really used to enjoy (planning staff events, green team, biggest loser leader) and letting other people pick it up. No one really has the enthusiasm or drive that I do, but It's all just gotten to be a bit toooo much for me right now.

Well that and I (of course, duh!) have some other projects in the works that I can can better spend my time. So my 400th blog post is going to be pics off my phone of stuff Gav and I have recently been into:

First, I got new glasses! (excuse the pissed off face, I never take normal 'cell phone in the mirror smiling expressions.' I just can't)

Second, I got bangs!  
This was me last night with glasses AND bangs (and gav fell asleep sitting by me. We are so exhausted. But I had to watch The Bachelor. Why is Ben so unattractive? Gross.)

But before gav passed out on me, I made what I'm going to call my 'final flower' (well it's technically a tiny infant baby headband). I used to love making these and sold them a ton in my etsy shop. Now just the thought of making them makes me want to stab my eyes out. I freakin hate these things (even though they are super cute!)

BF and I celebrated our 1 yr together ( i called it our anniversary, he said that our anniversary is when he asked me to be his GF... in MAY. well... he asked me to be his gf at barcade, so split the difference) I'm also working on his Vday gift which I'm hoping will be pretty spectacular. It's currently a work in progress...

I got bf and I tix to see Childish Gambino (donald glover, you know from community) in March. He was legit the best performance of Bonnaroo. I'm so tempted to post a bunch of those pics right now, but I'll keep going w/ what else we have going on.... and not get distracted

OH! can I just say that we'll be like out at the store and Gav will tell the cashier "hi my mom gets distracted a lot"  UM yeah. Usually people won't know how to answer. It's called mom brain & ADD ppl, most ppl have both.

On to KARATE! And by Karate I mean tae qwon do. I cannot get it through my head that it's not called karate. I mean they wear uniforms and have colorful belts. I'm waiting for Ralph Macchio (my true love of the 80's) to come and break some ice.

At Gav's first lession he asked if they had tiny wooden tables. I was liek ????? And he said he was going to karate chop a tiny wooden table. Needless to say, you won't see any wooden tables in these pics.

But you will see Gav smiling big time.



So cute. And Karate's over (whatever it's called).
Next is Basket Ball! UGH this was 8:30am every Saturday morning. This is the last week of it thank goodness.





So I guess that's really it. And it's not as much as I make it out to be I'm sure. But this mama's TIRED. So ready for some calmness. I miss the days of no homework. Kindergarten's wearing me out big time!




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

so adorable

Posted By: Leah
 My friend Courtney is a professional photographer. She snapped this one of me this summer during my pin-up shoot and for some reason I never saw it edited until recently. It's so cute. I guess it's vein of me to say I'm so adorable, but I am! hahah
This is an abandon house from the olden days out in the country by Courtney's parent's house.

Here's my expression up close. so classic!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Detox / 7 Day Cleanse

Posted By: Leah
Leah's Body Makeover Week 1
Total lbs lost - 5*


Cleanse
For the past 7 days I've successfully done a GNC Complete Body Cleanse. And I've not only survived, but rocked it!

Have you ever done a cleanse? I had not and was honestly a little bit nervous. I had visions of myself at work running to the bathroom and having bad times. I did not experience anything like that at all.
So the deal is there's a bunch of pills excuse me herbs to take in the morning, evening and this fiber blend think Metamucil to drink in the morning as well. Sounds pretty intense, but it was actually not bothersome at all. Meaning, no running to the bathroom or anything weird/crazy/unusual happening on my insides. No cramping no & TMI anything. Nothing tasted gross, not even the fiber mix thing (it was like a dreamsicle). 

I also worked out every day. this could have helped with everything going so well. By day 2 I had lost 2.8 lbs. I think the majority of that was due to what I was eating (or not eating, I did mostly vegan). This is sooo not for everybody. But don't knock it until you try it for a couple weeks. My diet is taken directly from the Skinny Bitch and Fit for Life concept of eating 50%+ raw everyday. 

So I know you are wondering... what the heck did I eat every day???

Breakfast / Morning Snack - Fruit 'till noon (seriously!) I'm over blogging about why this is the the way to go. here's a post of me explaining how awesome it is. Also here (this is a personal fav). I eat as much as I want of fruit (normally 2 pieces before lunch. Some ppl need a lot more. I'm not big on breakfast). But i 'get' the cleanse's pills in the morning/evening. it goes along with this concept of your body's daily cycles.

Lunch - Salad! Not a boring iceberg leaf with a cherry tomato either. I'm talking a rockstar of a salad with bright spring-mix greens, delicious dressing (anything to make the salad yummy! Who cares about fat/cals. You're eating a salad!) I always have some sort of protein (black beans, red beans, chick peas, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, etc) Some kind of crunch (other than lettuce. Like celery, cucumber, more of the nuts). And some kind of fruit/berry (I like raisins) to mix it up sometimes. I will have theme salads, like a Mexican salad and use black beans, avocado, salsa. Or an asian salad with sesame seed dressing, pecans, mandarin oranges. You get the idea. Also, I try to work-out on my lunch hour and when I'm all hot/nasty after that, I don't want anything too heavy or hot to eat. A delicious, colorful salad is usually perfect. 

Afternoon snack - Fruit! (and this gives me 75% raw for the day. I LOVE "Fruit 'till Noon, Raw 'till Dinner." VERY easy to do at work where you can only eat the foods you bring in.)

Dinner - This is the place where honestly, in the past I've screwed up. I am a single Mama and came home straight ravenous for food most nights. I also have a hungry 5 yr old who eats lunch at 10:30am in kindergarten. It's SO EASY to just make a box of mac and cheese, throw in a frozen pizza, fish sticks or just get take out. But not anymore. I'm really doing a lot of meal planning and that helps sooo much with ideas and time. The way I do it probably should not be recommended for families where the person who cooks dinner is expected to create something new and different each night. But for me, who can make a whole bunch of something and then eat the same thing 4 nights in a row, it's awesome! OMG duh, 4 servings of something to last me 1/2 the week = what a traditional family would consume at 1 dinner. So lately I've been into wraps. At first I was a little hesitant. in cutting stuff out, I'd love to cut out gluten too (and sugar and canned vegetables...) but gluten-free wraps are gross & expensive so I use carb balance wraps , and pretend these are super good for me and healthy :) basically they are just FULL of fiber which works for me and they have more protein than the others. On WW they are 4pts+ each. I have the burrito size and have one ginormous wrap. 

Here's the recipe I've had most of last week. I didn't even know I liked mushrooms until I created this concoction. I'll post more recipes as I make them, but here's another that I LOVE and it takes zero time, just slap hummus on that thing. Ok last one, this is sooo yummmmm omg I want to get some tempeh right now!
And my plan is 80/20 80% healthy(vegan/gluten free) 20% not. I'm human, yo?
I felt like having chicken for lunch AND dinner and I did. Sorry baby chickens.
It was grilled if that helps.
<--Tempeh Wrap

Anyhow ok so last thing I did was get my exercise on. daily. Not sure if I've ever exercised for 7+ consecutive days in my entire life prior to this, but thanks to my work's fitness opportunities and Just Dance 3 on the Wii, it was pretty easy and fun. Here's what I've done:

Exercise
Wednesday - Purchased Just Dance 3 and did it for a good hr with Gav
Thursday - Body Pump (OUCH killed my arms and I was on super low weights) and Just Dance
Friday - Precor eliptical for 30 min and Just Dance for a few songs 
Saturday - Treadmill run/jog/walk 35 min and Just Dance for a good hour with Gav (down 2.8 lbs total)
Sun - Just dance for prob 45 min total throughout the day and 1 hr playing w/ Gav at the playground  (down 3.8 lbs total)
Mon - Ran/Walked 30 min on treadmill (down 4 lbs total) BTW woke up feeling awesome, awake before alarm! Full of energy. Felt kind of ick at night.
Tue - Body Pump (arms weren't sore. yay) (down 4.8 total on my scale) Felt kind of ick at night.
Wed - (*only down 3.2 on WW scale :( Just dance for 9 songs, which HAD to be 30 min at least, right?
Thurs - um, no exercise. down 5* lbs total on my scale (WW's scale LIES! bahah oh wait, at WW it's after I've eaten/drinken and am wearing clothes. my clothes weigh 2 lbs, right?)

Tracking
I've been for sure tracking on ww (just because i'm paying for it and it keeps me accountable). 
I'm supposed to eat 26 pts a day. This week I've been eating between 16 - 20 (except for one day I had 28 pts when I got into the TJ's lemon curd left over from xmas. It's heaven on a spoon + I tracked it!). 



That's it for week 1 of my getting my body makeover on.

While working out I try to think of inspirational stuff like what I want to look like, etc. I'll work on that in another post. But it'll be good. And hopefully attainable.This is an awesome inspirational post from Sometimes Sweet.

Link up with KLaw and Firm friday's!











Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless-ish Wednesday

Posted By: Leah
Sunday I was going to take gav to church. Well... BF changed his fb status and made us 'FB official' (ok yes, we've been dating a year, but you know... it's kind of a big thing if you are a teen or wait, 31 like me). Anyhow, I got so distracted with that we missed church. As in all 3 services.

YIKES!

 hahaha. ok not funny

Anyway, so I told Gav we had to do something else fun instead (gav's a social butterfly and likes playing w/ kids any chance he gets). So we walked to his school (even though it was Sunday) and played on the playground! He showed me all of his favorite pieces of equipment to play on. And I played on it all too of course Duh

OH! and in getting bundled up to go, I found my redbox dvd from the night before I TOTALLY would have forgotten to take back otherwise. So it WAS a good thing I forgot to go to church.

Yes my child has on the hottest Jordans. This is real.


 



Why does the dirt look orange? Oh, it's because we live in NC.






 
NapTime MomTog
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