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Resolve to Dissolve … and other stuff

Hello readers!

Happy New Year!!! Hope everyone had a festive holiday season and that your year is off to a great start.

Let’s see. A quick Christmas recap from my life. Christmas Eve and Day were great! Lots of love and excitement in the house. The baking fun didn’t end with the cookies as I had planned. I decided to make some loaves of sour dough bread. Let me tell you all, so delicious. Letting a sour dough starter “grow” for about a week makes really fabulous bread.

Also made a croquembouche for both Christmas Eve and Day. Used a Martha Stewart recipe for every bit of this delicious treat. You can go here for the recipe. I used extra cruschikis to “spruce” it up a bit too. If you attempt this at all, be aware of the extreme high temperatures of the sugar for the decorating. I’m not talking, ouch, it burns… it’s more like sticking your hand into a fire and having a hot coal stuck to your hand until you can gather your senses long enough to put your hand in ice cold water to prevent further pain. It hurts, but it’s almost a good hurt. (no, no it’s not)

Kids got lots of great stuff and so did the parents (hubby and myself, yay!). One of my favorite gifts this year happens to be from said hubby. He found a really neat lens to attach to my phone to use with macro photography. It is SUPER cool!!! Click here to check it out! Here is also one of the many photos I’ve taken with the lens.

This is an “EXTREME CLOSE UP” of a thin mint cookie from my baking holiday extravaganza 2011. Very cool pic. I could totally see myself running around the little candy sprinkles and jumping over lines of chocolate, were I to be shrunk to the appropriate size, of course.

In the middle of all the holiday festivities and baking and working and chasing after a 4 and 1 year old, I started a couple projects. The easy one is a baby blanket for a new cousin about to be born in a few weeks. I think it came out rather well. (pats self on back)

The other crochet project was a Minion from Despicable Me. My husband’s boss loves these little guys. They are surprisingly fun to make too… well… until you get to the details. And if it was super easy, everyone would do it too. So I’ve heard. Here’s the progression in pictures.

Now (drumroll please) the main topic of this post. If you’ve made it this far, I’m grateful for your readership. Yes, I tend to ramble, but hope that my going on and on makes you smile or makes you feel good.

My husband and I have decided to go back on WeightWatchers¬†(online). I say back because we’ve tried it with much success before and have fallen off the wagon a few times over the course of many years. I feel like this time is it… really. It has to be. I’m putting myself out here on the internet. I don’t consider myself to be… well… overdramatically unhealthy, if I can call it that. I feel quite active in my advancing years (not ready for AARP just yet) but I’m tired of not being happy with myself. I can make myself happy with food and tv just as much as anyone else can, but am I genuinely happy. Not in the least. Do I hope that eventually I become a success story for myself? Absolutely.

I didn’t gain wait overnight… well… I did, but it was little increments which when added up is a lot. Yes, I had two kids, and I don’t want that to be an excuse to be this way. I’m not sharing pics of myself other than the ones from one of the earlier posts from my hair donation. I will say that I’d like to be fitter, healthier and happier. I have EA Sports Active for PS3 and Wii. I will say I find the PS3 version to be a little better as I don’t need to hold any controllers in my hands with each exercise. I also have Zumba for Wii, which is pretty fun and probably funnier to watch me do as I have zero coordination or balance. Plus, it’s also wonderful to have access to the decent handful of streaming Netflix workout videos.

So here I am… I’m doing it. So there! =P

More importantly I’m doing it to chase these little munchkins around.

Season of Giving

Welcome to my blog. I hope upon reading you are all in good health. What better way to launch a blog than a blog about the holidays. So sit back and enjoy my ramblings. I plan to share with you various aspects of my life. I consider myself to be a dabbler in crafty things. The most enjoyable things for me are things I can do with my hands. A few things I enjoy doing with my hands are baking, cake decorating, crocheting, sewing, drawing and photography. So here goes, hope you enjoy. =D

I can remember being probably 8 or 9 years old when that huge Toys “R” Us catalog would arrive. I remember flipping through the colorful pages upon pages of wishes, wants, desires. From My Little Pony playsets to 100+ count crayon sets, to a real pony (what little girl hasn’t wanted one of those?).

Looking back on that memory, I realize how petty all the “stuff” really was, I didn’t know it back then, what kid does? The importance of things has greatly shifted over the years. As an adult, sure, I’d love ot have the latest gadget, gizmo, or even retail bakery space complete with the most shiny, glistening stainless steel appliances and countertops… drool… ahem, where was I? Right… it’s all stuff. I still have wishes, wants, desires… they’re evolving. I want my kids to have a good life, be healthy and happy as much as possible and more importantly for them to know they are loved.

I try hard, with many bumps along the way, who doesn’t have those? I try to be a better person for them in the hopes I’m not a parent who has to say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I want to be a role model for them and love them with all my heart and soul. So far, my heart and soul is theirs.

On to why I’ve started this particular post… I have never in my life imagined how good it would¬†feel to give until I participated in a 35 mile/2 day walk to fight breast cancer. My grandmother lost her battle with breast cancer when I was 3, my mother-in-law has won her battle. I walked the furthest I’ve ever walked in my life in the shortest amount of time. A small “price to pay” considering the battles that have been fought and won or lost. The money raised when to research in finding a cure, to the people going through treatments, to childcare while a parent might be in treatments, wigs, prosthetics, lots of really really good things. It felt great, no matter the throbbing feet and sweaty brow experienced but the large swarm of people participating.

That, for those of you who have gotten this far, and I thank you if you’re still reading, is what is gradually propelling me to give. Give more. It feels good to help. This time of year shouldn’t be the only time to give. Most recently I made a choice to donate my hair to Locks of Love. My hair was admittedly out of control. It was too long and I needed a change. I had 11″ of hair bundled up and sent off. I hope they get as much use out of my hair as they can. I took my 4 year old daughter with me the day I got my hair cut. She asked me if it hurt to get my hair cut… I told her, “Sweety, quite the opposite.”

Before

After

So, with that I say, think about others this holiday season, and really, think about others all year. Sometimes all anyone really needs is an ear to talk to or arms for a hug. It doesn’t have to cost money or be a grand gesture, a simple thing like a smile could be all it takes to turn a life around. Not to get all preachy, but love each other more. It’s so much easier to love.

P.S.-Please bear with me as I explore blogging. It’ll be rough around the edges at first, but I’ll get there and am certain you’ll all enjoy it.