Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday: Fatter Than I Wanna' Be

Photo Source 

 {A little story for you:}
I'm actually thinner now than I was when I graduated high school, or all through college, or even at my wedding.  Because once upon a time, about five years ago, I decided I hated what I was seeing in the mirror and went to Weight Watchers (known hereafter as WW) and lost quite a bit of weight.  I've always equated that first WW meeting to my AA meeting, not that I mean to minimize AA, but it was one of the most depressing and sobering things I've ever done.  To step on that scale and realize what I really weighed and how in denial I'd been about how fat I was, and have someone else there to witness it, was truly a low for me.  And then to sit in a meeting with people who had lost 100+ pounds while I'd been making excuses about losing far less....  I held back tears through the weigh-in and the meeting and then got in the car and cried--so depressed, disgusted, ashamed with how far I had let myself get from where I wanted to be.  But it was the push I needed to finally commit to doing something about it.  So when I went back the next week and had lost my first seven pounds, and continued to see the weight steadily drop off, a Weight Watchers and exercise disciple was born.  Combined, my husband and I lost over 100 pounds.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Team Apparel: The Fabuless DIY Way

It's a big week around our house, what my husband likes to refer to as "the most wonderful time of the year"--Christmas really pales in comparison for him. Do you know what it is?

College football starts on Thursday!  If you remember, there are two seasons in our house and for a few glorious months, they overlap.  That means for the next three months, on any given Saturday, at any time of the day, you'll find us in the basement, in our sweats, watching football.  It's awesome really.  Combine this with the fact that baseball is still in season, and my husband is one happy guy {especially if the Giants make the playoffs}.  It goes without saying that with enthusiasm like ours, we wear our teams proudly around here. But....if you're a sports fan like we are, you know that stuff can be Expensive with a capital "E"!

I started making team shirts for my daughter when she was only a few weeks old for two reasons: One, that one little logo on a shirt makes it one pricey item, and I have a hard time spending $20+ on a shirt she's just going to grow out of; and two, a lot of the kids apparel isn't very cute--especially for girls.  So it's become a tradition that every year at the beginning of baseball season and the beginning of college football season I make her a new shirt.  This is this year's and how I do it:

{And let me give a quick shout out to the fashion world this year: This Kelly Green trend is AWESOME for we Notre Dame fans!}

Friday, August 24, 2012

Food For Thought

Not a lot of substance here, but in short quotes, this is what has been on my mind this week.  I leave you with some of my favorite food for thought for the weekend.  

{Please pin from original sources.  Only one of these is originally mine.}

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Ballerina-ish Third Birthday Party

I have to say that themes are not my strong suit, and I always try to steer away from overdoing the theme thing--maybe to a fault, so what started out as a "ballerina" birthday (if you remember, we're currently into all things ballet) ended up more of a sweet, girly theme with some ballet touches.  Nonetheless I was happy with the way it turned out and She loved it, which is what mattered.

Did you know that Zurcher's, the land of all things theme-y party has tons of cute, more subtle options, like paper straws, bags, berry baskets, banners, and those adorable punched mason jar lids you see all over Pinterest and Etsy?!  I was SO pleasantly surprised when I went in--I easily could have spent a small fortune.

I tend to totally over-commit myself to parties to the point where I end up a stressed out basket case the night before with all of the stuff I have to make, and in the end, it's not exactly the way I want anyway, because I never get around to putting all of it together.  So this year I was determined to simplify.  We only had cake and ice cream, rather than a full lunch or dinner, and I bought a lot of the decorations and added my own touches.  It worked wonderfully!

I bought the cups, straws, and pennant banner at Zurchers.  This banner is 9 ft. long and cost me $5.00.  You'd be hard-pressed to make one from scrapbook paper for that much and I can reuse it for other parties later.  Definitely more than worth the $5.00!  I hung some lace ribbon from Hobby Lobby between the pennants, a few paper pinwheels that I did make, vintage sheet music, and some of my favorite pictures of Adelie.  The kraft paper pinwheel was originally plain, but I felt like it needed a little something, so right before the party, I drew a "3" on a paper doily and slapped in the middle.

I love cupcakes as much as the next girl, but they are so time consuming and can end up being such a hassle, especially since I always feel the need to make homemade buttercream (which never quite turns out right--does anyone else have that problem?).  So I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to make that oh-so-adorable rosette cake that's taken Pinterest by storm.  I bought the cake mix and frosting and went to work.  I'm SO not a baker, or cake decorator for that matter, and this was the easiest thing ever!  It's so forgiving and anywhere there ended up being a little hole between flowers, I just put piped in a little dot of frosting and you couldn't even tell.  Lots of complements for something so incredibly easy.

Now enter the really stressful part: I was freaking out about what I was going to do to entertain a bunch of 2-4 year olds!  Like, seriously, stressing.  I was trying to keep the "games" a little more gender neutral since we had more boys coming to the party than girls and I just couldn't think of anything that would be age appropriate and entertaining for my little crowd.  The party store actually failed me in this department, because they had just about every themed variation of pin the tail on the donkey that you can think of--including, I think, Justin Bieber, but not much else.  In the end, I opted for decorating party hats, since all of the parents were also coming and would be able to help.  And IT WAS A HIT!!

I just bought a package of party hats from the dollar store, opened one up to use as a template and then made my own party hats from heavy scrapbook paper.  If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you know there was a little hiccup with the hats the night before.  I solved it by stapling the hats instead of the scrapbook adhesive I had started with.

I set up the table with a white table cloth and kraft paper on top so that if the kids weren't interested in the hats, they could just color on the table.  I set out ribbon, stickers, and pom poms (sparkly and plain) in different, mostly thrifted, milk glass dishes.

For favors, I added paper doilies and twine to berry baskets.  I bought a few boxes of crayons and then gave each child a few, again, wrapped in twine, some coloring cards from the dollar store school aisle (again, in case they were uninterested in the hats), and for the ballerina touches a party blower with a ballerina on it, and a wand for the girls and sword and eye patch for the boys--I'm not going to lie, my ballet experience is pretty much limited to The Nutcracker, which is why the swords came to mind.

The crayons came out and the creativity flowed.  {Picture is blurred since I didn't get permission from their parents to post}.

A few finished hats:

And one last time-saving tid bit:
Ice cream scooped into large nut cups, pre-party, for quick, kid sized servings.  I had seen the ice cream scooped into muffin tins idea in Pinterest, and an idea was born.  It was awesome to just pull out the ice cream cups, throw 'em on a plate with some cake and hand it out quickly.

And I'll just leave you with a little dose of keepin' it real:

Notice the frosting all smashed up against the cake stand?  This cake gets a little thick when all of the frosting is on, so make sure it's not sitting too close to the edge of the cake stand if your cake stand happens to have a lid you want to use.  Just sayin'.  {Luckily is was easy to hide.}And....then I smashed the front when I took the lid off.  And...maybe you noticed that it's a little lopsided.  It had a good side, and that's what everyone saw sitting on the table, so that's all that matters, right?

I leave you with my favorite picture of my little birthday girl from one of my favorite new photographers--you can find him here {and his prices are amazing}.  I can't believe how fast time flies and that my baby is three!

Linking At:
SNAP / The 36th Ave. / Live.Laugh.Rowe / Liz Marie Blog / Whipperberry / My Repurposed Life / Tatertots & Jello / Too Much Time / I Heart Naptime / Home Stories A to Z / 30 Handmade Days / 5 Days...5 Ways

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

3,500 Miles Later & A Few Changes

July was one crazy month and I'm finally coming up for air {I'm aware it's the middle of August}.  Lots of time with family that we normally only get to see every couple of months, capped off by a very relaxing vacation for the Husband and I to the Oregon coast.  If you haven't ever been, GO!  I thought Utah was beautiful, but Oregon puts my state to shame!

After covering two National Parks, one National Monument, the better part of three states, 3500 miles, and an entire week of peace with no child {I did miss her terribly}, and no TV or internet, I've returned with lots of memories, a love for the great state of Oregon, and the realization that I need to get a portable hobby because I am a slave to technology--seriously, the first two days of our Oregon trip I thought I might die, and maybe most importantly: reflection and some direction for this little blog.

The month started with a camping trip at Zion National Park--the first of three National Parks/Monuments we hit this month.  Have you been?  I've lived here my whole life, even went to college only an hour away, and had only ever been briefly {and driven through several times}.  My husband has been to every National Park west of the Mississipi!  Maybe no one else thinks that's cool, but I do! Anyway, it's beautiful and I got to cross a to-do off my bucket list: hiking Angels Landing--well, to Angels Landing.  We left Adelie with the grandparents and had every intention of actually doing the whole thing, until we saw it in all of it's terrifying glory:

My Facebook status that day about summed it up:
"So Angel's Landing was on my bucket list, dying TODAY however was not, so this is how far we went. Fear (and being a mother) got the better of me. AWESOME hike though!"

You have to hold onto chains up the whole side of that ledge--and it's a ledge--and all Chandler and I could think about was leaving Adelie parent-less, so we opted out, sat and had lunch and enjoyed the view.

Next was home for two days, then back on the road to the in-laws in Northern Nevada for the baby shower, which I shared here.  So I'll spare you more details on that and just show you my favorite sign in the entire world.  I laugh every time I pass this (and if you follow me on Twitter, you've already seen it).  Am I the only one that thinks this is funny?  Maybe there's some truth behind this that I don't understand, but a picture of the Sphinx and "Half-way to everywhere" in the middle of Nevada, just makes me laugh.  Every. Time.  And I'm not singling out Nevada here.  Beaver, Utah used to be the "Land of Four Seasons" and now they claim something like "World's best tasting drinking water."  The clever things some people come up with.

After the baby shower it was home for a week and then, the Husband and I headed off on a road trip to the Oregon Coast.  Just the two of us.  For a WHOLE week.  

The first night we made our way to Bend, Oregon, and if you follow me on Instagram (@jmenteer), you know we were greeted by this little gem of a hotel room.

Here's a word of advice: when the reviews say it's "a little old, but clean and a great place to stay when you're stopping through," AVOID IT!!!!  Seriously, none of the reviews on this place were bad.  It was an $80 hotel room, so I wasn't expecting much, but this was like beyond.  And as if my design sense wasn't screaming loud enough at this point, my sense of hygiene was screaming bloody murder--something that may have actually happened in this room.  Is anyone else thinking that none of this is bleach-able!?  Because I was!! Luckily I had packed my own blanket and pillows, which smelled like an ash tray the entire next day.  All I could think was Planes, Trains, and Automobiles--has anyone else seen that?  All this room was missing was the vibrating bed and an hourly rate.

Luckily, the hotel was not representative of Bend, which was an awesome town, though we didn't get to stay long, and I fell in love with Lone Pine Roasters.  Cutest coffee shop EVER.

Did you notice that their menu board and display case are old windows?  And for tables outside they had old school desks with the chair attached and then a free standing chair on the other side for a little table for two.  In our Oregon experience, they really embrace vintage, junky style and it's like an antique/thrift shoppers paradise. It was like heaven everywhere I went.

The beauty of road-tripping childless was that we could just sort of "wander," so we stopped at Newberry National Volcaninc Monument.  And it was in this moment that I officially realized I'm getting old.  These are the kinds of stops that my parents would make on road trips that I was positive were going to cause me to die of boredom and/or anger at such ridiculousness and now: here I am.  Another validation moment Dad; you're welcome.

The contrast of the desolate volcanic landscape against all of the Oregon pine was amazing.  And past the lava rock, it's nothing but trees for miles.  I'm sure Big Foot was out there somewhere.

Then we took a detour to Crater Lake which was  A-MAZING.  Seriously, there are no words to describe how awesome this is.  It's huge. It's blue. It's clear. It's breathtaking!

In all, we basically spent two days in the car getting to the Coast, but it felt like mere hours because the Oregon landscape is like a postcard of quintessential Americana.  Farmland with grazing animals everywhere, lush forests, rivers running along the road where deer are drinking at the water's edge, and quaint little towns to stop along the way.

And this was our final destination: Depoe Bay, Oregon.  Beautiful.

And my home for the week.  Not too shabby, huh?  We rented a little, one-bedroom cottage for $85 a night.  {We found it here if anyone's interested.}  It was a steal of a vacation, and I wanted to kiss whoever decorated it, it was SO adorable--especially considering that I'd spent the night before in an Austin Powers paradise.

It was a week of eating what and when we wanted, napping at will {that may have been my favorite part.  I love to nap--ask my husband}, adult conversation with no interruption, walks on the beach and RELAXING.  And to cap everything off, I got to cross, seeing a whale off my bucket list on the last day of our trip.  Two in fact who were playing incredibly close to the shore for about an hour.  I could have watched them all day.

And finally, on our way home, another restaurant I could have totally moved into: Prodigal Son Brewery in Pendelton, Oregon {where apparently they host one of the world's largest rodeos}.  FYI, the food was also great.  Sadly, we didn't get to try the beer since we were stopping through on our drive home.

Even the bathroom stalls were mismatched old doors with vintage knobs.  Next time we make this trip, I will be stopping in this town for much longer.

So, now that you've indulged me in reliving the fun and craziness, I mentioned "some direction" for MFL.  I don't know if I even need to put it out there, but my blogging hiatus has allowed me to really evaluate what I want this to be and I've decided that I'm not really going in a new direction, but the direction I always saw for MFL and sort of steered off path along the way.

When I originally started this blog, I did want to document all of my projects because that's so much of what I do and love, especially furniture, but My Fabuless Life was intended to sort of encompass all of life and my approach.  Somewhere along the way it became all about the projects.  I also need to focus a little more time and effort on my client projects and creating a step by step for MFL for everything I do takes A LOT of time and work.  It's not a huge change, but you may have noticed that I've changed my header a little and the "About Me" to more truly reflect what I want this to be and where I see it going.  I'll still be sharing my projects and furniture, but I'm excited to also start mixing in some of my other passions and the more serious motherhood and life stuff and I hope you still enjoy it!
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