Thursday, February 26, 2009

Huge Kelly Ripa Fan

So this one is a quick post. I'm not feeling well today and skipped Yogalachi (Body Flow) today. So instead of being at the gym right now, I'm on the web researching workouts. Fun! Here is a link to a workout that Kelly Ripa did with some co-workers. This was very interesting to watch and looked like a TON of fun, but then, I'm a huge Kelly Ripa fan anyway!

I'm asking the birthday fairy for some sessions with a personal trainer! I just decided!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How 'Bout a Little French?

I know a lot of people do not like a plain french manicure. I for one LOVE them when my nails are short because I actually see them growing. Pretty soon my natural smile line starts showing and it's time for another manicure and another and pretty soon they're long again. Now if I could just leave them alone! The Konad Nail Stamper is just way too much fun and I'm just not yet tired of it! DANG IT!!!!
This mani I did by mixing a couple of different pink colors (one had a slight purple sparkle that you might be able to see with the pic enlarged) because with my pink skin, I NEVER get away with beige color tones for this manicure. The biggest thing to note here is: LOOK AT MY CUTICLES!!! THEY ARE HEALED! After receiving advise from another blogger, my cuticles have done a 180! And just so everyone knows, I've been using Burts Bees solely. The stuff works great. They also have skin care for those who are suffering with the winter dry skin and want to use all natural products.

I'm Namin Names!

Ok, so my MySpace profile states under the "heroes" heading that I would not name names. I retract that! hehehe. I finally found the final person on MySpace that I wanted to thank for being a pivotal life changer! There is something very healing about saying what you left unsaid. So for all of you out there who were SO curious I will note the 8 people in my life that made the biggest difference; they are my heroes. I will start with my husband.

Honey, thank you for being the one man that I have always been able to count on. Thank you for having so much in common with me and for having even less (as I COULD NOT live with myself... ahahaha). Thank you for teaching me how to forgive and being the biggest influence in my life that I've ever had. While others laid the groundwork before you, you managed to "move mountains" with your sincerity, your loyalty and your patience. While you ARE NOT patient with the little stuff, I'm in awe of how patient you are with the truly big stuff! I so admire your character and appreciate how grounded you are (especially since I'm always up in the clouds). You support me in a way that I'm always suspicious of since no one has ever done that for me before, but now that we are going on 15 years together, I can FINALLY (little joke.. kinda not) thank you for helping me work through my trust issues. As I said, you sure are patient with the big stuff. But I knew you would be, you were right from the start. I was in pieces when you met me and you sacrificed a lot waiting on me with the utmost gentlemanly respect. And at times when my trust falters, you are again so patient to let me talk it through with you. How is it one person can believe in another so much? You give me praise I don't deserve and cherish me like no other. Thank you for telling me that I was worth the wait. I love you with all my heart.

Darvina, thank you for being you: my sister and now my best friend. You were always the big sister that I never really knew because you were on your own by the time I was eleven. With me living in MI and you living in AZ it was impossible to be in each other's lives. I cannot TELL you how glad I am that changed. I couldn't imagine my life without you. You were always "my big sister", up on the highest pedestal. Forever, you could do no wrong! You got saved and a seed was planted 3000 miles away. I am amazed at how I never fail to still look up to you (even though you're shorter... hahahaha), even now. But the beauty of really knowing you and knowing all your quirks and faults is that the "real" person is a million times better than the one I dreamt about so many years ago. There is so much more to love about you in person and watching you transform has increased the height of your pedestal ten-fold. Thank you for dealing with all of my faults and for being my voice of reason.

Roxanne, thank you for just always being there. I couldn't ask for more than you in a best friend. Even when we lose touch and don't speak for years, you manage to ALWAYS forget time has passed. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for always being there when times are rough. You and I were best friends in high school and then I met my ex-husband and unfortunately neglected our relationship that would turn out to be far more lasting. Who knew? And when he left me, you were right there to help pick up the pieces like two years of my life were never lost. But you were used to picking up the pieces, if it were not for you, I might not have survived my mother! LOL. Thank you for always making me laugh. I know that I can always count on your sense of humor and your wit. Thank you for always thinking the best of me even when I'm not at my best. I've never known anyone who finds it so hard to believe I could mess up... that kind of unconditional acceptance blows me away. I have always admired you for that and the way you accept yourself. You are an incredible person; a very rare one indeed.

Nancy, thank you for taking me in. It amazes me that two girls from two different generations could be separated from our spouses at the exact same time and come together to share it. You cannot know how life-changing living with you was. Your own experience and encouragement got me through a very difficult time. You are a special lady and I'm so happy that your relationship worked out and that I got to witness you and your husband reconcile. I think that was the first time I got to see a married couple "go through the fire" and make it through. You're still going strong 15 years later! I could not admire you more for your "beyond everything" love for your husband and your marriage (that is how I always imagined it was supposed to be). You got guts woman! It is something that has stayed with me forever and I love you for it. What I witnessed you go through, as classy as can be, keeps me going when times are tough. You deserve all the blessings of a long, happy marriage.

Lisa, thank you for cultivating what my sister planted. You were instrumental in my salvation. Thank you for teaching me self-acceptance and forgiveness and what judgment truly is. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for you.

Scott, thank you. A million times thank you! You were the catalyst that made it all happen and you don't even know it. Thank you for teaching me that you can be right and alone or concede and be happy. Thank you for teaching me that just because you're mad at someone, that doesn't mean you have to hate them. Thank you for making me finish high school when so many times I wanted to quit. Thank you for imprinting VERY strong values of marriage, of commitment, keeping promises and fidelity. I always thought that 19 years old was WAY too young to go through that kind of pain... I didn't think I'd make it through, hearts shouldn't make it through breaks like that. In being completely broken I learned that I could rely on myself, I COULD rebuild and that I really did deserve to be loved. Thank you for being the thing that made me want to overcome what my mother instilled and for being the vehicle that made me want self worth. You are indirectly responsible for the happiness I have in my life. Beyond any "badness" that you and I had, I am grateful and appreciate what it all brought to me more than I can put into words. I got way more from my experience of being married to you than I lost. I am also grateful that because of you I learned losing it all is gaining everything. I have always thanked God for you!

Grandpa, thank you for being family to me when I didn't have any. You reminded me that God was with me when, quite frankly, I hated him. Thank you for your kindness and your innocent love for me "even though"...

Wayne, thank you for giving me a place to crash and an opportunity to save money to move to Arizona. Thank you for showing me an unthinkable kind of love, the kind of love that expects nothing in return. I didn't know that God made men like you. It truly gave me hope that I would find my prince charming. I witnessed the incredible love that you had for your (then) fiancé when you took in her friend that was in need simply because your fiancé wanted you to. You didn't know me at all, but you wanted to help. I watched you HAPPILY take care of both of us and be a father to her child for nothing more than the love you had for her. You had no ulterior motives; you were the most amazing gentleman to me and a true friend. You had more at 25 than most men do at 45. I wish I had the words so many years ago to share with you. Finding out that the two of you split shortly after I left, broke my heart. How could a love like that not make it? But in reflecting on my own experiences, I realized that special love like that can only be shared between two people that are ready for it... together. Usually we have to abuse it and be abused by it before we can appreciate that love to give and receive with the right person. I think I just confused myself, but I know what I mean... hahahaha! Anyhow, judging from the pics on your MySpace page, it looks like you may have found it and I'm so happy for you. Thank you my friend! PS. Oh, and thank you for introducing me to Wally Pleasant and Ode to Detroit! :)

So there are my heroes. Every one of the people listed above saved my life. I would not be where or who I am without them. I am so grateful for them!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wanna Know About "Going Raw"?

I am dehydrating this week! I am so excited. I get to work with a few more raw recipes. The recipe book that I am reading right now is cited in an article from Successfully Raw eZine. The entire article is really fantastic. If you want to check it out, it is archived July of 2006. If you can't get your hands on that, the writer of the excerpt below, also wrote an e-book (How To Get Started With Raw Foods). For anyone asking, "What is this raw thing you're doin anyway?" I hope this clears it up.

"Raw food by contrast is replete with everything that enabled it to sprout and grow in the first place - life force, enzymes, water, oxygen, hormones, vitamins and minerals and so much more besides. Untouched, untainted, raw food is quite literally honest food - what you see is what you get. No hidden ingredients, nothing messed around with, just pure delicious fresh live food that we are designed to eat - living food for living bodies. And the good news for you is this: when you start dabbling with more raw food, you don't just understand this conceptually, you actually start to "get it" experientially as your whole body cheers, shifts up a gear and the concept of what real food and nutrition is really all about starts to take on a whole new meaning."What foods are raw?To give you a brief overview of what raw food means in real terms, here's a list of the 20+ different raw food groups: Fresh fruits; Vegetables; Salad vegetables; Leafy green vegetables; Herbs and wild greens; Nuts; Dried fruits; Beans, pulses and legumes (sprouted); Grains (sprouted); Seeds; Sprouting seeds; Indoor greens; Vegetable seeds (sprouted); Edible flowers; Mushrooms; Sea vegetables; Algaes; Oils; Stimulants (e.g. chili, ginger, onion); Spices; Superfoods; Flavorings and natural sweeteners (e.g. agave nectar, stevia). Rather more variety than perhaps you first thought? Rather than being limiting, I have found that 99 times out of 100 raw food expands a person's culinary horizons - and if you pick up a good raw food recipe book such as Raw Food, Real World (my personal current favorite), I promise you'll be blown away at what can be achieved - "burgers", pizzas, live milks, ice-cream, cakes, cookies, smoothies, soups, dips, dressings, lasagnas, wraps, crackers and so much more are possible when you know what you're doing - now we're talking, right?!"
One last side note, and I've said it before. The writer above does not believe in cooked food of any kind. Most raw foodists don't. I do not share their beliefs. I still eat meat. I choose organic meat (preferably elk meat from my husband's yearly hunt) and am looking into special processing to ensure I am eating the very best quality meat. That being said, I also believe that everyone's diet would do them a world of good if they incorporated raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, etc. It's a fact that cooking fruit and vegetables kills the things we need, whereas cooking meat kills the things we don't need. I believe that both work in harmony to build a strong healthy body. I think the key to find now is the correct ratio of raw fruit and veggies to cooked meat that is the healthiest for MY body. That is the quest that I'm on now. If you have any questions, feel free to send them my way.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sincere Thank You's!

A special thanx to Scrangie for her blue mood that inspired me!
And my cuticles are healing nicely,
I have actually been using sesame oil at night with the gloves. I'm on this "all natural" kick that I'm hoping is more than a phase. I'm hoping that it lasts forever, but the moisturizing and the cuticle cream (I'm using Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream)is working wonders. I'm using the cuticle cream several times a day when I think about it and moisturizing afterward. I wish they would put the cuticle cream in a tube like Chapstick. It would be way more convenient to just roll up the tube and swipe it on my cuticles. I wonder if anyone makes cuticle cream that dispenses like that?

The color that I put on is NYC Skin Tight Denim with NYC White Lights Glitter polish over top. I used Orly Bonder for the base and Creative UV topcoat. I really love the NYC colors, but the polish brush is way thin... it was hard for me to use. It seemed to go on smooth and I didn't get any bubbles, but I also put it in the freezer upside-down about 5 minutes before I put it on. That has been working for me since I started this "self nail care" endeavor. It took me a long time to learn how to polish. The bubbles I used to get were terrible!

Well, anyway, thanx again everyone who has helped me out. My nails are looking better every day. I just need to practice more. Hopefully I will get to be as good as you guys!

Scrapbook Project - Rolodex

Here is a project I started some time ago and am working to complete today. Thought everyone would enjoy seeing the progress so far...

Due to the very poor pictures, I am going to narrate what each card says so you know how the story goes. It has a GREAT ending. Cinderella's got nothing on me! LOL

Every alphabet index card in the Rolodex has another piece to a fairytale starring ME! I moved all the blank cards to the back of the Rolodex just to show how great this looks with all the miscellaneous ribbon pokin out everywhere!

A-B is of course "once upon a time"!

C-D is "in a land not so far away, there lived a beautiful princess".

E-F is "and her name was Danielle".

G-H is "she was very thin and wicked funny".

I-J-K says, "One day Princess Danielle found a key in the forest and it was attached to a beautiful red ribbon."

L-M says, "Anxious to discover what it opened, she put it around her neck and continued on her way."

N-O-P says, "Soon Princess Danielle realized she was lost and sat on a rock to await Prince Charming's rescue."

Q-R says, "After some time a handsome man on a white horse appeared inquiring about the key around Princess Danielle's neck."

S-T says, "Are you Prince Charming? she asked. 'No, I'm Prince Kevin and that key around your neck opens the lock securing my treasure."

U-V-W says, "Marry Me and I will make you very rich!

'I am a princess and am already rich...' said Princess Danielle."

X-Y-Z says, "But I will marry you!' With that Princess Danielle kissed her prince and to her surprise he turned into a toad. She lived happily ever after!"

Moral of the story: some princesses don't need prince charming to live happily ever after! I hope you all liked it. I know I had a blast making it. Almost done!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Polish and Vertical Space

My husband is the best! After making fun of my new obsession with nail polish for such a long time, HE actually went into a beauty supply store to pick out "the things I really need", as he put it. He browsed all the way to the back of the store to find the perfect thing to feed my soul. It is a culmination of my love for nail polish and my love of organizing!

It is my new wall mounted polish rack! It's supposed to hold something like 60-90 polishes depending on the size of bottles being stored. And I gotta tell you it was dirt cheap! I could not find one on-line (the ones on-line were selling for $32... way too much!) for even near what he paid for this one. I even got a new black color club polish on sale for $2! He laughed at me the whole time he was paying at the register. "You and your nail polish!"

I don't feel nearly as bad.... now that I know I'm not the only one! ;)

Master of The Obvious

You know, I have to laugh at myself sometimes. I really do miss the obvious... ALWAYS! My sister and I have been in discussion after discussion regarding what we feel the best diet is. After reading The China Study, my sister is convinced that a 100% raw diet is the way to go. I do NOT feel this way as my health has been completely turned around prescribing to a life centered around balance (I'm sorry, I have removed "balance" from my vocab. I meant harmony), balance of rest and play, balance of work and family, balance of protein and carbs, etc. The person in me knows that I am happiest when I have a little bit of everything and no one portion or area out weighs another. I also know that Leviticus Chapter 11 goes into great detail about meat that we can eat and meat that we cannot eat. But after reading The China Study, my sister is convinced that all meat is bad. I made the point that due to the fact that farmers do not give the ground a rest after 7 years (Exodus 23:10-11) and our ground is polluted that crops (even organic) are depleted of nutrients and can potentially be harmful depending on where they are grown. Which we never really know. While The China Study focused on the effects of consuming meat, claiming it to be bad, the same could hold true for the consumption of vegetables and fruit. Where is our line drawn. So, back to Captain Not-So-Obvious!

I'm explaining "the great debate" to my chiropractor. I explained my sister's views on the subject of a proper diet and then I explained mine. I told him that if we just know how our food is grown/raised and how it is processed/harvested, I believe that a balance of food is meant to work together in the body to make us healthy. My chiropractor asked, "So your sister isn't eating ANY meat? Did you explain to her what it says in the Bible?" I told him that I did but that I believe many people are convinced what is in the old testament doesn't apply. I do not believe that. After a second of thought, he replied, "Yah, I don't believe it either. If we weren't to have meat, why did God give us canine teeth? I mean, if we were meant to be like hippos, wouldn't we have teeth like hippos?" The man is a genius!

How do I miss the most obvious things? The simplest of explanations completely elude me. Since I believe that one should find their own truth, I will reserve that epiphany for an appropriate discussion down the road. In the meantime, isn't it amazing how incredibly designed we are? How nature holds the simplest of clues that we often miss. Well, I know I did! Complete genius!!!
Oh, and P.S., the model for the AMA "mouth" pic shown above should really do something about those cavities in their molers... just kidding!
Resources Sponsor ----> "Learn To Study The Bible"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A New Obsession

Well, after years of having my nails done by a professional, my finances dictate that I need to care for my own nails (that is, no more fake nails!). At first I thought this was HORRIBLE! I had my standing nail appointment for years. Prior to having them done professionally I bit them. No, I mean I really bit them... like as far back as I can remember having teeth, I remember biting my nails. So imagine my predicament. I have never taken care of my own nails and, in the past, if my real nails were exposed for any amount of time they were gnawed off. But I did it! I have been polishing and caring for my own nails now for about 7 months and I'm loving it. In fact, it's a new obsession (still second to sunglasses)! I read someones blog that stated the best way to keep from biting your nails is to care for them. I am here to tell you, after 25+ years of biting my nails, that statement is true!

So after breaking three nails and reading that "vampie" colors look great on short nails, I decided to give it a go. Aside from the fact that I kind of stink at polishing such a dark color, they look great don't they. But I DO miss the length!
This pic is what they looked like at my longest length. I just did them for St. Patty's Day!! :(
Look how beautiful they were.... I worked so hard on them too! I used OPI's Get Me To The Taj On Time with a Konad stamp on top. I read some blogs today that talk about using regular polish on the Konad stamp set, but I use nail art paint that I can buy at a local beauty supply store for $1. It works great and I can put my top coat on immediately without having to wait for the image to set up. I've only had the stamper set for a short while, but I'm having tons of fun with it with more image discs on the way! Oh well, I know I didn't lose a ton of length, but it's the most I've ever had without the help of sculps. And even though they're short, they are still gorgeous with this new color, so no complaints! :)

Raw and Totally Sexy!

I just completed the Master Cleanse. Wow, that is always so tough, but sooo good for you! Your skin looks better, you have more energy, you're healthier, all of your senses are heightened, what could be sexier? Ok, so the cleanse itself... not so sexy, but the aftermath is just awesome! So to continue all that sexiness, I am incorporating raw food into my diet. I have already made almond milk, and gelato. I have even substituted raw, or rather organic because they are not "raw" once they reach over 115 degrees, ingredients into some foods that I have cooked (pancakes) because the organic ingredients are full of nutrients with no preservatives. And this is really fun experimenting with my husband. He is having a blast tasting this and that. He has even agreed to let me buy a food dehydrator for the purpose of preparing more mouth watering treats. But sexy is as sexy does, so I will keep everyone posted how this fun and mental change goes for me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Scrapbook Closet Conversion

Ok, so about 2 years ago I FINALLY decided I needed some separate space for my scrap booking, but was very limited on space and very limited on money (scroll down for pics). I had a budget of about $500.00 +/- and a closet in my office. You can probably see where this is going! I completely gutted the closet. I removed every shelf but the top shelf that is really too high to use anyhow, but everything else went! I painted the closet and then began the search for what to put in it.

It dawned on me after watching many home improvement programs on Home and Garden Television, that most low cost/high function fixes of the pro's for home organization happens at Ikea. And I just happen to have one near me. Off I went armed with the dimensions of my closet. I was surprised to find out that there were MANY affordable options to choose from and ended up spending about a week going over them (they even have "planners" on-site to help you). I finally chose a "closet organizer" (imagine that) by the Antonius line. It is versatile and if I ever want to convert the closet BACK to a closet, I can do it easily with a few accessory pieces. In the meantime, it is working perfectly as my 2' x 5' craft room! HA! Let me show you.And now: The Conversion!

There are three components that make my craft space so workable. The first is storage. The second is accessibility and the third is convertibility.

The first picture shows the front of the closet. The closet doors where removed and 2 sections of Antonius shelving was installed with desktop and magnetic pegboard. The second section (shown in second picture) tucked in the back of the closet. I had to cut the shelves to size so that I could fit them in the 2' depth (NOT a lot of space at all in the corner). But there is plenty of shelving above the desktop and below. And that leads me to.....

Vertical space was utilized with the metal pegboard that is magnetic. I used magnetic spice canisters (Ikea) for small items.

Along with shelving and pegboard, vertical space is utilized with wall-mounted racks for storing ribbon. Those were purchased at Target.
EVERYTHING is within "arm's reach". Storage under the desktop is mobile/moveable. I made sure the storage items on the floor under the work surface would be on wheels so that I can easily get to whatever I need to get to without sacrificing space, expanding if I need to and taking with me to crop nights.

In the picture above on the right, notice the white cart on wheels tucked back in the back of the closet. That was actually my first piece of craft furniture that I received as a birthday gift and has proven invaluable (and NOT part of my $500 budget mentioned above as I already owned it)! By itself, it was just simply not enough. When added to my 2x5 "craft room" it expands my useable space 100 times!

As you can see, I can use this as a sewing table or additional craft space. The tubs to the left of the desk house my left over scrap paper and came from Ikea in the children's department (of all places). When I'm finished using it, I fold up the desk and roll it back into the back of the closet. I roll it in sideways so that I can still get access to the drawers for additional storage even when it's tucked away. And that's a really great segue for the final element....

Every scrap booker knows creative juices flow everywhere. I knew when putting this together that the ability to pack and go might be hard to achieve with such a small space. To solve this dilemma, I worked to make sure that most everything I put into my "craft room" could serve me while I was creating at home, OR, could easily be transported... serve dual purposes.

I started with my tools. I purchased a tool bag with handles to organize all my tools, adhesives, etc. when on-the-go. I also purchased the $6 plastic lazy susan that it sits on when using it at home so my organizer will spin when I'm looking for a particular tool. I always know where my tools are and it's always packed and ready to go when I need it.

Oh, and then there are the embellishments. Here is my system of organization. The purple rolling case holds my embellishments and the blue case stacked on top holds all my 12" X 12" paper. Everything in it's place and ready to go. Note: the file crate (from Staples) holds my 8 1/2" X 11" paper. The wheels for the crate are sold separately.

Hopefully you can see from the pictures above how everything is organized. Can you tell that I love my label-maker? :) The embellishment containers pictured above came from Cropper Hopper.

I also wanted to point out a couple of other conveniences that I invested in (still part of the $500 budget) that make this small space seem huge. The first came from the Ikea "scratch and ding" section of the store. I got them for $35/piece and they were already assembled! Can't beat that.

The first picture is the bottom half of the cabinets and the second is the top. I ended up getting 3 very tall bookshelves/cabinets dirt-cheap. These cabinets are in the far corner of my office. I really only use the cabinet that is directly in the corner for scrap booking supplies. The cricut boxes on the adjoining shelf are empty waiting for a new home. I store additional paper on the very top (shelves are attached to the wall with wood screws into studs). The other shelves are used for my office to store my office stuff... stuff like books. That additional cabinet, to store the things I don't use everyday, frees up all the space in my craft closet (ok, let's just call it what it is...hahahaha) for the stuff I do use everyday making the closet itself a VERY functional work area.
The next convenience was light! Closets are dark and I needed light on the work-surface. I also got that at Ikea. I think I spent something like $12 for an entire light kit... and even installed it myself!

Ok, so it's an external kit, but the wires are out of the way, the work-surface is well lit and it does the trick. And, if I ever need to convert it back to a closet, it's completely removable!
My final conveniences came from Fry's Marketplace on sale and were also part of the $500 budget.

The containers are perfect for additional, and most importantly (especially for small spaces), moveable storage. The first photo is a scrapbook chest by Iris. The plastic containers hold 12 x 12 projects and can (like almost everything else), pack and go. The other containers are Sterilite shoeboxes. These are the perfect size to stack on shelves; they store a lot and are so easy to get to.
Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed the tour of my craft closet. I hope that I inspired you to make the most of the space you have. 2' x 5' doesn't seem like much, but hopefully I've shown you that it's actually all the space you need. Happy scrappin everyone and feel free to post comments.

Life Is Beautiful... Countdown to Holiday Mini Release

Stampin Up's 2020 Holiday Mini Catalog release is in 4 DAYS!!!!  YEEEEE!  Today's Freebie Friday on Facebook featured one of my favo...