Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Calling All Lacquer Heads!!!!

It's give away time again in honor of the opening of Disney's Alice In Wonderland next week. And, while I WON'T jump the gun and say that this is ONLY for Arizona (Greater Phoenix Metro) residents, the prize includes a free manicure at Zolton's Salon & Day Spa in the posh Fulton Ranch Community in Chandler, AZ. So not living here makes that part of the prize kind of difficult, but....
Along with the manicure, I'm also giving away 2 new colors from OPI's new Alice in Wonderland collection. I should say, I'm giving away THE BEST colors from the collection: Mad As A Hatter (pictured... please ignore my cuticles) and Absolutely Alice. Both are AMAZING glitter polishes and super hard to find so it would make sense if EVERYONE wanted to enter this one. All you have to do is become one of my blog followers and post a nice comment to this blog post. It's that simple! The lucky winner will be announced *March 27th.
Stay tuned for my review of Disney's Alice In Wonderland and more from my new friends over at Zolton's... I hear there's a party in the works over there (hint: free Alice In Wonderland movie tickets???)!!! I can't wait! For more info, contact Zolton's at 480-883-0800.
***A special thanx to Leslie and all the folks at Zolton's for donating this wonderful prize! Leslie... you were right! I love this polish color and it does remind me of Alice In Wonderland (crazy)!!! It's like Mardi Gras in a bottle!!! I can't wait to try this over red and pink!!! Lauren... it was so nice to know I'm not the ONLY Alice In Wonderland Freak in the world! LOL!
*United States resident entries only please... prizes will only be shipped to United States addresses. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


In yesterday's post I talked about me being sick... in the sexy way... and overcoming the urge to suppress sickness being that sickness can be a time of cleansing for the body. But what about all that discomfort? Hydrotherapy proves itself to be far more beneficial, and far less toxic, than most over-the-counter remedies we are so accustomed to reach for.

Sore muscles? A good old fashioned hot bath will relax aching muscles and draw out toxins. Natural Epsom Salts added to the bath can help with the achy muscles. As a matter of fact, click on the link for SO many more benefits of Epsom Salts! That stuff is a multipurpose natural remedy all on it's own.

Head Congestion? Steam works wonders without the side effects you get from most decongestants. I bought a Conair facial steamer used to clean pores, but it came with a sinus steam attachment. Another great natural remedy is a Netti Pot. Used regularly, it will help to avoid head congestion all together. Clearly, with me being sick right now, you can probably guess that I don't use mine regularly. Note to self: START USING REGULARLY!

Sore Throat? Combination heat and cold can fix that right up. Take a small washcloth and wet it with cold water, ring out the excess water and place on the sore area. Wrap your entire neck with a fresh-from-the-dryer hot towel and head for bed. Wrap up tight in the covers and let the healing begin. Another sore throat/itchy throat remedy is to gargle with 2 tsp. sea salt dissolved in 8 oz warm - hot water (as warm as your throat can stand without doing damage).

Chest Congestion? Rub organic peppermint extract on your chest and back dabbing a small amount under your nose and sit in a hot bath. Feel the relief set in. If the chest congestion is coupled with a dry (unproductive) cough, follow a 20 minute hot soak with a good chest and back "cupping". Cupping is where a loved one cups their hand and firmly smacks the chest and back with it. The cupping of the hand makes the smacking painless while loosening congestion so coughing is more productive. And, well, it just feels good. Cupping works best while laying down.

Well, this list is really just a small sampling of the MANY healing uses of water. I prefer this avenue to feel better because I know water used both externally and internally is not having adverse effects on my organs. I also know that, instead of disrupting natural bodily processes like cleansing, I'm assisting the process on my road to recovery. I hope this helps everyone as much as it really has helped me over the years. Be sure to ask your doctor how hydrotherapy can help you too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Don't Squelch A Cold

Well, well, well! I have a cold. I am miserable. I LOVE IT! And not just because my voice is all raspy and sexy... although it totally is. Nope, it's because I know that this cold is a vehicle for my body to cleanse.

Our bodies have different ways of eliminating built up toxins. It ALWAYS involves bodily fluid in different forms so when you're sick, the lovely fluid of choice is (of course) mucus or phlegm <--what a great word that is! HAHAHAHA! Bodily cleansing processes is one of the reasons that we should ALWAYS be well hydrated. It helps the toxins to flow out of the body. And no time is more important than when we're sick, which is why I bring up phlegm in the first place. Well, that and so I can say phlegm again. <-- see, you like it too, huh? :)

Sickness is a time of ridding the body of mega toxins in the ocean of phlegm production (phlegm count 4). In all different colors the toxins are removed, sometimes exiting the body forcefully with the violent coughing and the constant nose blowing. So the next time you get sick, before reaching for the cold medicine or vitamins to stop your sickness in it's tracks, please remember the human process that you might be disrupting. It's hard to do at first because after years of squelching sickness, TONS of toxins have built up and our bodies aren't used to having to fight through sickness so we are 100 times more miserable. But over time, dealing with a cold gets so much easier with less toxin build up and you end up being sick for shorter durations. 5 years ago when I stopped even taking vitamins to treat sickness my colds would be horrible sometimes lasting 2-3 weeks. Now my colds last a matter of days WITHOUT the convenience of suppressive drugs. So while I say I'm miserable, please know that for me (right now) it's an exaggeration. The soreness I feel the first day makes me enjoy hot baths, soothing teas and lots of rest... one might call that pampering. So on top of cleansing my body I can add pamping to the list. Yah, I am grateful for all the phlegm and see this simple cold as a sign of serious good health and an opportunity to care for ME. Not to mention the added benefit of this super sexy voice!
***Remember that when that phlegm comes up (nose or mouth).... get it out of you. It is our body's toxic trashcan.

***Warning: I am in no way telling someone not seek medical attention or not to follow their doctor's advice. I am however encouraging EVERYONE to consider their own health and to gather knowledge about their bodies so that they can make better choices when choosing a doctor. I for one look for a healer... NOT a medical practitioner. Remember that Penicillin was not discovered until 1928 (by Alexander Fleming <-- seriously, is that ironic or what?), so for MANY years people dealt with sickness having no notion on how sickness serves the body. We understand far more today and with the convenience of the internet... gaining knowledge that increases our ultimate health has never been easier. Even when Penicillin was discovered, it was only used in emergency, last-resort cases. And I can promise you, if I EVER feel like I'm dying and need medical intervention (drugs or surgery) for my health to stabilize... I will be in a hospital in a heartbeat and would recommend that anyone else do the same. But by allowing my body to re-learn how to heal itself, I found out VERY quickly that me being miserable and me feeling like I'm dying are two different things. As of yet, I don't know what dying feels like.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Human Condition Comedy: A Night With Joyce Meyer

There are SO MANY ways to read and apply the words of the Bible. Sometimes when I read it, it's a story (it feels almost like I'm reading fiction), sometimes I'm looking for a lesson, other times I'm looking for examples, but for those who believe, the Bible is a history book as well. It's filled with real people and real events and I have a tendency to forget that when I read it sometimes because I'm too busy looking for the story, the lesson and the examples. But last night, the Joyce Meyer Conference in Phoenix Arizona showed me just how real these people really were. And when I say "real", I mean they followed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and were FLAWED! They were anointed even with their personality glitches and attitudes. For some reason, the reality of these REAL people FINALLY jumped out of the pages last night thanx to Joyce Meyer.... another self-professed FLAWED follower of Christ. But aren't we all (flawed, I mean)? So let me take you through the HILARIOUS ride through the past that Joyce gave all in attendance.

Enter, Peter, John and Jesus in the Book of St. John written by John. John, one of the youngest apostles had a confidence in his Jesus' love for him. It was almost an innocent bragging that you might expect from a child and COULD be viewed as arrogant. But confidence CAN appear that way, can't it? In fact, don't some harbor a hidden resentment for those who have that winning personality; that ability to 'get close' to people and win favor? Was this a flaw in John? Peter certainly thought so as you'll see in a moment. But it's interesting, John was the ONLY apostle that stayed with Jesus till his death and he was the apostle that Jesus charged with caring for his mother after his passing. I personally believe that likability and confidence is a gift. And you can see very early the ones that are blessed with it at birth (as I imagine John was). A parent scolds a child angrily and the child responds with a sheepish smile and a "you know you love me!", and the parent crumbles. Jesus' response to John never indicated that displaying this type of confidence is in any way wrong. In fact God tells us the very opposite, to be confident and bold. But here's where the story of Peter, Jesus and John gets 'REAL' <--- IT'S SUPER HILARIOUS BECAUSE IT IS EXACTLY HOW PEOPLE STILL BEHAVE TODAY!

John 21: 7 - That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"... (John says this more than once through his story.)

John 21: 20-21 - Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him (John...hahahaha... the one whom Jesus loved), he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?"

Now the comedy that is the human spirit of this story actually takes place in John 21:15-19 where Jesus is speaking to Peter, asking him if he loves him, teaching him that love is sacrifice and then proceeds to describe how he will die a HORRIBLE death to glorify God, but Peter is far less concerned with that than the fate of the man he is witnessing reclining on Jesus in a show of affection. HAHAHAHA... he says, "Lord, what about his man?" No concern for his own gruesome fate... he wants to know what's gonna happen to the brown-noser!!! HAHAHAHAHA! In John 21:22 Jesus chastises Peter basically telling him that John's fate is none of his business. We can be like that can't we... so consumed with what's happening to others? And John MUST have known (or at the very least believed) that Peter was jealous of his relationship with Jesus to have written the story the way he did about Peter. I wish I could have been there to see John's face when Peter got chastised. I bet that too was HILARIOUS! Do you think he hid his face from Jesus as he gave Peter a "nany, nany, nany" gesture. HAHAHAHAHA!

Anyway, Joyce Meyer, Thank you for making the person of John and Peter come to life for me. Thank you for teaching on the power of confidence in Jesus' love and the anointing that confidence brings (flaws and all). These stories are of real people who had real emotions that all of us can relate to. The next time I sit down to read my Bible, I'm definitely going to be looking for the back story a little more.... it made all the difference in the world.

Friday, February 19, 2010

FitterTwit on Relationships

HAHAHAHA! Ok, the title of this post even made ME laugh! But, hey, I have some pretty serious thoughts on the matter. And since I have had many different kinds of relationships with many different kinds of people... well, that COULD qualify me as an expert. So here's my thoughts.

EVERY relationship is worthwhile and serves a very specific purpose in your life. No matter who the person is or how the relationship my have started, ended or continues today, the person with whom you are interacting is important. Even the most toxic of relationships with the most toxic of people have a way of influencing the best in us if we allow it to. And we never know when or how WE are influencing another person.... people DO change. And certainly lets not forget how our relationships can impact observers. Now, I wouldn't tell you to go run into a vat of toxic sludge any sooner than I'd say, "get into a toxic relationship". I mean, they ARE called toxic for a reason, but what I AM saying is that those relationships (those people) have an ultimate purpose. These relationships, and more importantly their purpose, deserve exploration before we jump to the conclusion that a person or event is bad. Maybe we inadvertently became someone's guardian angel. Maybe they built strength in us. Maybe they showed us how to view the world differently or taught us how to really love. Maybe, just maybe, they were a catalyst for amazing things to come. Maybe we were that for them.

So the next time the opportunity to "bump" into someone from your past presents itself, don't shy away... hahahaha, well, unless you fear for your life. We just never know the life that someone has had or what kind of ripple our relationships cause in the sea of someone's life (even our own). I don't know about you, but I want to be a ripple in this world that causes a wave of love and gratitude and acceptance. I have been blessed with the absolute BEST relationships. Some were good, some where bad and ALL were great. I am grateful for each and every one.

Best of luck to everyone in their relationships!

A special "Thank You" to my friend Debbie for popping back into my life after many years. I suddenly remembered how much I missed your sunshine. How did I go so long without your encouragement??? You have taught me so much!
The super cute stamp featured in the pic (click to enlarge) can be found at: The Scrapbooking Cottage

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What's My Motivation?

I'm so very drawn to the topic of athleticism... actually the science behind it. With the Olympics coming up next week, I find myself glued to the various reports on the Olympians' training schedules, their psychology and their character. One of the many traits that these champions share is high intrinsic motivation.

There are two types of motivation. The first is extrinsic motivation. This motivation consists of a drive to lessen pain or discomfort. A great example of extrinsic motivation would be hunger. One is motivated to eat because of hunger or eating for comfort when stress levels are high. Another great example would be NOT exercising. The motivation to not move because exercise is awkward, uncomfortable or painful. This type of motivation only serves the "now" with no thought about dream attainment or what the future will look like and is actually rooted in negativity with a focus to NOT feel something. Intrinsic motivation goes beyond that rooting itself in positivity.

Intrinsic motivation DOES look into the future and reaches beyond any type of pain and discomfort to fulfill dreams. It's focus is TO feel something instead of trying NOT to feel something. This motivation is the knowing that the happiness that lies down the road is worth, and will GREATLY exceed, any temporary pain or discomfort one may go through to make their dreams come true. This motivation is both spiritual and intellectual, and when perfected, halts the gravity of any extrinsic forces because it knows the ultimate destination is happiness and accomplishment.

In my opinion, extrinsic motivation requires the least amount of effort and is quite superficial (more of a reactive/primitive/bottom-of-the-food-chain behavior) while intrinsic motivation breeds excellence. It has been a great help for me to understand the driving forces behind why I do what I do or why I don't. From moment to moment when reaching for my goals, I can analyze my actions with two simple questions: 1) Is this activity moving me closer or further from my goals AND 2) What is my motivation here? I LOVE that last question!!! It is commonly parodied with actors when "reaching" for a character to emerge, but now I see that it's actually a REAL process and one that I'm going to work harder to employ.

Beyond the TEMPORARY awkwardness, discomfort or pain lies whoever you want to be. And once you're a champion.... the gold is yours forever! What's your motivation?
Correction: The Olympics start THIS WEEK!!! OMGosh! So sorry everyone!!! Apparently I'm still in last week! YIKES!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fire Proof

I don't know what it is about this movie, but I can't get enough of it. Since it's release on DVD, I've watched Fire Proof at least a dozen times! My heart swells thinking about what has been given to me versus where I came from. The following is a blog post that I wrote last year after first watching the movie and it kind of just sat as an unfinished draft. But here it is, the middle of the night and I woke up with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the opportunities that I have and the blessings that I've received. So, with that being said, here's my post on Fire Proof.... better late than never. I am also adding a special note at the end... an excerpt from a note that I wrote for a friend (in case anyone here can use it.. LOL).

I was married, then divorced, at a very young age. Like Michael in the movie, I didn't know any better and did the best I could in a situation that was not working out. I did everything I could to make that marriage work; I knew no humility. So watching this movie brought me to a place of self reconciliation. As I sat there watching this movie twice with the amazing man that I'm married to now, I couldn't help but cry with gratitude for what I got out of the first marriage experience. I have ALWAYS said (LONG before seeing this movie) that I believe there is a reason God has you stand in front of a room full of your friends and family and promise Him to love, honor, etc. If it was as easy as just making a vow to another person, there wouldn't be any need for the minister, the ceremony or all of the hub-ub we put into the "I Do's". I found out the hard way that sometimes "I DO" is all you have to go on. And it's sad that, for some, "I DO" just simply isn't enough. For me it is... always was. So I couldn't help but smile (and even laugh hysterically...this movie is funny too) watching poor Caleb learn what love really is after messing up in a really big way. But he got it and wanted to love his wife and wanted to be happy. I'm lucky that the second time around I got to marry a Caleb; God knows how much of a "Caleb" my husband really is! I thank God that he never gave up on me! But I'm even more lucky that the second time around I got to BE a Caleb! But I think that's really the point. I always was a Caleb! Caleb loved his wife no matter what she did. He learned that loving her had very little to do with her at all. It was a commitment he made and he was going to follow through for himself. That is when he really learned to love her... it became something he just did no matter what she said or did. In return, SHE learned what love was (through him) and they lived happily ever after.
Why is it so easy for people to give up on the other person? More importantly, why do they give up on themselves and the promises that they've made? I honestly can't answer that. I've never been the one to throw in the towel. And I wonder if the people who have, feel like the character of Michael, like they lost something? I always believed I had married the best or I would not have gotten married. I believe that is the belief that opened the flood gates for God to bring the best to me... the "Caleb" that cared to reciprocate. This year will be our 12th wedding anniversary. I am more than thrilled to say that; I always dreamed of growing old with someone. This movie reminds me how lucky I've always been, even before my Caleb arrived.

Update (albeit a little redundant) a message tagging this post: -- This is dedicated to a friend going through a rough time, hang in there: Marriage is our example in this world that love is a verb. I have always said that there is a reason we vow to love, honor, obey, etc. in front of witnesses TO GOD when we get married. I think that God knew that some days "I do" is all we have to go on. Otherwise, why the public spectacle? Why not just say, "Ok, we're married." Because it's more than that. It's for better or worse and a public proclamation of it. There are days that are better and there are days that are worse and it's those days that love is honored when "I do" is what you cling to. It takes no special skill to love someone when things are good... and a promise is a promise. For any married person who has not seen the movie Fire Proof, I HIGHLY recommend you watch it. For any person considering ever being married I recommend you watch it.... I love it that much! I truly believe there is happiness and freedom when you make it through the fire.... I've experienced it! I've also experienced NOT making it through the fire. Divorce is painful, ugly and leaves a lasting mark. Now before I get bombarded with emails and comments from my concerned friends and loved ones... it's no one you know! LOL.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Making Super Bowl Super

Today is just one of those days! SUPER BOWL SUNDAY: A day when the worst of the worst food is served by the best of the best... your friends. Why not take a moment and consider making that menu a bit more calorie friendly with a few simple substitutions.

Traditional Super Bowl Wings: Instead of serving this greasy, fried and oh-so-bad-for-you dish, why not bake up some chicken, cut it into strips and serve with a bowl of buffalo sauce for dipping.

Potato Skins: another fried treat that turns out much better in my opinion when baked. Bake potatoes till done, cut in half, scoop out the middles and place in separate bowl and mash. Add to the mashed potato some crumbled turkey bacon, some garlic and a splash of low fat milk. Combine and scoop back into potato skins. Place filled skins on cookie sheet and sprinkle with low fat cheese, salt and pepper to taste and place in 500 degree oven until the tops are brown.

Chips and Dip: Organic low fat corn chips with freshly made pico de gallo is always a hit. Chop three tomatoes, 1 onion and combine. Add 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 diced jalapeno (minus seeds if you don't want the heat) and a small handful of cilantro finely chopped. Stir all ingredients together and serve.

Another Dip Alternative: In blender, combine Knudson Free Cottage cheese with a splash of water and your favorite dressing or soup mix packet. Blend and serve cold. Best if served with veggie platter.

Greasy Pizza: Instead of ordering out, take whole wheat tortillas, brush with garlic/olive oil (I use a 50/50 mix that I blended together in my magic bullet), add your favorite veggies, top with low fat mozzarella cheese and sliced turkey sausage and bake in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 15 or until done.

High Cal drinks: Instead of sodas and other high calorie drinks, mix 8 oz. soda water or club soda with 4 oz 100% cranberry juice and 1 tsp. agave nectar. You'll have a light, low-cal, refreshing cooler to serve. Try this one with other 100% fruit juices as well as substituting the agave nectar with 100% pineapple juice.
**And this Super Bowl Season, don't be afraid to really get into the festivities! All that screaming and all the cheering, even those tantrums, burns some serious calories. A couple of touchdown dances couldn't hurt either! :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Master Your Metabolism

So, I said a short while ago that I was going to get Jillian Michaels' new book, Master Your Metabolism, and I did! OMG!!!! IT IS THE BEST BOOK EVER TO BE PUBLISHED.... ok, that might be a little dramatic, but it's close!!!

My health journey began years ago after having a nurse practitioner prescribe an antidepressant for me to take when there was nothing chemically wrong with me ON TOP of the multiple pain killers I was also prescribed prior to the antidepressant. And for those who do not know... if you ARE NOT depressed due to a chemical imbalance that the body cannot balance on it's own, chemicals added to your system cause SEVERE PROBLEMS.... like wanting to kill yourself problems! At least, that is what happened to me. I thought I was crazy and sought help which led me to work with a life coach out of a holistic clinic. I was FREED by this holistic doctor and set on a long path to achieve optimum health. My journey would later pick up pace when my sister invited me to do the Master Cleanse with her back in 2004... you all KNOW how much I love that MC!!! :) So with that back story being shared, enter Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels.

Master Your Metabolism has so fine tuned the knowledge that I've gained over the years, that I can't help but be overly excited about it. I mean, I'm telling everyone...screaming it from mountain tops! Jillian (with the help of Mariska Van Aalst) explained, biologically, what the additives and preservatives and poisons are doing to our hormones. Our hormones are the communicators for just about every function of our body (including losing weight, being healed from disease, etc.) and these toxins disrupt (even change) that communication.

That biological information is so key to have and could change some paradigms! My mother-in-law said that she once met a man who got very sick and became a vegan and was healed, convincing her that she needed to be a vegan. After reading Jillian's book (and discovering that, of all the foods that are the most hopped up with chemicals, it's anything from an animal! Animals eat the pesticides from the crops AND are injected with hormones and antibiotics whereas fruit and veggies only have the dozen or so pesticides) I'm convinced that it wasn't necessarily the vegan diet so much as the decrease of chemicals in the system that cured this man my mother-in-law met. I KNEW that God wouldn't tell us to eat meat if it wasn't good for us. We just have to eat GOOD MEAT! For more info on that, please read Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 in the Bible. God is just awesome!!!

Anyway, here's where I'll end my rant. Master Your Metabolism (AND the Bible for that matter) is on my MUST READ list and gets 100,000 High Fives! Go get it and master your metabolism.... master your health!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gadget Girl Out of the Kitchen!

Yep! Gadget girl strikes again! This time the gadget isn't for my kitchen... it's actually a tool I got as an early birthday present to monitor my health and fitness (yes... I begged!). I am suddenly a walking science exeriment!

This little (and I mean little... 2" x 1.75") gadget straps to your arm and electronically monitors your energy output. With the included program (I got a 12 month subscription), you input your energy consumption and this little miracle calculates, tracks and utilizes your data to propel you toward your health and fitness goals! Introducing my newest obsession: The BodyBugg!

There are plenty of resources out there to gather the specifications on this unit and like a million more for reviews, but the most helpful resource that I found was from an instructor that I adore. Ms. Chalene Johnson, the maker of Turbo Jam, gave a superb review of this gadget and convinced me that this little gem would be the tool that would teach me how my body works and works most efficiently. I've been wearing my new bodybugg for about two weeks now and I've gotten to glimpse INSIDE ME! I've gotten to see my activity through the day on easy to read graphs. I see when my calories burned are the highest and know exactly what exercises I've done. I've learned that the Elliptical (for me) burns TWICE the amount of calories first thing in the morning than when I'm on the Elliptical last thing at night. I've also learned that the afternoon Turbo Jam session spikes my calorie burn quite a bit and CONTINUES to burn calories pretty steadily for hours after I'm done and maintains that burn clear on through my dinner preparations. That little "peek" inside myself and the discovery on how I process energy as proven to be A BILLION DOLLAR discovery. I call it that because isn't the fitness and weight loss industry a BILLION DOLLAR business? Isn't that the missing link for SO MANY PEOPLE? Why can't I lose it? Why can't I keep it off? If you had an opportunity to see inside, see how YOUR body works, and be able to cut out the inefficient actions that always got you the same results (heck, and even KNOW what they are), wouldn't THAT be worth a billion to you? Suddenly, no guess work. No false hopes. No hoping that "this time will be different" while feeling that your body is just completely out of your control. Now there is a tool that puts the reigns in your hand. You are in the drivers seat. YOU control, and more importantly take responsibility for, the energy you consume vs. the energy you spend. Feelings get removed from your day-to-day and are replaced with fast and hard mathematics: calories in vs. calories out.

CORRECTION: calories in (M x 5) - calories out = SUCCESS! Didn't think I'd throw algebra at you, did you??? HAHAHAHA! The fact of the matter is, it's NOT as simple as calories in vs. calories out otherwise you could go without eating for a month and exercise to lose weight (people certainly try and fail due to the metabolism shutting down) and I'm seeing why with the bodybugg. I'm seeing my metabolism engage differently at different times. For me, I've noticed that I burn more calories in the afternoon when I do Turbo Jam AFTER eating a meal than if I do that same workout before eating. I also burn more calories doing my workout first thing in the morning on an empty stomach than after I've eaten. I get like a little calorie burn spike on the graph during the time that I'm eating my breakfast every morning after that "wake up workout." What a thing to see! Every body is different, so everyone processes energy differently, so the AMAZING thing about this new little gadget is that I finally can see how I'm processing energy and can fine-tune my daily routine to be efficient, completely removing the stress of the guesswork that used to always be there.

Stay tuned for my follow up to this post: An Adventure in Counting Calories

Freakin Beth Moore!

How dare you be so passionate about your relationship with Jesus Christ! How dare you have speaking skills that makes my heart drop to my feet! How dare you speak THROUGH my troubles and trials to my heart making me want to do better and be better! How dare you be so relatable and easy to listen to. How dare you be so ordinary yet so supernaturally and extraordinarily ordained and gifted. How dare you!!!

I spent the entire morning crying while watching you speak on We Are Known. I mean I cried so hard I am now writing this post with a splitting "cry" headache. You know, the headache that comes from contracting all your facial muscles till your face is freakishly distorted while pushing gallons of fluid through tear ducts at a rate that would make an engine seize! That's the headache that I'm dealing with right now. Freakin Beth Moore!

Who knew "being known" would yank my heart out of my chest and make me feel like God was talking right to me? He knows me! The Hebrew word Yada: to be completely and perfectly known, liked to have drowned me this morning! Who knew that the message from Beth, that God knows and acknowledges everything I've been through, would cause such a release? Clearly, when internal band-aids are ripped away, there will be a jolt as one that is ripped off your body!

Beth Moore with her charm and likability.... I know that somewhere inside is a sadist that LOVES being the one ripping those band-aids away. Her with that sweet smile! Freakin Beth Moore.... BLESS YOU!

We Are Known - Wednesday's With Beth on Life Today

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Made With Love

There is nothing in the world like receiving handmade items! I LOVE THEM! Anything handmade is like some special treasure and I ALWAYS adore whatever is given to me that was made by the giver. And for me, it's never about the item itself. It's the idea that, not only did someone think about me, but they cared enough to invest time for me. That speaks volumes and overwhelms me with a feeling that I rarely get any other way. It's from this place within me that makes me LOVE to make things for others. The joy that I get when someone else "gets" that I care about them. I spend the entire time making my projects envisioning the receiver and how they will know that I care about them. And you see it. Give a handmade gift and watch a special expression cross their face.... that look of surprise and the twinkle in their eye when they ask with surprise, "Did you make this???" It is because of this that I'm NEVER concerned with small characteristics in my projects that might show the receiver that the item is handmade... I actually WANT them there. If it's too perfect, I'm always afraid that the meaning of the item or gift will be missed. It's never about what is given but rather HOW it's given.... with all my love.

There is no perfection WITH love. Love IS the perfection in the midst of all our mistakes and flaws.... those are characteristics that show the meaning of what love really is. It's that love within that shines even though our condition is less than perfect. You see... we too are handmade.

***Pictured is the card that I promised in yesterday's post.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In A Pinch

Wow... this economy is crazy isn't it? We are cutting corners at every angle. Fortunately for the crafter (like me!), this is an opportunity to SHINE!!! You'd be amazed at the wonderful projects you can find on the internet. From using newspapers to line trash receptacles to handmade paper gift bows, there's an unending wealth of budget savvy gems to make that dollar go further. Here's the paper bow that I made in a pinch!

A while back I had a baby shower to attend (I'll show you all the cute card I made for it in tomorrow's post) and after shopping for the gift, a package of diapers and wrapping paper I ended up in the aisle where the coordinating bows were prettily displayed. It was an ocean of beauty that morphed quickly when I checked out the not-so-pretty price tags. FIVE BUCKS FOR A BOW???? Nope! That is where I drew the line. Not only could I make a hand made bow for PENNIES, but I could also make a NICER bow for PENNIES. I'm talking the kind of bow that people keep to adorn memory books. So home I went to search through my collection of thirty-cent 12" X 12" textured papers. The bow that is pictured (click pic to enlarge) was the result and took me about 20 minutes to make. Here's how.

Paper Bow
You need:
2 Coordinating Buttons (funny how black and white coordinates w/everything)
Paper pinch clip or clothes pin
1-12" piece of coordinating ribbon thin enough to thread through button
1/8" hole punch (I used my Crop-a-dile Big Bite)
1-12"x 12" piece of textured paper (found at most craft stores... you can use ANY 12" x 12" paper really, but the textured paper looks more like real fabric. You can also emboss the plain paper to give it a texture as well... see video link at the end of this post)
Scissors/paper cutter

Cut the 12" x 12" paper into 1 inch strips all the way across. That will give you 12 strips. Set four of the 12" x 1" strips aside. Take another set of four 12" x 1" strips and reduce the 12 inch length to 11 inches, set aside. With the final set of four strips, reduce length to 10 inches. Be sure to keep the scraps from this set as the scrap is where you will start your bow.

Next, take your ribbon and thread it through one of your buttons. Match up both free edges and tape the ends together being sure to wrap the tape around the free edges tightly to form a "needle" shape... this will help threading the ribbon through the layers of paper strips. Then take one of the scraps that you held aside, form a loop being sure to overlap the ends about 1/4 of an inch. Punch a hole in the center of the overlap and thread the ribbon through the hole. Be sure to thread from the inside of loop so that the button ends up inside the loop. Attach clothes pin to the ribbon just under the paper loop to keep the loop in place while you work on assembling your bow. Set aside; on to the next strip.

Take one of your 10" x 1" strips, form a loop overlapping the ends 1/4 inch and pinch between fingers to hold in place. Then pinch the loop closed to turn the loop into a figure 8 form. Punch a hole in the center where your fingers are pinching to form the figure 8. Thread your ribbon through the hole, remove the clothes pin and push this new layer to meet the first layer that started your bow. Re-secure with the clothes pin to keep everything in place and set aside while your repeat this step with all the 10" x 1" strips. Then repeat with the 11" x 1" strips, ending with the 12" x 1" strips. Be sure to arrange each of the figure 8 loops to form a flower as you are building your bow. When the bow is completely formed and secured with the clothes pin, cut the tape off of ribbon and thread each end of the free edges through the remaining button. Push the button up to meet the clothes pin. Remove clothes pin and finish pushing the button to firmly secure your bow in place. Tie the ribbon to secure the button and you're done. Whew... that seems like A LOT to make a bow, but it's really fast and easy. To see just how fast and easy, here's a video tutorial by Ms. Tammy Skinner of ***Note: I did not do this with mine (nor did Tammy with hers), but if you pull each strip between your thumb and a pencil (like you do to with scissors to curl ballon ribbon), the strips will form the figure 8's better, without crease lines.

Enjoy this wonderful project and certainly enjoy the savings!

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...