unwrappingmommy

This has been a busy summer.  By busy I mean, sitting by the pool and letting my kids run amok while I get my tan on!  Hey, it’s tough work being a Suburban House Wife!!  While I have enjoyed almost every minute of the kids’ summer vacation, I am definitely ready to get back into my routine of daily Curves visits and eating on a regular schedule.  I’ve made GREAT strides in my eating habits, but eating on a schedule is hard to do when you’ve only got so much space in your igloo cooler, and 3/4 of that space is taken up by food your kids need because they are always starving every 45 minutes during rest break.

While my workout and eating schedules have been a little more than lacks this summer, AND there are a ton of birthdays in my family during the summer months, I’ve still managed to stay on the downward slope of the scale.  My loss has slowed a bit, but it’s still happening, and I’m happy with that.  I need to remember that, while yes I do have a goal weight in my sites, I’m not going to get there over night.  I also need to remember to enjoy myself within reason. (I am not a dog, I will not treat myself with food!)  With that said, I may have enjoyed myself a few too many times this summer, but I’m just going to keep on living in a healthy lifestyle and not painting myself into a corner with an expiration date diet.

You may remember that I have weekly weigh-ins and monthly measurements on Curves Complete.  I’ve made a new, updated chart with my current stats.  I’m sharing it here because I’m proud of it, but also because I think it’s important to see that the results happen even when you don’t think they are.  They also happen even if you accidentally eat a lot of birthday cake in a 6 week period!

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Looky there, even my Baby Makin’ hips are on a downward trend.  I’m also happy to report that I bought a new dress a few days ago in a smaller size!  I think that was the most excited I’ve been clothes shopping since I was 17!

So, friends, I want to thank you for hanging in there with me, and for following along.  I’ve been trying, and retrying, and then trying again for a long time now, and I’m confident that this time will stick.  I’m nearly done with my 6 month Curves Complete membership, and while I won’t make the goal I set for myself back in April by my final weigh-in, I have come so much farther than I ever have on my own.  I plan to continue my Curves gym membership and keep a food journal so I can be sure to track what I’m eating since I have learned that I cannot be trusted to just wing it.

And now, I leave you with this…In June 2012 I posted a photo from our vacation and I mentioned that if I didn’t change my ways I was scared of what the 2013 vacation picture would look like.  We took the kids for a final summer trip to King’s Island and were able to get a family picture.  I’m not scared of what the 2013 vacation picture is going to look like anymore!  🙂

summer date

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Whew, where has the summer gone!!  Well, I’m happy to report that my weight has gone away with it 😀  Things have been going steadily along as I continue on my “Double Nickle” journey.  I’ve lost a little over 20 pounds, and I’m feeling great!  It’s been hard work, and it’s not always been fun OR easy, but it has totally been worth it.

At my local Curves location, the fun coaches there decided to have a biggest loser competition this summer to keep us all motivated.  It’s easy to fall out of a routine when the kids are out of school, and days are spent lounging around a pool.  I’m on the PINK team, and we’ve had weekly challenges all summer.  This week’s challenge was to choose a recipe from the Curves Complete menu, make it and review it.  Since I’m currently on Curves Complete this was not a difficult challenge…I make several Curves recipes every week.  I tried a new one, and the recipe will follow my review.

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Today I will be reviewing the Curves Complete Pasta w/ Chicken and Spinach.  I chose this dish for it’s simplicity and because I love pasta.  My family members do not share my love for pasta, so this was a nice, small dish I could enjoy on my own.  It was quite satisfying, with a substantial amount of chicken.  The half serving of pasta made it LOOK a little skimpy, but after eating it, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.  I felt the full serving of sauce, and the 2 tablespoons of Parmesan were on the heavy side.  When I make it again I will reduce these.  I also sauteed a little minced garlic in with my spinach, and I loved the flavor it added.  Over all I think this is a very good meal that can be easily adapted to accommodate the whole family.  Extras can also be made to save for future meals.  I look forward to having it again…SOON!!!

Curves Complete Pasta w/ Chicken and Spinach (makes 1 serving)

5 oz chicken breast(s) (1 breast is 4 oz)
2 cup(s) spinach leaves – fresh
1 tsp(s) oil – olive
1 oz pasta – penne – whole wheat (dry)
1/2 cup(s) sauce – marinara
2 tbsp(s) cheese – Parmesan (grated)

Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to pasta instructions.
2. Grill Chicken to desired degree of doneness. Allow to cool slightly and slice into thin strips.
3. Sauté spinach in olive oil. When the spinach is wilted, add marinara sauce and warm through.
4. In a small bowl, combine pasta, grilled chicken and sauce mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

I’m supposed to be cleaning my house right now, since my awesome parents kept my kids for 4 days.  I did all day cleaning/ purging Thursday and Friday, so I thought I’d take a few hours to myself today.

The other night, while scrolling through the miles and miles of pins on Pinterest, I came across a super cute Yoda coffee cup cozy.  It was wrapped around a “tall” Starbucks cup, and what luck, hubby and I had been there earlier that evening, so I had one sitting right next to me!!  The Pinterest link heads over to a website that posts picture of the cup cozy, but the Etsy shop that it was linked to is closed until further notice and it didn’t look like they had a pattern available anyway.

It looked pretty simple, and I thought it’d be a quick project to try.  I had the yarn colors, and was confident I could figure it out since it’s only a basic cup cozy and a circle with some buttons sewn on.

I used: Red Heart SS in Buff and Frosty Green.  Hooks sized 6.5mm for the “body” and 3.75mm for the face/arms. 11mm buttons for the eyes.

I found this free pattern from Lion Brand for a simple cup cozy.  I made it using only one color, so don’t follow the directions for the stripes…unless you want stripes.  Then by all means go right ahead!

For the circle I just followed my amigurumi knowledge, and made a spiral.  If you don’t have amigurumi knowledge, then just make a magic loop, sc 5 times in loop, and increase to 25.  Do not join rounds and don’t finish off yet, because your guy needs ears!

I made his ears like this:

Right side: After I’d done the circle, I sc’d 5 more times, chained one, and turned.  5 sc, ch1, turn.  Sc2tog, sc, sc2tog, ch1, turn.  3 sc, ch1, turn. Sc2tog, sc, ch1, turn.  Sc2tog.  Finish off.

Left side: From top of right ear (where it connects to the head not the tip of the ear) count back and attach yarn to the 7th stitch.  Sc in same stitch and next 4, ch1, turn.  5 sc, ch1, turn.  Sc2tog, sc, sc2tog, ch1, turn.  3 sc, ch1, turn. Sc2tog, sc, ch1, turn.  Sc2tog.  Finish off.  Sew your eyes on now.

Arms (make 2): With green, 5sc in magic loop.  5 sc around again and change to buff.  Do 2 rounds of the buff and finish off.

Attach your bits, weave in ends, and go buy yourself a cup of coffee 😀

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I’m still chugging along on my Curves journey.  Things have been steady for me, and I’m pleased with my results.  As of today, 9 weeks into the Curves Complete program, I’ve lost 15 pounds!  While I am totally stoked by these results, and the program really is easy to follow once you get the hang of it, I’m at the point now where I don’t want the slow and steady decline, I want to be at my goal and moving along.  I’m not a long term thinker or planner.  I didn’t think 9 weeks ago about this day because that’s not the way my brain works.  So today, I can’t think about being at week 18 and being possibly 30 lbs less than I was when I started.  I mean, I can think about it, but it doesn’t seem real to me.  And even though the past 9 weeks have really flown by, the next 9 seem like they will never pass.

When I think about still having another 40 pounds to go before my goal weight I want to cry.  It just seem so far away.  My brain still can’t wrap around the fact that if I keep doing what I’m doing I’ll lose the weight….eventually.  Because I am losing weekly.  I’m not maintaining or gaining.  But the toddler inside of me wants to scream and throw a fit.  And, even though I’m not good at math, I know that if I lose a pound a week then I still have 40 weeks to go, and that’s a long time.  Trust me, I know, I’ve gestated 3 humans for that amount of time.

I won’t give up and I won’t give in (completely).  We are in Birthday Season at my house, so there is cake and ice cream about every 3 weeks for the next 2 months.  I was faced with this challenge at the end of May when L turned 7.  There was half a cake left, and I gave into the call from the fridge one night after the kids where in bed.  I didn’t hate myself in the morning, but I did throw the rest of it away because I know I couldn’t be trusted to have it anywhere near me.  B turns 4 tomorrow, so I’ll have to pass out the cake to the neighbor kids or serve it to my kids for breakfast on Wednesday!

Time isn’t waiting for anyone, and I’m trying my best to forget how much farther I’ve got to go.  I’m going to stay on my current road, and I’m going to keep getting results.  I’m going to do the best I can, and try harder to be proud of any progress I’ve made.  I’m not 190 lbs anymore, and that is something I’m very glad for!

10 you

We have a great metro-park very close to our home.  There are several in the Five Rivers Metro Parks here in Dayton, actually.  At the park near me there is a fantastic wooden bridge that takes you to an overlook of the “Valley View”.

Several years ago I took a photo of K in the fall walking on the bridge.  I loved it so much I had it blown up and it has been hanging in my kitchen for quite a while.  If you saw my past post, I’ve been participating in the Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day Challenge for the past few months.  Today’s prompt was “environment” and I knew I wanted to take another photo on that bridge.  So I took B out there, and took a similar picture of her.

I put the pictures side by side, and I just love the way the children and the surroundings contrast.  My blondie on the left strutting her stuff like she is on a mission, and my brunette on the right slowly walking taking in all she sees 🙂

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A few weeks ago my family showed me their appreciation for being the Mother around here.  The kids and I headed to Pittsburgh to spend the day with my mom, and when we got back from the trip I found a brand new box of SIDEWALK CHALK!!!  Yes, I know, amazing, right!  It’s one of the new Crayola boxes with 48 different colors.  It really is a thing of beauty, and I was surprised and excited to get this and a nice hefty Jo~Ann’s gift card.

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I hadn’t had much of a chance to chalk since Mother’s Day, so I was excited when my day opened up and the weather cooperated on Friday.  Here’s who came to visit:

One of the neighborhood kids asked me a few weeks ago if I’d done Scooby Doo.  I hadn’t, and he seemed like a good way to start the day.

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After Scooby I was feeling like I needed to chalk a little something for myself.  I do love to do them for the kids, but I also like things that aren’t kiddie related, so I thought this image for my FAVORITE musical would be fun and different.  These ladies were actually a little more difficult than I anticipated since Elphaba’s face is smack dab in the middle of a huge black ‘blob’.  Since I use the lines as my guide when I draw it was tricky to get her just right.  But, I think it worked out well in the end, Wicked little minx!

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After Elphie and Glinda I thought I was done, but then I saw a picture on Instagram that a friend had posted of Stitch.  I was struck with inspiration and had to get him down on the drive!  I think this guy is my favorite so far.  I just love the blue!!

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While I was chalking Stitch, the kids had gathered around the driveway like usual.  K’s bestie lives across the street, and her birthday was the next day.  I asked her if she wanted me to chalk something for her on her driveway, and she requested Ariel.  I thought it would be fun to see the before and after color, so I’ve posted that next.

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That was a busy day of chalking, and I paid for it the next day, but it was totally worth it!  I do love to have all the kids gather around and talk to me about what I’m chalking.  I think it’s a great way for them to express their creativity on a huge scale.  I’ve been on walks recently and seen a lot more chalking than normal.  I’m not completely convinced that it’s my doing, but I like to think it has something to do with them seeing what else can be done with sidewalk chalk.  I also heard that people were driving by the house yesterday while we were out and taking pictures!  That is really exciting to me since I do the chalking to make everyone smile.

It rained last night, so most of the chalks have washed away.  It’s one of the downsides of working in chalk outside.  But, I think of it like a cake artist.  The pieces are made to be enjoyed for a short time, and then cleared away…although chalk isn’t nearly as tasty as cake!

After I posted my photos to my personal Facebook a friend suggested I try out a website called Fiverr and offer to draw stuff for people.  I’ve had some people request characters in the past, and thought it might be a good idea since I don’t always have ideas for characters, and chalk isn’t free 😀  So, I set up the Fiverr account, and posted my first Gig over there.  If you’ve got something you’d like to see in chalk, and $5 you wouldn’t mind sending my way, then check it out!!

Thanks for stopping by to see what I’ve been up to.  I love to share these chalkings with you, and if it’s inspired you to get out and chalk something let me know!!  I’d love to see it.  Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be lots more to come.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated on my Curves Complete journey.  Not because I’ve fallen off the wagon, but, because friends, I’m totally ON the wagon.

Since starting Curves on April 8th things that were never a part of my life have become my new normal.  I go to the gym as soon as I drop the kids off, I plan basically everything I’m planning to put in my mouth and swallow every day, I’m making smart choices when it comes to food decisions.

This week I’ve started Week 6 of a 24 week program.  New things I’ve noticed now that I’m 1/4 of the way done: I don’t crave sugar all day long, I don’t want to sit still all day long, I don’t have to eat huge portions of food to feel satisfied (although my brain still wants me to!), I do like the veggies more, I do feel like I’m not slouching all the time (although as I had this thought I straightened my back!), I can chase a minion without getting completely winded, AND I can’t fit in my Fat Jeans anymore 😀  I pulled an older pair of jeans out of my drawer the other day, a pair I hadn’t worn in over a year (but they are Gap, and I was NOT getting rid of them), and put them on!  I didn’t even have to lay down on the bed or hop around my room to zip them up.  I could also breathe and sit while wearing them!  I was so excited!!!  True, they are still a little snug, and they are definitely not my goal size, but they are 2 sizes smaller than my Fat Jeans.

I know I’ve still got a long way to go.  I also know that I’m human and I can’t stop eating every delicious-bad-for-you thing on the planet.  I’ve come to love my evening sugar-free chocolate pudding.  Not going to lie here, last week was my husband’s birthday and Mother’s Day, so bad food choices were made.  Not a lot, not every meal, and not every day.  I felt pretty crappy after those poor choices, but I also think that’s a good thing.  When you get into the habit of eating healthy and feeling great you can forget what the big deal was about that Value Meal or that 32 oz Diet Cola.  You forget that it makes you feel like you need a nap as soon as you start metabolizing it.  You forget that it makes you MORE hungry.  When you consume it you remember, quickly.

And, just so I can keep it real here, I’m going to share my numbers with you.  My before and after my first month.  I have a weekly weigh-in, but I have a monthly measurement too.  So, here’s what Curves Complete has done for this gal in 5 weeks:

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Please take a moment to feel my frustration over my “Birthing Hips” when looking at this chart!

The numbers don’t lie, folks.  And although I still have a long road ahead, I’m happy with the way things have gone so far.  I hope you’ll keep up with my progress, and if you’ve been thinking about doing something about your weight I hope I’ll be able to inspire you to go for it.  Please let me know, and if you’re blogging your journey; I’d love to follow you.  If you’re still just thinking about it, or wondering how to get started I’ll leave you with this:

just

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You spin me right round baby right round! Beggars Night 2017. #papyrus , #undertale , #dizzy #descendants2 #trex #halloween Dapper Dino looking dapper! #crochet #amigurumi #dino #dinosaur #dapper #bowtie #diytoys #crochettoy A new little monster needed a Sully hat to keep him cozy 😍 #monstersinc #crochet #crochethat #babycrochet #caronsimplysoft #disney #disneycrochet #sully #jamespsullivan #diygifts Guys! You can use a pumpkin carving saw on spaghetti squash!!!!!! Oh man, what a game changer 😆 Kit-Cat has arrived :) #ticktock #kitcat #nostalgia #madeintheusa  #clock Cross-Post from @chalk_n_awe of these little cuties I paints yesterday to hide around our town 😍 Boxtop Collection Hack: Put a magnet inside a #Ziploc sandwich bag and hang it on the fridge. When it's time to take them into school, take the magnet out, zip the bag and throw it in your kid's backpack. #done #slackermom #ziplocbaggies #boxtops #easypeasy #youfancy #instamom #hack #lifehack #magnet #collect #school #backtoschool Hooked a Hugamonster for my Hugamonster 😍 Pattern from the beautiful @jensalittleloopy  #crochet #funfur #amigurumi #monster #hug #toy #love #cute #creepy #furry #fiberart

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