Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Cards

Oh, Valentine's Day or Singles Awareness Day, whichever is the correct term that fits your holiday this year.  Do you remember Valentine's Day from when you were in school?  I remember making 'mailboxes' out of cereal boxes and having heart themed parties, but one Valentine's Day card experience scarred me for life!

We usually had Valentine's from a company called Lillian Vernon (that I think since has closed) and we would order check Valentine's from them.  The valentine's would look like checks and you would make them out to everyone in your class.  They were a huge hit.  Well, one year my mom had forgotten to order them (or they were late being delivered) and we had to go to the store the night before and sift through the valentine's boxes that were left to the last minute.  Choices were slim and we were down to one small bin at the grocery store.  I had VERY few choices and had to get Beetle Juice valentine's cards. :(  I was SO embarrassed to take Beetle Juice cards to school the next morning, but it was either them or nothing.  I'm sure it was all in my head, but I felt like everyone was looking at me funny.  It scarred me for life.

So naturally, to this day, I like to make cute Valentine' Day cards, well in advance.  Here are my Valentine’s Day cards I made this year for my coworkers and friends!  They say “Sip-Sip” Hooray, It’s Valentine’s Day with a crazy straw attached.  I love them!

Here’s a simple way to make them.

Materials Needed:
Crazy straws (available 6-$1 at the Dollar Tree)
Scissors (decorative or plain)
Printer with colored ink
Cut-out template (email me at steph53282 at yahoo dot com and I will send you the file.  Does anyone know how to put shareable documents online?!)

Print out the printable with your name on it and cut with plain scissors or decorative scissors.

Cut a slit at the top for the straw to go through.

Stick the straw in the slit and tape it to the back so it will not slide off.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

21 Day Fix-An Explaination

This week marks 90 days until I cruise away into the sunset on Royal Caribbean.  This also marks (just over) one week that I have been doing the 21 Day Fix.  I am making it my goal to stay away from sweets, treats and alcohol until the cruise.  I might slip up a little bit, but I am trying REALLY hard to make it.
Do you like my drawing? hahaha. I drew this on an envelope that I mailed Clarissa

I lost 2.5 lbs last week thanks in part to the 21 Day Fix and also walking a few nights a week at Memorial Park.  Meal planning has really helped keep me on track, but I have had a few times where I was out and about and stopped to get something. 

Did I ever tell you how the 21 Day Fix works?  It’s really simple way to portion control your food. 

There are six color coded containers that each represent a different food group.  Green=vegetables, Purple=fruit, Red=protein, Yellow=carbs, Blue=cheese, Orange=Seeds and Oils.

I am in the 2nd tier of containers and I’m allowed the following:
4 Green Boxes-Vegetables
3 Purple Boxes-Fruits
4 Red Boxes-Proteins
3 Yellow-Grains
1 Blue Box-Healthy Fats and Cheese
1 Orange Box-Seeds and Oils

Honestly, it is a lot of food and I’m not hungry!  By the time I get hungry, it’s time to eat again.  The difference is I am eating ‘better’ foods and smaller portions.  Portion control (and Taco Bell) has always been my downfall.  I have been overweight most of my life.  I gain weight in my mid section and upper body, but have great legs.  I look like a football player (without the SuperBowl ring) and my shape is called an inverted triangle.  However, I will change all that with this program!!
The Plan comes with an entire booklet to explain how to successfully complete the program

Throughout the day the goal is to eat all of your boxes.  You measure them out in the box and then put them in a to-go container or a plate, like you would normally do for your meals.   For instance, for lunch I would eat a salad and it would work out like this in my boxes:
2 green container of spring mix lettuce
1 green container mixed vegetables (l cut up beets, celery, carrots, bell peppers, and onions)
1 red container of lean ground turkey (keep in red container and microwave when ready to eat)
1 blue container of shredded cheese
1 orange container of olive oil and then I pour on the vinegar
Then I mix it all up together (when I am ready to eat it) so the dressing gets on everything and then I seriously enjoy it!  My mouth is watering right now typing this! :)

It makes for a really big salad that I add to my to-go container and bring to work.  I do measure out my olive oil and vinegar and add it to a sealed Tupperware type container to bring to work.  The containers aren’t air tight (or is it water tight?) and I don’t want olive oil and vinegar to leak on everything.

Measure it out and then put it in a baggie.  In the mix: celery and rainbow carrots, chopped

For a snack I usually have some cut up veggies, 2 boiled eggs, 1 container of mixed fruit, or a red container some cottage cheese with salt and pepper.  I measure whatever it is in the container and then transfer it to a snack baggie or Tupperware.  The booklet says that boiled eggs are a red container, so I don’t measure them.  I usually leave the cottage cheese in the container so not to dirty another container.  I guess you could leave the everything in the container if you aren’t using it to measure another food. 

There are several different workouts that you do on this program that are all 30 minutes long.  There is an ab workout that is 10 minutes long that you can do at the end of your 30 minutes, but so far I have not done so.  I think there are more workouts that come with a certain challenge pack, but I didn’t get them with mine.

The workouts are great and quick.  I did dread doing them (because I’m lazy) but then my very wise friend (Krista) said “it’s only 30 minutes” and I snapped out of it and did it.  Each workout works out different body areas, so you aren’t too sore the next day.  I did the Total Body Cardio workout last night, but today I will do Upper Body. I know my legs are going to buuuuuuurn later today, so I will feel a relief when I don’t have to work them out again.  The first time I did that program, I was soooooo sore for a few days after in my legs that I didn’t want to do it again. Haha.  I did though and feel great about it!  (ask me about how I am feeling later today or in the morning though)

My goal is to lose 5 lbs per week for my cruise, it may or may not be achievable, but I am striving for it!  I have just under 90 days left til I cruise, wish me luck! 
I had 90 days left when I made this!

If you want to do the 21 Day Fix with me as an accountability partner, go here and order it today!  It is about $60 for the program by itself (you can get shakes too, but I haven’t been using them).

Do you have questions on how to do the 21 Day Fix?  Write a comment below and I will do my best to answer them!  Or I will get Krista to answer it. :)

**I have not been paid to write this, I just LOVE it and want everyone to try it too. I do not get any credit or $$ by you clicking the links, so this is an honest testimonial of how awesome I think the program is.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cash Money

After I babysat on Wednesday night, I stayed the night at my parents’ house.  There really wasn’t any point of me driving 45 minutes home late at night and then getting up early and driving the 1.25 hours it takes to work the next morning.  I just stayed there and just drove to work from Spring.

I didn’t want to wake everyone up while making breakfast so I just stopped at Starbucks on the way to work.  I was in line, waiting for my iced coffee and everything bagel (w/ no cream cheese-#100daycruisediet) when I spotted a Powerball lottery ticket that was folded up on the floor.  I pointed it out to the lady next to me to see if it was hers and it wasn’t.  I joked that it would be funny if it turned out to be the mega winner and she would see me on the news.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I picked it up and put it in my purse to check the numbers later on.
I won on the first set of numbers
I checked the numbers on my phone and they I had won $8!!!!!!  I was very excited that all I did was bend down and pick up a piece of (accidental) trash on the ground while I was waiting for my coffee.  I went to the convenience store later and I cashed it in.  I’m not sure what I am planning on doing with it.  We shall see!  I will probably put it in my online savings account and make .75% interest. Boring! (You know you're old when...)  Ha!  ;)  

PSA:  Don’t buy lottery tickets!  They are a waste of money, people.  However, if you choose to buy them, make sure you guard them in your pocket so they will not fall out!  Seriously.   

This person spent $10 but they only won $8.  That’s $2 that you will never get back.  Actually, in that persons case it’s $8 they won’t get back, but whatever. Haha.  I will say that when the lottery is up to a ton (over a few hundred million), I will buy ONE ticket.  Yes, just one.  I figure that if God wants you to win a lottery ticket, he will make you win.  However, you are only going to win on one ticket, no 20 that you wasted your money on.  If you are going to win, God will make you win with your one ticket.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Babysitting Workout

Last night I went over to babysit my niece, Kali Claire. My parents had a rodeo meeting and my sister had to work so they asked me to come over and watch her until they got home.

We ate dinner and while she was playing in her high chair and banged her spoon on the chair.  She looked at me to see if I would tell her no, but I got two more spoons out of the drawer and started banging on it with her.  She started laughing and we made so much noise the dog went to my mom’s closet.  LOL. ;)

After I cleaned the peach and spaghetti remnants off her, I got some pots out of the cabinet and we started a band in the living room.  It started off with two pots, three spoons, and a lid, but it quickly escalated to many more pots.  The noise level was LOUD, but we didn’t mind, we were making music! 

Every few minutes she would say, “More” in her little voice and go over to the cabinet to get more.  She would be laughing the entire time and then run over back to me.  You can’t play drums with only a few pots, obviously.

I started to put the pots away and she would squeal “NOOOOOOOOOOO” and I decided just to leave them until she went to bed.  She had no plans on going to bed though, because we were playing peek-a-boo in the cabinet. 

She got tired and said “Night Night” and then walked over to the stairs.  I thought to myself,  that was easy, and picked her up to bring her to bed.  Nope!  I found out later that she is in the middle of transitioning to no bottle at night (it’s time-she’s 18 months) and I was the sucker who she thought she could pull a fast one on.  She was testing me.

I brought her upstairs but she was screaming when we got to her door, so I thought she might not be ready for bed yet.  I brought her back downstairs, but then about 20 minutes later she did the same thing.  Repeat the process and then I finally texted to see how to put her to bed.

Apparently she was trying to get me to give her a bottle, but I couldn’t find them.  My mom said to tell her they are broken and just put her in the bed with the fan on.  She looked disappointed when I told her they were broken, but she went to her room after that. She thought she could pull a fast one on me and get me to give her a bottle! Well, she almost did because I was looking for the bottles! Haha. 

She finally went to sleep after fussing for a few minutes.  I was with her for a little over an hour and a half and she wore me out!  She was my workout for the day. Haha.  I really did need a rest day though. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cruise Diet Goal Poster

I mentioned the other day that I am going on a cruise in May.  I am a visual person and need constant reminder to say no to the cookies and margaritas!  So, I created my 100 Day Cruise Diet Goal Poster.  I know you shouldn't say the word "diet", since it should be "life style change" but let's me honest, this is a diet for me that I hope to become a lifestyle change after 3 months.

I am focusing on eating healthier with meals made a home (money saver) and 30 minute workouts.  I am following the 21 Day Fix eating plan and workouts, but also stopping (as much as possible) on the way home from work at Memorial Park to do the 3 mile trail. 

Here is my Cruise Diet Goal Poster.  I made it out of an old poster board that I flipped over...recycle!  On the left is a weight countdown that I will markdown with each pound gone.  I am ashamed that my weight has gotten this high, but maybe internet shaming myself will motivate me. Haha. 

On the top right is a monthly calendar (made with MSWord Calendar Wizard) featuring the # days I have left until my cruise.  I highlighted the day that is 30, 60, or 90 days away for maybe a little extra motivation.  I don't know if the highlighting will work, but it can't hurt! :)  I also added (see above pic) some pictures of bikinis, sand/shores/water, healthy looking foods, cruise ships, etc to serve as a visual reminder.  I will (obviously) flip the page when the new month rolls around.

The last section of my goal poster is for 30 minute workouts.  I am concentrating on 30 minute workouts (as part of the 21 day fix), but I am hoping to do more than 30 minutes each day.  For instance, I "want/plan" to do 3 miles at Memorial Park after work and then head home to do the 30 minute work out as part of the Fix plan.  I know some days I will not be able to do that, but hopefully I can get some sort of workout in each day (minus a few rest days).  During the HLSR, I know that I volunteer all day at a few and I am generally pretty active those days and worn out when I get home.  Those days I can either choose to count my workout or not.

If I do do a 30 minute workout, I get 1 sticker.  I bought new stickers for this poster!  (Insert people calling me a nerd here) :)   If I do both a 3 mile walk/jog and a 30 minute workout, I get two stickers.  As you can see, I already have 3 stickers!  Even my stickers are motivational (but you can't tell from these photos).

As a side note, I know that this poster goes from 200-125 lbs.  Which is impossible (I think??) in a 3 month time period but I might keep this chart longer than 3 months, depending how it goes.  Plus, I don't know how much I will lose in a 3 month time period, so I didn't want to stop it at a certain point and not a have poster.

What do you think?  What did you put on your goal poster?  Tell me in the comments below and I might add them to mine!  Let's share ideas! I  looked all over Pinterest and the internet, but couldn't find anything I liked.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cruise Booked

I am sooooooo excited!!!  I just booked a cruise with my friend Clarissa in May!  I have never been on a cruise before and this has always been a bucket list item!  We booked a 7 Day Western Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean cruise line.  We will be going to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel during our trip.  I have already been to Roatan (my aunt has a vacation house there), but never to Belize or Cozumel.

Does anyone have any cruise tips for us?  Want to come with us (friends only please, no internet strangers!)?  Our trip cost $571 each with taxes and fees, which I think is reasonable.  We still have to pay for excursions once we dock, but everything else (like food and on ship entertainment) is included.   It works out to be about $82 per night, which is about the same if we were to pay for airfare/hotel/etc for a domestic trip.

Now on to the weight loss part of the trip.  I have gained sooooooo much weight in the past year due to various things and I need to get back on track!  As you can see on my countdown clock I created, I have 3 months (ish) left!  I figure if I can hunker down and really focus for the next 3 months, I can lose some serious weight for the trip.  My plan is to eat at home more (I’ve been doing better) and do a few cycles of the 21 Day Fix.  21 Day Fix focuses on portion control (see the below picture with the colorful boxes), 8-30 min workouts that focus on different areas (so you will only do the same workouts a few times), plus other stuff that I don't remember.


I have had the 21 Day Fix for a few weeks now, but I haven’t fully committed.  I am a person who needs a major goal to strive for (like a marathon) before I kick my booty in gear.  I have created a tracker for my workout area (another post to come) to have a visual reminder with.  I will tell you that my tracker involves colorful stickers, a calendar, and gold/silver sharpies.  :)

Anyone want to do the 21 Day Fix with me?  My friend Krista can hook you up with it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bingo in the Heights

Last Thursday a group of friends went to Bingo in the Heights.  Let me tell you, I have never had so much fun playing bingo!  I got off work at 5:30 pm and headed straight there.  Luckily, a group of friends were saving a spot for me because it was PACKED!  There are tons of long tables, but there wasn’t a seat in the whole place if you hadn’t gotten there early. 

Most bingo places you go there are little old ladies with their troll dolls and other good luck symbols, but at Bingo in the Heights, most everyone is on the younger side.  Plus, NO SMOKING!!!!!  I love it when I go places that are nonsmoking.  Most of the bingo halls I have been to have all been smoking (or at least have a smoking area) and you leave smelling like an ash tray-YUCK!

It is a minimum of $5 to play and you can buy extra bonus cards for $1 each.  A friend let me borrow a dabber; otherwise it would have been another $1.  They also have food and drinks available, but you can bring your own.  You can bring your own wine and liquor, but just not beer and mixers.  I ended up bringing some Chex Mix and I bought a soda there.  (I am trying to stop the soda addiction again!)
Flash back:  Who remembers drinking these in high school?  Or for the good kids out there, college?! Luckily I can afford better drinks. :)

During the game people kept saying “Corners” and we did too.  I just kept saying it since everyone at my table did too, but it turns out that if you get all four corners (in a ‘regular’ bingo game-straight line) that is considered a Bingo!  WHAT?!  Crazy talk!  I had NO idea.  Someone won towards the end of the night with a four corner bingo and I found that information out.  So upsetting!  Here I was, just minding my own business, saying ‘Corners’ every once in a while, then BAM, someone wins and I didn’t know.  BUT now I know and I will forever know.  Bonus:  You guys know that now too! 

Anyway, throughout the game, when someone won, people would boo them. LOL. At all of the other places I have been too, they sigh and grumble, but I have never heard someone boo’d.  It was so funny.  It was all in fun and not mean at all, don’t worry!  I was happy for people who won, even though I boo’d people too.  People (our table, lol) even made “BOO” signs from the bingo dabbers to hold up when someone won!

When they called out O69, everyone was like “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH 69”.  Too funny!  They were like silly teenagers.

I did not win or even come close that night, but I had so much fun it made up for it!  (Actually I would rather have been super bored and won. :)  )

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rodeo Houston Meeting

Last night was the last HLSR meeting (for my committee) before the Rodeo starts in March!   Our meeting started at 6:30 pm, but everyone gets there a bit early for free drinks and food!  We were able to pick up the 2015 gold committeeman badge and it is awesome looking!  It’s so shiny!

If you don’t know what the badge is for, basically it shows that you are a volunteer for the rodeo on a specific committee.  There are over 31,000 committee members and it would be hard to know who each of them are.  They give each of us a gold badge to get in to the concerts and carnival for free plus one guest.  We can sit anywhere in the arena, but if someone comes and says you are sitting in their seat, you have to move to another one.  Plus, we get a free parking pass as well.  If you are interested in signing up for a committee, let me know and I will tell you how to do it! :)

At the meeting they gave us updates on the committee, recognized members with year milestones (5, 10, 15 years, etc), and reminded us to sign up for shifts.  They also mentioned that the Houston Rodeo was on track to sell out 13 of their concerts this year!!!  There was also a person who was giving away copies of the art that was won at past years school art auctions.  I was able to take a beautiful piece of art home from the winner of the 2012 art competition.  Isn’t it beautiful??!!!  I can’t wait to frame it and hang it up.  They only reprint 2,500 of each piece and mine was #15.  Pretty cool.

Are you ready for the Rodeo?????  I am!  I can’t wait to see the concerts and ride the carnival rides.  Speaking of the carnival, don’t forget to purchase half price carnival tickets NOW (GO HERE).

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Sad, A Happy, and an Anniversary

A Sad-Last Sunday would have been Jabba’s 4th Adoptiversary and today he has been gone for four months.  I miss you buddy, here’s some catnip treats for you up in Heaven!

A Happy-This Sunday my family and I are trying out to be on the Family Feud!!!  Survey says:  I will let you know how it goes. I probably won’t be able to give you too much info because of the contract we have to sign.  We drive to Austin on Sunday morning for the tryouts, compete against several different families, and if they like us, they will fly us out to Atlanta this summer.  Super fun! If you and your family want to try out for the Family Feud, go here.  Our team is my sister Laura, my aunt Laura (Roger's wife), Laura's sister Katie, Katie's husband, Scott.  Wish us luck!!!

An Anniversary-Two years ago today, I ran my first (and probably, only!!!) marathon!!!!!! Doesn’t time fly?  I remember the next day my legs were on FIRE!  I started the 21 Day Fix on Sunday and my legs are burning just like they were that day (only not 26.2% less). #memories #26.2Hurts #CanIBeatMyTime #rainandcold

Thursday, January 8, 2015


I have been thinking about “things” lately. “Things” as in material possessions that I own and that are currently sitting in storage at a rate of $160 per month, just waiting for me to pick them up and use them again.  $160 a month is $1920 per year.  We’ll come back that that number.

Did you ever read the Hunger Games or watch the movies?  The Hunger Games talks a lot about the ‘rich’ people in the Capital with their silly hair and clothing.  The Capital residents have tons of wealth and they spend it frivolously.  Well, the people in the Districts think the Capital residents look ridiculous and spend frivolously because the District residents have next to nothing and are starving to death!  The Capital residents buy new clothes, the latest electronics, fancy houses, etc. while the Districts are only allowed to work in awful conditions for next to no money.  They have to provide for the needs of the Capital, you see.  They Capital residents would take throw-up pills so they can keep eating until they tried all the food at the parties while the districts were fighting over the last grains of wheat.

Now, change The Capital with the USA and change The Districts with 3rd world countries.  Who is spending a ton on new electronics, $20,000 health treatments a month (I’m looking at you Gwyneth), shiny cars, and fancy vacations.  Most Americans are in debt up to their eyeballs to pay for it all.  What kind of country are we building?  Who are we trying to impress with our stuff?  I can tell you that we aren’t impressing other countries in the world.  China owns a lot of the USA and many, many, many other countries.  Who buys the trillions in debt America has?  Foreign countries!  When the USA collapses, who do you think will come to our aid?  Who will try to take us over?  Ummm, probably the people who own us.  Think about it!  Do you want to be like China?!

Compare the obese Americans with too much money to the poor kids with protruding bellies because they lack food and nutrients.  (I’m overweight myself, but I am just making the connection). 

Quick story:  When I was in Kenya, on the safari tour, I had the most excellent server.  He would entertain us, serve us, answer questions, etc.  He told me that he has to walk home about 50 kilometers (partially through a safari with wild beasts!) to get home on his few vacation days he has.  His monthly wage is less than I make in a day and he could never dream of taking a trip to the US because it would cost him several years’ salary for the ticket.  At the end of the trip, I tipped him the equivalent of about $30 and I was told it was way too much from our driver.  I told him that I would normally spend about that for 1 meal at a normal restaurant at home (a nicer meal) and I got several meals and entertainment out of his services.  I didn’t feel like it was too much, but now that I am thinking back, was that rude?  I didn’t tip him any more than I would have in the States, but was I considered a ‘rich American’?  I certainly wasn’t rich and I wasn’t trying to overstep my boundaries.

So, back to the storage payment of $1920 per year.  What else can be done with that money instead of hosting all my ‘much needed’ stuff to fill my large 1 bedroom apartment?  I mean, you have to have a large apartment filled with stuff to impress the (inexistent) people to come over. (Sarcasm font)   I have a ton of kitchen supplies and I rarely cook!  I have tons of books that I read once and stacked on a shelf.  I could go on, but I won’t.  I literally have a 10x10 storage unit filled with my stuff.

Could I use that money to fund missions overseas? Could I fund shelters for animals and homeless people?  Could I go on mission trips and help people in other countries?    Think about this, if you just donated the cost of the mission trip to a charity in that country and you had not gone, how far would that $2,000-$4,000 carry them in their mission?  Why don’t we donate that money?  Because we want the ‘experience’ of helping the poor and to ‘help them be live and be better’ or ‘show our kids how fortunate they are’.   What is better?  Fortunate to get the newest IPhone or Xbox?  Is better being happy with what you have, your necessities (hopefully) or is it filled with consumer debt from trying to keep up with the Jones’. 

As Christians, we want to show people the love of Christ, but are we just showing the love of money and material possessions?  Christ was a King that became poor for his people.  He tells us to give our money away to the children and the widows.  Jesus tells us that it is difficult for a rich man to enter Heaven.  Do you think it is difficult for the people that have lower incomes from you to relate to you?  I can’t relate to millionaires and how they spend money, I can only imagine that is how other countries see us.  You show up with your Kendra Scott earrings and your Banana Republic jeans,  (I’m guilty of it too) and expect them to relate to you when your outfit might cost more than what they make all year.  How humble can you be?

That’s all my thoughts just rambled together.  I really wasn’t planning on making this a Christian themed post, it just sort of came out that way towards the end. 

Enough about my thoughts, what do you think?