Wednesday, October 31, 2012

No Sweets November

It's been a while since I've updated, I hope you can forgive me. In case your forgiveness requires justification, well, I was focusing on other projects like painting and repainting the living room, putting out fun fall decorations, hanging out with my family at the pumpkin patch, attending our first wedding shower, working on marriage mentoring homework, designing wedding invitations, collecting addresses, and mailing out our wedding invites. And then there was a beastly week-long sinus infection that's still working its way out. It's been busy!

While I do promise to write update about our painting projects, wedding showers, and fall/Thanksgiving decorations, I am actually writing today to introduce my newest project:

Yes, I'm really cutting out sweets for the entire month of November! Now that's not to say that I'll be cutting out all sugar. I'll still be eating fruit, honey, and a small amount of sugar substitute. But I am saying buh-bye to full sugar cakes, cookies, and candy. To clarify, here are my rules:

1. Fill up on fruit.
2. Dark chocolate, honey, pure maple syrup, or sugar substitute as little as possible.
3. No processed foods that list an added sugar in the ingredients (sugar, juice concentrate, corn syrup, rice syrup, cane juice, etc.)

So I'm not depriving myself completely. I don't think I can not have chocolate at all. But instead of eating half a bag of chocolate chips for dessert, I may melt them and drizzle them on strawberries. Instead of making chocolate chip cookies using the traditional recipe, I'll use unsweetened applesauce and sugar substitute in place of the normal almost 2 cups of white and brown sugars. I want to be aware of how much sugar I'm eating and avoid eating it just 'cuz.

In addition to my not depriving myself - yes, I realize Thanksgiving is in November. Also in November, is one of my wedding showers. I'm not going to go crazy (I hope not at least), but I am going to allow myself some sweets. For my shower, I'll have a small bit of dessert but only if I'm hungry. Since I host Thanksgiving, I'm going to try to tweak the family favorites with as little sugar as possible (I'll try to post recipes!) and I will be having dessert. And I'll be having leftovers the rest of the weekend. I know, I'm terrible. But it's Thanksgiving!

So as I sit here on Halloween night, eating all of the leftover candy and sweets I have in the house, I encourage you to stick around. I mean you do want to be around when I have a chocolate withdrawal meltdown, right??

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unlivable Living Room

It's bad. Very bad. Very wrong. I cannot continue to live in this....

Not the mess - the wall color! Here's another view in case you didn't get enough of it the first time around:

Ew! 6 hours of prepping, cutting in, moving dropcloths, climbing ladders, rolling paint with the world's worst roller, and 2 coats of "the sexiest sexy tan", almost all by myself. No offense if you really like buttery yellows, but this color gives me hives. 

When fiance and I painted the kitchen, we spent 3 days arguing deciding on the perfect paint colors. It took us only a half hour while eating pizza and watching Casper (Don't judge!) to pick Sensible Hue by Behr. Fiance insisted on a "sexy tan" and I wanted a warm color since I was so tired of the blue gray that had been on the walls for 3 1/2 years. Sensible Hue had us at hello. 

The morning of, I decided to stop at Sherwin Williams just to make sure that there wasn't another color I liked a little better. Sure enough, there was! I grabbed a swatch of Ivoire and went over to Home Depot to check on Sensible Hue. When I compared the two colors, the Ivoire seemed to have a little more brown in it. So I cheated and had Home Depot color match Ivoire. 

Once I got home, I took a four hour nap, and then got to work. (I ran 7 miles in 35 degree cold at 7am on a Saturday, I earned that nap!) The first coat went on and even though the gray still showed through, I knew it was a miss. Fiance came home from work and helped me finish up the 2nd coat - we wanted to give it the chance to prove itself to us yet. 

Sadly, Ivoire could not redeem itself. I think it actually got worse as it dried. I couldn't believe how yellow it looked, I had purposely changed colors to get something a little more brown - thank goodness we didn't go with Sensible Hue! The next morning, I taped up the swatch of Ivoire to the wall and, sure enough, the color match was way off.

Ivoire is 2nd from the top.
I had planned on going back to Home Depot and asking for a new gallon of paint, but the more I thought about it, even the right color match would still be too yellow. So we're going back to the drawing board. I'm think about Behr's Country Beige or Sherwin Williams' Wool Skein, another color I thought I'd like based on some pictures I saw while Googling was Sherwin Williams Ancient Marble although it may be a little more gray and we really don't want to go back to gray! I'll try to post pictures of the new and improved paint color as soon as the winner is chosen.

Which would you pick? 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dodging the Flying Cat

I am sad and relieved. I am sad because I've decided not to pass out candy for Trick or Treating in my neighborhood. The past three years, I've decorated with spider webs, strobe lights, and played spooky music on my Pandora. Usually Bella dresses up for the occasion and stays outside until it gets busy. 
"Look mom! It's a flying cat!"
Last year, I had to make a big fuss at work to try to get off an hour early to get home in time to pass out candy. I was single, living alone, and my parents didn't get much kid traffic at their house. 

This year, things have changed. I'm engaged, I'm working a salaried position, I'm buying groceries for two, saving up for wedding bands and hair stylists, focusing on running and my eating habits, and trying to find a little balance in life. Fiance will be working, I won't be home on time and don't care to make a fuss at work about it, don't really want to spend $30-$50 on candy (I go through about 7-10 large-ish bags each year!), and I don't want any leftovers to tempt me in the house. I don't care to spend my precious free time decorating my porch, dressing up the cat, and cleaning everything up when it's all over. 

What I've decided to do is head to the rents'. My dad will be working, but Mom will be home by herself. We plan on having a little bonfire and some hot cider on her front patio. This will be their first year doing Halloween in a new house, in a new neighborhood. They live right by a school, but on a dead end street so we're anxious to see how many kids will come by. I won't have to decorate, buy candy, try to convince my boss to let me leave early, dress the cat, sit outside by myself for 2 hours, cleaning up fake spider webs, eat excess amounts of leftover chocolate, or worry about the event in general. 

Plus, I will probably get to see my cute little niece all dressed up for her first Halloween! My sister and her man live just a few minutes away from my parent's house; I know they weren't going to drive 20 minutes to show her off to me, but they will most likely drive 5 minutes to bring her to Mom's. 

All in all, best decision for me this year. What are your Halloween plans?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I am not superwoman as hard as I try. I will never be perfectly fit, have all my bills paid ontime, have my house clean and in order, earn sales person of the month at work, and spend a great deal of quality time with family and friends all at the same time. I am a normal human being, and I can only do so much.

I find that I can usually tackle 2-3 of life's problems at a time on top of my full time job. Right now, my top 3 are:

1. Wedding - Only 3 1/2 months left to go and still so much to do! I need to find a hair stylist, the guys still need to get their suits, we need to order invitations, finalize our guest list, get programs printed, make table centerpieces for the reception, and go to 2 showers that are being thrown for us. On top of our monthly mentoring meetings, homework for those meetings, and planning out the ceremony with our pastor and ceremony coordinator. Yikes!

2. Cleaning House - Fiance will be starting to move in his things in December. Mostly, he needs to set up his home recording studio in my unfinished basement. I recently went through all of my boxes in the basement. I had about 12 bags of garbage, and about 20 boxes that went to a thrift store. I kept my seasonal decorations, and three storage bins of my childhood memories. Not bad! We still need to sweep up, deep clean the laundry room, sand the floors (paint is chipping up), and give the floors and walls a fresh coat of paint. I also cleaned out my office so I'd have a place to work on our finances and just to have a part of the house for myself. I got rid of 8 boxes of stuff I didn't need anymore! That room is basically done, I actually sit in that room for a little while almost every day. Who would have guessed I'd like it so much once it was decluttered. I'll have the full story on that project sometime soon. Anyway, I still need to clean out the bathroom vanity cabinet, linen closet, and reorganize the kitchen so there's room for our shower gifts!

3. Weight Loss - Maybe this is TMI, but since I'm getting married, I had to start taking birth control. I gained about 10 lbs in just a few weeks - while I was training to run a half marathon. So unfair! I'm really trying hard to eat healthy and workout. I'm running 3 or 4 mornings a week for a total of about 15-20 miles per week. Just this week I started to add strength training back in. I plan on 2 days a week of that. I'm trying to stick to 1400 calories a day, mostly fruits and veggies. So far I've lost a pound. In two weeks. Still, a loss is a loss. 

A few other projects that tend to be in frequent rotation are 
  • This blog
  • Painting and decorating around the house
  • Working out my finances
  • Spending more quality time with family and friends
  • Art team for my church
  • Working on an idea for a young adult book I'd like to write
  • Off hours self-training for work
Sadly, this blog is not taking precedence right now, but it'll come back into rotation again, promise! I've learned that 3 is my max number of life projects, otherwise I get burnt out on life and nothing gets done. What are some of your priority projects? What are you currently saying 'no' to?