New This Week :) A Scrappy Post

Taking a break from the weight loss conversation to bring you some exciting new designs by some of the fabulous designers I’ve been privileged to work with lately!  Honestly, these ladies continue to astound me all the time with all the exciting and fun new designs they come out with and I’m always super thrilled to share them with you but lately my weight loss journey has been brought front and center on my blog!  Oops!  I promise you more digi-scrap goodness in the days, weeks, months to come!!

First up we have some new goodies by the fantabulous duo of Bella Gypsy – have I boasted before about how much I love this team of ladies?  Their designs are always so wonderful and cute!  This week they’ve brought out two super cute mini kits that I just think you’re all going to love!  Run, hop, skip, jump….whatever you gotta do to get to Elemental Scraps to pick up these super cute kits!

Partly Sunny

Partly Cloudy

They’ve also designed these adorable Mini Bloomers that are perfect for all your spring layouts!

Oh and just in case you wanted a few templates to through together your pictures into super cute layouts…Bella Gypsy has continued their fabulous Sketchology brand with this awesome set called Shrink Wrap!

This week there is also a fabulously wonderful spring kit out by the lovely Amanda Carlson!  I have to tell you this kit is so super adorable and I’m sure you might not be able to resist it!  I fell in love with the little branch/tree right away and threw together a layout of our family….I tell you this kit is perfect!!!  I urge you to check it out, add it to your cart, and click complete transaction! Amanda has not let us down with this one!!

Until next time!!

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

When I started my journey to a new healthier me I knew that I had the eventual goal of cutting all pop out of my life but as of two weeks ago I was horribly addicted to the caffeine in my dear old friend:  Diet Coke.  I have struggled off and on with this addiction over the past years and during each of my preganancies I was able to successfully give up Diet Coke in each of my pregnancies because I held a personal belief that aspartame was not good for my babies nor was the caffeine in large amounts….but for some reason I have never been able to give it up for….me.

I joined Jenny Craig thinking that somewhere along the road I’d slowly start cutting back on my beloved Diet Coke but truth be told I had no plans to do that any time soon because I knew adjusting to the new eating habits would be hard enough on its own.  The one thing I did promise myself when I joined was that despite the fact diet soda is permitted at Jenny Craig, I would only have one or two glasses of it per day so that when the time did come to cut it out of my life it would not be hard.  I have been trying over the past 1.5 weeks to reduce my intake and almost without knowing it I have fallen out of love with my dear old friend….this past Friday I was getting ready for bed when I made the realization that I had gone the entire day without a single drop of caffeine and today after I asked Mike to pour me a drink…..I took a sip and thought “blah” – I passed the drink off to Mike and proceeded to go about my new Jenny regimen of drinking water from my new Klean Kanteen.

I am not saying that I will not have a single drop of diet coke in the coming days or weeks but I feel the end is nearer than I originally thought and I can’t help but feel proud of this accomplishment because to me it is a sign of how serious I am about this whole process….and its a sign that I can get past the things that are hard and move on…..

Water never tasted so good. 🙂

2010: Looking Back, Looking Forward

I am finding it hard to believe that April is coming this week because it seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the dawn of the year that would be called twenty-ten.  I have to say that the past three months have been quite overwhelming and exhausting for our family given the fact that no matter how hard we try one of us always seems to be down for the count when it comes to our physical health.  It angers me that we can’t seem to get it all under control but in reality we had a year of pretty good health over all and then in January I went back to work and Jacob started preschool – our bodies were overwhelmed with other people’s germs and bacterias that we did not have to face when we spent most of the year holed up in our own kind of isolation…..our bodies are rebelling against all this social activity.

As I’m sitting here writing this I am the picture of misery I’m sure – sitting on the couch with a fever, my cheeks bright pink and my nose/lips chapped….battle scars from the cold that invaded my body yesterday afternoon.  I probably should have known that something like this would come my way soon enough because I spent the whole week focused on dieting, weight loss, work, worry that Jacob was getting sick, coping with pms, taking care of kids, trying to keep up with the day to day….and some where during the in between a cold virus as ferocious as a toddlers temper snuck in and settled itself deep into my sinuses and chest. I am hoping, praying, pleading that this will be the last illness we will have to deal with for a really long time because I’m not really sure how much more I can take and if something in the health department doesn’t give soon…I’m pretty sure I’ll be wishing, hoping and praying for 2011!!

I have so much to look forward to in this year which is really my main reason for wanting the sickies to say sianara – aside from hitting a bunch of weight loss goals I’m really looking forward to my moms wedding, summer activities, spending time with my family, watching violet grow from baby to toddler, and seeing my baby boy go off to his first day of kindergarten.  I had looked forward to this year for all of 2009 so I’m a bit ticked off that it has not started off as fantabulous as I had planned but from this point on I am declaring “twenty-ten” our year…..because we deserve it so much.

Facing the Scale: Week 1

I hate getting weighed in – HATE IT…..but when I joined up with Jenny Craig 6 days ago I vowed that I would turn my weigh-ins into victories no matter what and when I woke up faced with the fact that I had no choice, today was weigh in day…..I went through the small victories in my head so that if I did have a not so fabulous weigh in I could remind myself or all the fantastic things I did right.

1.  At my nieces baptism dinner I managed to avoid eating anything tempting or bad for me – I even passed over the creme brulee, raspberry cheesecake and baptism cake.

2.  Aunt Flo came knocking on my door yesterday and ummm hello???  One day before my weigh in?  Really?  Hello bloating and water retention, I’m so glad you showed up at the exact WRONG time!!! The good thing about this situation (because how could anything be good about Aunt Flo right?) is that despite being pre-menstral…I did not indulge once, not even ONCE in any type of chocolate or chip or any junk food product for that matter.

3.  I followed the Jenny Craig program EXACTLY as it was laid out before me, without any changes or alterations.  I never waivered from what was asked of me and did not allow myself even one cheat.

4.  Somehow, even with all of this crazy calorie cutting….I managed to reduce my caffeine intake by 75% – I think that’s pretty amazing.

5.  While decreasing my caffeine by 75% I increased my water by a bajillion percent (and no I don’t care if there’s no such thing as a bajillion percent….this is my victory speech) and as a result I am feeling really fantastic.

So, with these things in mind and the annoyance of aunt flo paying her monthly visit I trudged off to Jenny Craig where I was greeted by my JCC (Jenny Craig Consultant) Annabelle and off we went to the backroom where all the dreaded back room stuff takes place.  I took off my shoes, hopped on the scale and watched the numbers worked their magic…..and then just like Emeril the chef throwing down some spice….BAM!! The numbers hit me and knocked me off my feet for a moment…..

-9.4 pounds

I’m pretty sure I blinked and stared for a few moments at the number before I heard my heart rejoicing – I did it!  I survived the first week and came out with an awesome number despite everything that tried to stand in my way……

-9.4 pounds

When you’ve had a pattern of weight gain for a long time, hearing that you just lost 9.4 pounds in one week hits you…I couldn’t help it – I did  a little happy dance right there on the scale and I didn’t care if anyone say me.

I left Jenny Craig with my new food for week two and trudged off to buy myself a reward…..

A shiny new and very pink stainless steel Klean Kanteen to drink my water in.

Yay Jenny Craig.

Yay me.

Three Days In……

….and I’m not waving the white flag of surrender yet!

I have to say that I am *gasp* actually enjoying this new Jenny Craig diet that I’m on!  I feel totally supported by my family and friends and I just have an all around good feeling and incredible motivation about it.  The first few days have had their challenges , ones that in the past might have really sent me over the edge of indulgence but I surprised even myself be resisting the tempation to turn to my old friend food.  This weekend we were at the baptism party of my beloved niece Gabriella and the food was taking some time to come out and because of my strict schedule of trying to eat on a sort of planned out schedule……I was starving.  I was feeling particularly anxious about how hard it might be to resist some of the delicious treats that would be served as the meal unfolded but I’m proud to say that I had a nice big salad, some chicken, roasted peppers and parsnips, and 3 very small potato disks – for dessert I chose the fresh fruit cup over the creme brulee and raspberry cheesecake and when the baptism cake was passed around I took a deep breath in and declined the offer.

A lot of people would say that I should have indulged in just a small piece of cake but I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I’m viewing this weight loss thing like a battle against an addiction.  I’ve finally decided to remember that I need food to live vs living for food and in order to start battling an addiction I first have to learn to say no when confronted with my drug of choice…  That night, when the party was finally over and I with my feet so sore from new shoes climbed into the car…I breathed this massive sigh of relief, set my head back on the head rest, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath in before proclaiming – “I did it”.  I’m not sure if Mike could tell how proud of myself I was but I felt the positive kind of pride coursing through my body – it was a victory for me and a loss for food addiction and wow it felt fantastic.

At lot of people have asked me why now?  What made you make this decision now?  I can honestly say that I feel a peace in my heart for the first time in my life that this is the right thing for me.  I’ve started and stopped and restarted weight watchers more times than I can imagine but truth be told it was not the right program for me because it gave you too much control and because I view myself as having a food addiction, I needed to have some of that control taken away from me.  When I sat in that hospital room alone, having been rushed in by the nurse at triage who sent mike off to register me, I suddenly realized how fast everything could be taken away from me in the blink of an eye….I suddenly remembered that I really love life and I love being a part of it and this addiction was slowly but surely – killing me.  You might think that sounds a bit dramatic but I assure you it is nothing but the truth…we are all dying from the day we are born but because of my addiction to food I was pushing myself towards that ending in a far too fast motion – I have so many things to do, so so many wonderful things to do and because of these things in life that I want to do and experience I have to do this now, in this very moment.

I have done a lot of thinking lately about the world’s view on obese people and I realize that people are cruel and mean because of fear, because they fear that could happen to them and the truth of the matter is it could happen to anyone.  I never expected many things to happen in my life that did and I certainly didn’t sit back and plot out how I was going to make myself obese – I didn’t schedule in potato chips for 4pm and a hot dog for 5pm – it just evolved and happened as life happened….In my week leading up to joining Jenny Craig I found myself becoming concious to a lot of things that I had just sort of started to ignore over time but the truth is people really do look at you when you’re out and about like some sort of freak show and you are definitely judged by what you look like.  I have to believe that I have so much more to give to the world than some freak show for their amusement or disgust and I’m tired of people making assumptions about my personality simply because of my exterior physique……it’s been a long long time since anybody aside from Mike h as sat next to me on a subway train or bus and I know he’d probably be more comfortable sitting in a different seat but he does it because he loves me and doesn’t want to make me feel bad and no matter what he would never tell me that he needed more room on the seat – I appreciate his sensitive nature so much and I love him for being that person who knows I’m more than just some freak show and that he can sit up close with me because I’m not dirty and smelly like the assumption that is drawn by most people about obese people.

So, yes I’m still here…..every day is a challenge but I’m doing it one meal at a time and I’m doing it for me, and then hopefully by doing it for me I can be a better mother and wife to the most important people in the world to me.

Jenny On the Block…

“I use to have a little now I have a lot………”

Do you know those lyrics?  Come on!  You know you do!  These lyrics are from that ever famous song by Jennifer Lopez and I think in honour of this post I’m going to change the words to say….

“I use to have a lot now I have a little”……

The scale has been barking at me for years and truthfully after a horrible scary illness I’ve taken a leap of my own faith and joined up to do the Jenny Craig program.   Last week I had gotten will with chest pains, a horribly painful swollen leg, and shortness of breath and I landed myself in the hospital where I was certain that I was having some kind of heart attack or blood clot in my leg – it ended up that I had an infection that was making me have these symptoms but in order to discover this they had to do a whole whack of tests that all basically came back saying that I had good clear arteries, my heart was good, no blood clot, no diabetes, etc. etc. etc.  Whew!  I’m sure my breath of relief was heard clear across the country at that very moment because I can handle 10 days of antibiotics….what I couldn’t handle was a serious illness!  I came home and I knew this was my chance to do something remarkable for myself just this one time in my life so I took a huge step and joined up for Jenny Craig an entirely new diet plan that I haven’t tried before and I like the fact that they just make the food and all you have to do is eat it ….it’s a good starting point for me.  The biggest issue with the “Jenny on the Block” plan is the cost….the food is horribly expensive and I’m not sure how we’ll ever be able to keep up with the costs…it’s just an obscene amount of money for their pre-made foods but I really really need this to live a long life…..and since my weight issues surfaced because of horrible crap that’s happened in my life – I really feel that for once in my life I really deserve this so I’ll pinch our pennies and make it work –  I feel good about it.

Today was my first full day on the Jenny Craig day and while I have some things to iron out as I adjust and get use too the program I think I did pretty good considering I had a huge dinner party tonight for my nieces baptism and there was desserts galore!  I managed to get out of the restaurant without even one taste of cake, creme brulee, or cheesecake – YAY me!

My next weigh is in next Thursday!  I’m anxious, excited, but mostly committed.

Imperfectly Perfect

A few weekends ago I celebrated my anniversary with Michael and although I was initially scheduled to work on the Saturday, I was able to have the day off and enjoy the day with my family.  I remember a time when Mike and I could do things without the worry or concern for children but now it seems so bizarre to do things without our children because they are in fact a big part of “us” and sometimes spending time with them seems just so perfect when we are spending some time celebrating each other.  We spent the good part of the day doing things with the family, getting some errands done, taking a trip to the park before we dropped them off at Nana’s house and were on our way to watch Tim Burtons interpretation of Alice in Wonderland (totally awesome by the way).

If I’ve learned anything in the years since I’ve met Mike and maybe if I’m looking at a broader spectrum I could say….If I’ve learned anything about life it is that things never go as planned and we should always be prepared for the unexpected…..the night of our “anniversary date” things definitely did not go as planned.  We arrived at the theatre at a time that we thought was relatively early enough to buy tickets for the showing of our movie but when we got up to order our tickets we learned that our show and all the shows except the 1045 pm showing were sold out – bummer but what can we do, we ordered tickets to that show and then we were off to get some dinner at a restaurant near the theatre.  In the end Mike drove around for 45 minutes to an hour before giving up on finding a parking spot because even if he did find one at that point there was no hope in heck that we’d make our movie……so we ended up eating at burger king!  Ha!  That’s right our super fancy anniversary dinner was at burger King!  When dinner was done we were off to the theatre to get in line for our movie, hoping that we’d get good enough seats and even though we were there about 1.5 hours early we were still 50 people back in the line-up!!  Ack!  After standing in line for an hour they let us into the theatre and we were able to get the seats we enjoy and then settled in with some popcorn and drinks to enjoy the show in 3d! It was fantastic, although I could have done without the 3D part!

Our movie got out at 1230 am and we were off too pick the kids up from Nana’s house in a flash…..the night didn’t go as we had planned but it was certainly an imperfectly perfect example about how you can’t always get what you want but you do get what you need when you need it …..I enjoyed my time with Mike even over a burger and fries and I enjoyed sharing my day with my whole family – it was just an imperfectly perfect day.

ALL ABOARD! Jessica Edwards & Stolen Moments Blog Train!

If you’ve made it here today to pick up a super awesome freebie made with awesome elements from the new kit by Jessica Edwards and Stolen Moments….then WELCOME!  If you didn’t come here with that exact purpose in mind….climb on board and follow the blog train to get a lot of goodies made by the fantastic designs in the Tiny Toes kit! (released at Elemental Scraps today).

I threw this little frame cluster together for my part of the blog train and hope that you will all be able to put it to some good use in your baby albums!

Just Click Below to Pick Up My Part

Frame Cluster – Tiny Toes by Jessica Edwards and Stolen Moments

Then continue along your way to pick up the rest of these fantastic freebies! Your next stop is Anne Katherine’s Blog! You might have to check back just in case one of the blog train posts hasn’t quite made it to publication yet – all of us are on different time zones but we’ve tried to coordinate as best as possible!
Jessica –
Melissa <—————————————YOU ARE HERE
Anne Katherine
Wendy –
Niki –
Kim –
Stephanie –
Tanya –
Lisa –
Amber –

Plus Jessica now has a Facebook page, check it out for a coupon good for 25% off the kit.

I hope you all in love with this kit as much as I did!!

I Forgot To Mention Preschool

Just before Christmas we decided that we would put Jacob in a preschool program two days a week to help him have more socialization with peers his age and to also help him have a smooth transition to kindergarten in the fall.  I was hesitant to put him in the program because it was a significant amount of money per term and Jacob had never been watched by anyone other than his grandmothers before.  Mike and I decided to sit down one night and weigh the pros and the cons of registering him in the program and when push came to shove the pros far out weighed the cons, we had our interview with Jacob and the school, got welcomed into the school, and dished out the money for the hefty fees.

Jacob because instantly excited about the idea of going to “school” and much as we had expected he took off away from us shouting goodbye on his first day – not one ounce of separation anxiety, not even a tiny look back .  I am constantly amazed by Jacob’s ability to adapt to change and new surroundings….he is an outgoing child (unlike both Mike and I) and I suspect he will not have one ounce of difficulty going to school 5 days a week starting in September.  We have definitely enjoyed some of the benefits of Jacob attending preschool like getting to have one on one time two days a week with Violet, and having fabulous art projects to hang all over our house – enjoyed it so much that we did decide to go ahead and sign him up for the second term, which was a bit more expensive but worth every penny in our opinion.

The one thing that has been difficult for us in regards to the whole preschool thing is the sickness after illness after sickness!  I had already  heard how often kids can get sick when in a school setting but gosh I’ve been so freaking frustrated by the sicknesses!  I’m really hoping all of the struggles we’ve had (ear infections, colds, asthma problems) are setting Jacob up to have an easy healthy immune system booted transition to kindergarten!  I really am crossing everything that is crossable on that one because geeze the kid deserves a break right?

Introducing Bella Gypsy!

I am so excited to be sharing this news with all of you my bloggy stalkers friends and it’s taken me a while to sit down and write this blog post because I’m just so excited to announce that I’ve been welcomed onto the creative team for the fantastic sister design team of Bella Gypsy!  If you are out there in the blogging world like I am you have probably heard of Bella Gypsy and have seen their fabulous designs, but if you haven’t I urge you to check them out here.  I fell in love with Bella Gypsy designs when I first started digi-scrapping a couple of months ago…..being a reformed paper scrapper I was drawn to their products probably because they closely resembled the style I would chose when working with paper products.  It was my dear friend Liz over at Scraps and Blessings that first pointed me in the direction of Bella Gypsy designs and I’ve been having a total love affair with their digital kits ever since – I’m pretty sure I’ve bought nearly every new release from them since I first saw their products!  I can’t help it, Lena and Tabatha (the sisters behind Bella Gypsy) are just too fabulous at creating bang on perfectly designed kits!  I’m so thankful to them for giving me the opportunity to create for them!

This week Bella Gypsy has some fabulous new designs that are perfect for any pictures really!  Here’s a little overview of what you can pick up that’s newly released this week:

Blueskies and Mudpies – Elemental Scraps Color Play – 1.00 each part for the month of March!  So cheap!

And check out these coordinating templates!  How cute right?

Here’s the layout I made using these fabulous designs!

As if all of that was not enough, I tell you these ladies are hard workers because they also released two more kits this week Lucky Charms and Lucky Stars (mmmm I dont’ know why but I suddenly got a craving for Lucky Charms cereal….heh).  Check these kits out, at only 2.00 for the complete set of papers, elements AND alpha you are getting a steal if you ask me!!

And heres what I came up with using these perfect kits!

So what are you waiting for?  You know you can resist such cuteness right?

Keep up to date with all their new releases on their blog tooo – Bella Gypsy Designs