Thursday, December 29, 2011

30 Day Shred

A few weeks ago, my sister over at How to be a grown up, threw down a challenge. And you know me and challenges ;) She wants to do Jillian's 30 day shred starting January 1st and blog about it. I am so in!!

We will be working our way through the 30 days and blogging with updates on almost every day.

I am pretty stoked!

Starting Sunday, I am Jillian Michaels' Bitch!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Week 14 & 15- Holy Holidays Batman!

Wow, where has the time gone?!! With the holidays in full swing (and actually having to work at work!) I have had very little time to blog :( This makes me very sad. Good news is, things are looking up!

The good news is, that despite the busy time, I have been going to my weigh-ins. I haven't blogged about them tho...

Week 14- I lost .6 lbs. Not great, but still a loss.

Week 15- I stayed the same. Ugh. The holidays are tough! I have hit a brick wall. BUT I could have gained, so I am thankful that I haven't.

This week I have been trying to focus on making good choices and getting in activity. I walked to and from my lunch location (subway) today and earned about 2 activity points doing so. Not too shabby!

I do have some exciting news about weight loss, so come back tomorrow morning to get the skinny!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! I have been spending lots of time with my family and doing DIY. I am sorry I haven't been able to update as often as I would like, but I promise after the new year we will be back to our regularly scheduled posts!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Blogiversary!

Last Thursday, December 15th, was our 1 year blogiversary! As you probably read in my last post, life got kinda crazy there last week so I missed it! But I am back on track! So what exactly is a blogiversary for those of you not in the "blogosphere"?(oh yeah, we have lots of terms you have never heard of!)

According to, a Blogiversary is "The yearly anniversary of someones web-log (blog)" Okay, you probably could have figured that out... So last December 15th, I started writing this little blog. Well actually not this blog specifically, but the blog that it was born from "And we live happily ever after..." I was a newlywed and a reader of blogs. I was unemployed a "housewife" sitting at home getting inspiration for the great house we would eventually purchase. It was also a place to share our DIY projects (like our christmas wreath) and just about our lives as newlyweds. What started off as a small blog that I updated maybe once a month turned into a weekly thing in about August. More people started reading, so I started writing. Then I started Weight Watchers again and I wanted to share my journey with the blogging world so I started a sister blog "And I live healthier ever after". I was updating both and loving it. One about life and one about weigh loss. And the more I wrote, the bigger dreams I had. I wanted to go "big time" with my own hosted domain. After pitching the idea (and the price tag) to my husband, he left me with a challenge, and man do I love a challenge! He said that if I wrote a post a day for 2 weeks (excluding weekends) that he would get me my own domain!

I was on a mission! I wrote post after post and really enjoyed it, and after two weeks, he decided I could do it. I was chatting one night with my dad (who does website design) and I told him how excited I was to get my own domain, and how I wanted to host my blog on wordpress and he offered to buy my name and add me to his hosting. Score! So that is how Life, happily ever after came to be. One blog, all about life, and weight loss.

And here we are, one year later! Here are some fun stats!

Blog Hits in 369 days: 7837!

Blog hits on New blog alone: 1053 (since Nov 30)

Highest # of hits in 1 day (old blog): 657

Highest # of hits in 1 day (new blog): 138

Average hits per day: 100-ish (only 22 if you do the math, but I only started posting more than once a month in August)

So there we go. 1 year down, many more to come!

In the next year, I have a few blog related goals! I want to double my readership (at least!) and I want to blog more! I want to have a schedule of posts that I can write before hand (not every morning when I get into work... ) I want to convince Andy to write something for the blog. I want to feature more pictures of max. (I am not sure there is even one!)

So there you have it! Here's to many more years!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Just like the title, sometimes Life gets in the way. Life has been sorta crazy with the holidays so you will probably be seeing less posts.

I am especially sad that in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I missed my Blogiversary. On Thursday, we hit our 1 year anniversary of blogging.

I promise a few posts in the next week!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Paper Anniversary-Update

If you remember, a few weeks ago I mentioned a few Anniversary crafts we were planning. Well, I am here with an update.

Anniversary Photo:

We decided to take our picture with our favorite picture from our wedding. We thought it would be fun to kiss like we were kissing in the photo.

Here it is:

So there you have it! We will get around to framing it eventually... I like how it turned out tho!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Well this is my 101th blog post. I had been watching it get closer and closer to 100, then yesterday in a flurry of christmas spirit and "Oh shit I haven't thought about christmas cards yet!" I TOTALLY glossed it over. So instead, we are celebrating post 101.

Lots of things are even cooler at 101. 101 Dalmatians. 101.... ok that's all I can think of.

Question for my grammar friends out there, is it 101th or 101st?

Good news is, our 1 year Blogiversary is on Thursday, so I am excited to meet 100 before then!

I really wish this post were more exciting...

Monday, December 12, 2011

O' Christmas Card, O' Christmas Card...

How late I am in sending you!

I am assuming we aren't the ONLY slackers on the planet who haven't sent their christmas cards yet. We have just been very busy, and to be honest December kinda snuck up on us! This year we decided to send a photo Christmas card. We always like getting those because it gives us something to stick on the fridge. But the challenge is, we don't have adorable kids that people would want plastered on their fridge yet, so we had to add Max to the equation so these don't just get tossed in the trash. I am pretty good at resting the camera on something (in leu of a tripod) and setting the timer so I can hop in the picture, but Max is terrible at taking photos when there is no one to focus on, or entice him with a treat. All of our photos taken the traditional way ended with Max walking off or turning around mid photo (and Andy's face getting more and more angry)

Naturally we decided to find a friend who knew how to point and shoot to take our picture. She did a great job of keeping Max in line as well.

This is where I would post a photo of our christmas card, but as I started with, we are slackers and haven't ordered them yet...

Do you send a Christmas card each year? Is it a photo one, or a store-bought card? Or are you super crafty and make something?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Week 13- Points Plus 2012

As you probably already figured out, I am on Weight Watchers. December last year, Weight Watchers introduced a brand new program called Points Plus. It completely overhauled the Weight Watchers program and has been very successful. I joined last december when the program changed (and made it 2 months before falling off the wagon for life reasons.) Well this December, after a year of watching how the plan really works for people, they are making a few tweaks. I thought I would share.

Starting off, you receive a new packet including


  • A snazzy new blue carrying pouch (that will help me organize the new tools in my purse)

  • A "Welcome guide" that outlines the changes

  • A "Meet Points Plus 2012" book that is like the getting started book of yore.

  • A green tracker (with pre tracked meals!)

  • A "Living Points Plus 2012" book (if you are new like my friend Nicole, you will get this in a few weeks)

  • A new pocket guide. (I was kinda sad about this because, as you as you can see, I keep my stickers on the front of my pocket guide. No worries, they gave me replacement stickers)

  • A new Weight tracker.

Wow, lots of goodies!

In the meeting we discussed a few of the changes, and as we learn more about them over the next 3 weeks, I will share my thoughts. First major change is that the Daily Points Plus Target changed for some people. This is the number of points you are alloted each day (not including Weeklies or activity points) and is determined by your age, gender, weight and height. The minimum allowed points used to be 29, and they took it down to 26. Weight Watchers believes that everyone is eating healthier, so you don't need such a high minimum points target to get all of your nutrition anymore. They also added the option of Flexibility with this number. You can adjust it as you see fit. I get 40 points a day, but I rarely eat that many so I think I will move my target down to 37 and see what happens. I can change it as often as I would like, to find a good place for me to be.

Sorry for the short post, but this is all I have learned so far. More will be revealed when I read my packet and attend the next few meetings. I am excited about the changes.

Now on to the weigh in!!

I did lose. .6, but still a loss! I discussed the starting weight thing with them and they decided to go ahead and change my starting weight, which put me at 5%. I am very excited about this and reading my new "5%" pamphlet!



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chickety-China the Chinese Chicken

Barenaked Ladies- One Week

Andy and I were singing this the whole time we were making dinner! (ps anyone know how to inbed a video into a wordpress post??)


While browsing Pinterest (god what did we do for hours on the internet before pinterest!?) I found a recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken. I had a few friends who tried it and said it was fabulous, and I was craving take out so I decided to try.

We had almost everything, except the chicken, soy sauce and eggs, so after a quick stop at the grocery store, we went to work.

First you cut up 3 chicken breasts (we used thighs because we are cheap) into bitesized pieces.

20111208-085002.jpgToss in a cup of corn starch and shake to coat.

While shaking, have your husband beat two eggs, and pour onto the chicken and shake some more.

Pour the whole eggy chicken mixture into a wok (or pan) with 1/4 of oil and brown the chicken.


(Here is where we went off recipe) The recipe says to only cook the chicken partially then stick it in the oven covered in sauce for an hour. Well, I didn't read that part before trying to convince Andy that we should eat this for dinner, and we were in no mood to wait. Cue improvisation! We cooked the chichen the whole way in the wok.


Then we mixed togheter the sauce per the recipe (ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and some garlic powder) We poured the sauce over the cooked chicken in the wok and let it heat up more to become thick. We like things a little spicy so we added about 2 tablespoons Red Pepper Flakes.


We wanted some lo mein with it so we cooked the lo mein noodles and tossed them in the saucey chicken to coat. We also bought a bag of frozen asian veggies and microwaved them to cook them, then tossed them in there too.


Ahh. Chinese Chicken.

This was delicious! And took only 20 min, rather than the 70 ish it was propsing by baking. It was a little sweet, tangy and spicy and Andy LOVED it. (Which is quite the feat because if you know my husband, you know he hates "ese" foods) We will definitely be making this again. After adding it to the recipe builder, it is 8 pts a serving (and it makes 4 servings). Not bad :)

I guess the moral of the story is improvisng works sometimes.

Body Type

I was doing a little web surfing last night when I came across a few interesting websites. Growing up, I was always told that BMI is what is important. I have never had a low BMI. At my healtiest, I was "overweight" and now I am considered "Obsese". I admit that I am overweight and unhealthy, but I would not classify myself as obsese. Especially morbidly obese, but I digress.

I found this website that talks about 3 different body types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. I do remember learning a little about this in middle school health, by trying to wrap your hand around your wrist. According to 

Small frame: (often ectomorph body type) fingers overlap when you place your thumb and middle finger around your wrist.
Medium frame: (often mesomorph body type) fingers touch when you place your thumb and middle finger around your wrist.
Large frame: (often endomorph body type) fingers do not touch when you place your thumb and middle finger around your wrist.

Guess which one I am! I have never (even in middle school) been able to touch my fingers around my wrist. In fact, this argument alone is how I justified my unhealthy eating habits and body size by calling myself "Big Boned." 12 year old me aside, there is science behind the idea that these three types of bodies lose and gain weight differently. At the link above, you can input your frame size and height and it will tell you a healthy weight. For me at 5'2" with a large frame, a healthy weight is between 128-143. According to a BMI calculator, a healthy weight for someone 5'2", regardless of fat wrists, is 104-131. Not a huge change, but the low end at 104 is a little low for me. I don't want to look sickly, but healthy.

Next I decided to check out a body fat calculator, which told me I am 28.28% fat, which is within the "acceptable" level of 25%- 31%. It also indicates that a "fitness" level of body fat is 21%-24% so I should be shooting to lose 4%-7% of my fat, or 3-5 lbs so I am confused. (I asked the Math Major hubs for help and he got the same numbers I did...) So I am voting don't trust that website.....

Anyhoo, it is interesting to see a different way of looking at body mass and percentage of fat. Did you check out the websites? What did it tell you? Did I do that math wrong? Am I crazy?



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Progress Photos part 2

After my kick ass weigh in, I decided to take progress photos again (it's roughly every month...)






And from the side:




Wow. I mean I can see the difference a little in the mirror, but comparing it like this really makes it apparent.

Homemade Cleaning Supply update!

With the popularity of my cleaning supplies posts, and the questions I have gotten, I thought I would write a follow up. I have been living with and using these products for about 2 weeks so I thought I should let you know what I think!

Laundry Soap:

We are LOVING it! We love the way it smells, we love the way it cleans, we love it! We even love that it prompted us to buy this cute glass bottle from Ikea to hold it (for only $3.99)

Common questions have been "Does it smell weird?" and "Does it really get your clothes clean?"

and the answers are no and yes! It smells wonderful, and very clean, but doesn't leave a strong fragrance on your clothes! AND it gets our clothes very clean. This might be TMI but for me, the proof is in the panties. In my opinion, those get the dirtiest (and anyone with a husband knows that's the truth!) It cleans them wonderfully and leaves them smelling fresh as new. (sorry for the overshare, but it proves how well it works!)

I have been asked if it will hurt a front load washer. I have a front load washer and dryer so I did some research prior to embarking on this endevor. I found this on
The above recipes will NOT make suds in your washer so don't be alarmed. Fels Naptha Soap is a pure soap and typically makes little or no suds in the water. This makes it perfect for use in the new HE washers as well as tradional washers. You will also notice the need to either reduce your laundry softener or in most cases you can even eliminate the use of softener completely.

Also, the Duggars use it so I trust it.

Any other questions are more than welcome! I am really loving our soap and I can't say enough great things about it.

Dishwasher Detergent:

Also Loving it. I know, you were all hoping for something juicy like that we hate it, but alas, nope. It has come with it's fair share of challenges tho. I did read a tip on the original recipe that you must agitate it once mixed because the presence of Citric Acid makes it clump. Well we made our soap right before thanksgiving (and left home for 5 days) and came back to a solid brick of dish soap. Crap! So we decided to put it in the Ninja to break it up again.

20111206-141214.jpgAfter it was a nice powder again, we decided to try to portion it out into 1 wash sized cubes (using the clumping to our advantage this time!) We portioned out 1 tbs into our ice tray and let it sit on the counter over night.

20111206-141229.jpgBy morning they were firm so we popped them out and put them in a bag. They have been working wonders every since. They clean the dishes quite nicely and the Vinegar seems to be doing a great job at cutting any potential cloudyness. We never used a rinse agent before, so I am not sure if it is really making a difference. Someone expressed their concern that the lemonade cool-aid might stain the dishwasher. We have washed roughly 10 loads of dishes in the last 2 weeks and it hasn't left any yellow stains. I will keep an eye on that tho, and let you know if anything changes. Also we have white plastic plates and it hasn't stained those yellow at all. It does smell deliciously like lemonade tho!

So that's my update! We are really glad we took the plunge and everything is working out well! A friend of mine recommended making our own dryer sheets, and I think I might try it out. We only use dryer sheets occasionally now, so I am not sure it would save us much money, but for anyone who uses them religiously, it might be a good idea!

Leave any questions in the comments and I will answer them!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This week after my awesome weigh in, I entered my weight into my Weight Loss tracker on the Weight Watchers App. Because I joined WW last year, but fell off the wagon, it kept my starting weight when I rejoined, so on record I started at 285.8, but on my meeting tracker, it says 282.4. My meeting is "low tech" as in we don't use the computer system, until now. So my total weight loss on paper is less than on E-Tools. Only 3.6 lbs less, but less all the same. So this week when I entered my 3.4 loss onto my tracker, it popped up with a star that said " Congrats! You have lost 5% of your weight! I was taken aback. Really 5%? Inside it felt good to see that, but I wasn't really trusting it because on paper, I still had 3.6 pounds to lose to be at 5%.

But, this week at my meeting, we are starting to use the computer. I am wondering if my starting weight will change now that it will be linked with the computer. If yes, I am down 5%! If not, looks like I am getting close. It does feel really great to hit (or almost hit) a goal that at one time seemed out of reach.

I will update on Friday wether my starting weight changed or not!

Project: Wingback chair- part 2

Remember about a month ago when we bought a wingback chair for only $12 at the arc? Well we have finally worked on it! Turns out reupholstering isn't exactly easy. It's not rocket science, but its time consuming and can be a little tricky. However I am convinced that our time will save us quite a bit of money in the end.

The first step is taking off the old fabric. Our chair was last upholstered professionally, so there are tons of staples and some really tricky things that make upholstery easier (but reupholstering a bitch...) This weekend, we were almost able to take off all of the fabric, leaving our chair like this.


We got to see where we will need to add padding to the bottom and back to make it more comfortable. It is currently padded with a natural cotton batting which I like, so we will try to use and re-use as much as we can. We are still nowhere near done, but it was fun to make some progress.

Seeing the old gross velvety fabric in the trash means we are starting to search for fabric to replace it with. We are pretty sure we want something with yellow in it, but incorporating the other main colors of our house (yellow and gray) wouldn't be horrible either. On a trip to Joann's recently, we saw a few fabrics we like.

We want a pattern, but we aren't sure if we want something big and graphic, or something busy and flowery, like a damask.

So a little progress is better than nothing, but we have a loooooong way to go.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm a guest blogger!!

Hey Everyone! I am guest blogging today over on "Snob on a budget". I am enlightening her readers about my laundry soap endevor! If you haven't checked out her blog, DO, NOW! She blogs all about how to save money while still being awesome! AND she is based in the UK so lots of her deals translate (I'm talking to you pokey!)

Check it out and leave me some love over there!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Windows: some progress

So I promises an update on the windows this weekend. We knew we wanted to spray paint them white, but that was about it... Since the holidays are here. We figured we would decorate them for the holidays now then decide on their final design after Christmas.

For one of the windows we bought $1 snowflakes from Target and hot glued them on. I'm not in love with the arrangement, but they are movable.


The second window we decided to turn into a coat hook. We still need to get hooks, so I will post a picture when we do.

We also made a little progress on our chair I will post about tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas time is here!

There is snow on the ground, carols on the radio and a general feeling of cheer in the air.

I love Christmas.

We picked out our tree today. Growing up we always had a fake tree. I liked it because I didn't know differently. When I met Andy, his family had a real tree for Christmas and I was intrigued. After one year I was sold. We have had a real tree since. There is something about the way a real tree smells that really means Christmas is here.


For me, a Christmas tree doesn't look right if it's not personal. I do love the look of trees that have a theme, or are very thoughtfully decked with matching ornaments and ribbon. But I think the point of a Christmas tree is to fill it with ornaments that are sentimental and meaningful to the family. That's why you won't find any matching bulbs and ribbon on my tree. Almost all our ornaments were gifts or gathered by us on vacation. Of course we still have filler ornaments, but with time, those will go away and be replaced by more unique ornaments.

As we continue to decorate for the holidays, I will share the details.

Also, we did a little work on our windows this weekend I will be sharing so make sure to check back for that progress!

So what are your decorating plans this year? Link your blog in your comment so I can check them out! What do you think about ornaments on a tree? Do you prefer them to be themed, or more sentimental? Let me know!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Week 12- I survived!

This morning was my meeting and I hopped on the scale (after taking off my glasses, headband, shoes and phone, naturally) and my leader said "You lost. 3.4!" I was ecstatic! The last time I weighed 271.8 was about 2 years ago! I am so excited to see a number in the 260's next week!

At our meeting they also discussed the changes Ww is making and how the program is going to be different. I am intrigued and will definitely be at the next few meetings to find out!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Paper Anniversary

Yep, that's right, we have been married a whole year! I can't believe this year has gone by so fast! It has been great and I can't wait for another 49+!!

Enough mushy stuff, on to the crafts! lol

We actually have not completed any of these, but we plan to this weekend. I found both of these on Pinterest (you probably figured that) and I am excited to complete them!

Anniversary Craft 1: Date photos

I love the idea of taking photos of numbers in our environment (license plates, house numbers, etc) and framing them.


Anniversary Craft 2: Anniversary Photo

Every year on your anniversary (or close after... oops) take a photo of you holding a photo from your last anniversary. We are planning to take a photo with our wedding photo as our first anniversary. I hope we can keep up the tradition!


So that's the plan. I hope everyone found their way over here, and I am really excited to share my new home with you all. I noticed in the move that I left you all hanging with our Washer and Dryer pedestals. I will try and wrap that up this weekend. Also this weekend we are planning on getting out our holiday decorations and making some more progress on our windows and wing back chair.

Stay Tuned :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Up and Running

Well here we are, home at last. I am sure there are a few more tweeks that need to happen, but I think its safe to say we are ready to go! I do want to update the pages with projects, but other than that, we are good to go. All of my posts are over, things are categorized, and all of the links and photos work.

I can't believe things are coming together! Just a few days ago things were looking bleak and I wasn't really sure we would ever get here!

Welcome :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I am sorry I have been MIA

This last week has been crazy with the holiday and everything. And it isn't a secret that I have been working on our new home. Today's post is about my new blog on my own domain. I am hoping to have everything moved over and ready to go by December 15th, maybe sooner. Last night I had a design breakthrough and finally got it to look like I had imagined.

Because I have been such a slacker, I will let you check it out.

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 11- the holidays are upon us!

I appologize this is a few days late. I did not go to a meeting this week. I was out of town for the holliday so I wasn't able to go to my regular meeting. So no official weigh in. But I feel good about this week for lots of reasons. I didn't stuff my face for thanksgiving, and I was quite active, walking at least 2 miles on Thursday, friday and today. Also, we did out week 2 check in for the weight loss challenge and I saw a 6 in my number! I know better than to trust more than one scale, but the scale we will be weighing in on says I lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks. I havent seen 269 in years! Even if that doesn't show on the ww scale next week, I am inspired to see it for real! So thats my update this week! Check back later tonight for a new post on the happier side of things.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's that time of year again...

As I am sure you have noticed, the Hollidays are officially upon us. November and December are the time to sit around a table with family and eat until you pass out. No? Just my family?

Well this year I am breaking the habit. Of course I will sit around the table, but there will be no eating until I pass out. Yeah, yeah, we blame it on the Turkey. Say it's "too much tryptophan" that induces our post binging catatonic state. But really, it's because we have just stuffed our bodies so full of food that it only has enough energy to digest the food, not keep us awake at the same time! Something's gotta give.

That's why this year, I am following a few simple cardinal rules of Thanksgiving.
1. Fill half of your plate with vegies. We all like to eat, so eat the good stuff.
2. Don't let your food touch. This makes you take smaller portions.
3. Don't snarf down the first plate just so you can have seconds. Enjoy the food. Talk between bites. Think if something you are thankful for before each bite. If you can't think of something, don't take a bite until you can.

So go, enjoy your holliday and don't ruin your hard work thus far!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dishwasher Detergent

So after my success making laundry soap, my awesome sister at How to be a Grown-up suggested that I try dishwasher detergent. I immediately hopped on Pinterest and began the search for an easy recipe that I already had most of the ingredients for. I succeeded on

And for your viewing pleasure, and to really show you how easy it is, I made a video.

For those who can't watch the video for some reason, or prefer a written recipe, here are the deets.

You will need:

1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Table Salt
1/2 Cup (about 13 packets) of Lemonade coolade (or citric acid)

Mix it all together, stir or shake to combine. And tada.

Seriously, that's it...

Since we already had the Borax, Washing Soda and Salt, we just had to buy some coolade which is $0.15 a packet, for a total of $1.95 we spent on this project. I did forget to mention in the video that you will use a tablespoon per load. With 3 cups of mix, you get 48 loads. That's a total out of pocket (for me, and you if you make the laundry soap too, and have salt on hand because you had to dye your couch twice...) of $0.04 per load. Not too shabby. I would pay $12.95 for 48 loads of those cascade packets I did have which is $0.27 a load. That's a savings of $11.00 for 48 loads. I will have to buy more borax and washing soda and salt, so it won't be that much each time, but seeing as I had those on hand, it was very cost effective. Even having to purchase those things, you will spend WAY less than $0.27 a load!

One last thing, and I meantioned this in the video, you will need to add vinegar to the rince agent (jet dry) area of the dishwasher to "make theings sparkle"

So I am giving you my blessing to go! Save money, do it yourself! Know what you are putting on the dishes you and your family eat and drink from! Do it!

Save $939 in 30 min.

I am a DIYer by necessity most of the time. We decided to build a bed because ours broke unexpectedly. We built a table because we didn't like eating on the floor. This weekend, we decided to make our own laundry soap because we were out, and knew there was a better, more budget friendly way to do things.

So I headed to Pinterest (surprised?) and found a recipe originally from the Duggar's Website (you know those people with 20 kids...) We figured if they can afford 20 kids by making this laundry soap, maybe we can too (minus the 20 kids thing)

First we picked up the necessary ingredients.

1 bar Fels-Naptha soap ($1.69)

1 box Borax ($4.95 for a big box)

1 box Washing Soda ($4.95 for a big box)

You will also need a 5 gallon bucket. I had one on hand, but you can pick one up for about $3.00 at Lowes or Home Depot.

We spent a total of $10.59 + tax.

First, put a pot of 4 cups of water on the stove to boil. Right when it starts to boil, turn the heat to medium low.

Then you grate the soap bar like cheese using a cheese grater (it even looks like cheese to me)

Put the grated soap into the water, and stir continuously until it has all dissolved (about 10 min).

Fill your bucket half way up with hot water (while the dog watches...)

Add the mixture from the stove to the water in the bucket. Add 1 Cup of Washing Soda and 1/2 cup of borax. Stir to combine

Add enough water to almost fill the bucket and cover. It will have to sit overnight to thicken.

The next day, open it up and stir. It will be chunky. After we stirred, it got thinner.

Lastly, scoop it out and pour it through a funnel into the bottle of your choice. Only fill it half full, and fill the rest of the way with water. Shake to combine. Since we just ran out of Mrs Meyers, we just reused that bottle.

Here come the numbers:

One batch made 10 gallons of soap (after you dilute it).

For a front load washer, each load uses 1/4 of a cup. That means each gallon washes 64 loads.

With 10 gallons of soap, that's 640 loads of laundry for $10.59.

It gets better

Because we bought large boxes of Borax and Washing Soda, those will last us 6 more batches.

We will have to buy a new bar of soap for each batch, which means the next 6 batches will only cost $1.69 for 640 loads.

Before we need to replenish all of our ingredients (another $10.59) we will have spent $10.14 on Soap bars for 3,840 loads of laundry.

So for a total of $20.73, we can wash our clothes 3,840 times. That comes out to just about 1/2 a cent per load.

We spent $7.99 to buy that bottle of Mrs Meyers laundry soap, which washed 32 loads. That is $0.25 a load. We would spend $960.00 on laundry soap for the next 3,840 loads.

That is a savings of roughly $939.27. Hell, that pays for my front load washer and dryer alone.

Well I hope I have you rethinking your laundry habits. Let me know if you make the switch!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Week 10. Fuck Yeah!

Wow. This feels great! I am doing this and I can't tell you how great it feels. I lost again, 1.4, it feels amazing. I love stepping on the scale and seeing the number go down, for real this time.

Today after work I got home, and was relaxing on the couch and I felt lazy! I hated that I hand't done anything good for me. I was sitting on Pinterest pinning lots of inspirational stuff when I said to myself, just get off your ass, roll out the treadmill and get on it!

So I did.

And I had been thinking about doing Couch to 5K for a bit and I finally looked it up. I really want to improve my running, and it's such a great work out too. I wrote down the program (see below) and hopped on.

For week one, the program is as follows:

5 min- walking warm up (2.5)
1 min- jogging (3.5)
1.5 min- walking (2.5)

and repeat for a total of 20 min (6 times jogging)

The first time jogging felt good, but I was really out of breath. I didn't quite catch it by the second time I had to jog, and it freaked me out, but I pushed through. After I got through that one, I kept doubting that I could do the rest. I am home alone, so no one would know if I just skipped one, or walked a little longer, but I would know. And as the clock ticked closer 3...2...1... I just did it. I hiked the speed back up and I was jogging, and it felt great.

After the 20 minutes, I feel high and giddy! I used to say I would only run if I was being chased, but now I know I can run because it feels good.

God it sounds like I have been doing it for years, I am just really pumped (hence the whole high/ giddy thing)

Good bye 275 lbs me!

Dream House: Kitchen

As you know, I currently rent a Condo, meaning I can't really make anything the way I want it. I have big dreams. I can't wait to own a home, and when I do I want to really personalize everything. So I am starting a series of blogs called Dream House. I will post pictures that inspire me.

Lets start with Kitchens :)

I really like this back splash. I love the blue, and I love the chevron. 

I LOVE the subway tile backsplash and open shelves and white cabinets. If this had dark wood counters, I would be in heaven!

There are those counters! I love the look of dark wood on white (go figure! All of my furniture is white with dark wood)

I really am lusting for white cabinets and butcher block counters!

The one thing I love as much as open shelves in a kitchen is glass front cabinets! 

I also love the idea of having a banquette in place for my dining room table. 

These dark beams make me swoon! 

Again with the open shelves and subway tile. A.mazing. Also, check out the drawers at the bottom of the sink cabinet. I bet they pull out as a step stool for kids! Genius!

This one might throw you off a little, but I actually really like the deep contrast! Maybe an accent wall of deep gray?
I love these IKEA butcher block counters with an inset stainless sink. Beautiful!

So that about sums up my kitchen lust. I can't wait to own a home so I can create a beautiful bright kitchen!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Window Shopping

A few weeks ago, I posted that we picked up a few pretty awesome windows from the restore for a great price.

Unfortunately things have gotten busy with life, work and building a new website, that these beauties have been neglected. I have been doing lots of pinning for inspiration tho.

I like how simple this is, and the distressed paint.

What a fun idea to paint the glass with chalkboard paint!

Hooks makes this functional but simple. LOVE the distressed look!

I love the way the paper looks behind the glass. I wish out windows had more panes, like 3 or even 6. Oh well. For now I am just pinning, but I promise there will be something done soon!

Challenge Accepted

I am incredibly lucky to have the support of my family with me on this journey. Last weekend, we were talking about our weight loss progress and we decided to issue a challenge. My In Laws, Sister in Law and Andy and I have all set the goal to lose 6% in 6 weeks. Sounds ambitious, and it is, but the prizes are pretty good.

Whoever meets this goal (for me, I need to lose 17 lbs) will get a luxury item (and the awesomeness of being 6% smaller). We will weigh in on January 1st, 2012.

Then 6 weeks later (around February 15th) we will weigh in again, and anyone who has maintained will get another monitary prize, and if you have lost more, you will get an additonal prize.

I am highly motivated by challenges and I am so ready to kick this one's ass!

Come back tomorrow for my weigh in update :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

I must confess something. I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin pie, I love pumpkin muffins, I love pumpkin bread and I love to paint pumpkins.

Mostly, I love to eat them.

So while playing around on Pinterest, I pinned an extremely simple recipe that 50% of the ingredients were pumpkin!

While strolling the grocery store, I picked up a can of pumpkin and a box of yellow cake mix.

The recipe is so simple.

1. Mix together

2. Bake at 350 for 20-22 min

3. Eat

That's it!!!

The best part is, these little yummies are pretty low in points+. In fact, the amount of pumpkin in them has no point+ value at all.

Total Points+: 5 per muffin.

And these are very moist muffins, really more like a cake. I, of course, would love to add cream cheese frosting to them, which would be delicious, but with a pad of butter, they make a great breakfast that isn't too sweet.

(If you like your cake less moist, add only 3/4 of the pumpkin)