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)

Monday, November 14, 2011

I've been building...

I apologize for being a little MIA lately. I have been building something pretty awesome.

Remember a few weeks back I mentioned that I wanted a domain name? Well, I have an awesome dad who made that happen, and I have been spending the last few weeks drenched in Wordpress trying to get things up and started for the full move. I am tentatively shooting to have things up and running on our one year blogiversary, December 15th.

I guess I would be a tease if I didn't leave you with a sneak peak :)

This is only the... 5th design idea I have had, but I like it :)
Stay Tuned!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 9

So I just want to start off by saying I am LOVING my new weigh in date on Fridays! It really works better for me and my schedule and I really think it is keeping me motivated to kick ass and track all week long.

That beings said, I kicked another 1.2lbs to the curb this morning! Ef yeah! That is loss of over a pound 2 weeks in a row! I am feeling great, and I really have noticed those missing inches I blogged about yesterday!

BTW, the scale pictures are not making a comeback. I know, I know, you will miss my never painted toenails and awesome cankles, but the reason is because I am putting away my home scale. I am just going off my WIs from now on. This will keep me focused on one scale, and not bum me out if they are different. As long as I am losing, who cares which number it is, ya know?

So instead, I will be trying to photograph my weigh in tracker from my meetings. I like the accountability of taking a picture that I can't fake. It keeps me honest.

So thanks for all the support and tips, they are sure helping, and keep them coming! If I keep up this momentum, I will be at my goal weight in just about 2 years. Which is really healthy. I am hoping it's closer to 18 months, but lets look at the small picture!.

I hope to be in a new decade (the 260's!) by the end of the month. That would be awesome!

And if I could enter 2012 in the 250's, I would be ecstatic, seeing as the last time I saw that number was in 2008 ish. so here we go!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Measurement Update

With my pictures really showing some change, I thought I would update my measurements.

Here we go!

October 3, 2011
Arms: 16 in
Hips: 52.5
Bust: 51
Waist: 47
Dress Size: 22-24
Thigh: 30

November 10, 2011
Arms: 15 3/4 in
Hips: 52 in
Bust: 48 in
Waist: 44in
Dress Size: 22/24- but I haven't tried on a dress in a while.
Thigh: 29 in

Total Change:

Arms: -1/4 in (total 1 1/4)
Hips: -1/2 in (total 1 1/2)
Bust: -3 in (total 5)
Waist: -3 in (total 7) (holy crap!)
Dress Size: same, but I haven't tried in a while. 
Thigh: -1 in (total 3)

Total Inches lost : 17 3/4 

That is pretty great. I am happy with that :) Lets hope for a good weight loss tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Semi-homemade Chicken Pot Pie!

We love to cook, but we don't like things that take forever or a lot of effort. When we are hungry, we want something yummy and homemade, but also quick, easy and cheap. Pot Pies are great in the fall. They are warm and filling, and take FOREVER to bake when frozen, so we figured they can't be that hard to cook from scratch-ish.

What you will need:

1 Chicken Breasts

1 can Cream of Chicken soup

1 celery stalk

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

1 box pie crust

1. Grill the chicken and cube.

2. Cut the pie crust in half, and fit into the bottom of the pan you are gonna use.

3. Blind bake the bottom crust for about 5 min.

4. Mix together the can of soup, frozen vegetables, chopped celery, and cup of mixed vegies.

5. Scoop mixture into the crust.

6. Cover and trim the pie crust (don't forget to poke a few holes)

7. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cooked.


mmmmmmmmm :)

There Kristen!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Today I decided to take a progress photo. 

Me, 9/19/2011                                            

Me, 11/8

From the side:


I really think you can see the difference on the side. This reminds me that it's not always the numbers that matter, but the way it looks too. 

Is it just me, or are my thighs a little smaller too? Maybe it's just the angle. 

Welcome to our new home!

Welcome to life, happily ever after.

A little background:

A year ago, shortly after my wedding, I decided to start another blog. I had started roughly 4 in the past, and hadn't been very good at updating them.... Well, I was determined to keep up with my new blog writing about married life and some fun new hobbies, like building furniture and doing DIY. Well that little blog grew and grew until I had a decent little readership, which prompted our move to life, happily ever after.

So thanks for following us over, and I hope you like the new site even more! Here I will be combining "And we live happily ever after" AND "And I live healthier ever after" into one blog about life, love, DIY and getting healthy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Windows! 2 for the price of... less than one?

Saturday was a great shopping day for us. First we got a great deal on a wing back chair (originally $24.99, we got it for $12.50). Then we headed over to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to check it out. We had never gone in so it was fun to look at all the fun stuff. I had been dreaming of antique farmhouse windows as art in my home, so I headed over to the window section. There was a tone of selection, some new, some old, some awesome, some not so awesome... Thats when I spotted this beauty!

I love the clean lines and classic style. I was so excited. I turned down the other side of the aisle and I saw it's twin! And in the case of these awesome windows, two really is better than one. We took our windows up front and the cashier rang them up and said "The total is $4.65" so I said "Are they half off?" and he said "No... they are $2 each..." so I shut my mouth. They are clearly marked $5.00 each, but he read them wrong so we got a steep discount. Good for us!

So we are not sure what exactly is going to happen with these babies, but it will be awesome.

I leave you with this (I love instagram!)


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why hello ;)

FINALLY the reveal I was hoping to give you all yesterday. My couch dying drama has come to a beautiful conclusion!

Here is where we started:

Our beautiful stark white couch was amazing, except that it looked dirty all.the.time and I wanted something that I could live on.

So we picked up some Gunmetal Gray dye from the store, and voila:

Acid washed 80's jean horribleness. I did get some compliments on Facebook, to which I said "not my style" but if this is the look you are going for, let me know and I can let you know exactly how to achieve it.

After seeing this trainwreck, I was heartbroken. What had I done?! I didn't hate the white that bad. I immediately threw the smallest piece in the washer with a full loads worth of detergent and the max allowed of bleach, and I hoped for the best. What came out was a light purpleish gray color that I could TOTALLY work with. It was light, like someone washed my slipcover with black panties, and I was glad. I stripped the couch again, repeated the same treatment to the rest, and got the same results.

That's when Andy and I went on a mission to by all of the "Pearl Gray" Rit dye in the city. We knew we would need a lot. Each box is meant for 1 lb of fabric, and our slipcover weighed 11 lbs.

First we went to Walmart. Went right to the laundry section and.... no pearl gray. EVERY other color in the world, but they were out of gray. So we went to Michaels. Straight to the aisle with the t-shirts and alas, only 2 boxes. We were shooting for 6, but really the more the better (we thought 11 boxes of dye was overkill) Then we went to the other Walmart on the North side of town. And yet nothing. We began to wonder if someone in Greeley was dying a lot of things gray and wiped out the supply! So we headed to the last logical place that is open on Sundays, Joann's. Now our Joann's is TINY and is in a strip mall next to a chinese restaurant so we were not optimistic, but lo and behold, 6 boxes of pearl gray. Even though we only really wanted 4, we grabbed all six because we figured 8 was closer to the recommended 11.

We read and re-read the directions (which were really quite vague) and we think we did everything correctly. It said to put 1 cup of salt for every box, and we split the load in half, with 4 boxes in each load. It also said to put 4 cups of water in the drum, but we have a front loader, so I didn't really get what it meant. The water would come from the washer.... Anyway, we decided to dissolve the dye and salt in a bucket of water, then pour that mixture into the washer and add the wet fabric then, and start the washer.

We prayed for the best, and determined that dying fabric is like making a baby. You mix all the stuff together and let it do it's thing, then hope it turns out pretty. Although we would keep our baby if it wasn't pretty.... we aren't that shallow....

So maybe it's not really like a baby at all. Bad analogy...

Anyway, we prayed for the best, and when it came out we had.....

We are quite happy. This is the result we had hoped for in the first place.

Chair of my dreams (Part 1)

2 weeks ago, while shopping for my Halloween costume at the ARC, I spotted a beautiful wingback chair. It was marked $25, which is a good deal for a chair, but I didn't get it. The ARC has half off days on Saturdays, so we made a vow to come back and check if it was still there/ half of the next saturday.

That Saturday, we were out of town so we didn't have the chance to check. We agreed to check again this Saturday to see if it was still there, and if it was half off, it was meant to be. Flash forward to yesterday, we went in to see if our chair was still there.... AND it was! AND it was half off! WE were so excited, we grabbed it and took it right home.

Next came the decision to paint it or reupholster it. I have seen some really cool painted chairs, and I thought it might be a fun project for our chair.

So we went off the tutorial here, but I wasn't feeling it.

I was lusting for a pattern so (as you can see above) we decided to go for reupholstering. That was the best choice for us for 3 reasons.

  1. We could have a pattern, which would bring some color and texture to our very solid colored room.

  2. I can't touch velvet (don't judge me) so keeping the velvet just made me twitch, even if we painted it...

  3. It's an old chair, and the idea of what kind of evil lived inside of it freaked me out. Reupholstering would let us get all of that out, and eliminate the idea of bedbugs or anything else that could be inside (we have already found some goodies, I will post those soon)

So today, we removed the back, and unstapled everything from the bottom.

So this has been part 1 of a multi part series of this chair. We still need to:

  • Remove the rest of the yucky velvet fabric.

  • Decide what fabric to use? (want some clues, check out Pinterest)

  • Add more stuffing to the back and butt to make it firmer.

  • Fix any broken wood ( I'm not sure if there is, but incase...)

  • Paint the legs a nice glossy white

  • Reupholster it.

  • Add accents like studs

So stay tuned,this one might take a while.