Monday, August 29, 2016

Catching Up

It's been quite a few weeks since my last post so I thought I'd do a little catching up. 

Paul, Mallory and I are maintaining our post detox weights. Paul and I are actually down a few more pounds. Mallory is about the same. Paul and I still drink two shakes a day and eat one meal for the most part. We like the shakes. They're healthy and an easy meal replacement. To us it's easier to make a shake than to come up with and prepare a meal so we're sticking to that plan. Mallory has a shake on occasion but mostly eats better. We keep healthy snacks on hand and don't have junk food in the house. From time to time we have a treat and it's fine. Paul went back to having a small coffee each morning but I still haven't had coffee since June 5. I don't really miss it. I make myself a cup of tea in the mornings and enjoy that. 

School has started and we're all getting back to our routines. I am working in a new role as one of the secretaries in our school office. I enjoy the new job and look forward to going to work each morning. I take a lunch break around 1245 which makes the afternoon go pretty fast. 

This is my principal Aimee in the middle and the teacher I assisted for the past five years, Leslie, on the right. We all had on blue jean jackets the other day so we had to get a pic:). 

I've been making quite a few cakes lately.  

This was for our back to school staff meeting. The shirt on the cake represented the staff shirts we got for wearing on Fridays.  

This was a smash cake for a one year old birthday boy. I was a little worried about the difficulty of these fondant turtles when the girl sent me the picture of the cake she wanted but it wasn't too bad. 

I made these cookies for a swimming pool party. I don't care for royal icing so when I make cookies I use buttercream. It's not as neat looking but it tastes so much better in my opinion. 

This was a simple white cake for a 16th birthday. The mom just wanted a plain white cake but I added our school logo for fun. 

These two cakes were for a sister and brother who celebrated together. 

This was for a bridal shower. I love these rosette cakes. So pretty. 

I did these rainbow cookies for a rainbows and unicorns party. 

I did these cake pops for a baby shower. I'm not a big fan of cake pops. They came out pretty cute but I prefer cake to cake pops myself. 

This was a surprise cake a guy ordered for his wife and two sons. I thought it was so sweet of him to to that. 

For this one I was given a picture of some paper goods for the birthday so I painted the picture on a piece of fondant using food color as the paint. Horses are so hard to do!

This cake was for a girl graduating from nursing school. 

And this was for a special friend of our family, Sydnie❤️

Whew! That's a lot of baking! I also have been painting some. I'm not a real artist but I enjoy painting easy, graphic things. I absolutely have to look at a picture to copy it. Here are some canvases I did for our school on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Kids :

Then I did these for our counselor's office:

And I did these for a couple of  friends' classrooms:

All this amongst trying to organize our garage and shop buildings. I'll save that project for another post😉

Friday, July 1, 2016

Arbonne Detox Day 26

Oh my goodness only two days left in our big detox. It's gone really fast. Can't believe how quickly time flies when you're eating good!

Yesterday I took the kids to Six Flags in St Louis. Mallory and I took our breakfast shake for the road when we left at 7:00 am. Michael's friend Kyler went with us. I got the boys something for bfast on the way. Donuts. I'm going to start weaning Michael off all this sugar too. Before that would have been me. Donut and coffee. Not this trip and I felt so much better the entire day because of it. 

Mallory was looking forward to meeting up with her friends from the math camp but we never were able to connect. We still had a great time!
It rained the first three hours we were there which was a bummer. We stood in line at guest relations and tried to get comp tickets to come back a different day but the best we came out with was free meal vouchers. Better than nothing! So we found one of the places listed on the back and took a beak from the rain to eat. Mal and I got a veggie burger minus the bun (and fries) and water and the boys had a cheeseburger and chicken strips, fries and a soda. All free and it would have been about 50 bucks. Food there was outrageous. But I guess that's how it is at all amusement parks so I shouldn't have been surprised. Parking was 20. Whatever happened to paying 5 bucks to park?!

The rain eventually moved out and we road lots of rides and played in the water park. Around 530 the boys wanted ice cream. I know it seems cruel to get them these big ol' honkin' waffle cones while Mallory got a bottle of Dasani but we only had three days left so we weren't gonna blow it now. Speaking of outrageous, these cones were $7.99 each and they only have one size. Michael ate the whole thing. More sugar. SMH

 Mallory and I put a fizz stick in our water and that got us through til we left the park around 9. I used to would have never made it all day without coffee or something sweet to keep me going. I have so much more energy now that I've been eating better. It's amazing. 

When we left the park I got Mal a plain salad with grilled chicken at Mc Donald's and I ate some nuts, a green apple and a few sweet potato chips. Arbonne does sell ready made shakes but we don't have any so couldn't fit in our second shake yesterday. We got home at midnight, beat to the socks, but what a great day. 

Today I mainly worked around the house getting ready for our week at camp. We had our breakfast shakes around 830. When we finally got around to having our lunch ones it was 2. I know it's hard to believe but your cravings all but diminish. 
Before I would have been snacking all morning and Mallorynwould have been asking when much was shortly after she finished breakfast. 

I made a simple birthday cake today
and a birthday pie for my friend Sue😄 No pic of the pie:)

For supper I made turkey burgers, no buns, with baked sweet potatoes and veggies. We had  two of the kids' friends here and they really enjoyed the healthy meal! Look at that color! And that's not even showing the orange sweet potato and pretty green avocado we had on the side!

I can't believe we're down to two days. This detox has been such a great experience. I've been praying about starting my own Arbonne business. I've never been into selling anything but I really believe is these products and what they can do to help people get on a path to healthy living.  On Tuesday, July 19th, I'm hosting a Healthy Happy Hour to talk about Arbonne and the detox and share our experience. If you live in the East Prairie area you're invited! Get in touch with me and I'll tell you more. If you're not in Southeast Missouri but would like to know more about Arbonne  please let me know. I'd be happy to tell you all about it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Detox Day 24-we're on a streak

My whole life growing up I had the same hair. It was long and thick and boring. I kept it long at first because my daddy wouldn't let me cut it. Later, it became a security blanket. I so wish I had cut my hair and wore fun styles through the years. Hair grows. 

So I decided when I had a girl I would let her do whatever she wanted with her hair. Within reason of course😉

Behold the purple streak. 
It's a little hard to see but I guess they do it dark because it will start to fade and at least last a little longer. 

Tonight we had quinoa for the first time. If you're like me you might have thought it was qui-NO-a for the longest time. However in case you aren't familiar, it's pronounced KEEN-wah. 

We all really liked it. Even picky little Michael. I made another of the Arbonne recipes which called for turkey sausage. I got the uncured nitrate free stuff. They sell it at Wal-Mart. I'm starting to key in on more and more organic stuff, by the way, and Wal Mart, as well as Aldi, has quite a bit. Good to know since the nearest Whole Foods is probably two and a half hours away in St Louis. 

Doesn't this look delicious? It was. 

When I served it I stirred in the quinoa as the recipe suggested. 

Eating "clean" is satisfying and delicious. You should try it if you haven't!

All that healthy food is much better for us than this cake I made today. 

 But alas, celebrations call for cake. Not quinoa 😄

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Arbonne Detox Day 23

Tonight I went to a Discover Arbonne meeting in Cape. I was asked to share a little bit about our experience with the detox. It's an easy thing to talk about because we have seen such terrific results. Before I left I asked Paul some things I could point out. Here's what he said:
- He feels so much better eating healthy
-He used to be so tired in the afternoons and have to come home and sleep in his chair. Now he has more energy to do more
-He has lost 12 lbs in just over three weeks
-He's lost several inches. His pants that used to be tight are falling down. 
-His blood pressure is down from upper 130s over upper 80s to 117/70
-He feels like we are now on a path and have a plan to eat better and feel better so we're around for our kids
-He really likes the fizz sticks which you drop in water for a bit of energy boost
And much more...
I didn't convey all of that tonight but you can see how thankful Paul and I both are for the experience we have been a part of. 

I find myself looking forward to my morning shake. Next week were headed to church camp and were planning to take our protein powder and make shakes for breakfast at least. The detox will be over but we've ordered more Arbonne protein powder and a few other items to continue with our healthy living. 

When you think about it, it's totally like having a milkshake twice a day. And I love milkshakes. The best part is these are healthy and beneficial and don't make me feel yucky afterwards! 

Go Arbonne. We're big fans👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

Because I always like to post a picture , here's a snapshot from our trip to Instanbul in Jan of 02. My dad and brother and I went to Greece and while in Athens my dad suggested we hop over to Turkey. We absolutely loved it. The people were so dear. I hate that all this terrorism is going on. It's just awful. So thankful I serve Jesus and he's got it all handled. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Detox Day 22 - a mere six days to go

Today we started our final week of the detox. Now that the day is over we only have six more days to go. Our weigh in showed we all had lost again over the course of last week. I completed the 7 day body cleanse yesterday and Paul has a couple more days to go. He started late due to an out of town trip. 

I decided to use an entire week's worth of new recipes along with the shopping list provided for this week's meals. Tonight we had crock pot taco soup. I knew this evening would be busy with swimming and ball games so I put the soup on this morning at 930. It was great to come in this afternoon and have dinner ready. We added some avocado on top and the soup was very flavorful. 

Mallory is attending a math camp again this week. Each day the students walk to the park to eat lunch. I always bring Mallory her shake and an apple cut up with lemon juice on it. I put the juice on it to prevent it from turning brown but Mallory likes the taste of it so that's an added bonus.  

I started a big project cleaning our garage today. 
We're detoxing and decluttering and it is a great feeling!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Detox Day 20

There hasn't been much to report the last couple of days. We are all doing fine and moving right along. There's only eight more days of the detox. The cat thing has gone well. We got Louie's claws taken out so we don't have to worry about being scratched. Mallory hasn't shown any signs of being allergic to him and that was a concern so great on that end. 

Last night was our big Main Street Party. 
There's always lots of good food to eat and we knew there'd be nothing detox friendly so we ate before we went. I made the salmon with the avocado salsa from the first week. Mallory walked around with some friends who got treats but she just stuck to bottled water. 
She continues to shine. 

Michael had fun too. 

I made two cakes and didn't eat any of the scraps again. This was a slip and slide kickball cake. I added a couple of gum paste people after I took this picture. 

This was for the sister. They were both born on the same day 8 years apart. 

Tonight I made meatloaf with carrots, onion and green peppers in it. Served it with baked sweet potatoes and sautéed spinach. It was really good. 

Tomorrow is the end of week 3. Can't believe how fast it's gone. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Detox day 17- on the road

We're detoxing on the road this week. Paul is in Indiana and the kids and I are in Kentucky. We all packed our detox stuff before we left. Mallory has been making her own shakes at our friend Martha's house where she is staying and I'm doing the same at Yvonne's. Pauls making do where he is. 

I've done two days of the body cleanse and find it easy to sip on throughout the day. I've also been drinking lots of water as recommended. 

Last night I grabbed a burrito bowl at Qdoba for dinner. They have brown rice so I got that with black beans and pinto beans, some grilled chicken, lettuce, pico and guacamole. I only ate half of it but it was very yummy. 

Tonight Yvonne and I went to Longhorn and I had salmon, a plain baked sweet potato, broccoli and asparagus. So delicious. Again, I love all the color on the plate. I had water to drink and asked for lemon and lime in it. I try to drink a lot of water at meal times. You have someone there to pour your refills and it fills your tummy too. 

I finally found the brown rice syrup I was looking for at Kroger. 

The homemade protein bars I was going to make calls for that as a sweetener and I'd looked several places for it but had no luck. I don't know if I'll make the bars but if I do I'll be ready. They only call for four ingredients: the Arbonne protein powder, almond butter, gluten free oats and the brown rice syrup. 

I had my morning shake at 830 and then went out tooling around Frankfort. Didn't have my lunch one until 230 and I was not even hungry between shakes. Before I would have eaten something around 730, then maybe 930, then lunch, then prob something by 2. It's really amazing how much your cravings go down when you're not eating all that sugar. 

Sweet dreams😉

Monday, June 20, 2016

Detox Day 15- weigh in day

Today was weigh in day. Mallory has lost 8 pounds and Paul and I have both lost over 7 in the first two weeks of the detox. We're very pleased with our results so far and look forward to the next two weeks. It's gone really fast. My hope and desire is to continue in this healthy living lifestyle. We enjoy the foods and we feel so much better. 

Today I started the 7 day body cleanse. 

Paul is traveling so will wait until he gets back. This isn't a colon cleanse but is designed to flush even more toxins out of your body. This is a liquid you mix with 32 oz of water and drink over the period of 4-8 hours. It doesn't taste bad. You're supposed to drink 32 oz of plain water alongside so you're really getting your water in. You do this for 7 days straight typically the third week of the detox. Mallory won't be doing the cleanse. It wasn't recommended due to her age. 

I keep reading tremendous testimonies of people who have done this detox. People who were taking all kinds of medication who no longer needed them after detoxing and changing their eating habits. The old adage is true... you are what you eat.  

Tonight we had leftovers. Mallory ate the Applebee's leftovers and Paul are the Coltons leftovers. I scrambled three fresh eggs and ate them with some sliced avocado and a little salsa. Mmm good. 

Mallorys detox cat finally came
Out of the crate. Well Paul had to dump it out:) He hides all over the house but will let you pet him on his terms. In these pictures he was under Mal's loft bed so I got a few shots of them together. She's so thrilled with Louie👍🏼❤️

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Detox Day 14- half way there

Yesterday the kids and I went over to the Paducah area to see one of their good friends perform in Aladdin Kids. Natalie did a wonderful job as Jasmine. 

After the show some of Nat's family invited us to join them at Applebee's. The kids really wanted to go so I told Mallory we could make that our meal of the day and then have our second shake that night. We both got a small grilled chicken breast with diced  green apple on top. Mallory got sweet potato fries and I got green beans.  We shared the two sides between us so we'd have a veg and carb to go on our plates. It was all good. You can go out to eat on the detox. There are usually healthy items you can choose when you're looking for them. 

We never ended up eating our night time shakes. I guess we were just still full. The meal was later in the day since the show was at 2. 

Today we celebrated Father's Day by going to Coltons. Paul, Mallory and I ordered detox friendly dishes. Michael didn't. 😄

I had the chopped sirloin with grilled peppers and onions and a plain sweet potato with green beans. 

Paul also got the chopped sirloin with steamed veggies. 
Mallory had salmon and sweet potato fries. 

Michael had  sirloin tips, fried okra, fries, and the onion straws from Paul's and my chopped steaks. 

He also had the rolls. While we were sitting there I noticed the vast difference in color on our plates vs his. See it?

Paul, Mal and I still had this much leftover...
And to be fair Michael didn't eat all that. Here're his leftovers. 

We had our second shake around 6:30. It was a terrific father's day. 

Tomorrow we start our third week. We're all traveling this week so we'll have to make an extra effort to stay on the detox but we plan to carry on. We're feeling good and are very happy with the decision to give this a try!