Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some inches lost!

Yesterday, May 18th, I was able to get into my work pants! It is a small step but it is a step that was the point of all this! My pants still fit a bit snug but I am able to button them! Finally--Some results!

It has been hard to just eat half of what I normally do, especially when we eat my favorite foods! I will admit it is hard to make myself exercise with my Wii Fit on those days that work leaves me feeling exhausted but I am getting 3 days or more in each week!

My Wii Fit says I lost 3.5lbs, just as long as I can get into my pants I am happy! So, I will continue to do what I am doing and will try to get on the Wii Fit more! I am thinking a goal of 10 pounds is good. I would like to lose an additional 6.5lbs in 4 weeks--lets see how I do!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some Pictures of my world!

Pictured is Duste, Talisa (me) and our nephew Keaton Michael

I thought I would share with you a look into my life! Home is where your heart should be, it should be a place you long to be. Home is always a safe and loving place, home is where I would rather be!

This is our Garden--it is 8'X24'. We planted Tomatoes (Small and Big ones) Bell Peppers, Spinach, Romain Lett, Broccoli and Cucumbers!
We have it fenced off because of the girls. (hens) The black trash can is a make shift rain barrel!

We also have a strawberry patch!

This is our outside extended chicken coop! They also have an inside coop that is in the heated garage. When we are at work the girls stay in the coop but when we come home they have the run of the yard! (The Roster on top is fake!) We cage them while we are at work because of the hawks and other predators.

This is my Chicken Proof back porch! Thanks to Duste and her Dad! I have trellis around the porch and a gate across the walk way.  I also have my new humming bird feeders up on hooks and a dinner bell that can be heard in the back 40~as Duste calls it! The hens are also in this picture but they are a little far away.

This is a better picture of the girls--also in this picture is my little man Keaton Michael and I.
Hope you enjoyed a look into my life!
Life changes fast, take the time to enjoy it and love the people in it!

Home Made Cleaning Products--Part two!

Dishwashing Detergent

What you'll need:
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
20 Mule Team Borax
Distilled White Vinegar

Here's what you do (read slowly because there are only two steps):
Step 1: Add one tablespoon of Super Washing Soda to the dishwasher dispenser
Step 2: Add one tablespoon of 20 Mule Team Borax to the dishwasher dispenser

You're done. That's the recipe for homemade dishwashing detergent. Now the recipe for removing the water spots that so frequently occur with automatic dishwashers:

Pour distilled white vinegar into the dispenser for the clear rinse gel.

My Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe - Version 2.0
1/4 bar Fels Naptha soap
1/2 bar Ivory soap
2/3 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

Very finely chop the soap and put it into a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 6 cups of water and, stirring often, heat until the soap melts. Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Carefully add the hot soap mixture and stir. Fill the bucket with water (about 22 cups more). Let the soap sit overnight to allow it to gel. Stir well. Keep in mind that the consistency of this detergent is different from what you buy at the store - it is a liquidy gel.

Use 1/2-3/4 cup per load (I use the top of an old detergent bottle!). Remember that this is a low-sudsing formula, so don't expect to see a lot of bubbles.

Fabric Softener
1 cup of plain white vinegar to the rinse cycle
5 drops of Oil for smell

Liquid Hand Soap
*Boil 16 cups of water--add 3 bars of soap--boil until dissolved--cool--pour in container.
*Revised version

In a pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, shave the bar of soap into fragments, or break up the already small pieces of left over soap. The smaller the fragments, the quicker they will dissolve in the boiling water.

Stir the soap into the boiling water until the soap completely dissolves. Once the mixture is cool, pour it into your old soap dispenser. You will note the mixture is not as thick as store-bought soap (if consistency is an issue for you, use less water and more soap). However, you’ll find the watery hand soap mixture works exceedingly well in creating a lather and cleaning your hands
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Sprinkle bowl with baking soda and drizzle with white vinegar. Let soak 30 minutes, and scrub with toilet brush. For tough stains, let soak overnight.
Homemade D.O.

In a container that is easy to reach your fingers inside:

1 TB olive oil (does not have to be EVOO)
to 1 TB cornstarch
to 1 TB Baking Soda
12-15 drops essential oil

Mix well. If the mixture separates or hardens, you can remix it before using. Rub 1 scant teaspoon in each armpit daily.

Essential oil variations:
Sweet Tart: 6 drops grapefruit, 6 drops orange and 4 drops sweet basil essential oils
Chill Out: 10 drops lavender essential oil and 5 drops roman chamomile (or just do all lavender)
Man o Man: 4 drops ylang ylang, 6 drops cedarwood, 5 drops grapefruit or lemon
Fresh and Clean: 10 drops tea tree and 5 drops orange
Shaving Cream

I made half of this recipe, and it made enough to fill an 18 oz container-
1 Cup Grated Lavender Soap
1/4 water
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Butter
Half--¼ Vegetable Glycerin
5 drops Lavender/Tea Tree Oil
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Whole Recipe
2 Cup grated Dr. Bronner's Lavender Castile Soap
1/2 Cup Rose Water (or Water)
2 Tbl. Cocoa Butter
1/4 Cup Vegetable Glycerin
5 drops Essential Lavender Oil
5 drops Essential Tea Tree Oil
1-2 Tbl. Coconut Oil

I did not make my own rose water, as the recipe instructs. I just purchased rose water, and used it to soak the castile soap for several hours. (I began the soaking process in the morning, and then whipped up the rest of the recipe that night.) You can also just use regular water, if you prefer not to use rose water (some husbands might appreciate that less-girly option!), or as a substitute if you don't have any rose water on hand.

I discovered that a blender did not give the desired results for this recipe. It quickly created a foaming-looking result, but re-liquified after a few days. The handheld mixer does appear to be essential, in creating a fully-emulsified, permanent cream consistency.

The resulting product was too thick to pour into a narrow-necked bottle, as I had originally planned, so I keep it in a flat, plastic food storage container, in our shower. The cream tends to solidify in our chilly bathroom overnight, but softens up quickly from the warmth of your hands.
Hand Sanitizer:

1 bottle of Aloe Gel--4 cups
4 teaspoons Witch Hazel
16 drops Peppermint
16 drops Tea Tree

Things You'll Need:
100% pure aloe vera gel
Witch hazel
Tea Tree Oil
Peppermint Oil

Step 1
Place about 1 cup of your pure aloe vera gel into a bowl.
Step 2
Slowly mix in 1-2 teaspoons of Witch Hazel. You do not want the consistency of the gel to become too thin.
Step 3
Add 3-4 drops of Tea Tree essential oil, and 3-4 drops of Peppermint essential oil. Slowly stir ingredients together.
Step 4
If you find the consistency to be too thin, add more aloe vera gel a teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Step 5
Store in your desired container. Use as you would any other hand sanitizer as necessary.

All of the ingredients in this mixture are safe and natural to use on your body. Witch Hazel, Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint all have antiseptic and astringent properties to them, which make them great for killing germs and also healing small cuts and wounds. The aloe vera gel will help soothe skin and keep skin from dryingout.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It appears I may have gained weight…….

(This is not me in this picture, its not this bad yet!)

Great—I haven’t tried to lose weight in years. I think I have forgotten how or where to start! I don’t own a scale so I can only judge my weight gain by the way my pants fit.

A few years ago I decided I was happy with my weight for two reasons; 1. I was happy with the way I looked. 2. I didn’t want to buy any more clothes of a different size. So, I just worked on maintaining. I did this by portion control. I ate half of anything ordered from a restaurant and only made half sizes at home. I watched how many chips and other things I ate by reading the back and measuring out or counting a correct portion size. This worked great! I did manage to lose a few pounds 5lbs or under but over all my clothes still fit well.

Here are my excuses:

Then in 2008 I had surgery on my leg for a desmoid tumor. In doing so I lost a few more pounds, 10+lbs. Now, my clothes fit lose and looked awful. So, I thought that meant I could snack and eat as much as I wanted. This seemed to be ok; I slowly started filling out my pants correctly.

Then December 2009 my office burnt down. 2010 started off with a lot of stress of getting the office back up and running. This meant working lots of Saturdays and Sundays. I found I was always hungry and eating everything, mostly junk of course. Then my aunt passed away and that really added to my stress eating.

Facing the truth is hard to do:

Now it is May and I have notice my pants will no longer button and the ones that do are terribly tight. So, here I am. Realizing how this got started and now seeing what I have done wrong. Sure I am a normal girl, coming to the realization that I need to lose weight is over whelming, sad and disheartening but feeling sorry for me will not fix the problem. It will be hard for the first few weeks, getting my stomach shrunk back to where it got full on half sizes but what can I do. I did this to myself and now I need to fix it.

Here is the plan:

I will control my portions. I will only eat half of what I normally eat. I will follow portion guidelines on the back of everything I eat. (Cereal and so on) I will banish junk food from my house. I will only drink One Caffeine Free Drink a day (pop) and I will choose healthier snacks to eat at work. My before bed snack will no longer be a half peanut butter sandwich with strawberry milk, instead it will be a cup of strawberry milk and one piece of toast with butter. I am going to increase my activity level. Go on two walks a day at work and a few exercises on my Wii Fit in the evening.

Duste thought we should no longer eat Fast Food. So, that is being banished as well. When we eat out it is going to be at a set down type restaurant, which cost more so we will do it less.

I have no clue how long it will take before my pants will button again but this time I am going to stick with it!

Anyone care to join me in this challenge?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sgt. Jeremy McQueary

Sgt. Jeremy McQueary

Died Thursday, February 18, 2010, during a combat offensive in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. He was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps for seven years.

He is survived by his wife, his infant son, his mother and stepfather, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, one sister and her husband, his grandfather, five nieces; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

We have lost 90 soldiers already this year and it is only May. Now is not the time to get into how pointless this war is. But, I do think former President George W Bush should be required to attend every soldier’s funeral. He should be held accountable!