Month: August 2015

She’s Here!!

Meet the newest addition to our little family:

Harlow River Smith
Born May 11, 2015

@ 11:00 pm

9lb 4oz | 20″ long

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We are absolutely smitten with her…. a full head of hair and big pillowy cheeks; what’s not to love?! She’s a wonderful baby- mellow and sleepy (quite a change from Heath as an infant). She’s so loved by her big brother- he enjoys petting her fuzzy head, giving her hugs and kisses, and laying his head on her when she’s upset. Our little surprise is already such a blessing to our family.IMG_1381

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30 Days to Healthy

Below is my plan for a 30 day dash to being more physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally healthy… but before I lay it out, lets take a look at what led to this decision…Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 1.27.46 PM

After having 2 babies back to back, I’m not loving what I see in the mirror. I had always planned on losing the baby weight from my first pregnancy but once I started actually trying, I got pregnant the next week and gave up. So when I realized my self esteem was dropping at the same pace my pant size was climbing, I knew I needed to somehow find the drive to make a real change once Harlow was born. Enter 10 year high school reunion: As soon as I was reminded it’s been 10 years since graduating high school, I started praying it would be after Harlow was born by a few months so I wouldn’t be pregnant or be huge from having JUST popped her out. Thank the heavens, it was scheduled for 5 months after she was due! Enough time to hopefully get into some sort of acceptable shape. But, me being me, 2 months went by and I hadn’t done anything… until one day my husband mentioned wanting to do some sort of detox or cleanse. I found SkinnyMe Tea– seemed like a doable detox- just a tea in the morning and one at night which you’re supposed to accompany with a healthy diet and exercise- and it had great reviews! I picked the 28 Day Teatox and bought one for each of us.

The reunion was drawing close and I finally kicked into gear! It was just the purpose I needed to find that drive to make a change… I can’t quite explain how my mind changed in the next few weeks to turn that drive into what felt like habit. but it’s starting to feel more and more like a lifestyle quicker than I expected.

My husband agreed to giving me a reward every 10 lbs I lose- small goals along the road to the main goal: I’d like to be down 30 lbs by the reunion, and a total of 70 lbs by the time Harlow turns 1.

I started implementing a workout plan and diet for the days until the teas arrived to get me going. I decided I’d work out 3 days a week and use protein meal replacement shakes for 2 meals a day and have something low in carbohydrates for my remaining meal each day. Soon I started to shed pounds- in one week I was down 6 pounds. I had a long way to go still, but seeing the change in my face and body, feeling more energized and confident, I stopped craving 90% of the foods I was avoiding. I suddenly started to feel guilty if I didn’t work out one day… this was something VERY new!! I have always hated working out and never felt too bad about missing workouts when I was on some exercise/diet plan- I only ever felt bad if my husband asked about it, but never felt guilty on my own. Until now. So on nights where I wasn’t able to make it to the gym all day, I have started doing a 20-30 min Yoga & abs routine.

Now, nearly 2 weeks into it, I had hit a plateau. For 5 days I hadn’t lost any more weight. Then suddenly Sunday I was down another 2 lbs! But I know I need to shake things up to keep the weightloss going. So I figured some sort of cleanse might be good. The teas arrived and since they’re for 28 days, I figure doing a whole 30 days of an all-encompassing fitness plan would be fun! Not just physical fitness, but spiritual, emotional, and mental too.Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.28.36 PMPhysical

I found a 2 day cleanse plan (thanks, Pinterest) to get things going again. Then I’ll start the SkinnyMe Teas on Tuesday and go back to a general healthy diet & exercise plan for the remaining 28 days. I’ll plan to workout 6 days/week- 3-4 at the gym, 2-3 at home. I’ve got a checklist on my fridge to make sure I’m meeting my criteria for each day…. lemon water, a metabolic supplement, morning tea/night tea, workout, consume enough water, weekly detoxifying bath, etc.

Spiritual

A friend recommended a book a few months ago and I have been really wanting to read it! So for my Spiritual fitness aspect, I’m reading The Power of a Praying Wife & praying for my husband every day.

Emotional

…I haven’t quite figured this out yet. Thinking of getting a mentor to meet with monthly…. Making sure I’m getting quality social time in with friends whom I can talk with about the important things in life… and also drink wine with 😉

Mental

Daily- either reading a novel or doing some sudoku, or other mind puzzles. And also studying my Russian books in an effort to catch up with what I’d learned before getting pregnant with my son and forgetting all the Russian I’d learned in the months before!

So, there it is…. all laid out in plain writing…. Hopefully putting this out there publicly will keep me on my plan!

Want to join me? Check out my personalizable checklist printable below:

Get Fit Checklist Printout

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DIY Feather Dreamcatcher Mobile

image3I don’t know if anyone else saw the ADORABLE dreamcatcher mobile on Pinterest, but I instantly fell in love. That love was immediately crushed by the price!!! They were over $100! But I looked at it and thought to myself (as I always do), “I could totally make that.” After making one myself, I understand why they cost so much- they’re not quick or necessarily “easy” to make, but they aren’t so hard that a novice couldn’t work it out with a bit of elbow grease! So this is what you will need (* indicates optional supplies depending on how you want yours to look):

Feathers (2-3 per desired strand) (I used Goose and Duck)

String (I used embroidery floss)

Malleable branch/hoop of some sort

Sinew or string for dreamcatcher center

Leather string

Glue (I used tacky glue on the feathers & leather glue on the leather string)

*Beads

*Dye

*Glitter

*Spray adhesive

*Paint

1. Dye/Glitter/Paint feathers

Dye: This was a bit of trial and error…. eventually I got the best results for a “soft pink” by dipping them and immediately bringing them out. Then just laid them flat to dry- they fluffed right back up once dry.

Glitter: I tried to modge podge the ends and then sprinkle them with glitter… they looked prickly. I think spray adhesive followed by a sprinkling of glitter was a better plan. Hang drying them would yield the best results here.

Paint: You’ll want to use stiffer feathers here- and maybe for glitter, too. I used duck feathers and just dipped them in paint and then in glitter.

2. Wrap string around feather stem and seal with glue (if you’re adding beads in between feathers on your strands, make sure you put them on before glueing the next feather.

3. Lay flat to dry

4. Seal where feathers are attached with super glue

5. Prepare your hoop. You can try and bend a willow branch or grape vine into a circle or use an embroidery hoop or whatever you want. I found some wood branch wreaths at the dollar stop in Target and cut them so that I had just one branch for my hoop. I tied the ends together by wrapping leather string around the ends and used leather glue to secure it.

6. Weave your Dream Catcher. I used this tutorial to show me how to weave it; I ended up with wider than planned for openings and a looser weave than desired, but it was still pretty, and putting the beads on while weaving was too time consuming to  redo it! Haha.IMG_6082

7. Attach your feather strands. To aid me in proper spacing and not glueing anything to the table, I set my dream catcher on a stand mirror. Then spaced them out and tied knots, then sealed each knot with super glue once I was happy with their position around the hoop. I ended up with 8 strands but needed one more to fill a blank spot, so I put some beads on a piece of lace ribbon and hung that.

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8. Let dry for a day or so…. attach string to hoop for hanging your mobile…. I used lace ribbon.

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My colors: pale pink, gold, rose gold, white, light brown…. I did two strands each of pale pink tipped feathers, plain white feathers, gold paint and glitter dipped feathers, and rose gold tipped feathers.

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