Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teacher Gifts {Halloween Simmering Spices}

 For Halloween this year I wanted to create something simple for the teachers and staff at my children's school. Now that I have 2 kids in school full time, the amount of teachers add up quickly.  So keeping it fun, personal and affordable is key!

I chose to make simmering spice packets.   I did these a couple of years ago, and they were a huge hit with the teachers.  One they said they wanted again!  

I've created a tutorial so that you can create the same things for your friends or family.  These could be used for Thanksgiving, and even Christmas.  Enjoy!

You will need the following supplies:
  • Fresh Oranges
  • Fresh Lemons
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Whole Cloves
  • Whole Allspice
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Ground Cinnamon
I like to order my spices on Amazon Prime, and a lot of times you can find them on sale in bulk.

 Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  Start by slicing your oranges and lemons into 1/4" slices. Place them on cookie sheets.  I reccommend using parchment paper to prevent sticking.


 Place them in the oven for 1 hour. Flip the slices, and bake for another hour.  If they are still too moist, flip them over and go another half hour.  Do this until they are very thin and dry.

In the meantime grab your spices and some plastic baggies.

I am using some pumpkin gift bags that I scored on Target clearance a few years ago.  But I have also had great luck finding fun bags on Amazon, and with prime it just makes sense.

Inside I will place my sandwich baggies full of spices.  Add about 5 cinnamon sticks, 3 Tablespoons of whole cloves, 2 Tablespoons of whole Allspice, 1 Tablespoon of Ground Nutmeg, and 1 Tablespoon of ground Cinnamon.


In a separate baggie, place your dried and cooled fruit slices.  I used 2 orange, and 3 lemon slices in each bag.


Tuck both baggies into whatever container you choose.  You could do this with any brown paper bag.  And you are done!  Now time to package.
I create a very simple word doc with easy directions on how to use the simmering spices.  I also grabbed some spooky kraft tags, and some dyed seam binding.


Be sure to tell your recipients what they will need to do in order to enjoy the fabulous fall aroma!

Once I cut the directions, I slipped them into each bag.

Then simple hold punch two holes into the top of the bag.

I tied the orange seam binding through and into a knot.  Then I tied my tags to that.

That's it!   These gifts will bring such joy to this spooky halloween night.  

I dressed up a metal basket, and these gifts are ready to head out the door with my children in the morning. 

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoyed my tutorial.  


Be sure to check out all of the parties I link up to by clicking here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New update on my weight loss {Breathing In The Moment}

My progress has been absolutely amazing, and I want to share it all with you!  So head over to Breathing In The Moment to read all about it!!

I'm hoping to be back this weekend with some crafty updates!  We've actually been getting some fun stuff done around the house!!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Weigh-In & Updates

Today is my 4th day on my 24 Day Challenge.  Head over to Breathing In The Moment to see my amazing progress!!
Thank you readers for being to amazing to me!!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Come visit me {Sugarbee Crafts}

Today is the 3rd Friday of the month.  Do  you know what that means?

It means I am over at Sugarbee Crafts for my Party Contributor post!!  

See you there!!   Right?!?!

Ok, fine, here is a sneak peek of what is going on over there.

paper garland tutorial

 Head on over here now!  :)


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Breathing in the moment {New Blog}

Hello to all of my fabulous readers! I cannot tell you how thankful I am for your support with my new journey!  With that said, I am going to be posting the first few posts on this site, but not forever.  I am hoping you will head over to my new site "Breathing in the Moment" and follow me over there.

 So for now, here is a link to my newest post!  Getting Prepared for Lift Off

 Head on over and say hello!  Your support means the world to me!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Removing my Fat Suit {Advocare Style}

Notice: If you are looking for fun Party posts or DIY goods... you may want to skip this post. This is about to get personal.

Have you ever noticed that I avoid pictures at all cost?  Well here is why.  Grab a nice cold drink, and enjoy the story.  Well that is if you chose to keep reading.

(200Lbs in 2005)

Let's go back to the beginning.   As a child I never considered myself to be "fat", however I was always bigger than most of my girlfriends.  I come from a BIG family, by big I mean most members on my Dad's side are 5'9"-6'6"!  And well built.  

The hard part is that I am the only family member on either side that would be considered "obese" (I hate that term, but it's life)  I always feel like the outcast, and like a let down to my family.  My Grandpa always worries about my weight, and It's completely out of love and care.  He is getting older now, and his health has taken a few steps back over the last few years, and I really want him to see me do this!  

(Krista and I, October 13th 2012)

I went through high school pretty happy with myself.  I never felt that I needed to be on a diet, but I was never a bikini boaster.  I was me, and I still am Me. 

My senior year of high school I met my husband.  It was love at first sight, I will have to share that story another time.  Well you know what happens when you fall in love and over the years you get pretty comfortable with each other?  Well then you start to get comfortable with the weight as well.  I didn't gain a ton, but probably went up one pant size and gained 15-20 pounds.  No Big deal, I was still so very happy with who I was.

(My husband, Son and I, 2007)

Then came baby.  In 2002 I got pregnant with our son.  I gained 56 pounds.... it was awful.  Once he was born he never breast fed, which was even worse.  I tried to lose the weight, but with the new baby which then became a toddler, I just didn't have it in me.  I felt like a load of mass that couldn't help myself.  I topped the scales at 260 pounds! ( I cannot believe I am posting this on here)

(Me and my sister in-law, 2007)

Then in 2004 I got pregnant with our daughter.  I was already 260 pounds and was terrified that I was going to gain a mass amount once again.  However in the first trimester I lost about 10 pounds.  The day I went in to give birth I weighed 271 pounds!  Eek, but she was also a 9 pound baby!

(Me and Michael Maloney, 2008)

About 2 weeks after I had her I decided it was time to get my rear in gear.  I started walking about 5 miles a day and eating all healthy, clean and fresh foods.  Within 3 months I had lost 69 pounds!  I was down to 202 pounds!  No gimmicks, no shakes, just good old fashioned weight loss.  Breastfeeding played a HUGE part and I will get to that in a minute.

(Our wedding day 2005 at 200 Pounds!)

I felt amazing to say the least.  Life went on, and BAM a storm rolled in and took my life by surprise.  I was completely betrayed by my best friend of 15 years.  I was mortified and sent into a very deep depression, and started packing on the pounds.


Over the course of 3 years I would cry and eat, and cry and eat... I went on medication that gave me migraines, so I had to quit taking it of course.  It took me a long time to re-gain trust and heal from my wounds.  I have come a LONG way mentally, but physically I am still at that road block.

(My husband and I 2008)

I love my husband dearly, and was able to sort through things with him, and it actually made us closer.  As for the friend, we have not spoken since that day, nor will we ever.  I hate to be that way, but she is not a woman I would EVER trust in my life ever again.  Some women just want what others have, and will go great lengths to get there.... can I get an AMEN?

(Roloff Farms 2007)

Onto today!  The weight is still there, and in fact it's gotten higher!  It's like my body won't let go.  I'm wearing this suit that is my shield from life.  But as of today, I am D.O.N.E!  I am miserable.  I wake up in pain, I have zero energy, and am just downright unhappy. 

(Amy Roloff with Me and Gabi 2007)

I always ask myself  WHY am I unhappy?  I have a great job, great family, great husband, amazing home, my own business, money... everything is great... so WHY?!?!

(Me and My sister 2008)

It is because I am not living the life I should be.  I am trapped inside this fat suit, and I need out.  I used to be very outgoing.... not anymore.  I'm tired of being bottled up.  I'm ready to come out.


So if you are still with me... I am inviting you to join me on my journey!  I am going to document every step of the way.  Weigh-In's once a week, and Lot's of pictures, menu's and tips.  

(Heather and I with Phil & Amy Parham from The Biggest Loser in 2009)

I am done with the old me, ready for new!! 

 (Me and My sister in 2008)

And before you go, my inspiration came from Shelley over at House of Smiths!  She is a doll, and I look up to her in so many ways.  More than she will ever know.  She herself has lost so much weight in the last year, go check it out!!   And as a bonus, I get to meet her in April at SNAP!  I haven't set my weight loss goal for that date, but you better bet it's gonna be a big one!!!

So here's to the removal of my fat suit!!!  So long sista!!

So head on over to my new blog "Breathing in the Moment" to follow me on my journey one step at a time!  


Friday, October 5, 2012

Hutch Makeover {Thrifted Gem}

 It's been about a year since I snagged this beauty  diamond in the rough at my local thrift store!   I brought it into the space in the middle of the winter, so I simply put it to use trying to ignore the "old" factor.

I snagged this baby for $70, but wait! It gets better.... it was on half price special!!  After zero hesitation, I walked ran to the register and screamed... I WANT IT!!!   $35?!?!?   Crazy right?

It sat until I discovered Chalk Paint!  I realized I didn't to tape everything off, and that I could paint it in place!   Score!  So this past weekend I got to work. 

First to start clearing it out.

Which left heaps of very pretty and colorful dishes on my kitchen table.   I could stare at them forever, but let's move on....

I did bring in my painters tarp to protect my flooring.  But I will be honest, I can't stand that floor and am anxiously awaiting the day we get to rip in out. 

And I got to work painting.  I used my DIY Chalk Paint recipe, along with Behr Creamy White flat paint.  It took me 2 coats to get the coverage I was after.  I finished it off with Annie Sloan clear wax.

I left the back blank for a reason... onto that in a minute. When choosing the color I was really wanting to go with a fun color to pop against my walls.  

But being that I am a Fiestaware collecting fool, I chose white so that my dishes were the "pop" of color.   However I did not want a plain old boring white nothing to it hutch.... thus leading us to the next step!

CON-TACT Paper!!!!   I found some amazing choices of this fun self adhesive shelf liner, but went with a more classic approach.  Also a neutral color to help with the fore mentioned "pop" of color.

Here she is!  I chose to keep the original hardware to give it the shabby appeal.  

Check out the POP!!!  :)  I'm loving every.single.detail on this piece!

It was a quick post, but I truly want to thank you for stopping by!!!   Don't forget to check out all of the parties I like to link up to by clicking here!