Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Juicing Journey - Day 4

 I was down even more weight when I woke up in the morning! Woohoo! And I felt even better than I did on Day 3. Seriously, I could keep this up. As a matter of fact I plan to have a juice at least 3 times a week after the actual fast is over. Maybe throw in an entire day of juicing every 2-3 weeks. On this day I started with the Berry-A-Peeling juice. I added 2 entire oranges and another 1/2 of a lime after I tasted it. Not because it tasted bad but because I thought those flavors would go good together and I needed as much juice as I could get. This drink didn't make very much. I hoped it would get me through work. I could make something different for dinner.
Even raw this looks like a yummy snack.
This juice was good enough to drink throughout the day. I just drank a glass, then 16-20 oz of water, then another glass of juice. I was still running to the bathroom like a crazy person due to all the liquid consumption but that's what I wanted. Water weight was disappearing.
Now this juice actually looks tasty.
Well, I did have something different for dinner. A salad. :/ Not because I gave in but I was physically feeling sick. Not sick from juicing either. Just plain cold or virus. I had been sneezing, getting chills, and getting a sore throat the last part of the day at work. Then I started feeling queasy. And I couldn't stand the thought of throwing up with nothing in my stomach. So I had a light salad with raw broccoli. Thank The Lord, because later that night I did get sick. I was still running a fever when I went to sleep.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Juicing Journey - Day 3

I felt SO great when I woke up. Seriously. Woke up earlier, didn't drag getting out of bed, fit in my clothes better... YES! I mean, look at this happy face.
That is a happy girl right there.
I was down another 1.5 lbs when I weighed in the morning. Excuse me, what? I lost weight while I slept? Yes, yes I did. Hallelujah, it's a miracle. I stuck with the Fruity with a Twist recipe because it made so much and was delicious. I did add spinach to it again. A little more than I had previously added actually. Since I couldn't taste it the day before there was no reason not to. Just extra healthy. Let me just add that when I say "I" here, I really mean my hubby because he got it all ready, juiced it, and cleaned up the juicer for me. He is a winner. I can't say it enough. Well, once more wouldn't hurt...
That's the hubs for sure.
Anyway, the day went well. Just kept up my rotation of juice and water. It was by far the easiest day. The only time I even wanted food was when someone was eating right in front of me. And at that it was only junk. I won't lie, there was a Chips Ahoy Reese's cookie that looked more delicious than anything I'd ever seen. But I didn't give in and I was glad at the end of the day.

Total weight loss for the day = 1.6 lbs
Total = 5.2

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Juicing Journey - Day 2

First off, I felt wonderful at the beginning of Day 2. I was afraid that since I was feeling a little bad the night before I would be feeling awful but I didn't. I made the Fruity with a Twist drink again for breakfast. My awesome husband went to the store and got me oranges and strawberries since we had forgotten oranges in our original shopping trip and didn't get enough strawberries. (I have one recipe that uses a lot of those.) I modified this one since even the thought of celery still makes me sick but I need some greens, not just fruit. I put 2 handfuls of spinach in it. It tasted DELICIOUS. Basically like I was drinking orangey-berry-pineappley juice. I couldn't taste the spinach at all. In regular dishes I love spinach, but juiced by itself it's not too good. Mixed in with pineapple it was fine. This recipe made a lot of juice. As in I overflowed my juicers pitcher and had to clean up a huge mess this morning before I could leave for work. It was still a good thing because I needed enough to take to work with me. It definitely did the trick.
It tastes way better than it looks.
I tried to drink a glass of juice then a glass of water all day. Probably about 14 oz each since my cup I was using was 16 oz and I put ice in each drink. I know that you're supposed to drink it as soon as you juice it but that was not feasible for me while at work, so I didn't. I made my juice and put it in a big jug and took it that way. Didn't even have to write my name on it. Can you believe nobody tried to steal it out of the cooler? Haha. I was running to the bathroom all day due to the liquid consumption but that's okay. Makes me feel like it's doing the trick.

Mom had to take some whole fruits and veggies to work to try to eat those. She was too sick to juice again in the morning. She was going to try to eat raw and juice again the next morning. I hope she feels much better so she can. 

I never did make more juice bc this drink made a lot. Enough to last me all day. I felt different than at the end of Day 1 and I know it was due to the spinach I added to the drink. I didn't feel bad, but I could tell I was detoxing more. Temperature was a little higher, I got occasional chills, and I was sweating more. 

Total weight loss for the day = 1.4 lbs
Total = 3.6

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Monday, September 23, 2013

My Juicing Journey - Day 1

Okay, this day starts full blast. I woke up at 9 and started juicing. I made the Berry-A-Peeling drink first today before I did anything else. It's all fruit and since my trial juice made me sick last night from the celery in it, I thought fruit would be safer. It wasn't bad. It had apples, limes, and strawberries in it. The lime taste hung around for a while after. I think next time I do this one I'll just use 1/2 of a lime. I cooked the kids and hubs blueberry muffins for breakfast. One of my favorite things. I stayed out of the kitchen while they ate. I wasn't hungry, I just wanted one because I like them.
1st thing. Hair not brushed or anything. But proof I did it.
My mom did the Beginner Green and she has been sick all day. It is mostly green with lots of celery and makes you detox pretty quickly apparently. She also did the Berry-A-Peeling but since she was already sick it didn't help. I don't drink anything but water anyway so mine wasn't as bad as her. She has to have her coffee every day. Hopefully she'll stick with it because she felt bad enough to stay in bed all day and ended the day throwing up. If she wakes up feeling better tomorrow she'll start with fruit juice instead of greens.

My 2nd drink was a Green Lemonade. It had way more green than the first as you can see. It didn't taste bad. It has apples, lemon, kale, spinach, and cucumber in it. I am not a fan of cucumber but it wasn't strong in the drink. It was strong in the aftertaste.
Looks gross but didn't taste bad.
At this point the day started to get a little rough. I was honestly not hungry but we were supposed to go to my hubby's grandparents house for dinner. I sat that one out. TJ made me the Fruity Punch with a Twist before he left. Somehow even though we marked it off the list we forgot oranges, so he threw some strawberries in instead. I didn't get a picture (ops) but it was the worst looking of all. Best tasting though.

 Even though I wasn't hungry I felt like I needed to eat something. I never did get sick but I did feel a little blah. Some people say doing this has them running to the bathroom, but I didn't. Other than from the juice and extra water consumption. While the family was gone to dinner, I folded laundry, cleaned the house, washed the dishes, and drank juice and water. At the end of the day I was craving food. Anything. I would've been happy with a Saltine Cracker. But I didn't give in and I went to bed full. I hope Day 2 is a little easier than Day 1 with the cravings.

Total weight loss for Day1 = 2.2 lbs

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Juicing Journey - Getting Ready

I am actually really excited about this post. It's for betterment of body and mind. Maybe not while it's hapening because it's going to be difficult, but after for sure. I have a friend who decided to do a juicing fast. I have been inspired by his results to do one of my own. He says he's lost weight and feels better than ever, and since both of those things appeal to me I'm doing it. I'm going to shoot for 5 days. I'm going to put each day into a post and put what I drank, how it tasted, and how I feel. I will also be putting in my mom's thoughts since she is amazing and decided to do this with me even though we're in different states. Here's me being excited to start with my mini.
She's excited too because she wants to try all my drinks.
In preparation, I had to get a juicer since it's essential for juicing. I decided on a Breville Juice Fountain Plus. 
My mom is using a Dash. 

I also looked up recipes. My buddy Adrian recommended Juice Recipes as a good recipe source. He was right. They have their recipes broken into categories, including one that focuses on weight loss. These are the recipes we're using because we both want to lose a few extra pounds while we cleanse. I made a Word document and sent it to my mom so we could both print it. You can get it here. All recipes are copied straight from the website.

I also made a shopping list on the Anylist app for iPhone and shared it with my mom. It's a nice feature. We bought fruits and veggies and got ready. We decided to start on a Sunday since the detox can make people feel sick. We didn't want to be feeling crummy at work on the 1st day. Especially her since she can't have her coffee! Lucky for me I don't drink it. 

I tried my juicer out Saturday night just to see what I should be expecting. I made the Fresh Start drink off the website. My hubby tried it and didn't hate it, but I DESPISE the taste of celery which has an even stronger taste when juiced. I will be cutting down celery in most recipes if I use it at all and adding lime to cut the rest of the taste since just the taste made me sick. The process of using the juicer was easy. 

I had gotten a tip off a video somewhere that said to put a plastic bag in the pulp catcher so that you can just pull the bag out and not have to wash the catcher every time. GREAT tip. Even though if you rinse as soon as you're done it cleans easily anyway, using a bag makes it even easier. You'll be washing it a lot so every little bit helps.

I'm all set up for tomorrow and plan on doing a fruit juice for breakfast since the celery made me sick. I'll do a green juice for lunch.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Cleaning Cabinet Revamp

Before I put my cleaning stuff in my cleaning cabinet under the kitchen sink I decided I was not going to be removing 10 things to get to the 1 thing I needed way in the back because in my old house that"s exactly what always happened. Like almost everything else I do, I got inspiration for this organizing project from some genius person. It's such a great idea. Before I could do anything I had to buy a tension rod long enough and clean my new cabinet out. Cleaning the cleaning cabinet... I feel like there's something wrong with that. Anyway, I left the piece of linoleum in there so it would save the wood if things got spilled. That piece is easily replaceable, the wood is not.
This was after I wiped it down. No dust or gunk in it anywhere.
 Then I put my tension rod in. I tightened and tightened and tightened and then I tightened some more. When I felt like it was stable I started putting my stuff in.
Doesn't look like much at this point.
 I happen to have 2 side shelves in my cabinet so I put things on them first. Right side has pet shampoo, flea spray, bug spray (no spiders for me thank you), and mosquito spray because we have a ton here. The left side has furniture cleaner because we got a lot of really good stuff when we bought our furniture 3 years ago. It still looks new so it was worth it. Everything else except for spray bottles went in the bottom. I keep my sponges in a basket because I use them all the time and they tend to fall everywhere after you open the pack. The items I use the most are in the front for obvious reasons. Then I hung up my spray bottles. Let me just say my tension rod was not nearly as stable as I thought. Putting the weight on it made it move. So I went back to tightening. It does have a little curve to it but it is holding up nicely. It's been there for about a week now and hasn't moved at all.
 The hubs did say since he liked it he was going to install a wooden rod so there was no curvature. We'll see how that goes. He's busy too. If he does I'll post an updated pic. For now I have lots more space. It's always best to go up when you can because most vertical space just gets wasted. I've been wasting my vertical space for years, I'm just not doing it anymore. If anyone has any suggestions let me know. I'm always up for better ways to do things.

1 - 32"-48" tension rod - $2.17

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to Make a Dryer Vent Pumpkin

As most of you know, we have been getting our new house set up. Excitement is running rampant around our house right now. We should be moved in by the beginning of October. This weekend we got a lot of things accomplished. I made at least 10 trips to stores because I kept thinking of more things that I needed. I made 2 trips to get laundry detergent. I finally remembered it on the 3rd trip. I'm telling you, moving is exhausting. My mind has been in a million different places lately. When I realized I still forgot laundry detergent on the 2nd trip, I decided I needed a break from unpacking... organizing... making a bigger mess... whatever you want to call it. So I made one more trip out to get some supplies for a craft which always cheers me up. When I got back home I got out (ha. Got out... who am I kidding? It's been sitting on top of the dryer since we hooked it up 3 weeks ago.) the part of the dryer vent we cut off when we moved our dryer in and headed to the garage.

I got set up on my piece of newspaper with the garage doors open. I used orange Rust-O-Leum paint since it was going on metal. 
I just sprayed as evenly as I could. The paint stuck great. I made sure to spray the ends well and got under the vent as much as possible from this side.
Coming along nicely.
I left it there to dry on that side and turned it over once it completely dried. I waited a couple of hours and went back to unpacking since I felt a little better about my wasted trips to the store. After the first side was completely dry and no longer felt tacky I flipped it over to paint the other side,
The paint went on great. It's still wet here after painting the 2nd side.
I left it there another couple of hours so that the paint would be totally dry so I could connect the ends. For my purposes, I just held the two ends together and wrapped Gorilla tape around them and painted it orange as well. The back side of mine will be completely hidden so it didn't matter if it had tape on it. Originally I thought it had been going somewhere that would show off the entire thing. If that's your issue I would use a wire wrap method. Just hold the ends together, wrap thin wire around them like you would tape from one side to the next, and then wrap a small loop of wire around itself to hold in place. Since the vent is notched it will be barely noticeable. Then you could just throw a leaf over the top and it would be even less noticeable.
After I taped and painted it and brought it inside.
I bought apple cinnamon scented oil and dark reeds which I held together with rubber bands to make my stem. It's cute and gives off a nice smell. Two of my favorite things: Good looks and good smells. I stuck some fake leaves inside the rubber bands as well and just let them branch out.
My supplies. Just stick it all together and sit in the bottle of scented oil.
My finished product turned out great and was really simple. Other than drying time for the paint it took me less than 30 minutes. My total cost was under $15. Now I'm excited about making more fall and Halloween stuff, especially when it gives me an excuse not to unpack for a few minutes. 

Maybe it's just because I made it, but I think it turned out great. It's perfect for my mantle.

Dryer vent - $0 (already had it)
Orange Rust-O-Leum paint - $5
Apple Cinnamon Oil - $1
Decorative Reeds - $3
Fake leaves - $2
Rubber bands - $0 (already had it)

Until next time.
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Friday, September 6, 2013

Enter: The Lilac Zone.

We're making progress with our move. Right now it seems like with every move there's always at least one room that needs painting. In our new house that room was the one going to our 4 year old daughter. Let's just say that she disliked hated burgundy. Not even an option to leave it. Let's also say that I was not a fan of the flowered burgundy and hunter green border. It was old school home interior style. Uh, no thank you.
This border was NOT happening in Bacon's room.
And then there were the curtains. I'm sure they matched whatever was in the room and it looked fine, but they were not for us at all. 
Curtains, valances... too much of this color everywhere.
Since Bacon was saying no way to the room color and I was saying the same to the border, hubs and I decided to paint. Picking a color was the easy part. It went like this: "Bacon, what color do you want your room?" "Purple." "Do you want to think about it to make sure that's what you want?" "Sure... okay, I thought about it. I want purple." She did want dark purple (her last room was magenta) but we talked her into light purple. Mainly because later on we don't want to get stuck painting over another dark color. We took her to pick out her color and get it mixed. We bought primer and had it tinted as well. It was a little more expensive but well worth it.

Before we could paint we had to get that border off. It was the worst part by far. We looked up all kinds of information on removing wallpaper since we had never done it and found that there's a spray you can use to break the glue down. You also have to buy a scoring tool to use before the spray so that it can penetrate the wallpaper. There were also lots of people who said that didn't work and they wound up scraping the glue off anyway. We tried a different method and it worked well for us. I have a Shark Portable Steam Pocket that I love. The hubby did a great job using it. We just put the direct steam nozzle on it and steamed the border off. It wasn't the quickest process because it's made to clean with so it doesn't get super hot, but it worked and that's what we were going for.
He's so helpful. Anything for his girls. =]
We did have to scrape it, but not a lot. We just bought a paper scraper and used it. It was easier on the hands than a regular blade. This is what it looked like after we scraped it. You can see one wall still has the under layer of the border attached while the other doesn't so you can tell the difference.
The little bit of glue was just smearing at this point so it was flat. We didn't want to saturate the sheet rock with water, so we left it.
We scraped all 4 walls until they just had the little glue remnants on them. We left it just like that and put tinted primer on top of it. You can't even tell there was a little glue left. 
We did one wall at a time. It was easier for us that way because it was hard  on the arms to continue scraping all 4 in a row.
After adding tape and 2 coats of tinted primer it looked like this. We didn't originally tape because we thought pulling the tape off might damage the popcorn ceilings. (Only the rooms we want to paint have these ceilings of course.) Our bad edging due to the popcorn was damage enough, so we taped. You can't even tell it was taped since we pulled it off.
Taping saved tons of time and painstaking edging work.
And after 1 coat of paint it looked like this. As you can see our little one is very happy with the end result. 
She loves that closet.
TJ finished painting while I was at work so when I got home I started unpacking, cleaning, and rearranging.
Her little bed will be gone on Christmas. Getting too big so a new one is coming.
"Mom, this looks AWESOME!"
This white furniture will be gone soon. I think she wants black.
I still need to empty the closet. It's got some boxes in it. I plan on putting an actual closet organization system in it but that won't be happening right now. We've got to get moved in first. Hopefully I can get it started by the beginning of next year. It's going to take some planning for sure, but it should eradicate the need for most of her furniture. That's what we're ultimately going for so that they have more room to play. We still have some art to hang on the walls and her tv will be hanging also. Other than that we're finished with her room. This took us about 4 days to paint because we only worked on it at night after work. We could've done it in a day because the primer and paint dried surprisingly fast.

We will be working on B's room next. We're not sure if we're even going to paint it. He hasn't decided what he wants as of right now. I guess we'll see.

- jFree <3

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Paperwork Chaos Undone.

My kids started back to school earlier this month. They are loving it. My 4 year old, Bacon, seems to love everything about Pre-K but she especially loves the bus. I never let my 8 year old, B, ride the bus before, but since his sister wanted to this year we decided to try letting them ride it home. My anxiety level was through the roof for the first week but I've gotten over it now. They enjoy it and honestly it saves us some time and hassle. It comes by much too early in the morning for them to ride it to school. Thankfully B is liking the 3rd grade. He changed schools this year to a MUCH better district and it seems to have done him well. A huge difference is this school actually sends home paperwork. Looots of paperwork. Mix that with the mail that has been coming in and I've got a mess. Staying at the MILs is helpful money wise but we don't have a lot of space. One bedroom for us, one for the kids to share.
The kids have a good setup and have done surprisingly well in the same room.
Our pit bull, Roscoe, LOVES to photobomb. You'll probably see a lot of him.
Here he is again. At least he takes some of the attention off the mess.
I can't seem to break the hubby's habit of dropping everything right beside the bed, including his horde of Girl Scout cookies. (He's a Thin Mint junkie.)
Our YorkiePoo, Baylor. She does not sleep with us. Our dogs are inside but aren't allowed on the furniture. As you can see, she got an opportunity and sneaked right into Dad's spot.
As you can see we've done well with the space provided. Other than the t-shirts my husband refuses to throw anywhere but everywhere and the desk. Oh, the desk. It has been the bane of my existence for the past month and I have been ignoring hoping it would just clean itself. Didn't happen. So I took all the papers off and got them in a pile.
This is just part of them. They're everywhere.
That is what I got. That doesn't include all the papers I've been storing at work and in my purse. Papers everywhere. I also have refund checks from every bill we had. This is good news for us. My system of paying every 4 weeks instead of once a month has paid off. Woohoo! Maybe a post on budgeting sometime... Anyway, then I went shopping for supplies. Let me tell you, I'm a cheap shopper. If I can find a deal, that's what I'm doing. 

My steps were this: 
1. I got 2 plastic milk crates (1green, 1pink)! from Walmart for $3.97 each. I also "borrowed" some recycled file folders and tabs from my office. (My boss is great.) 
2. Decided to make one file for each grade per kid. 
3. I make binder covers every year, so I printed off an extra copy to put in the front of each file in case the tab pops off.
Bacon's binder cover this year. She loves
purple and stars.
B's binder cover this year. He loves
green and skulls.
4. I made tabs for the folders.
5. I put a couple of folders in each crate with tabs on them labeled with their current grade.
6. I put an extra folder in one crate so that we can put our paperwork in it while we're at the MILs. I'll move it to my normal filing spot when we get settled. 
My baby's first tag from school ever. *tear* We picked them up every day for the 1st week. 
The crates look empty but at the moment  they both only have one month of one grade in them. I figure that by 12th grade they'll be full.I thought about getting a box with a lid but for now it's more convenient to just drop stuff in. I may change later on. If so, I'm sure I'll still be able to find a use for these crates. I'm much happier with this than the method of "throw it on the desk and hope you can find it later".
Look at these little almost empty crates. B's will be half full by the time I put his paperwork from the past 4 years in it.
One big HUGE upcoming project for me is to create a homework command center. The kids aren't big enough yet to worry with a family command center. I know where they are at all times no matter what and I keep track of all appointments on my phone. But the homework command center will be a big help I think. Bacon brings home a monthly homework calendar and B has a weekly one in conjunction with the daily assignments he has to write down in his planner. They also have different lunch menus and memos from their schools, so I think one place to keep all of it central will be great. We'll see I guess.

**Afterthought: Isn't it CRAZY how much homework kids have these days? He has as much in 3rd grade as I did when I was in high school. Sometimes I just feel like they don't get to be kids anymore.**