Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tomorrow's Reveal!

I have been working on my new to me office table (which was a dinning room table).

Wenda has been keeping me company during this long process (and getting into mischief...)

She's such a cutie. ;)


So I have these lovely pink Adidas pants that I haven't put on in 2 years because I didn't fit them well when I last put them on. They definitely didn't fit then.

I put them on this morning... and guess what!

They fit!

And... guess what size they are....

Not a large.

Not a medium...

but a small!!!


I also just weighed myself this morning... 146.2 - the lowest I've been in quite a while... yippee! Maybe it's finally starting to show?

Hopefully the weight will keep coming off. ;)

Our Kitchen Remodel

Okay, I'm a little timid to share because there are some really beautiful kitchens out there... but we did ours with lots of hard work (from scratch) and are still in the process of decorating it (our budget can only handle so much!).

We bought our house in September 2010, and worked on the house for about 2 months before moving in!

We are Dave Ramsey fans and found ourselves buying a house under $80,000 and put 20% down on a 20 year mortgage. For our first home, we knew we were going to put in a ton of work!

Whew! It was tough work--not only did we finish all of our hardwood floors (in living room, hallway, and 2 bedrooms), we also remodeled our kitchen!

Let's take a look at the before pictures...

This is the view when you walk in (from the side door)

Look at those lights! Whoa!

And look at that flooring! Yuck!

We decided to get new appliances that matched.... plus, my hubby promised a dish washer! ;)

Lots of 'wood'--and bead-board.

Another lovely view of our kitchen before
Now, we knew that it was going to be a lot of work. What we didn't know is how EXPENSIVE cabinets can be. We went to the store and priced out cabinets and counters for our SMALL kitchen--it was going to be $2000-3000 for the "cheap" ones.

So we put on our thinking caps, and thought How can we do this for less money?

My amazing husband is such a handy man (and perfectionist) and suggested buying the oak unfinished cabinets at Lowes/Menards. I thought, why not?! The cabinets were $500-1000 altogether which was wonderful then we had money to spend on our appliances.

Little did I know how much WORK it was all going to be...

First we ripped out the cabinets & sink...
I must admit that even though this was tough, it was a good stress reliever! :)
Hubby taking out the sink!

Ew, good thing he's willing to do all the dirty work (I was kind of a wimp...).
 So after doing all that we had to take down the lovely light fixture and bulkheads.

Goodbye lights and bulkhead!

It was so DUSTY-this was the giant bulkhead in the middle

Still getting the side bulkheads down...

Then we were left with some huge gaps...
Drywall is not my hubby's thing. He can do it but hates it. Since we had so much and really big gaps that needed to be dry walled in, we called someone to do it.

Everywhere the bead-board was, it had to be patched too (which was the whole dining room/kitchen!)

All patched up, waiting for it to dry!
In the mean time, as we were waiting for it to dry, we started looking for lights....

We also bought all our cabinets that were unfinished.

We sanded. A LOT.

Now do this equation in your mind:
a lot (what you think) x 10 = our project
Seriously. I wish I had a picture but I don't. I guess we were focusing on... sanding.

Starting to put the stain on them (in our home's original floor now NEWLY sanded and finished)!
I thought I better throw in a picture of myself so I could prove I was actually helping (yes, it was late, very late)!

After another coat.

We decided this was too light so we added another darker stain on top. It worked out really well.
Don't be fooled--this took a really long time.

Next, we did my husband's favorite thing--we painted! (After we went searching for some lights... again)

Primer and then our paint color
I also decided to paint the trim white
We (okay, the hubby) finally hung them up!

Lookin' good! (do you see my spot for a dishwasher?!)
Yes, the lights came next. Did I mention that we searched a long time for lights? I think we spent close to 5 hours (different days) just looking at lights. Yes, you read that right 5 hours (think about how much that takes a toll on the neck)! We could not decide. Lights are EXPENSIVE--we were looking for something that was affordable. We wanted a chandler for the dining room that matched the light in the kitchen. We also needed a light for over the sink (that's another story, it's still not done...). We FINALLY found a package of 3 (vanity, chandler, and ceiling) all on clearance for $39.99! Whew! I was worried we'd have to spend $200+!

simple but works.

The tape is where I need to repaint the ceiling... the light works great.

Then it came time to pick out the counter tops.  Oh man. I never want to do that again. Well, maybe if we had lots of money to spend, I'd pick granite but laminate counters is what we went with...

What a difficult process!
Then the hubby finally put the floors in. Once again, we went with the more affordable price and went with laminate flooring.

Who knew you were supposed to start in the middle--not me!
After the floors were finished (really late at night) we got to pick up our new appliances later that week!

Anyone who is buying appliances--do your research! We really wanted stainless steel but found out the leave a lot of finger prints. We also did not like the sides because they were gray (not stainless). When we found out there were some really great looking appliances that looked like stainless steel but were not, we got excited. They didn't leave fingerprints. However, all the stainless steel appliances (fingerprint/non fingerprint kind) all came with a hefty price tag! Did we really want to spend $3000-4000 on appliances? No WAY!

That's when we decided to compromise and get white appliances. We fell in love with Samsung's white appliances. On top of being cheaper than stainless steel, Sears price matches appliances and also takes off a percentage if another store has them cheaper. The kind lady found 3 out of 4 appliances were cheaper somewhere else and we saved a couple hundred dollars! Score! We like our appliances because they are sleek, smooth, pretty, and had good reviews. Finally, we got to pick them up and bring them home...

It was a task getting this sucker (fridge) in!

And since then, our kitchen looks more like this...

I'd love to post some more clean more recent pictures of our kitchen but my SD slot isn't working... boo. 

Are we completely done with our kitchen? Nope.

But, we've come a long way from what it used to be like. I will definitely have to post some updates when I get more decorations up and more projects done. :)

In the meantime, I'm linking up with....


I'm just glad we've come so far--still more to do, but we'll get there!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Every morning I wake up and think "ahhh... do I really have to go out and walk/run?!"

Then I remember that I would be letting myself down---and the hubby. I think about regretting NOT doing it and that gets me up and moving. It's been good but frustrating since I haven't seen the weight dropping like I thought it would. I just need to remember it's not all about numbers! I will reach my goal at some point! :)

I'm so excited that I've started running on my 2 mile walks as well. It's been a great feeling and every day I try to run a little bit more. Hopefully, I'll get to the point that I can run the whole 2 miles and start working on 3! I really, REALLY want to run a 5k--I never thought I'd want to do that (especially with having heart surgery when I was young). I want to do this--and of course, I'm excited to show the hubby I can do it too (he was a runner in high school)!

In July, I've dedicated to doing the 30 Day Shred on top of walking/running--it's going to be an hour every day for 30 days! (at least 5x a week) I'm planning on having 2 days off of walking/running but still am choosing to do the 30 Day Shred. It's going to be a TOUGH month but I am READY to do this. I know so many times I have said I was going to do something (exercise) and then not follow through... this time, I'm following through starting Friday! AHHHH!

So, what is one of your goals for this upcoming month?! Are you exercising?

D is for The Dilemma

Part of my 101 in 1001 is to watch 26 movies all starting with a letter of the alphabet.

Yesterday, I watched The Dilemma - fulfilling our "d" slot! :)

Remember, I am NOT a movie critic... I'm just sharing some of my thoughts on this movie. ;)

It actually wasn't as funny or bad as I thought it would be. First, I really do like the moral or the over all theme - honesty. I think we all struggle with honesty in some way or another. Early in the movie the question asked is, "Can you really know someone?" Good question to ponder.

I think in our society it's okay to cheat (if you aren't feeling loved, or if you just want to, etc) but in this movie we see Vince Vaughn's character get really upset about the whole thing, which should happen! I even noticed that after it was all said and done, Kevin James' character doesn't wear a ring at the end of the movie. I may have a different view than many of you but I believe the only reason to get a divorce would be that reason.

Overall, it was an okay movie. Would I watch it again? Maybe once or twice but its definitely not a movie I watch over and over!

Did you watch The Dilemma? What did you think?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I used to think...

I used to think that staying home all day every day would be so easy. Especially with only my hubby and I. I used to think that getting things done around the house would come naturally. It doesn't.

I used to think that teaching was the greatest job ever--summers off, paid okay, and it's always fun. I used to think that being a teacher would mean going home early, leaving things at school, and that all students would learn & I could tell. No where in my mind was the thought that teachers do a lot of work (outside school), work 'over time' and truly does not get paid as well as they should be.

I used to think that becoming a mom would be easy. No one told me about infertility. Not everyone has to go through it. I used to think when we're ready, we will be parents. It will be easy.

I used to think that I could eat whatever I want. I was wrong. Now I love food and it's hard to lose years of weight from eating the food I indulged in.

I used to think I would never get married... at least early on. I used to think that only guys could ask girls out--until I asked my hubby to go on a double date way back in 2004. I used to think that I wouldn't settle down by the age of 25 until I said "I do" on May 17, 2008 (when I was 22!).

I used to think that I'd never make it through college. I did.  My bachelor's in English: Language Arts. What an accomplishment!

I used to think that I'd never get a job...

I used to think that having everything that I wanted would make me happy--it won't.
Being happy is a choice--a choice I try to make every. single. day.

"I used to think" writing prompt {1 out of 20}

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Page

I've decided to try to do 101 in 1001 days!

I was inspired over at Day Zero.

You can check out my 101 in 1001 days here!

Are you daring to try it too?!

5 Reasons

I've been in a funky mood lately...

I'm sad that we're still not parents.

I'm going crazy since I'm not working (staying home is definitely not for me... I just miss working!)

I'm frustrated with finances.

So... I thought I'd write 5 reasons why I'm HAPPY or CONTENT to be where I'm at. So... here I go.
Its hard to think of reasons of happiness in the midst of things not being how I'd want them to be.

I'm happy to be not be a mom yet because...
*I get to stick to my schedule
*I can sleep in (even though I don't!) and nap time can be for me... whenever and how ever long
*I get to hang out with friends and their kids for some time (which is fun!) but then get to go home to just my hubby (and Wenda)
*My house is quiet, calm, and relaxing
*I can watch lots of movies all day long on rainy days! :)

I'm happy to stay home and not work because...
*I can be crafty
*I can organize
*I can bake/cook and experiment with recipes
*I can work on creating a healthy lifestyle - walking/running more, meal planning
*I can go to the library all day if I wanted! Or the beach! :)

I'm happy financially where we are at because...
*We're learning less is more
*Learning to budget, stick to a budget and it will benefit us in the future (when we have a bigger budget).
*Creative dating
*Learning that we don't have to make lots nor have lots of stuff to make us happy. (that's a hard one though... sometimes I think If I only had... then it would make life easier/better) (Gotta stop that thinking!!)
*We appreciate what we have (or at least try to!)

This post was really about making me see things in a positive light in where WE are at in our stage of life. Please, please don't take any of this the wrong way--I'm just having one of those days that I needed to think about why my glass is half full.

What about you? What are some of the positives of your not-so-great experiences or stage of life currently?

Some days, we just need to look at the positives. :)

Wenda's Toy

Have you ever had your dog chew up something? Shoes? Socks? Towels? Flip Flops?

We did. Wenda loves to chew. She's been doing so great until I found her chewing up my flip flop about a week ago. (AHH!)

Time to get some new toys.

We previously tried lots of toys: bones (which we have about 3 floating around the house), rubber toys, stuffed toys, tennis balls, etc. Nothing but the bones would survive longer than a week or two. For being 25 pounds of cuteness, she definitely has a strong set of jaws that loves to chew!

About a week ago I bought a StarMark Everlasting Ball for 21.99 at Petco. I thought, for so much money, I'm sure this will hold up and Wenda won't bite it into pieces.


Wenda loved the toy I brought her home that day--she loved it so much in fact that she had it ripped apart within an hour with blue pieces everywhere! I was SO disappointed. This toy was meant for dogs under 40 lbs and I thought it was sure to last. Wenda apparently had too much fun, and has the chewing strength of a dog over 40 lbs.

I emailed the company, and told them how disappointed I was after spending $21.99. That night the marketing director emailed me offering to send me a replacement toy better suited for my dog! I was so ecstatic! It's so hard trying to figure out what to get a new dog when there are so many toys out there.

It took less than a week for the company to ship a new toy--the Everlasting Bento Ball.


Wenda absolutely loves it! She has been playing with it since she got it on Tuesday. She has NOT chewed it to pieces nor has she demolished the toy--it's fabulous! Every night she has had a hard time parting with it for bedtime--the last two mornings it worked like a charm keeping her busy.

*Update: She has chewed a small piece off but that's it!

I really, really appreciate the replacement--that really tells me a lot about the company as a whole. To take time and listen to costumers then offer to send another toy really demonstrates a company's integrity. We will DEFINITELY be buying more treats to put into Wenda's Everlasting Bento Ball.

So if you are looking for some dog toys--totally check out StarMark's toy products here! I believe that they are a good company and is willing to listen to it's customers!

They also have a free downloads for Triple Crown's Training and Behavior Solutions.

Yes, Wenda has been tired out from her new toy and is currently passed out sleeping! :) 

*This post was just my opinions and experiences - StarMark did not pay me to write this--I just wanted to share how pleased I was! Thanks StarMark.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday - Yes or No

What I love about All the Weigh is...
(a) Kenlie is an amazing inspiration
and (b) she hosts Friend Makin' Monday!

I love Friend Makin' Monday because it gives me a chance to get to know others, and for others to get to know me! Woohoo!

FMM: Yes or No?
  1. Do you use coupons? I used to ALL the time--no joke. However, after getting rid of the internet it was difficult to keep up with it. I literally cringe when I see my grocery bill at 100 bucks now. I need to get couponing again. ;) My favorite site to use in my area is Saving Addiction. I did pay for a while to use Savings Angel but Saving Addiction was free and worked better for me. I did say to my hubby Sunday I NEED to get back to couponing and get a stock up again. :)
  2. Do you like football? confession: no.
  3. Are you in a relationship? Yes, my bff - my husband! He is flippin' amazing. And hot.
  4. Is your phone always within arm’s reach? Half the time I don't know where my phone is... I live life dangerously.
  5. Do you like thunderstorms? Love them!
  6. Can you cook? Yes. And bake.
  7. Are you – or have you – lost weight? Yes. :) I've lost 12 pounds since last summer--lets keep that going, got 29 more to go! Who knew getting a full time job would mean weightloss? ;)
  8. Do you know how to read a map? Yes. I even know which way is North, South, East, or West... in Michigan! I always know where the lake is!
  9. Do you wear makeup? Yes, I love the bare minerals... but Physicians Formula.
  10. Do you read regularly? Blogs? Yes. Books? Not so much... I need to though!
  11. Are you publicly affectionate? Maybe.... If you see us we are ALWAYS holding hands. 
  12. Do you like picnics? Super fun. :) Yes!
  13. Do you have a/c? Yes, kind of. Our house came with a huge, massive air conditioner that is in the wall. Yes, it's a part of the house. I need to take a picture of it some time. It has it's own little roof on the outside. We have the weirdest, most costly air conditioner....
  14. Have you ever been out of the country? Yes.
  15. Do you know how to ride a bicycle? Yes I do. I wish I had one though--it's on my wishlist!

Menu Planning Monday

It's that time again--menu planning!

Last week, I planned for the first time in a while here. Um... how many of those dishes do you think I ended up making?


Yes, you read that right--only one. (Which ROCKED--see the recipe here)

So... I'm going to try it again this week. I'm hoping to break my current record. ;)

{Monday} - Left overs (me); grilled cheese (hubby)

{Tuesday} - Gone to flea markets all day--hubby gets to fend for himself

{Wednesday} - Crock Pot French Onion Soup with homemade french bread

{Thursday} - Chicken Quesadillas

{Friday} - Cooking out (over the fire) with our small group. ;)

{Saturday} - Marinated Steaks (YUM!)

I'm linking up with Laura @ I'm an Organized Junkie

Chicken with Spinach & Mozzarella

I saw this recipe over at Gina's Skinny Recipes: Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella.

It looked so delicious AND healthy! So, I thought why not try it?

 I thought it turned out pretty and delicious!

Here's the recipe (and a few adaptations):

Chicken with Spinach & Mozzarella
Adapted from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes

  • 24 oz (3 large) chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise to make 6 cutlets - I used 6-7 chicken tenders instead.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed (I used it from a jar)
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, drained
  • 3 oz shredded part skim mozzarella
  • Red, Orange, and Yellow Peppers chopped. (I froze what I didn't use so I can have some ready for the next time)
 Turn oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper (flip and do again). Place in non-stick pan and place in oven (even before it gets to 400!).

Heat a pan and add oil and garlic. Saute for a little bit.

Cut up the peppers.

Check the chicken--if ready to flip, flip it!

Add Spinach to sauteed garlic. I added the spinach frozen, so I cooked it over medium heat and kept flipping it (Eventually it all worked out). Cook until it is heated through. Add a little salt and pepper (or other spices).

Take chicken out of oven. Spoon spinach/garlic over each piece of chicken. Top with a little bit of shredded mozzarella and sprinkle on the peppers (I don't like green, so I like to use yellow, orange, and red)! Bake until the cheese is melted (about 6-8 minutes).

Take it out--enjoy the view AND the taste!!

What a great start to making better recipes--and healthy choices. Healthy food CAN be delicious!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pinterest Finds

So... I have not had time to even think about the blog Friday or Saturday!

Friday, we went to a camp ground to visit friends. We tackled the high ropes course and enjoyed ending the day eating smores over the fire.

Saturday, we spent all day with my husband's family visiting his older brother at college, going to a car museum, and going "antiquing". I dragged home a fabulous office chair on wheels for $17 (all wood!). I will show you that later. ;)

Since we haven't been home, we have to stay awake for Wenda's sake (poor girl has been in her cage almost all day!). So... I thought I'd check out Pinterest and share some good finds. ;)

Some sayings/quotes...
Oh, how I love my hubby and this says it all...
Some DIY...

Weight Loss Motivation...

And this is what REALLY got me motivated to lose weight a few weeks ago... wow, what a transformation!
So, there's some inspiration and encouragement from Pinterest today... oh, how I could spend hours on that website (don't worry, I won't!).

Happy almost Father's Day! :)