Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Whatcha Reading Wednesday: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is not the kind of book I typically read. When I read the synopsis (cancer, teen love, death...), I wasn't sold. But it was highly recommended by a friend, so I decided to give it a go.

Front Cover

The story centers on, and is told by, Hazel. She is 16 and has terminal cancer, but has been in remission due to a miracle trial drug that no one expected to work. Her parents are overbearing and worried she may lapse at any minute. This leaves her mom to hover and her dad to cry a lot. She isn't in high school and her only real interaction with other kids her age is from the cancer support group, which she hates. Until August, a new guy, shows up and starts helping her live a little.

I really cannot praise this book enough. The writing is amazing and witty. I love the voice it's told in. John Green did a great job capturing a teenage girl on paper. I could sometimes almost see her rolling her eyes as I read. You don't expect a book about cancer to be funny, but this one was hilarious. Hazel and August have great banters and really humorous ways of describing cancer, its treatment, and the world around them. 

Of course, in a book whose main them is cancer, you can't expect the whole thing to be a joy ride. There is pain and sadness, lost body parts, and lost people. Even with the dark aspects woven here and then and pervading the end, I didn't come away from reading this feeling down. It was a light, quick read that I would (and already have!) recommend to others.
{*Thanks Julie for recommending this book!*}

post signature

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Work towards happiness as a state of being, not a temporary emotion. Ways to do this, aim to fill your life with general happiness inducing experiences (spending time with people you care about, engaging in a hobby...), instead of focusing on particular "if only" goals (I'd be happy if only I was out of debt, had a newer car, bought that outfit...). Monetary and material things do no produce true happiness. They supply you with a temporary distraction that succeeds in diverting your attention away from you state of unhappiness.

Get Moving.

Do something selfless.

Take control/relinquish control.

post signature

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bath Melts Tutorial

I originally found out you could make bath melts/truffles at home from Be Beautiful, so of course I consulted all mighty pinterest and was quickly over-run with other versions and recipes. I decided to make some of my own, and just for giggles, here's how I did it.

1 oz. Shea butter
1 oz Cocoa butter
1 teas. Dried herbiness (I used orange peel)
10-15 Essential oil (I used sweet orange)

(I got everything but the EO at Hobby Lobby)

Step 1:
I lined a silicone tray with some mini muffin papers because I wanted to be able to give some of these away.

Step 2:
Melt butters. You can use a double boiler. I used my mini crock pot that's just for soap making and bath products. It was taking awhile to melt, so I went and did some sewing and checked back after 30 minutes and it was ready.

Step 3:
Mix in the essential oil and teaspoon of dried goodies, than carefully spoon into your mold. I used a tablespoon worth of melted goodness for each one, but will be using less next go around because it only takes half of one to get the bath water feeling nice and silky.

Step 4:
Allow the melts to harden completely. I popped mine in the fridge for a couple hours because I was eager to try them out.

Step 5: 
Grab some wine and a book and go take a nice long bath! (Then revel in your ultra luxurious soft, scrumptiously smelling skin)

{*Note that these make your tub slippery so take care when stepping out*}

post signature

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Journey of 35 Pounds

I started getting serious about losing the last of my baby-weight on October 16th 2012, when I joined My Fitness Pal. It's a website that helps you figure your caloric needs and goals, charts your progress while logging your food and exercise, and offering a community of support. I had never even heard of it until some mamas in my online mommy group were talking about it (thanks Laura S and Sarah H.!) and I had to get in on the action and I am so glad I did! I was 148 lbs at the time. Now, 9 weeks later, I am down to 137! That's 11 pounds in 2 (ish) months and an average of 1.35 pounds a week. I am really excited about my progress and have hit my first goal point nearly 3 weeks early!
It hasn't even been as hard as I expected. Some days (ok, many hahaha) I am either too lazy or too busy with the business to "workout", but the site has opened my eyes to how many calories I actually burn from daily activities and how to maximize seemingly trivial actions to burn more calories (folding clothes while standing burns double the amount of calories as folding while sitting does!). Who knew that grocery shopping burns (for me) nearly 300 calories?! Do it while babywearing a 20ish pound baby and you've actually gotten a really good workout without even meaning to ; ) By showing graphs and trends, MFP also opened my eyes to my hidden weaknesses (late night leftovers monching and drinking extra calories through soda and juices).

The change has been monumental in bringing back my confidence in my body. Last year, during my pregnancy, I spent 4 months on extremely restrictive bedrest. I'm talking unimaginable restrictive... I had to lay on my left side, feet elevated, only moving enough to take a drink/eat or change the channel/text, and only getting up to use the bathroom. I wasn't even allowed to be up long enough to make myself a bowl of cereal due to the risk of fetal cardiac arrest from my dangerously high blood pressure that skyrocketed with my slightest movement. Months of not moving (and being at the whim of whatever fast food my busy friends and family could drop off for me) tool me from a pre-pregnancy 116 pound size 2 to a post-pregnancy 172 pound size 14 (considered obese for my 4'11 small frame) and shattered my self-esteem.

The first part of my weight loss journey was painstakingly slow. A lot of bad eating habits had carried over from when I was on bedrest, and I had been immobile for so long that the slightest hint of exercise was extremely exhausting. As my strength returned, I started taking Cadence on walks, and babywearing to boot. The pounds came off slowly but surely, but by mid-summer I hit an unflinching plateau. I tried increasing my cardio. I tried only drinking water. I tried to go low carb. I even tried a master cleanse that promised to rid my body of toxins and help me shed at least (!) 10 lbs. as the toxins left my body. Instead, it left my nauseous and too weak to even lift my daughter from her crib.

I began to feel defeated, that maybe 148-150 pounds was just my post-baby size. The thought that I would spend the rest of my life in this body was extremely depressing and was taking a toll on my relationship. Now that I am seeing such amazing progress, I am motivated to put even more effort into the weight loss. I know I will never have the body I did before my pregnancy. This hips have given birth! But I can be at a happy, healthy weight for my height and frame and feel good in clothes (and out of them!), which is just about where I'm at now. I would like to lose 8-10 more pounds and start focusing on toning. Buh-bye bat wing arms!

{*I have not been compensated in anyway for endorsing My Fitness Pal*}

post signature