Monday, February 29, 2016

Rag Quilts

I have a very large passion for sewing. It's my me time, and it's become my relaxing time. I have been fortunate enough to be able to sew for other people and get some great feedback on my projects. I recently made a diaper bag for my cousin. She is due to have her baby boy in a just a few weeks.
I came across a tutorial for a kids messenger bag at Crazy Little Projects and loved it so much, that I added some inside pockets that are geared toward diaper bag loving moms and a outside side pocket for a bottle/cup. This one has, by far, been my most favorite one to make. It's so versatile! It functions like a diaper bag, but looks good enough to carry around after baby has grown. I also made a My Little Pony bag for a friend of mine. You can check hers out on her blog and see what she packed in hers before baby girl was born! AmandaKeener

This past fall, I was asked to make a boutique type rag quilt for a baby girl. We didn't live in the same area, so I just took pictures of fabrics and sent them her way so she could pick and this is what we came up with! Isn't it darling?! I had done a couple of rag quilts this past summer, and they are so east to do and turn out so cute. It's hard to stop quilting once you start.

I had gone to Joann's one day and saw this Koko Lee fabric and HAD to have it! I didn't know what I was going to make, but it had to part of my fabric stash. It was very hard cutting into at first b/c I had to make sure that it was exactly what I wanted to make out of it, and it turned out so pretty! I love these colors!

If you have come across this page and would like to check out more just go to MaryEl Designs. It's my Facebook page. I love getting feedback, suggestions and even orders! Check back for more fun stuff! Thanks!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Lifestyle Diet

There is nothing more important than keeping your spirit man healthy. Spending time with God is something that I try to do on a daily basis. I don't always do it, but I strive to make that the main part of my lifestyle. Another thing that I believe is very important is keeping healthy and physically fit. We are to take care of our temple. God has given us a body, so like any home, we need to care for it, clean it, treat it well and so on...

I have never really been to struggle with weight problems. I have always been small, and I hope to stay that way. My heaviest was when I was pregnant with my kids. Both times, I ended up at 150 lb. I gained 43 lb. with my first and 35 lb. with my second. The first time, it wasn't hard getting the weight off. It was only a couple of weeks, and I was down to at least 115. That was still more than I had ever weighed, but I didn't look bad, and I didn't feel bad. My daughter was only 6 months old when we found out we were having our second baby, so there really wasn't much time in between to start living a healthier lifestyle. Then, it really wasn't THAT important to us anyway. We are out a lot. Cooked freezer meals. I really didn't do a lot of cooking. In that sense, I had to become a better wife to the husband that really was happy to come home to food on the table or about to be on the table. Anyway...

It wasn't until after I had my son did I notice that I wasn't dropping the weight as quickly. I had my best friend with me for about 5 weeks at that time, and we decided that we were going to give Hot Yoga a chance. Oh boy! Did that do it for us! We would take turns on the nights to go. The husband worked nights at the time, so she was a huge help to me then. We would come home drenched in sweat and really feeling good about our progress. I dropped the extra weight and was able to pretty much eat what I wanted to again. I was in my early to mid 20s at the time, so my metabolism was extraordinary!

As soon, though, as I started to creep toward the 30 year mark, my body started changing in ways that I wasn't much appreciative of. I haven't been gaining weight, it's just decided to shift to places that I don't like. No more bikinis for this mama with the tummy roll (I can see your eyes rolling, at least to those of you who know me!) Gotta cover the bum a bit more. I guess modesty is ok though. I was never one to show much skin in public anyway.

I have even notice the shiny strands of grey hair growing atop my head! I'm too young for that! ehem...

A couple of years ago, I did the 21 Day Fix and LOVED it! My cousin got me involved in it, and it was something that I really looked forward to doing everyday. I was part of a Facebook group for support and accountability. About half way through though, I had to change some things. I continued to do the workouts (I was obsessed) but my eating habits, clean as they were, had to be amped up. I lost too much weight. If you know anything about the body, being too much under weight is just as dangerous as being over weight. I dropped to 103 lb. and that wasn't good. I wasn't gaining any muscle. I had to increase my calorie intake which was really hard b/c I wasn't hungry for anymore food than what I had conditioned myself to eat.

Well, all that came to a dead stop when we ended moving, and I got out of sync with everything and now, here I am. Trying to get back on course. Trying to make myself live a healthier lifestyle in front of my kids so they will start to want to live this way also.

My sister-in-law had posted last week, a book that she got called the 4x4 Diet by Erin Oprea. I guess she is a personal trainer to some celebrities, and maybe this is her first book?? I'm not sure, but what I have read so far, I'm really looking forward to this new journey of a clean, lean and mean ;) lifestyle change. Oh, all that to say, that I purchased the book also. It intrigued me, and I have been feeling like a change for quite some time now.

I can't say that I won't indulge every once in a while...I love my morning coffee with my baileys french vanilla creamer. I only have 1 cup, so that's ok, right? But as soon as the cookies and other misc. treats are gone, that's it. Fruits and Veggies it is...even for the kids. Healthy snacks in this home until we can adapt to our new way of living, eating.

I did make a delicious smoothie this evening! I had purchased a book a couple years ago, 101 Best Smoothies and Juices. I have been wanting to try out these drink recipes so no better time than the present. Tonights smoothie was called Raspberry Chocolate Smoothie:

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
3/4 cup milk (I used vanilla Almond milk)
1 container (6 oz.) vanilla yogurt
3 T. chocolate syrup
1-3 ice cubes

  1. Combine raspberries, milk, yogurt, and chocolate syrup in blender until smooth
  2. Add ice cubes, if using fresh fruit, use 3 cubes, if using frozen, 1-2 cubes. Blend until smooth
I guess that made 3 servings, but I drank it all! ;)

Ok, so I know that there is whipped cream on top of my smoothie, but confession, I just wanted to make it look pretty for the picture. I used ready whip (which I don't even like) and it was left in the glass after the smoothie part of the drink was gone!

So that's it for today folks! I will be taking before and after pictures on this journey along with a lot of other things that I enjoy doing and reading and etc...Signing off for the night!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fuller House...Back to the 90's

Ok, so the super anticipated series of Full (Fuller) House finally came to Netflix at midnight last night! I have so been looking forward to this shows appearance! Why? Because I grew up with this show (Full House) I am the same as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I have seen every single episode, probably multiple times. This show made me laugh. This show helped me learn valuable lessons, and when I became a parent, it even made me cry.

So today was the day to actually sit down and watch. I got through 3 episodes and had to take a little break. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't bad. I guess I was just expecting something more updated. I do however applaud Netflix for not putting foul language in the updated Full House show, but I have heard a few jokes that were innuendos to something a little dirty. It definitely is still a show that I can watch with my kids and I like that. Conner, my 5 year old, even asked if we could watch it tomorrow.

Back in the 80s and 90s, when you heard a "studio audience" laugh, it was expected and you really didn't think much of it I guess. Now? It seemed like a little too much. Maybe I am just so used to all the shows in current television, not having the laugh box continue with the same laughs and oops and aah's...Does that make sense? The first episode started off introducing all of the characters and with each one that popped out, I felt like I was having a flash back to when the show was on prime time tv. Danny Tanner was intro'd first (loud applause). Then Uncle Jesse (roaring applause). Joey next in his goofy pjs (what else would you have expected?) Becky comes in all beautiful and hasn't aged a day! Go you Aunt Becky! and then there is still heat between Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky. Of course they had to kiss and prove that fact!

It was a little disappointing that the twins wanted to no part of the show as Michelle, and I was half expecting maybe their little sister (who looks a lot like them) would step up to the plate and play Michelle, even if it was in only a few episodes. A girl can dream right?

And then, the moment of truth! The main characters of the Netflix series, b/c you know that Danny, Jesse, Becky and Joey are all going to have just special guest appearances right? They had their turn, so now it's the girl's turn! I have to say, these girls great up beautiful! DJ, Steph and Kimmie (I call them by those names b/c that is who they are to me) DJ being the mother, of course, b/c she was the oldest and probably more motherly anyway, even as an older sister growing up. Stephanie being the kinda wild child, live free and do what I want girl and Kimmie, which I find really funny that they kept her being the irritating, annoying "neighbor girl" b/c don't we all grow out of our quirkiness as we get older, in reality? But this isn't reality, is it?

It's a flashback to what good tv used to be. Violence wasn't prevalent  on tv. Bad language definitely had no place in our homes when it came to daytime tv. Sex wasn't even really talked about. Kids weren't shown to disrespect their parents. I didn't have to mute or change the channel when my son came in to talk to me. It was good and it was wholesome, and I only got through the first 3 episodes.

Was this show overly-anticipated? Maybe. But for people my age and older, it's a trip! A blast from the past. It's goofy, corny and sweet all rolled into 1 show. I was really excited when this show was first talked about, coming to Netflix and I know that a lot of you were too! I hope that you enjoy it and remember what it was like coming home after school, ready to watch our "after-school programs"

So stay in your comfy clothes, get some popcorn (or something a little more healthy since this is the year 2016 and we eat  more than just popcorn for fun tv binge watching now) and enjoy the next couple days of Fuller House...because you know that's all it's going to take to actually the show's first season...and this is just the 1st season right?? :D There will be more to come?