Lazy Girl Fitness: Moment of Truth

9 Jun

So listen to this. I got the notification that my bridesmaid dress had been shipped—I sh!t you not–as I was eating a bar of chocolate.

I’d had a really small breakfast and lunch was still hours away! I was hungry! And it was only 100 calories!

Of course I tried to make up for it at the gym that day, doing this workout (what I could make sense of, anyway).

Vacuum? And what the heck is a farmer’s walk?

It totally backfired, making me so sore that I had to skip my next workout. If you want to know.

Anyway.

I was really hoping that they sent the dress via Turtle Speed, because I thought I had until the end of the month of May to reach my goal. And here it was, not even the 10th yet. But of course it arrived about two days later.

Here it staring at me.

2014-05-12 17.03.51

At first, my plan was to go ahead and wait until the end of the month to try it on. After all, I was on track for three more weeks! But of course, of course the insert said I had only seven days to notify them of an issue. And I had to admit, it looked depressingly like it would fit exactly right. I decided not to try on the dress that day, at any rate. I was really bloated and figured that, at least, might change within a week. So I hung it up where it eyed me accusitorily for two days.

Finally I said screw it. I slipped it on and zipped it up.

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As I suspected, the waist fit perfectly. Drat! All that work for NOTHING! NOTHING!

The top, however was quite large. All this really told me was that, if you have a 28″ waist, you are clearly expected to have a 38″ bust and an incredibly long torso to balance it out (You guys, I wear an E cup bra! That is not even small!).

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And no surprise, it was too long. All this led me to the conclusion that I am, in fact, deformed.

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Just kidding. Kind of.

So, mission failed. I will not be returning my dress for the next size down. But there’s still some hope that I might be required to have it altered a bit before the big day. Other than the huge shoulders, I mean.

Am I discouraged? A little. Anyone who makes a goal, works towards it, and fails to meet it has to call set-back. I would have felt better if I could say I’d made some kind of progress, even slight or visible only to me. But my stomach and arms were still as flabby as ever, my clothes still fit on the edge of tight, I wasn’t sleeping any better, I’m constantly hungry (am I the only person on earth for whom exercise is like gasoline on a fire?? Who are these people who are less hungry when they work out?), and, worst of all: I had to go to the doctor, and I weighed in at 122 pounds. I mean, what would have happened had I not done all this work in the past four months–I’d be 150 pounds?

Where are my abs?! All these foods are staples in my diet! (except what’s up with green coffee? Mine is definitely brown).

via, original

I can’t make sense of it. It was hard not to feel like I’ve been doing all this for absolutely nothing. And confession: even Lazy Girl Fitness is hard. I still have to say no to food I wanted to eat. It still feels like work (so, I can’t even say it’s enjoyable me-time). I still have to scrutinize my body in a way that makes me itchy. Meanwhile, heinous pictures of me in a swimsuit were taken on our Memorial Day beach vacation that will never see the light of day.*

*You might imagine that the Jersey Shore is full of Snookis, but you’d be wrong. Seriously every girl on the Wildwood Beach was smokin’. 

So, feeling depressed, moody, hungry, and fat, I did what every girl in my situation would do. I took a pregnancy test. It was negative, natch (birth control: it works, y’all!).

I didn’t throw in the towel on my plan though, tempting as it was. Even though my body didn’t seem to be bending to my efforts, for all I know there are still good things going on internally with, you know, organs and stuff *snort*.

What’s that? Yes, it’s true that my exercise and eating habits aren’t very punishing (#shutup). But that was because I wanted a fitness plan that was sustainable in the long term. And that is one thing I can say: I’ve created a habit of exercise and diet that I feel capable of maintaining. So I kept plugging away the best I could in the face of defeat.

via Back On Pointe Tumblr

I did a 5k. I found a 10-minute workout that I actually understand. I added short intervals of sprinting. I bought a new, strategically-designed-yet-still-incredibly-hott-swimsuit.  And hell yes, I got a faux tan (not above a little trompe l’oeil). Now, about a month after this dress arrived, I think I am starting to see the tiniest bit of a difference.

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I know this is a terrible picture, but you can see a little bit of tone starting in my shoulders and upper arms. Think of it as a preview of the coming attraction (HA).

I realize that at age 30+ and postpartum, I will never have the body I really covet, at least not without a personal trainer and chef. But that doesn’t stop me from completely illogical thought patterns, read: ignoring small accomplishments (being the most flexible in yoga class) in favor of picking at myself (roll of pudge threatening to spill over yoga pants), and channeling body envy of girls who are, seriously, not even fully grown. But the next day, I’ll be feeling pretty positive (for instance, on the day I weighed in at the doctor at 122? I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was OK). So the challenge is mental as well as physical. It’s my hope that in another month’s time, if nothing else, I’ll be proud to stand up with my friend in my size six bridesmaid gown.

 

This is Marriage

15 May

Wedding season is in full swing, so I thought I’d share with all you lucky love birds the kind of conversations in store for you, from a well-seasoned married couple.

I walk into the kitchen where Hubby P is sitting on the floor with Baby T. 

Me: So, I think I have bunions. Or bunionettes, to be specific.

P: You definitely do, gross. Looks at my feet. Janie, those are just veins and tendons.

Me: What? No. I’m talking about those bony balls on the outside of me feet…see? They’re kind of red-looking, and my pinky is sort of twisting in towards my foot–that’s the tell-tale sign.

P: It’s from wearing all those girl shoes.

Me: Nah, I think that only exacerbates it. I think it’s from walking. I don’t think I walk right.

P: Do you think it’s from pointe shoes?

Me: Yeah. Probably. (yeah, right).

P: All that squishing down on your toes.

Me: Well, I think it’s more when the box of your shoes is too narrow and squishes your toes together. Pause. I have fat ass feet.

T laughs like I just made the best joke ever.

P: Why don’t you wear a bigger shoe?

Me: If I get them big enough to fit the top of my foot, then my heel slides out! Anyway, I really do think it’s from walking. That’s what really causes bunionettes. Bunions, that’s when it happens on the inside under the big toe, are way more common. Bunionettes are more likely to be genetic from your foot shape and how you walk.

P: Did you read that on the internet?

Me: No! (lies. I totally did).

P: OK.

Me: I think it’s from the way I walk. I always walk on the outside of my foot like this (demonstrates).

P: Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk I’m a woman’s man.

Pause

Me: And on that note, I’m walking away.

 Yep. Just celebrated our five-year anniversary (brushes shoulders off). Keeping the romance alive, people.

 

How Not To: Spring Cleaning Edition

7 May

You have doubtless figured out that I’m no domestic goddess. In these nouveau-crunchy, domestic-renaissance times in which we are living, I get points deducted on all fronts: cooking, crafting, child-rearing, husband-accommodating…but no area more so than house cleaning.

Yes. Yes, we’ll go with that.

via, original

I hate messes and disorganization as much as anyone. It’s just that I’m not equipped to actually deal with them. I am missing whatever brain cells/chemicals are present in those people who say things like “I just can’t stand losing things, which is why I have a P-touch label maker in every room of the house” and “Well, I have dogs, so I vacuum three times a day” and “cleaning up the boys’ playroom is easy because we practice simplicity.” I also have pets and hate [losing] things, but much to my chagrin, it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

Fortunately (unfortunately?) my husband is as messy and disorganized as I, if not more so. We both have what I suspect are undiagnosed cases of Adult ADD (or if not the disorder itself, we most certainly have the cleaning habits). Combined with our incredibly busy work-school-rehearsal schedules and our overabundance of junk, things can unravel pretty quickly (but hey! at least we don’t have epic fights about cleanliness!). Eventually I will reach a breaking point at which I begin to clean furiously– in every sense of the word.

This spring, that point came right before Easter. Not only was the house terribly neglected because of my being in a show, but we had guests coming over for brunch (not to mention a toddler poking around in the corners for hard-boiled eggs). I also had Good Friday off, with absolutely no plans. It was time for a good old-fashioned spring cleaning.

Many people picture spring cleaning as a scrub-the-baseboards, dust-the-blinds, vacuum-the-fridge-coils kind of event. If you want to do that sort of thing, you’re in the wrong place, my friend (for an awesome tutorial in that vein, check out this blog. I mean, damn. Her speed cleaning is my deep cleaning). But just in case any one out there is as hopelessly buried behind as I am, I will share with you my tips from the School of Hard Knocks. Just in time for Mother’s Day! So go ahead, take your Adderol, learn from my mistakes, and dig right in.

The Don’ts of Spring Cleaning

Much of my inspiration comes from this little jewel of a book, written by a professional organizer with and ADHD child. I failed to follow all or even most of her advice, but honestly, even just feeling like my habits are normal have an explanation was worth the cover price.

DON’T expect to get it all done in one day. If your house is like mine, you will have to do a good bit of organizing and tidying before you even get to the soap and water part. Even with a plan in place (see below), it’s just a huge job for one person with a limited amount of time. Time that you will, by the way, want to actually schedule out in a large, uninterrupted chunk.

DON’T jump in without a plan. I know, once you get the itch to clean it’s very hard to hold back, especially if that itch is rare (hey, you gotta get while the gettin’s good!). But it will make for inefficient and ineffective cleaning. Lucky for you, I wrote out this handy-dandy plan.

Spring Cleaning for the Homemaking Challenged

I feel the need to point out the obvious: this is a guide based my one-story, single family home. If you, say, have an upstairs, or live in an apartment, your list will look different. I will offer this blanket advice: work in a circle, starting with the room that needs the most work (it will need your freshest energy). I put the rooms in this order because that’s how my house is laid out. Feel free to shuffle the order to fit the layout of your own home.

Another thing you’ll want to do, as the plan above hints at, is gather all your cleaning supplies in something portable: a bucket, a caddy, or like me, a cardboard box. It really doesn’t matter. As long as you can carry (or let’s be real, shove) it from room to room.

Supplies assembled!

Avengers assembled!

DON’T put things away as you go. It will result in a harried handful of hours in which you are crazily cleaning but no single room actually looks neater. Just put it all in a big “find a home for this” box or bag.

DON’T go crazy at the Container Store. If you’re like me, shopping seems like the solution to everything. If I just buy out the organization aisle at Target, I’ll be all good! It’s a sad, sad, pipe dream my friends. I did my spring cleaning with nothing new of any kind, not even a bottle of bleach. Thinking you need new stuff in order clean just enables procrastination. It’s easier to see what you actually need after you’ve sorted through your things anyway.

Pantry

The kitchen pantry. It took me an hour just to do this, which is probably why I didn’t finish my whole house (sorry for the blurry pics. File it under camera, sad and old.).

DON’T bounce all over the room like a pinball as you tidy. Start at one corner of the room and work your way either out towards the opposite end, or around in a clockwise spiral (your call, depending on the room and its own particular mess).

When going through your things, DON’T make 15 piles. This was a hugely useful tip from the book referred to above. When tidying up your belongings, don’t make Give Back to my Sister, Sell on Ebay, Donate to the Theatre, Give to Goodwill, Ask Mom if She Wants It, etc etc etc piles. You only need three bags: Donate, Trash, Put Away. I recommend you use the lawn-sized ones.

Table BA

DON’T get too caught up in the details. This is not the time to sort through old photos and files, alphabetize your books, or refold all your sweaters. Save all that for another day. ADD folks have a tendency to hyper-focus which, while it has its uses, is the enemy of housecleaning. We are here for speedy, effective, visible results. If you have to constantly remind yourself of that, do it (I did).

A related note regarding donations: DON’T get too caught up waffling over whether you want something or not (or ahem, whether your spouse may still want it). P is one of those people, and you might be too, that assigns heavy emotional significance to inanimate objects (and I wonder why we have so much stuff). Just put it in the bag. If you’re really feeling squirmy about it, hang on to the bag for a while–from a couple of weeks to half a year, whatever you feel comfortable with. If you don’t miss anything in the bag in that time, drive it straight to Goodwill (for the love of God, without looking inside).

When it comes to the actual cleansing part, DON’T forget to clean from top to bottom. I don’t know why I tend to do this, but it’s not a good thing: picture sweeping and mopping the floor before you wipe down the counters. Or maybe leaving the roof of the microwave until last and having to wipe down the bottom twice. That’s the kind of thing I tend to do when I clean without forethought.

Kitchen BA

Too bad I didn’t take any close-ups, you should have seen my sparkling sink!

But DON’T disregard quick shortcuts. Me and everyone else is on board with the pillowcase trick to clean ceiling fans. I’m also a big fan of cleaning wipes and spray disinfectant. It’s a beautiful thing.

Bedroom BA

DON’T underestimate a little extrinsic motivation. For some people, a clean house is enough of a reward. I am not those people. At the end of my marathon cleaning session (seriously, five hours with no break! I think it counts as a workout), I rewarded my hard-working fingers with an express manicure at the local salon. Even though I didn’t finish my whole house, I worked really hard all by myself on a rare day off. Sometimes you need a little something to keep yourself from getting bitter.

And most importantly, DON’T beat yourself up if it’s not perfect or finished. A tidy, organized, squeaky-clean home instills pride and peace of mind. But only to a certain extent.

Homemaker renaissance or no, your worth as a person (and/or parent) isn’t measured by how clean your house is. And it’s all going to get messy again anyway. We made dinner together later that night and our house was full of chatter and our tummies were full of food. And that sparkling sink? Full of dirty dishes.

mess

 via etsy

Lazy Girl Fitness — We [Tr]eat You Right

24 Apr

About two months into my plan, and things are creeping along at a snail’s pace. I now weigh in at:

****************************drumroll****************************

118 pounds. But considering I fell utterly off the gym wagon for two weeks and we just had Easter, I call it a win.

I continue to feel completely unmotivated when it comes to dieting. But that’s because I feel like I already eat pretty well.

Besides my 478 rules internal guidelines, there’s the fact that I really don’t eat much junk food, nor do I eat out very often. I actually just got rid of my Eat This, Not That books because I didn’t eat any of the “this’s” in the first place. Of course there’s always exceptions, like the bag of potato chips I inhaled at Mellow Mushroom on tech Sunday when my main dish was late in coming.

I don’t even like kettle chips. But…hungry!

Still, there’s [a giant, ballroom-sized] room for improvement. Back when I was seeing the acupuncturist, she advised me to always eat protein and fiber at each meal and snack. I’m pretty sure she meant like, green beans and unsalted almonds, or at best apples and peanut butter. But my interpretation is usually something along the lines of Triscuits and cheddar, or avocado (oh, who am I kidding– straight up guacamole) and those seedy Crunchmaster things.

Fact: Gluten-free does not mean “healthy.” It means “no gluten.”

It seems all in all, my daily diet isn’t the worst. But I wanted to put it to the test, so I took the Eat Pretty Quiz. If you don’t mind registering for yet another username and password, and painstakingly entering the food you ate for a whole day, you can take it too. The quiz is supposed to analyze what you eat to see how it impacts physical traits other than weight, such as hair, skin, and nails. My thought was that it would be a good measurement of micronutrition (vitamins, minerals) if nothing else.

I was a little annoyed to find that some of my foods were not even an option, so in those instances I had to choose an approximation. But in the end it was pretty close. Here is what I put:

Disclaimer: although this is accurate in terms of foods I eat often, it would be what I call a Halo Day, and one where I’m not consuming any alcohol, which I do 2-4 days a week.

Breakfast:

whole wheat english muffin with cream cheese

hard boiled egg w/ salt and pepper

coffee with half and half and Truvia

Lunch:

can of vegetarian chili

Triscuits (7? 8?)

Dinner:

turkey burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, dijon

sweet potato fries

steamed broccoli with butter, salt & pepper

2 squares of dark chocolate

 So my score was *drumroll*…..61 out of 100.

The overall calorie count was really low, which made me think I was definitely lowballing the portions.  They said my fat content was high, but I already told you why I’m not concerned with that. My sodium intake was through the roof, probably because of the canned soup (although for the record, I usually eat Amy’s low sodium version, which was not a choice on this quiz). But one neat thing this quiz provides is a chart of what nutrients you’re getting and where they’re coming from. This is my nutrient breakdown, according to what I entered that day:

nutrients

Not too shabby.

 

My worst nutrient is vitamin D, but that’s kind of #DUH. It doesn’t occur naturally in many foods, which is why dairy products usually have it added. Living in the South, I think I get plenty from sunshine.

So that’s great and all; in terms of health, I seem to be getting what I need. But of course, most Americans are not vitamin and mineral deficient, yet many of those same Americans are still struggling with weight. I might enjoy shiny hair, but my waistband isn’t budging*.

*BTW, this was a fun twenty minutes: One day I was feeling really skinny after rehearsal so I decided to take my waist measurement. And it was a whole inch less! I was congratulating myself all the way to work when, PSYCH. Turns out I just forgot my prior measurement. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I had written it down and discovered it was in fact the same. However, I can say with authenticity that it is a much looser 28″…really almost 27 3/4″! That counts as something, yes?

Here is another fairly typical weekday of eating:

Breakfast

pack of instant oatmeal with some frozen berries

hard boiled egg (yes, I love eggs)

coffee with Truvia and half & half

Lunch

whole wheat english muffin with hummus, tomato, and avocado (yes, I love english muffins)

Dinner:

tilapia, broiled with mayo and breadcrumbs

brown rice

steam-in-a-bag mixed vegetables

Yes, the kind with the probably-very-bad-for-you seasoning mixed in. But still,vegetables.

1 glass of wine

chocolate frozen yogurt

snack

mixed nuts

 

Aaaand….This is me right now:

 

Of course, weekends look totally different, and totally not as good.

Breakfast

two eggs scrambled with cream cheese and basil

whole wheat toast with butter

two pieces of bacon or turkey bacon

small Starbucks or McDonalds latte. No whip cream, but not because I’m virtuous–I hate the stuff due to an Expired Reddi-Wip Incident.

Lunch

When breakfast is big, I usually end up scarfing something like pita chips and hummus or tuna fish around 3:00. Maybe with some cut fruit or an applesauce thrown in as a nod to vitamins. But probably not.

Dinner

Homemade pizza: thin crust premade from Aldi, with marinara sauce, cheese, mushrooms, green peppers, and ground beef or turkey sausage. Probably a whole quarter of a 12″ pizza.

1 or 2 beers

Snack

Sneaky bites from T’s Easter bunny

So as you can see, not too much junk food. But as I was taking the Eat Pretty quiz, I recognized one of my big pitfalls: quantity. The quiz wanted you to enter exactly how much you ate. Not just how many crackers and fries, but measurements like tablespoons, cups, etc. of things like butter and the weight of things like burger patties, whereas I usually just eyeball them. I feel like my portions are decently sized, but how can I be sure without measuring? Other factors are at play here too, like how I often forget to take my thyroid medication, and the fact that metabolic rate decreases by about 1% a year after you turn 30 (some sources paint an even dark picture: this one says its starts at age 25!) .

So what do you think? Is it time for me to break down and buy a food scale, or start measuring my meals? One thing’s for sure, I’ve got figurative and physical miles to go before I sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel Terrine

11 Apr

This recipe combines two of mom’s favorite treats: peanut butter cups and pretzels (or as my brother used to say as a tot: prentzels). I don’t know what a Terrine is, but I loosely translate it as “ice cream treat.”

original recipe here

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Ingredients:

Three pints of vanilla ice cream*

*Have you ever noticed that recipes never include the cookware you’ll need to make it? It’s like they assume everyone has a fully stocked gourmet kitchen. That was one thing I loved about these two American Girl Cookbooks I had–they always listed the cookware with the ingredients. I mean, is there anything more annoying that starting a recipe, only to find out you don’t own the required materials? (Dammit, I need a lemon zester?!)

A bag of pretzels

Reese’s cups (or D-Tree brand, no judgement), any size

wax paper and a loaf pan* (the original called for parchment paper, but you really can live without it, or at the very least use cheaper wax paper since it’s not going in the oven)

*You can tell this is a Real Snobby Simple recipe by the fact that it’s measured in pints: as you know, all the FANCY SCHMANCY ice cream comes in pints. I used not even quite one plain jane carton. 

Step 1:

Pull the ice cream out of the freezer to soften.

Step 2:

I recommend pretzels that are on the thin side. Mash up some of the pretzels (I didn’t even use half the bag), using whatever method you prefer.

I prefer the toddler stomping method.

I prefer the toddler stomping method.

Or you could be civilized and use a rolling pin. Either way, be sure to put your pretzels in a thick freezer bag to prevent holes and spillage.

Step 3:

Chop the peanut butter cups. I had a 12-pack of standard-size Reese’s, plus maybe four extras leftover from the Sweet Sixty Jar. You could do more or less, according to your taste.

Try not to eat them all.

Try not to eat them all.

Step 4:

Press half the ice cream into the loaf pan. Sprinkle on some of each of the peanut butter cup and pretzel pieces.

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Step 5:

Press the other half of the ice cream on top

Tip for softening ice cream: if you happen to be making something in the oven beforehand, set the ice cream carton on top of the stove. The heat from the oven melts it to the perfect consistency (soft but not a puddle). But learn from my mistakes: put a paper towel under it. #HowNotTo

Tip for softening ice cream: if you happen to be making something in the oven beforehand, set the ice cream carton on top of the stove. The heat from the oven melts it to the perfect consistency (soft but not a puddle). But learn from my mistakes: put a paper towel under it. #HowNotTo

Step 6:

Sprinkle on the rest of the peanut butter cups and pretzels

Step 7:

Freeze anywhere from one hour to two days (to make it slice-able).

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In the end, I recommend not using a foil pan like this. Although it meant that I didn’t need parchment or wax paper, when I went to slice around the terrine to pull it out, the knife went right through the pan.

It didn't slice as well as I'd hoped...but...Look at this deliciousness!

It didn’t slice as well as I’d hoped…but…top notch deliciousness!

DIY Memory Banner Tutorial

10 Apr

Hey, nobody ever said I was good at decorating. Or photography. But I promise, this will be a big hit!

We ended up with TONS of contributions for the jar project, more than double the 60 we needed. I didn’t want to exclude anybody’s memories–they were all so wonderful! By combining several memories that were similar or related, I was able to curate them down to 120–exactly sixty times two! Magic! So I decided to make this supplemental craft. It’s super easy, even for the lazy and disorganized (imagine how easy it would be if you aren’t!).

How to make a Memory Banner

a spin off of this tutorial

You will need:

old greeting cards (or new ones I guess, whatever, I’m cheap)

ribbon

more labels or a nice pen if you are having a good-handwriting day

Step 1:

If you are interested in upcycling, this is a great use for old greeting cards. I went through a period where I saved ALL of them. I’ve been throwing all but the most special away lately in an attempt to get more organized…I thought more than one box like this was too much. But as you can see, I still had a lot of..er..material to work with.

I can’t be the only person with a box like this hanging around.

Step 2:

Pick folded cards that are blank on one side of the inside. You’ll be writing or labeling the blank side, and this way you can still save any special notes written in the card (that’s the most important part of cards anyway, right?). Those little thank-you notes that people are always writing on pretty notecards are great for this, and if you’re like me, you probably have one or five cards in there from people and events you don’t even quite remember (or care to remember). Try not to be like me and start reading all the cards or you’ll be at this for hours. Just pick what will look pretty hanging up in a banner, and maybe not too seasonal (unless this project is for a specific holiday). I used about 45 cards to get 60 squares.

Step 3:

Cut a bunch of quadrilaterals out of the cards. The original tutorial used beautiful, even squares, but I didn’t worry too much about the size or shape as long as it was big enough to fit the label (variety is the spice of life). If you’re going to handwrite, you don’t have to worry about even that.

My stack of cut cards

It took exactly one episode of Snapped On-Demand to cut the greeting cards and affix the labels to them and the candy. It would have taken even less time had I been organized with the labels and not have to keep counting to sixty.

Step 4:

Apply the memory labels (leftover from the Sweet Sixty Jar, or if you’re doing only this project you’ll want to make them first) or write your memories on the back of the cards.

Step 5:

Punch holes in the top two corners of each card.

2014-04-03 20.59.36

The cards were all different colors and designs. I didn’t want the banner to be too discordant looking, so after the punching was done I sorted the card pieces, just very generally and vaguely, into a spectrum based on color.

Wreath o’ Cards

Step 6:

Trim a ribbon or string to size, depending on how close or far apart you want the cards. With as many as sixty, you could do a double banner. I ended up doing this on accident because my first spool of ribbon wasn’t long enough.

Craftin’ at rehearsal #likeWHOA

Step 7:

Thread the ribbon or string through the holes. I had two kinds of ribbon: a thin sparkly grosgrain and a wider, satiny ribbon. Just FYI, the thin ribbon was much easier to thread. The wide one kept getting corkscrewed, causing the cards to twist awkwardly instead of hang straight. It took some finessing to get those soldiers back in line. (Again, #HowNotTo)

The thinner ribbon fit perfectly through the punched holes.

 

TADA AGAIN

2014-04-04 23.29.46

 

Seems like nothing special, but it makes a great keepsake!

Once, Twice, Sixty Times a Lady

8 Apr

Have your parents turned sixty yet? My dad’s sixtieth is next year, and my mom’s was on Saturday.

I wanted to do something special for her, something requiring forethought, planning, and maybe even some elbow grease. I thought about rigging up one of those personalized, town-wide scavenger hunts, but that sounds like more work than I — and frankly she — are up to (you know I had to get the #lazy from somewhere). I also thought about trying to gift her some kind of experience…sky diving came up (HA)…but nothing suitable came to mind. I mean, we’ve already been to paint-and-drank like four times.

3photo

I love my mom so much, I would actually attempt arts & crafts for her.

The problem is that mom and I, although a lot alike personality-wise, don’t really like to do the same kind of things. I mean, she likes to hike to waterfalls and caves and stuff, while I’d rather get brunch and a pedicure. She likes to go to concerts, while Music Midtown made me kind of nauseous. You get the idea.

So eventually, my brother and I put our heads together and came up with an idea that is pure mom: rocks. Lots of people’s mothers garden, but I’m pretty sure mine is the only one who gets home every day, grabs a beer, and arranges rocks in the backyard till sundown. So we pooled our money to take her to the landscape outlet and let her pick out the half-ton of her dreams.

 

Hmmm...a two ton boulder, perhaps?

Hmmm…a two ton boulder, perhaps?

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Sixty is the new forty, right mom?

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“I love rocks. I love rocks. I love rocks.” – Baby T.

 

And we have a winner! This Tennessee flagstone with the pink marbling is super cool.

And we have a winner! This Tennessee flagstone with the pink marbling is super-cool.

But I still think it’s nice to have something fun to open and something sugary to eat on your birthday. So I want to share what I all I did with you, complete with tutorials. I feel like these are toeing the line of a how-not-to, but just in case some other unartistic person needs some inspiration and motivation, I just want to show it can be done!

Hooray! It’s Sixty “things we love about mom” presented on chocolate, because, well, chocolate (that’s at least one thing mom and I agree on).

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I dubbed it the Sweet Sixty Jar. I also made a memory garland and a poor man’s ice cream cake, along with a little gag snack.

That doesn’t sound right.

Here are links to the tutorials (will be posted throughout this week):

Sweet Sixty Jar

Memory Garland

Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel Terrine

Apple Dentures

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Happy 60th to the best mom around!

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