Search This Blog

Friday, January 31, 2014

Could trash get me to Hawaii?

I have four amazing younger brothers.  My brother Matthew whom I adore lives in Hawaii.  I’ve written about him here and here.  He knows about my dreams and life goals; one of which is to visit to Hawaii.  Every time we talk he asks “When are you coming to visit me?”  I’ve blown it off in a sort of pitiful way.  When daily showers aren’t even an option, getting to Hawaii seems impossible.  Because of obligations, schedules and hungry mouths to feed, I think us mom’s have pushed the pause button on many of our dreams.  I mean really, how could I ever find time to go to Hawaii when my focus in life is kid's homework, chore charts and healthy meals?

Still, I’ve been dreaming about it.  The sunsets, the waves, the marine life!  I’d never been and have wanted to go so bad it's like an ache in my soul.  This may be because of my love for the sea, my desire to be a mermaid and my background in ocean conservation.  Either way, being with my brother in Hawaii would be something close to heaven.

And then, one day as Derek walked out the door I kissed him and said “I really want to go to Hawaii.”  And he smiled and said “Sounds like fun.  I think you should go.”

All day long, I kept thinking “I want to go to Hawaii.”  I’d had that thought a thousand times throughout my life, but on this particular day it kept popping back up inside my head.  I started brainstorming about how I could do it.  I felt like I was conspiring against my family, knowing Derek would have to stay behind and help watch the kids.  Still, I pushed ahead. 

My first goal was to earn money for the flight.  Could I do it?  Was Hawaii really within reach?  
Bring in the trash and paint.
Painting this dresser was the start of a busy week!

Here's another.

If I could do a few more, I just might earn the money.

White usually moves fast, so white was necessary. 

 And a Tiffany blue French dresser for good luck.

Off they went to Antique Plaza!
FYI, if you ever want to go check out my trash, I am in booth #52.
Just look for the My Dear Trash sign.

So, did I make it to Hawaii (wink, wink)?  More on that next week.  

Linking up to:

Monday, January 13, 2014

What I learned from losing my phone

Last Thursday night, I couldn’t find my phone.  I knew it was in the home, so we called it and tried the on-line locater, but nothing.  Conclusion? I had a lost phone and it was out of battery.  Reef was the last one to have it, so I asked my precocious son “Do you remember where you put it?”  Asking a 5 year-old where they last left something is like giving them a candy bar and wondering later why it’s gone.   Reef insisted he’d left my phone on the kitchen table, but nothing. 

After an hour or so of searching, Chandler said “Mom, we haven’t done the most important thing.  Let’s pray.”  Nothing like making a mom feel humbled when the teenager insists on praying.

So, we prayed as a family and continued our search.  I paid special attention to impressions and kept feeling like it was outside.  While walking through the backyard with a flashlight, I was reminded of an experience I’d had a few weeks earlier.  Before Christmas, I misplaced several movie passes I purchased to give away as gifts.  After searching for sometime, a feeling came over me to keep things in perspective.  Sure, the tickets were lost but my family was safe, in good health and had enough to eat.  From that moment forward, I gave it up to God.  A few weeks later, the movie tickets were found and all was well.  The truth is, I was already over it so finding them was like getting something for free.

Thursday night did not produce my phone.  Come Friday morning and I accepted the inevitable.  My phone was gone and I would need to purchase a new one.  I was most concerned about my contacts, but it was what it was and everything would work out.  That's when I made a decision.  Since I did not have a phone or phone numbers of my contacts, since overall I was feeling pretty bummed, I should just take a day off to celebrate all I do have.  I am fortunate to stay home full-time.  When was the last time I took the day off?  No work whatsoever!  That’s when I decided I was going to play hooky with Eden

Chandler came out of his bedroom, ready for school and said “Mom, I just finished praying again you would find your phone.”  I was so touched by his concern and faith when I had an impression to go outside and check in the stroller.  I hadn’t used the stroller for a few weeks, but still, went outside to check.  Several feet before I got there, I saw it; there was my phone sitting in the chair.  

I ran inside and hugged Chandler, thanking him for his faith.  I wanted to celebrate by following through with my idea and planned my special day.


Shopping! Check out these funky shoes I found at Goodwill.  

I tried on several pair.  My motto?  If you can’t walk in them, don’t buy them!

The celebration continued through the weekend.
Making bracelets.

Flying paper airplanes

Sunday we wore our Goodwill dresses to church.

Gratitude was the theme of our weekend. 
Maybe I should lose my phone more often!

Linking up to:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Speak to me gray buffet!

The counselor found an old buffet of craigslist that needed a bit of work and I was happy to be the one to do it.  It’s always a pleasure to work on a beautiful piece of wood furniture. 

This buffet, with its unique lines and European design spoke to me in the language of gray.

Mild and clean; neutral.

I fell in love with it and
so did my sister Becky.

Becky, my sweet cheerleader sister, my sister who always has something exciting to say and who wraps her arms around me with vigor enthusiasm.
Yeah, I love her.

She had an old dresser she thought was trash, beyond repair and all chipped up.
“Why don’t we fix it, paint it and try to sell it,” I suggested.
So, that’s what we did.
 Here it is and it already sold.

She said goodbye to an old dresser and hello to a new beautiful statement piece. 

Linking up to:

The Shabby Nest

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ideas to HELP me on my continued weight-loss journey

Now that the holidays are over, I’m craving a healthier lifestyle.  I’ve learned a few secrets since losing weight last year (you can read about that here) and I’m hoping I can continue making healthy choices in 2014.  I’m pressing forward with my mindset that the choices I make today affect all of my tomorrows.  I try to eat small healthy meals through-out the day, but one of the secrets I learned is to be prepared with healthy foods before the cravings hit.

Here are the saving foods/drinks that get me past the hard times.

  1. A grapefruit and stevia.  I have a pink grapefruit tree in my backyard and purchase stevia from Trader Joe’s.  It comes in an easy to use shaker, so I can just sprinkle it on whatever I want.
  2. Hot chocolate.  Late at night, when everyone else is snacking, I go for this. 

Sugar-free hot chocolate

Celestial Seasonings makes a great tea called Roastaroma.  I steam my tea and then mix in a shake of stevia, a tablespoon of cocoa and a pinch of cinnamon.  Sip it steamy hot and slowly and I feel like I’m on vacation at the Swiss Alps.  Seriously, I feel like I’m sitting in some ski lodge watching the snow fall.

  1. Zipfizz.  I know there are many different sugar-free drinks out there.  
    I’m not a soda person, so that’s out.  I discovered Zipfizz at Costco and am really happy with it.  I try to only drink it when I need a boost.  Dieting, I find drinks are really important.  They can save me from a downfall. 
  2. Mint Cali tea. 
    I love to sip my Sunrider Cali tea steamy hot, but when it’s done, I take the tea bag and throw it in with a half-gallon of water.  The mint of the tea bag is so strong, it carries over perfectly.  I mix in the juice of a lemon (I also have a lemon tree that sings with love) and shake in some stevia.  Served over ice, it is the most refreshing drink EVER. 
  3. Extra Gum Mint Chocolate Chip. 
    I reach for this gum several times a day.  The flavor lasts and lasts.  When dieting, smells can make or break you.  The longer I eat healthy, the less cravings I have, but I remember when I started losing weight the cravings would come which the fierceness of a hungry lion. I felt over come, but remained determined.  I learned to pick up what it was I wanted to eat, like a cookie or a piece of pizza and smell it.  Really smell it and the smell created a distraction.  It was just enough satisfaction and with some self-control, I could put the food down and walk away.
  4. Celery.  I eat a lot of celery.  At first, it doesn't taste very good.  I do keep fat-free ranch dressing on hand, so that helps.  When I first started on my weight-loss journey, I remember walking around the house saying "Look at me.  I'm so lucky I get to eat celery."  Yeah, there was a bit of sarcasm in that tone and I would chomp down on it like a cow chewing cud, but celery is an interesting food because if you pay attention to your body, you realize celery can really fill you up.  I eat three celery pieces and can go hours before I’m hungry again.
  5. Sugar-free jell-o.  It’s always good to have some jell-o stashed in the refrigerator.  I like cherry or strawberry.  The flavor is very strong and satisfying.  I eat it slowly, so I feel like I’ve had a decent treat.
  6. Broiled zuchinni with garlic.  Make sure they are well-done, crispy and they are that much more satisfying.  Sprinkle your favorite garlic seasoning over it and it's delicious.
One of the biggest things I learned is dieting has a true start and stop date.  I don't have to eat like this forever.  I really only eat this strict when I'm in fat-burning mode.  When I'm in maintaining mode, I don't have to be strict.  Still, I do fall back on these foods when I feel I'm starting to slip. In addition, because I had so much weight to lose (and still have more to lose), I found it more manageable to do it in 20 pound increments.  I lost the first 20 pounds and took some time to figure out what I was going to do from there (plus the will power was slacking).  I learned to eat more in moderation and experimented with how much I should/could eat to maintain where I was at.  After a few months, I started up again.  I lost another 20 pounds and took another break for a few months.  This required me to really love myself and be patient.  I had to enjoy and appreciate where I was at.  I had to see the good in my body, even though it was far from where I wanted to be.
Out of all the blog posts I wrote last year, I find it interesting my spiritual journey to weight-loss was the most popular with over 1,000 hits.  I wasn't sure if I even wanted to share it, but decided if it would help someone, I would.  It wasn't easy sweating through an emotional battle with weight-loss (and I continue to fight the battle).  I was angry with myself and felt it was unfair I was over weight.  I was a good person.  I exercised and ate lots of salads.  I worked hard and hoped to just get by.  I had five children and that’s why my body looked the way it did.  I had every excuse in the book.  In the past, these emotions and ideas sabotaged me from my weight-loss goals, but spiritually, I held on.  Every minute was a choice.  I knew nothing was impossible with God.  Still, the body has a way of taking over the mind, so having these food and drink choices available left me feeling a bit more in control.

(click here to read more)

Dressember was a great experience for me.  Buying beautiful dresses and wearing them every day was a gift to myself.  I still can't believe I fit into smaller sizes than before.  Wearing these dresses was a reminder to myself that the sacrifices made for weight-loss are worth it.  I know my body isn't perfect, but the purpose behind dressember was important. It's been amazing to maintain my weight-loss after almost a year, but it's time to push myself again.  Back on the band wagon.  I can't wait to see what else I learn through my next spiritual journey with weight-loss.

Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock

Monday, January 6, 2014

Latest Thrift Store Finds

Thrift store shopping is always something I can fit into my week.  I'll be out running errands and usually, just usually (ok, almost always), I have time for a quick run into the thrift store.  Browsing is downtime for me; a time when I just unwind and restore myself.   I'm always inspired.  Phoenix is bursting with amazing thrift stores.  They're like gas stations and you can almost find one on almost every corner.  I think they're a great benefit to our communities.

My style is somewhere between mid-century and vintage.  Anything unique will draw my interest.  Here are a few of my latest finds.
A Mele vintage jewelry case.  

It was priced at $3.99.  I found one similar on for $80.  
Sometimes, I paint these little cuties cream and shabby chic them, but this one is too cute as-is.  

Here's a Annie Laurie vintage purse I paid $2.99 for.  
The French design is so special.  
On eBay, a similiar Annie Laurie purse is priced at $90.

Remember my posts Put a Bird On it (find them here and here)?  I still love birds. 
This is a little wood carved hand-painted bird.  Isn't it a little jewel.
I love her and will keep her forever.

The last time I went to Goodwill, my son Mayer was with me.  He said "Mom, all you ever buy is dresses and dressers!" 
Yep, that about sums it up.
This Sunday get-up from Spiegel was $8.00. New, this would run around $74.00.

Speaking of dressers, here's the newest piece I've run down to Antique Plaza.  

If you want to check out my space, it's booth #52.  

Just look for the My Dear Trash sign.
Remember peacock blue (click here and here)?  It's another bird I keep alive and well.

Linking up to:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Delivering my Grandma's French Provincial Set for Christmas

I live down the street from my parents.  When we have family dinners or celebrate holidays, I usually load up a red wagon with food and/or gifts and the counselor and I walk down while my kids ride bikes or scooters.  It’s always a bit nostalgic.  I know I’m blessed.  When I was a kid, I remember telling my mom “When I grow up, I’m going to live next door to you.”  I love this street, with beautiful large trees and friendly neighbors.  

For Christmas Eve this year, I made two ice cream pies, drizzled with caramel for added caloric enjoyment.  

I warmed up a couple dozen egg rolls and cut up a watermelon.  I should mention 2 of my sister-in-laws are pregnant, so hence, the eclectic dinner ideas (plus, my mom asked us all to bring our favorite finger food).  My kids offered to help carry things down to my mom’s, but this year, I was going to need more than the red wagon to take all the food and gifts.  Santa needs a sleigh, I needed a full-size pick up truck.

My brother-in-law stopped by early Christmas Eve with my nephews and offered to help with our deliveries.   We loaded up gifts, big and small and he drove everything down to my parent's house. 

After dinner, we all gathered in the living room.  My nieces and nephews played the piano, sang songs and danced.  They are all so sweet.

We started our gift exchanged and the beautiful chaos began.  

I walked up to my mom and dad and said I had something I wanted to show them. 
Out in the carport sat their gifts.
The best part is the desk and high boy French provincial pieces belonged to my Grandma Street, my mom's mom.  

They were in pretty bad shape, so my brother Sam had brought them up to my house for me to work some magic.  Now, they are restored a creamy heirloom white.

 This little end table I found out thrifting and thought it would be a perfect match to my Grandma's set.

I think my Grandma would be happy with how they turned out.  

Linking up to:

Tickled Pink at 504 Main