Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all...

...and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter vacation!

Finally! I am now at home on vacation with my kids, enjoying some free time. I still have a wee bit of shopping to do but I think I can knock that out in a couple of hours tonight.

So far this morning, the window man came and replaced three windows. L. took a bath. S. has a couple of friends over and they are playing Nerf wars. And I just put two banana bread loaves in the oven. They'll be done in around 45 minutes.

I love being a teacher on a day like today!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010



But I did manage to make this on one of my iPhone apps. Kind of cute.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October and the trees are stripped bare...

...of all they wear. What do I care? October, and kingdoms and kingdoms fall. But you go on and on...

Nothing like a dose of U2 from the 1980's. Gotta love 'em!

Too much going on at work, too little time for fun stuff, fall is slipping away from me. Next week we will go out and have some fun, I hope.

The boys are busy putting together our annual haunted house. It'll be in the garage this year so it'll be a bit different. I hope it's not too cold that weekend. Liz is playing at a friend's house and I am cleaning my scrapbook room, which is long overdue. Of course I'm not really cleaning; I'm on the internet. So on that note, au revoir!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting back on the horse, or mule more like

OK. After two weeks of slothful behavior, I have begun exercising and counting calories once again. My weight loss had stalled when I stopped counting calories and exercising on a regular basis. Imagine that!

My inspiration is this remarkable woman, Cathy Zielske. Here is a link to her weight loss and exercise blog.

I walked/jogged 38 minutes today. I'm not sure how far that was. I would like to use the Nike+ iPod product but I have an iPhone 3G, which does not work with that product. Almost every other Apple product works with it but not my antiquated 3G phone. Aargh! I was thinking of upgrading my phone, which I probably will, but I was waiting for the white model. Plus, I think Apple will probably come out with an updated version of its phone in order to fix its current design flaw.

That's OK. I can probably estimate how far I walk/jog around my neighborhood for now. Just getting out there and getting active are big steps for me!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Some new layouts

Going to a crop today!

Yes, it's true. It's something I don't do often enough but I am cropping with my friend Leah today. I hope to purchase some BoBunny papers and make some really cool scrapbook pages. Hopefully I'll post them later.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lavender, lovely lavender

I am so inspired today to talk about lavender.

About 10 years ago, DH and I thought about living on a small tract of land and growing lavender. However, the situation never materialized. Fast forward to today and I am thinking about growing lavender once again thanks to Mike Neustrom of Prairie Lavender Farm.

We live in a suburban cul-de-sac lot but we have had phenomenal success with our Munstead and Grosso lavender plants, especially this year. I am planning on planting 45-60 more plants, adding to the 23 that we already have, and having a veritable lavender farm in the suburbs!

Considering the cost, I'll probably only plant about 10-15 more this year and see how they do on our west side. An added bonus: the more lavender we have, the less lawn I have to mow!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My boy and zoo pages

I am just experimenting with the myriad of papers I have in my possession. I'm not sure if I like the one about my son but heck why not post it?
Also, I found these old Close To My Heart papers and stamps and decided to use them on our zoo page this year.
I love to scrapbook!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Just finished my third scrapbook page of the day... may be a record setting day for me!

Back to scrapbooking...

It's finally time for me to get back to one of my great passions...scrapbooking.

I am refurbishing my scrap space once again and I intend to get oodles of scrapping done between now and when school is back in session. I ordered 679 photographs from Kodak Gallery and they should arrive soon. I think I wait a bit too long to order my pictures, don't you? Well, it's usually a wonderful walk down memory lane looking back over the past several months' worth of photos. It's also a nice boost to my creativity, especially now that I have a scrapping/stamping station that is cleaned off and ready to go. Well, it's almost ready to go. It'll be ready to go soon, I promise!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Final TEAM Weight Loss class tonight

It's been 13 weeks and my official weight loss is 22 pounds. That's not too terrible, considering I sat out of exercising for two weeks a while back due to health issues. Also, I haven't been good at counting calories for the last several weeks. I think I could have lost more had I been more diligent about counting every calorie I put in my mouth.

So now the question is will I keep the weight off and indeed continue to lose? I HAVE to make sure I continue to exercise and account for what I'm eating. I plan on continuing to exercise regularly starting next week when I finally get to enjoy my summer vacation. I have been teaching for the past three weeks and I am very much looking forward to having a break.

OK--so I know that the pants I'm wearing in this pic make me look shorter than I am! Also, I know I have more weight to lose but I think 22 pounds is something to be proud of!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

18 pounds in 9 weeks

I can't hardly believe it is already June 5! I haven't signed in a in a few weeks. Within that space of time, I had a few illnesses that prevented me from exercising so my weight loss has hit a road block. As it is, I am just about done with week 9 and I have lost 18 pounds. Although I am proud of that, I wish it were more. However, I went off my strict diet a little bit and I didn't exercise for 1 1/2 weeks, so I shouldn't be too hard on myself.

Summer vacation is finally here so I hope to really rev up my exercise regime. I hope to get some cardio in on a daily basis, I am mowing every week, which burns mega calories, and I plan on going to the pool often with the kiddos. I think as long as I watch what I eat I'll start losing again.

I am going to set up a new goal for myself. There are approximately nine weeks until I return to school in August. In that time, I hope to lose at least another 18 pounds. That should get me fairly close to my goal weight. It should get me within the normal weight category at least. That should make my doctor happy when I see her in August. That should make me pretty happy too.

OK, time to get off my duff and get some things done around here. Ta ta for now!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I have lost 15 pounds in 6 weeks!

Yes, it's true. 15 pounds in 6 weeks! I am very proud of myself!

I have begun week 7 but unfortunately I've hit a snag--I threw my back out last night. I have called in sick to work today to try to heal my ailment. Many times throughout my life I have thrown my back out so I know what to expect. That doesn't make it any easier, however, but I hope to be better in a couple of days.

As for the weight loss, I don't feel it too much in my body composition nor do I see it very well. But I've had a few people tell me they can see the difference, which of course makes me feel good.

I did go off my strict eating plan this past weekend because I was just so sick of eating the same food over and over. And now I can't really be active much this week either so I hope I don't put weight on.

As the school year ends, I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to exerice during the day every day instead of just three nights per week. I want to incorporate safe weight training into my routine. And of course, I want to swim with the kiddos in the outdoor pool at LT Fitness. It is going to be a healthy summer!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Standing still...

First of all, happy mother's day to all moms out there. I am so lucky to be mom to two wonderful children. Je vous aime, mes cheris!

I am a bit sad this weekend, however, due to a standstill in my weight loss. I am at 165 today, even though I did make it down to 164 the other day. I have been keeping track of my calories so I'm not sure why I've gained back a pound.

I have also injured my left arm by pulling a muscle while doing a lateral pull down. I had too much weight I was pulling which I think I knew at that time but I thought I was pushing myself and doing something beneficial. How wrong I was! It's always better to do more repetitions with lighter weights than to do a few reps with weights that are too heavy. I have had pretty bad pain off and on for several days now I don't really know if it's a pulled muscle or something worse. Hopefully it'll heal itself soon.

Have a lovely week!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

End of week 4--I've lost 11 pounds!

No photos yet because I really don't see much of a difference yet. Hopefully I'll keep losing and it'll become visible soon.

I am excited but also somewhat guarded. I need to get more into the exercise aspect of it all, but I am constrained by a lack of time. Once the school year is over at the end of May, I'll be able to spend a lot more time in the gym. I am very much looking forward to those days.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 6: I've lost 5 pounds!

OK--so I thought I'd be on here daily recording my thoughts and feelings about this weight loss journey. However, life is simiply too busy for me to do that. So here I am, nearly one week after starting my T.E.A.M. Weight Loss program and my strict calorie counting, and it turns out I've already lost 5 pounds!

I know, the 5 pounds that I've lost is most likely water weight but I am still pretty proud of myself. I also know losing 5 pounds per week is not the wisest way to lose weight because it's likely that weight will come back. However, I will take a look at my progress next week and see if I lose a more reasonable amount of weight. If I continue to drop too much, I'll up my calorie intake. Right now, I am following my LoseIt recommendation of eating 1,331 calories per day. LoseIt is an application for the iPhone that is keeping track of all my calories. This is a godsend for me because I HATE counting calories. I am so very happy with LoseIt! Check it out at

As for the exercise program, I do it three times per week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I was a bit disappointed with the first two nights because we really didn't get a lot of exercise in. However, we more than made up for it on Thursday because we walked for 59 minutes, doing interval training and using rubber bands to help work out the upper body. It was quite a workout indeed. I wanted to go again yesterday but my back was hurting from sleeping funny on it. I think I may go today while Lizzie is at a birthday party, and work out for 30 minutes or so. I might even treat myself to a fruit smoothie afterwards. I'll have to check the calories first.

I am very happy about seeing real progress in this regime. I don't look any different yet but I hope to continue to lose and start seeing results soon. The progress is a great motivator to keep going. Onward and upward!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Team weight loss: Day 1

Well, we had our first meeting tonight. It was a bit of a disappointment because we mostly just talked about the program. We didn't weigh in yet, nor did we take measurements. That will happen next time, I think. We got to work out for only about 15 minutes, mostly to determine our aerobic threshold. My shins were fatigued too early so I sort of petered out and I'm not sure I came up with an accurate AT number. But it gives me a pretty good indication as to what it might be.

Well, gotta go. I'm watching "The Biggest Loser" for inspiration. I LOVE that show!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 5, 2010 is a very important day for me...

I am beginning the T.E.A.M. Weight Loss program at Lifetime Fitness. I plan on using this site to keep an online journal during my weight loss odyssey. I hope this will be the kick in the pants I have been needing to get me to lose the extra weight I have gained over the years.

Here's the magic number for me: I need to lose around 50 pounds. That's a whole heck of a lot, I know! And I know I won't lose all 50 pounds during the 12 weeks I will be in the LT Fitness program. However, I hope to be well on my way to that goal. I hope to lose around 24 pounds or more during the T.E.A.M. Weight Loss program. That seems like a reasonable amount for a 12-week period but if I lose more, I won't complain!

What has spurred me to get off my Irish-American arse and get moving? Recent medical visits have revealed that I have high cholesterol and triglycerides. I have probably gained 35 pounds since going back to work in 2004. I lead a sedentary life, I eat more than my fair share of junk food, and I don't count calories. I am not currently a good example to my children, which pains me to no end. I would not wish for them a life of constantly obsessing about their weight, which is something I have been doing for years and years, even before I was this overweight.

A new Lifetime Fitness has opened up in our town and the entire family is becoming more active, which is a wonderful thing. I hope to become an inspiration to my children and to anyone else who may be dealing with these issues.
Wish me luck!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Close To My Heart...

 feels like old times. I am once again a consultant with Close To My Heart. This time I just want to start out by doing it for myself but I won't be too upset if people want to host gatherings and attend workshops!

Lizzie and I had a great time opening up the consultant kit. The cats even joined us! I got the scrapbooking and card making additions to the kit, which has me sitting on easy street! I love all the stamp sets, ink pads, papers, embellishments, and books I got! It is too sweet for words! I am going to go play with my stamps now. Maybe I'll post something later...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring Break is here!

It's so exciting around our house: the kids are asleep, Chris is playing MW2, and I am quietly typing away on my much neglected blog. Where's the exciting part, you ask? Well, it's SPRING BREAK and even though we don't seem enthusiastic about it, we are! I am still getting over a sinus infection but I am determined to get some real scrapbooking done during my vacation. And I even hope to post some of the layouts. Don't hold me to it, but I swear I'll try!

Well I'm brimming with so much anticipation that I think I'll go to bed and write more later.

Bonne nuit!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thinking about scrapbooking...

...but not actually doing it. It's 1:00 a.m. and I am just thinking about all the cool things I'd like to accomplish with my wonderful hobby but I know that it would take too much effort to get anything out at this hour of the night.

I am even thinking about stamping, if you can believe that. I'd almost given up on stamping but I was perusing the Close to My Heart website and I started to miss the fun of stamping cards and layouts. I used to be a CTMH consultant, you see, but I bit off more than I could chew with a newborn, a toddler, a return to work, etc. I bought way too much stuff and became overwhelmed by the whole thing. Now that my kids are older and more independent, I may dabble in stamping yet again. More on that later.

Well, the sleepies are taking over my eyelids so I will bid you all adieu. A la prochaine!

Friday, January 15, 2010

My former French teacher met the president of France today!

I just read Renee's blog where she explained her serendipitous meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy today. I am very proud of her and her son for representing Americans in a positive light during their discussion with Monsieur le President.

Bravo, Madame!

Here's a link:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In a good place

It has been an incredibly productive and relaxing week for me with three snow days under my belt. I have finished the 2010 Archiver's calendar where I made one layout for each month. I want to take 1-3 pictures of us and put them in the calendar. When each month is finished, I will put each layout into the 2010 scrapbook and I'll have instant layouts. Cool idea.

I used my Cricut for each title and I can't say how much I love that machine! I got three new cartridges for Christmas and I used the heck out of Designer's Calendar. Obviously, it went hand and hand with my project but it has so many capabilities. I love the Cricut!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow day!!!

This is the second snow day in a row for us. It's really due to the excessive wind chills forecast for today--between -15 and -25 below 0. We'll be staying inside, thank you very much. I hope everyone is snug and warm wherever you are.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to work tomorrow

Well, it's been a fun couple of weeks but as much as I hate to admit it, vacation must end and work must begin.

It's back to the books and I'm looking forward to the third quarter. Only ten more weeks until Spring Break! :)