Thursday, October 21, 2010


So one of my favorite hobbies is making cards, like for birthdays and holidays and stuff. I've been in a little bit of a card slump lately because I wanted to do something a little more simple and a little more stampy, and I finally found the perfect inspiration! A young, stay at home mom named Maile Belles has a blog at and she is just the muse I needed. She has the perfect simple style I was going for and her use of stamps and buttons makes me giddy! This is by far my new favorite blog and every new card she uploads challenges me to try something new.

She is also a part of the product line team at, and since I have discovered their products I have been on a major shopping binge! Love love love their stuff. Wish I had a million dollars so I could buy one of everything! *sigh* I guess I'll just have to settle for adding their stamps to my Christmas wish list...

Here are some of my favorites that she has done:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This strange phenomenon begins to take place when the cool weather comes in and my tan begins to fade: my body assumes I am a forest critter and therefore must put on extra layers of fat to keep me warm during the cold, Arkansas winter. Unfortunately, I am not a cute, cuddly critter and I still have to go out in public in my newly expanded body. When you're only 5'3'' eight pounds can make a difference (I really hate it when my face gets rounder!). Which brings me to my point, I have to get serious about working out again.

I thought about modifying my diet, but let's get serious, I LOVE EATING. I'm not saying I'm going to eat Chic-Fil-A everyday, I know better than that. I'm eating veggies and trying to limit sugar intake and fatty, greasy foods. However, I'm never going to be that girl that only eats ice cream once a month and never drinks a Coke and lives off of salmon and asparagus. So I'm forced to accept the fact that (as much as I HAAATTTEEEE IT) I will have to be working out on a (gasp!) daily-ish basis as opposed to my 2 days I usually do.

Now here's the sitch: I have a lot of excuses for not working out. They are as follows:
1) I hate working out.
2) I have asthma, and as nerdy as that makes me, I can't do straight running for more than like, 5 minutes (nor do I want to).
3) I have workout ADD, so I can't do the same thing for more than a few minutes.
4) I hate working out.
5) I am really not willing to dedicate much of my day to working out (I'm shooting for 20-25 minutes a day, 6 days a week).

So what to do  now? First of all, RUNNING IS OUT. I hate it, and because of my asthma I start wheezing in all that cold winter air and almost always end up with Bronchitis. When I was trying to get in shape for the wedding, I did p90x which was suuuuper intense and did the job. However, I was in college and getting ready to be stared at for an entire day, so I had the time and motivation to work out 90 minutes a day, 6 days a week. I can pretty safely say that I will probably never do the entire 90 day workout ever again, although sometimes I get on a kick and do a random session.
I also bought an elliptical about 2 years ago because there is one thing I can't give up while working out, and that is my DVR. If I don't have something to keep me distracted from the actual working out that is happening, then I'll quit after like 10 minutes. The elliptical solves this problem because I can watch all the TV I want while doing something semi-productive. The downfall of the elliptical is sometimes I catch myself running only slightly faster than a speed walk which is not very beneficial for losing weight (but better than sitting on the couch).
SOLUTION! I have been hearing great things about Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout video. It's only 20 minutes a day and combines strength training, cardio, and abs. I can also have it playing on my computer while I watch TV (bonus!). I tried the easy session yesterday (out of easy, medium, and hard) and it totally kicked my butt. I was breathing pretty hard, but not in a way that got my asthma going. It was great for my ADD because it does 3 minutes of strength training, followed by two minutes of cardio, followed by 1 minute of abs (repeat). The strength training combines dumbbell lifts with squats, thrusts, etc. so it doubles the workout. Cardio switches between things like butt kicks, jump rope, and jumping jacks. Abs were mostly variations of the traditional crunch. I am sore this morning in my legs, arms, and butt. Not much in the stomach area, but that could be partially due to the fact that anytime I would lay down Bosco came and sat on my stomach because he is codependent.

In summary, I am going to try to do the full 30 Day Shred and my goal is to lose 8-10 pounds! I plan on getting up every morning and following this schedule: quiet time, workout, breakfast, go to work. Today was day one and I stayed in bed, fail. Haha, I'll have to do it tonight after cell group instead. Day 2, here I come! Hopefully my comfy bed allows me to leave...

P.S. Until the weight loss begins, I have found a wonderful quick fix for distracting anyone who may begin to notice my body has moved into hibernation mode, and that is a fake tan! Based on a recommendation from my friend Lauren, I started using Bliss: A Tan for All Seasons self tanner and it is incredible! It doesn't leave lines or smears and it sprays on PURPLE so you can see exactly where you are rubbing it in. I applied it once and have had a glorious tan for 4 days now. Kudos to Bliss for making me feel like it's summer all year round!
P.P.S. For those of you who are thinking, "man, this girl needs to get her priorities straight! There's more important things in the world than body image..." I totally get that my body is the one that God gave me and that a) I will never be a tiny supermodel, and b) I will never have the body I had in high school again. And I'm absolutely okay with that! My husband loves my body and would never even notice a few extra pounds. However, I think we can all admit that we just FEEL better when we're consistently working out, even if we don't have the perfect body after doing so! So that's that :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A little Advice from Beardy

I don't claim to be a scholar when it comes to theological books. I'm not talking about Crazy Love or The Forgotten God by Francis Chan . While those are great books, they are pretty easy and straight to the point (for the public type books). When I say theological, I am talking about the books Garland reads through like they are comics (this hobby is beyond me), like The Screwtape Letters, Mortification of Sin, and Confessions by Augustine. However, when doing a little more research on the infamous Saint Augustine, I realized that while he writes a lot of stuff that might put me to sleep or make my head spin, he also had some pretty brilliant thoughts for us laymen and layladies. So after a little digging on this Christian icon, I found the following quotes that taken even individually could change my behavior and attitude on a daily basis.

Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.

If two friends ask you to judge a dispute, don't accept, because you will lose one friend; on the other hand, if two strangers come with the same request, accept because you will gain one friend.

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

It is not the punishment but the cause that makes the martyr.

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.

The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.

Who can map out the various forces at play in one soul? Man is a great depth, O Lord. The hairs of his head are easier by far to count than his feeling, the movements of his heart.

Thanks for great insight, a terrific beard, and a pointy hat that I don't quite understand.