Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A post that WILL help you de-fluff,

Wow, I really admire those of you who have made the commitment to join us! We are going to help and encourage as much as we can! So far we have Angel, Kacey, Markat286, Missy (we are going to call you Missy2 to avoid confusion)and Anita K. KD lost, are you committing or just enjoying your fluff? Either way, we are happy to have you along! Congratulations on making the commitment! So far we range from 10 to 100 pounds!
I have been using a tool for the last 3 days that is REALLY helping me to keep track of what I am eating. To give you some background, I am not grossly overweight...some would say that I am not at all, but for my height (5'2 and bone structure, small) I am definitely on the heavier side of the weight chart. That said, I have never counted calories or tried seriously to lose weight. So, my dilemma was, how do I do it? I feel like the trick for me is "mindful eating". That is, really paying attention to everything I eat and being accountable. I have found this tool to be SUPER helpful.

The tool is called the Daily Plate and can be found on

that's where you start by registering. Once you register, click the daily plate and get started. I have found the food list to be super comprehensive...down to the 6 m&m's I had one day, and if the food is not listed you can add it. I have been tracking everything I eat, my exercise and my weight. It really helps me to see it in black and white. If you are like me, some of the things you eat "don't count" 'cause I just had a bite or ate them off my daughter's plate or ate them standing up or on a holiday or whatever. Unfortunately my friends, science doesn't lie and they all count, even cake on your own birthday...I know it's sad, sad news! So enter them all and face it...

A really cool feature is that it calculates how many calories you may have each day, subtracts them from your total as you eat them and tells you how many you have left for the day. If you track you exercise, it will also give you additional calories....motivation to get moving! How cool is that!? I have already seen a small difference on the scale in just 3 days! Try it and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holly Candy

Holly Candy

Melt Together:
16 marshmallows
1/2 stick butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon green food coloring (3 big squirts will do)
2 cups corn flakes

drop from spoon onto wax paper. Decorate with red hots. Cool. Store in tight container.

disclaimer: This post is a Christmas catch up post. This is not going to help you de-fluff. If you just like to cook, make some to give away! ;)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Are you ready to loose the fluff?

As I was reading my facebook updates today, I just had to comment on a friend's update about feeling "fluffy". Yep, we feel pretty fluffy after the holidays...and like our friend above, we are none too happy about it. So, what to do???? Join us in the SFV diet challenge! No, we are not Oprah or Dr. Phil. We're not going to put you on TV or give you a new car, but if you join us on our journey, we'll give away some nifty gifties to regular commenters and you will feel and look better, too. Come on, it doesn't have to be a lot of goal is 10 lbs, Missy's is 15. What is yours? Tell us by January 2 and we'll pick the first winner from those who comment....seriously, it will be fun!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Help the little guy, go vote!

Some Southern Goodness

Here in the SOUTH, we love our traditions, so sit down and have a glass of sweet tea and join my tour of a Tallahassee Tradition....Springtime Tallahassee. Springtime Tallahassee was originally conceived to help bring attention to the city of Tallahassee when they wanted to move the capital to somewhere more central in the state. The capital remained in Tallahassee and we have celebrated the city every spring since.
Locals can join groups called Krewes that each represent a period in history. We are part of Spanish Krewe...supposedly this means we represent the time when the Spaniards founded Florida....really it means that we drink lots of "libations" while dressed as Spanish Royalty.
High school age children of Krewe members are eligible to join an organization called Belles and Gents. This is a cotillion like group that learns etiquette, takes dancing lessons, wears big southern dresses and gets to ride on a float (no libations for the kids). My darling boy is representing this group as Mr. Springtime 2009....he gets to wear a sash and everything! Pictures from the coronation:

Mr. Springtime and his proud parents

With Miss Springtime and Miss Congeniality

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Easy cookies and more Christmas love

Whew, I am happy that it is Tuesday! We finished Market Days in Tallahassee on Sunday evening. Monday was a whirlwind of decorating, errand running and cleaning as I got ready to host a cookie exchange for my church circle (no, I am not 80, really) last night. I had a small cookie now I have FAST cookie fix to share with you! I TRIED to make these raspberry pinwheel cookies from Real Simple's December issue. Unfortunately, they are NOT real simple! Soooooo....4:30 and I need cookies for an exchange that starts at 6:30. Here's what you need: 1 bag of square pretzels, 1 bag of M&M's, 1 bag of Hershey Hugs and 1 bag of Hershey Peppermint kisses. Here is the VERY COMPLICATED recipe: Lay pretzels out on baking tray. Unwrap kisses...try not to eat too many, they look better on the cookies than on your butt, trust kisses on pretzels. Place in an oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and place one M&M on each kiss...same advice regarding M&M's...better on the cookies. Let cookies cool or stick in the fridge to harden. Voila' are done! They look cute and would be easy to do with little chefs as well. Finished product pictured in upper left hand corner of the collage. Happy baking!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Perfect, Eco-friendly and Economical Holiday Gift!

These monogrammed sports bottles are the perfect gift for everyone on your Christmas shopping list! For only $15, they are just right for teachers, babysitters, dog-walkers, housekeepers, housesitters, dance teachers, mailmen, neighbors, bunco groups, secret santas, blog friends, second cousins, your Aunt's neighbor's cousin's friends, and anyone else you can think of! Pick your pattern, pick your font, and with our super quick delivery, your snazzy new sports bottle will be in your hands lickety split! Don't forget to order one for yourself!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Love me some Twighlight! Take the quiz and find out who you are...hopefully not Victoria! Have fun!
I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Me, blatantly trying to increase my chances of winning

So I am surfing this morning because there is a thunderstorm and our neurotic dog woke us up at 4:55. What is it with dogs and thunderstorms? Seems to be a pretty common problem, quite annoying. I live in Florida, you would think the dog would get used to it....but I digress....I was wandering down my much neglected blog roll and ran across a FANTASTIC giveaway. Chances are slim that I will win, since there are over a thousand entries just in the last two days, but somebody has to win, right? Here's the deal....OLD RED BARN CO is giving away 3, count em 3 quilts! They are absolutely gorgeous. One is made with the new line of Sugar Snap die for, even if I did have to scrap with Designer Melissa Averinos over a super cool ring at quilt market....just kidding, she is super nice...but she did end up with the ring, dang it. She's tiny, but scrappy...loved meeting her. One of the many "rock star" fabric designers we met at quilt market. Speaking of quilt market, how can we be so lame as not to tell you about it...we promise to figure out how to download the pics off our new PINK cameras and work on a giant quilt market post very soon.
So, I have totally rambled, but didn't want you to miss out on the giveaway. If I don't win, I hope you do! Good luck...going to research a dog whisperer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Big Birthday Party

Okay, I am finally sharing the BIG BIRTHDAY PARTY!!! Olivia, our middle child, was turning three, and I was going to be out of town. Feeling just a tiny bit guilty about her Daddy being gone and Mommy leaving town too, on her birthday. I went all out for her birthday party! Not being a huge fan of character themed birthday parties, and her not really putting in much input. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said, "cupcake". I asked her what kind of party she wanted and she said, "a girl party". Okaaaaay. So, I went online and gathered some ideas and came up with a pretty neat party, if I do say so myself.
I was lucky enough to find the pink tablecloths and some pink plates on clearance at Target a couple of weeks before the party, and I also found some adorable little dolls on clearance in the toy area to use as party favors. Naturally, my cute little girl themed birthday party grew and grew and I ended up with 18 children, so Liz had to run out to her local Target and ship me some more dolls! Yes, you read it right, 18 children at a three year old's birthday party. We wanted to invite all of our neighborhood friends and there are alot of them!
In the back of the picture, I made the fabric-covered panels to hold little bags of little pink candies. I used these as prizes for the games we did, and gave them away as party favors.
Most of our decorations were of the edible variety. I set everything up outside and just used a selection of white and clear glass dishes that I had to dress up the table. I used my Michaels coupon ages ago to pick up the cupcake stand and have been waiting for an excuse to use it.

I bought the cookbook, "Hello, Cupcake" and let Olivia flip through the pages and this was the cupcake design that she chose. I spent HOURS making them. If I ever did it again, I wouldn't use Starburst or Now&Later candies for the blankets, they wear a bear to work with. I would use fondant instead. The blankets were the only part that took sooooo long. If it weren't for the blankets, I could have finished the cupcakes in about an hour. To make the little flags, I printed them on cardstock and they were glued to lollipop sticks (thank you Jayne!).

These pretzels were a HUGE hit with all the kids! The ate them all up before anything else! They were super easy to make! We melted white chocolate chips in the microwave, used the gel food coloring to color white chocolate pink, dipped pretzel rods, and then sprinkled them with sprinkles. Without realizing it, one of the containers of sprinkles we bought were peppermint flavored, and they added just the right subtle hint of peppermint.

I took alot of my Southern Living at Home containers and dishes and used them for the tablescape. I was lucky enough to find that October is breast cancer awareness month, and as such a lot of the candy makers do pink wrappers and pink candies in honor of that. I layered different pink candies in the jars.

I bought the vanilla marshmallows from Trader Joes, and used more of the lollipop stick flags. Behind you can see some round brownied I found that I made into brownie pops with lollipop sticks, and you can just barely see the square vase full of pixie sticks. The kids LOVED those. They were also gone almost right away!

The party favor bags were the lunch bag style and contained a doll for the girls, and some bubbles and such. The boys bags contained little dinosaurs for the younger boys, and little pinball games for the older boys. Their names were written in marker and each name had one letter that was in a pack of polka dot letters I found in the scrapbooking section.

I printed out water bottle labels that said "Thank you for coming to my birthday party, Love Olivia" and had each child's name on it.

This birthday banner and some balloons were all I did in the way of traditional party decorations. Sweet Funky Vintage sells this banner! (shamless promotion) It is fabric and can be reused again and again! Sadly, we are currently out of stock, but will have then again in a few weeks.

Here is the birthday girl! I used the iron-on transfers that you can use with an inkjet printer, and used the same graphic I used on the birthday party invitations and other decorations. Then I stitched it to a square of pink polka dot fabric, and then stitched it to a t-shirt.

Here I am with my sister, Kim, who was in town, visiting. I could never have pulled off the party without her help! She did EVERYTHING while I was working on those cupcakes!!

Olivia was a little reserved and seemed a little uncomfortable at being the center of attention. It was interesting to glimpse this little view of her personality. She loved the idea of a birthday party, and loved that all of her friends came over, but was a little embarrassed that they were all looking at her!

Here we were playing pin the nose on the pumpkin.

Olivia had to bring her favorite bear, "gigi" to the party.

I had extra cupcake batter, so I put it in a small round bowl and baked it to be a little cake that Olivia could blow the candles out on and the adults could have a little cake without all the candy on top!

Sophia enjoyed her cupcake!

Olivia, like many of the kids, ate the candy and frosting off of her cupcake, and left the cake part!


We played two other games at the party - we did a musical chairs type game, modified so it was a mix of a cake walk and musical chairs. And we also played with a play parachute.
I think the birthday was a success. Every couple of days, Olivia has been asking to have another birthday party!

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