Monday, March 10, 2014

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Last Sunday, my beautiful niece and her boyfriend were in the OC visiting his family and they were nice enough to make some time for me. 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Huntington Beach - I even got my first sunburn! It's day's like that that make me never want to move from Orange County!
It was so beautiful, I wasn't ready to head home after they left so I headed to the Wedge in Newport Beach. 
On our way, I stopped at 7-11 to grab something cold to drink. As soon as I got out of my car, a homeless man approached me and asked me for money for something to eat. I rarely have cash on me these days, so I tell him that and continue to go inside. Then it dawns on me, I'm going into a store that has all kinds of food, why don't I just get him something. I asked him what he wanted and he said, "Just something to eat and drink." Followed by expressions of gratitude. 
So, I grabbed 2 waters, a sandwich, a yummy looking fruit salad, and asked for $5 cash back and gladly gave it to my new friend, wishing him a good day. He, of course, was very grateful and went on his way. 
It warmed my heart as I pulled away to see him find some shade and opening the fruit salad for him to enjoy. 

I hope that the reason I share these random acts of kindness isn't misconstrued. I don't share them to get kudos. I don't share them to feel grandiose. I share them in the hopes that it will inspire more acts of kindness and show how simple it is to change someone's day and to spread a lil love. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

First Reward

So I got a new scale. That means I met my first weight loss goal. Yay!
The irony of a new scale is the weight difference. I was hoping it would work in my favor (who wouldn't) but it did the opposite.
Funny story, really.
The scale is fancy. I can enter my starting weight and my goal weight and it will tell me how much I've lost (or gained.) It tracks my progress for me. Nice!
So I'm programming it and step on to get my starting weight with this scale.
It read 182. My goal for the reward was 180 so 2 pounds wasn't terrible. In fact, 2 pounds may equal my clothes.
Naturally, I stripped out of my clothes and tried again.
This time it read 183!!!
I'm not quite sure of the confidence I have in this new scale. And I'm also not that excited about losing pounds I already lost, but progress is progress, right?
According to my original scale, I'm down 7 pounds. If we go from my biggest since I moved to So Cal, I'm down 14 pounds. And if we go from my biggest of all time in 2004... Hahaha just kidding.
I'm excited for results. Results keep me motivated.
Next reward? A new book!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Valentine's Candy Jars

I may have mentioned before that I am not a huge Valentine's Day celebrator. I know, I am kind of bah humbug about it, but it seems like such a retail holiday. I love the people I love EVERY day, not just on Valentine's day. But for some reason this year, I was feeling the love and I wanted to celebrate it.

I happened to be in Northern California spending time with some of my biggest loves and so I thought, "I don't get this opportunity very often, I want to do a little something." So, the BFF and I headed out to the stores after the kids went to the school and got creative.

My niece, aka "Princess" is like her mom and I in that she loves all things peanut butter. So her jar is filled with peanut butter M&Ms and her card says, "You're the peanut to my butter."
My nephew JP likes just about any candy so I got him Starburst and told him he was my "shining star." Awww!
And my other nephew, who I don't really have a nickname for without giving away his name, likes chocolate mint stuff so I got him York Peppermint Patties and told him we were "mint" to be together. Schmoop!
(The Reese's hearts were from their mom.)

I also made similar ones for my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew - theirs just had different kinds of M&Ms. Oh, and my sister and bro-in-law got a bottle of wine with theirs too. And then they fed me a delicious steak dinner.
OH! And I almost forgot the best Valentine's/Birthday gift ever! My sweet nephew, JP, gave me this:
It says, "I love you so much, I will build you a house of money." Ugh! Just melt my heart, why doncha! He has a heart of gold, that kid. It was agreed that I couldn't spend it until he came down to So Cal to visit me. That middle part? That's a $20 bill folded into a shirt. That's 25 dollars that kid gave me. I mean, I have to wait and spend it with him, but what 11 year old do you know that would give away $25 of his own money? He's the only one I know!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Baseball Flip Flops

I recently traveled up to Northern California for some much needed friends and family time. While there, my BFF and I were crafting machines! We made these really cute candy jars for Valentine's day (stay tuned!) and a few days later, we made these cute flip flops!

The BFF got the idea from this pin, which doesn't link to a blog or any place I can give proper credit to. We winged it and made them our own and since we were figuring it out on our own, naturally they got cuter as we went along. 

See? We were so excited to just get the first shoe done! One down, five more to go. 

Here's what you need:
  • Flip flops. (We got ours from Old Navy and Target.)
  • Leather Hole Punch Tool
  • Ribbon
  • Baseball beads
  • Some rhinestone embellishments (from the scrapbooking section)
  • Super Glue
  • Patience
This is the first pair:
Cut the ribbon long enough to go on both sides of the shoe with extra to at the end to tie. 
We punched five holes on each side. 
Tied one end of the ribbon. (As you can see, this part was the key part to figure out. My concern was that the knots would not only loosen when walking, but might even irritate the skin/foot. I think we nailed it on the next attempt.)
Weave the ribbon through the holes, putting a baseball on when the ribbon is on the outside of the strap.
Repeat till you get to the other side of the shoe and tie off. 
Then we super glued the embellishments down (this is the part where you need patience) and we even glued the baseball beads down for good measure. 

Here's our second attempt: 
We did these the same way as the other ones except we tied the ribbon (and super glued for good measure) to the little prong thing on the bottom of the flip flip. After tying it on there and securing with super glue, we just pushed the prong thingy back into the shoe for a smooth transition! Genius if I do says so myself. (I wish I could take the credit here too, but it was technically my sister's idea.)

And last, but not least, these ones were my favorite! 

The only thing we did different on these is instead of 5 holes, we punched two. One on each side of the thing that goes between your toe then tied off the ribbon into a bow. They are both really cute, but the less busy is just my personal preference. 

We'll see how well they hold up. I mean, they're not made to play baseball in, they're made to look fashionable while you watch someone else play baseball! So they should be fine. 
 As soon as the BFF posted them on her Facebook page all the other baseball and football mom's wanted a pair so I think she's jumping on the opportunity and will perhaps make a buck or two making them!
I am proud of both of us for making our (really, her) vision come to life. 
And thank goodness she painted her toes the day before we made these!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Roasted Potatoes

I may have mentioned before that I haven't met a potato I didn't like. This was no exception.

I modified the recipe from McCormick's website.
I didn't have any of the seasoning's they suggested, so I improvised.
I also didn't add onion like they suggest. 
Here's what I did: 

  • Preheat oven to 425 and spray a baking pan w/cooking spray. (I used a 9x13 Glass Pyrex.)
  • Cut six red potatoes into bite-size cubes and put them into a gallon sized zip lock. 
  • Dump the following ingredients into the bag w/the potatoes:
    •  3 tablespoons Olive Oil
    • 1.5 teaspoons Garlic Powder 
    • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoning Salt
    • Sprinkle in some pepper. (I use McCormick's Peppercorn Medley.)
  • Shake it all up until the potatoes are nicely coated and dump it into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until golden to your liking. Stir occasionally. (I stirred about every 10-15 minutes.)
Throw it together with some chicken and asparagus and you have a le gourmet meal!