Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Food for thought...making health a bigger priority

If you have been following along with my blogs over the years you will see every so often I will get focused on health/weight for a post or two...well it must be that time again...hey at least I haven't given up completely right...I am more concerned with health but lets just say I would love to be thinner...not tiny not skinny but thinner I think that is OK to admit. 
Usually I am trying to rewind all the bad habits just in time to get back into a swim suit for a family vacation...cram desperate weight loss...I hate the thought of wearing a swimsuit...I know I'm not alone!
I don't think I have ever admitted this before but when I have birth to my daughter 16.5 yrs ago I was 217lbs...I gained 79 lbs while pregnant...when I think back I just followed the directions given to me, eat when you're hungry...I ate but not tons, I definately gave into cravings without a second guess but up until then I had never had a weight since then it has always been a struggle.
I have to admit I am kind of uncomfortable admitting this....deep breath. See I'm 5'3".... so at that weight I was unrecognizable...I only have a couple of photos of that time and I have considered destroying I had just given birth and I did have insane amounts of ademia and after about 2 weeks I lost 30-40 lbs of water weight and a whopping 6lbs of baby. 
Over the first year of my daughters life I just embraced motherhood and honestly I didn't worry to much about my weight but after she was 15 months and we had just moved into our first house I made a lot of changes and lost about 103 lbs...I got everything under controll then I got pregnant wasn't in the plans at the time. I actually had wanted to enjoy being thin and fit again, but of course I was thrilled to be pregnant and I'm glad to say I did not gain that much weight during my second pregnancy, probably more than many but not by any means a small amount.
I have struggled with my weight on and off over my adult life...most of which I can directly trace back to a life event, moving, trauma, loss, stress, moving again...I guess we can safely say I am a stress know when people say I'm too stressed/upset to eat, yeah that's not me...
This wasn't going to be a confession post, I'm not even sure if I will publish it...if you are reading this then I decided to put it out there...I know I'm not alone.
 I wish I had it all under controll but I would never stoop to unhealthy actions just to be thin, so it has been a roller coaster of being thin and not so know what I really don't like is how I let it affect the things I do, where I go, and how I feel about myself at the people who judge you not know you are always there judging yourself thing that makes me crazy is when people who struggle with weight judge others for their weight's not OK.
Sometimes I am amazed that people who have their weight under controll at all times think people with extra weight don't have the knowledge or don't eat well or don't like healthy food...I like good food, healthy food but I also like junk food and sweets...I just need to work on balance...I have decided to get back to what helped me lose all those pounds back after I had my kids.
For me that is low carb...but I kind of coupled my plan with food combining which is eating certain things with other types of food and not mixing certain food with others. Confusing? Honestly I can't go into the details here but if you want to know more you can find it all in a book called Fit for Life.
Here is my typical breakfast fresh fruit and fresh pressed or squeezed juices. Fit for life is a book and plan of food combining that my husband and I followed in our early 20's.
This is a great go to lunch its called a goodwich, its a whole wheat wrap with vegenaise, sauted mushrooms, veggies chopped and shredded and pickles, not dairy not meat...its really good.

I have pulled out my juicer because fresh juice is just so good .
I've noticed a big trend people are not eating fruit or eating very little fruit, on my plan I start my day with fruit on an empty stomach every day, in theory it extends the fasting process and nutrients are absorbed easily and directly without anything messing up the digestion...makes sense to me.
This took some getting used to because I was so used to starting my day with an egg on an english muffin.
I have been loving that on instagram so many people I follow are doing paleo and or low carb, it's really cool to see what others are eating, there's power in numbers.
Soup...well I will toot my horn about my soup skills, this was just veggies and broth spices and a little bit of chicken, served with a little parm and greek yogurt...see I'd rather give up the breads, pastas and rice over meat and dairy any day, but that's a personal preference, everybody is different. The first weeks getting off the grains and refined sugar was tough.
The book really just based on health and nurtition it's not really a weigh loss book and it has been around a very long time, and through my own trials it works for me.
I of course had to try this Veggetti...I was hearing good things about it and it definately is a great little gadget.
Mason and I thought this zucchini pasta with basil avocado sauce was really good. If you would like  to check out some great recipes you can go to my project health/low carb board on Pinterest.

Another great breakfast with my perfect smoothie, 2 oranges freshly sqeezed, 1/2 cup frozen dark cherries and 4-6 fresh strawberrie...blend and enjoy
Mini naan with avocado and sauted mushrooms.
My smoothie recipe.
Fresh apple, carrot & ginger juice with asparagus and parm.
Chicken with beans and caulimash and a gravy of deglazed chicken cookings.
Meat balls not bread crumbs.
Another goodwich.
Lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

Caulimash with leftover meatbals.
Caulimash, med boiled eggs celery and cheese.
My perfect smoothie, again, sorry but it's good.
Chicken, caulimash and carrots...ok I should tell you about this chicken, I put a little olive oil in the pan and cook frozen chicken breasts on med, I sprinkle the top side of the chicken with Club house tex mex cook for 5 min or so then flip and sprinkle the back side with club house onion plus, keep flipping till fully cooked, set aside chicken breasts, add 1/4 cup of chicken stock to the pan and deglaze... it is an amazing flavourful sauce for the chicken and any veggies.
Banana ice cream is so good especially when sweet treats are off the table, although the rule I follow is only fresh fruit in the morning sometimes you just need a little treat and this is a good one, I like to add a little frozen cherries and a tsp or two of cocoa.

We entertained the other night and did a full low carb meal, I made these appetizers...well the cheese mixture. I piped onto cucumber and chirizo sausage. I used this boursin cheese about half the pkg and 1/3 of a pkg room temp cream cheese, mix them together add a pinch of red pepper flakes, smoked chipotle chili powder just a pinch or two and a tsp of dill...mix it with a mixer well and pipe it onto anything veggies, meat crackers if that works for you.
Now to my cheat day...that's normally Saturday mid far it's been Mucho Burrito burrito's because I have mad love for beef burritos...I eat well all week and then I have a totally indulgent meal...that will help me stick to good choices all week long.
It's a monster I know, after that I am not usually able to eat a really dinner...I have tried Chipotle and Jimmy Guaco's but nothing compares to Mucho Burrito for flavour, value and topping...
Another meal I miss and I go for on the weekend sometimes is eggs cheese and bread and of course bacon...I can eat all of these on my plan but not together in this combo.

In conclusion I feel good. I had been suffering with a lot of reflux and that has completely diappeared and did right for the weight I didn't weigh myself, I know how I felt and how things fit before I started this journey...and I will see very clearly how I am progressing in my clothes, I'm not going to let myself get caught up on numbers. 
I am on week 4 and I can see positive changes besides feeling better and being less hungry.
There is no deadline, no trip to get in shape for...I just want to be healthy and happy.
I am not saying anyone should eat the way I am nor am I asking for help to do things in another way because at a certain age we all know what works and what doesn't work, right. 

A few months back I found a lump in my breast and I went right in to have it checked out, there are so many people my age who are dealing with breast cancer so I never for a second thought about ignoring it. I had a mammogram on both sides and ultrasound, honestly I was some what scared of a mammogram after a life time of hearing they hurt...well they don't, it's a little uncomfortable but nothing at all to worry about. I was told they didn't find anything by the Dr and I left so relieved.
Until the following day when I was called back in because they saw something on the other breast, they wanted to take a look. Terrifying.
Well they found an enlarged lymph node in my right breast...they said they wanted to watch it and follow up in 6 months I am to return for more testing...I will admit I don't like the idea of waiting at all. Here's the thing though I know exactly where it is and I can not find it or sense anything at all. 
I am hoping they are going to find that the lymph node is no longer enlarged...
So you can see I have a lot of great motivation to get my health in order...
I'm not sharing this for any other reason then to hopefully encourage someone who has been putting off a mammogram or self exam, or Dr go, don't be scared.
One thing that is very comforting to me is that I went in, I didn't wait becuase women here in Canada don't get typically get a mammogram until the age of 50 so I was able to get testing done 9 years I will wait (patienly) and I will get in to have this checked as as soon as they will allow, I have my fingers crossed that it will be nothing to worry about but we all know some of us will have this cross to bare and finding things early and taking action is definately the way to approach these challenges. 

Thanks for letting me share my very personal stuff....we'll be back to all things home and DIY very shortly...this was not a sponsored post in any way all the opinions are my own and I am just sharing things that I think, love or that I am using that work for me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My dining room makeover from start to finish...built-ins, floors, DIY doors

I wanted to create a post and a quick link for my dining room project, a one stop resource of posts in case someone could benefit from all this info in one spot...
Here is a reminder of how things started when we moved in almost 3 years ago...bland nothing but windows and high ceiling going for this room...
Feel free to see how this journey went during the 7 weeks of progress...all the links are below...

day 5
face framing
base cabinet tops and diy counters
diy doors
diy shaker doors
priming and painting
week 5
adding upper shelving
week 6
from sketch to reality
built-ins are complete
the final reveal

thanks for stopping by...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ryobi cordless Airstrike brad nailer Review

Last July shortly after attending the Power into spring blogger event for Ryobi I was sent a Ryobi airstrike brad nailer... lets just say I was really excited I had heard so many good things about this tool and I was so excited to give it a try.

I wanted to really try it out before I shared a true review...and let me just say after using it for the last 5 months it is a winner...not even once I have I plugged in my compressor in the last 5 plus months.

I really put this tool through its took a while since in late June I sprained my ankles badly so I was forced to take a long DIY break...but in late September I tackled a major makeover of a built-in for a friend of can see that project here

As you can see it was an extensive makeover project..the only nail gun I used was the airstrike cordless brad nailer for this project.

After this project I started my dining room and my very labour intensive chevron for whatever reason I am not good at working a flooring nailer, I just can't get a hang of the majority of our pine floors I have installed were done so with a brad nailer...this Ryobi cordless nailer made this job wonderfully cords to deal with and no loud refills of the compressor to tollerate...I am won over...but it wasn't hard it was a pleasure to use.
You can only imagine how many nails I used to lay this floor...I have no idea but it was a lot.
See more on the dining room project,check out these posts below
day 5
face framing
base cabinet tops and diy counters
diy doors
diy shaker doors
priming and painting
week 5
adding upper shelving
week 6
from sketch to reality
built-ins are complete
the final reveal

For the rest of the built-ins in the dining room the Ryobi cordless nailer is all that I opinion on this product is that I love it, wouldn't want to live without it...if I was asked I would recommend you would be happy if you added to your collection of is the perfect DIYers nail gun.
Ok I have been reminded there may be some issues with this nail gun that you might want to hear about, someone asked " is it heavy ?"...compared to a regular brad nailer it is heavier but I adapted very quickly to it's weight, there is a bit of a delay when you push the trigger but that's not a bad thing for me personally it wasn't a problem I was more diliberate when nailing and I didn't have as many miss aims as I normally would, and I was able to get into tight spots like on narrow wood up against my wall, no problem there, overall I think it is a good nail gun and if I hadn't been given the one I have I wouldn't hesitate to buy one for myself...there were many early years of DIY where I struggled with hammer and nails & if this had been available it would have saved me a lot of frustration.
Oh and what model do I have...this one 

So big thank you to Ryobi for giving me this Airstrike to try out I give it a 10/10 it is my new favourite tool.
Of course you can find all Ryobi tools at Home Depot.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Can we talk about Target...

 Please consider signing this Petition to try and save Target Canada  When I heard the terrible news about Targets decision to close all their Canadian stores I honestly thought it was just a rumor...that couldn't be true...Target is literally my favorite store as well as one of my daughters favorite. I personally have only visited the US stores twice and didn't love it (probably just because you can't get a real sense of Target in a once in a while visit) but the Canadian stores were just so wonderful it was and has been my happy place...I was at Target last night getting some lip butters my daughters can get anywhere but at Target and I told our cashier about the petition and her face lit up...17,000 plus employees are going to be out of work if something isn't done...

People really need to drop the its more expensive than in the states excuse...WE ALWAYS PAY MORE, WE PAY MORE ...we pay more at Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Home Depot, Walmart, PINK, American Eagle.....and so on , we pay more that's not a good may have guessed it upsets sucks but its our reality you can thank our dollar.

I have been able to find great products from the beginning....things I love about Target...selection of course so much better than anywhere else, clean bright stores and always friendly staff. I get really frustrated when I hear people say they prices are high...ON WHAT...? I have found nothing but great prices deals and sales all along. Never will one store beat every other all the time that is just a fact.
But overall we found imense selection and great value and insane clearance deals...just the other day I got this blazer for $11 I have also bought a dress for $10 in the past, shoes for under $30... how are those not deals?

 Threshold products win in style quality and price everytime...

This designer table which was under $100 at only $79 but went down to $63 on sale...

 Always great seasonal items, that bottle opener was under $2....
 Totally unique and cute frame was $7
 This gorgeous tray was on clearance I looked forever for a nice tray and the stylish shaker for $10
 Always cute affordable art
 Great little gift boxes like this cookie box a bunch of them for $4
 Adorable dog costumes this was .97 cents
 Chalkboard runner
 Premium Paper towels on sale for $5.99 thats a deal no one will deny
 The complaint of empty shelves is an old one...

 Where can you find stylish designer knobs 10 for $23..thats savings

For me Target has been a great store with amazing stock and employees if they go we are left with no other options, don't say Walmart you will never find anything cute for your house there... not to mention the miserable staff and the filthy stores I avoid that place at all costs.
To say I am am upset is an understatement....I am not alone. I know endless women who love Target women who appreciate style and quality and value...
We are hopeful somehow Target will reconsider and keep a few stores open, restructure and at the very least open up online shopping to Canada, how can you make us love you and then take it away.
I don't cross border shop personally, how can you first of all expect to find what you want in one trip, it takes me three hours to get to a US Target and I like to spend our money supporting Canadian jobs. Use your voice...

So I hope you will join me and sign this petition now and pass it on... just letting Target go with out sharing our upset would be a true shame...