Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What 100 dollars of produce looks like.

I think most people are under the wrong impression that eating healthily is super expensive. Since we've cut our purchasing prepared foods and cut out fast-food, I've noticed that there is much more wiggle room in our monthly food budget.

So, in the interest of science, I decided to do a little experiment. Just how much fruits and veggies could I purchase for $100? Let's see :)

Wow. That's a lot of fruits and veggies, and that still leaves two-thirds of our monthly food budget!

In fact, I was really worried that we wouldn't be able to eat all of it before it spoiled. Let me explain how long this lasted. First, we juice-fasted for a week (well, Daniel did a week, and I did 3 days), which uses a considerable amount of produce, and then we transitioned to eating only fruits, veggies, and whole grains. WE STILL HAVE PRODUCE LEFT, after two whole weeks of eating nothing but what you see on the table, plus lentils, quinoa, and brown rice.

What remains: the watermelon, one pineapple, lots of carrots, and a few apples and cucumbers. I've bought an extra bunch of celery, limes, and some avocados, since then, but that's it! I really am astounded at how budget-friendly eating healthfully can be. I followed the dirty dozen guidelines for organic purchases, and produce was sourced from both the grocery store as well as the farmer's market.

Why all the food-shenanigans? We are just trying to break through a little thing I call FOOD ADDICTION. Not the biological necessity that our bodies have for fuel, but the unhealthy psychological cravings for junk-food.

source
Lots of love,
Lindsey

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

100 Free Mini Business Cards from Moo.com

Recently, I've been running into people who are curious about my Etsy shop, but I've just had to tell them the name and hope they remember it. Or, give them a tacky torn piece of paper with my name and Etsy shop on it. Super professional ;) 

So, I was super excited when I saw this offer from Moo.com for 100 free mini business cards. You do have to pay shipping, but it was only $5!! That's $20.00 off :) 


Klout and moo.com are giving away a free pack of 100 mini cards when you use the link below - these are the cards I designed, and I just love them! They also work as cute gift tags, and you can upload up tpo 100 different images!. Didn't want you guys to miss out, if you want to give them a try. 


I'm getting a pack of  cards (just $5 shipping) when you sign up for Klout. You can too, just click here: 

Whohoo!

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I have a secret: I'm fat.

Oh no! Say it's not true?!?
It's funny, right? That I feel like it's a secret...

I was thinking today, and I couldn't help but wonder if feeling secretive about my appearance influenced other thought patterns and choices that I make. Below is a little list I made of the sneaky ways I've discovered that being overweight has adversely affected my psyche.
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Posting pictures of myself:  If this blog is about me, and my life, then it would seem that I should at least posts a few pictures of myself from time to time. Sure my kid is cute, my house is adorable, and my crafts are trendy, but those things aren't who I am. Being fat isn't who I am. I promise to start posting more pictures of myself, and ones that aren't half-shadowed cropped images of my toes either.

Parenting: I want to be healthy for Selah, and I want Selah to be healthy too. I am super-adamant about feeding her quality nutritious food, and she is healthy. She is in the 95th percentile for height and the 75th for weight. What saddens me is when people say "Oh, look at those cute chubby thighs... I mean, uh, I don't mean she's chunky. She's just really tall." MY BABY HAS CHUBBY LEGS. BABIES ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE CHUBBY LEGS. People are trying to be nice, but they are afraid to offend me.

The Weather/Personal Style: Fall has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember, but yesterday I came to realize that a large part of my preference for cooler weather was based on my current wardrobe. Sure I love a good cardigan, but I do not love wearing them throughout the hot Texas summer. And I wear them, sweltering temps and all, because my arms are chubby.  Despite my longings for vibrant color, and fondness for whimsical style, I feel constrained by my own size as well as the expectations of others regarding what plus-size women should wear.
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My weight has been a struggle for me as long as I can remember. Even as an athlete in high-school, consistently working out more than 10hrs a week, I was overweight. In the back of my mind, I sometimes  feel like I have a legitimate biological problem. Despite healthy body-sizes, four women in my immediate family have non-functioning or removed thyroids, and one of my sisters also has PCOS. All the more motivation to move towards a healthier me.

Whatever, whatever, I am not an excuses kind of person. I have a master's degree in Community Health Education. I am not ill-prepared. My brain is skinny, but alas, my thighs are not. It's time to even out the situation a little.

Maybe sharing my secret will help me move forward, out of the fat closet and into the fresh air. There's not much room to exercise in a closet. Of course, chin-ups are an option, but I've never been able to do those, not even for that dang Presidental Fitness Test in elementary school. I could always do everything but the chin-ups...

The bottom line is that I want to be healthy. I'm not focused on a number, just a feeling of freedom. You can expect to hear more about this in the future as I share my journey with you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flashback Friday.

**EDIT- Umm. I just realized I posted this little flashback-Friday piece on SATURDAY. Holy Moly..the days all blend together dontchaknow**

Sneezing momma, laughing baby. Selah laughs a little too hard...
This is little Selah-magoo at four months old. She is the happiest baby in the world. I kid you not.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vaseline. Aka. Poop-stick.

We are a tag-teaming duo, Daniel and I. This is a parenting skill borne of necessity. Now that Selah is crawling, it is almost impossible to leave her unattended without returning to a mess that makes me analyze if I really needed to do X, Y, or Z in the first place.

In an effort to avoided unraveled skeins of yarn, paper thrown-up all over the rug, and  other similar messes, many of our getting-ready conversations are actually semi-yelled across the house as one of us baby-wrangles and the other quickly gets dressed.
This is her guilty face.
Recently, as I was putting on my make-up in the bathroom, I heard Daniel ask from Selah's nursery, "Hey, What's Vaseline for, exactly?" 

Now, I'm sure there are tons of uses for Vaseline. I've heard it can be used as make-up remover, skin moisturizer, and that it works wonders on rough elbows. It seems Daniel was no exception to these creative thinkers, as he was also pondering the possibilities of this utilitarian petroluem product.

However, I'd venture to say that any momma, or for that matter, any person familiar with babies, KNOWS WHAT THE VASELINE IS FOR... especially Vaseline that is found on the diaper-changing station. I'm not certain of everyone's methodology, but in our house, I stick the cleaned thermometer straight into the container of Vaseline before it goes straight into YOU KNOW WHERE.

Surely, Daniel also knew this, and he was simply inquiring about other possible uses for the product. I paused before I answered, not understanding the urgency of the situation. Also, I was mid-way across one eye with my eyeliner, unable to risk the possibility of a wonky line. It's killer to re-do eyeliner, and I always end up looking like I'm trying to cover-up a shiner.

When I finished my important task, I yelled around the corner perhaps the most glamorous sentence that has ever crossed my lips, "IT'S FOR THE BUTT-THERMOMETER...WHY?"

What I heard next could only be described as an indiscernible sound of horror. Sure enough, I walked into the nursery to find Daniel frantically wiping at his lips. His face was covered with disgust and panic. "I thought it would make a good Chapstick," he explained.

I think I  shrieked so loud, I scared the baby. Fits of vicious laughter ensued. (My laughter.) I almost needed to change my postpartum panties. Never one to pass an opportunity for a bad pun, I replied, "I'm sure it does, honey. I'm sure it does...but that's not Chapstick, it's Poop-stick!"

True to the form of an assimilated blogger husband, Daniel said,  "DO NOT BLOG ABOUT THIS, LINDSEY."

The End.

(FYI, reticent permission to share this story was eventually given. I suspect it took a little while for the poop-stick to wear off.)

Lots of love,
Lindsey



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baylor t-shirts and little bear ears..

Football season is upon us, and as a two-time graduate of Baylor University, I am more than happy to support the Baylor bears!

Daniel, the football junkie, has already been to two games this year. Me, no. I have sat on my bottom on in the air-conditioning watching my Facebook feed to determine how the game is going. In my mind fall = football, and it's not fall around here yet! When the temperatures are in the 70's perhaps I'll grace the Bears with my presence at a football game. Mostly though, I just want to make Selah some cute ears like these that Mercy wore last year!
my little Mercy-moo!
In the meanwhile, I will show my support by creating t-shirts for my friends. Heather had a great idea for a creative Baylor shirt, and I made these last week for her and her roomate! They are true Baylor fans.. way to go girls!
true fans..
Lots of love,
Lindsey

Monday, September 19, 2011

shameless bragging

This is the post wherein I shamelessly brag about my kid. Behold the wonder and glory of Selah talking. I know all kids talk, yadda yadda yadda, but she used to be so tiny, and squirmy, and squishy. Now she's crawling, and stinky, and growing so fast!

She's been saying hi for a about a month now, but recently she's  really been trying to say more words. (You should see people's reactions when a 9 month old says 'hi' and waves!)Some of her other words are: water, puppy, baby, up... of course they are only approximations, and don't sound perfect or anything, but it's so fun to watch her learn!

 She started talking this morning, so I whipped out my Blackberry to try to catch the little stealth-talker in action.

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gallery Wall

I've been meaning to share my living-room gallery wall project with you all for a little while. I love it!
                                                                         Taaaada!
all my loves. 

I spent this past year or so collecting old frames and pieces that I thought were generally cool to hang on my gallery wall. Don't worry, you don't have to take as long as I did! Just get some old frames from garages sales (they seem to be much cheaper than Goodwill), and look around your house for other key focal pieces for your wall.
makes it feel homey.
Feel free to leave the frames in their original colors if the frames that you get are in decent shape. I felt like varying colors were a little overwhelming in our already CRAZY house, so I spray-painted all of the frames white. Hopefully, this way I don't scare people off as soon as they walk into our house.

I debated several different methods of hanging the frames (there is a science to this you know!). There's the wax paper method, the arrange it on the floor method, and the frame template method. If you're in the market to hang a gallery wall in your future, check these tutorials out.
Trace and cut out each piece, being sure to mark where the hanger is!
I eventually decided to use the 'frame template method', where you trace and cut-out every frame on a piece of paper. It felt dumb to trace out each piece, and mark where the hanger was, but in the end it saved SO much time. I also found this method super-handy because it allowed me to re-arrange the paper 'frames' easily as they were only taped on the wall. If you have a smaller gallery wall, the other methods might work just as well. If  you've hung around here very long, then you already know we just don't do 'smaller' very well around here..
bobbles and bit...
I also added some non-picture elements to the wall, to liven it up a bit. Some of my favorites are the teeny-tiny succulent, the pair of stylized vintage deer, and the ACTUAL key to our house. (Yes, we still have working skeleton keys on doors around here..

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thick, Chewy, Delicious Granola Bars

Daniel was bummed to hear that packaged granola bars were not part of our 'Real Food' pantry-list. He needed something fast and portable to take for breakfast in the mornings, so I whipped up these bars a few days ago. Holy Moses, they are delicious. Barely crunchy on top, chewy in the middle, and not overly sweet.

This is perhaps one of the easiest/most rewarding recipes I  have ever made. It requires ONE BOWL and makes a 9x13 pan of delicious granola bars. Also, it makes your kitchen smell like a fall wonderland....yum.

This is a heavily adapted recipe from King Arthur Flour and Smitten Kitchen. I swapped out several ingredients for more healthy options, and halved the amount of oil by substituting in a mashed banana. The bars are hearty and oh-so-satisfying.

Yummy, Chewy, Healthy Granola Bars.
2 1/3c old-fashioned oats 
4-6c dried fruits and nuts ( I used a raw almond, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, dried cranberries, and raisin mixture)
2/3c whole wheat flour
2/3c natural peanut butter
3Tbl ground flax seeds
6Tbl coconut oil 
2 Tbl water
1/2c plus 2Tbl raw honey
1/2c brown sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp salt
2tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Fully line a 9x13 casserole dish with foil. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Use your hands for goodness-sakes! It should be evenly moistened and hold together when pressed. Firmly press granola mixture in to foil-lined dish. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the bars are brown on top. (Mine took about 45 minutes, probably because half of the oil was replaced with banana). The bars will seem soft, but will firm up as they cool. Let the bars cool for about 20 minutes, then lift the foil and granola bars out! 

I cut them into bars, let them cool further, and then packaged them in snack-size baggies for individual breakfasts. 

Hope you enjoy!

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Friday, September 9, 2011

Popcorn wreath

I know you all must think I am a nut! I just keep making more and more wreaths.. This has to be some sort of record. In my defense, friends just keep having babies.. there are tons and tons of babies!

This wreath was for Stephanie, a sweet friend of mine. The theme of her baby shower was 'About to Pop!'

I wrapped a foam wreath form with alternating stripes of cream and light blue. Because the cream yarn wasn't as thick as the blue, I had to do two layers to make it even with the blue. Then, I wrapped contrasting mustard-colored yarn in a criss-cross pattern over both. I had some yellow fabric scraps, which  I used to spell the word 'Pop,' and strung a tiny popcorn garland in the middle. Cute!

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The God that I did not meet in Sunday-school.

I grew up in church. I practically lived at church for most of my childhood. In fact, I even went to a private church-school through the sixth grade. My dad was a deacon, my mother a teacher. My playground was a place of worship, and I had make-believe tea parties with communion cups. 


I thought I knew who God was. He was the Santa Claus the made the world. 


Later, my parents had a rough patch in their marriage, but eventually it all smoothed out. I went to the university of my dreams, twice over. I joined up with a church, a group of people who were serious about this Jesus thing, and I was enthusiastic to go along for the ride. I heard God speak to my heart. I saw things happen before my own eyes that I thought only happened in the pages of my Bible. 


I thought I knew who God was. He was a friend, healer, a miracle-worker, and the Santa Claus that made the world. 


When I was trying to get  pregnant, I faced a great crisis of faith. Why wasn't God answering my prayers? Why wasn't I being healed? Where had my friend gone? There is a Bible story about a woman who has been bleeding for many years; she reaches out and touches Jesus' clothes, and she is healed. Do you know how many times I pretended that my bedroom curtains were the garments of Jesus... I closed my eyes, and pretended to be that woman? I reached out and touched...curtains. Just white cotton curtains.   


I couldn't find my Santa Claus, miracle-working God. I was not getting the present I asked for, and I was not being healed. My BFF was not returning my prayer text messages, AND THIS ROCKED MY WORLD. 


Although I was emotionally crushed by my inability to conceive, I was equally as disturbed that this trial had shaken my faith. I had the presence of mind to understand that this wasn't the hardest thing a human being had ever endured, but this hurdle seemed insurmountable for me. Somewhere along the journey, I discovered I was a bratty little kid inside. Would I reject my God simply because I didn't get what I wanted? Was I merely worshiping a candy-dispenser up in the sky? 


When my heart wandered away, He (the real God), not Santa Claus, did not leave me. There was a spring of fresh water that bubbled up from my soul. It was a chorus that wouldn't be silenced, and it always sang the same thing. Sometimes it whispered. Sometimes it screamed. But it always said, "GOD IS GOOD." I argued, gave offerings of countless tears, and rational debates as to the contrary, but He won. My spirit knew it. My circumstances and feelings did not dictate the unchangeable character of God. 


When I discovered this, I found peace. And in a true miracle, I became pregnant. 


It took me a long while to find Him... God, the real one, the one outside of my coloring book pages and brightly wrapped Christmas presents. The one who is good despite the hurricane. The one who anchors my soul in the storm.


I thought that I knew who God was, but I'm still learning. What I do know, is that He is good. 


Lots of love,
Lindsey

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Fun

We are thoroughly enjoying our 'working man's holiday' around this household! The Texas heat has had mercy on us today, and we are reveling in the bliss of our front porch. Daniel is smoking a brisket, Selah is eating leaves off the porch, and I am soaking in every moment of this perfection.
Loving the porch. 

She has mastered the double-handed wave. 
Hunting for leaves to eat.

aand because I can. Here's a little video of Selah waving.
Hope you had tons of fun today!

Lots of love,
Lindsey

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Perfection is my enemy.

I must apologize for my bloggy silence of late, you see, i have a unique combination of personality traits... I am a perfectionist on a macro level, but I also tend to procrastinate. This means that my house might look like a whirlwind just swept through, but that cute little project I just worked on all day is perfect.

**NOT THAT THIS IS CURRENTLY IN FULL-SWING AT MY HOUSE OR ANYTHING..**

I am getting ready for, and so excited about hosting my sister's baby shower on Saturday, but my macro-crafty-perfectionist self needs to widen my vision a bit and complete some not so exciting tasks. I have been making so many pretty things, that I am excited to share with you after the shower. Now, however, I will subject you to my to-do list. 
  1. Scotch-guard the dining-room chairs I recovered two weeks ago (and have nail-bitingly guarded from all spills). 
  2. Empty the bugs from the light fixtures. EWWW. We seem to have a plague of creepy mini-cicadas around here.
  3. Clean the floors and most everything else. Blarg.
You are welcome. Thanks for caring. 

Now here's a cute little wreath I whipped out last night. I just wrapped a grapevine wreath with a thick jute, hung a pennant made from vintage dictionary pages, and glued on part of the shower invite. Viola.