Thursday, June 30, 2011

My First Bento

My daughter has been talking about starting Kindergarten and I've been wondering how she will be about eating lunch at school. I thought if I prepared lunches that she likes then I can be assured that she's eating properly. When I was thinking of how I could make lunches creative & fun I thought of bento lunches. I've seen a lot of bloggers who create bento lunches for their family and I even designed a bento blog a while back called BentoLunches.net. I visited that blog and immediately decided that bento lunches was the way to go for Kindergarten. I found several more bento bloggers via BentoLunches.net and was totally overwhelmed by all the information. I decided to not worry about how and what and just decided to start practicing lunches now. So today I made my first bento. I used my daughter's little Hello Kitty (bento) lunch container.I decided to put blue berries inside of strawberries for her fruit. Put a little ranch dressing in an old applesauce cup with carrot sticks. A piece of cheese was topped with a turkey hot dog cut to resemble an animal (my daughter thought it was a hippo!) with a blueberry in it's mouth and a little squirt of ketchup & mustard. I thought for my first attempt it turned out pretty good!
There are days when this would be enough food for my daughter, but she's in the midst of swim lessons and practicing her swimming skills each evening so she's been tired & hungry. She's already having a snack but she enjoyed her "dental" lunch. LOL! She's got to learn the word bento!

So a new hobby has started and I'll be blogging about bentos now!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28th

Last year we went into the Arctic Circle on June 28th. Not many people can say they've done that!June 28th, 1994 our then family of three moved from Hawaii to Illinois. I couldn't find any photos from this day but I did find a few from one of our last days in Hawaii.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Business Look is in!

I had a goal to launch the updated look on my Custom Blog Designs on July 1. Well, I took advantage of clients being slow to respond to emails and unveiled the new look and changes last night! I put in at least 10 hours on it yesterday so I was exhausted by bedtime. In addition to an updated logo, I changed the template, and created a step by step order process. I think this will help my clients navigate and understand the process better. I've got some tweak to do today and I've got to get my new tutoring site launched, but a majority of the work is done! I did not raise my prices but did make some changes to my blog makeover packages. My prices are among the most reasonable of people who have been doing blog designs as long as I have.

What do you think of the new look & changes?
Custom Blog Designs

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Change

Why is change so overwhelming? Today I got my laptop back. It's been undergoing some clean up and has been updated to Windows 7. I cannot get my settings/bookmarks to import and it has me so frustrated! I've got several things to get organized and it's got my head spinning. Windows 7 doesn't really feel much different, but I am missing my crutches!

My hubby just got a job offer (promotion) and we are thrilled! I'm also freaking out about the changes it will bring. He's staying within his parent company, but he's moving to a new group and will have to commute 30+ mins each way. Right now he works about 3 miles away. I'm fretting about how the change is going to impact the family. I know all will be OK and the changes will probably be pretty seamless...but darn-it~ it's CHANGE!

I'm also in the process of making some changes to my business that I plan on unveiling on/by July 1. I'm got most of it all figured out at this point and feel like I will have the changes done by my goal. But looking at the calendar and my wait list I am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. July 1 is also the day that my hubby starts his new job. I'm thinking we need to play a party for that night...so I can focus on FUN not change.

Yes...I know this all sounds ridiculous...I am just resisting change...and all of it positive change. Do you resist change or feel panicked about changes? I used to get excited about change, but as my age increases so does my resistance!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A year ago today...

we left for Alaska!More reminiscing to come over the next 5 weeks!

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Wheels

My hubby just traded his 1991 Audi straight up for a 2001 Jeep Cherokee. Both parties are happy with the trade and feel they got the good end of it.Don't you just love a good barter?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Discouraged

I consider myself a fairly optimistic person. As I've aged I've learned to not sweat the small stuff. Not really the big stuff either. I find worrying to be a mostly wasted emotion as it just seems to cause drama and unnecessary stress. Face it, a lot of the things we worry about aren't things we can change or even have control over. So what is stressing out going to do about a situation? Stress is a very powerful thing and it can cause a lot of trouble to one's health and relationships.

With all that being said, I am kind of discouraged right now. I've got a few personal things going on (which I cannot change or control) that have me a little down. I'm able to discuss them freely with my hubby so I don't have to hold anything in, but I cannot shake this feeling. I think one of the biggest problems is that it's summer and we don't have anything going on to distract me. We were super busy in the spring and I just didn't take the time to make any summer plans. DH is on vacation right now and we aren't doing anything or going anywhere, therefore there is lots of time to think. I've also been reflecting back to a year ago when we were in the final days of preparation before leaving for Alaska. I cannot believe it's been a year!! Do you have those major events in your life that sort of mark time? Right now we are in 'it's been a year since Alaska' mode. I know, a few months from now when school is back in session and my head is spinning from all our activities I will be wishing for days like now. Or maybe not, I seem to be more productive when I have deadlines. I've got steady blog design business right now BUT many of my clients seem to be on that same laid back summer schedule and are slow to respond to email. I should just direct my attention toward organizing the closets & junk rooms around the house.

I'm the type of person that once I express things I often get over it...now that I've posted that I'm a little discouraged...it will probably disappear!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Low-Carb Birthday Desserts

I made my hubby a few lo-carb desserts for his birthday.

The first was chocolate covered bacon. Here are the easy directions: I cooked up the bacon and let it cool. Then I took (sugar free) choc chips and melted them for a minute, stirred, and then smeared it on with my hands, placed them on wax paper and chilled in the fridge.He love it! He said it was the perfect blend of salty & sweet. I had no desire to eat it!

I took the leftover melted chocolate, added a big scoop of natural peanut butter, stirred it up, spooned globs onto wax paper, and chilled in the fridge for little pnut butter cup treats.

I also make low-carb Keylime Pie (so I guess that really makes 3 desserts!) It was crustless, so really just filling. This turned out better than the previous recipe I tried! Ingredients: 1 (4 serving) package of sugar free lime Jello, 12 oz yogurt (I used vanilla but the recipe called for lemon. Vanilla had less carbs), and an 8 oz tub of sugar free Cool Whip. Add jello to 1 cup boiling water and stir til dissolved. Fold in the yogurt and then the Cool Whip. Pour into crust if desired, but it's yummy without! Chill for 3-4 hours. It had a great taste, but it was light & airy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weight Loss Update

I had my annual physical this week and I was pleased to see that I have lost 30# since starting a Low-Carb diet 10 months ago. I have been bad at parties and get-togethers over the last 2 months so I figure I hadn't lost anymore weight. I am not feeling very slim right now, but that is because I've had a few too many of those graduation cookies. We need to get them out of the house and me back on the lo-carb bandwagon. My hubby started it in March and has lost 23#!

Since he started we've learned a lot about fat and how our bodies process insulin. In addition to the movie Fat Head, whihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifch I've talked about before (watch it for free on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/196879/fat-head) I recommend the book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes.
I had to wait for a LONG time for this book from our library (many holds!) If you can't get a copy of this book, you can watch videos by Taubes that explain why we get fat. There are 3 parts, but here is part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR3FVvEJ-Nk Even though I read this book, I appreciate the videos!

So what do we eat? I get asked this quite a bit. Most people react with a "I could NEVER give up carbs!" I have to admit that I thought it was crazy too. I was a carb-o-holic. I LOVED bread and rolls and tortillas and cookies. None of those interest me anymore (except cookies!) Here are ideas of what we eat/what to eat~

Breakfast~ EGGS, EGGS, EGGS! I am not a big fan of sausage, but I like ham & bacon. We had leftover burgers from our party and they were great served with over-easy eggs.

Lunch~ Salads with lo-carb toppings or leftovers.

Dinner~ Over the past few months I've been posting some great lo-carb recipes. Most of these recipes came from Deliciously Thin and Linda's Recipe Site.

I don't count how many carbs I eat each day, I've just learned what is low/no carb and stick with those. I don't really feel like I am missing out on anything because we've discovered so many new great recipes! DH is more strict than I am (he basically avoids anything sweet...like fruit), but all is fine.

What can you eat? Meat, poultry, seafood & eggs. You have to check the carb count on meat because processed stuff has fillers. You need to stick to 1 gr or less per serving. Each day you should eat lots of leafy greens and veggies. Some fruit is OK, but not grapes or bananas. Snacks include pork rinds (ick!), meat, deviled eggs. I also have nuts. Basically avoid starchy foods. I've probably said something wrong here or left out important info. I try not to obsess about it. That is why I was shocked that I was down 30#. I must have been pretty big!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011