Simple DIY….

I have so many DIY projects in the works right now.  I’ve been wanting to write about all of them, but due to hot humid temps, I’ve had a bit of a set back in terms of completion.  I like to redo my furniture projects outside.  Not happening when it’s 90 degrees out.  So I’ve taken on giving my daughter’s room a face lift.  At least I can turn the AC on and paint away.  

Like most of the rooms in my house they have an 80’s color scheme which consists of mauve with either a powder blue or mint green accent color.  Hideous!  Oh, and I must not forget that there’s only 2 rooms in my entire home that were not effected by some form of wallpaper!  I despise wallpaper.  I know it’s making a comeback, but I still hate it.  Anyhow, that’s just a personal preference.  Maybe it’s just me having flashbacks of my mom jumping on the wallpaper wagon of 1983 and me having to help her with the mauve and baby blue stripes and flower combination that plastered our living and dining room walls.  Ugh!  Anyhow, my daughters room has a border around the entire room and 2 walls completely covered with flowered wallpaper.  The good thing is, when the wallpaper was done, they did a great job.  That stuff is smooth and tight.  So rather that attempt to take it off I’m going to paint right over it.  I had a terrible time trying to take the wallpaper down in our dining  and living room.  I ended up causing more damage to the sheet rock, which forced me to bring in a professional to repair and paint.  It killed me, because I like to do my own painting.  In a tweens bedroom, I’m not too worried about the walls looking perfect.  If there’s  a slight bump or imperfection, a nice framed poster, bookshelf, mirror etc…. acts as a nice cover up.  

I asked my daughter what color she wanted to paint her room.  A blue or turquoise shade is what she was hoping for.  As a way to save money on paint, we went to the “mistake paint” shelf at LOWES and there were several shades of blue paint that were mistakes.  I had my daughter pick a color she liked.  This way I was able to get a $50 gallon of paint for $10.  The color she chose is more of a slate blue, which is nice and not extremely bright.  I can offset the color with a light gray/silver that I had left over from another room, which will look nice on the molding and ceiling.  Also on the mistake shelf was a $40 quart of lavender chalk paint that I bought for $8. Chalk paint is great.  It’s been around for years and can be used on any wooden surface without sanding or prep work at all.  I’ve redone a small bookcase with it and will paint my daughters closet door too. The lavender will be a nice pop of color.  All of the doors in the bedroom are the ugly hollow wood panel doors.  A coat of paint, change out the door knob and it will look great.  I haven’t forgotten about turquoise being my daughters favorite color.  I can incorporate turquoise in the curtains and bedding.  I believe it’s all going to come together quite nicely.  I can’t wait  to post follow-up pictures.

How are your DIY projects coming along?  Do you enjoy painting rooms?  How do you feel about wallpaper?  Do you have any money savings tips?  Let’s get the conversation started….


Getting Back to Basics….

Ok Friends, it happens to all of us!  That unwanted weight gain.  For me it usually ranges from 5 – 10 lbs, depending on the season.  Luckily I’m physically active all year.  But, basically, we are what we eat!  I’m in the middle of marathon training which means I’m burning a lot of calories during my work outs, but it’s important to eat the right kind of foods.  Summer is filled with vacations, travel, etc…  That’s all fun, but what goes along with that is….the curse of “Restaurant Food”!  For me, doesn’t matter how much I exercise, if I start eating anything other than plain salad topped with balsamic vinegar, at a restaurant…I’m going to gain weight.  The unwanted tire around my middle will form… So needless to say, after taking pleasure in some of my favorite restaurant junk foods (Fish Fry, Pizza, Chorizo Burritos, ice cream, etc…) throughout July & August, the tire is back!  Time to get back to basics…. 

I’m not blaming my children, but when they are home during the summer, it’s tough to not cheat here and there in the food department.  Not that my kids eat a lot of junk, but we tend to be in situations where there aren’t a lot of healthy options available.  It’s difficult to tote your own food around all the time.  So, going out for an ice cream cone is more of a common occurence than during the school year.  Long weekend vacations, always mean restaurants for at least 2 meals.   Vacation is vacation.  No food rules apply!  You order what you want.  Portion control, sodium, sugar, oils, cheese, cheese, cheese (did I say cheese) is out the window!  As long as you don’t beat yourself up over it and you remain physically active, you can get back to basics when the kids go back to school and you develop more of a schedule in terms of meals, snacks etc….  One item I make for myself is fast, easy and perfect for dinner or lunch.  Fish (usually salmon, haddock or red snapper) with brown rice, veggies and spices.  

Fish brown rice & veggies

  • Vacuum packed frozen fish fillet
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • Whatever vegetable you like
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Mixed spices
  • Olive oil ( 2 tbsp)

I used my cast iron skillet for baking.  Any kind of baking pan will work fine.  I also used the vacuum packed fish, because it’s portioned, easy to keep on hand, plus, I’m the only one in my family that likes fish.  Therefore, buying fresh fish on a regular basis is unrealistic.  I buy fresh on my birthday & grill it!  

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cover your baking pan with olive oil.
  • Cover your baking pan with cooked brown rice
  • Add vegetables of choice ie; peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, parsley, basil etc…. Basically whatever you have on hand.
  • Thaw your vacuum packed fish under warm water.  Place on top of the rice and veggies.
  • Cover the fish with mixed spices (on both sides)
  • Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes

I’m not a huge fan of the scale, but I do step on it from time to time.  I decided to step on it September 1st.  My pants were feeling a little tight and my energy level wasn’t as high as usual.  I was feeling lethargic during my training runs.  I knew what was happening, so seeing the 10 lb weight gain was a real slap in the face!  But, it was the reality check I most definitely needed to get back to basics.  Thus far I’m down 4 lbs.  6 more to go before my marathon in October.  Marathon pictures are usually horrendous!  The last thing I need is the tire around my middle.  Even if I have an agonizing look on my face, I will share a marathon picture with hopes that the tire will be gone!  

Who else out there always gains weight during the summer?  Vacation?  Simply from bad food choices.  Who gains weight during marathon, triathlon, etc… training?  What’s your food plan?  How do you not deprive yourself from flavor?  Please share.  Let’s get the conversation started….  


Stress….Dealing with it….

Dr. Sarno
Dr. Sarno

Ahhh, stress!  Good and bad, we all have our own “shit” and we all approach and deal with it differently.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve always carried my stress in a particular body part and felt the physical pain.  For instance when I was a teenager, I would get extremely nervous the night before I had to pitch a softball game.  I wouldn’t be able to sleep and my neck and shoulders would hurt so much that I always thought I pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve.  My biggest fear was not being able to perform.  The thing is, as soon as it was game time, the pain was gone!  Your mind will play tricks on you.  Once you realize the pain is being caused by stress, worries, PTSD etc….  You need to talk your way through the problem and sure enough, the pain will be gone.  I am not ruling out legitimate medical diagnosis, but a lot of times, what’s going on in the inside reveals itself on the outside.  Muscle spasms, especially in the back, are caused by stress.  They hurt like hell, but you can get a handle on it without needing back surgery or the quick fix of medication.

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