Posts made in April, 2012

Weekly Inspiration

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

This week I’ve been discovering a lot of awesome toys and other creative things for kids. Since Lex has gotten to the age now where he can actually mimic what we do and obey simple commands, playing with him is so much more fun. He get so tickled at silly things, and when he laughs, it warms my heart.

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Last night I fell victim to Wal-Mart’s clever product placement strategies. I went to get some crafting supplies and few extra groceries, but as soon as I walked in the door, I saw a little aisle with some really fun outdoor kid toys.

Usually I’m pretty good about passing on all those little unnecessary things, but I decided to actually go ahead and get this adorable folding slide for Lex. It was only $25, and I know I’m going to get my money’s worth. Lex loves it. I keep it in the kitchen so rather than crying and pulling on me while I’m cooking, he can play. He’s also discovered he can push it around the kitchen easily, which I think he has just as much fun with.

I really really wanted to get this, too, but it was a little outside my budget. I had one of these when I was a kid and have many fond memories playing in it. This version even has a little moat around it and little turtles you can squirt the water with! How cool is that? I definitely have to get this before the summer’s over.

Lex isn’t real big on swinging yet, but I’m sure he’ll love it very soon. I remember these swings growing up, too, and I think nostalgia’s the main reason I want one. Since we have multiple children, though, a swing set is probably going to be a better choice.

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

This is so simple but so much fun. Lex is ready to start scribbling, and I think butcher’s paper would be perfect for him. Plus, Miss Ophelia is quite the little artist, too. This is definitely on my must buy list. Imagine Childhood is a lovely store with so many things I want to get for the kids. You should really check them out.



I found this great tutorial on how to assemble a toddler-friendly sewing basket. Lex is always really interested in what I’m crafting. He even tried to mimic my sewing when I was assembling Totoro. I think he’s just about ready for one of these.



I’ve already told Vincent that I want to build a play kitchen for Lex’s birthday or Christmas. There are loads of tutorials online, and I know my little guy is going to love to cook with me. Still have a couple of other carpentry projects in mind before I can get to that one, though.

And despite all the lovely toys we have around the house, Lex will inevitably go for the nearest non-toy, preferably the most dangerous one at that. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to all the hours of play in our future. 🙂


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Dukan Diet {Week 17}

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Dukan Diet | 0 comments

This week has been a pretty good one for me, but I’m a little disappointed with my results. After completing my Attack Phase (only 2 days long this time), I lost 2 pounds, bringing me down to 166. Then over the rest of the week, I dropped another 2 pounds, for a grand total last week of 4 pounds lost. Then this week I got down to 162, which put me 1 pound away from the 30 pound milestone. So I was really eager to get on the scale this morning, thinking I would finally reach that goal, but alas, I gained back a pound. 🙁 You may avail the excellent dental care with Houston Sedation Dentistry.

It definitely gets discouraging when you gain back some weight, and I was trying to figure out why it happened. I have a few different theories.

  1. I ate too many tomatoes when snacking yesterday. Tomatoes are not a restricted food on a PV day, but I did eat quite a few.
  2. The pork I had for dinner had too much salt. It was one of those pre-seasoned pork tenderloins, and was a bit saltier than I would have liked.
  3. I didn’t drink enough water. This is one aspect of the diet I am guilty of forgetting about very often.
  4. My milk is drying up. I finally got Lex weaned completely last week (yay!) and I’m still waiting for my breasts to get back to normal. I’m sure that this is going to have some effect on my weight loss what with all the hormone fluctuations and whatnot. Plus, I no longer need those extra 300 calories that lactating women need every day.
  5. I added too much cocoa powder to my chocolate pudding. Dr. Dukan recommends only 1 teaspoon per day because it contains some fat. I accidentally dumped a little too much.

Today’s a PP day, and I’m drinking lots of water. This morning the giant tender lump in my right breast (the one most engorged from weaning) has disappeared, so I’m taking that as a sign that my body has gotten the signal to stop producing milk. Maybe I gained weight because it had to reabsorb the milk that was already there? I’m not really sure how these things work; I’m just glad that it’s going away.

It’s hard to predict how you’ll lose weight on this diet. You can go up a pound one day and then lose 3 lbs the next day. It’s kind of weird.

My mom unfortunately plateaued really quickly after her Attack Phase and was stuck for 2 weeks. She decided to get some Super Dieter’s Tea, and it finally jump started her weight loss. Now she’s lost 10 lbs! I’d seen the slimming tea for sale on the Dukan Diet website but was skeptical. Since she had good results, though, I decided to get some, too. We didn’t actually get the Dukan brand, but the Laci le Beau brand. An unfortunate side effect of eating so much protein can be constipation, and this tea can also help relieve that. For that reason, you shouldn’t take it all the time (the label says maximum 10 consecutive days). I only took it one day, but the day after, I did lose 2 lbs. I plan on using it probably once a week or so to keep things moving along.

This week I’ve also focused on trying new recipes to keep things from getting too bland and boring. For dinner last night, I dusted off the charcoal grill and made some pork kabobs. They were inspired by a recipe in my Jamie Oliver cookbook, Jamie’s Food Revolution. All I did was cut up a pre-seasoned (garlic and herb flavor) pork tenderloin into bite-sized pieces, cut up some onion and zucchini and put all of it on some bamboo skewers along with some whole white mushrooms. Put it on the grill for about 30 minutes, and voila! Very simple and yummy food.

For dessert, I tried the Dukan chocolate pudding for the first time, and let me tell you, it’s a vast improvement from the way I was trying to do it before. I used to add some cocoa powder and stevia to plain non-fat Greek yogurt. It was ok, but not the best Dukan thing I’d tried. When I was browsing the free recipes on their website, I saw the one for chocolate pudding and they added skim milk. Genius! It gave the cocoa powder more liquid to dissolve into and gave it a much better texture. Here’s the recipe:

Dukan Chocolate Pudding

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/3 cup skim milk

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Stevia to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and enjoy!

This is going into the regular dessert rotation now. My next experiment will be a Dukan cheesecake, and for dinner tonight it’s Spanish style grilled steak- yum!


Starting weight: 191 lbs, January 1, 2012

Current weight: 163 lbs, April 24, 2012

Goal weight: 139 lbs by July 14, 2012

28 pounds down, 24 pounds to go– over halfway there!!!

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Nature Boy

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in Feature | 0 comments

My son absolutely loves being outside. I think that he would spend all day outside if I’d let him. If he sees someone go out, he pitches a huge fit if he’s not going with them. And when I pick him up and bring him inside because I’m tired of being outside, he throws a fit and it takes several minutes to calm him down. I guess there are worse things your kid could throw fits about.

When we went out to do our Totoro photo shoot, he of course had to go around the whole house and check everything out. I wanted to share some photos with you.


There was a boy…a very strange, enchanted boy…

Lex by fire hydrant

They say he wandered very far, very far over land and sea…

We saw many lovely things in our backyard, including  a bunny that bolted away as soon as he saw us and a mama robin feeding her babies. Lex was enthralled.

Bird and its nest

We also helped Totoro defend our “forest.”


Then, we explored the flower bed.


And found some lovely roses.

fuchsia rose

And some echinacea just starting to blossom.


I feel so lucky to have such a great backyard. I’ve got a wonderful flower bed that a previous resident planted with love. It’s full of perennials that bloom without any effort from me. The installation of irrigation systems eau claire contributes to a vibrant, healthy and clean backyard. For more details about their services, visit

It makes me happy that my boy loves nature so, and if that means I have to spend more time outdoors, so be it!

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Dukan Diet {Week 16}

Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in Dukan Diet | 0 comments

That’s right! Now that I’m back on the normal diet, it’s time to start blogging my progress again. It has been a little rough getting back on the normal Dukan diet but not as rough as when I first began. I’ve got more experience with what I can eat now, so I’ve been a little more prepared. Still, I miss fruit and bread and carbs and chocolate.

When my mom decided to start the diet, she signed up for the online coaching. It’s been a boon to me because she shares the recipes she gets with me! I haven’t tried any of them out yet but plan to this weekend. I also want to try making some of the sauce recipes in the book. Eating meat by itself or with Dijon is getting a bit old already.

Speaking of Dijon, I experimented with adding some to canned tuna with some lemon juice you cam make with your juice machine selection, and it was pretty tasty. I was honestly surprised. I think it’d be really good eaten wrapped in some lettuce on a PV day.

When I was researching the Dukan Diet, I really liked seeing sample menus from people on the plan. So, just in case you’re interested, here’s what I would eat on a pure protein (PP) and on a protein + veggie (PV) day.

Pure Protein

  • Breakfast
    • 3 eggs, scrambled
    • Oatbran galette with cinnamon mixed in and sugar-free syrup on top
    • 2 turkey sausage patties
  • Snack
    • Fat free cottage cheese mixed with sugar free orange Jell-o
  • Lunch
    • 2 hamburger patties with reduced sugar ketchup, fat free cheese and dill pickle slices
    • non-fat light flavored yogurt from Kroger
  • Snack
    • Low fat deli turkey meat
  • Dinner
    • Pre-seasoned pork tenderloin, baked
    • Plain non-fat Greek yogurt with vanilla extract and stevia
Protein + Veggies
  • Breakfast
    • 3 eggs, scrambled
    • Oat bran galette with cinnamon mixed in and sugar-free syrup on top
    • 2 turkey sausage patties
  • Snack
    • Baby carrots
    • Sliced red and yellow peppers
    • Low fat deli turkey meat
  • Lunch
    • Salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes and Dukan balsamic vinaigrette
    • Sugar free Jell-o
  • Snack
    • Cottage cheese mixed with sugar free orange Jell-o
  • Dinner
    • Stir fry chicken with garlic, ginger, reduced sodium soy sauce and mixed veggies
    • Dukan chocolate pudding

So there you have it. I hope this gives you a better idea of what is ok to eat on the Dukan Diet. Dr. Dukan recommends only eating 2 eggs a day if you have problems with cholesterol, but since I don’t, I go ahead and have 3.  I forgot to mention that I drink about 3 cans of Diet Coke a day, usually one cup of coffee with stevia or sugar-free caramel syrup and non-dairy creamer and lots of water. I’m not sure if the non-dairy creamer is kosher for the diet, but it doesn’t have any fat or sugar listed on the nutrition facts so I figured it would be ok.

As you can see, this isn’t a diet where you have to measure out your portions or restrict the amount of food you eat, which is what I love about it. Everything I listed can be eaten in as large a quantity as you like except for the carrots because of their starch content. Dr. Dukan even says in his book that to make up for the things you can’t eat, eat as much as you want of the things you can.

I like to eat a big, filling breakfast, and when I eat cottage cheese, it’s about 8 ounces at a time.  I’ve noticed that my appetite decreases a bit over time, though, so I won’t eat such large quantities once my body has adjusted. That’s a good thing for my grocery bill. 🙂

In case you’re wondering, here are a couple of pictures to show how much I’ve lost.

Here I am at my heaviest, around 191 pounds:




And here I am last weekend at 168 pounds:





The last two photos were taken by my very talented sister, Candice. I’m pictured with my super skinny and lovely other sister, Savannah, in the first and with my mom in the second. Everyone thinks my mom’s skinny enough as she is, but she still wants to lose some weight.

I tried on my anniversary dress to see how different it fit, and it could’ve been taken in by at least 3 inches, maybe 4. 🙂 By the way, Lex is wearing the same onesie in all the photos. You can see how much he’s grown– not that much but still a little!

Thanks for stopping in, and feel free to ask me any questions about the diet in the comments.

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Easter Totoro

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Crochet, Feature | 0 comments

I’m so excited to show you my latest crochet project, Totoro! I knew that this year I wanted to knit or crochet a plushie for Lex for Easter since he is old enough to sort of get it. When I went hunting for patterns on Ravelry, I found this awesome free pattern that I shared with you in this post. I debated for a moment whether or not to do a traditional rabbit or a Totoro. I put the question to my Facebook friends, and everyone voted for Totoro. I think they made the right decision, don’t you?


Isn’t he the cutest? Totoro is definitely cooler than some old rabbit.


He was a little more interested in the camera than in Totoro, but he really does like him. See?


Ok, so a moment later this happened.


You know. He can’t stay still and look at a stuffed animal all day. He’s got things to do!


Like find a stick and check out the fire hydrant. What!?


Happy (very belated) Easter! 🙂

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