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Monday, June 30, 2014

I Work OUT!

After making resolution after resolution about getting into a fitness routine I've finally done it.
A month ago I started with a personal trainer to really get the motivation and tools to stick with this lifestyle that I've always enjoyed. 
As of last week I had completed 3 weeks of training and lost a total of 4.75 inches! 
I knew that I was making progress because just after 2 weeks I could tell a difference in my body both the way I felt and the way I looked.  Of course as soon as I start seeing progress that motivates me even further. 
I decided a while back that I wanted to look for a trainer because I had in my head...I don't know what to do yada yada but I was ready to make the time to get myself back in tip top shape.  Now I do know what to do and I am going to continue with my trainer for at least 1 more full month and possibly 2 more but after that I'm on my own.  By that time I will have the tools and workouts to mix and match accordingly.  I go to the gym and lift weights 3 X a week and then the rest of the week I'm very active with my garden, yard work, and regular activities that were already in my life. 
I had the mind set going into this that it's ok if I don't lose weight that's just a number but I want to look and feel great again and actually love what I see when my nakedness stares back at me unforgiving.  I haven't lifted weights or worked out in this magnitude in about 4 years and it feels great to get back into it.  I love lifting weights and my muscles retain great mass.  Not only that but they react fast and I'm really excited to see where this journey takes me.  I started my heavy lifting week this week and my trainer even asked me if I was interested in body building....LOL yes I would love to do that but I don't want to be bigger than my boyfriend! LOL 
Another thing that is awesome is that we do eat pretty healthy on a daily basis.  We don' go out a whole lot and during the week I cook daily.  I also use my leftovers as lunches and that always helps rather than grabbing Sonic or Subway. Saying that I have been more conscience of things like sugar and butter.  I have cut out butter almost all together and almost all sugar.  I quite cokes, sweet tea, and I've started eating breakfast.  This is the hardest thing all the other things are easy and I don't really miss but I've never been a breakfast person so it took a bit of getting used too.  Now I don't know what I'd do without it because even with it I'm starving by the time the next meal rolls around.
I don't have any before pictures of when I first started but I do have just regular pictures and as I progress then I will be sure to post my transformation.

Insta Dump #3

June from my phone...unfortunately a few things only got an Instagram picture and nothing else....bummer but at least I have it recorded somewhere.

left to right: gallery wall complete// frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog// storm rolling in// wine and sunset// surfing USA// cousin lake time// sushi date night// blow out// date nigh// best part of waking up is Folgers in my cup// me and my honey at the lake//sunflower// planning out next big trip// Hoss cooling off in the LIVE crawfish// pizza from the Mellow Mushroom// movie date// bedroom progress// Hoss and his mustache// Ikea haul//grilling// all my garden spoils// modern woman with canning and Travel Leisure// me and my honey support the Netherlands with our orange at our World Cup party

Around the Bavarian Crop Farm

This year Hendrik leased some property north of our hometown and they are trying their hand at crop farming.  The property is named Bavaria, as the man who owns it is German, and I am actually quite familiar with the land since I worked on and off here while I was in high school.  I love that Hendrik has leased it and I REALLY hope that he ends up buying it in a few years but until then I love going out berry picking and just enjoying the flat lands of Bavaria. 

He planted corn and soy beans this year and so far so good.  Here are some pictures I took a month or so ago and then some more from just last week.  The corn is really taking off and it is going to be harvested with in the next week!  I even picked a few cobs to try out at home and as you can see below one met an early death before we even made it out of the field.



DIY: Rusty Flower Hanging Buckets

A few years back, when I was decorating my back patio at my Winnsboro house, I picked up a couple old buckets that had been made into the cutest hanging flower buckets in Canton.  Well I've since moved on and now I use those same buckets on our front porch.  The porch is so long and big that two weren't cutting it so I rounded up the supplies and made two more. 

This entire project cost less that $25 and is so simple.

What you'll need:

  • 2 Galvanized buckets- I found mine new at the feed store for a few dollars a piece
  • 3 yards of chain- I got one of the smallest links of chain at the hardware store
  • 1 gallon of Mauriac acid- also known as hydrochloric acid and it also was found easily at the hardware store
  • 2 tubs to fill with water and submerse the galvanized buckets in- I used 2 feed buckets
  • Rubber gloves- the last think you want is to get acid burns YIKES!

How to do it:

  1. I had to remove my handles on my buckets to fit them in the feed buckets but that is fine because I wasn't going to use them anyways.
  2. After I put my galvanized buckets in my other buckets (wow that's redundant) I poured a healthy portion of hydrochloric acid inside my galvanized bucket and also around it- probably around 4 cups of acid
  3. I then carefully filled the bucket up with water to dilute it down.
  4. Let sit for really as rusty as you want.  My buckets sat for around 4 days.
  5. Once the time is up dump out acid/water and wash off the now black gummy buckets using your gloves and an old rag. Don't get freaked they won't really look like you imagined at this point :)
  6. Let dry and VOILA! Rusty buckets!
  7. I put my chain in one of my buckets and rusted it as well.  I then had my lovely assistant boyfriend attach my chain in two pieces to my buckets.  I transplanted my ferns and hung them up!



    So easy and so cheap there is literally no work involved.  The only downside to this is to make sure you have actual galvanized thick buckets which may cost you a bit more.  Mine were really cheap and thin so I think the rust may eat away at them a bit faster than my Canton hauls from 3 years back.  Either way I love them and now my porch can be complete.


May 2nd was a big day for me!  I lost a bit of my independence, earned some money, and gained a live in partner that is the BEST and that I'm so in love with!!!  I moved the weekend before but I closed on my house, May 2nd, after having a contract on it and working around the buyers issues for 2 months.  When we left for Costa Rica is when the original contract was put on and it took that long to get it worked out.  Nothing major just financing and such things on their end.  I earned what I put into the home and it was a happy day.  I knew when I put my house on the market the last day of the year in 2013 that it would sale quickly and right from the get go we had showing after showing.

Here it is all empty...remember back through these posts HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE where I made some huge cosmetic updates.

As I drove away the week before we signed the papers with the last truck load of stuff my mom and brother were following me I had a short, sweet cry in the hot of the truck.  In this home I was solely independent and although I lived and learned a lot in the 4 years I owned it I knew that I only wanted to keep this house for a max of about 6 years.  I wanted a more permanent country house with more land so that's exactly what I got.

I moved in with Hendrik which was something I was skeptical of given my past but now that we talked about it several times and I finally made the jump I plan on never turning back....and never moving that heavy expensive furniture again. LOL  WHEN WE move again WE will be hiring movers. LOL  I am enjoying my new home and my partner more than ever.  After a year of going between houses it feels good to be grounded again. 

Stay tuned for before and afters of the bachelor pad turned HOME!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

DIY: 2 Home Projects

A few months ago while I was at Canton I picked up two cast iron antique handles.  My original plan was to make a rustic serving trey but then I came up with something more useful and better....bookends for my cookbooks.  I took my handles to the shop and had Luis bolt them to two bent pieces of steel strap. 
So easy if you have a drill press, blow torch, and strap. LOL  But all those things are just laying around Hendrik's shop and I love the industrial feel that they bring to the kitchen as well as how they tie into the industrial look of the living room furniture.  I took them home and spray painted them black that I had left over from another project.

The bookends cost a whopping $6 total and I love their functionality. 

During my last Canton haul, HERE  I got the fixings for a wreath for the front door.... I put it together in a hour or so after I painted my P.  I'm not a professional wreath maker but I do like it and it completed the look for my front porch.


These are just a couple of the DIY's I've completed over the past couple months.  The list goes on and on especially since I've been completing my d├ęcor in the house.  More to come...

M.E. Road Trip 2014

Remember a few months back when I posted HERE about a spontaneous road trip me and Elizabeth, a co-worker/ turned real friend, planned to Gulf Shores, AL?  Well even if you don’t remember you can trust me that I did and over the extra-long weekend for Memorial Day it went down. 
Wednesday was a pre-trip to do lists and we went to the grocery store after work to get all of our snacks, meals, lunches, drinks and such.  Once I got home I packed the groceries, got ice, and drug out my custom M.E. Road Trip 2014 tank…I was ready for the highway.  Thursday was a long/short day.  I worked my full 8 hours and then we were in the car by 3.  We stopped for pedis in Lindale and that took FOR-EV-EEERRRR but whatever I hadn’t had one in a while so it was worth it. 
Now after that we were set.  We drove all not making a stop at the Jackson Wendy’s, where we had a bit of a language barrier, for a late fast food supper and by 2 AM we had unpacked the car and were hitting the beds in our beachside condo.  We drug ourselves out of bed around 8:45 and I had to make a quick run across the street to grab some coffee (since I forgot it) and a spontaneous floaty purchase.  

After coffee and breakfast we had our toes in the sand by 10 and that is all we did all day.  We took a break for lunch which was sandwiches, dip and snacks mixed in with a little LMN and went back out until around 5.  I applied sunscreen and all thinking I was doing really well but come to find out I was still pretty red.  Mainly my chest and hips are really burnt other than that it is already tan.  Friday night we opted to stay in and just cook dinner using our kitchen so I made chicken pesto pasta and it was amazing even though we didn’t have any much needed salt.  I struggled to stay awake through both Pretty Woman and Sex and the City but in the end I made it and these two old ladies were back in bed by 11.


Saturday was much of the same except I set up the picnic table umbrella and went to relaxing in the shade.  I finished my book and snacked more but that was the extent of my daily excitement.  Saturday night we decided to take it out on the town and ended up at the Wharf eating at the Compleat Angler and enjoying some fun summer festivities.  After dinner and a stroll back to the car we drove around a bit looking at the beach houses and then headed back to our own.  We were both feeling the sun from the past two days so curled up on the couch with our blankets and feverish skin to finish the night out with a really killer…the Jodie Arias move on LMN. LOL  Yes we are crazy can’t you tell. 


Sunday morning we took out time lounging with breakfast and packing up.  We were on the road to home by 11.  We made several stops due to too much water and coffee but still made it home to my house by 9.  Overall our trip was just what we wanted it to be.  Relaxing, Relaxing, and Relaxing.  Although we didn’t see much of Gulf Shores itself I can say that the beaches are really pretty and not even what I would consider crowded for a holiday.  We talked a lot, sunned ourselves, read, and just sat.  I think we both enjoyed the small break away from work and I can’t wait to make this a true tradition.  Next year maybe a shopping weekend in Charleston is in the cards. 

Also this trip was not only my first girls only road trip but also my first booking the place to stay through AirBnB.  I was completely happy with how it ran and how the place turned out.  I didn’t feel mislead at all and it entire process was seamless.  We didn’t meet the owner of our condo like I know some do but I’m sure she would have been awesome. The key was left for us in a lock box outside, we had one roll of TP and one roll of paper towels, two bedrooms, one back and cable.  By the end of day 1 we had used up our TP but we made do with paper towels. LOL  The place was clean and just what we were expecting.  It was in the middle of a small condo complex and was less than 50 yards to the beach.  I would recommend anyone going to Gulf Shores to hit up this AirBnB posting.  I’m so glad that I had a positive experience with this because I’ve been trying on every trip to use them and this is the first time it actually worked out.  Also the price was unbeatable for the location. 
As for our budget I thought I would give a breakdown of how much it actually cost us to go on this 3 day get-away.
  • Beachside Condo- $267/pp which translates to a whopping $89/ person/ night
  • Groceries for 3 days includes: Beer, lunch, snacks, one dinner, and breakfast for entire trip…we even came home with some and split it up $50/person
  • Gas round trip $99/ person
That folks is $416 a person and I spent around $40 on dinner the night we went out.  That I would say is cheap and totally doable for a lot of people.  You could even cut the grocery costs as we did have several extras that we came home with.
I look forward to many more yearly trips as girlfriends with Elizabeth!!!

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