My Weight Loss Goal

Sunday, April 6, 2014

HUGE Moving Sale / Inventory Clearance Sale

I'm sure some of you may have caught on to my comments about packing, etc.  I'm moving in less than 3 weeks and have a TON of stuff I need to get rid of as I won't have room for all the inventory & stitching stash at my new place.  I've created an album on my Facebook page with 50+ items I'm selling off REALLY CHEAP.  In fact most of them I'm selling for at less than what I paid for them and/or the supplies to make them.  Sooooo...if you're looking for some bargain gifts of stitching stash, please check out all the pics here.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

WIP Updates and Cabbage Salad

It's that time of week again that I'm dutifully doing my blog post.  I find mine aren't as witty as some others that I read, but we all have to be who we are.  And as my son tells me often, I'm old & lame, LOL!

It's been another busy week around here of work, healthy meal planning & preparation, exercising, some more packing of the house, and of course...stitching!!

I've made quite a bit of progress on my latest pattern model "Two Blessings" and was thrilled to actually get a photo that shows the fabric color more realistically.  I've made even more progress since this photo, but haven't taken a new pic yet since this past Monday.

This blog has been a great place for me to put my plans & commitments out there to the world and feel like I'm being held accountable for them (even though I'm not sure anyone else cares).  More progress was made on the "Warholesque Family" last week and I'm already looking forward to spending a few hours with it tonight since it is Saturday and my dedicated day to work on it.

As you can see, I was able to finish the blue border on Zach.  His face still needs filled in, but as I haven't been to the store to get more white floss it will have to wait.  I had someone ask on my Facebook page how I could possibly be out of white floss.  It is a good question.  When this piece was started I was only using DMC "blanc" for my white.  Since then I've decided I like the B5200 Snow white better, as it's a brighter white.  There are plenty of skeins of B5200 in my stash, but no "blanc", which is what I'll need to pick up.  A trip will be made to the store this week not only to get floss for various projects, but also to pick up some fabric I'm going to need for future projects.  I figure I might as well get it now and prep it, which includes washing before use while I'm still living in a house with washer & dryer conveniently located vs. a high-rise apartment building with laundry facilities 4 floors down.

The exercise & weight loss plan is still on track.  The weight isn't coming off as quickly as I'd like, but I'm hoping with nicer weather for more walks and increased water consumption that I'll see more progress.  And yes, exercise is happening.  Here's a pic of my activity for this week.  I'm still hoping it warms up enough to get outside for a 2+ mile walk today.

Healthy meals are becoming a pure joy!!!  Granted, I don't enjoy the time it's taking to track down new recipes, I do like having new things to try and create new menu possibilities.  I'm also finding the longer I go without eating things like Little Debbie snacks, the less I crave them.  Wait.  I should be honest.  My body isn't craving them, but my mind still is.  I'm trying substitute weekend snacking of cookies, chips, etc. to healthy alternatives and doing things like grabbing a spoonful of the current salsa/slaw/salad that is in my fridge.

This week's recipe was a cabbage salad I made.  I originally found this recipe online.  I'm not a big fan of beets so those were a no for me.  I also don't have any pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in the house.  In fact I'm finding with not restocking in advance of my move the end of the month I'm running out of a lot of things! However, I did have that red cabbage in my fridge I picked up at the store and needed to do something with.  I decided to use the vinaigrette portion of the recipe and then do my own modified salad.  This is what I came up with:

I used 1/2 red cabbage, 1/2 red onion, 2 stalks celery and 1/4 bag of matchstick carrots, plus 4 oz. reduced fat feta cheese.  As I previously mentioned, I kept the vinaigrette dressing the same as noted in the recipe.  It was good and a definite will make again!  :)

I think I've probably bored everyone enough for this week.  Be sure to come back next week for pics of more stitching progress and and update on whatever healthy recipe I choose, which I'm clueless about at this time.

Until then....Happy Stitching and be good to yourself!  

P.S.  I also signed up for a stitching retreat in September that will be just about a 1 hour drive from me.  It will be my first ever retreat and I'm totally stoked to be going! 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stitching Progress and Healthy Eats

It's been another busy week for me.  We'll be moving exactly 4 weeks from today, so this past week I started the chore of packing boxes.  I learned a long time ago that if figure out what you're not going to need and pack 1 or 2 boxes a day it makes it less stressful.

That also means since I've started packing that I've had less stitching time.  However I have done SOME stitching.  I've been working on some pendant necklaces for a custom order.  This is a picture of them (l-r:  green mermaid, black anchor on pink, sea shell, pink mermaid and black anchor on grey).  I still have starfish I need to stitch.  After that the customer will let me know which 3 or 4 she wants.  Whatever is left WILL be put up for sale.

I also got a TINY bit of stitching done on the model for my next pattern, "Two Blessings".  There hasn't been much progress made, but some nonetheless.  One of these days I'll be able to get a decent picture of what the colors actually look like.  What you see is DMC #554 on a very light jade green aida.

As part of my packing & cleaning, I've come across some projects I haven't touched in a REALLY long time.  I decided last Saturday that it's an extremely rare occasion that I actually work on any stitching that is for me.  I pulled back out my "Warholesque Family" piece and did some work on that.  I said I was going to commit myself to working on it at least one night per week, most likely on Saturday.  I'd love to get this piece completed so I can hang it on the living room wall at our new place.  My pooches may be gone now, but there's still me & Zach.  Needless to say, I was super excited today when I realized it was Saturday and that means I could work on this piece again (as soon as the starfish pendant is done!).

I have also continued on with my quest to lose weight and be healthier.  The new recipe I tried this week was a cherry tomato and chick pea salad.  Chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) aren't something I normally eat.  It's not that I don't like them, I just don't know a lot of uses for them, besides hummus.  So I saw a recipe on Pinterest, which seems to be my go to place lately, and decided to try it.  It was really good!  I have leftovers of it and will have some more tonight with dinner.  I also have an avocado that needs to be eaten before it goes bad, so I think I'll add some in there. 

I've decided I'm much better at taking pics of cross stitch vs. food, lol!  Either way, if you're interested in the recipe for the salad, just click the photo.   While I was at the store picking up green onions to put in the salad I grabbed a small purple cabbage. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet.  I might possibly roast it.  Either way, I'll let you know next week what I decided to try.

Until the next time...Happy Stitching and Healthy Eating!  :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Corn Salsa with Chili Lime Vinaigrette

I know I normally combine posts to include both some needlework updates and my healthy recipe of the week, but this week I'm doing them separately so I can post this one directly on Pinterest.

I didn't experiment with anything new this week.  I have too much going on, as well as preparing to move houses next month.  And for any of you that have done that, I'm sure you know it means cleaning out the pantry, fridge & freezer.  I decided this week to stick with one of my faves for the past few years...Corn Salsa with Chili Lime Vinaigrette.

I first came across this when I bought a small container of out from a deli.  It was fantastic...but expensive!  I decided I could make it myself cheaper and probably healthier.  The recipe itself is pretty simple.

2 cans sweet corn - drained & rinsed
1 can beans (I typically use kidney or black beans) - drained & rinsed
Orange or Green Pepper (or both!) for color
Red or Green Onions

When it comes to salsas and salads, I don't stress over correct measurements on the vegetables.  I figure you can't go wrong.  If I'm using 2 colors of peppers I put in 1/2 pepper each.  If it's one color, use the entire sweet pepper.  Celery is usually 2 stalks.  I put in about 1/2 cup of onions, regardless of kind.

Before making this recipe, I had never made any type of vinaigrette before, so off to the internet I went to see if I could find one.  And I did on SparkPeople.   I've changed the recipe slightly to use products I like better.  Below is my version:

2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 c. olive oil (choose what YOU like, full-flavored or light)
3 tbsp white vinegar (I've also used apple cider vinegar)
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp chili powder (make sure it's good quality)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

Fair warning, this IS a spicy dressing, and with most things spicy, it will taste more so the 2nd day than the 1st, so you might want to use the cayenne sparingly on your first attempt.

Simply mix all the dressing ingredients in a jar or cruet and shake well, then pour over salsa and let sit for 30+ minutes prior to serving.

I've used this salsa over/with many other foods:  canned tuna, turkey burgers, shredded chicken, or mix with some shredded greens for a great salad.  Either way, don't be afraid to experiment and make it your own.

I hope you enjoy this, and feel free to leave any comments below!  Happy HEALTHY eating!

P.S.  I have been trying really hard at eating healthy, drinking more water and exercising more to not only lose the rest of the weight I want to, but to live a healthier lifestyle.  This pic is just some of the healthy food I picked up at the grocery store tonight for meals this week.  :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

2nd Place x3

Every year there are two local needlework shows I go to.  One in the Spring and one in the Fall.  

This past week was the Spring show that is held at the Stow Munroe Falls Public Library.  2014 was the 40th year for it.  On a whim I decided at the last minute to enter some of my recent finishes.  I entered 3 pieces (Friends Welcome, Singles Awareness and the "Wine" model for Nerdy Words).  All 3 piece received 2nd place ribbons.  Woohoo!!!  

I don't enter just for the sake of winning ribbons.  Most of the time when I stitch a piece it isn't even with the intention of it being an entry in a show.  I always try to do my best work on every project.  I personally enter pieces just for the sheer joy of being able to share, what is hopefully something different, with other stitchers that may enjoy it/them.

Below are pics of my pieces at the show with the ribbons attached.

Tonight I was able to collect my pieces.  I have to say I was slightly disappointed as it was one of the years the judges didn't include any negative feedback/critiques on my entry sheets.  I actually look forward to reading their comments as it helps me improve my work and techniques.  I did receive rave reviews on the fantastic finishing my Rita at SnowBerry NeedleArts.

The next show will have entries the end of September, so it looks like I had better get busy getting some more pieces stitched to enter there.

Until then...Happy Stitching!