ramblings

My New Hair Style {Short Hair Rocks}

Posted by on May 23, 2012 | 9 comments

It was time for a new hair style.  Way past due.

If you’re like me, then you value a good hair stylist.  I learned this quickly in my early hair stylin’ days.  It was clear that if you want a good cut, you need a good, confident stylist.  This is especially true with short hair because you don’t have much wiggle room.  If someone messes up your hair and it’s already short…you got problems.

I’ve been super lucky in my San Diego years.  My stylist, Liesel, has been doing my hair since 2002, I think.  That’s 10 years, folks.  I am loyal.  And I’m loyal for good reason:  Liesel is A.M.A.Z.E.B.A.L.L.S.  Not only does she cut my hair really well, but she also has become a wonderful friend, and of course she knows a ton about me (and vice versa) since I verbally vomit on her every time she gives me an amazing hair cut.

Back to my current state of affairs.  I loved my previous ‘do.  Here’s how it looked:

 It was fun, and I always received compliments on it.  But there were a few issues.  I was tired of the flat-ironing, and tired of having it in my face.   Clips were getting annoying, and with an East-County-San Diego summer looming….a short hair style was just what I needed.   I’m also running a lot, and having hair in your face when you run…not cool.   Then, there was also this:

See that row of hair that lines my forehead?  Driving me nuts.  That’s all the hair that fell out soon after Emily was born.  My hair fell out for months, and now it’s finally growing back.  However, in a few more months, if I left my hair style the same, I would have been battling a lion’s mane or something.  It’s easier to just cut it short and then it can all grow out together, like one big happy family.

Here’s my new look:

Love.

When Liesel cut my hair I had my Short Hair Ideas Pinterest board pulled up.  We talked about what we liked about all of them, and ultimately went with this one as reference.

I have so many friends (and also random people) tell me that I can “pull it off” when I get a short hair style like this.  I really think just about anyone can “pull off” any hair style they want.  Here’s the key:  you have to like it.   So get your hair cut the way YOU like it. Not the way your man likes it, the way your partner likes it, the way your friends like it.  Style your hair for yourself- you’re the one who has to deal with it.  It especially drives me bonkers when I hear women say that they “can’t” cut their hair because “my husband wouldn’t like it.”   Does he dry your hair?  No?  Does he flat iron or curl it for ya?  No.  Then tough.   Just my two cents.

I love my hair.  Thanks, Liesel!  You da bomb!

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Me, the HCG Diet, and a Challenge

Posted by on Apr 30, 2012 | 13 comments

 

I’m not a person of extremes.  At least, I don’t think I am.  I definitely tend to go “middle of the road” in most social situations; I don’t like to stand out, but I’m not a wall flower, either.  But this story here, friends, is a bit extreme for me.

For a long time I had it in my mind that while I was in my childbearing years I would not be hard on myself about my looks.  I didn’t want to work myself into a frenzy after each birth to lose weight and get fit, only to get pregnant again and gain the weight back.  I didn’t go crazy (for the most part) with eating, but I ate pretty much what I wanted.  I exercised as I could, but with the addition of each child it has become increasingly more challenging to workout for obvious reasons.  When you have three kids ages 4 (soontobe5holycow) and under, things are busy. Looking back, I don’t regret that choice.  It was nice to just let myself be me, not worry about it, and let life happen.

With my first pregnancy I did gain a significant amount of weight, and after Anna was born, I had a hard time dropping the weight, so I did a shake cleanse to give my body a boost.  It helped, and then I went back to “normal” eating.  After my 2nd, Jack, was born I had a much easier time losing the weight, probably because he breastfed (Anna and I had a tongue thrust issue) and the weight sort of melted off me.   Once Emily was born, nearly the same thing happened.  I breastfed, the weight came off, and I didn’t think about dieting much.

When Emily turned seven months, we stopped breastfeeding (mainly because the introduction of teeth to the process made it less than fun).   I noticed pretty soon after that my pants were getting tighter and my clothing choices were becoming limited.  Things weren’t fitting.  I was putting back on my “fat pants” because they were comfy and they fit around my waist.  But it wasn’t until I saw this picture of myself from Jack’s Birthday that I realized something needed to change.

I know that the camera adds 10 pounds, but it was very clear to me after seeing this photo of myself that there was more than a 10-pound thing going on here.  But the way I looked wasn’t the only issue.  I didn’t feel good.  I was tired, I’ll spare you all the bowel issues I was having, and I just didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be.  The day after this photo was taken I turned 36 years old.  It was time to think about things.

Back in November a friend of mine’s son was turning 3.  This friend and I used to work together, so I used to see her on a nearly-daily basis.   At her son’s birthday party, though, I hadn’t seen her since summer time.  I walked across the field at this park and did a mental double take as I saw her walking towards me from a distance.  Was that her?  Yes.  But something was different.

As I got closer to her I realized that she had lost weight.  Not just a little weight- a LOT.  This friend, who I’ll call T, has a similar body-type to mine.  She has a bigger bust, but otherwise we are similar.  The new T, however, was svelte, had what seemed to be a new jawline, and looked flippin’ fantastic.  I hugged her.  I stepped back.  I gave her the once over and asked, “What did you DO?!”  She told me about this crazy-sounding diet called HCG.  I asked about it, and thought to myself, “That sounds insane.”

A few months passed and then T came over to my house.  She had lost more weight.  She was wearing a size 8.  EIGHT.  “Hmmm,” I thought.  “Maybe I’ll look into it.”  I read up online.  I thought about it.  I ordered some HCG drops.  They arrived, and I put them in my guest room/craft room in a corner and went about my life for a while.  The tighter my pants got, the more inclined I was to read the literature that came with the drops and do it.  Pretty soon, I had a plan in mind.

If you haven’t read about HCG, it’s a pretty controversial diet.  I’m not going to get into the details of it- you can Google it on your own for all of the details.  The main thing is:

  • You take a set amount of HCG drops (which varies by brand)
  • You limit your intake of calories to 500 per day.  Yes, you read that right, 500.
  • The foods that you can eat are pretty limited.
  • Most HCG drop brands claim that you will lose approximately one pound per day.
  • You do not exercise; to do so when you limit your calories so severely would be insane; this was nice for me- I didn’t have time to workout anyway.

It’s extreme to many people.  But for me, it also made some sense.  I needed to sort of “break up” with food.  At the time of Jack’s Birthday I had passed the point of just eating what I wanted.  I had ventured into mindless eating.  If I was the slightest bit hungry, I ate something.  Cookies, cake, carbs, high-fat foods- I didn’t have too many limits.  I had cut back on processed food for our family, and had quit drinking soda, but I was still frying chicken, and eating too many baked goods.

I told my husband I wanted to do the diet, and that I had already bought the drops.  I waited for him to tell me I was crazy, but instead he gave me his support, which really helped.  It may have helped him to know that I wasn’t planning on cutting my calories back to 500/day.  That just seemed unreasonable to me.  But I did feel that trying the drops, which were supposed to help with appetite suppression, combined with really limiting what KINDS of food I ate, would give me results.   I wasn’t sure how long I would do it, but I told myself I’d try it for at least a month.

At the time that I started the HCG diet, I weighed 180 pounds.  I did it for a month.  I lost 15 pounds, which felt much better than losing 30 pounds in 30 days.  Here’s my before and after pictures:

(Remember, new camera=bad pics for a while.  And DANG I need to smile!) :)

 Some people will look at these and say, “Not much of a difference.”  But I feel SO much better.  Some things I did during this last month that have really changed me:

  • I cut out red meat.  This is not a requirement of the diet, but one that I made.  I think I ate one steak soon after I started because it was a birthday dinner, and I had a burger at one point, but that was it.
  • We joined a CSA.  I’ll post more about this soon.
  • I snacked on almonds. A lot. They were my go-to snack.
  • I let myself be hungry.  I had become so automatic with my eating habits; at the smallest pang of hunger I would shove something in my mouth.  Now, when I am hungry, I drink some water and wait.  If I’m still hungry I grab a few almonds.
  • I drank tons of water and gave up everything else except coffee (I’m a mom of 3; I need coffee).
  • I cut out all dairy.  I hated it at first. But now I realize that I need to see a doctor because I think I either have a gluten intolerance or a dairy intolerance; maybe both.

What did I eat?  Mainly fruits, vegetables and proteins via fish and chicken.   I got really close with the chicken breast and my panini press, which can also be used as a grill.

I decided, though, to take a break.  Two reasons.

Reason #1:

I was tired on this diet.  It was a different kind of tired- I actually felt better because of my food choices, but my energy levels ebbed and flowed throughout the day, and I was more tired than not tired.  By the end of the day I would crash and have headaches.

Reason #2:

I’m joining a fitness challenge, and it starts TOMORROW!  I’m so excited to be part of my friend, Wendy’s challenge, called “I Will Rock This.”    There’s cash money involved, and 25 women working together to cheer each other on.  It’s neat- we’re competing against each other AND we’re being nice to each other.  Very cool.

So tomorrow I’m going to be starting a new workout plan, maintain a diet of protein, fruits & veggies (emphasis on the veggies), and we’ll see how it goes.  I will give you updates every week or so, just for grins.

If you have any questions about the HCG diet, please leave me a comment or feel free to contact me.  Just don’t leave me any nasty comments- “to each her own” and I’ll just delete nasty remarks anyway. :)

Wish me luck!

 

 

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New Camera!

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 | 2 comments

Hello CC Friends!

It’s Monday the 26th of March.  This happens to be the day after my birthday.  And what a birthday weekend it was!  I’m 36 now.  Officially heading towards 40, even though I still feel 29.  Maybe 28.

My sweet son, Jack, was born March 23rd, 2009.  We had his 3rd birthday party on Saturday, which I will be sharing with you soon.  I’m really pleased with how the party went, and hope I can share it with you in a little “mini-series” which would be a first.

The most wonderful thing about my own birthday is this pretty little lady:

 

 

My husband found it for me after hours of combing Craig’s List for several days.  I couldn’t be more pleased with it- it’s the perfect “step up” camera.  I have no idea how to use it and shall commence tutorial combing soon.  My Canon Powershot SD750 was just not giving me the photos I want for this blog and for our family.  Watch my Pinterest Boards– there’s going to be lots of photography stuff going up soon!

In this new year for me I want to do so much- I want to make a bucket list, center my goals up, and finish my Happiness Project with the ladies at Chronically Distracted.  Many, many goals.

I’ll be back tomorrow (hopefully) with a summary of Jack’s party.  Today I need to recover, organize, and regain my sanity.  Not to mention update the family blog and maybe do some dishes.  Oh, and work.  I should probably do some work.  :)

 

Happy Monday (if there is such a thing)!

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My first guest post! And a getaway.

Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 | Comments Off on My first guest post! And a getaway.

Today is a special day in my blog history!  I am guest posting over at a favorite new spot of mine, Chronically Distracted.  The two lovely ladies who put this place together, Wendy & Maegan, are also the two who introduced me to “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.  How did I not know about this book?  Apparently I was living under a rock (or raising three kids and had no time to read).   Wendy & Maegan put out a request for guest posts, and I decided to take the leap.  It’s amazing how much harder I work on a post when it’s going up on someone else’s blog- it’s much more nerve-wracking.  So, head on over and get yourself some time-management info!

And lastly, Happy Friday!  I’m so excited about this weekend. My sister, Stephanie is here, and this is what we will be doing most of the weekend:

(click photo for credit)

In PALM FRICKIN’ DESERT, baby.  Yeah.  Uh-huh.

I will likely not post until we’re back, but since the forecast actually calls for rain (in the desert?) we’ve decided that we may geek out on our computers all weekend.  You know you’re a computer geek when the thought of working/playing on your computer uninterrupted for an entire weekend it totally appealing. :)

Happy weekend!

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I’ve Given Up Soda

Posted by on Mar 14, 2012 | 4 comments

I’ve had it on my mind for a while to do a large post about changes Michael and I are trying to make in our eating habits (there are tons), but that post is never going to get written.  I can just tell.  So instead, I’m going to share tidbits of things we’re doing that I’d consider “small steps.”

If you know me, you know I love sweets.  I’m a person who leans towards creamy, sweet, and rich.  Those are my vices.  I go nuts for brownies, rich ice cream flavors (no vanilla for me unless it’s covered in something decadent), and glorious cakes.  I love sugar.

For that reason, I knew I needed to give up some things because I’m not getting any younger, and my metabolism is certainly not where it used to be.

The neat thing (for me) is that my body actually made my mind up for me.  Throughout my last pregnancy I drank a Diet Coke nearly every day at lunch.  It was my afternoon caffeine shot to get me through the rest of my teaching day.  I new it wasn’t good for me, but it wasn’t like I was downing a six pack every day- just one.  As soon as I gave birth to Emily it was like a switch went off.  Soda no longer sounded good to me.  I think I had one a few days after I came home from the hospital out of habit, but I didn’t enjoy the taste at all.  It was weird.

 

I decided to try natural sodas.  But after a few weeks of that I just asked myself, “What’s the point?”  I was failing to see any reason to consume something that had zero nutritional value whatsoever.  At least with a bowl of ice cream I’m getting some calcium- what’s soda givin’ up these days?  Nada.

I haven’t looked back since.  And even better, I’m now one of those snooty people who likes fizzy water.  It’s delicious.

I haven’t dropped tons of pounds or anything, but I do feel better knowing I’m not drinking it.  I don’t miss it, I don’t crave it.  Every once in a while I’ll have a 50/50 lemonade/Sprite combo if we’re out to lunch or something, but that’s it.

And what I really, really don’t miss is the oodles of soda cans in the recycling bin, as well as the unpacking of the soda after grocery shopping.  That was always a pain in the ass.

Have you given up a vice?

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Nobody’s Perfect

Posted by on Mar 12, 2012 | 3 comments

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to feel deflated after surfing around the blogosphere?  Or even the internet in general?  Don’t get me wrong- I love a good Pinterest session as much as the next person, especially when I’m looking for ideas and inspiration.  But there are moments where I have to catch myself and say, “Whoa, there, Nelly.  Simmer down.”

It is so easy to look at all of the beauty that people create, organize and put out there, and then walk away thinking, “I’m not enough.  I’m not doing enough, I’m not making enough, I’m not DIY-ing enough, I’m not _______ enough.”  And you know what I think?

Enough is enough.

So I’ve decided to start a new series here on Crafting Crazy.  It’s called “Nobody’s Perfect.”  In this series, I’m going to share with you my imperfections.  Things in my house that look horrible/crazy/disorganized/imperfect.  Projects that fail.  Anything that isn’t perfect is fair game.  My goal?  To help dispel the perfection myth that seems to be so easy to buy into.

I want to make things because I like making them.  I like the process.  I like the journey.  And if, in the end, I come out with a beautiful project to share, rad.  If I don’t, it’s okay.

So for our first installment of Nobody’s Perfect, I give you… our front yard.  If you’re new to CC you may not know that we live on about 2 acres of land.  A lot of it is  undeveloped and we have grand plans for it once we win the lottery can afford to make it into something useful like a raised garden extraordinaire, or add more citrus trees, or something- anything, really.  This part of our yard is what you see as you pull up to the house or drive on the lane that runs the length of the property.  Needless to say, we’ve been a bit busy with a big project in another area, and our yard… well… just have a look-see:

 

Some of the weeds are taller than my son.  For reals.  He’s almost 3.   When he and my daughter go out and play right now, I have to remind them, “Watch out for the gopher holes!”

I think I’ve seen our neighbors actually shake their heads in dismay as they drive by.  Really.  They love us.

Here’s a wider shot of our lemon tree, which I wrote about recently.  We also have six pine trees on our property- all of them are Torrey Pines, and they all started as Christmas trees when my husband was growing up in the very same house we’re in.  Cool, huh?

Here’s something else that’s not perfect, but I’m totally in love with it.  This wagon.  My husband got it from a neighbor’s garage sale last week. It’s OLD.  Rusty.  It’s probably been so lonely, and now it has a new life.  Right now it’s primary job…

Pinecone holder.

And one last bit of imperfection.  I thought this was a really strong weed.  Nope.  It’s a baby tree.  Poor thing.  We’ll have to cut it down because it’s too close to our entry sidewalk.

 

 

*I should mention that I was most inspired by this post from Heidi of Crafterminds.  I read this post when it came out and it’s stuck with me ever since!  Thanks, gals!

 

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