Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts

Healthy Living Tips and Ideas on Pinterest: Why I'm Taking Baby Steps to Change my Life

A few weeks ago, I published a post with a BMI calculator asking you to join me in my weight loss endeavor. I've been trying to shift my focus to healthy living. For me, eating isn't really the problem, but I'd like to get the entire family on a healthy schedule and diet. So, I've been visiting lots of healthy living websites looking for tips and ideas and pinning healthy lifestyle pins on Pinterest.

organic gardening healthy Living Tips
Tomato plants in our organic garden.
I'm too young to be a hippie and too old to be a hipster, so I guess I'll just become a crunchy mama. I lean that way for sure, but it isn't always practical for me. I am into attachment parenting though, so I am well on my way. Only... I don't look the part. I lost my way, and I am struggling to get back to an appropriate level of fitness.

Fake it 'til you make it. That's what I intend to do.

Yep, I have a little garden patch, some chickens, and a few ducks. I've been building a coop and a barn for something else. Maybe a goat or a llama? It popped into my head this week that I need to build a greenhouse for my plants. I kill Rosemary every year. This year, I didn't even bother with her!

Healthy Living Tips and Ideas Pekin, Roane, and Wyandotte Chickens at 3 months old Organic Gardening
Wyandotte Chickens and Pekin Ducks at 3 months old.
If you follow this blog, you probably know we're kind of Pinterest superstars. As a visual person, I love Pinterest. No, I probably won't get back to any of the things, but I sure like to look at the pretty pictures and dream. So, what are my favorite boards for healthy living?

  • Crum Creek is a health food company with the motto "indulge in healthy".  They have great Pinterest boards with lots of ideas for making healthy choices.

  • Vegetarian Zen is a blog about a family learning to become vegetarians with the motto "happy body, healthy mind".  This is a great place to learn all about how to be healthy. Vegetarian Pinterest Boards.

  • Pure Health Girls this is a site focused on raising awareness on how to take control of your health and longevity. They provide valuable information about the dangers of pesticides, hormones, and GMO's. See the Pinterest Boards here.

For great healthy living tips be sure to hop over to Pinterest and check out all of these great pinners :)

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A BMI Calculator Can Give You the Motivation to Lose Weight

Online BMI Calculator

Been indoors packing on the pounds? It's time to shed the layers of clothing and get outside and play. Growing up, I was chronically skinny except for a brief time in 5th and 6th grade. Due to health issues and medication, as I got older, the weight crept up every couple of years. When motivated, it's easy to get the weight off and drop pounds. Now, as the aging mommy of two kids, the motivation rarely comes and the weight sticks around. I did find a little motivation by plugging my numbers into a BMI calculator. Scroll down to use it, the first BMI Calculator picture is a just pinnable image for Pinterest.  Enjoy! 

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

BMI Calculator Weightloss Tracker App

Pin this image to save to Pinterest.

Below is the actual, interactive, online BMI CALCULATOR.

Free Online BMI Calculator.

Online Weight Loss Tracker

Ditch the The Food Pyramid?
Motivation. I've worked on upping my food intake. Yes, upping. I never ate more than once a day. Now, I try to eat three times a day with snacks. I've reinvented meals. I rarely sit down to eat, and I don't fill my plate in a food pyramid with one "meal." For me, that means a yogurt here, a banana there, a peanut butter sandwich, or veggies with dip spread throughout the day. I do eat everything in the food pyramid, but not in one sitting.  Should you eat dairy? at 45, I found out I was allergic to milk (not lactose intolerant.) I ditched milk and rarely eat ice cream. Yogurt and cheese don't cause me problems, so I'm able to fulfill my dairy needs. I also discovered a had hyperparathyroidism, so now I take vitamin D softgels every day.

I tried to ditch the pop, but that didn't work. However, I've made little changes. Food before pop in the morning. One soda or less per day. You'd think I'd gain weight, but I didn't gain a pound. In fact, I lost a few. I tried to find a picture to share, but I run from the camera.  Below, is the best I can do for a before picture. On the positive side, the weight always seemed to keep me looking younger. These days, aside from being old, I'm fairly healthy. Unfortunately, the BMI calculator doesn't agree. Another option is to find a good Weight Tracker App. With an app on your phone, you can track everything on the go.

**UPDATE (2016) 
I've lost over 30 lbs. and kept it off. My biggest tip is to stop eating bread (any sort of gluten). Also, take a daily probiotic. I've ditched the pop! Started by swapping Mountain Dew for Sierra Mist (natural sugars and sweeteners) and then I switched to Coca-Cola Zero. I'm working on swapping this for Propel. I drink a lot of Propel, but I want my caffeine. My go to snack is Vanilla Oikos Triple Zero try it in a Strawberry Smoothie. In the past, I was too sick to exercise. The weight loss was all diet related. Bread, cereal, cake, cupcakes, doughnuts, bagels, pizza, pasta- all gone from my diet during the weight loss. Since I've been able to exercise, I do eat them occasionally. I plan to lose 20 more lbs. this year, by adding exercise.

*I'm not a doctor. These are what worked for me. No health advice is implied.

BMI Calculator for weight loss struggle
What do you wish you could do differently to improve your health?

Positive Weight Loss Goals

**UPDATE (2019)
I'm 50 now and look better than I've looked in years! Still eating while on the move and using resistance bands for stretching every day. Working on losing 10 more pounds. I'm able to walk, do squats, bike ride, etc. I've even started kayaking! If you told me 10 years ago that I'd be kayaking, I would've laughed in your face! Getting fit allowed me to get healthy. So many health issues have disappeared. I'm thinking about running marathons. Not sure my knees can take it. We'll see.
What are you waiting for?

Weight loss story photos


Healthier Recipes that helped me. 
Keep up with me on Instagram.

Creative Country: Big Red Barn Chicken Coop Ideas

Here is a fun idea for a Chicken Coop

Beware! Chicken Coops they sell at the store are not safe for your chickens. They aren't raccoon, opossum, weasel, or mink proof. 

I've heard awful stories of raccoons pulling the animals right through the wires and of minks squeezing through and, like a vampire, sucking the blood from every last animal and then lining them up in a row! 

We had a "friendly" possum and learned the hard way that "opossums sometimes eat sleeping poultry". Did  you get that part, eat? They eat them alive starting with their abdomen. It is very sad. It also ate part of our little girl duck's beak, poor thing. Please don't let this happen to you. The guilt is unbearable.

A friend of mine had some materials left over after building their barn, so they made a Chicken Coop to match! I am jealous! Don't you think they should market these? 

Here's a fun Big Red Barn Preschool Activity to make.

Big Red Barn Chicken Coop Ideas
Chicken Coop Barn. 

Recommended Reading:

Guide to Raising Chickens

8 Cheap Ideas to House Your Backyard Hens and Save Money

Backyard Chickens for Beginners

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

Anime Art Lessons and Curriculum for Homeschool Elementary Cartoon Animation Keroro

Homeschool Elementary Art: How to draw Cartoon Animation

Allow your kids to watch cartoons on tv with sketch book. Here is our favorite anime character Keroro. The kids study the drawing style and copy it. Try different cartoons for different techniques.

Keroro Anime Cartoon Characters How to draw lesson
Homeschool Art Lesson with Anime Cartoon Drawing and Keroro.

If your kids are like mine they love to watch cartoons. My kids love the obscure cartoons found on Netflix. One of their favorites (which is questionable if you pay close attention) is the Japanese Anime cartoon, Sergeant Frog or Keroro. For Wikipedia Description Click Here

He says lots of wacky stuff. Luckily, most of it is difficult to understand, and it rarely makes sense. I'm not advocating watching the program, but I am advocating allowing them to watch cartoons while working on an ART LESSON.

Keroro or Sgt. Frog
Sgt. Frog a.k.a Keroro

When I was a kid, I wanted to become a SPECIAL EFFECTS ARTIST.  My younger cousin wanted to become a VIDEO GAME DESIGNER both of us were shot down by parents, teachers, and principals. Who said things like, "Do you know how many people want to be that and how many people actually are?" or my favorite from my high school principal, "Well.. they told Johnny Cougar he'd never make it and he did, but still I don't think you should drop Band for more Art classes." Say what?

What She's Wearing Wednesday: Power Ranger Costume_Girls are SuperHeroes too

Costume Ideas for girls will she be a rock star kitty or a super hero power ranger?

We spent two hours making a Perry the Platypus costume, but Mayhem decided to wear her Power Ranger costume from last year. Good thing, because last year we searched high and low for a Green Power Ranger costume, and she decided to go as a Lady Gaga style, black cat.

Girls are SuperHeroes too.
Girls are SuperHeroes too.

Green Power Ranger costume
Green Power Ranger costume accessorized 
with black snow boots, green gloves, and glow sword.

Avatar, Power Ranger, and Headless Scarecrow. 

Trick or Treating.
Turns out no one in the country leaves their lights on, 
so we headed to a safer community event.
Classic cars and candy.  
It was so cold most of the car owners took refuge inside.

It's a hearse! It is a car for transporting the dead. 

A superhero with local heroes.

The Trick or Treat event sponsored by firefighters and police.
 A safe alternative to going door to door.

Recommended Reading:

Halloween past safe alternatives

Kids Creative Chaos Cooks: Kitchen Kids Series: Holiday Recipes

Power Rangers Super Megaforce - Green Ranger Mask*

Power Rangers Green Rangers Costume T-shirt* 

Creative Country ~ Nifty, Rustic Items from a Country lover's Decor

Some of our fall fun journeys take us to magical places. Recently, we visited the home of a family friend. These are just a few of the awesome, rustic antiques on display.  Ah- the good life.

Horse Dinner Bell
Hoisting Hook

Westwood Washer. An old-fashioned washing machine.

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Jake's Journey in Art - Homeschool Lesson - 4 Watercolor Seascape (Wet on Wet)

Jake's Journey in Art: Watercolor Wet on Wet techniques for Homeschoolers

Kids Creative Chaos building Self-Esteem one art lesson at a time.

Lesson:  Choose one of the seascapes and one watercolor technique you've learned.

It was time for our next art lesson. Jake moaned and complained as usual, until I reminded him this week's lessons involved painting. "Yay! I like to paint. I never got to paint in art class."  Say what you say?  Catch up here. Art is about the journey, not the end result.

Homeschool Art Project How to paint wet on wet watercolor technique
Jake's seascape is on the left, Mayhem is on the right. She's added some embellishments.
Did you notice his attention to detail?  This is not a child who should despise art. Thankfully, we are making amazing progress.

Now, what Jake really meant to say was- I love it when I'm allowed to make a mess. He chose the sailboat scene and the wet on wet technique. Which is exactly as it sounds, paint water over your entire paper, dip your brush in water and the color, and let it bleed blend. Don't move it until it is dry.

We also did the salt painting technique and sprinkled salt on the wet sand area. When it dries it looks like real sand.

We first traced over the image to get a feel for it and then we lightly drew it in pencil on our watercolor paper. When painting with watercolors it is important to use the right paper. Copy paper will deteriorate with too much water. The fibers in the watercolor paper are designed to soak up the excess. Still, we laid out three layers of newspaper and had a roll of paper towels ready and waiting. Inevitably, someone always spills the water.

Our art table, okay, it is our dining room table. We never use it for that!

I am pleased to announce this assignment was our turn around lesson. In fact, his feelings about art have changed so much in a recent lesson on mask making he said, "Mommy, it is really awesome that I have a teacher who knows so much about art. You can teach me so many cool things!" (Insert tears here.)

I am quite skilled in the art of mask making. My highschool, art teacher, Mrs. Conway did a lesson on mask's with handmade paper. I made 3 or 4 different projects, entered them into an art contest and won some sort of an award. 

Oh my, I wish I could tell you what it was but a lot of time has passed since then.  After, I took a tiny scholarship to college and studied theatre design, art, and architecture. I've used the skills I learned in those classes to make many a mask for many a child in an after-school program, made some great mardi-gras costumes, and designed many theatrical props and sets. We'll post mask making 101 next week.

Hooray! Someone finally took notice.  My college journey was not a waste after all :-)

Okay, the real point is that Jake took notice. Chuckle-chuckle and all it took was some fancy paper curling around a pencil and a cool, paper snake. Mom's have mad skills, don't they. I'm gearing up to ask Jake to draw a new picture of how he feels about Mommy's art class-eh. Maybe I'll just take a photo of his expression.

Things are looking up!

What She's Wearing Wednesday: Creative Play Leads to Self-Esteem: Mandy Mayhem 10/03/2012

Creative Imaginative Play and Dress up Leads to Self-Esteem

We attended a practice party for the race pit crew of Rex Norris. It was a special event, so it called for a special attire. Mandy Mayhem styled herself in sparkly, pink slip-ons, black leggings with silver glittery sparkle, a turquoise tee with silver and rhinestone buttons, and her Snow White costume from last year. Enjoy!

Upon, slipping the costume over her clothes she noted it had shrunk. This ability will become very useful later if she goes through a chubby stage. Remember, it is the dryer ~ not you. It always helps with self-esteem if you can blame someone else.

Creative Imaginative Play and Dress up Leads to Self-Esteem
Creative Imaginative Play and Dress up Leads to Self-Esteem.

Her special accessory is a giraffe, perhaps Geoffrey from Toys R Us. She entertained anyone who cared to watch with a puppet show on the deck.

Mayhem is always allowed to dress herself no matter where we go. If the occasion requires specific attire; I give her choices. She is excellent at matching and pretty good at choosing the right outfit.

I never find her clothes embarrassing. I would be embarrassed if they were dirty or too mature for her age because that reflects on me, but fun, self-expression is healthy and makes for great self-esteem. "I can do it!" Allow your child to be themselves- your relationship will appreciate it.

Recommended Reading:

Great Big Book of Children's Games: Over 450 Indoor and Outdoor Games for Kids, Ages 3-14*

Lesson 2 How to Make a Tunnel Book: Elementary Homeschool

Ideas for your next Homeschool ART Lesson: Summer Tunnel Book from Jake's Journey in Art

Working from crayons to Picasso. The art of the tunnel book. Learn how to make a tunnel book, it isn't as easy as it looks!

So, if you are following the story, you may remember we had a bad experience with an elementary art teacher. Might I just add- this occured at a 4 Star school.  I'm pretty sure she has tenure. Oddly, outside of the classroom (at least with adults) she was very personable. If you haven't read it click here for Lesson One - Art Expression.

The infamous Tunnel Art Book. Oh my!  Even with my art and architecture background, I had difficulty following the instructions for this one. We watched a video, we looked at samples, and still it just wasn't clicking for me.  Perhaps, I over complicated it.

Well, my struggling Art-hater truly hated this one. If I couldn't explain it- why should he bother trying, right?  So, we sat it aside for a day, and then a week, and then a little bit longer. I tried to make my own by cutting out a frame and gluing the sides together, but it was so much trouble. I refused to make another one, so we used it as the tunnel for Jake's book.

Cut and pasted the important pieces so we can keep it in a scrapbook.

Turns out, I had NO IDEA what I was doing, but Jake drew some nice trees for the background even though he complained the entire time.  When he finished, he complained some more, "Mine isn't as good as yours.  Amanda's trees look better than mine. I cannot do this; I hate art!"

So... apparently somewhere along the way, I missed am important step.  The next day, the little one and I tried one last time. The sides are sheets of paper folded in half, and at the half way mark we glued (and taped) the frames for the tunnel effect.  I scribbled some pictures, and she drew some beautiful creatures and a background, and we attached some to each interior frame. These did not stand on their own; and they are extremely flimsy, or our construction paper is just way too thin. 

elementary homeschool art tunnel books

Anyway, we tried our best, and that is what really counts- right?  Hopefully, our failures will help you have a successful Tunnel Art Book.  In two years, when the little one gets the same lesson; we'll refer back to this post and try with thicker paper.  I'm thinking CARDBOARD sides.

The Little's background and other fun items.

Here is a link to an entire site about tunnel books.  Hope this helps spark your creativity!

And... here is their closest example to the way our assignment was described.

How to make a tunnel book
Too cool ~ It is a construction site!  Photo from Popular Kinetics Press


Green Light at the End of the Tunnel: Learning the Art of Living Well Without Causing Harm to Our Planet or Ourselves*

Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects (Build It Yourself)

What She's Wearing Wednesday or What Not to Wear

Welcome to What She's Wearing Wednesday.  This week, she wanted her photo taken with her new boots and hat. I didn't understand the hat until she explained.  "It's a cowboy hat to go with my pink, purple, and blue cowboy boots."

ART: Elementary Homeschool Projects from our online lessons: Lesson One

Homeschool Sample Artwork for Homeschool Art from Connections Academy Online Homeschool

(How a Bricks and Mortar teacher ruined the love of ART)

We've been contemplating Homeschooling for a long time. We needed to find a house in the country with a barn, so we knew we'd be moving, but had no idea where. It seemed the perfect time to bite the bullet. 

had dreamed of being an ART teacher but deplored my first college art professor and switched to THEATRICAL DESIGN and later to ARCHITECTURE. Ha-ha-ha. I have a diploma. I worked in various design capacities, but always preferred working with children. I am laughing, because, after having my own children, that is no longer my favorite thing. Now, I like to write (more about that later).

But, oh wow! Homeschooling gave me a chance to fulfill my first academic dream and become a real life art teacher! I could not wait to get started. When you cannot wait for something; well, you probably should. It never, ever turns out like you envision.

Things are finally starting to swing in my favor, so I thought I would start sharing our weekly projects here. I want to give all moms of budding artists hope and patience by sharing our grief.  We've learned so many great lessons along the way: How to clean up, How art can teach math, Patience is a virtue, Practice makes perfect, How to spell new words, How to make Mommy say bad words... you get it- you've lived it.  

Maybe you love math or music or language arts and it turns out to be your child's least favorite or worst subject. Time to put on your grown-up pants and grin and bear it with me.

Here is Jake's work from Connection's Academy Art LESSON ONE:  Draw a picture of yourself showing how you feel about school, specifically ART, use shapes and patterns within your drawing.

Elementary Homeschool Art Lesson Self-Portrait

Jake: "I hate art."
Mommy: "It is my favorite subject! I am not so great, but I try my best."
Jake: "I'm no good at it, and I don't want to do it."
Mommy: "Let's listen to music while we draw."
Jake: "Let's don't, and say we did."
Mommy: "Jake, here is a mirror draw your face."
Jake: "No."
Mommy: "Just Do IT!"
Jake: "This is not fun."
Mommy: "This is not fun."
Mommy: "Maybe this is why Mom's take up drinking wine."

Later, Jake informed me he had never used anything but crayons in his art class at school. They always had to color the ENTIRE page with neat, crayon coloring from corner to corner. WHAT? I've got the pictures and the grades to prove why he doesn't like art. 

She was a hardcore grader for an elementary teacher who made the kids use crayons as a medium! In fact, she killed his straight A+'s in first grade with a B- and a comment to try and be neater. He was devastated. I told him, "Ya gotta do what ya gotta do." He did it from that point on. 

Man, I'd hate art too if that were my teacher's philosophy. Why do you need an art teacher for coloring with crayons. Seems like a lot of busy work to me.

Recommended Reading:

Lesson Two
Lesson Three
Lesson Four

The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12 (Prima Home Learning Library)*

Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning (TM))*

Bread Clipart Le Pain Хлеб 白面包 Photos Cartoon Images Pictures Clip Art

Looking for a picture of Bread Clip Art? 

Here are several cartoon images of bread. We also have bread coloring pages, recipes, and science experiments for homeschoolers. Enjoy!

bread clipart Bread Clipart Le Pain Хлеб  白面包 Photos Cartoon Images Pictures Clip Art
Bread Clipart Le Pain Хлеб  白面包 Photos Cartoon Images Pictures Clip Art

Here is a great recipe for Artisan Bread or how about a Bread Bowl Chicken Salad, but you came here searching for a picture of bread-no? FREE CLIP ART IMAGES are from the sites linked below. Always give credit where credit is due. I scoured and found the cutest ones just for you.  :-)

free loaf of bread clip art

croissant cartoon clipart

cute cartoon slice of bread

Recommended Reading:

Everybody Bakes Bread Picture Book*

Bread Around the World*

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