19 October 2014

Wizard & Fairy Gardens

What, did you think I forgot to indulge in a little bit of crafty fun since I began this fitness journey?


Well to be honest, we didn't just make these gardens with the kids.  I actually have had them adorning my back porch sitting area for months now. 

Fairy gardens are cute for little girls, because they can put their little fairies in their little homes, with tiny little gardens, walkways, and a plethora of girly decorations.  But what do you do if you have a boy? 

Simply D Constructed
You make a super cool wizard garden to attract any wizards that may keep terrible bugs from ruining garden beds.  THEN, have them protected by military dudes and trucks of all sorts.

Thank goodness for the examples I found ALL OVER PINTEREST.  Fairy gardens were a hot DIY project this year!  Aren't these tiny accessories so cute?  Not shamed to admit that they were out of my price range; I'm too frugal to buy already-made furniture.


Simply D Constructed
We made 4, one for each kid.  (For some reason I didn't get a picture of the fourth one.)  Anyway, I hate to pic a favorite, (hope this doesn't make me a bad parent) but I am tickled with my idea for the boy's wizard garden.  Take a closer look!
Simply D Constructed
Nothing girly to see here.  We've got military-style vehicles, army dudes, a sniper up on the watch tower, someone launching a grenade...it is all there.
Pretty sweet digs, huh?  
Simply D Constructed
My favorite part is the spot light that comes on at night.  Solar-powered and surprisingly bright!  I'd like to think I'm pretty clever. (sheepish smile)
The girls' gardens were darn pretty cute too.  We pretty much raided my craft closet!
Simply D Constructed
 They had so much fun making them.  The gardens are slowly beginning to fall apart, as gardens usually do with the change of seasons.  Watering them was my fault; I honestly forget that the gardens are out there.  They don't need much watering, which is probably why it slipped my m ind to water them every so often.  And whenever the kids sneak out onto the porch, they take a marble here, a button there, and before I know it, an entire path is missing.  

Oh well, kids will be kids.

Here is the nursery that we visited, which inspired me to make these fairy gardens.  Aren't these tiny furniture pieces so cute? (These fairy garden sections can be found at nearly every garden center/nursery.)
Simply D Constructed

There are MANY ways to make these, but I went the frugal route since I was making four. And, well I like to be frugal.

What you need (on a frugal level):
Oil pan (Dollar Tree)
Top soil
Solar lights (Dollar Tree)
Military vehicles (Dollar Tree)
Military dudes (Dollar Tree)
Bag or two of decorative marbles (Dollar Tree)
Succulents (3-4 per garden is good to start)
Buttons, tooth picks, twine, other embellishments
Bird House (not necessary, but found at thrift store for $1-2 a piece)

Fill the oil pans with the top soil.  Plan out where you want the succulents.  Plant those by digging a slight hole, about 2 inches deep, burying the roots of the plants and watering them.  (Make sure the soil is moist) When I pull any plants out of their cartons, I like to shake off most of the dirt around the roots.  I want the roots to have newer dirt instead.

The other part is the fun part.  You and the kids (or maybe just you) can get as creative as you want.  It is so much fun to watch these little gardens come to life.  The kids will definitely enjoy this.  The hard part for me is getting them to understand that once these are built they aren't for playing in.  

You can make these as elaborate as you want, with cute homemade embellishments.  Raid those craft closets for random pieces to adorn your gardens!  Maybe you want more succulents too.  

So many possibilities.  I can't wait to do this again next year!

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18 October 2014

Broke and Bougie: 16 Water Review

I'd be interested in trying this water.  And I do love Amazon.  Some pretty cool stuff has been discovered on Amazon.  Perfect review by Lindsay!

(I'm experimenting with back links today folks!)

Broke and Bougie: 16 Water Review

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15 October 2014

So You Want To Lift Weights?

Converse, where have you been all my life?

So I have to share this story.  I got really excited about this recent purchase: a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor's All Stars.  But, only because I got them for cheap-fifty.  I had been debating for literally months, before I hit go on this purchase!  

<img src="mything.jpg" data-pin-no-hover="true" />Sounds kind of odd to be working out in these types of shoes, right?  Or so I thought, at one time.  Here is a pretty good explanation for this type of shoe for lifting, which I can attest to based on my experiences squatting and dead-lifting in them.

So let's back it up some.  Maybe you've been asking yourself "
What is the fascination with lift weights?  What's the big deal"

There's plenty of speculation on whether or not one should lift weights.  Especially women.  Which is a a topic for another post, some day.

Personally, I lift weights because I like the body I am creating in the process.  I love it.  I've never felt more in tune with my body; never loved it as much as I do now.  Back in my early to mid-twenties, I treated my body so poorly.  It took years for me to look at myself and seriously want to do what I am doing now.  I think most people might feel this way at some point or another in their lives.

Hindsight is 20/20, and we really shouldn't look back, because that is not where we are going.  It is all about the journey, and feeling good.  The results are the perks of the sport.

Interested in learning a little about weight-lifting?  I did some light research (for the ladies) if you want to do some reading.  Tweet: Lifting weights has many benefits.  Check out these links that I left for you:
 More weight-lifting exercises
I'm no expert, so of course if you are new to this, be sure to take precautionary measures, wear proper gear, speak with your doctor, etc.

I'm constantly reading and learning about fitness, and there is quite a bit out there to guide you, but you also have to be careful.  Some information out there should be taken with a grain of salt, especially with what people have to say.  It's good to get onto those forums, and read the comments, and formulate your own opinion.  It's always a good idea to verify information with the experts too.

Happy lifting!
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11 October 2014

Photography Newb

Among all of the other things I'm trying to accomplish in my life (school, my fitness journey, salvaging my sanity) I am also diving into photography.  Right now, I'm just doing it to gain experience, and it's very exciting.  My dear friend Maddy drove all the way up from Florida to photograph a wedding, and she did me a huge favor by allowing me to shadow her!
It all went down last Saturday.  (I'm a little slow in getting this post out.)  My friend came in from out of town and we spent some time together.  Actually, a LOT of time together.  Maddy is an awesome chick all around, but she was sharing her awesome photography skills with me.  It was nothing short of an amazing experience to watch her work and to work beside her. 

We were there for roughly 9 hours, on our feet, standing on benches and chairs, on our knees, just shy of laying down on the ground... All for the chance to get those perfect shots.  I can't wait to see how these pictures turned out!

So much was to be learned from her.  She taught me some tricks about my own equipment that I didn't know.  And she also taught me how to compose a scene for great shots.

Some things I learned aside from what she had told me:
1: Pack more food!  You may not get a chance to sit and eat a meal, so it's important to pack nutritious snacks to quickly devour.
2.  Buy additional batteries and a couple of memory cards bigger than 2G.
3.  Invest in a soft light flash!  Borrowing hers made such a difference in my photos.
4.  Prepare for the weather. We shot near the ocean, and it got cold that night.  Brrr!
5.  Improvise when all else fails!

I am excited to gain more experience shooting photos.  I think the biggest thing I need to have is confidence.  On Saturday, I became more comfortable, and had more fun with shooting.  Confidence came with it.  Baby steps!

Speaking of fear, there was a snake on the pier where I stood to take photos of the party!!!  Scary right?  It was a water moccasin; I'm sure of it!  Eeeek!!!
I'll be flooding this blog with some cool pics (other than ones of snakes) over the next few weeks or even months.  You have been warned! 
 Hope you all have a great weekend!! 
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29 September 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons, Work Out At Home

Hey everyone!  I should probably recap for you a bit.  

School is happening full-time, so it's a little difficult to maintain regularity around the blog.  Turns me into a sad panda when I can't write posts.  Do you know what happens when your mind fills up with great post ideas and they have nowhere to go?  Terrible things. 

School pretty much takes up all of my free time.  I am only able to sneak away now because I completed one of my classes today and I'm treating myself to leisurely computer time.

You will probably have no issue believing me when I tell you this, but I have changed my major. 
For the second time.  
This semester. 

Hey, I'm allowed to change my mind right?  Haha!  You wouldn't believe this, but it is extremely hard to pick what I want to be when I grow up.  This is it though, I promise.

Anyway, I have been fairly active for an impressive month and a half in the gym.  From previous posts, you may remember that I was not always able to make it into the gym regularly.  Last week was one of those times as where I had to forget about the gym.  Sick kids, you know how that goes.

I say "When life gives you lemons...go and find your own workout to do at home!"  That figure of speech is hardly fitting, but who cares; I made some damn lemonade. 
L, reading "The Box" magazine
When I have sick kids and I am feeling a little under the weather myself, I don't want to skip out on a workout.  At least not if I can help it.  Of course, if I'm sweating out a fever, stuffed up, and unable to keep food down...you get the idea.  Otherwise, I am getting my workout in on schedule.


Arms  with XHIT
Total Body with Millionaire Hoy
I have tried a lot of videos out there to see what I like and what works for me.  I am pretty happy with these two people so far (I even subscribed).  My entire body was putting in some work, and sweating out this cold, haha!  Talk about being sore afterwards! 

So I've been doing some serious thinking about starting a second blog, on Fitness and my personal journey.  I'm not sure how much more time this might take up or if it is even doable at this point with all that I have on my plate.  Some may think I'm crazy, but I like to be busy.  Plus I don't want to flood this blog with all of my fitness posts and food porn.

What are your thoughts?  Do you maintain more than one blog?

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28 September 2014

Shave Time Shave Money


*No products or monetary compensation were received for the making of this post.  Additionally, I am not in any way affiliated with the product I am about to review.  All opinions are my own based on my personal experience.
I will admit, wearing this Superwoman cape can get a little time-consuming, especially if I have to take care of everything from being a full-time student to meal prepping, flexing at the gym and being a mom.  And there are other things that I actually LIKE to do.

Fantasize about what I want to be when I grow up.  Hee hee... (that never gets old)

Wanna know how I do it?  I count every minute and make every minute count.  I have to SHAVE the TIME I spend on those mundane tasks so that I can have fun.

How exactly do I SHAVE TIME so that I can fantasize my day away?

Make homemade pizza dough and sauce ahead of time for Friday movie and pizza nights

Take night classes

Cut the cord on cable

Go to the gym in the morning ASAP.

Cook double the recipe for leftovers later.

I've even been known to blog while I'm doubling that recipe. :-) 
Psst!  I'm doing it right now!
The most beneficial way for me to SHAVE TIME and money for my family is to shop on-line. (I shop in my bathrobe!)   I really don't like taking all of the kids to the store to hunt down all of the good deals.  I don't have much time to properly plan out trips around sales these days, either.  

That's why the Dollar Shave Club will be another great way for us to SHAVE TIME and SHAVE MONEY on-line.  You pay one seriously low monthly fee (we're talking $1, $6, or $9!) and you get razor blades delivered to your door every month!  If you don't like it then you don't pay, and you get a refund with no questions asked.
Sounds like a great deal to me!  Big D and I already looked into this club and we are ready to join.

How do you SHAVE TIME and MONEY?
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