Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Free printable: Year end (or summer) bubble wraps and tags

Well, I need a printable bag topper for my son's class but couldn't find one small enough to fit the bags I had purchased today at Walmart, so I had to improvise. 

 I found this cute napkin rink wrapper at Amanda's Parties to Go under FREEBIES 
 (super cute stuff; please check out her blog!)...

Amanda's Parties to Go

I used the napkin ring wrapper printable to make a "bag topper":

Summer Birthday? Happy Un-Birthday treat bag

Does your child have a summer birthday?
Celebrate their "Un-Birthday" before school ends!

Here is a super cute idea I found on pinterest:
Source: via Debra on Pinterest

Well, I had just a couple of hours to put together treat bags for my daughter's class (7 kids have summer birthdays so the class is having one big party today at lunch), so printed these up and voila!
(I found the smaller treat bags by Wilton at Walmart, 50 bags, $2.50)

You can find the FREE PRINTABLE here:

Happy Summer y'all!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SuperDad: More Father's Day Ideas and Free printables

The kids and I have decided on a "superhero" or "Super Dad" idea for Father's Day.  Here are some free printables I am using!  I am using a number of different sites and printables to make one big celebration come together!

Printable 1:
Printable 2:

Cute, but not free:

Free Printables (I am only using the water bottle wrappers, page 13):

Superhero Dad Candy Wrapper:

super hero dad big candy bar wrapper - pdf file

More printables (cupcake toppers) Boom! Pow! Pop!:

SuperDad free printable banner:

This last set is for a superhero birthday party, but can be used for Father's Day as well  (I made printable bottle labels with “Pop!”, “Glug!” and “Fizz” on the front):

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ideas for Celebrating Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up in a couple of weeks, and here are a few cute ideas I have found online that can help make your celebration fun and memorable!

FREE PRINTABLE for a great banner:

Great ideas for "Pop" at

I found this key chain tag on and ordered for my hubby:
Keychain - Father's Day - Accessories - Hand Stamped Metal - Father's Day Gift
Keychain - Father's Day - Accessories - Hand Stamped Metal - Father's Day Gift

What man doesn't love dessert!  I found this one on Pinterest and will make "smores on a stick" for our celebration!

Does dad like root beer?  More free printables!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Year End Teacher Gifts

So I found this cute idea on Pinterest and am doing it for my kids' four teachers.  So super easy, and the templates for the straw "flags" can be found online at Lisa Storm's Blog HERE.

Pinned Image

I found the glasses at Target for $4.99 each, and the Crystal Light lemonade packets were on clearance too (score!). 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 17: Brett Hoebel's 30 Day Flat Belly Challenge

I got a good friend of mine started on Brett Hoebel's Flat Belly diet!  She is on Day 2, and I am on Day 17.  We have been exchanging recipes and ways to improve the flavor of foods. 

Turkey Meatballs.  Carmelize onions in olive oil; add some garlic (or garlic powder), pepper, and add to ground turkey!  I also add a raw egg to ground turkey for extra protein.  Cook as you would normal meatballs.  (Not sure if tomatoes are allowed on the flat belly diet, but I did smash one up with my meatballs. My friend dipped hers in hummus for extra flavor).

Margarita Chicken:  Marinate chicken in lime juice, garlic, and black pepper.  Grill chicken and serve on a bed of lettuce.  Add a low-sugar, low-cal dressing! 

Boiled Shrimp: Boil raw shrimp in boiling water with a touh of Cajun seasoning for five minutes.  Peel and eat.  (I love to eat them plain; other times I add to green salad or even an omelette!)

On to another subject, I have really missing "carbs" the past few days.  I had a moment of weakness on Sunday night, and ate a side of mac & cheese at a restaurant.  For two days I kept craving more!!  It took a lot of willpower but I stayed clear of "white flour" products (bread and pasta) and drank lots of extra water!  And, I keep reminding myself, it's only 30 days, and I am more than half way there!!

As for exercise, if you find Brett's workout too challenging, try this one for the first couple of days until you get stronger.  (You Tube:  It's what I had to do.  I feel my stomach muscels getting stonger, but am still doing "modified" exercises.  I know I have a ways to go, and am hoping to lose a couple of inches (not necessarily get a six pack look in 30 days, ha...that would be impossible!)

How are you guys doing?  Any special tricks or recipes you want to share?

Disclaimer: I am not in the medical profession and am not offering medical advice. You must see your own physician to discuss how dieting may affect your health.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 14: Brett Hoebel's 30-Day Flat Belly Challenge

Food: I am sticking to the 10 foods he set out in the guidelines on The Dr. Oz Show.  And drinking lots of LaCroix water and less Coca-Cola. I have added Pure Protein Bars when I need a meal on the go.  Also, Panera Bread's Asian Chicken Salad (without wontons) is a great "fast food" option for me.

This is just a quick update (as I don't have much time to write this week, sorry).  Great news...I am about half way through Brett's 30-day challenge as shown on Dr. Oz two weeks ago, and I have lost 7 pounds already!! (and 1.5 inches in the waist)  WOW, totally shocked. This has been easier than I ever expected.

Exercises: I am doing ab exercises 3 times a week, and treadmill 2 times a week. (I do hope to increase the exercise frequency this week as my schedule allows more time!)

Supplements: I am still taking my CLA supplement and Probiotics.

Overall, it has been "do-able" for me.  I did allow myself a "cheat" night.  I went out with some girlfriends on Wednesday night, and had shrimp raviolo in a lemon/butter sauce and dessert. (But the next day, I was able to resist cake at a party.) I feel if  I follow all the time, I will get burnout.  And I do admit, I have also allowed myself an occasional beer or glass of wine.  

ONE LAST NOTE: Brett Hoebel will be on ABC's The Revolution on Monday, May 21st!  I can't wait to see what else I can learn from him!!


How are you guys doing!?!  I'd love to hear, so please leave me a comments!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Nice Mother's Day

I love my new necklace (from my best friend):

Hubby, the kids and I met our best friends for brunch:


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 7: Brett Hoebel's 30 Day Flat Belly Challenge

I admit it, I LOVECoke.  I am not a coffee drinker, so I drink a coke in the morning.  I usually drink a second one for lunch and sometimes a third in the afternoon.  Sometimes I drink the full-sugar Coke, and other times I reach for a Diet Coke.  But since starting this challenge a week ago, I am proud to say I am down to 1/2-Coke each day!!! (yay me!)
I do miss the carbonation (bubbles!) of Coke, so I have started drinking LaCroix water. (and luckily I found it on sale this week at Publix Grocery stores!)  I especially love the Lime flavored--and my hubby likes the Coconut flavor! 
And wow, it's been a full week for me doing the challenge, and I am proud to say I have lost 3.5 pounds!!! And have gained some energy! 

Now, I will admit, the weekend was hard.  During the week, it's easy for me to follow the diet recommendations, but on the weekend when my kids are home and hubby is off work, it's was tough!!  We can't grab the normal fast food so I had to plan in advance. 
On Friday, I put a couple of chicken breasts in the crock pot and then put them in ziploc bags in the fridge once cooled.  It was easy to eat the chicken plain, or mix it with a little Quinoa or Brown Rice for a quick meal.
So anyone else following the challenge?? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 5: Brett Hoebel's 30-day Flat Belly Challenge

Well, it's Day 5 for me on Brett Hoebel's 30-day challenge, and I am hanging in there!  I am still following the diet and feel pretty good. I am not craving sweets like I expected. 

Day 3:
Breakfast: Natural PB on Brown Rice Cake
Lunch: Ham, Lettuce Tomato on white sub (lunch event, nothing else to eat!)
Dinner:  6 Boiled Shrimp

Day 4:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (1 egg/2whites)
Lunch: Egg Salad on Romaine Lettuce
Dinner:  Seasoned ground turkey patty with sweet potato "fries"

Day 5:
Breakfast:  Natural PB on Brown Rice Cake
Lunch: 9 Boiled shrimp
Snack: Pure Protein Peanut Butter bar
Dinner: (not sure yet!)

I wish I ate nuts but I don't!  It would be the perfect snack (as Brett mentioned) but I have never liked nuts.  So it's hard for me to find a "snack" in the mid-afternoon, so I am filling up on extra water when I get hungry.

Also wanted to note, Brett mentioned using a probiotic straw, but instead I am just taking one probiotic capsule each morning.  And each night, I am taking the Tonalin CLA he suggested. (I am not taking the L-Glutamine he suggested, as I just haven't had time to pick any up.)
(Disclaimer: I am not in the medical field and not offering advice.  I am just telling you what I am doing. You must talk to your own doctor before starting any supplements.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Day 2: Brett Hoebel's 30 day flat belly challenge

I am on Day 2 of the Brett Hoebel 30-day flat belly challenge shown on the Dr. Oz Show. So far, so good.  As I mentioned in my previous posts the 10 foods are pretty easy.  I am not missing the white bread or pasta (yet).  I have been drinking my water and only had 1/2 can of Diet Coke today.

Day 2:
Breakfast: Natural Peanut Butter on Brown Rice Cake
Lunch: (Whole foods buffet) Brown rice and Asian Spicy Chicken
Dinner: Sweet potatoes with cinnamon and a Ground Turkey Meat patty (added dried onion,
garlic powder, and pepper)

Day 1:
Breakfast: None (due to a medical test)
Lunch: Chicken breast (prepared in a little broth in lemon in crock pot)
Dinner: Scrambled egg (2 whites/1 full egg) with 5 boiled shrimp

As for exercise, I start that part tomorrow.  Due to a colonoscopy yesterday (ugh!), I was not able to work out for two days, but I will start that part tomorrow! I haven't been on the treadmill in 5 months which is sad considering I have one in my home!  So I will do treadmill and Brett's abcentrics tomorrow. 

Anyone else doing Brett's 30 day challenge!?  If you are not, join me!

It's Children's Book Week! (May 7th - 13th)

My new favorite holiday – Children’s Book Week!

What’s the best time for to learn the love of reading?  Better World Books agrees with me -- the sooner the better.  That’s why I wanted to spread the word about Children’s Book Week, the national celebration of reading for youth that kicks off May 7th.

The observance (administered by Every Child A Reader and sponsored by the Children’s Book Council) honors the life-changing potential of a book, especially during a young person’s formative years. 

Here are a few ways to celebrate for Children’s Book Week (and all year long!):

  • Pick out one of your (or one of your parents’) favorite books from childhood and introduce it to your kid at bedtime. 
  • Buy a book from a local book store, or consider online shopping at  With every book purchased, they donate a book to someone who needs it.  The vast majority of donations goes to Books for Africa and Feed the Children.
  • Spend some time at your local library.  Even a few minutes here and there in our busy schedule will help instill a lifelong love of books.
  • Pen your own children’s book to read to your kids.  Have them also write their own to read to you, too!
  • Pick out 5 books, either from your own collection or from a book store, to donate to literacy campaigns throughout the world (Better World Books is a great example of one such outlet.)
Children’s Book Week kicks off on May 7th, and ends on the 13th.  So get reading!!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Shopping for an inexpensive, one piece swimsuit

I have been looking for a new bathing suit and am surprised at the prices.  Everyone I really like is priced $100 to $150.  Absolutely ridiculous.  My budget is under $50.  I have been searching high and low online, and here are a few that I am considering.  What do you think?...

Really love this one from JCP in Cobalt Blue ($42):
a.n.a® Twist-Front Bandeau One-Piece Swimsuit

Also from JCP, I love the shirred look ($42):
a.n.a® Shirred One-Piece Swimsuit

From LandsEnd ($24.97 closeout price):

This Nike suit is sporty and reversible! (, $43.95)

J.crew ruched banded bandeau tank (select colors, $49.99)
Ruched banded bandeau tank

Have you found a suit yet this season??

Did you see Brett Hoebel's 30-day plan on Dr. Oz?

To be honest, I have always held a decent weight. (Not ideal but acceptable.)  There are times when I may weigh as much as 140 and other times I get down to 126 (the extra fat is always in my waist line!), but I don't stress about it much.  I have sizes in my closet from a size 6 to a size 10, and just wear what feels comfortable that day. 

Do I see models in magazines and want to be smaller?  Well, sure!  I mean, don't we all want the 6-pack stomach?  But I have other responsiblities in life and working out was never a priority to me.  And I don't have time to diet.  I have two small kids so mac & cheese with chicken nuggets are a staple in my home (as well as MANY processed snacks and pre-packaged meals!).

But as I "grow old gracefully" (tanslate: hit 40 in November), I want to get my body back in shape.  Wouldn't it be great to look better at 40 than I did at 30!?!  But truly, for me, it's more about looking's about my health!  I want to keep up with my kids and set an example for them. I want to keep my cholestral and blood pressure at healthy rates.

And seeing Brett Hoebel on the Dr. Oz Show on Friday was a huge encouragement for me!  It's a 30-day challenge I WANT to try!  For 30 days, he asks that followers stick to 10 foods, 5 minutes of exercise, and a daily belly self-massage!  THAT IS IT!

Meet Brett

10 foods seems like it would be tough, but I love that I can still have carbs (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice cakes), my favorite proteins (chicken, eggs, and shellfish), and sweet fruits (the anti-bloat mango/pineapple smoothie!)  Brett also wants followers to try five-minutes of abcentric exercises--5 minutes!?! yup I can do that!!  (Now of course, I will probably add in some treadmill time, since I have one at home.) 

I plan to take some "before" pictures, track my weight, and measure my waistline stay tuned friends!  My goal is to start the diet and exercises tomorrow, Monday!!!  Wish me luck, and send me some encouragement!!

(See my updates and follow me here:

Saturday, May 05, 2012

202 day until I hit, I have things to do!

It really seems like yesterday that I graduated college and moved to Florida, but it was actually been over 15 or 16 years.  In my mind, I feel like I am still 20, okay maybe 30.  I am SO not ready to be 40!  We've heard the jokes....

At 40, your idea of weight lifting is standing up.
At 40, you sing along with the elevator music.
At 40, every time you suck in your gut, your ankles swell.
You know your 40 when...Men with comb-overs are starting to seem attractive.

Now don't get wrong, I love my life, and am very happy in general, but the number 40 seems old.  Heck, I remember my parents turning 40! I thought they were so uncool, never in fashion, out of shape and didn't understand our world.  And now that seems to be me!?!

I know the old saying, "40 is only a number"....bullshit.  It's more than a number in my mind. A number I am not ready for yet!!  It means no more babies, more wrinkles, slowing down of the brain, more worrying about retirement, my body not doing what it used to do, etc.  (Yes, I am totally pessimistic).

I also know there is no turning back, so I have to face it and realize it's time to "grow old gracefully".  So for the next 200 days, I am going to try my hardest to change a few things so that when I DO hit 40 in November, I am ready for the next decade of my life.  I plan to really concentrate on eating healthier, getting back on an exercise regime, and most importantly being comfortable with who I am (even if that means a 40-year old middle aged woman, ha!)    It won't be easy and may even fail but I can atleast know that I tried, and that's something I am willing to do!