Tuesday, February 09, 2016

5 Things to Avoid When Trying to Lose Weight

Losing weight ain't no joke and it definitely isn't for the faint of heart. It's hard, it's tedious, and unfortunately, easy to derail with bad decisions. I've been contemplating the things that I try to avoid, the things that can influence me to make bad decisions when it comes to what I put in my mouth.(Note: Some of these may be a bit tongue in cheek.)

1. Those cute little signs that say "eat."

They're everywhere. In magazines, on Pinterest, blogs. I don't know why, but every time I've seen one of those "eat" signs or letters spelling it out, I've retracted from it like it was the bubonic plague. That's my gut-level reaction to them. I don't need a reminder to eat hanging in my kitchen. I just don't. I do quite well with that all on my own. Ya'll can keep your cute sign. I prefer not to hang subliminal messages on my kitchen wall.

2. The Food Network

Who doesn't like to watch The Food Network and find a new dish to try? Too bad that most of the dishes are hardly ones allowed on a diet. I just have to turn the channel. 

3. In particular, The Pioneer Woman

I love the Pioneer Woman. Love her! But, I can't watch her show without wanting to cook one of her dishes for supper. And they aren't diet approved, either. I don't know how she and her family aren't big as houses. I just have to turn the channel. It's torture to keep watching while dieting.

4. Going to a party hungry

Yep. This is definitely a way to derail all of your hard work. For example, this past Sunday night after church, my Sunday school class watched the Superbowl together. And there was food. Lots and lots of food with lots and lots of carbs. Yes, I baked a batch of maple bacon cookies to take with no plans of eating any myself, but I also brought a veggie tray and hummus for healthier snacking. Anyway, I literally had anxiety about walking in and facing all of that food. There was pizza (I love pizza), various dips with chips and crackers, and tons of deserts. Ugh!!! I'm so glad I wasn't starving when I walked in because all of my self-control would've flown out the window. I was able to eat fruit, veggies, hummus, salad (many thanks the blessed soul who brought the salad), and a chicken dip without any of the crackers or chips. Not terrible for a Super Bowl party. I had one bite-size cookie for desert. (Literally one bite). 

5. Grocery shopping while hungry

Going shopping while hungry is a definite no-no. Your cart will go from looking like this....

....to this. For real. True story. When I know that I'll be shopping for a while, I always try to take a bottle of water and a diet-approved snack with me to keep from becoming ravenous. If not, my shopping cart reflects my body's longing for carbs. 

Do you have any other things you try to avoid while trying to eat healthy? I'm sure it's different for everyone. I'd love to hear from you! 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Playroom Table Makeover

There's nothing like finding a piece of furniture that is less than desirable and bringing it back to life with a little paint and TLC. I found this small round table for a client's playroom at a local flea market. It was at an affordable price point and was the perfect size and shape for the room. We decided to go for it, knowing that I could transform it into a fun piece for the space.

I started with an older laminate table that had seen better days. Nothing a little elbow grease and paint can't remedy. I cleaned it up and painted it with Waverly Chalk Paint in Plaster. (Ya'll pay no mind to my much used drop cloth.)

Once it was painted and dried, I added painter's tape in geometric shapes so that I could put a fun design on the top of the table.

To seal the tape and to make sure we have nice, crisp lines, I painted the edges with the same chalk paint and let dry completely before moving forward.

This is after only one coat of paint. I chose colors that we were using in other areas of the room, making sure the gray was the main color and then adding the pops of color. The gray was Southern Belle Chalk Paint. It was the first time that I'd used that brand and I really liked the coverage and the color saturation. The other colors were just latex craft paint. After a second coat and time to fully dry, I removed the painter's tape and sealed with a clear wax.

I'll be sharing the finished product soon so be sure to stop back by and follow along on Facebook and Instagram for post updates.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I Karate Chopped a Cake

Yes, I karate chopped a cake. Yes, it was completely cathartic and I'd recommend it to anyone. No, I didn't have a psychotic break.

I guess I should back up and explain myself. Recently, I bought a small cake for an occasion and we ended up not needing it and it just sat in the refrigerator. Actually, it was in our extra refrigerator that we use for stocking up and for larger items that I can't fit inside our kitchen fridge. I had cases of water in that refrigerator and every time I would open the door to get a bottle, the cake would mock me, taunt me even. I'm not sure why I didn't just throw it away then and there, but I didn't. Instead, I kept thinking, Stupid cake. I just want to punch you in the face! I know, I know. That's probably not a normal reaction, but it was my true reaction.

Once again, let me explain myself. Sweets are my weakness. Sweets and bread. Those are the two things that I absolutely do not need in large quantities in my body. Me and sweets, we just don't mesh well. We are natural enemies because once I meet a sweet, it never wants to leave me. It clings to my thighs and legs and arms with a vengeance and it takes an act of God to shake it. Some people are very carb tolerant, able to eat bread, potatoes, and cake without it negatively affecting their weight or health. And some people are carb keepers, where every carb that passes the lips goes straight to the hips. I am one of the latter.

Last week, I wrote about my one word for 2016: Overcome. I didn't get specific about what exactly it is that I need to overcome, but if you've been reading Cultivate Create for a while, you probably could guess I was talking about my battle with my weight. I'm not going to get into my long battle today, but I'll link my first post that I opened up about my weight HERE in case you haven't read it. At any rate, I'm ready to be an overcomer in this area of my life. It's something that is so much bigger than a number on the scale. It's not a vanity thing for me. It's not about simply wanting to fit into a swimsuit to wear to the beach. This is about regaining my life, my health! This struggle affects every area of my life from my relationship with God, my husband, friends and family to just my mental and emotional health. It is a mental, emotional, and spiritual battle that I fight every day. And in the past few months, I've had setbacks and I've gained weight back that I'd lost in the last couple of years. And I gained it back fast!

I am getting back on track and as of yesterday, I've lost twelve pounds of the weight I'd gained back. That's a good first step. I've been doing a low carb, high protein diet and it's working for me. I'm telling you, me and carbs just don't get along. But more on that later. Let's talk about karate chopping a cake.

That cake that was mocking me from inside of my refrigerator got what was coming to it. I'd had enough of being ruled by food. Had enough of the temptation and the mental battle. So, I decided to do something about it. It wasn't just to silence a taunting voice, it was visible picture that I could always remember. A physical act that could remind me that I can overcome. I removed that cake from my fridge, placed in on the table on my back patio and karate chopped it in its face! Take that, cake! Take that, carbs! You can't control me! I tell you what to do, not the other way around. Hi-ya!

Was chopping a cake conventional? Not in the least. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

I couldn't get my video to upload here, so I'm sharing on my Facebook page. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Five Ways to Overcome the Winter Blues

It happens to me every year: the dreaded winter blues. Without fail, it seems I pack away a little cheerfulness with each Christmas ornament I put away. I'm not sure if it's the post-Christmas let down, the fact that January is often dreary if not all out rainy, the colder weather, or a combination of all of these, but they seem to have a big affect on me. And not just me, a lot of friends, too. This year, I don't want to get in as big of a slump as I have in winters past. Here's what I'm doing to move past those winter blues.

1. Take Vitamin D. It sounds simple enough, but as the sunlight wanes in the winter, our bodies crave that vitamin D-producing sunlight. I tend to be deficient in vitamin D anyway, so a little extra never hurt.
2. Go outside. Speaking of sunlight....when the sun actually peeks through, take advantage of it and bask in all of its glory. It sure does beat being holed up inside in a lethargic stupor. It always makes me feel better.
3. Get Moving. Exercise may be the last thing you want to do when your battling the blues, but it really does help to improve mood if you can make yourself. I've been making myself go walking even when I don't feel like. After a bit, I'm more into it and end up being really glad I did.
4. Reach out to a friend. It's easy to stay to yourself, choosing to be a loner when the blues set in. But, pushing yourself out of that into a social setting can help combat it. If it's just going to lunch, exercising together, or catching up, make an effort to get yourself out of isolation. 

5. Plan a gathering or outing. Sometimes having something to look forward to and something to occupy your hands and/or mind helps to get out of a slump. Also, this helps get you out of the loner mode as well.

So far, I think doing these things is helping me not feel so blah! We'll see how it goes as winter continues. Do you deal with the winter blues? Are there some ways you've learned to cope and move past it? I'd love to hear! Leave a comment below!

Friday, January 15, 2016

One Word 2016

I'm a little late coming up with my One Word for 2016, but I suppose that it's better late than never. I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions, but I wanted to choose a word to focus on throughout the year. Just one word that I can reflect on each day that sums up how I want to live my life for the next 365 days (and longer). (If you aren't familiar with the #oneword365 movement, you can find out more and join HERE.)

It didn't take long for me to settle on a word, the perfect word for 2016. As I reflected on my life, took a long, hard look at 2015,  it was more than obvious what word would be appropriate for me:

Overcome. OVERCOME. OVERCOME! OVERCOME!!!  I am so ready to overcome my struggles, some that I've been wrestling with for a very, very long time. We all have things in our lives that set us back, things that cause us to stumble over and over. These are the thorns in our flesh, the ever-present obstacles that trip us up repeatedly. You let your guard down for a moment, and there they are there to take you out.

I realized after looking back on 2015, that I've hit a wall. I've let my struggles control me, OWN me. And I'm so exhausted and sick of it! I'm tired of the constant tug-of-war! I know I'm being vague about exactly what that is for me, but I'll get into that specifically at a later date. But, now that I've hit a wall, I'm not just going to sit there and stare at it. I'm ready to find a way over it, around it, under it, or through it. I want to overcome.

What does it mean to be an overcomer?

"Overcomers are followers of Christ who successfully resist the power and temptation of the world’s system. An overcomer is not sinless, but holds fast to faith in Christ until the end. He does not turn away when times get difficult or become an apostate. Overcoming requires complete dependence upon God for direction, purpose, fulfillment, and strength to follow His plan for our lives (Proverbs 3:5–62 Corinthians 12:9).

The Greek word most often translated “overcomer” stems from the word nike which, according to Strong’s Concordance, means “to carry off the victory. The verb implies a battle.” The Bible teaches Christians to recognize that the world is a battleground, not a playground. God does not leave us defenseless. Ephesians 6:11–17 describes the armor of the Lord available to all believers. Scattered throughout this narrative is the admonition to “stand firm.” " Source

I know that being an overcomer is not going to be easy. It involves a fight, an all-out battle. It takes perseverance when times get tough. It takes consistency and steadfastness. It takes grit, and gumption. And it takes a complete reliance on the Lord for strength and guidance. It's not a one and done thing. It's a life-long thing.

I know that what I need to overcome and what you may need to overcome are probably totally different things, but I do hope that for you and me that 2016 is a year of overcoming!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Benefits of a Neutral Base Color Palette

Happy Monday, everyone! I've been in the process of packing up all of my Christmas decorations, and I thought while my living room is devoid of any color, I'd show you the benefit of working with a neutral color palette. I love to be able to change things up as the seasons change, and having neutral furniture and walls allows me to do that.  I wanted to show you what the neutral base looks like before I add personality and depth back into the room.

Below, the three pictures show the difference it makes just to change out some accessories. The first photo is just the neutral base, without any  pops of color or added textures. Just bare bones. The second is my fall living room, and the third was during Christmas. Each look so different, but it was very easy and inexpensive to achieve because all I had to change out were accessories.

Christmas Living Room:

I added Christmas throw pillows, changed out accessories like books and photos in order to get a different look for Christmas. I wanted the room to feel cozy and homey so using different textures in the room helped to do that.

On our entertainment center, I used lots of reds with books and boxes. I framed Christmas photos and free printables, and even let our Christmas movies act as decor in the wire baskets. I change items out in this fashion each season and it helps pull the room together.

Now that Christmas is over, all I have to do is swap out the large chalkboard print for one that will work for everyday or another season.

Here is a closer photo of our entertainment center so you can see better how I used little pops of reds in order to pull all of the color together.

Fall Living Room:

For fall, it was simple to change out the throw blanket, pillows, and accessories to completely change the look of the room.

Neutral Living Room:

And here the room is after I've taken all of the Christmas out, but haven't added anything back in yet. Very blah and very boring right now. But all I'll have to do is add in some pops of color and different textures to make the room feel cozy again.

I love being able to completely change the look and feel of the room throughout the year, so having such a neutral base works really well for me. I can't wait to show you guys after I give this room some personality again, and I hope this helps you in your own space when debating possible neutral walls/furniture.

***By the way, don't forget to go HERE and enter to win the Digital Design Board giveaway!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Design Board Giveaway

Hi, guys! Happy Thursday to you. (So glad it's one day closer to the weekend, aren't you?) Yesterday, Cultivate Create hit over 1,000 likes on the Facebook page. To say thank you, I'm giving away a free digital design board for a room of your choosing! Take a look at some design boards that I've done previously:

Colorful Playroom

A digital design board is a total room design completed with your budget and needs in mind. Along with the board, you'll receive a complete list of furniture, paint colors, and accessories with current prices and where to purchase the items. The awesome thing about digital design boards is that it's a fraction of the cost of hiring an on-site designer, and it gives you the freedom of completing your design at your pace as your time and budget allow. Enter below to win your own, or email me at cultivatecreate@yahoo.com for more information. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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