Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One More Before it's 2014

I really cannot believe that today is the very last day of 2013.  Where did the time go?  This year has really flown by!  

I wasn't going to post again until tomorrow, but I wanted to share one last time in 2013.  

On Christmas Eve, we had lunch at my house with my mom and brother and sister-in-law and nephew, Tripp.  I got a cool new chalkboard and I had to doodle on it right away.  I found some chalkboard art on Pinterest and just eyeballed it to create this message for Christmas morning.  I love the new chalkboard! (Thanks, Will!)

Before the girls went to bed, we went out to our front yard and they fed Santa's reindeer some reindeer food we made (oats and glitter).  No, that isn't snow.  I just happened to snap the picture just as they threw a handful of reindeer food in the air.  

Katlyn and Ashlyn left cookies for Santa and I found this letter beside the plate. How cute is that?  Did Katlyn get her signature?  You bet she did!

After my kiddos got in the bed, I got busy setting our breakfast table for our traditional Christmas morning breakfast.  My husband loves a hearty breakfast, so that is the main meal I cook on Christmas day.  

I wanted the table to be a little festive and surprise the girls.  Plus, having it all set and the serving dishes in place the night before helped to not have so much to do Christmas morning. The tablecloth is actually a curtain panel from Target.  I tied the navy blue napkins (that match my curtains) with gold, lacey ribbon and a flat lime green ornament.  I then scattered ornaments around the table.

(Yep, I really need to get a bigger rug for this area.  But I got that one for $7.50 on the day after Christmas last year from Target.  It'll do for the meantime.)

After opening presents, I got busy cooking!  Hubby loves a traditional southern breakfast so that's what he got.  Sausage, bacon, eggs, cheese grits, homemade biscuits, apple slices, and chocolate gravy.  

What?  You've never heard of chocolate gravy?  Well, I nevuh! It is a travesty if you haven't put this delicacy in your mouth.  Both of my grandmothers and mom cooked it for us growing up. Now, I only cook it on special occasions.  It has become our Christmas tradition. My family loves it!  It's easy!

Chocolate Gravy
In a saucepan, put 1 cup of sugar, two heaping tablespoons of cocoa, and just enough milk to wet it and stir.  (Don't know exact measurement of milk.  I just wing it.)  I like my chocolate gravy thick, so I don't add as much milk.  Start with a little and you can always add more milk, but once you've added too much, you can't change the runny consistently.  

Okay, so stir those together on medium heat. Don't get in a hurry and put it on high.  It will make your sauce gritty.  Be patient and let it come to a rolling boil slowly.  Once it has come to a boil, it is done.  Put on low heat to keep it from hardening.  

Then, drizzle over biscuits!  It is amazing!

All the running around and eating has tired my kiddos out!  Man, I wish I could sleep like Ash!  

Hope you all get rested up this week and have a happy new year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Cultivate Create to you and your family! 

I am taking a little time to spend with family and will be back on Wednesday, Januaray 1st with the first Weigh-In Wednesday of 2014.    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Post-Workout Meltdown

A couple nights ago,  I attended a Boot Camp fitness class for the first time.  I really didn't know what to expect.  Shortly after the class began, I heard the instructor say we'd be doing 1600 reps of exercises to begin with. 

Wait, what?  Did she just say 1600? 

She had a list of exercises for us all to complete, fifty reps at a time.  Everyone kind of works at their own pace until they have completed all the reps.  For example,  some of the exercises were knee to elbow crunches, mountain climbers, push ups, scissor kicks, fire hydrants,  squats, lunges, and the list goes on.  You complete your fifty reps and then move on to the next exercise. 

Let me just say, some of those exercises were extremely difficult for me to do.  I hadn't done a lot of them in years, and others I had never tried at all.  I was struggling.  But I pushed through and finished to the best of my ability.  

But I was the last one finished.  I don't get easily embarrassed, but for some reason that night, it just hit me in the gut.  Whether it was unfounded or not, I was disappointed in myself.  I got mad at myself.  (Yeah, and all this after I had just posted on Wednesday about having a positive attitude in group fitness classes.)

For the first time since I have started this journey, I was just plain ticked off at what I had allowed my body to become.   Angry at myself for being complacent for so long.   Embarrassed that I couldn't keep up when once upon a time I could have.  Frustrated that no one else looks at me and sees an athlete inside when I know she's there waiting to get out. 

After that, we did some more exercises.  Then, when class was over, I got in my car and had a little pity party meltdown and cried on the way home.  Then cried on my husband's shoulder when I got there.   

He quoted what I wrote Wednesday right back to me, "All that matters is that you're doing it."

I am so glad he can help me put things into perspective.  Now, two days post workout, I can look at everything objectively.  All that matters is that I was there.  And I worked out hard as I could.  And I'm making steps in the right direction little by little. 

In August with my nephew, Tripp, and daughter, Ashlyn.  BEFORE the start of my weight-loss journey. 

This week with my new nephew, Liam.

I wasn't going to post any "progress" pictures until I had hit the 30 pound mark, but I thought reminding myself how far I've come was encouragement and good incentive to keep going. In the two pictures above, I see huge changes already.  Down a pants size and 23 pounds.  

Today, I think the only things on my body that aren't sore are the bottoms of my feet and my face.  It took some effort to get out of bed and I've been shuffling around here, working out the stiffness.  

Jared asked me if I need a cane. That made me laugh.  It hurts to laugh. 

But, I will take the soreness as a badge of honor.  And when I go back to the class, maybe I will earn another badge. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Home Tour 2013

I am so excited to finally give you guys a little tour of my home all decked out for Christmas! There are a lot of pictures, so I'm not going to do a lot of talking. I will only interject the main decor elements of each space.  Enjoy!

Side Entry

*Fresh evergreen swag hung above large frame that holds this year's Christmas cards.
  Christmas countdown (dollar aisle at Target)
  Homemade ornament wreath made from vintage and new ornaments


*Large reclaimed wood star adorned with LED lights

Formal Dining Room

*Vintage Whimsy Tree (more details here)
  DIY Marshmallow bits fillable ornament
  Whitewashed mirror with felt ornament garland
  Joy to the World vignette


*DIY Waterless Snow Globe (more details here)
  Fresh Evergreen swag above mirror
  Glittery gold trees
  Three small trees holding Christmas cards from years past and fresh Magnolia wreath       

Living Room

*Glittery Gold Christmas Tree (more details here)
  Coordinating gift wrap: Silver faux bois, gold leaves, white. Names written with paint pen.
  DIY Gold ornament
  Fresh Greenery garland on Entertainment Center
  Stockings hung on ladder
  View of chevron wall (more details here)
  Plate wall 


*DIY Evergreen Christmas swags (more detail here)
  Fresh greenery wreath on front door
  Lighted topiaries

I hope you enjoyed!  That is all I finished this year and at this point, I'm not doing any more.  
I truly hope you and your family will be blessed this Christmas and in the new year! 

Joy to the world!  The Lord is come!

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