Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Juicing Journey - Vision

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I started a vision board on Pinterest. A collection of images that represent what some of my goals are in my Juicing Journey. Obviously, some of these will take more than just drinking juice, but, I'm confident that, once I start feeling better on the inside and have more energy, it won't be hard or overwhelming to try and achieve these. Some words from my boot-camp instructor that I will forever say to myself when working out...

 "You're not going to die..."

and when I'm finished pushing myself to the limit...

"Are you still alive?... Yes...more so now, than before..."


1 - my husband. my son. These two men are really the only goals I need. Everything else is superficial.

2 - Arms. For one period in my life, I had toned arms. They were fab. I LOVED wearing tank tops and tube tops... I miss those days.. and I'll have them again.

3 - Balance, flexability, & posture.
I remember thinking the other day, while on the floor playing with my son... "When did I get old? I can barely touch my toes! This is CRAZY!!!"

4 - Hair. Long hair. long enough to do these amazing hair things I see on Pinterest. LOVE it.

5 - Skinny Jeans. lol. I hated skinny jeans and have gotten so frustrated when shopping for pants... and couldn't find the non-skinny jeans. I only hatted them because I couldn't pull them up past my theighs... soon... I will have them.. in many different colors. 

6 - Hair. LONG hair. oops... I think I already mentioned that? oh well. 

7 - No... I don't want to flaunt around in ripped jeans as short as my under wear... I'm a mother and in my 30's...but.. I want the butt that, if for some reason I did want to wear these bad boys... I could. Fair enough? 

8 - Hair, Long Hair, skirts, legs, heels, and possibly the shades too. ;)

9 - 2014 marks me and my man's 10 year wedding anniversary! (wow...) We are planning a trip to a beach somewhere... and I want to wear a dress like this. It could possibly change when I start to see improvements in my legs... it could go shorter. lol.

10 - Legs. I saw a photo of my highschool days when I played Varsity Soccer. My favorite part in weight lifting was leg lifts. My legs were awesome. So, I know I can get them back there again.

11 -  Just kidding. 

12 - I'd LOVE to want to run again. and not hack up a lung while doing it... this photo just reminds me of the freedom you feel when running full speed... barefoot. ;)

13 - Once I get in shape and can actually hit a punching bag without pain... (lol)... I want to hang one up and teach my son to box. 

So, there you have it... a small glimpse into my vision board thus far. Will be adding to it as the months continue on. I truly believe that you have to SEE yourself IN the place where you want to be... your mind has the power to help you or hurt you. Do you have a vision board for areas of your life?

(Cheers! Here's to HAPPY!) - Les

My Juice Journey 2013 - ?

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In the short amount of time since I first decided that I was going to start this journey, I've had a million and a half questions presented by family, friends, and from people who overheard me talking about it (You know you have an interesting topic when a complete stranger interrupts your conversation, looking for more info!)

Here are the top questions and comments I've received and how I address them...

Keep in-mind... I'm no expert on nutrition... 
I'm learning about all of this as I go! 

Q: Why Juicing?
A: The easiest and quickest way to increase my fruit and veggie intake is by consuming fresh fruit and vegetable juices. There is no way I could eat that many veggies or fruits in one sitting. For one, 16 oz glass of one of our recipes, I put in a whole head of broccoli,  two large carrots, two oranges, one large cucumber, and one apple... whew... can you imagine eating all of that for breakfast?!

Q: Leslie, you don't need to loose weight... 
A: Aw... thanks! But, actually, I could benefit from loosing 10-20 lbs according to my BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI is an estimate of body fat and a good gauge of risk factor for diseases that can occur with body fat, for instance, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.

More importantly... for me, It's not just about loosing weight... 

For years, I've tried every face wash, cream, & ointments around to try and clear up my complexion .. I've always wanted to go with little to no make-up... but never thought I could with my skin. I've also tried so many different styles of hair cuts and dyes on my hair, as, it was always too thin and fine to grow long. I'm SO excited to know that with consuming raw fruits and veggies, this should all change.

Q: Isn't buying fresh, organic fruits and veggies going to be expensive?
 Especially if you need a large amount for one 16oz glass?
A: Sure, switching our groceries over to organic fruits and veggies will change our weekly grocery budget, but, I won't be smoking any longer, I won't be buying sodas or Starbucks every morning, and I won't have a HUGE medical bill in my future. I think it's a fair trade. :)

Q: Why 60 days... that's seems a little extreme?

A: The 60 day fast is my own choice. No one said you have to do two months of juicing to see results.... I could easily go 10 days to improve my health. But, I want BIG change. I have BIG goals and I want to push myself to the max. Not to mention, spring is right around the corner. I want to enjoy this spring and summer with my family, to the fullest, so, I want to feel good and have the energy needed to spend our summer running, swimming, playing, hiking, you name it... we're gonna do it. 

Q: Why don't you just cut your calorie intake instead of doing this?
A: I'm not a numbers person. lol. That seems like a lot of work to document what you eat each and every time you eat, how many calories you have left for the day... whew... My husband was doing that for a while and I will be the first to say, grocery shopping is no fun when you constantly have to read the labels (and most of the time, put the food back on the shelf)... it seemed like a chore...why not just juice? I LOVE shopping for fresh produce and piling it high on our kitchen counters. So colorful, so beautiful, puts a smile on my face every time I see our stock.

Q: So, you're trying to detox your body, what about all the pesticides and other chemicals on/in the produce you are juicing?

A: Yes, we thought about all that too... We will do what we can with what we have. For instance, we will buy at our local farmer's market when we can, and hope to start our own garden this summer. Until then, when we buy produce from our local store, we will do our best to clean them and soak them in a natural solution that will help reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins. You can't 100% escape harmful chemicals, but, you CAN help your body protect it's self from them by being as healthy as humanly possible.

Q: What happens after your 60 days?

A: I will not quit juicing, but, after my fast, I will start to introduce whole fruits and veggies into my diet, along with fish, chicken, and on occasion, a pizza. ;) But, the juices we've made so far have been so fantastic, I can't imagine a better breakfast on the go. 

Q: 60 days is a long time.. 
how will you keep yourself going?
A: Well, I have support from my family (who will also be juicing too). I have a vision board that I've created, to look at and remind myself why I want to do this. And, the sweet smile from my son will remind me that I want him to have the best life possible (don't we ALL want that for our kids?) and I can only show him how to live a healthy life by my own actions. I think that is inspiration overload! :D Feeling super blessed. 

All these questions were great and I was so glad that people were not afraid to ask them. I really had to sit and think about why I wanted to make this lifestyle change, why I WASN'T living this way to begin with, and how I can keep my experience positive so that others can be inspired.... This is just skimming the surface and I'm looking forward to writing more about all of these questions individually in the weeks to come and share with you my progress every step of the way. YEAH!

(Cheers! And here's to HAPPY!) - Les

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Juice Journey 2013

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So, if you are friends with me on Facebook .. or in my close circle of friends... you might have noticed my new discovery of juicing. It's not that I had never heard of juicing before... I just never really understood it or felt drawn to it, until I ran across a couple of documentaries on Netflix  Gotta love Netflix  In fact, it hit me personally as I sat on the living room floor, with my son, on Saturday afternoon, chowing down on McDonald's together, as I watched "Hungry for Change"... half way through the film... I heard the words:

"We are not eating food... 
we are eating food-like products"

At that moment, I looked down at my half-eaten burger... and my stomach turned. I then looked over at my son who was cramming 3 french fries in his mouth... and my heart broke. It's a little strange that I've known, all this time, that this type of food wasn't good... but it wasn't until THAT moment... that my ears, my mind, and my heart heard those words... "food-like products".... and it registered.

As soon as "Hungry for Change" was over, I quickly found one of the other films "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" by Joe Cross, and watched it... and that's how I  became interested in learning more about juicing, and ultimately, eating healthy... fixing my body from the inside out.

A couple of days went by. Off and on, I did a little more reading online and with every click of the mouse, I continued to receive affirmation that I needed to do something. I wasn't fat or sick (according to my appearances) but, I was far from being healthy. And if I didn't do something, it would only get worse. Not to mention, I was leading my son down a bad path to poor nutrition.

The following Saturday, I watched the Joe Cross film with my husband... and then with my mother. I wanted them to see what I saw, only because I wanted them to understand my need and want for such a life style change. My family would have to be on board, or at least supportive. And they were. So much so, everyone was ready to jump on the juicing train (don't you love it when that happens?!?! Another affirmation that I was headed in the right direction)! Although, they all looked at my a little crazy when I told them that I was going to do the 60-day fast.

I have set my date as Monday, February 4th, 2013 as my start date. My goal is to drink only juice, made  (at home) from fresh fruits and veggies, for 60 days. Before my juicing journey starts, I wanted to blog about it, explain it a little more, pin-point the areas of my body that will benefit from this method of detox, and document a "before lifestyle" that will dramatically be changed in the following months.

I'm super excited, nervous, and confident at the same time. I invite you to join me if you'd like. Or just follow along! If anything else, I hope this inspires you to make good choices for yourself and your loved ones too!

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of juicing, I found these websites and blogs to be VERY helpful!

(Cheers! and here's to HAPPY!) - Les

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Share the Love

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 So, just for fun, I designed a fun facebook profile today, letting the ones who see me... know that I love em. Next thing I know, My friend tags me in her newly created profile pic, done in the same style. Love inspiring people. And then reading through the comments on her photo, a see that one of her friends wants to do the same! Sweeet...

Viral or not, lol, just thought I'd share with you how to do this, quickly and easily, just in case you too, want to share the love. :)

Step one, take a photo of yourself flashing an L sign. I opened my photo in Pic Monkey for editing and adding text.

 First things first, be sure to flip your photo by clicking on the rotate button.

Second, use a mixture of the fun filters in Pic Monkeys line up. 
I use several different ones at different levels. Fun stuff. Now it's time to add text.

There are so many different fonts to choose from! 
You can see the settings I used to create my white see-through letters.

Finally, add a fun border... and you're done! Upload to your profile pic and share the love! I also saved mine on my phone so that I could send it through texting as a love note to friends and family from time to time. 

Enjoy! If you decide to do this, Please post a link in the comments to your creation! Would love to see!
(hugs) - Leslie

Monday, January 7, 2013

The "Old Dresser" Makeover Project

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So, one of my goals for 2013 is to get my house ORGANIZED. Not just tidy, in order, or labeled... I mean, throw out what isn't being used (um.. I mean, give away or sell), pin-pointing the things we ARE using and figuring out a better way of organizing those items to make our life easier. I also wanted to follow along with some bloggers who are doing the same.

Week 2 - The Kitchen. 

So, here we go.

Pinterest Idea
I saw this lovely creation on Pinterest several months ago and fell in love with the idea. We had a kitchen island already, but, it had a cabinet below and not drawers. I knew we had an old dresser in our storage room that was my husbands while he was growing up, solid wood, and four drawers. It would be perfect for this project. So glad I didn't pitch it or give it away in our last garage sale!

Our Old Dresser
Before I started painting and adding accessories, I wanted to make sure that each drawer would be organized to the max with items that just didn't fit in our main kitchen cabinets and drawers. These items included:

Drawer 1 - Cutlery & Sharp tools

With our little boy learning to be more independent every day, I wanted to keep our knifes and sharp Kitchen tools away from our every day utensils  He just loves to help himself and get his own spoons and forks for his meals, so, I wanted to provide him free access to those items and store our cutlery in a place that he wouldn't be getting into daily. The top drawer of this island would be perfect. I started to organize the tools by type and by use and weeded out extras and unused items. And later found trays that would keep them sorted.

Drawer 2 - Paper, Wraps, & Bags (oh! And clips too)

This, is by far, my favorite drawer... I was so excited to finally have a place to store these items together. Before, the freezer paper box was so long, it didn't fit in our regular kitchen drawers, so, it lived in the pantry. our foil and cling wrap was crammed in a drawer with our zip lock bags, along with dish scrubbing tools, rubber jar openers, and other random kitchen things that didn't have a home. Now, they all live together... happily ever after... so to say. And you see that little square opening? yes... I found a little box and have now stored our chip clips there. Perfect.

Drawer 3 - The odd pans out

I've always had a love-hate relationship with these guys... You have to have them... but... where do you keep them? They've moved all over my kitchen as I tried to find permanent places for them to live... but.. they always created drama for the nice flat cookie sheets. Not any more. Can you believe that I have a total of 16 pans in this drawer?!?! It's a beautiful thing. I also plan to install rubber shelf sheets in the bottom of this drawer, that way, they don't slide around and make a lot of noise. Oh... you odd pans... always creating a ruckus.

Drawer 4 - Party Supplies

Last, but certainly not least, the extra party supplies... and by the looks of this drawer... we are party animals... well, not really. The problem is, the extra napkins, plastic forks and spoons, and bright color bowls  after a party, seem to disappear. they get tucked away somewhere, only to show their face again, after I just purchased a new packet of them.. because I couldn't find the leftovers. LOL. Well, I now have a go to place to look for supplies before heading to the party store for our next big event. I also have to share that my son has grown to LOVE stacking cups... he now has easy access to the plastic cups and can pull them out whenever his heart desires.

Now that I knew exactly how the inside was going to be used, it was time to add accessories to the outside.

I found a bamboo paper towel holder that fit just right. YES! This meant I would now free my counter top of paper towels! I also found some small hooks for the other side that could hold items we use on a daily basis.. more of that after we talk about paint. I decided to paint the cabinet the same color of my Kitchen walls... a soft creamy yellow. I also wanted to dress it up a little and paint a faint design on the front of the dresser drawers.

Painting and making it pretty:

I primed and painted the whole dresser and as I waited for the dresser body to dry, I used a stencil from Martha Stewart and rolled a pretty design on the drawer fronts. I didn't wanted it to be subtle, so, I just added a small amount of creamy white acrylic paint to the yellow paint and mixed it together as I rolled over the stencil. Some areas of the design are whiter than others and I love it. I found some beautiful colored ceramic knobs at Hobby Lobby to decorate the drawers. Nice touch... don't you think?

Now that the body of the dresser was dry, I added hooks to hang the items we use daily for easy access. They also add that final touch that says "I'm no longer an old dresser! I'm now a fabulous and functional kitchen beauty!" :) At this point I think.. if this dresser could smile... it would have. Now, it was time for the finishing touch that would make this the best piece of kitchen furniture a mom could ask for... a chalk board for the toddler. The back side of the dresser was the perfect spot too, as, it was nice a flat and could be pushed up against a wall when not in use. I plan to finish it up with a little trim around the edges and a chalk tray at the bottom. But my little man couldn't wait to start using it. :) Happy toddler, happy mom.

Finishing touches
Well, I have a feeling I'll be tweaking this dresser every so often, as with life, everything changes. We still want to attach wheels to make it mobile and I would LOVE to find a beautiful piece of granite for the top... I'm glad I was able to get this far in one weekend. Hope this project is an inspiration to you too!
Happy Organizing!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another New Beginning - Welcome 2013!

Pin It Welcome to 2013. Some folks thought we wouldn't even see this day. Some believe we are on the verge of a new awakening... a higher state of being. Me, I'm just thankful for another day, a new day, to start fresh and try again. Resolutions? Well... maybe, but this year, I've decided to drop the "re" portion, and just call them Solutions. Solutions to what didn't work last year. I've narrowed it down to seven areas in my life that are MOST important to me and will focus on those areas ALONE. It's gonna be rough, as, I'm the type of person who sees opportunity in anything and I want to help and participate in everything. I will have to say "No, but thank you" to a lot... and it will be difficult. But saying "yes" to everything has proven to not only be stressful, but, also noneffective.  I can't give 100% to 100 things at one time. I CAN give 100% to seven things though, when they are divided up and scheduled. So, here we go... here are my seven:

1 - My relationship with Christ. Yep, this is number one. It hasn't been in a long time (maybe ever?). This doesn't mean signing up for the volunteer list at church, or, making sure our shirts are pressed before we walk out the door for Sunday service (even though, both of those are wonderful). This means my PERSONAL relationship with my creator. Not a public display of obedience, rather, a private session of reconnecting.

2  - My relationship with my Husband. Somehow, this area had been pushed down on the list to a number I don't wish to share... and I'm sure this happens in every marriage. With work, chores, children, bills, obligations... it's so easy to just assume the other person is still on board and rolling right along with you. But that's NEVER the case. I don't know a single couple that has survived on this type of "Hi, Bye" connection. I can't imagine our life apart and don't care to even fathom it. So, we will be working hard, together, to stay connected and in tune.

3 - Myself. What???? Am I putting myself before my child??? Yes... I struggled with this one too. To be honest, I struggled with #2 & #3 too.. .which goes first? And to be honest, every life  and family is different. I've realized over the years that if I put every one's needs ahead of my own... I'll never take care of myself. And if I don't take care of myself, how can I effectively take care of the ones I love. You've heard the announcement every time you get on an airplane, "put YOUR airbag on first and then assist others". It's so true in every aspect of life. Only, in my situation, I feel that tending to my marriage IS a HUGE service to myself. When my husband and I are on the same page, I feel better and more confident in myself. So, That's why I'm third. So, what am I doing for myself? Well, basically just taking some time to paint my nails, eat healthier, maybe get in better shape, spend quiet time reflecting, blog (because I LOVE it!), journal our life, Girls night out, anything that I love to do for myself that I really didn't take much time doing in 2012.

4 - My Baby boy. Now that my little sweet baby is becoming a little sweet big boy, we have many things to work on from potty training to preparing for preschool... from new ways of creative play, to new, fun art projects and craft ideas. Being a mom who works outside the home at a 9-5 job, I really have to focus on scheduling time for these things on top of housework and commissioned artwork. I want my son to always know that he is so VERY important to me and that I always have time for him when he needs it. By scheduling projects together, several times a week, I know he will learn to look forward to this time together with his Momma and his love bucket will be full.

5 - Budget. I don't want to boast or brag, but, I feel I made HUGE strides in my spending and money management in 2011 and 2012, thanks to great programs and online help, along with patience and understanding from my husband. This year, I want to polish this accomplishment by fine tuning my budget, get away from spending because something is on sale (unless it's something on our list of items NEEDED), and start saving for projects that we've outlined and planned as a family.

6 - Organizing. This is for everything really. When I have an organized schedule, routine, kitchen cabinet... things just run smoothly. So, I plan to make a plan for every aspect of our daily life. I'm starting off with a simple cleaning schedule for the household. I already have it up on the fridge. :) Next, I want to tackle a menu schedule and then move on to a home remodel schedule. Baby steps.

7 - My Creative Business. And once I have 1-6's needs met... I can focus on building my creative business. Right now, I've started with commissioned portraits for family and friends. I hope to move bigger, a little step at a time, create a website, advertise in local places, and eventually take on bigger projects.

I'm pretty excited for this year and hopefully, by narrowing down to 7 main things, I can stay focused and review my list and when another opportunity comes up, and can ask myself... "Dose this help me achieve my goals for my seven?" and I'll confidently be able to say yes or no. :)

SO, did you plan any resolutions? What are your goals for 2013?