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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Changes are in the Air!!!

I have been going through something for the last couple weeks that has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to go through. I am not really ready to talk about it here but, I have had a lot of time to think... I have thought about my life, my health, my kids, my priorities, and mostly importantly my happiness... And well, needless to say, I was not happy with were everything was. I needed a change...



Enter, new Ashlee. I am going to keep this blog, but will handle it different. I will still post craft tutorials, but it will not be handled like a job. I am not going to beg or bribe for followers, while that would be cool and an ego boost if people found entertainment in my posts, but I am not going to force it.

In addition to crafts I am going to document my progress on my hopefully upward path to a happier Ashlee.

So to start, I noticed that my diet was awful, hence my comment the other day about my love for frozen mac and cheese... Bad, right? So the first thing that needed to be improved was my health.

I took a good look at myself and noticed that I felt grouse. I felt bloated, I had gained a bunch of weight, had zero energy or motivation, my skin was worse then it ever has been, braking out and blotchy. I have felt this way for sometime, but it had just hit me. I needed a change. I have been eating fast food, processed food, ranch dressing on everything, hardly any fruits, veggies, or anything healthy for that matter. No wonder I felt this way!

I began researching... Most diets, new years resolutions, etc. fail because it's too dramatic of a change that you get overwhelmed and just give up. I want my lifestyle to change, not my diet, or food choice to change for a couple weeks, it has to be a lifestyle change, but within reasonable limits that I don't get overwhelmed. So, I know myself and I am not going to make a bunch of healthy meals that takes 2 days to prepare and includes ingredients I can't pronounce ( I have done this, thinking I can do it... I planned it at work, was all gung ho, ready to cut out all sweets, make these uber healthy meals, eat exactly 1200 calories a day... and by time I got home 4 hours later I had already given up... It was too overwhelming. Too extreme.)

I found meal ideas that my girls and I would actually eat, and that I would take the time to make. Again keeping it realistic for me. Then I created a 2 week menu; breakfast, lunch, dinner, 2 snacks a day. I don't care about calories, if I am eating healthy and being cautious about my sweets I do not have to be strict, and count every calorie. Because what did we learn? Every time I am strict I fail.
I made a grocery list and went shopping... I plan to start it on Tuesday (I already have plans for today). I have been eating much better all weekend, no Mt Dew (this one has to be extreme, cold turkey, that stuff is so yummy, but so bad for you), lots of water. And I already feel a little better, I have a loooong way to go, but I want to feel like a million bucks, and know I can!

So stick with me, give me advice, encouragement, and ideas.

Some more tips I find helpful!

If I really want a doughnut I will have ONE, maybe just a bite of one, but I do not need a doughnut, candy bar, cookies, Mt. Dew, and another doughnut. Just one is enough.

Take into consideration what you have going on when making a menu. If you know you are going to be in a hurry one day, plan a quick or crock pot meal.

Don't be afraid to try something new... While you don't want to go too extreme and plan every meal that is new or includes something you don't normally like, one a week is good. Example...I HATE bananas... idk why, just never have liked them, tried then a number of times, and I still think they are no good. My girls love them so I keep them around the house. Well, I made a smoothie the other day and decided to throw in half a banana, just for the extra fruit, and I tasted it, with an open mind, and it was the best smoothie I have had. I could even taste the banana. Lesson here, Try it... You might surprise yourself.

Well that's it for today. Thanks for your support!

You can do it if AshHas!
xoxo

Friday, January 11, 2013

How to Make a Pillow, Easy as Pie!!



To start I have to tell you about the SCREAMING deal that I got today!

So before Christmas my sister needed to go to the Disney store to get some gifts for her kids. So me, my girls and our mom went with her. Nothing like making a family outing out of it! So we get there and you would have thought KayLee had just walked right into heaven! I have never seen her get so excited about anything, as she was that day! Thankfully, my mom was there and she just followed her around as she walked from one side of the store to the other, back to this side, then over there.  She LOVED it. Anyway, while there she found this adorable Cinderella dress that looked like it could be a little girls wedding dress, she made my mom put it on her (cuz grandma would do things mom would never agree to) and she walked around the whole store with it on. I totally would have bought it for her for Christmas but the freaking dress was $80!!!!! Are you kidding me!? Who would spend that much on a play dress, for a kid!? NOT ME!!! So I pried it off of her body and we left, she was so sad! Her life practically ended that day!

Since then she asks if we can go to the Disney store so she can see her dress, almost everyday! I keep telling her she has to ask Daddy and make him take her. So finally today we went! I should have got pictures of it, but I didn't think about it! This time we went with Jakes mom and dad, and as soon as we walked in she grabbed Grandma Nets hand and pulled her right to the dress, picked it up with the biggest smile on her face and said "Look at my dress, its for my wedding!" (side note, she is getting married tomorrow, and she has a house that she is moving to that is far away, she has quite the imagination)! Guess where it was in the store!? On the Clearance Rack!!! It was marked down, I think 50% off! I was not going to buy it for her, but for $40, how could you not! So she put it on, of course, this time Grandma Net was the partner in crime! ;-) Then as we were walking around a lady that works there said "All clearance is an additional 25% off today only."!!! WHAT!!?? So we totally got the $80 dress for $30! And we had to buy Kacie one too so she got the regular Cinderella dress that is normally $45, for $17! Sweet right!! I am so excited about it!
(So they are a little large, especially on Kacie, but they were the only sizes they had, and I can temporarily modify them so they fit better now, and then take the modification out so they fit them later also! Plus for that price you would want them to last a while!)

So on to today's post... this is going to be another fairly simple project. It cost me a total of $0.00 to make! I am all about the deals today! Whoot! I already had everything for it, so it was free for me. Normally if you had to buy everything for it, it could cost about $10, or less.

So it is a Valentine's day (or you can make it for every day) pillow! Mine tuned out a lot smaller then I wanted, but oh well!

What you need:

Felt - either the sheets (25 cents at Hobby Lobby, or for larger pillows use the by the yard)
Pillow form, batting - I bought a pillow from The Deseret, for $3, some are cheaper then that. And I only used a little of the batting out of it.
Sewing Machine
Glue gun

Instructions:

1. So first cut the front and back of the pillow out of the felt. Make sure they are the same size, and cut them out to be as big or little as you want.  Remember, your pillow will be about 1 in smaller then you cut them out to be, so if you want an 11x11 pillow cut it 12x12 to allow for a 1/2 in seam allowance around the whole pillow.

I only had one piece of red felt, so I used one piece of white, and one of red. You will not really be able to see the white, so it can really be any color you want.


2. Now you will cut a whole bunch of strips out of the felt. I already had a bunch from a project I was going to do a while ago, but didn't end up doing. They are about 1in wide. You can make them as big or small as you want. Make sure they are long enough to cover the pillow from one side to another and allow for some slack on both ends. My strips were about 2 inches longer on each side then the pillow was going to be. This allows for you to not have to be perfect. Makes it much easier.


3. Now you will sew the strips on to the white piece. Starting at one end of the white sew the red strip on along the end of the white felt. Sew in one straight line across the entire length of the white piece of felt.


4. Repeat, but this time place the next strip so the bottom of the strip covers the last "seam" (I cannot think of the word I am looking for here). Sew the top of the strip across. Repeat until the entire piece of white is covered. When you get to the last strip leave it off, we will sew it on later.


5. Now cut off all the extra of the strips so that it lines up perfectly with the white.

6. Now we will actually make the pillow form. Place the right sides of the white and red pieces together and pin it. Stick the last strip in so that it hangs off 3 sides of the pillow.

7. We are only going to sew 3 sides now, so make sure the side that you left the last strip off of is one that you will sew now.  Sew the 3 sides that you pinned, and then cut the extra felt off the last strip.


8. Turn  your pillow right side out and stuff it with cotton.

 9. Sew up the last side and you should have a pillow!

10. Now you are free to embellish as you wish! Come back tomorrow to learn how to make this new kind of rosette! Fabric rosette!



I am up to 9 followers! PLEAS PLEASE tell your friends and family to follow me! Starting now, until I get 50 followers for every person you get to like my page you will get an extra entry in the giveaway! So you get one just for following me, but you also get one for each person you get to follow me. Leave me a comment, or send me an email with the names of who you got to follow me and you will be added to the drawing that many times!!!

If you have any questions about this please let me know!

You all rock!!

You can do it if AshHas!

xoxo

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

MMMMMM..... Banana Bread

I have had some bananas for about a week and have been meaning to make banana bread with them. I have this recipe that I love... the problem is it calls for sour MILK... I find that kinda grouse so I just use regular fresh milk. Anyway, when I went to look at the recipe to make sure I had everything for it I saw sour MILK and thought sour CREAM, which I did not have. 


So every time I went to the store I would forget to get sour cream. I know, how do you forget something that is on your list? That's the thing I didn't make a list. In fact don't make lists very often, I went grocery shopping today WITHOUT a list. I need to take some advice from those uber organized bloggers that makes a menu, grocery list, checks the ads, coupons, and then shops for 6 months worth of food. But... that takes too much effort. Michalena's Wheels and Cheese is a regular around here, pull it out of the freezer microwave it for 3 min, stir and serve. That is my kind of meal. Oh, we totally had them today for lunch. I even had the kids use plastic forks so I didn't have to do dishes! Hehe New years resolution, get organized, stop eating yummy but really crappy food!

Anyway, back to banana bread.  Sure, I thought that it was odd that banana bread would call for sour cream, but my sugar cookie recipe calls for sour cream, which I think is weird so I didn't really think anything of it. Remember, I am no chef! That is why my kids have frozen mac and cheese. So I finally remembered to get sour cream, went home, set out everything I needed for the ingredients pic, including the sour cream, and started making my banana bread... finally... about 2 weeks after I decided to make it to begin with!

It was not until step 4 that I realized my mistake. Thankfully I had not put the sour cream in the bread! But who knows... Maybe it would have turned out great... isn't that how most inventions happened, by accident?! I could have become famous! What was I thinking!?

Okay now for real her you go with the bread!! I hope you like it as much as I do!


Ingredients:

2 c. Flour
3/4 c. Sugar
1 T. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 c. Applesauce
1 1/2 c. Smashed Ripe Bananas (about 3-4 bananas)
2 Eggs
1/4 Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients. 

Mash up the bananas. My bananas were a little too ripe... but oh well. Maybe this will teach me to make a list from now on!!

In a separate bowl mix all the liquid ingredients. 

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. 

 Stir until the flour mixture is completely moistened. 

 Set mixture aside. Grease and flour 1 bread pan or 2-3 small pans. 

 Pour mixture into the pan(s) 1/2 full.

Bake large loaf for 1 hour, less time is needed for the smaller loaf pans. Ensure the bread is done when a toothpick comes out clean. 

Remove the bread from the pan by turning the pan upside down and gently tapping on the pan. Top the bread with butter while hot.  Enjoy hot or cooled.

Let me know if you try it and like it. If you try it and don't like it, I don't really care, don't tell me!

Don't forget to follow me! I am up to a whopping 9 followers!!! Remember 50 followers and I am going to have a giveaway!! Only those following can participate!!

Anyway Happy Wednesday!

You can do it if AshHas!
xoxo


Monday, January 7, 2013

How to make Rosettes


Happy Monday everyone! What a weekend that was! I am so glad it's over! It was one of those weekends that I just want to cuddle up in my pjs with my girls and watch Brave over and over just so I don't have to face the world. But now it is Monday and time to push on!

So, with that, I promised part 2 of Fridays post, on Saturday, but I had to take the weekend off. So here we are I will now give you part 2!

Adorable Rosette Ball



What you need:

Styrofoam ball - $3-$5 depending on what size you get
Crate paper - you will need 1-2 rolls depending on what size you will make. I found out the party supply store has a lot more colors and is about $0.25 cheaper per roll then Wal-Mart.
Hot glue gun and glue

Instructions:
Note: this is a rather time consuming project. While it turns out adorable it takes time. This is one of those projects that you put the kids to bed early turn on Bachelor and make tons and tons of Rosettes. I will put a few tips on the end to help you along the way.






1. Make a rosette. Start by ripping off a piece of crate paper. The longer the piece, the larger the rosette the shorter the piece, the smaller the rosette.

2. Fold the top of the crate paper down.

3. Begin rolling the paper. Roll a few times so you have a sturdy base.

4. Once you have a base set, start twisting the paper around the base. Literally twist the paper and then wrap it around the base. Spiral out until you have used all the paper, or the rose is the size you want.

5. Put a dab of glue on the back and press the end down.

6. Now your rosette is done.  Fold the base down on the back and glue it on the styrofoam ball and start over. 

7. Keep making rosettes and gluing on until the entire styrofoam ball is covered.


Tips -

Make different sized rosettes to add character to the ball.


The larger the rosette the more difficult it gets to handle so it stays together but still looks good. See the photos for tips on how I held the rosette so it didn't fall apart.

The base on the smaller rosettes will be too large to fold down. Rip or cut them off and save them.


Putting the roses together is kind of like a puzzle making sure all the holes are covered. However sometimes you cannot get it to fit perfectly. This is when you will use the small rolled up bases you cut off of the small roses. Squeeze the glue down the little holes and secure a tiny "rosette" inside. This will fill the whole, but still look like it is meant to be there.



And there you have it! I know it takes a long time to cover the entire ball (try making 2), but it is a good thing to do while you are laying in bed, playing games, or just watching Bachelor (my guilty pleasure. Season premier tonight!!!)

Please let me know if you have any questions. It really isn't too difficult, you will think it looks bad at first, but use them anyway. When paired up with hundreds of others, you won't even notice the couple that look silly!

I am up to 7 followers! YEAH!! Don't forget to follow me. You do not even need a Google account to follow me. You can follow with a Yahoo, Twitter, or Google account. Or you can create a Google account just to follow me. Now that would make the terrible weekend I just had a little bit better!!

Come one, after the weekend I had I could really use a bunch of followers!!

You can do it if AshHas
xoxo





Friday, January 4, 2013

CandleHolder

Can you believe it is already Friday! I can't! The weeks seem to fly by lately! It is crazy!!

Anyway, the next thing I want to show you will be 2 parts, first is a candle holder, then the rosette ball!

I have always wanted a fancy candle holder, but look at these prices!!!

HobbyLobby - $20
 
Ikea - $15
 
Amazon - $12


While they are all beautiful, I could not bring myself to paying those prices for one... So what is a girl to do?! Check out The Deseret and make one yourself, of course! I can always count on The Deseret! So I found a couple of glasses and tea cup saucers put them together and made myself some! 

What you need:
One glass and one saucer - You can get these from the thrift store for $0.25-$1.00. My Saucers were $0.25 each and the Glasses $0.50-$0.75!
Spray paint
Hotglue

How to:
1. Line the lip of the glass with hot glue.


 2. Place the saucer on the glass to connect the two.


 3. Spray paint the candle holder and TADA! Put your candle or rosette ball on top and you have a gorgeous decoration for $1.00!



Again, an easy, SUPER CHEAP but elegant project. Tomorrow I am going to show you how to make the rosette ball. They are pretty easy, but pretty time consuming! 

Thanks to my five followers! If you are following along be sure to become an "official" follower so you can participate in the drawings! Only 45 more followers until we get to have a drawing!

You can do it if AshHas!!!!
xoxo

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Subway Art

So I cannot take much credit for the craft today. Subway art is such an easy and cheap way to add to the walls of your home. It is SUPER easy to customize and cheap to put together.

For each holiday I put a frame with subway art in it above my holiday shelf. Some times I have had 2 8x10's,  or 1 8x10 and for Valentines day I have 1 11x14.



I got this art here. I love it! I had so many to choose from, but the colors for my shelf are red and pink and this one had both colors, so it won!

For this I went to The Deseret (reminder - this is DI) and found a frame. I got this frame for $3, took it home and spray painted it black. While that dried I sent the picture to OfficeMax, went and picked it up, only $0.99, and WALA! You have a super cute piece of art for a only $4!

Here are some links to other printables that I found and thought were super cute!


Love, Kisses & Valentine Wishes at Lovely Little Snippets

Pink, Gray and Chevron at Paisley Petal Events

Pink, Hearts and Love at Pizzazzerie

Love is all you need at Inspired by Charm

Love Bug Gray and Pink at Bonjour

Remember to follow me! If I can hit 100 followers I will do a giveaway! I have no idea what that give away will be, but I will do one! 

You can do it if AshHas!!
xoxo