Thursday, December 31, 2009
We have been out of town for the Christmas holiday, enjoying time with our family in Florida. It was a great trip, and I felt truly blessed to be surrounded by such special loved ones. It was a fantastic trip.
We returned home on Tuesday evening with plans brewing for another New Year's Day brunch. We had one two years ago, and had planned to make it annual. Last year, everything got in our path making it impossible. This year was a good year to revive the tradition. As the original brunch, we invited the Nichols' family and Plemon's family.
Since we put our suitcases down, we have have been cleaning and organizing. I've been so busy this semester that, sadly, cleaning has been put on the back burner. Things were always NEAT, but CLEAN...not so much. I went in full force with the deep clean. Needless to say, after two days of battle....the toothbrush (favorite cleaning tool) and I have won the war against dust/dirt.
All of this was to preface the fact that I haven't really had time to sit and think about the new year creeping in through the door. I finally sat down long enough to mess about a bit on the computer, and I found this quote by Ben Franklin. After thinking about it for a few minutes, it's been decided...this is my moto for 2010. I am still thinking about what this new year will mean for me, and how to make it the best year possible. I will get back to you on that one... As for now, be safe and have a lovely New Year's Eve. Here's hoping the new year will find you bright eyed and ready to fly.
Much love- Paperwings
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Just wanted to tell you all Merry Christmas! I hope you are all surrounded by loved ones for the holiday season, and are able to appreciate the blessings bestowed upon you. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband, beautiful sons, and so much more. I am feeling festive and a bit sentimental, so forgive me. :) Love to you all!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I found this on another great blog Freebies4mom and I thought it best to share with you all! It's a pretty decent sampler with 20 songs, and best of all...it's FREE. Get yourself into the holiday spirit by listening to some music gifted to you from iTunes! Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that I am going to see Rob Bell tonight! Not that you really care too much, but he's an awesome speaker so you should care. :) If you have never heard of him, you should check his robbell.com site and read about him. Or if you are so inclined or intrigued by my own interest in Rob Bell, check out this site and watch some of his Nooma videos. They are awesome and short.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I will be honest. I am a bit nervous about Thanksgiving. I absolutely love holiday food...I mean, who doesn't? The difference between me and a lot of people is that I HAVE NO DISCIPLINE. I rely on small food portions prepared daily before I go to work to help me keep my intake IN CHECK. When I have a table full of food (delicious food) in front of me, I have a tendency to over eat. I am especially weak in the dessert department. This is where my "kind alternative" comes in... I have found a great recipe for Pumpkin -Carrot Bars with cream cheese frosting. I cant wait to try it. Low in calories while remaining full of flavor, these pumpkin bars make a great dessert and they're relatively guilt-free. They're high in vitamin A, and a bar only contains 70 calories and less than two grams of fat. With nutritional stats like that, it's OK to go back for seconds. I hope I am not the only one who tries these out!
Pumpkin-Carrot Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting
Modified from SparkPeople
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Earth Balance (or other butter substitute)
2 large egg whites
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin pie filling
2/3 cup finely shredded carrot
Cream cheese topping:
4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon skim milk
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Spray a 15 x 10 jellyroll pan with cooking spray.
- In small bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In larger bowl, use electric mixer to beat sugar, Earth Balance, and brown sugar until crumbly. Add eggs, egg whites, pumpkin pie filling, and carrots. Beat until well blended.
- Add flour mixture and mix until well blended. Spread onto greased pan.
- To prepare cream cheese topping: mix together cream cheese, sugar, and milk until thoroughly blended.
- Drop teaspoon-fulls of topping over pumpkin batter and swirl and cut mixture into batter with a butter knife.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan completely on wire rack before cutting into squares.
Makes 48 squares.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
If you're trying to lose weight, cardio is your best friend. Workouts that get your heart rate up, such as running, biking, and using a cardio machine, are the best way to burn calories and reduce your percentage of body fat. Another fact to point out is that the faster you move, the more calories you'll burn. I'm not suggesting that you have to sprint through your entire workout - increasing your pace even a small amount will make a difference. Here are two ways to increase your speed when doing cardio.
- Add intervals. After warming up, move at your usual pace for one minute, then increase your speed for one minute, then return to your usual pace for a minute. Repeat this sequence for 30 minutes, and then cool down. Need a plan to follow? Here are some interval workouts for all types of cardio. Remember, interval training is proven to reduce belly fat.
- Increase your overall pace just sightly. Running at a pace of 5 mph (12-minute miles) burns 263 calories in 30 minutes. If you run a bit faster at 6 mph (10 minutes per mile), you'll burn 292 calories. It may not seem like a big difference, but if you run five times a week, you'll burn an extra 145 calories.
Increasing your speed when doing cardio won't take a lot more energy, but it'll sure make a difference to your body. You'll burn more calories, which translates to a slimmer, more defined frame. It will also help with your endurance, and make you stronger.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I have been collecting these different little gem printables from different websites for a while now. They are super cool, fun, and best of all...FREE. So...break out your good card stock, and don't let the art of written correspondence die. :)
A big thank you to all the FANTASTIC blogs who were generous enough to post these freebies!
Free Holiday Gift Tags from The Paper Seed
Pretty boxes and envelopes from ISLY (I Still Love You)
Envelope labels from Oh Smile
Cool card from MUFN inc.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
- Finger length: For women, if your index finger is shorter than your ring finger, then it means you have double the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee. If yours is longer or even with your ring finger, you're in the clear, but if it's not, do exercises to strengthen your knees, such as squats and lunges. Arthritis and finger length are both related to low levels of estrogen, so that's why the two are connected.
- Arm length: Extend your arms in T-position out to the sides and measure the distance form fingertip to fingertip. If the distance is less than 60 inches, you're at a higher risk for Alzhiemers. So do activities that stimulate your brain and your body. Take a painting class, learn to play a musical instrument, play chess, or take dance lessons.
There's more, so keep reading.
- Small calves: Women with calves that measure less than 13 inches around have a higher risk of stroke. One thing you can do is drink green tea daily.
- Length of legs: Women with short legs have a higher risk of developing liver disease, so if you're concerned, limit your alcohol consumption.
- Wrinkle in your ear: If you have a linear wrinkle in your ear lobe, which starts on the back of your ear lobe and runs across, then you have an increased risk for a heart attack, bypass surgery, or cardiac death. So do all you can to take care of your ticker by doing cardio regularly, getting your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked by your doctor, eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Sense of smell: If you can't identify foods by their smell, you have five times the risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the next four years. So protect your brain by getting enough omega-3's.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Here are some photos from last autumn that might get you in the mood for what's sure to be a great time of year...
Burt's Pumpkin Farm.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Ok, so I cant really take credit for this one. I found this list in Parents magazine, and it's by Kacy Faulconer. However, I read it and totally related...and laughed. I thought it was worthy to share with all my mommy friends. Take a minute, relax, and read the list. I promise, you'll end up smiling.
1. You never have to go to obnoxious kid-themed restaurants. Ever. I wish someone had told me that.
2. Don't make birthday parties a huge deal.
3, Do your chores while kids are awake. Using up naptime to wash dishes or clean the bathroom is truly soul-crushing.
4. Put Band-Aids on everything your kids want you to. Why not?
5. If the kids are awake, bite the bullet and be awake yourself. You'll waste so many hours trying futilely to extend early-morning snoozes that it's not worth it. If you are sick, pregnant, or it's the middle of the night, ignore this advice.
6. Just throw away the poopy underwear.
7. Don't beat yourself up if you have to use a bribe.
8. Teach your kids not to pee outside unless you're camping- you'll be glad you did. But if other people's kids do it, don't judge the parents too harshly- it's all about karma. (If you're in the midst of potty training, all bets are off. You've gotta do what you've gotta do.)
9. Buy cheap shoes when kids are little. Feet grow faster than you think.
10. Don't forget about bord games. You'll suffer through way too much Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, but Connect Four and Battleship aren't half bad. And Clue rocks.
11. Embrace their quirks.
12. Know this: That stain won't come out. And it's okay. (The sooner you accept this, the better.)
13. At some point it will be February. Things will seem bleak. You will think about vitamins, glasses, more exercise, more sleep, more chores, less TV, more rules, fewer rules, and organic food. Just wait. Things will get better when the snow melts. Know that it will happen again at the end of the summer, right before school starts. It's the cycle of life, baby.
14. Always get boys' haircuts at barber shops instead of beauty salons.
15. Answer this question: What is the worst thing that can happen if your kids sleep in their clothes?
16. Never stifle a generous inclination.
17. Try to like what they like. It kind of sucks when it's Bob the Builder, but the payoff will come when they discover Lemony Snicket.
18. Teach them to pump on the swings ASAP.
19. If your child falls asleep occasionally without brushing his teeth, don't wake him; baby teeth do eventually fall out.
20. I know you are supposed to use natural consequences to punish bad behavior, but sometimes it's hard to think of natural consequences. In these cases try threatening your kids with clipping their toenails or some other activity they dread. I've had great success with this one, but you must find your own.
21. Get use to the word zerrissenheit. It means a state of disjointedness, and it's the new normal for most of us. At least you can fee fancy because it's German.
22. Buy kids deoderant before they need it.
23. Teach your children to make their own breakfast- and allow enough time so they can do it without pressure.
24. I can't stress this enough: Use duvet covers on your comforters and forget about a top sheet. Not only will you thank me for this advice, but your kids will thank me as well when they are learning to make their bed.
25. Remember clogging lessons are not in the best interest of the child.
26. Don't administer a punishment that hurts you more than it does them.
27. Always pack wipes. If your kids go somewhere without you, send along wipes. It's like having a mom with them.
28. Do not allow the word wienies in your home.
29. Dress your little girls like, well, little girls.
30. Make sure your kids know how they like their eggs and burgers cooked. You don't want them to feel stress when ordering at the diner.
31. It's fine to brag about yourself to your kids.
32. Buy quaint wooden toys and hand-knit stuffed animals, but don't expect your kids to play with them.
33. Just say "No" to any toy or doll that comes with packets that have to be mixed with water.
34. Teach them to like cool music. Why suffer through the Wiggles whe you could be enjoying Wilco or counting along with Fiest?
35. Don't buy the most expensive schol-picture package. It's a waste of money.
36. Give out awards for actual achievements.
37. You're never too old to dress up and decorate your house for Halloween. And it's more fun for everyone if you are into it. It also entitles you to more candy.
38. If the school year, new babysitter, or karate class gets off to a rocky start, don't totally stress out about it. Instead, think of the improvement that can be made by the end of the year.
39. Independence is a wonderful thing. For everyone. So is together time. Make sure you have a healthy dose of both.
Monday, September 21, 2009
For my dear husband's birthday on Friday, I made his favorite cake in his honor. It's one of my fav's, too, but I've been good....just the one slice to celebrate. I will let him eat the rest. This little sweet treat isn't exactly dietetic, but it is celebratory. Take a look and try it out for yourself. It's divine.
What You Need!
GREASE and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, substituting 1 cup of the sour cream for all of the water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. of the instant coffee. Spread batter into prepared pans. Bake as directed on package. Cool 10 min.; remove from pans. Immediately remove wax paper. Cool completely on wire racks.
DISSOLVE remaining 1 Tbsp. instant coffee in water. Melt dipping chocolate as directed on container. Stir in butter, dissolved instant coffee and remaining 2 Tbsp. sour cream; mix until well blended. Place 1/3 cup of the chocolate mixture in medium bowl; gently stir in whipped topping.
PLACE 1 cake layer on serving plate. Spread with whipped topping mixture. Top with second cake layer. Pour remaining warm chocolate glaze mixture over top of filled cake, allowing it to drip over sides. Pile berries on top of cake. Refrigerate 30 min. or until chocolate glaze is set. Store leftover cake in refrigerator.
Monday, September 14, 2009
1.Almond banana berry smoothie- I made these a couple of times this summer, and they were fantastic. If creamy sweets are what you crave, make a smoothie with fruit, Greek yogurt, and almonds. An 8-ounce serving contains 154 calories.
2.Chocolate covered fruit or nuts-Sunspire makes a variety of chocolate covered dried fruit and nuts. A bag of dark chocolate covered cranberries, blueberries, or raisins contains 160 calories. If almonds are your thing, a bag of those is 190 calories.
3.Fruit with Peanut Butter dip-If you're bored with just plain fruit, dress your slices with this creamy peanut butter dip. A two tablespoon serving contains 80.5 calories.
4.Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt- This is my FAVORITE option.f you're an ice cream lover, making the switch to frozen yogurt can save you fat and calories. A half cup serving of this After Dark Chocolate is only 100 calories. Chocolate not your thing? Check out the calorie content of the flavors below.
Gotta Have Vanilla: 100
Gotta Have Java: 100
Cookies 'n Cream: 130
Creme Caramel: 130
Minty Chocolate Chip: 140
Raspberry White Chocolate Chunk: 120
5.Smudgies-If your sweet tooth craves something more cookie-like, make these frozen Smudgies They're made with peanut butter, bananas, and graham crackers, and one sandwich contains 109 calories.
6.Frozen Grapes-Grapes are sweet on their own, but when you freeze them, they taste like mini popsicles. If you popped 30 frozen grapes, it's only 102 calories.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Back in 2003 I took a trip to Japan to visit my friend, Erin, who was teaching there for a year. It was during that trip that I fell in love with two things...Japanese shopping (it became a disease) and Japanese English. The rest of Japan was pretty freak'n awesome, too, actually. Anyhoo, I found so many fantastic products with English written on them in a way that only the Japanese can write. Crazily. Beyond funny.
Today, I found a site (thanks to my father in law) that glorifies such profound use of the English language. Check it out, but beware...it's pretty addictive.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I found this great site called Fotopedia. It's basically like Wikipedia, but for photos. You can add your own or vote on others. It's full of gorgeous, interesting photography. Obviously. Check it out.
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!
Love to all- Tracy
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Those who know me, know I couldn't let this little girl pass without me taking a shot of those cute shoes!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
1. Mark Your Parking Spot
If you need to take directions with you, but don’t have a printer, take a picture of the computer screen instead. You can zoom in quite a lot, and will be able to read the directions on the camera’s monitor. Also works for confirmation numbers, email addresses and incriminating online photos of friends and acquaintances.
2. Use It Instead of a Printer
3. Remember Fiddly Details
If you need to take directions with you, but don’t have a printer, take a picture of the computer screen instead. You can zoom in quite a lot, and will be able to read the directions on the camera’s monitor.
Also works for confirmation numbers, email addresses and incriminating online photos of friends and acquaintances.
You know the drill: you run out of something, you go to the store to replace it, and you realize you can’t remember which size or model number you need. Snap a photo before you throw the old one away and you’ll have it on you when you need it. Take pictures of each step when you take something apart, so you’ll know how to put it back together later on. That way you won’t end up with those four screws and one unidentified twiddly bit that always seem to be left over after “fixing” something. Heaven forfend you get in a fender bender, but if you do, you’ll be glad you had a camera. Taking photos of the accident scene will help you remember details of what really happened, and it’ll make the insurance claim rigmarole a lot easier. When you see a book at a friend’s place that you want to read, an album you want to get, or a gift you want to pick up for somebody, take a photo of it. That way you’ll have all the information you need when you finally get around to going shopping. If you get caught without a flashlight, use the flash or focusing light on your camera to help you see better. Or, if you drop your keys behind the sofa, use the monitor on your camera to help you see into places you can’t quite reach. Taking pictures of places when you see them will remind you that there are loads of new places to try, so you won’t end up at the same restaurant every Friday night. Save yourself some time and snap a picture of that crucial phone number when you’re out apartment hunting, or when you see a flyer you don’t want to forget.
4. Mark Your Property
5. Shopping Lists
6. Retrace Your Steps
7. Collect Evidence
8. Use It As a Mirror
9. Make a Wishlist
10. Use It As a Flashlight
11. Remember Places You Want to Go
12. Record Phone Numbers
You know the drill: you run out of something, you go to the store to replace it, and you realize you can’t remember which size or model number you need. Snap a photo before you throw the old one away and you’ll have it on you when you need it.
Take pictures of each step when you take something apart, so you’ll know how to put it back together later on. That way you won’t end up with those four screws and one unidentified twiddly bit that always seem to be left over after “fixing” something.
Heaven forfend you get in a fender bender, but if you do, you’ll be glad you had a camera. Taking photos of the accident scene will help you remember details of what really happened, and it’ll make the insurance claim rigmarole a lot easier.
When you see a book at a friend’s place that you want to read, an album you want to get, or a gift you want to pick up for somebody, take a photo of it. That way you’ll have all the information you need when you finally get around to going shopping.
If you get caught without a flashlight, use the flash or focusing light on your camera to help you see better.
Or, if you drop your keys behind the sofa, use the monitor on your camera to help you see into places you can’t quite reach.
Taking pictures of places when you see them will remind you that there are loads of new places to try, so you won’t end up at the same restaurant every Friday night.
Save yourself some time and snap a picture of that crucial phone number when you’re out apartment hunting, or when you see a flyer you don’t want to forget.