Monday, August 31, 2009

12 Ways to Use Your Camera as a Tool

Ok, so I realize that not everyone carries around their camera with them on a daily basis like I do. However, if you don't ....I'm gonna give you (thanks..via photojojo and Wann) 12 reasons why you should. It makes sense, really.

1. Mark Your Parking Spot

parking-smBefore you head out on a long trip, don’t bother rooting around for a pen to write down your parking space number. Take a photo of your parking spot so you can find it again when you come back.

2. Use It Instead of a Printer

map-smIf 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.

3. Remember Fiddly Details

replacement-smYou 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.

4. Mark Your Property

contact-smTake a photo of your name and address, and lock it on your memory card. That way, if you ever lose your camera, the person who finds it will know who it belongs to.

5. Shopping Lists

ingredients-smBefore heading out to buy ingredients for a project or recipe, take a picture of the ingredient list. Zoom in on the camera’s screen to be able to see each item on the list.

6. Retrace Your Steps

steps-smTake 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.

7. Collect Evidence

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.

8. Use It As a Mirror

mirror-smCheck your teeth for spinach when you don’t have a mirror. Or see how you look in really really dark sunglasses.

9. Make a Wishlist

things-smWhen 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.

10. Use It As a Flashlight

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.

11. Remember Places You Want to Go

place-smIf you’re like us, you have a list of places you want to go, or restaurants you want to try, but when you find yourself with a free evening you draw a blank on where to go.

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.

12. Record Phone Numbers

phone-number-smChances are it’s easier to find your camera in a bag full of stuff than it is to find a blank piece of paper and a pen that actually works.

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.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jack and Jill Sale Coming Soon!

The Jack and Jill Sale is coming to Chattanooga Sept. 7-12!

*Chattanooga’s Upscale Seasonal Children’s Consignment Sale
*Unbelievable Prices
*Unsurpassed Quality
*Simple as a Nursery Rhyme Located at Lee Hwy and Hwy 153 beside Sportsman’s Warehouse in the old Home Depot location. To sign up to be a consignor or to volunteer and get early shopping privileges, contact Kelley Blevins at (706) 965-2101 or kyblevins {at} charter {dot} net or Cheri Cresswell at (423)478-3646.

*Thursday, Aug. 27 4-7 p.m.
*Friday, Aug. 28 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
*Saturday, Aug. 29 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
*Monday, Aug. 31 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
*Tuesday, Sept. 1 3-8 p.m.

New Mommy Sale

Saturday, Sept. 5 1 p.m. (you do not have to be on list or have a pass,
but must be pregnant or have a baby less than 1 year old)-NO STROLLERS

Monday, Sept. 7 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Friday, Sept. 11 10 a.m. -7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 12 10 a.m. - 6 p.m

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to Packing

I'm talking about my lunch, here folks. As I have mentioned, I am on a quest to redefine the health status of my lifestyle. I have always brought my lunch to school, save when I was preggo and for some odd and mystifying reason I actually wanted to eat school lunch. (This is probably why I am in the predicament that I am in.) However, now that I am really, really, really trying to shed some pounds I am attempting to stay at 1,2oo calories per day. My breakfast and lunch calories are usually my lowest, but I was kind of getting bored with my options.

SO! Here are five ideas (via fitsugar) for a healthy lunch. Bon appetit.

1.Veggie Omelet -Omelets are a cinch to make and pack, so it's great to bring them for lunch to work. Two eggs, three mushrooms, 1/4 cup chopped broccoli, and four cherry tomatoes equals 187 calories, 10.2 grams of fat, and 14.9 grams of protein. If you like cheese, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese will add 114 calories, 9.4 grams of fat, and 7 grams of protein.

2.Grilled Chicken Salad -Salads offer variety in flavor but not a ton of calories or protein. So I like to add grilled chicken to keep me satisfied until dinner. Three ounces of grilled chicken, one cup of spinach, one small carrot, 1/4 cup radish slices, 1/4 cup diced red pepper, 1/4 cup diced celery, 1/4 cup diced apple, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, three ounces grilled chicken, and two tablespoons Annie's Raspberry Vinaigrette equals 372 calories, 18.6 grams of fat, and 34.1 grams of protein.

3.Banana, Apple, and Peanut Butter Sandwich -Simple yet always delicious. Try to find whole wheat bread that contains at least five grams of protein per slice. Two slices of whole wheat bread, two tablespoons peanut butter, half a small banana, and half a small apple comes out to 510 calories, 21.3 grams of fat, and 18.9 grams of protein.

4.Soup and Crackers- Since the weather is cooling off, I always crave something warm to eat, and soup is always satisfying. If you can't make your own, canned soup is very convenient. Just be on the lookout for high amounts of sodium. One can of Amy's Split Pea Soup (2 servings) and one Doctor Kracker Seedlander Flatbread adds up to 300 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 18 grams of protein.

5.Hummus and Veggie Pita- You can't go wrong with a hummus pita. I like to dice my veggies into tiny pieces so it's easier to eat. One oat bran pita, four tablespoons hummus, two tablespoons alfalfa sprouts, 1/4 cup cucumber, 1/4 cup grated carrot, and 1/4 cup red pepper equals 293 calories, .2 grams of fat, and 10.9 grams of protein. (my personal fav)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

5 Reasons Why You're not Dropping Weight

If you know me, and have had a conversation with me lately you know I am trying to loose weight. After I had Cash, it took me nine months to get all the weight off. I wanted to do it faster this time around, but it's actually going slower. Luc is 6 months, and it was about this time (with Cash) that I really got into gear and quickly dropped the remaining 30 pounds. However, this time....nothing is happening. I exercised all summer, 3-5 times a week, and watched my eating. We've always been pretty healthy eaters, but I tried even harder. When I started, I counted my calories daily using a google app. on my google homepage. I stayed at 1,200 calories a day. In a month, I lost two pounds.
Needless to say, I have become discouraged. Greatly. I dont like being this weight. It doesn't feel like ME. PLUS- I cant fit into anything, so my warbdrobe is exceedingly small. When I went back to work a couple of weeks ago, I kind of quit exercising. I was tired and trying to get back into the swing of working. Now I am ready to go full force and try this weight loss thing one more time with severe intensity.

I was reading Fitsugar and came across these five reasons a person may not be dropping weight. It kind of encouraged me a little, so I thought it might help someone else. I will let you know how it goes.

1.Exercise Makes You Hungry -Exercising definitely burns calories, but the bottom line is that if you're taking in more calories than you're using up, it's going to translate to weight gain. So while you definitely need to refuel before or after a rigorous workout, be sure your snack is 200 calories or less. Also keep in mind that just because you exercise, it doesn't give you the right to eat whatever you want. It's OK to reward yourself, but do so in moderation when you're trying to lose weight.

2.You're Overeating Healthy Food- Yes, a bowl of granola is healthier than a bowl of Fruit Loops, but just because a food is healthy doesn't mean it's calorie-free. Be aware of your calorie intake and portion sizes. It may help to measure out your food for a while to make sure you're eating the appropriate amount of calories per day.

3.You're Doing the Wrong Kind of Exercise -Going to a Pilates or yoga class or walking on your lunch break are great forms of exercise, but they're not big calorie burners. If losing weight is your goal, choose a higher impact cardio workout such as jogging, swimming, hiking, or a kickboxing class. You want to do 30 minutes of heart-pumping movement at least three times a week. Then complement those cardio workouts with stretching and strength training.

4.You're Gaining Muscle -Muscle doesn't weigh more than fat, it's just more dense and not as bulky and lumpy as fat. That means a pound of muscle takes up less room than a pound of fat. So by increasing your cardio workouts, you're probably gaining muscle and decreasing your overall body fat. Although the numbers on the scale may rise, you can tell you're becoming more lean and toned by how you look in the mirror or by the way your clothes fit.

5.You're Hydrating With High-Calorie Beverages - Staying hydrated is essential when living a healthy lifestyle, but liquid calories can easily add up. Read labels and limit the calories you drink, and you'll be surprised how pounds begin to melt away.

10 Reasons to Never be Without Duct Tape

It can....

1. Fix a hem or a broken heel.
2. Secure a wobbly rearview mirror or a broken side mirror (kind of ghetto, though)
3. Be used as an emergency bra or to secure a top that won't stay up.
4. Muffle a squeaky shoe, or make slick soles less slippery.
5. Serve as a makeshift sling.
6. Patch a shopping bag that's about to break. (more ghetto-fabulous ideas)
7. Create a temporary car window or keep a bumper from falling off, if you've been in an accident. (GGGGGHHHHEEETTTOOO)
8. Rewrap shoelaces when they begin to fray.
9.Double as an emergency bandage.
10. Repair your reading or sunglasses.

Hint: To remove the stickiness, try adhesive remover like Goo Gone or WD-40.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Gifts

I've been feeling like making cards lately, so I have made a few batches to give my friends as gifts. They aren't anything that super great, but I thought they were cute for being made in the dark. :) (My craft table sits in Luc's nursery, and I usually only find time to work when he's asleep.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Super Cool Free Art Printables!!

Thanks to How About Orange, I found this great site Feed Your Soul which has FANTASTIC illustrations that you can download for FREE! There are some great artists, and I am totally psyched to take advantage of this. To make it cheap print on card stock and frame, or hang them on a clothesline like this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

After a Long Day...Relax

Today was the first day of school. As a teacher, especially an inner city teacher, I was prepared for anything and everything. Although it went well, I still walked out at the end of the day feeling a tension headache coming on. I knew I needed to relax, even if it was just for a few minutes, in order to finish out the rest of my day with energy. To help slow things down I brewed a cup of tea. This simple action can create profound results. Unlike chugging an ice-cold drink, sipping something hot takes time and a bit of patience. A cup of herbal tea like chamomile, known for its relaxing qualities, can provide a moment of calm and help you recharge...this is exactly what I needed. Afterward, I was ready to take on the kiddie pool in the back yard with the boys. Who says summer is over after all? :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Wrestling Boys

Luc hiding behind Cash.

Luc's throwing signs.

In action.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Age Gracefully?

Here is another piece I wrote back in June of 2007. I dont think many had a chance to read it on MySpace, so here ya go...

I know this may sound a little absurd, but I don't think of myself as "old" or "older." Does anyone think of themselves that way? I guess, at a certain age you begin to realize on a more physical level that your body is slowly deteriorating, heading towards death, but…it hadn't happened to me. When I turned thirty, I wasn't really bothered by it. When I turned thirty-one, it didn't cross my mind that I was leaving "twenty-something" so far behind. It wasn't until just the other day that I actually began to think about the fact that I will soon be (dun dun DUNNNNNNN) thirty-two!

Thirty-two, as in eight years from FORTY seems really out there. Maybe because most of my friends that I spend time with on a daily basis are younger than me. Most of my friends range from twenty-three to twenty-eight years old. There might be a twenty-nine thrown in the mix here or there, but it's rare. I don't even know how I ended up the matriarch of a group like this. I didn't search out a "younger crowd." I suppose most of it just goes back to good 'ole time/place/situation. In any case, talking about having pups as friends is not my purpose here.

I am sitting on the floor of my child's room with a friend, she's younger of course, and both of our boys are playing. We are talking about another couple we know, and the fact is brought up that the wife looks older than the husband. "Well, she is THIRTY!" my friend cries out. I am appalled. I am shocked. I am THIRTY-ONE. "Stop right there!" I shout back. We then begin to discuss my age, and she is now the shocked one to realize that I am SO OLD.

This got me thinking, about age, numbers, wrinkles, cellulite, all sorts of things. I had an epiphany. It's been a long time a COM' in, but I made it. Here it is world, listen up…I am thirty-one years old and loving it. I wouldn't go back to twenty-something for anything in the world. Seriously. Let me clarify, those days weren't awful, but truth be told, I am much happier now than then. There is a wisdom that comes with age, and with making stupid choices and having to rectify them. I think maybe I have picked up a little of that, I dare say. Then there is the whole self-esteem bit. Ok, so I realize I am still a little obsessive about "keeping the package together", but here's the difference. Back then I could never figure out when I had it together and when I didn't. What I am saying is that, without trying to sound full of myself because that isn't it, I finally see myself for what I truly am. I am a freaking good catch! I am not flawless, by no means, but hell if I don't look damn good compared to some…most. ? I don't say that to look down on anyone else, I say that to appreciate myself, which is something I never could have done in my twenties.

In my twenties, I moved around, traveled, and met tons of new friends. I met my husband. I married my husband, and bought my first home. That was an amazing time. However, it's just now that we have really focused on our spiritual, financial, and family goals. We are happier and healthier now than we have ever been, and so much of that I am able to contribute because I am ok with me. Maybe this isn't the same for everyone. Surely there are people out there that don't wait until their thirties to feel comfortable within themselves, but this is how it worked for me.

Come November, I will take another step closer to forty and that's cool with me. I feel good, I am healthy, and I love my husband, son, friends, and family. This is a place that I am ok being; so don't cry for me all you twenty-somethings. There won't be weeping, or gnashing of teeth in my honor. It will be just another reason to throw a party, and watch my young friends break it down on the dance floor.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Low-Fat Berry Squares

I promised some recipes for yummy brain food. This one looks pretty tasty, easy to make, and is low-fat. PERFECT, right? I think I am going to try it out this weekend.

Low-Fat Berry Squares
Prep Time:
15 min
Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
15 servings, 1 square each

What You Need

1 pkg. (13.6 oz.) prepared fat-free pound cake, cut into 10 slices
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
2-1/2 cups cold fat-free milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

Make It

ARRANGE cake slices on bottom of 13x9-inch dish, cutting to fit if necessary; drizzle evenly with juice. Top with berries.

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spoon over berries; cover with remaining whipped topping.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour. Cut into 15 squares to serve.

Calories per serving
Fat per serving
1.5 g

Monday, August 3, 2009

So Long, My Sweet Friend

I actually wrote this Aug. 9, 2007, but I figured I would pull it out of the old archives of myspace for your reading enjoyment. It fits pretty well for right now.... ;)

Here we starts on Monday. MONDAY. As in three days from now, MONDAY. Where did the sweet days of sunshine and cool breezes go? The current sweltering heat, that is killing my impatiens because I cant stand over them with a watering can all day long, seems to be foreshadowing the end of a good thing. Summer. It's as if Mother Earth knows that I will be locked up in a brick box for the next 10 months, so she is trying to be kind. She is releasing the seventh level of hell, so that the brick box will, in turn, seem...inviting.
It's not that I hate my job, not at all. In fact, I have high hopes for this coming school year. I feel good about it. I am excited about beginning anew. There are new folders with crisp edges that haven't been torn, stacks of unused paper, sharpened pencils waiting to be used for good, clean composition books yearning for small hands to write their lives in them...oh the expectations! It's just that there wasn't enough summer. I hadn't had my fill just yet. My son's scrapbook hasn't been completed, and my tan is no where near "golden." The floor in my kitchen is still screaming to be redone, and for the love of God, I haven't finished Harry Potter. I want more time. I need more time.
It doesn't look like I am getting any more time. Three days. That is all I have, folks. Guess where I will be spending all of those days, save one? In the box, getting ready for the big day. Ahhhh, such is life.
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