Redoing the Temple – The Update that is not an Update

Can someone explain to me why if I have been exercising consistently for the last 2.5 weeks that I have not lost an ounce (unless you count when I let my heals hang a little off the edge of the scale)?  In fact, when I weighed myself this morning, the scale looked like it was mocking me and inching a smidgen higher.  Just a smidgen.  Just enough to say, “Ha ha, you hate exercise and it’s not even helping you!”.

I wrote this enthusiastic, got get ’em post about 10 months ago.  And I promised I’d be back with an update.  Oops, sorry. Remember, this lady:

My Current Weight

She’s my undercover body double from  Not much has changed since then.  I had some complicated math equation that was based on the weight I was when I got married plus 8 lbs.  I must have been having a good math day then.  What I would say right now, is that I want to lose 15 lbs.  I’m going to keep exercising.  I know in my intellectual brain that the reason that I’m not losing weight is that my diet is HORRENDOUS right now.  But in my brain that likes to buy things from infomercials, I think that there must be some trick to eating just about the worst things you can put into your body and still lose weight.  That is simply going to take some time to reconcile.

In the meantime, if anyone out there is like, an exercise physiologist or something, please tell me if this true:

5 lbs of fat next to 5 lbs of muscle...   A visual really helps when the scale isn't changing much. Wowwww

And here’s a pin that fits the mood perfectly:

Sanitaryum | Clean Funny Pics  Clean Humor...I am guilty of eating when bored and am getting fat!..ugh!

Family Room

Family Room
This is my first pass at Polyvore.  I loved it. It started off very easy, but there are a couple of things that I can’t quite figure out how to fix.  Like, for instance, the chaise lounge from Ikea is $350 and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to fix that.  So, yay for Polyvore, but boo for me for not fixing that.
Let’s talk about the room.  This is the vibe I’m going for.  It’s fun and colorful and cozy and those chaise’s will be super cozy.  Our living room is really long, so this is only a part of the stuff that will be in the room. I have a super cool inspiration for a built in day  bed and bookcases, but that will be down the line.  I do think the items above are a good place to start.
As a side note, Polyvore may be a quick and easy way to get your husband interested in decorating.  My husband can’t picture separate things as a pulled together whole unit, so Polyvore does that for him.  He’d never be interested in looking at each of these on their own, one at time, but seeing them together, I think he got it.

The De-Dingefication of the Bathroom

Yeah, autocorrect, take that!  De-dingefication.  I answer to no electronic dictionary. Except for when I forget how to spell vacuum.

The main bathroom in the house was looking a little sad.  It was completely remodeled a few years back after a strange plumbing incident (which involved water only).  So, all the expensive stuff is pretty new and still pretty, but the shower curtain was looking a little worse for the wear.  A little jaundiced, actually.  It was sort of yellowy around the edges and just overall not giving off the “jump in here and get super clean!” vibe that it should.  We also were short a bath mat after a cat accident that we shall not speak of.

So, off to Target I headed.  I picked up three items.  A shower curtain, a shower curtain liner and a bath mat.  Ok, so the shower curtain liner isn’t super exciting.  But, I got one that is more fabric and less plastic, so it will make for a much more pleasant showering experience.  And, the shower curtain is just a white waffle knit, so nothing super exciting there, but definitely crisp and clean. The bath mat though, is adorable.  It’s the only thing that’s going to be of any interest to see a picture of on-line, so here it is:

Threshold™ Watercolor Chevron Bath Rug

Here’s a before picture:


And the after:


Ten minutes to a fresh new look.  And a more comfortable showering experience.  Also, I do believe unhanging and rehanging a shower curtain counts as an arm workout.  Always the multi-tasker.

And, a special treat for those of you who love a bad before picture, here is the bathroom when we bought the house:


You’re welcome.

What I Made this Week

I’ve been in a funk.  I don’t really think it has much to do with my diet, but it certainly isn’t helping.  I decided to try one of the paleo recipes I found on-line.  It’s a crock pot recipe which is right up my alley.

Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken

Slow Cooker - Balsamic Chicken I used a whole, organic chicken with this recipe...we had nothing left but the bones, so good!

Wow, I didn’t really look at the nutritional info when I made this, but it looks like a pretty healthy dish.  Maybe a little high in sodium?

Ok, I have to be honest.  The smell of this cooking made me think it was going to be awful.  It just smells like balsamic vinegar cooking in a pot.  Not really the most appetizing thing in the world.  But, it’s actually quite tasty.  I used chicken breasts, but next time and maybe every time I cook chicken in a crock pot, I’m going to use boneless thighs.  The chicken was a little dry and I think that the thighs would be less dry.

I did make a bunch of other things this week.  Somewhere along the way it was decided that it would be a great idea to have a crock pot at work and I made little smokies in it and shredded bbq chicken in it.  Neither of those came out much better than edible.  Especially the chicken.  If you stumble across a recipe with chicken, bbq sauce and orange marmalade, don’t try it.  Learn from my mistake.

My Faves this Week

My favorite thing this week was finding out that this, exists:

Shark Head Wall Sculpture

I don’t have a place to put it, unfortunately, but I did find a bunch of other awesome things at Urban Outfitters:

Removeable Wallpaper

Scaled Tile Wall Decal

Bella Removable Wallpaper

Woven Mirror – 2 for $30 (SO buying these!)

Magical Thinking Woven Wall Mirror

I hope my son likes this, because it is going in his room:

Atlas Tapestry

Moving out of Urban Outfitters, but still in wall coverings, I know someone is going to love this:

The Periodic Table Of Carrie Bradshaw's Shoes

These are pure genius and from a great website,

Children’s Responsibility Punch Card Set of 15 – Chores, Reading and Kindness Cards

I love when I find an outfit that I have almost all of the components but had never thought to put together:

"Perfect Spring Outfit..warm colors and business casual" by cortney-ann007 on Polyvore

And, as has become tradition, a few things to put a smile on your face:

Kill You Last | Click the link to view full image and description : )

My nickname is “Mom” but my real name is MomMomMom MomMomMom MomMomMom MomMomMom MomMomMom… | Snarkecards

Can't stop laughing!!!

Happy Friday!

DIY T-Shirt using Sand Paper (which is almost like a tool)

Sometimes I feel guilty that I call this blog Undercover DIYer.  Let’s face it, I’m not much for the power tools.  If it involves something scarier than a drill, I’m calling my carpenter brother.  When I found this craft that involves using sandpaper (and an iron which plugs in so, technically a power tool) I had to give it a try.

Sandpaper Printed T-shirt Kids Craft | Alpha Mom

Truthfully, when I saw this pin, I thought it would never really work.  I couldn’t really grasp how you could make crayons show up on t-shirts.  Luckily, I have learned to release my inner Negative Nancy and try things.  Especially when it just so happens that I have all of the required materials on hand and two children just bored enough to give this a try!

All you need are some good crayons (I used Crayola), sandpaper (I used drywall sandpaper because it’s what I had), a piece of cardboard and an iron.  I had my kids practice their designs on paper first so that they had an idea of what they wanted before they committed to the sandpaper.  Once you’ve committed to a design, you can start making your creation on the sandpaper.  There are some things to think about at this point.  The more pressure or the more times you go over the drawing with your crayon, the more color will transfer to your t-shirt.  Also, good to know, if you choose to write words, you have to write the letters and the words backwards.  You’re going to need to figure out how to do that on your own because that kind of wizardry is beyond my spatial skills.  And, lastly, if you decide to not use white t-shirts (we used yellow because I had yellow ones from another project) remember to not use the same color crayon in your design as the color of the t-shirt.  Cause, ya know, you won’t be able to see it.

Sandpaper Tshirt

Once you’ve got your design on the sandpaper, you are ready to transfer it to the t-shirt. First, you’re going to want to stick some cardboard inside the t-shirt so that the color doesn’t bleed through to the back.  Then, put your sandpaper face down on the t-shirt. Grab your iron and iron away for about 30 seconds.  Maybe a little longer.  You can peel up a corner of the sandpaper and peek and see how well the color is coming through.  If you’re happy with it, then you can grab a damp paper towel and iron over the design to help set the colors.  PS, it will probably be a good idea to wash this by itself the first time).  Bam!  You just made a sandpaper T-Shirt!  I know, you’re shocked it actually worked!  I was too. This is totally going to be a Girl Scout craft soon.

sandpaper Tshirt3Sandpaper tshirt2

Follow this link to the blog that I got to from following the pin: Alpha Mom.  You can see her completed project there.  It’s adorable, but I felt a little weird posting a picture of a kid I don’t know own my blog.

PS, I’ve had some really good traffic on the old blog the last couple of days!  I’m dying for my first real comment from someone I don’t know.  Please let me know if you tried this and you loved it!  Or hated it!  I’m open to constructive criticism!

Pinterest Successes

I’m not a Facebook person.  I don’t Tweet.  A young man asked me if my kids use Snapchat, indicating, clearly, that I am too old for Snapchat.  Some of these things I’ve passed on because I find it creepy to follow near strangers daily activities.  Others just haven’t captured my imagination.  Pinterest, however, has truly changed my life.  I’m not one of those mothers who feels inept if I don’t do every amazing idea I come across.  I’ve found, well, thousands of fun ideas, recipes, outfits and weird pictures of things that make me laugh.  I also love that Pinterest has brought me to some really amazing blogs written mostly by women who are wives and mothers just like me.

My only issue with Pinterest is that I pin obsessively (the only thing I hoard are Pins).  I pin and pin and pin and then I forget to go back and look at what I’ve pinned and maybe try some of those fabulous ideas.  So, I’ve started reviewing my pins regularly.  And, I’ve started actually doing some of the things I pinned, too!  Here are some of the things that I’ve tried and that have worked:

Ice Cubes in the Dryer

Wrinkly shirt? Throw it in the dryer for a few minutes with some ice cubes for a quick steam press.

People, if I could shout this from the rooftops, I would.  THIS ACTUALLY WORKS!  I am horrible at laundry.  My family’s clothing is NEVER ironed.  Ever.  Even if I do try to iron, it usually ends up looking worse than when I started.  I knew I had nothing to lose when I saw this pin that said to toss a wrinkled shirt (or pants) into the dryer with a couple ice cubes for five minutes.  It worked.  Nothing shrunk.  It is in my top three for all time favorite pins.

Clean your Glass Top Stove

from previous Pinner says "Ok, I just tried this and it seriously did work. I did it twice on a burner that's had scorch marks for a year or more and they're gone! For anyone as OCD about cleaning as I am, this is a must! I would be prepared to do it at least twice, more if you've got bad burns. This really works!!!"

If you have a glass top stove and you have ever had your water boil over, you need to try this method to remove those bizarre stains that somehow are caused by water boiling over.  What happens when boiled water hits glass that it becomes the most unremoveable stain ever?  I may never know the answer to that, but click the pic to see how to get rid of those stains.

How to Highlight Your Face

How I Contour & Highlight Using DRUG STORE Products! Here is a lady that is good to watch also for this with drug store products for this.

I like makeup, but I’ve never really known much about how to apply it.  This Youtube video will show you the right places to highlight.   I love how the highlighting plays down the dark rings under my eyes and plays up cheekbones.

This Outfit

blazer. white blouse. nude pump.

I can’t add a link to this, but outfit posts like this are everywhere on Pinterest.  And they often lead to great blogs. I’ve never been great at putting outfits together but these pins and the women who create them, have helped me make new outfits from the clothes I already have.

Travel Tips

Travelling with young kids made easy:  Put an entire outfit (including undies and hair accessories) in a ziploc bag.  One bag per day.  When you get to the hotel, put the bags in a drawer and they can pick one per day.  Huge time saver!

When our family traveled to Disney World, I packed the kids clothes like this.  It was great.  It made unpacking very easy and it allowed the kids to easily figure out what to wear each day.  I will do this for every trip we take in the future.

I’m linking this up to the party at Tater Tots & Jello!

As I try out pins, I’ll keep sharing!

Update – The Kitchen

I’ve learned to accept the truth that in life, nothing is ever really done.  Laundry, never done.  Cleaning, never done.  Getting in shape, never done.  It’s all a process.  The kitchen is not completely done, not even nearly a year later.  It has, however, come a LONG, LONG way. I bet you won’t even be able to tell what’s not done from the pictures.



Of course, it is far more beautiful than it ever was and it is far more functional than it ever was.  But the best thing about the kitchen is how it has changed our family life.  The island is like home base.  We eat there (most of the time).  We cook there.  We do homework there.  We make crafts and we color there.  We have Girl Scout meetings there.  I lean on my elbows and peer over the countertops at my children’s faces while they eat or color and do homework.  It’s an amazing vantage point.  When I’m behind that island I feel in control.  Everything I need is within a couple of steps.  I’m a little territorial about that spot behind the island.  It’s mine and I want to be the one back there controlling things.  I kind of knew that it would be like that before the plans were even made and I was glad for it.  Some people might say it is too narrow, I say it is just narrow enough.

How did we ever turn this


(no joke, that is the before, for real) into that beautiful heart of the home from the after picture?  The first step was looking at pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.  More pictures than should ever be possible to look at.  My favorite place to look at pictures of kitchens (or any other room in the house) is Houzz .  My technique was to whip through the pictures quickly, only stopping when something caught my eye.  When I stopped, I would think, is this something that is possible within reason for my house?  Was the layout something we could fit into the footprint we already had?  If it was, then I would save the pic.  I ended up with hundred(thousands, maybe?) of pictures saved.  I went back through what I had already saved and critiqued those and narrowed things down a bit.  I don’t think I ever ended up with one final inspiration photo, but in the end, the kitchen was probably most inspired by this one:


It’s got a similar feel to our kitchen, but by no means an exact replica.  After narrowing down the look and feel I wanted with a layout that would fit in our space, it was time to head to Home Depot.  We had our measurements already, but unless you know someone who really knows how to take the measurements properly, have Home Depot send someone to do it for you (don’t DIY this unless you know you are going to be exactly right!  Mistakes will be very costly at this step!).  We were very lucky to have a great kitchen designer at Home Depot who had actually been trained in Italy in design.  It was like winning the kitchen design lottery and the service is free at Home Depot, so doubly lucky for us.  The kitchen designer will be able to show you the best possible layout and what will and will not work for your kitchen.  They remember little things like, code says that you must have a certain amount of inches of counter space on each side of your stove.  And, if you put your dishwasher there and your pull out drawers here, they will bang into each other when you open them both.  They should also be able to tell you where you can save some money by passing on expensive upgrades.

Now, if you’ve done your homework, you should know from your inspiration pictures what style of cabinets you want and what type of countertops you’d like.  I literally took maybe 10 minutes to decide which cabinets and colors I wanted.  The countertops took a little longer because the recycled glass I REALLY wanted ended up being very expensive and I ended up choosing a mid price granite, Giallo Ornamental. I’ve actually fallen quite in love with the granite and can’t imagine anything else in the space.  It’s very dimensional and colorful, but not overpowering.  If you look very closely at it you can see little bits that are opaque and I just think it’s the coolest thing ever.

Those are the major decisions.  After that it’s hardware and appliances and and lighting and flooring and windows and spending a ton of money to pay people to do put these things in for you, of course.  Let’s save that for another post, shall we?

What I Made this Weekend

After last weekends Super Bowl gluttony, I tried a couple of healthy recipes.  I made a delicious chicken soup and gluten free peanut butter cookies.  They chicken soup is “paleo” according to the website I got the recipe from.  The cookies are not because they do have sugar in them, but as far as cookies go, I’d say they are fairly healthy.  There’s a cup of sugar in them, but you could probably substitute with something like Stevia (which I don’t like, personally).  There is no flour in the cookies and I used Skippy Natural Smooth Peanut Butter which has no preservatives, but tastes great and you don’t have to stir it like some other natural peanut butters.

Crock Pot Paleo Chicken Soup

You can get the recipe by clicking the picture or the recipe title.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but it still came out delicious.  It tastes fresh and good for you.  There is a reason this dish is the subject of health care urban legend.  I had it for dinner tonight and I’ll be having it for lunch tomorrow!

Post image for Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve made these cookies before and they are very simple and very tasty.  My brother has celiac disease and cannot eat gluten.  Of the baked goods I’ve tried to make without gluten, this is my favorite.  It’s doesn’t call for any flour, so you don’t have a strange flour replacement lurking in them.  This time, I went a little crazy and added a cup of chocolate chips to the batter.   I really didn’t think anything could go wrong with the peanut butter/chocolate chip combo, but it didn’t quite work.  I still ate them, but I didn’t feel like I needed to eat all of them in one sitting.  Perhaps that is the genius of these cookies, after all….

So you may notice a theme developing here… Gluten free, “paleo”.  I’m not going to say I’m going gluten or free or I’m going paleo.  I will say that I have tried the Four Hour Body diet a few times and each time I’ve found that I feel really good when I eliminate the “white stuff” (flour, sugar) from my diet.  I’m not sure why, but I feel more energized. I don’t need to take naps.  But, I crave sweets and sandwiches desperately. So, I’m going to try to ease my way into things this time with some new healthy recipes and the occasional indulgence.

My Faves this Week

I had lots of fun scouring the internet this week.  Lots of inspiration to be found for all aspects of life!

Blue mini curve bowler bagGrey tweed fit and flare coat - Jackets & Coats  - Clothing

You have no idea how hard it was to not buy both of these from Dorothy Perkins this week.  They were in my shopping cart, but a voice in my head was shouting at me, “MUST WAIT FOR BIGGER SALE!!”  The voice sounded a lot like my husbands voice.

I love that gallery wall.  This room makes me feel like being quiet and smart.

31 Days of Spontaneous Organizing - 15 minute a day mini-challenges to get your whole house and life in order!

Haven’t tried this, but I REALLY should.  For reals.

Fill water guns with watercolors and have a fight while wearing white clothes. This needs to happen.

I think my daughter actually pinned this, but it sounds really awesome.  Must try.

Tentsile Stingray Tent : Your Portable Tree House. So. Cool.

Want this.  Want this SO bad.

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars7 CALORIES BROWNIES  (If you don’t save these to your wall, then you are NUTS.. who doesn’t love brownies??) 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used vanilla) 1/4 cup skim milk 1/2 cup Cocoa powder 1/2 cup Old fashioned rolled oats (like Quaker) 1/2 cup Truvia (or any natural/stevia based sweetener that pours like sugar) 1 egg 1/3 cup applesauce 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 pinch salt Preheat the oven to 400°F.20+ Gluten-Free Game Day Recipes | Boulder Locavore #football #gameday

My body has decided it would prefer less gluten-y, sugar-y junk.  My taste buds, however, have threatened a revolt.  The above recipes may be their peace treaty.

Your children are doing the best they know how and they just want kind, loving parents to believe in them. —Carol Tuttle

I’m not usually one for the sappy motivational quotes on Pinterest. Good thing I don’t find this sappy…  Just very true and so very easy to forget.  I should write this across the foreheads of my children.

While sappy may not be my thing, lucky for you I do have a penchant for hilarious:

couldn't help laughing

You don't know my life

I've had a few of these moments.

Funny Quotes