Monday, May 25, 2009

Happiness is storage bins....

Originally uploaded by klsb
all lined up in a row. I am not kidding. It makes me so happy to see these when I open the pantry. I have more on order because I bought ALL OF THEM from all three area Targets (they were on clearance). Air tight and leak proof AND see through. I LOVE IT! Most of this is our new CLEAN EATING stuff, and it actually all tastes pretty good overall!

Target Baskets

Originally uploaded by klsb
I love these target stacking baskets. I have them all over my pantry. I even found more of the medium ones today and completed the top shelf in my pantry. Notice the Almond Butter... YUM! This stuff rocks and is so much better for you than peanut butter. :)

Eating Clean Cooler Food

Originally uploaded by klsb
In honor of trying my very best to EAT CLEAN, I have a spot in the fridge to place packaged protein and complex carb combos so I can just grab them and go in the morning. I love this. I just packed up tonights leftovers into portioned packs for the next couple of days. I lable them with the number of WW points and the number of protein grams so I can stay on track. :)

Yep, I did the Fridge, too.

Originally uploaded by klsb
OK, this might be a bit too far, but I love it. I cleaned up our fridge and labeled it all by catergory. I love it. It makes me happy to open it. My husband thinks I am insane, but it has been over a week, and it still looks like this. :)

Saving the packaging...

Originally uploaded by klsb
This is how I cut out and save the nutritional info and the directions for items I will use over and over.... I simply cut them out of the packaging and tape them to their storage container. I love how all of these containers stack. I love not having a mess of sizes and types of packaging.

Love the spice stair stepper....

Originally uploaded by klsb
This really makes a difference because now I can see what I have. Found this at Target.

Left Side of the pantry....

Originally uploaded by klsb
Here you can see some snack containers (I love to repackage things so they stay fresh... Neil is NOT a fan of this system).

A clean pantry makes me SOOOOO happy!

I HAVE HAD THIS READY TO POST FOR A WEEK, and blogger no longer accepts my photos. I have no clue why...  anyway, I was told to get a flickr account and try to post that way...  so we will see if this works....  I hope you can see my clean pantry!

OK, my friend just came over and said this is a sign that I have a problem.... 
I happen to think it is a good problem.

I am reading the book The Eat Clean Diet and I love it. I have learned more about food and what my family should be eating in the last week than I have learned in a lifetime of stressing about weight and food!!  It is well written and very inspiring to me because it will not be easy, but I am going to clean up our eating. I want to be a strong example for the girls so they learn this stuff NOW and they can not have to worry like I have over the years.

So... onto the pantry. We are blessed with a big pantry. It started organized and was not horrible, but it has lost its true sense of order, and we simply had too much crap in it. I took EVERY SINGLE THING out yesterday. It felt GREAT to get it all out. Then, today, I got some organizers from Target, and I put everything we kept (and lots of new, much CLEANER foods) back in. I love it. I kind of want to sleep in there on a cot if I could fit! :)

And, earlier in the week, I attacked the fridge and freezer, too. I got new storage containers that all work together and that you can see through because we will become MUCH better at using leftovers to ensure that we get protein in between meals....  anyway, here are some fridge shots.

If you have struggled with weight or health issues...  it might be good for you to look at this book. I finished the EAT CLEAN book and just got (used on Amazon for only $2.00) the Eat Clean for Families and Kids. I love it, too. I have the EAT CLEAN COOKBOOK coming soon. (also used from Amazon for $2.00).  Even if I fail miserably at Clean Eating...  I have a nice looking fridge and pantry due to my efforts! :)

Hope you all had a productive Saturday. :)

Full Pantry Shot

Originally uploaded by klsb
I am having a lot of trouble getting photos to post, so I was told to try Flickr. I hope this works. If it does... I think you will see a bunch of posts of photos of my pantry... then, I will go post the text I have had ready for a week while I struggled to get blogger to accept my photos again. I love my "new" pantry.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A wonderful Mother's Day with Busia

I overheard my amazing 85 year old Grandma (we call her Busia - she is my Mom's Mom) asking her sister if she had ever been to Holland Michigan to see the tulips. When her sister said no, Busia said, "That is the one place I have always wanted to go and I missed it. I just always wanted to see those tulips." I had no idea what she was even talking about, but in my 37 years on earth, I have never heard her WANT anything. Never once. If you ask her what she wants to drink she says "Whatever is easy." If you ask her if she is hungry, she says "Not really." When I call and KNOW I woke her up she says "No, you did not wake me up, I was just lying across the bed." I mean, I love this lady to death, and I have never ONCE heard her want to go anywhere or ask for anything...  anyway, so I went home and looked up Holland last week. Long story short, this week is actually Tulip Time Festival and we booked a room using up my husband's Marriott Points and surprised her yesterday. All I told her was that she needed an overnight bag. We were taking her to my nephew's 5th birthday party so we already would have her in the van!!  She had no clue where we were going. We left right after the party and drove about 4 hours to get to the last hour or of the Tulip Time festival. There was not much left going on, but we had rented a wheelchair and took her up and down the downtown streets.

Today, we took her to Windmill Island which had TONS of tulips and a working windmill from the Netherlands. It was amazing to see her see the tulips. She said it was even better than it had been in her dreams since she was a little girl. I cannot think of a better way to spend Mother's day especially without my Mom here. It is a hard day for all of us, but this made it a lot better. We made her dream come true.

This photo stopped my heart because I am 100% sure that other than be in Heaven with my mom, I know that there is NO WHERE in the world my grandma would have rather been at this moment in time. How many times in life are you lucky enough to have a photo you can say that about??  Ahh, it was just awesome and I feel so lucky to have lived my life today.

Here are a few of the over 400 photos I took in the last 30 hours....  Man, I am glad I finally went digital. :)

Kalli kept begging to be the one to push Busia. I love that she wanted to help her so badly. Watching my child push my grandma through the tulips is something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.  She kept saying, "Busia, do you want to see those? How about these? Aren't they beautiful? I am so happy we took you here." I wish I had it on video because it was just a cool life moment.

I hope anyone reading this had an amazing day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Little by little

I am trying to take better care of myself. I lost a good dal of weight on Weight Watchers, but then I stopped working out and stopped counting points, and I put it all right back on. Go figure! I mean, this is not brain surgery type stuff. It is not that hard to understand, but for some reason, I have struggled with weight my whole life. Well, I decided to give WW another try, but I cannot afford to attend the meetings, so my sister got me a three-month journal and I have counted points for about a month now. I am happy to say I am down about 6 and hope for many, many more. I wanted to show you my WW journal and how I made it my own, and I hope it inspires me to keep using it many times a day. I used to use the weekly booklets, and I loved them. My sister (who has been a WW lifetime member for a long time) swears that I will have more success with the three-month booklet. And, who am I to not try since she bought it for me, right?? :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Never forget

how awesome the simple little things can be.... 
Homemade cake toppers that double as scrapbook page accents.

Personalized CDs that Neil made with all the party music and a photo of Kal and each friend. 

Backpacks with Kalli-Colored name tags. 

And, finally, fun-to-make Creative Cafe bracelets that ALL the kids loved making. 

We really had a nice party at a reasonable cost and they left with FUN, practical gifts from us. I love that we sent them home with music & memories. Totally awesome. 

Friday, May 1, 2009

7 years ago today...

I became a Mom. Almost exactly right now was when Kal was born. I cannot believe it was 7 years ago already. It seems like I cannot even remember life NOT as a Mom.  I have SO MANY fun photos to post from her awesome Rock Star Fashion party....  but it is a beginning of a crazy weekend. Here are just a few photos from the HUNDREDS I took at the party....
Kalli totally designed her own cake. She drew it out and wanted a "mountain cake" (the barbie style cake without the Barbie in it) and drew out the colors and everything). It was exactly what she wanted. I loved that she designed it by herself.

12 friends had their hair and nails done and tried on clothes and then danced like rock stars.
These are the booklets I made each kid. They have a page (kind of trading card style) for each kid in each book (so each kid got 12 kid pages plus some extras). I shot photos and had them printing while the party was going on. I printed and stuck them into the booklets before they left. The Moms loved it, and it was FREE because I had all the stuff to make them. I LOVE MY BIND-IT-ALL!!  These totally rocked. Kalli loves it!

Our traditional family shot with all four of us by the cake. To be honest, we TOTALLY forgot to take it (I was too busy printing photos for the booklets) so I took it after the party with the 1/2 of cake that was left. We are actually holding the cake together for the shot. I love that we got it, even though it was so late!!

Before school we covered Kal's arm in tatoo wraps left over from her party. I loved them going all the way up her arm, of course, we did it for Kaya, too. :)
The Monster Cookies we brought to Kal's class. Kaya and I stayed for a while and helped her pass them out (and I took a bunch of pictures of course).  The class LOVED them.

This is Kal and Kaya at her desk sharing their monster cookies. Kaya was so well behaved, and Kalli's friends LOVED having her there to hang out with them. It has a been an awesome day so far...  and we just snuck her out of school to take her to lunch, and we are headed to a nice dinner out with Friends in Indy tonight. (We are running - Neil - and walking - Me - the Mini Marathon - 13.1 miles - this weekend). I am simply thrilled to be her Mom, and I love that we make a HUGE DEAL out of every birthday. Each one is a miracle in my mind.