A little over a year ago I was up to 230 lbs and miserable. My husband would tell me that I was beautiful, but I didn’t feel it. I just stopped taking care of myself. I was tired all the time and by the time I got home from work, my kids got whatever was left, usually scraps. I knew I needed to do something to change, but I just didn’t know where to start and I didn’t know if I could do it. I had tried diets before several from well known companies, but I can’t stand counting calories. I love food! I love flavor, I love to cook, and I love to eat 🙂 So diets were very hard for me. I was always hungry and they never worked because I would always cave in. In all I lost 20 lbs in 8 months.
One day I noticed a drastic change in a friend of mine. He had lost a significant amount of weight, his size was noticeably different. He had tons of energy too. I saw life in him, something I vaguely remembered seeing in myself. Fun, bright, and happy….I wanted that! I asked him what was so different in him and he started to tell me about AdvoCare. At first I was like, well this is going to be a lot of money. It’s funny how fast excuses come. I used to always say I didn’t want to start a diet on a weekend, that I would start on Monday. And then Monday would get there and I just had a bad day so ice cream was a necessity, of course. I thought a long time about what my friend told me. His story resonated with me and I liked the plans and the fact that I didn’t have to start with the full package. I could
customize it to my budget.
February 2015 I started a 10 day cleanse with Spark (the best drink on the planet) and Catalyst with a distributorship. It is basically like a wholesale membership club. I automatically got a discount on every order for a year. No obligation to sell, buy, or even continue my membership after that year. Following a plan that fit my budget, the help and advice of my new AdvoCare family, and an amazing meal plan that allowed me to EAT (and I mean eat alot, sometimes I just didn’t want anything) I lost 25 lbs in 3 months. And it wasn’t just the weight, it was the inches! I went from a size 22 to a 16. And the energy….I felt like a whole new person. I actually played with my kids when I came home from work, I went for walks and they rode their bikes, even housework was easier.
I have had to take a break from most of the products I love due to financial reasons, but I have been able to maintain my weight loss because of the great nutritional tips I learned with AdvoCare. Now, I know it’s not for everyone, but it worked for me and I am an AdvoCare Champion for life!
In order to share a little more about myself I should definitely mention Hall of Wonder Crafts and AdvoCare. They are two of my passions and kind of my side jobs, even though they really aren’t work. Today’s entry is about Hall of Wonder Crafts and I will talk about AdvoCare tomorrow. About a year and a half ago I was a sporadic, amateur knitter. My husband decided he wanted a hat and sent me a picture/pattern for the one he wanted. Of course it was crochet and he didn’t know there was a difference. Instead of trying to find the knit version of the pattern I decided to indulge him by learning crochet. After some research I found The Crochet Crowd Their spunky personalities and great, in depth tutorials had me crocheting in no time. I was ‘hooked’! After finishing my husband’s hat (he loved it by the way, still wears it to this day) I started making random pieces because I thought they were cute and I just wanted to keep going. One particular piece I gave to a friend’s little girl had my friends all raving. It was a shell stitch hat with an attached button for changeable flowers.
One of my friends suggested I start selling them and that she had purchased a space at a local craft show a month from then. Hall of Wonder Crafts was born! I created a few pieces for her to sell at her booth and I created my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hallofwondercrafts so that if people liked what they saw they could check out more of what I could do. Sadly I did not sell a single piece at that craft show, but I was not daunted. Besides I crocheted because I loved it not because I wanted to make money. It was such a great stress reliever. Suddenly though, with the cold weather coming in and because one of my friends had a newborn and wanted some pieces that created a buzz, I started getting in orders. Mainly from friends and family, but most were custom orders which quickly expanded my product portfolio. Now my orders have eased a little, but my love for crocheting is very much alive. I participate regularly in Facebook and Ravelry Crochet-Alongs and forum discussions. I will continue to share my Hall of Wonder escapades with my latest projects and inspiration. I would love to hear what inspires you to do your hobby?
You can also check out my future ideas on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/halls4ajrc/hall-of-wonder-ideas/ Follow me if you would like to continue seeing what could be next!
I heard all the raves about Spaghetti Squash and how good it was but it wasn’t until my husband tried it on one of our rare date nights at a fancy restaurant and said he actually liked it. Who knew! I couldn’t believe he did, it was a ‘dreaded’ vegetable! How could he? It wasn’t until he admitted he liked it that I told him what it was. I decided it was time to try cooking spaghetti squash myself. I found an amazing tip about how to cook it, which you can see here.
It was super easy to do and it worked out marvelously. Just chop off the ends, slice into rings, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. I placed mine on a foil lined cookie sheet. Roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then just peel off the peel and gently pull apart with two forks, the ‘noodles’ just fell apart wonderfully and nothing was wasted. No scraping or mincing up the strings. The squash made perfect “noodles” and they weren’t squishy like I was afraid they could be. Now, I did burn/blacken the bottoms of the rings a little, but that part came right off and I made those a taste testing set. I really liked it with just the salt and pepper, like I could eat them just like that. Onward to the sauce though. The recipe for a sauce that was featured in her article looked really good too, but I wanted to try to find something I knew my boys would eat too.
So after much Pinterest searching I found a Vegan Tomato Basil Cream Sauce courtesy of Hummusapien . We are not a vegan family, but this recipe really sounded delicious! The idea of a cream sauce with no cream was so healthy and appealing! And it was foolproof, so simple! Fire roasted canned tomatoes, soaked cashews, basil leaves, salt, pepper, and a little bit of water and then voila! A sauce to be proud of! Warm it together with the prepared spaghetti squash noodles and it was an amazing meal. One that has become a favorite of mine, I even had the heated leftovers for lunch the next day. Unfortunately the sauce was not liked by my very picky younger child so the search is on for a sauce he will like. I would love to hear any of your suggestions, maybe something you eat with spaghetti squash. I will try to update on any new tries that I taste test on him!
It is 2016, I’m 35 years old, and I’m at a point in my life that I’m happy and more confident in my self than I ever have been. Between my 2 sons and my husband I rarely get any girl time to talk about what girls talk about. I love being a wife and a mom but sometimes I want to be more than that. To talk girly and be understood, to discuss creatively. I want this blog to do just that. Throughout this year I am challenging myself to get out there and engage myself with topics that will hopefully engage others. To enrich myself by enriching others. The truth is, I like to think I’m always right when sometimes I am wrong, I cry at movies (even animated ones), I love makeup and nail polish, I love the colors pink and purple, I believe in being soft but kicking a little butt when necessary, I believe in happy endings, love music not just for the beat but how I can relate to the lyrics, I am addicted to Pinterest, and I’m not perfect. I am a girl, a woman, and I want time to be just that. I proudly claim to be a girl and this is my girl time!