MCONFESSOR's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=MCONFESSOR MCONFESSOR's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Celebrities Need to "Explain" Weight Gain? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5781495 I was up early this morning and read about how yet another notable celebrity has 'spoken out' about their recent weight gain and 'explained' it to the media because of all the backlash, rumours, and criticism. <BR> <BR> Are you kidding me? I mean seriously, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? <BR> <BR> It's no one's business if they have gained weight, but even more importantly - where do fans (or non-fans) and news outlets get the idea that it is acceptable to even bring it up? I know there are a lot of a... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:02:21 EST Enjoying a "Day Off." http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5780679 Granted, the usual still applies, it's not like there are many real days 'off,' but I didn't have to bake anything today and that was a welcome change of pace. I made a lovely pasta dish with meat sauce and fresh vegetables for the children, but opted for some cottage cheese and GF toast for myself. I just wasn't feeling food today for some reason. I may have a snack in a bit, because I really do need to up the numbers for the day. <BR> <BR> I got in a good sweaty workout early this morning ... Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:32:21 EST Stuffed Tomatoes & a New Order. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5779971 The order is for first thing Friday morning, but apparently a couple has been left hanging by the planned baker and I am stepping in at the (not quite) 11th hour and doing their full wedding cutting cake and guest cupcakes overnight Thursday night so they will be at their intended destination on time. It means I'll be giving up sleep that night to squeeze it in, but I hate to think of someone needing a full wedding order with only 4 days notice. I mean, it is so difficult to get ANYWHERE to ... Sun, 14 Sep 2014 23:50:33 EST One Week Down, One To Go! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5778446 My husband returns next Friday, so that means all went well for the first week. Not that we had any reason to believe it wouldn't, of course, but it's nice to see the days tick away. He called me last night for a few moments. They had a cookout on deck - with lobster. He told me that it wasn't particularly GOOD lobster, though. Haha! However, I am glad he is enjoying things overall and it sounds like he is learning several cool new things. Turns out, he genuinely enjoys manning the helm - n... Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:56:50 EST An Actual Day of Rest. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5777390 For one of the first days in forever, all I HAD to do today was make sure everyone in our house was fed, clothed, housed, clean, loved, and happy. <BR> <BR> Mission accomplished! <BR> <BR> I have to admit that I have felt like an absolute sloth of a person, though. I have done two workouts, did two consultations on prospective orders, and confirmed this Friday's order - but it feels like absolutely NOTHING compared to my usual days! Tomorrow evening I will baking and decorating for the p... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:27:00 EST Supermoon and Lots of Exercise. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5776903 I feel like I've been moving non-stop for the past two days. Definitely no worry about getting in enough steps! <BR> <BR> The moon was gorgeous as it rose. <BR> <BR> Everything is going well around here - a lot going on, but everyone is great. My husband was able to call for a few minutes and fill me in on his past two days. <BR> <BR> Eating is on target, mood is great, and no complaints. :) <BR> <BR> Moonrise. :) <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l142740061.jpg"... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 23:16:25 EST Yesterday I Used the Term "Relax." Ha! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5775537 Compared to the past few days, today was more relaxing, but it was still bustling with activity. We went to the store to fill in a few things I will need while my husband is gone. Then, I did a lot of laundry, packed up all of his supplies and uniforms for the sail, and - while he spent time with the kids playing games and making sure everyone had Papa-time - pep talked myself into making time (and energy) to do one more round of baking so not only would the children have fresh baked cookies ... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 01:24:33 EST I Made It and Can Now Relax! (Photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5774863 I did it. I got everything made, displayed, and sold. Well, I came home with like 2 cupcakes and 3 cookies, or something small like that, but I sold a ton of baked goods - and even some crafts. The turnout was much higher than I thought it would be, and the interest in my items was WAY higher than I thought it would be. I honestly could not be happier with how my first public showing went. :) I was even given information by the Winter Craft Fair coordinator and invited to participate in tha... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 23:04:23 EST Obligatory Blog Entry. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5773706 I'm so tired. <BR> <BR> I got everything done that was on the Thursday list, but I am feeling it. <BR> <BR> My husband called early in the morning to let me know that their briefing was turning into an overnight sail to make sure the crew was sea ready for Monday. Fortunately, I always make sure back up uniforms, overnight bags, toiletry bags, and various supplies are on the ready. He had time to run in, throw it in the van, and head back out. He is supposed to dock and be home tomorrow... Fri, 5 Sep 2014 01:55:50 EST Crafts For the Festival. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5772983 I'm not even sure if I have mentioned this here, but I am going to have a table at a local festival this weekend. Today I made the craft portion of things (well, most of them - I have to finish up a few things tomorrow morning). I am (obviously) catering to the young child and grandparent demographics. :) I will also have many baked goods, but those do not get made until the night before - when I also have two orders to fill. Friday and Friday night will be SO busy. I look forward to seei... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 23:42:43 EST Buy All the Lotion! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5772267 I found out that a salon owner was going out of business and selling all of their little bottles of Aveeno lotion. For $10, I got 407 (it was a 'these two bags for $10' type of thing, without knowing how many were in them for sure). Totally worth it! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1724478099.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1258648233.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> Also - <BR> <BR> Circuit training - check <BR> Extra cardio - chec... Tue, 2 Sep 2014 23:16:13 EST September Health and Fitness Goals. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5771301 Well, here we are - September 1, 2014. <BR> <BR> I have done pretty well this year, but I want to do better to close out the year. <BR> <BR> The following goals are things I feel are inspired yet reasonable. Each day I will check them off in a blog entry to hold myself accountable, and on September 30, I will update on what kind of progess I have seen as a result. <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. Blog on SP daily. I have been slacking on that in the recent months and want to get back on track. I f... Mon, 1 Sep 2014 17:41:13 EST I'm Doing Cartwheels - Literally! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5770822 We took all of our boys to the ocean today for a bit of rock climbing and walking around. It was a great time and, despite a little bit cooler and overcast weather, it was nice to get out of the house even if the plan had been a lazy Sunday at home. <BR> <BR> While our two youngest were amusing themselves by doing handstands, and my husband was joining in and showing them a few PT exercises he does, our oldest son enjoyed rolling around in the grass and watching the ocean waves. When my hu... Mon, 1 Sep 2014 00:48:28 EST The Four Day Weekend Has Started. (Weekend Wedding Order Photos.) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5769648 My husband started his four day weekend today, so that was nice. Of course, it coincided with a big wedding order I worked on all day for delivery tomorrow morning, so no sleeping in for me - but it was still nice to have him around. :) <BR> <BR> While baking and decorating, I did a consultation for a birthday party next weekend. I will be making a two tiered cake and two dozen cupcakes for that. I look forward to this theme! (A Fairy Garden and Tinkerbell cupcakes) <BR> <BR> I got in a ... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 22:57:52 EST Circuit Training Starts Again. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5766665 My body had really missed circuit training - in a couple of ways. <BR> <BR> 1. I feel GREAT. Sore and tired (and pretty sweaty), but great! It is the perfect way to start my day and I am glad I psyched myself back into it. <BR> <BR> 2. I FEEL it. I know it will become easier each day, and by next week I'll be at it with no problem, but getting back into a habit is always an effort. At least this one is worth it. :) <BR> <BR> <BR> I have an order for delivery tonight, so I'll have to sta... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:50:10 EST I Am So Tired. (Plus: Famous Artwork Cupcake Photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5766232 Between yesterday's all day outing (LOTS of walking!) and today's artwork inspired cupcake decorating (not to mention cleaning, laundry, and chasing an active boy while we were home alone together), I am really looking forward to an early night and (God willing) SLEEP. <BR> <BR> We have had a wonderful weekend, though, so a bit of exhaustion is worth it. :) <BR> <BR> This week will be moderately busy, as far as the baking business goes. I am doing a birthday cake and cookie set tomorrow, ... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 19:38:34 EST Motivation. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5764923 I think I am going to buy a bathing suit on clearance this weekend - two sizes smaller than I need right now. That will be the motivator in the closet to keep me going all winter. :) <BR> <BR> Yes, I realize that my health, looking better, and feeling better should be all the incentive I need, but let's be honest - if that is ALL we needed then none of us would be here! Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:07:29 EST New Cupcake Designs. (Photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5761193 Hello all. My personal eating and exercise is going well, so that's good. Fortunately I cannot eat most things I bake and decorate - the following cupcakes being an example. :) I wanted to work on a new line of character cupcakes, but not use the exact same techniques you see all over the Internet. With these, I used tips and colours that I thought would best illustrate the textures and styles of each character. Printing, cutting out, and assembling the cupcake toppers on these took a bit... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 01:38:52 EST Prayers For My Mom Are Welcome, If You Do That. :) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5758444 My Mother has been rushed into ICU following a series of heart attacks that have disturbed the heart rhythm. Long story short, she is being prepped for heart surgery. The extent will be determined once they are in there and can fully see what they are dealing with. <BR> <BR> There is just so much going on and I'm so worried. I hate not being able to be there. I mean, my Mom and I are both realists and we understand that you can't halt life for unexpected things. She was on the other end o... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 18:50:34 EST Oh, Glorious Weekend - Welcome! (A Lot of Pointless Photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5756628 I am so happy for the weekend to be here. Yesterday, my day consisted of preparing two wedding orders, making a new meal for dinner for the family (AND MAKING MASHED POTATO ROSES!), boxing up the orders, and working out. Today, I delivered the orders, did the grocery shopping for the week ahead, worked on a couple of projects, and then made it back home exhausted and ready to enjoy an evening with absolutely NO BAKING! I also got in a couple of miles of walking, so that was nice - although... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 23:28:15 EST Minecraft Order Photo. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5755490 The person who placed the order requested no fondant on the actual cake, plenty of gel to make it 'shimmer,' and to have the Creeper face go all the way through the cake, not just on the frosting. This is what I came up with. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1669654037.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1840050829.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I am doing 10 dozen cupcakes and a cake tomorrow for a Saturday wedding. <BR> <BR> <BR> My Mom ... Fri, 8 Aug 2014 01:51:11 EST Long Night. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5754267 My Mom was going to be medevaced yesterday evening, but after having an anxiety attack over the idea of the helicopter, they compromised and sent her by ambulance to a larger hospital in another city. I got notified at about 10:30pm our time. It appears to be a heart related issue and she will be undergoing tests and treatments this week. I am not flying out at this point (she and I are both pretty pragmatic about situations like this, so neither of us is freaking out), but am trying to tal... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 10:20:31 EST Baking and Decorating and More Baking and Decorating! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5753935 First, the great news - my nerve and muscles are feeling MUCH better. So much better, in fact, that I was able to get in two workouts today, stay on my feet for several hours, and even walk a little. I am very thankful for this. I missed moving without feeling a need to scream! :) <BR> <BR> As far as the title of this entry - that's really just what it is. Today was a set of Superhero cupcakes and a set of Wicked/Wizard of Oz cupcakes. I have two weddings this weekend, and a Minecraft c... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 22:01:19 EST Howdy, Howdy, Howdy! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5751450 I hope at least someone got the Toy Story reference in the title of this entry. :) <BR> <BR> My pinched nerve is doing LOADS better. Turns out, unlike my usual "push through the pain" approach to just about everything, this time it really did take REST. Real rest. It was odd, I wasn't particularly crazy about it, and I am glad it looks like it is behind me, but it really seems to have done the trick. Yes, I still have pain, but it is nothing like it was a few days ago - or even two days... Sat, 2 Aug 2014 01:43:05 EST Sciatica and Fruit Carvings. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5748622 I hurt so badly that it generally just makes me want to scream. I am doing all that can be done for it, though, so it is just a wait it out situation. I hate it, and I hate not being able to properly work out, but there really isn't a choice in this one. I know when I have done too much because I unintentionally scream the minute I cross the line. I'd love to sit here and whine about it, but that won't change anything so I am resting when I have to, icing, heating, massaging, and carrying... Mon, 28 Jul 2014 23:36:15 EST Mousse Animals! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5745962 Sometimes I really have fun with my confectionary treats. <BR> <BR> <BR> A bunny, mice, hedgehogs, and a bear. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1684474389.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l18278883.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/6/l960507831.jpg"> <BR> <BR> And this is a Coke "Faux"loat! Ha, get it? It's a fake float. (Mousse topped with a scoop of homemade whipped cream done to look like ice cream.)... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:38:25 EST Today's Cake Order (Photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5742884 The order was for a Hawaiian themed birthday. They wanted a waterfall and flowers on the cake and a dozen cupcakes on the side - and beyond that, gave me a bit of creative liberty. This is what I whipped up this morning and will be delivering shortly. Hope they like it! It was a fun one to make. :) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/7/l278643671.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1089684401.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photo... Sun, 20 Jul 2014 18:07:49 EST Pinched Sciatic Nerve. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5742466 Last night and today have been spent largely praying and yelping in pain when I move. That's a slight exaggeration, but not by TOO much. What happened is pretty straightforward and uneventful - last year our special needs son had injuered me pretty badly during one of the extremely violent outbursts he used to have so frequently. The result was a herniated disc. It was bad, but it got better and has given me no trouble since for the most part. Fast forward to last night - he wanted to "b... Sun, 20 Jul 2014 01:28:00 EST I Accomplished Many Things Today! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5740448 Sometimes I stop at the end of the day and think "I really was doing things all day! Why do I feel like I did nothing?" Not today. I DID things. I did an arm, ab, and leg workout, then I worked outside for three hours on our back patio and the areas immediately surrounding it, then I made a full homemade dinner and dessert, and I also squeezed in four loads of laundry. I'm exhausted, but in a really good way I also felt completely justified in enjoying the dessert I put together - a Mouss... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:20:16 EST I Think We Need a Pool. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5738980 Nothing fancy, or anything. Just something we can plop into for a bit when it gets too hot (which is constantly these past few days and will apparently be that way for several more), especially our special needs son. He has such a rough time with the heat. We are generally very fortunate out here - it is rarely 'hot,' but this current stagnant heatwave has decided to hang on for a bit. Anyway, I am looking into them and we'll make a decision soon. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I am going to buy a whol... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 23:06:33 EST The More Sweets I Bake, the Fewer I Want to Eat! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5737850 Yesterday found me on my feet and in the kitchen for 6 hours non-stop. I got in a few miles of walking IN MY KITCHEN. The orders are boxed and go out for delivery later today, and the trial batch of French Macarons are here for my family to try. I had a few turn out really well, but they are such incredibly time sensitive cookies that just the amount of time required to take one tray out, put it down, and turn around to get the other one (so less than a minute) was enough to overbake the sec... Sun, 13 Jul 2014 11:33:08 EST Tired- But Doing Well! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5737046 It's been a busy week. I've had orders, my husband had his last day at his current posting (and going away party that I provided dessert for), and our temperatures are finally getting serious about going up. I've been working out every morning and getting in a lot of walking. <BR> <BR> For those who enjoy the baking photos, here are a couple of items. <BR> <BR> Triple Layer Cappuccino Meringues (low fat, low cal, gluten free - and about the size of a mini marshmallow) <BR> <img src=... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:24:07 EST Such a Great Week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5733085 We have had such an incredible week. We were able to do all the things we had planned - and then some. More importantly, we all had a wonderful time together and enjoyed every minute of it. <BR> <BR> The beach trip wound up being unexpectedly (to us and the weather forecast!) drizzly, but we made the best of it and were still able to spend hours in the ocean and at the splash pad in the park attached to the beach. We played with mud crabs, collected shells, searched for treasure, had a... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 12:30:48 EST I Bought a Swimsuit. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5731562 I hate it. I hate how I look in it. I hate that I needed to get one. HOWEVER - I am glad I have it so I can frolic around in the ocean and plop down in the sand and build castles and things with the rest of the family. I'll keep a shirt over it and no one else will ever know how hideous it is - and I assure you, it IS hideous. <BR> <BR> Our trip will be wonderful, though, because we will be together and are celebrating Independence Day even if we aren't on US soil at the moment. Fun... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 22:09:51 EST Our Canada Day Adventures. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5730544 Our family had a great time yesterday. We also really enjoyed the fireworks over the Harbour. We took a full picnic spread complete with a watermelon grill and fruit kabobs. We took extra cupcakes and glow sticks to hand out to people around us and they seemed to like that quite a bit. Parents were very grateful have their children handed glow sticks and/or bracelets for free, because as anyone with a child in their life knows - the ones being sold AT events are incredibly overpriced, but... Wed, 2 Jul 2014 11:52:17 EST -35! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5729495 Today marks the day I have lost 35 pounds! Still a ways to go, of course, but hey - 35 pounds! That's awesome! I'm really happy with my progress and thrilled that I can say I have done this myself. No meal replacements, no diet pills, no anything other than counting calories, working out, and not making excuses about why I need more than those two things. (I am not knocking anyone who opts to use anything - it just wasn't going to be the right path for ME.) <BR> <BR> My husband is on l... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 00:52:16 EST An Actual Progress Photo. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5727115 I thought I would show how my progress is going so far. The first photo was taken last year at this time. The second photo was taken just this past Friday evening. While neither counts as a 'good' picture, haha, I DO think it shows that whether I feel like I can see it on a daily basis or not, some progress is being made. <BR> <BR> As of this afternoon, my husband starts 10 wonderful days of leave. We are all looking forward to that and have lots of plans - including a trip up island f... Fri, 27 Jun 2014 12:08:52 EST Feeling the Burn. (Also, more order photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5725567 As the month winds down, I am DEFINITELY feeling the challenges and SEEING the effects. It's great. I have no plans of stopping when June ends, either. I plan to keep at it. Abs and arms have become such a natural part of my day now that I'd probably have a difficult time giving it up, anyway. I figure if I stick with it, I'll continue to see improvement AND continue to feel good about doing it. :) <BR> <BR> I have been really happy with my success this month. I have not deviated fr... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:17:48 EST Happy Monday! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5723994 After an absolutely wonderful weekend, I look forward to starting an equally great week. I guess I have no reason to believe it'll be a great week, but more importantly - I have no reason to believe it WON'T be, so I am choosing to to be positive. :) <BR> <BR> I am working on an order later today that gets delivered tomorrow morning. I am really glad it'll be full of gluten and for a customer, because otherwise I KNOW I would want more of it than is healthy. Haha. A dark chocolate cake... Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:02:15 EST A Fun and Healthy Brunch. (Photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5722770 To celebrate the first day of summer, my family sat down to find their plates bursting with the life of a food park! Whipped quiche filled with broccoli, mushrooms, onion, and a bit of cheese was topped with bacon roses and surrounded by broccoli trees, strawberry shrubbery, a ranch wading pond, and olive and carrot ducks. :) <BR> <BR> My own meal did not have bacon, ranch, or raw broccoli because I do not care for any of them, but the rest of the family loved it. My husband's plate i... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 12:25:54 EST Hello Everybody! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5721624 I hope everyone is doing well and having a great (and healthy!) week! We have been enjoying some very cool weather lately, although that has made enjoying some warmer weather activities nearly impossible. I have been keeping up with my Ab and Arm Challenges and am actually starting to see noticeable physical changes. Not a LOT, but just enough to make me feel good about my progress and providing a solid amount of inspiration to keep with it. My arms are where I see it the most and that... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 20:47:23 EST So Much Baking. Business is going well. (lots of photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5719114 Between orders, new product advertising, and Father's Day, I feel like I have been baking non-stop for days. I am SO thankful to have absolutely nothing to make today (at least at this point in the day that is how it stands). <BR> <BR> I had my ab and arm challenges knocked out of the way before 8am today, so that was great. I may even add in a second round of each later. :) <BR> <BR> For those who like the baking photos, here you go. <BR> <BR> <BR> Strawberry version of Big To... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:55:47 EST Our Oldest Son's Birthday. (Photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5716795 Well, today was the day. Our wonderful guy turned the big 1-8. He had a great day and absolutely loved his Dumbo party. He has been happily watching two of his gifts - both Christmas movies haha - and has had a huge smile on his face for hours. He seemed to really enjoy watching me make his cake and all the food. I did super teeny tiny mini 'ice cream cone' cupcakes and a cake that looked like a giant hot fudge sundae. We called it "Big Top Sundae," and everyone really liked it. (It ... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 21:52:45 EST Lots of Decorations! (Photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5715784 Yesterday I took a bit of my morning to work on the decorations for our son's party tomorrow evening. I dealt with so much tissue paper that everything felt like tissue paper for the rest of the day! I am happy with how things turned out, though, and think they will look nice when put up. Ian seemed really happy when he saw them. In fact, he loved one of the flowers to death - we originally had seven of them, but now we're down to six. Oh well, no great loss. :) Between what I made... Wed, 11 Jun 2014 12:49:46 EST So Much Ab Work! (And a guilt-free dessert photo) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5714919 Ow, my abs! It's a good pain, so nothing to worry or complain about, but wow. Today we are up to 50 sit ups, 50 crunches, 30 leg lifts, and a 38 second plank. It goes up progressively each day. I try not to look ahead, but today I noticed the end of the month and laughed and laughed. Perhaps that much laughter counts as more ab work! The arm challenge is doing its job, too. I have decided to just put my scale away for a few weeks. I realized I was getting way too bogged down with it a... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 11:10:55 EST This Week's Projects. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5714402 I am starting the tassel garland for our oldest son's birthday party this Thursday, making other decorations for that, painting little elephants pink to be literal "Pink Elephants on Parade," and am making the rough draft of a design to carve the watermelon the way I want on Thursday. <BR> <BR> It is so hard to believe our guy is turning 18! He has made so much progress over this past year and we are so incredibly proud of him. I would say he is consistent on about a 3 year old level in al... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 18:02:59 EST Cutest Little Snack (Photo)! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5713779 Today I made these adorable little olive, cream cheese, and pepper penguins. They were supposed to be done with carrots, but I was out, so peppers it was! I look forward to making them again. This test run went pretty well, though, and we all enjoyed them. I love making ordinary things extraordinary! <BR> <BR> Still doing the Arm and Abs thing. Still sore. Still loving it. <BR> <BR> We had another great end of the weekend picnic dinner this evening. I just love this new tradition... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 23:12:12 EST 30 Day Ab Challenge Update (and carrot cupcake photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5712972 The 30 Day Ab Challenge is going really well. I am DEFINITELY feeling it at the end of each morning, now, but I also am feeling great for continuing with it. Obviously I would love a noticeable difference at the end of the month, but more importantly I am happy it is keeping me in the habit of ab-specific workouts each day. It was a good decision to hitch onto this one! Sore abs for now, though! <BR> <BR> Yesterday I worked on perfecting a cupcake version of the totally from scratch hom... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 18:21:30 EST Craft Day! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5711743 I was able to set aside a bit of time to get ten more bookmarks and magnets made today. They will be on their way to children this weekend. :) I really enjoy making this for the kids of family and friends and am always happy to hear about their reactions when they receive them. <BR> <BR> I'm still going strong on my 30 Day Ab and Arm Challenges. I'm feeling it for sure, but in a good way! Besides that, I also got in a good round of cardio and a nearly 3 mile walk today. The nicer wea... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 00:45:20 EST Making Time. (Photos of recent orders at the end) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5710461 After finishing up my 30 Day Challenge routine this morning (today was supposed to be a rest day, but I wasn't feeling great yesterday so switched the days out), I decided I would MAKE time to post a blog entry over here. I still track everything daily, but I find that I miss the daily blog posts and interactions over here. :) <BR> <BR> We are keeping very busy now that the weather is so great. I'm also having to work on new recipes, orders, and advertising/consultations for orders. Bet... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 11:01:36 EST