Saturday, March 24, 2012

All Stitched up... and LUCKY?!?

Hi all!

So things have been progressing on both the GAME ON: MN style front AND the crafty front as well.. here's the update!

  • GET LUCKY 7k...DONE!! I completed my first 7k (4.3 miles) race on St. Patty's Day alongside my dear friend and dynamo-doula Stacy Nathan!! It was a personal best for me on several levels- the longest race I've ever run/completed and the best time  (10:39 min/mile!) I've ever done!!! It was tough, but it felt AWESOME... and it was a blast to see almost 8,000 runners in their Irish duds and hear Irish music along the way!! It was also pretty perfect weather-wise at a balmy 60 degrees- in MARCH.... Here is a "before" and "after" pic of Stacy and I!
 Here is our "before" pic!!
And our "after" with Sir Cooper (our official mascot in his "Kiss me I'm Irish" t-shirt!!)

  • As for GAME ON: MN style- Despite my running "high" I've hit a plateau with my weight loss. We are almost done with round 2 and I've maintained my weight loss of 6 lbs. total, but I've been pretty disappointed in my motivation to take things to the next "level"to really move my weight loss along. So I'm preparing for round 3 and hoping to really PUSH myself to lose another 5 lbs and edge close to my goal!!! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
  • On the crafty front-I think it's *official*- I'm tiptoeing into "quilter" territory!! My friend Jill has been helping me with the initial stages of constructing two duvet coverlets with "quilted" tops for our new lake home guest beds. I've gotten pretty gung-ho about it and I'm excited to see the finished product! Here is an "in progress"photo as I sew the pieces of my squares together! Expect more updated photos of my squares later this week!
  •  So I also signed up for a beginner quilting class at a nearby quilt shop. We'll see how it goes, but I figure at least it will offer me some pointers on how to use my sewing machine a bit better and give me a taste for what quilting is all about! 
  • Alright, last update here... I just have to throw this in... as you may remember, my husband and I were able to purchase a lake home in Biwabik, MN (near Giant's Ridge ski area) and we've been busy painting up a storm, hunting down furniture and trying to make it our sanctuary away from the craziness of suburban life- so my OTHER crafty projects (distressing/painting picture frames, making "ski" and "paddle" coasters, etc.) have been centered on the cabin-more on those later!! But here is my HUBBY'S project (I'm a proud wifey!) from last week, still in progress!
 No, he didn't build the kitchen, but he DID install the "airstone" backsplash! It's actually a styrofoam product that looks like stone-it's his first attempt and I thought he did quite well!! It gives our kitchen a great northwoods feel!!! Oh, and here is a view of outside.. 70 degrees.. in Northern MN.. in MARCH!!!

Ok, and here's just one more cute photo I had to share! My sweet pup koopa snoozin' a few nights ago... Alright, that oughtta catch you all up for a bit!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

UPDATES...Birthday Party Pins & Craftiness!

Since my last post was quite lengthy, I'll try to keep this brief, but here are a few of the "pins" I've attempted the last two weeks! Check it out!
 So my mom and I had fun "inventing" a new cupcake recipe! We took "Chocolate Butter Moist" cake (by Duncan Hines i believe?) and make large and mini cupcakes (we put vanilla icing in the middle of the large cupcakes as well!) and we added mint chocolate flavoring to vanilla icing and topped them with chopped mint M&M's. They were DIVINE!!! We coupled this with After Dinner Mint ice cream and they were a hit with everyone!!!
 Here are the mini cupcakes-they were SO moist, and the mint frosting/M&M combo was scrumptious!
 So this is my impromptu "Elmo" cake for my son Cooper's 1st Birthday. I had hoped to do something more complex-but time got the best of me. I had to use what I could find for the face pieces-so I would definately try other options next times, but for the 4 minutes of time it was photographed before being smashed to bits all over my sons face I'd say it worked out just fine!
 A little "pinterest" idea I used! We celebrated my father's 77th and my niece's 7th birthday as well- and a few stinkers were stealing candy from the jars-but they were fun table centerpieces anyway!!!
A few random "pins" include decorating Cooper's high chair with balloons and crepe paper, as well as our "monster themed poster" complete with felt monsters! (Elmo was the theme, but he is a monster after all! :)
My baby boy turned 1!! How did the time go by so fast!!

GAME ON: MN style Update!!

WOW! Have I been a delinquent blogger or what?!?!? After a few weeks up north and a full weekend full of family house guests, I'm just now catching up on everything!! So here come a BUNCH of mini updates for anyone curious about where things are at on this end!!

Game ON!
Well, I am one and 1/2 weeks into round 2 of Game ON! and it's been a bit rougher this time around. I started this whole "Game ON" thing with motivation to drop these last 10-15 lbs. of baby weight and really start to turn around my unhealthy habits, but I've hit some roadblocks that have proven to be fairly helpful reflections on where I need to grow in ALL aspects of my life-not just my physical health.

So for round one, I lost 5 lbs. in the first two weeks, and then my husband and I took a trip together to Montreal. In my defense, the food there is AMAZING (poutine...WOW) and it was VACATION and all, but by the second day of the trip things were on the way down. From that point on I started gaining back the 5 lbs I lost through Belgian Chocolate Crepes and succulent Poutine. Lordy, Lordy.. it was DELICIOUS but as always, I regretted it the moment it left my lips for my hips! (well SORT OF regretted it!)

So I learned a valuable lesson-BE PREPARED! Vacation presented me with some HUGE temptations, most notably the temptation to "indulge...just a little bit" and let myself become lazy. While I appreciate this idea-it's a lot less harmful when you're just MAINTAINING your weight, not trying to lose pounds! I wish I had thought ahead to organize WHAT I wanted to indulge on, and how I would make up for it (exercise, etc.) later. I did that somewhat, but truth is- when the laziness hit, I just let myself give in. Thankfully, while my lbs. starting heading northward, my habits were still going quite well!! My bad habit to give up was biting my nails-and while I don't have a BEFORE picture (think bitten till they bleed-yes, they were THAT bad!!) Here is an AFTER shot! (and they are even LONGER now!!)
Ok, so it's a small victory, but a victory none the less!! I also had a BLAST with my new GOOD HABIT-a "pin a week" and blogging:) and I am continuing this habit as we speak!  In addition, I'm getting used to the water, so I've seen my skin clear up some, and I'm getting better sleep than I have in a while, all in all worth the $40 entry fee I'd say! Oh, and did I mention, I'm running a 7K this Saturday?!?!?

Yes folks, Miss Stacy Nathan-my own personal Doula/Friend/Personal Trainer is kicking me into gear!! We've run together twice now, and I have committed to run a 7k (the most I've EVER RUN... EVER!)- the "Get lucky" race this Saturday. I'm fighting some Sciatic Nerve pain, but if I have to crawl across the finish line.. I WILL... and I don't think I'd be doing this without GAME ON, so again a small victory-but a good one!

So now, I'm 1/2way through round 2, and have battled some sickness and sciatic pain which has been discouraging  and I'm really struggling to get back on the wagon and really work on the weight loss-but I'm NOT GIVING UP YET... and as long as they'll let me play.. I'll keep going!! I am still down 4 lbs. from my starting weight, so it's a start... and hopefully this weekends run will keep me motivated! So wish me luck!!

Thanks everyone for your continued support! OH, and lest I forget.. here are my round 2 goals:

Bad Habit: Being LATE to everything (I'm a wee bit chronic about this!)
Good Habit: Daily Lenten Devotions (I recently began a couple's bible study with  my husband on Sunday Nights and it's truly getting me excited to dig more deeply into my faith!! Yet another small victory!)

My weight loss goal for Round 2 is minor- I would like to re-lose the 5 lbs. and maintain that over the next two weeks... and then prepare to step my GAME up seriously for round 3! Any insights, helpful tips or ideas you have on how to fight the "no motivation- live to eat-I'm never going to get there-lazy and easily sabotaged" demons that plague my journey please share them here!!!

So there you have it-not perfect, but this blog is about my journey, not my perfection, right?

Ta Ta!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My new favorite crafting space!

Hi everyone!

I thought I would share with you all (and with the judges of a contest at "Craftbaby") my crafting space! Here is where I get down and dirty with everything from sculpting clay to fat quarters of fabric to Mod Podge galore!! After years of hauling my crafting supplies around in plastic bins from garage to garage, I FINALLY have a fully dedicated space to let loose and get creative!! 
 The room is a bit awkward to photograph, so this is taken from the entry door, but as you can see, IKEA outfit me with wonderful storage! The Expedit series is so versatile-I highly recommend it! You might notice I'm in the middle of cutting fabric for the twin duvet covers I hope to piece together with Jill Blissenbach next week! It's a lot of measuring!
 No craft room would be complete without Christmas lights!! Also, I broke down and bought a ribbon holder, which I haven't put up yet (lower right corner) and I used the lower rod for a large roll of scratch paper for practice sketches and for the nieces when they come to visit and want to draw! I have also loaded my craft room with every fabulous RomCom that I could watch one billion times (including "Bridesmaids", "When Harry Met Sally" and "Music and Lyrics" to name a few!) as well as old 80's and 90's sitcom DVDs because you can just NEVER have enough of those!
 LOVE the magnetic strips from IKEA! They work GREAT for scissors and the spice tins are wonderful for small pieces such as tacks, bottle caps, etc. I found the buckets at Goodwill for $.50 each!
All of the containers I'm using (except for the IKEA bins) are from either the Dollar Store or Goodwill. I've got containers of EVERY size and shape, and I find I'm always running out of them!!!
 So just in case you were curious what I'm up to these days, I'm working on making a banner for my son's "Monster Mash" 1st Birthday party in mid-March. So I've been cutting out felt "monsters" and practicing! I hope to make themed monster cupcakes, and Elmo cake (he was a monster after all!) and put out supplies so participates can make their own "monsters" using velcro to attach arms, legs, eyes, etc. We'll see how it turns out!
And of course.. I'm CUTTING FABRIC like a crazy person!!! I promised Jill I would be DETAILED and careful with the measurements, and there is ALOT to cut, hence why I'm awake at 1:44 AM rather than sleeping!! But I'm so excited about the duvet covers! I can't wait to finish them and share them with you!

So what does your craft space look like?? Or better yet, what does your DREAM craft space look like? I have TONS of inspiration ideas pinned to my boards on Pinterest if you're looking for inspiration! And I'd love to hear your ideas!!

'Night all!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Game On: MN style Round #1 COMPLETE!

Quick update on Game On! for those of you who may be interested..

So our 4 week competition comes to completion tomorrow-and I can definately say it was a success! I lost 5 lbs. by week two, but thanks to a tasty vacation (which caused me to lose quite a few points! grrr! but the Poutine was WORTH it!) I ended losing just 3 lbs. total.  BUT, outside of losing weight, I haven't bitten my nails since we began! And for someone who used to bite them UNTIL THEY BLED (yes,  I know-YICK) this is HUGE!!! I only wish I had a before shot so you could see how amazing this is!!

Also, thanks to Game ON, I have been doing my "30 day Shred" video almost daily-and I can FEEL my body composition starting to change. I feel inklings of my "pre-baby body" and it gives me hope I might get back there again!

Another highlight is due to my teammate and friend, Miss Stacy Nathan! She encouraged and (well, practically dragged at times) challenged me to run again, and get back to a 10 minute mile!! And we DID it~! We ran 3.4 miles last Wednesday together at 10 min. each mile, and now I'm signing up to run a 7k on St. Patty's with Stace...whew!! So I'd say we have some progress!!

I'm still struggling with eating choices, but Weight Watchers is a great program-when I stick to it!! And all this water intake was good too-I've learned that adding cucumber, lemon and mint leaves can make water taste FABULOUS, and freezing it in ice cubes is a handy trick as well!

I've learned lots of other things, but that's a blog for a different day! Right now, I have to stick with my new habit of getting 7 hours of sleep each night!! After all-if what they say is true "anything can be fixed with a GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP" then tomorrow should be a fantastic day!

Adios Amigos!

Got me some crafty friends, I DO!!

Hey everybody!

So I have some pretty crazy crafty friends-they are QUITE inspiring I must say!!! Here is a quick look at some of the craftiness that's been happening lately thanks to Mrs. Ashleigh Johnson and Mrs. Jenn Hubal!! Be impressed.. I am!
 Here is the lovely Ashleigh...for our playgroup on Valentine's Day, Ashleigh put together mini heart pizzas!! They were delicious (and off of Pinterest of course!) the kids AND adults loved them!!)

 For dessert, she cut hearts out of rice krispies and dipped them in chocolate and sprinkles.. froze them outside for a bit... SO DELICIOUS! Also a Pinterest inspired creation!
 It's Jenn's little girl, Hannah's birthday this week-so I helped her make a butterfly banner for her party! We used some funky glitter scrapbook paper and created the template ourselves, and then hung it using fishing line.. I thought it came out quite well!!

As for other craftiness, I'm working on cutting the fabric for the duvet quilts that Jill and I will be putting together in early March-but more on that to come!!!

'night all!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weigh Ins, Poutine and Pins in the Kitchen?

Hi all,

So sorry to be absent lately-I've been a traveling mamma! My husband and I whisked away for a weekend of relaxation, adventure and...HOCKEY in Montreal, Canada! We had a GREAT time, and enjoyed some AMAZING food! Check it out!
 Belgian Dark Chocolate Crepes-for Breakfast??!! Oh YES my friends!!!
 a HEALTHY version of Eggs Benedict?? Less than 900 calories and DELECTABLE!! YUM! Even the veggies!
The highlight of our trip (other than the hockey and massages!)-Poutine!! Imagine the most SCRUMPTIOUS french fries smothered in a light gravy with chunks of the creamiest cheese imaginable...and NO I WILL NOT list the calorie content... it ruins the amazing-ness of the dish!

So for those of you who are paying attention, you might recall I'm on a DIET right now... you'll be happy to know that 80% of this amazing food was consumed on my day off..which didn't bode well for my weigh in this past week, but was admittedly fun in the process! Isn't that always the way it goes?? So it was an AWESOME getaway, but I'm paying for it dietwise... but we still have one more week to go for GAME ON... so time will tell if I've fallen off the "get healthy" wagon completely!!

As for the " Pin-a-week" update, since my partner in crime Jenn was in Florida this week, I decided to try out a few recipes I've found on pinterest instead.  Here are the results, and my thoughts on how they turned out! 
Do It Yourself mini fruit pizzas! I made sugar cookies and a light cream cheese frosting and put fruit in bowls, and then let folks put together their own concoctions! They were DELICIOUS and EASY!
This is the Crispy Cheesy Chicken PRIOR to baking... I made this along with a Corn casserole for some friends we had over this past weekend- it got RAVE reviews from our friends (and me!) It wasn't terribly diet friendly, but it was DELICIOUS!! (and SO easy to make!!!)

As for other CRAFTY projects, my friend Jill and I just finished buying the fabric to make two twin quilted duvet covers for our new cabin's guest room-so we'll update you as things progress-but here is the fabric we'll be working with!
So, as you can see, things have been happening, but it's been a little nutty around the Ebling house-and FAR too much yummy food has been consumed!! So this week and next we'll be working on getting "back on the healthy/crafty/routine wagon!"

Keep it crafty people! More to come soon!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pin-a-week & GAME ON! Update

Hi friends!

I'll bet you thought I disappeared on you? Well, I DID disappear to the northwoods-to our new cabin near Biwabik, MN (close to Giant's Ridge Ski area if you're familiar). It's been busy getting settled and keeping track of our "get into everything" 10 month old, but the snow up here is FABULOUS and fluffy, and it's so cozy here I'm sad to think of going back to the hustle and bustle of home!

So this past week has been week #1 of "Game ON!: MN Style" and it's been a bit of a transition! For the most part I've been able to keep to my daily quote of Weight Watcher's points, and drink all 3 LITERS OF WATER A DAY (yikes!) as well as the other requirements-but BOY does eating out and changing your "routine" (esp. with a baby!) throw a wrench into things!! I anticipated it would be difficult to eat out and maintain my diet plan-but WOW it's tougher than I thought! Thankfully we get a "day off" and a "meal off" during the week- that I have utilized well!

The water thing has been a big transition-the first day or two I HATED the taste of water (funny huh?) and could barely make myself keep drinking it, but strangely enough as we've progressed (and I've learned to add limes or cucumbers to it for flavor!) I actually find myself THIRSTY for water... on my meal off I even TURNED DOWN POP (this is revolutionary here people, as I am a 100% recovering pop addict!) in lew of water to quench my thirst! So maybe there is something to this whole "get healthy" thing! At this point, I've lost 2 of the 15lbs. I hope to shed-which is promising, and if Jillian Michael's is right "I'll be shredded in no time!" I've been doing her "30 day Shred" video faithfully every day (even on my day off) and I can FEEL my body getting stronger! When I bent down, holding my son, to pick up his pacifier, it was MUCH easier than even a week ago, and my legs didn't even shake!  Lest you think I'm a Pollyanna-this new diet has bit the big one in a number of ways- I crave chocolate CONSTANTLY it seems- but I've found a new helper in that catagory...Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters.... ummm can we say YUM.. esp. in Dark Chocolate!!!!!!

Anyway, 3 more weeks to go! You can anticipate a weekly update from me about the progress (and I'll try not to whine too much!), but I do have to warn you-I'm competing against some pretty insane competition! Some of these folks are on "primal" diets, and others have almost perfect scores for week one! (don't I feel dumb with my stupid snacking penalty!) so things could get interesting! Wait and see!

Lastly,  while up north I've been brainstorming new crafty projects for Jenn and I to tackle as well as how to decorate this "chalet style" cabin and make it feel unique and homey! My hubby and I have decided to go with a sort of "vintage ski/paddle/bigfoot (yes, I know, I said Bigfoot!) theme so I've begun hunting through Etsy and online ( has cool stuff!) for some neat original pieces for the place!! Right now, some possible crafty projects I might add to the pile include:
  1. Vintage picture Coasters and framed vintage postcards collages 
  2. DIY Canvas Photo Enlargements
  3. Creating a "book nook" for kiddos in the upstairs kids room
And more to come!! But now, as if this post isn't long enough, I just have to share a few pics of my little guy and our time up north in God's country! Have a great week all! I'll be back next week to finish up our "Ode to Modge Podge" and start a new "pin of the week" project!
 Our pups Chauncey (on the right) and Koopa were detained in the hallway until their snow covered paws melted after many fun filled hours outside!
 Our little guy, Cooper (10 months), on his first sledding outing!! I think he likes it!
 My "bubba" and I
 My hubby making "Bigfoot Angels" as he calls them! The snow was PERFECT!
Hurry up Mommy, let's GO!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

GAME ON is officially... ON!!!

Well, it's official. Today begins my 4 week adventure/competition/challenge/"oh my Lordy what did I get myself into?!?" activity- the "Game ON!" diet. My teammates, Stacy Nathan and Hilary Wear (all Concordia Cobbers class of '99-whoot whoot!) began our regime today of daily drinking 3 liters of H2O, getting at least 7 hours of sleep at night, 20 minutes sweat-inducing exercise, maintaining a Weight Watchers points-based diet, implementing a new HEALTHY habit while abstaining from an UNhealthy habit and communicating with our teammates and opponents each day... Whew.. that was one HECK of a run-on sentence!! (my apologies to all you English majors out there!;)

As promised (and quickly as I need to get my 7 hours of sleep!) Here is my "before" picture, as well as a recap of my goals/habits. Consider this my attempt at accountability as well as a cry for support (I'm pathetic I know-but this is harder than you think! One day in and I'm practically floating away from all the water!!!). So here we go...
Here I am-almost 11 months after giving birth at 160 lbs., looking to lose the remaining 15 lbs. of leftover baby weight to get back to my previous "happy weight" of 145 lbs.
 I look SO bizarre in these photos, but I was trying NOT to "suck it in" so the picture would be true, and frankly, I just felt stupid standing there taking a "chubby picture."
So mostly it's the gut, but I could stand for the chin and a few other places to shrink a bit too:) As I tell my friends often, I'd like the "penthouse suite" that was Cooper's home for 9 months to go back to being an efficiency apartment-or at least a one bedroom!! :)

So it day down (and I got all my points today, I might add! As did my teammates!) and a...LOT more to go... but it'll be worth it right?? Here's to you, Hilary and Stace-let's go Kick some GAME ON BUTT while SHRINKING OUR OWN!!!

For more info on the "Game On" diet, check out!

Operation Baby Weight is underway!!!

Mod Podge Madness Part #2

We're back!!!

So Jenn and I decided that Mod Podge is AMAZING and there are just too, too many things we can do with it!! So we are continuing our "Mod Podge Madness" trend here with a few new projects!

I'm still obsessed with making coasters.. I realized I keep making them FOR OTHER PEOPLE, so I needed a few sets for myself-and at $0.16 a tile, it's a pretty inexpensive and quick to complete project!! Here is the latest set in progress-for our new vacation property in Biwabik, MN! I've taken scrapbook paper and plan to simply M.Podge it on, not sure if I'll get more creative or just keep it simple! Suggestions requested!!
I'm also working on another small project, something I found (but of course!) on Pinterest!! Using wooden letters from JoAnn Etc. I found on sale, some ribbon and scrapbook paper (with MP of course!) But it seems a little bit boring, and I need to figure out how to hang it on his door.. hmmmm... we'll see what comes of this!
Jenn is working on an AWESOME project, and I might just have to copy her it's coming out so fabulously!! Check it out!!!
 Using a paper mache large letter from JoAnn's, she painted it black with craft paint, and then took all kinds of leftover pictures and MP'ed them on to it!! This isn't completed yet, but isn't it cool??

Auuh Mod Podge... you're almost as vital as chocolate to a crafty girl like me-and I have a feeling we have many more years of craftiness to come together!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pin-a-week #1: Mod Podge Madness!

Hi all!

Well, Jenn Hubal and I got together this past Friday with our kiddos (big shout out to Hannah and the Coops!) to do our first "pin/craft a week" project! As you can guess, getting crafty with babies around is a little sticky (pun intended! haha) but we got a pretty good start. We discovered that expecting that we'll COMPLETE a project each week might be too high a goal-instead we'll get started on something-even if it takes us a week to finish!! are some photos of our Mod Podge Madness! We were working on making photo coasters using tiles from Home Depot ($0.16 each!), mod podge, and left over photos (or Xmas cards in Jenn's case!) as well as a clear acrylic spray to give them some sheen and some cut up chair-foot pads (what ARE those things called?)for stability. Here's a peek!
 The Lovely Jenn hard at work!
After allowing the Mod Podge to dry (remember you can paint the MP over the TOP of the pics and it dries clear!) we cut up the chair pads (you know the things you buy to put under chair feet so they don't scratch the floor?)into 4 pieces for each corner and stuck them on. I had some lying around here at the house, but you can get them at Home Depot or target too).
 Overall, this is a pretty easy craft to do, and it came out quite well. This is the third set I've made and given as gifts- and they seemed to be well received. Just learn from my mistakes-make sure the Mod Podge has PLENTY of time to FULLY dry before spraying the acrylic top coat-just trust me on this:)

I still need to take a pic of the final product, but here's proof that we DID actually do a pin this week!!! We'd like to play with Mod Podge some more-so plan to see a few more weeks of MP madness!!

Finished pic to come soon!! Oh, but in the meantime, some fun pics of our babies!
 For all the toys he got for Christmas-bless my sweet sons heart, he'd pick crawling up in his momma's lap (while she's playing with glue no less!) over any of them!
 Little Miss Hannah-Jenn's girlie checking out the toys (and singing for us!)
 Two new buddies!
 Look mom! I have a tongue!!
Ok we're biased, but aren't they ADORABLE?? Do I see future crafters?I think yes!!! :)

Finished pic of our Mod Podge Coasters! (one of the sets anyway!)

Note for next time: the clear acrylic spray adds a GREAT final touch! Totally worth it! Give it "sheen" and makes it look more finished!!