Capturing Happiness

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It could be too late...

I finished quilting and binding Devin's quilt last Friday. I had hoped to add it to some whip up friday blog but it has been raining here daily and I wanted to take the perfect picture of it. You know a picture of it hanging off the fence or across a pinic table. And then I would run it up to Md Anderson to give it to Devin. I had planned on taking a picture of me and him togeather with the quilt. I was going to read the scripture verse to him. Hoping it would provide comfort. But it rained all weekend and family came in from out of town. Then Monday came which was my Bday. And that is when they called to tell me that Devin had went into diabetic coma. My heart is heavy and my brain is confused on how this could happen. Since then he has flat lined twice and they are trying to cure him of an infection. Tuesday we went up to the hospital to be with our family and wait it out. I was hesitant to bring the blanket because I did not want attention focused on me and plus whom should I give it to. I feel terrible that I am so protective over the blanket. But it is the first quilt I have ever completed and it is made with my Dad's shirts. I asked his Mom (my Dad's sister) if she felt it would be a good idea if I brought it in. I didn't want it to get lost in the mist of all the confusion. She said yes, she wanted him to be covered with it while in ICU hoping that he would feel my Dad's warmth. That made me feel so much better knowing that it was going to be appreciated it. So I brought it in. Mostly all of my Dad's sisters were there to see it. It was so nice to see the love they all had for my Dad. I am so happy that I parted with it. I pray that it will give them comfort while they are there. It is now Thursday and I don't know if it has made it to Devin. I was unable to give it to him since I had a cold. But all I can do is hope that each of them will feel the warmth of my Dad.
This is not the best or the most recent picture of my Dad but I wanted to post one. The shirt he is wearing is on the blanket. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

My first FMQ attempt

A month ago I started a beginners class for piecing a quilt at Calico Cats. I had so much fun and  met some fun ladies that were just as interested in quilting as I was. I have really had a hard time finding people in my circle of current friends. So being around people who had the same goal and interests as me was comforting and exciting. In the class we completed everything from piecing to sandwiching the quilt. As for the quilting  and binding, we were given some guidance and practice but it is up to us to finish it at home.

I started off with simple straight lines using my walking foot and a grey varigate thread. But once that was completed I just knew I had to try FMQ. I have been admiring (stalking) Leah Day's The Free Motion Quilt Project  for a while now. And she says practice is the key. Soooo, since this is my daughter's quilt I figured this would be the best time to practice, practice, practice. After all, I am hoping to be able to look back at this quilt and see how much I have progress as a quilter.

 First, I attempted the claw, but I would get side tracked and ended up making all kinds of waves and shapes.
 So I decided to set my goals
 1.  not to cross stitches (which I have)
2.  stay in the block (which I haven't)

It's all learning and so much fun! 

Now I am not sure what you would call this design but it was fun. My goal here was to learn control and to get 7 to 9 lines per triangle.

When starting to learn to FMQ I really think it helps to set small goals. Your first goal should be
how to control your hand motion speed and your foot pedal. I told my husband it was like driving a stick shift. It's all in the timing.

Once you get that down, then you will find yourself going wild in every direction. That's when you need to make small rules/goals. Trust me it's fun to go wild and crazy at first but like anything it gets out of control quick! 

Tonight I will be heading back up to Calico Cats for a Finish Up Friday! I am hoping to get help sandwiching Devin's quilt and maybe finish the quilting. I was always so scared to ask for help but now I am finding that is the only way I am going to learn. 

Have a great Weekend! A. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Strength in the LORD...and its hard to let go

Devin's quilt top is completed. I am amazed and excited that I completed it and I am disappointed that I don't want to let it go. I look at it and pray that I will find the determination to make another quilt with my Dad's shirts. There are so many other projects that I want to try that I fear it will be pushed aside. But any whoo... I will let it go and I be will thrilled to have had the ability to do so. 

All this talk about letting go and I still need to quilt and bind it! My plans for quilting are simple straight lines horizontally across approximately 2 inches apart in a navy blue. The only undecided factor is if I will quilt through the bible verse or around it. I leaning on around it. But then how do I transition it??? I guess I will figure it out once I am in the process. Making decision on the whim always seem to work best for me. No stress....Just do it. Then decide to love it or hate it! Happy Day!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Quilt for Devin

Yesterday while driving home from work I decided the first quilt I will make out of my Dad's shirts will be for Devin. Devin has recently been diagnosed with leukemia and though I know he will make it through this, I know he will have tough times ahead. So, while he is getting chemo I want him to have a reminder that God has place a strong loving angel to watch over him, My Dad. I pray that he will dig deep and find the strength to get through his rough patches and fight on.

Please bare with me through the design process, this is my first quilt without a pattern and only my second quilt.

My Plans for the quilt: I gathered 14 shirts and cut  28 6 1/2 x 5 ? rectangles. I wish I would have made them square but after I cut the first two I just couldn't bring myself to waste the fabric. So I cut the rest of the 26 rectangles using the first rectangle as a template.

 This is my original idea of what I was hoping it would look like.

 This is my second pass

As you can tell my paint software skills are a little better the second. LOL Sorry for the horrible pictures but unless I spend $100 plus to get quilting software this the only tool I know to use.  Maybe I should research for free software.

I knew cutting the shirts would not be easy but knowing that it was going Devin made easier.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

5 months have past....So what is cool now?

I bet you are wondering how my "New" eating habits went after reading Eat To Live. Well, I did go completely Vegan for 2 months. I will say that it was defiantly an eye opener to how my body can actually feel when it is not being forced to digest fatty meats and processed food. It felt wonderful! Now this is coming from someone who ate McDonald's at least once or twice a week. Or Chick fil A. Or Whataburger. Plus eating out during lunch everyday...Mexican, Italian, and Chinese. There was a lot of room for improvement. So when I went completely Vegan. I drop 12 lbs within the first couple of weeks, but that wasn't the best part. It was how I felt. The stiffness in my joints were no longer there. The cloud of fog was lifted...(by the way I didn't know I was living in a fog until it was gone.) Just my over all mental state was great. I did not reach this point until about the second week. And trying to decide what I was going to eat everyday on a busy schedule took planning and creativity. I would say the first month was actually really challenging. But reading Eat To Live a little bit each day gave me encouragement and reminded me of why I was doing what I was doing. By the second month I was able to find things on the menu at all my favorite restaurants  that did not contain any animal products.

 Mexican = chalupas without cheese. You can still enjoy chips and hot sauce! But if you are trying to loose weight limit yourself.

Italian = Pasta..Pasta no meat sauce. But again if you are trying to loose weight No Pasta..Have an amazing salad. Ask for dressing on the side.

Chinese = They have plenty of vegetable combinations with noodles or rice. The bad thing is that most of the sauces are high in sodium.

The best choice is to try to prepare your food at home. So then you can control what you are putting into your body.

Ok, so now to the present.

 I am back to eating animal products!!!

Ugh Why?

I don't really have an exact reason other than I got lazy or I lost to the perpressure of the world. Everyone around me focuses their meal around the meat they will be eating. And once I took the first bite and didn't feel any different I keep adding more and more back to my diet. So, now I have the fog back, I feel tired, my joints feel tight and my acid reflux is back. And after writing that...Have I decided to go back Vegan? Nope, not yet. What I am trying to do is limit my animal product intake and hoping I can completely phase it out of my life again. That is my ultimate goal. Going cold turkey diffiantly got me results faster and an overall daily good feeling. And this route I have my good days and not so good days but defiantly more good than bad days. I am starting to loose weight again. My goal is 20 lbs. I have kept 6 lbs of the 12 lbs I lost off. Yay for me!!!

The new thing I have added to my life is Herbalife. This product has helped me keep the weight off and has gotten me to an overall good feeling. I know you are said you feel bad... but now you feel good??? When I compare myself to what I felt like going Vegan...nothing compares. But when I compare myself to how I normally felt with my old life style. I feel great!

Vegan = Amazing feeling
Herbalife = Great

Herbalife + Vegan = Greatly Amazing!!! 

Today's Menu:

Cinnabon Herbalife Shake = Formula 1 meal replacement, Protein, butter extract, butterscotch pudding powder
Herbalife Razberry Tea

Homemade Pinto beans
HEB Pico
3 cups of Power Greens (Pink bag from Wal-Mart)
Herbalife Razberry Tea

Tonight...??? No plans yet but most likely a homemade chicken wrap. Little bit of chicken and a ton of greens and cucumbers! Or maybe No chicken and I will have 2 wraps??

Herbalife Products I am currently using:
Formula 1, Protein, and Prolessa (In my shakes daily)
Pills: Cell U Loss, Total Control, Thermo Bond, and Snack Defense

Until next time....I need to post pictures of the first quilt I am making. I started a Quilting class for beginners at Calico Cats.

Friday, February 1, 2013

18 days in...on my new eating habits

In the past 18 days, I have been trying to find a happy medium on my new look on eating. I have continued to read Eat to Live and for the most part I am truely sold on what it says. But on the other part it seems just too difficult to completely to remove all animal products from my life. What I have realized is that just because you are vegetarain doesn't mean you will loose weight or be healthy. There are so many dishes which consist of cheese and carbs that I could continue to never eat meat again but be a very unhealthy size. Which has trigered me to want to stay away from animal products as much as possible. Doing this has allowed me to loose 7 lbs! Without one bit of excersise. I do plan on starting that soon but I just haven't yet. Okay... you might wonder.. Am I ever hungry? Yes, when I don't plan for a snack after work. But am I starving? NO, absolutely not. Do I miss the meat?  For the most part I don't. The only hard part is cooking for a family of meat eaters and then trying to modify the meal for myself. So what have been eating? Beans, greens, quinao, and all kinds of veggies. For breakfast I have an herbal life shake and no animal product meal for lunch. This has been working out since I am eating whatever I cooked for dinner the night before. Reciepes that I have tried:

Quinao Salad
 I cooked the Quinao using garlic powder and black pepper to taste. (15 mins) Then filled my bowl with power green mix bought from Wal-Mart. Placed a 1/4 cup each of black beans and corn on top of the mixture. Added the quinao and placed in the microwave for 1 minute. This made the greens soft and warm. Yum! This was very filling for 240 calories and high in protein.

Turkey marinara sauce and spaghetti squash. I had never made spaghetti squash before so this was completely new but so easy! All you need to do is cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and place in the microwave for 7 minutes. It really depends on the size. Now it doesn't taste anything like pasta but it is so much better. Also, next time I will not use any meat products 

Bell Pepper Salad
Again, I used the Power Greens mixture. Chopped yellow, red and green bell peppers, red onion, cucumbers, strawberries and blueberries. For salad dressing I mixed 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of vineger then added chopped basil leaves. Mixed and drizzled on the salad. If you noticed the pieces of chicken on the side, it's because I thought I had to have it to survive. But after I started eating,, the salad was so yummy that I didn't eat it.

My new purchase is the Ninja chopper. I have been going to get protein shakes every morning for 2 weeks. And that is getting pricey. So, last night I bought the machine and protein mix. I prepped the shake last night so all I had to do was mix it this morning. It was so easy. The only thing is that it didn't chop the ice. So,,,,I need to figure that out. Maybe I used the wrong attachment.

1 scoop of Target protein mix
1/4 cup of greek yogart
1/2 cup of frozen berries
1/8 cup of oatmeal

31g of protein, 15g of sugar 7g of fiber.....268 calories

Pantry staples so far:  Power Greens, Quinao, strawberries, blueberries, dried fruit, nuts, salt free seasoning

NO DIET COKES in a loooong time! I'm scared to cheat here because I'm not sure I could turn it away again.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I posted my Goal on the World Wide Web!!!!!!! Now I have to live by it...because everything on the web is true!

Today I took a huge leap and shared my goal of eating healthy on a forum I have been a member of for almost 2 years. Am I crazy! I did it because I think I am ready to work towards my goal of living to102 no matter what my weight may be.

My focus will be more on the healthy choices rather than weight goals. In hopes that by my healthy choices I will loose weight. Since, everytime before I have quit when I didn't see results. Or loose the weight then celebrate with a big hamburger and gain it all back after the summer. So what have I done...

1. I brought out my juicer...This purchase was a result of watching fat, sick and nearly dead. last year but I stopped after a couple of months.
2. Now I am reading Eat to Live. This book is really helping because I read it every night before I go to bed which gets me geared up to fight off McDonalds on my way to work in the morning. I am only on Chapter 5 but when I get to Chapt 9 I will get to the reciepes and list of foods I will eat. I have not peaked AT ALL. I am trying to train my brain for what  I getting ready to hopefully commit to. Or I might see the list and close the book and head to Chick fil A.

Things I have changed so far....
1. Less than one diet coke a day. (4 days)
2. drinking 2 bottles of water a day (2 days)
3. No salt added to my meals (2 days)
4. I have cooked 5 days straight 2 days without salt or oil
5. No eating out at lunch or dinner...packing healthy food (8 days)
6. Protein shakes in the morning (2 days)

Okay I realize I have not been doing this long....but the more I read the more I understand what all the high fat, sodium, sugar etc. is doing to my body. And since my goal is to live to 102 I have a long ways to go! And if I beat that goal I won't be disappointed! LOL

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oops! It's been longer than I though.....

Okay... so it's been a while since I posted. So much for documented daily happiness. =) That was probably wishful thinking on my part anyways. Life is always full of twist and turns that it is hard for me to stay on schedule.

Things that have changed....

1. My mother in-law now lives with us. Which has mostly been great once I realized that having help around the house is better than taking claim to every inch of my house.
2. My sewing room became my mother in-laws room. Which got a complete make over. New floors and textured walls. Fresh paint and trim.
3. My son's room also got a complete make over and became a shared room of his stuff and my sewing stuff. I wasn't thrilled about the idea but once I realized I get better natural lighting. I don't think I will ever move out of it.
4. We got new carpet through out the house! Now that is a big deal!
5. My hubby finally got a new work car. No more watching him sit on the recliner searching for a car. (That was too much time wasted)
6. X got his drivers license and a car.

As a result, I have not thought much about sewing or crafting. I do have over 200 pictures sitting a Wal-greens waiting to be picked up so I can start a yearly photo album. I am thinking I would like to do a mobile phone album. Then each year I can delete everything on my phone and start new. That would be cool!

But anywho what started this post was....

I have been tempting to juice more for health. I bought a juicer last year. Which after a couple of months it ended up in the cabinet not being used. But I pulled it out over the Christmas break and I am ready to start again. Even KK is enjoying it this time.

So trying to get inspired I found a blog about juicing. Which she is now trying this out.... We have the same hopes and ideas but I believe she has more will power than me. Since I have never juiced for 30 days. To me that is scary!  Not because of health reason but because I love food! This diet is more of eating your healthy food than juicing them. Maybe the two combined will be more realistic for me. Since I love cruchy foods!

I have also bought a 5 year diary. One for me and one for my Mom. That is the one thing I wish my Dad would of had when he past.....a diary of his thoughts. I miss him so much and wish I had a small idea of his thoughts. Hopefully, she will do it for me. Even if its just for one least I will have one month of her thoughts.