Tuesday, June 23, 2015

DIY Record Bowl

Hey Friends!

So this past weekend was Father's Day.  We had a fun weekend with our in-laws and enjoyed each other's company.

My husband, Grant, received a new leaf blower and weed eater from his parents for Father's Day so you can imagine his excitement to finally have one where the battery wouldn't die so quickly.

The boys and I decided to make Daddy a gift this year instead of purchasing one.  We made him a record bowl.  He already has two of them that he purchased, oh probably about 4 years ago and he really loves them.  They're a great catch all for all of his things.

Our latest garage sale we had some left over vinyls that my mother had put in hoping to sell.  So I grabbed one of the records that had a bunch of songs on it that my 23 year old husband loves.  He always is saying that he was born in the wrong decade because his favorite music is from the 50s.

The process was SO simple.

What you'll need:
  • Record of your choosing
  • Oven safe bowl
  • Cookie sheet, optional

First, set your oven to 350 degrees

Next, choose a record that you don't mind repurposing.  


Place the bowl upside down onto the cookie sheet.  I used a cookie sheet to help keep the record stable.  Make sure that you have the record centered onto the bowl.  This way the vinyl will melt and form into a bowl shape.  Almost instantly the record will begin to wilt.  Bake for 3-5 minutes.


See...

Bake for 3-5 minutes.

When you remove the record it surprisingly isn't too hot.  I picked it up and it was flimsy.  So I turned the bowl over and pushed the record into the bowl to help it keep it bowl shape.  Beginning forming and pinching the record to your liking.

 Once I was sure it was going to hold its bowl shape, and while it was still flexible, I removed it from the bowl and pinched and formed it until it wouldn't move any more.

VOILA! The finished product! 

It starts to cool pretty quickly, so you need to work kind of quick.  The whole process took me, oh maybe, 7-8 minutes.  I only baked the record for about 3-4 and spent the rest of the time molding.  

So there you have it! A simple DIY that is under 10 minutes! WOW!   I think I'm going to have to make some more of these for my son's second birthday in a few months since it will fit the theme.  

Until next time! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Philly Stuffed Peppers

Hey Y'all!

The other night I made some amazing Philly Stuffed Peppers!  They were delicious and so easy!!! ENJOY!

What you'll need:

2 Green Bell Peppers, Hollowed out and seeded
8 pieces Deli sliced roast beef,  You can buy the sandwiched, pre-sliced meat like I did.
1/2 a yellow onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 pieces provolone cheese
Mushrooms, optional
Your favorite steak seasoning


1.  Coat the bottom of your skillet with some EVOO.  Saute your onions, garlic, and mushrooms until they are tender and browned.  Added in your sliced roast beef and favorite steak seasoning.  Cook and stir until warmed through.
2.  Hollow out your peppers and place a piece of provolone cheese inside the pepper.
3. Stuff the peppers with your meat and veggie mix.

4. Top with 1-2 more slices of provolone cheese.

5.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until peppers are cooked through.

Voila!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

What to Expect When You Start Breastfeeding. The Ugly Truth

I MADE IT!

I've made it to my first goal of breastfeeding.  Avery is three months old today and has been receiving breast milk for three months.  I feel so accomplished.

Breastfeeding Kingston almost two years ago didn't go as smoothly as it has for Avery.  A lot of that is because of confidence.  I didn't produce a lot of milk with Kingston and I knew that.  Even breastfeeding, then pumping after he nursed, or pumping in the place of nursing, I didn't make hardly anything and I gave up before three months.  So this time around I'm so proud and excited to say that I've made my first goal.

So accomplishing my first goal led me to write this post about breastfeeding.  For those first time breastfeeding mothers out there, here's a few things that you can expect when you start breastfeeding. The ugly truth.

It's not instant

When you first meet your baby after the doctor places him/her on your chest don't expect the baby to just latch right away.  If your sweet bundle of joy latches right away, GREAT! Keep it up.  Try not to get frustrated when he or she doesn't latch right away.  Remember, this is new to them and to you.  They have to learn what they are doing, but they'll have plenty of opportunities to learn.  Some babies will do what is called the breast crawl.  In the Golden Hour, which is encouraged at every hospital, babies often will find their way to the breast on their own instead of you having to place the breast in front of the babe.

Painful Initial Latch

When it comes to that first initial latch, you may experience some pain.  This should be the only time that breastfeeding is painful.  Nipples are sensitive so they need time to adjust to a tiny human sucking on them about 12 times a day.  This pain should go away after your baby has gotten a few suckles in.  After your body is used to it, you won't even notice it or experience any pain.

As painful as it can be, try not to let it change your mind on breastfeeding.

Uterine Contractions

And just when you thought that you were finished with contractions, you still experience them even after you deliver.  Again, these can be painful, but no fear, these only last a few days.

As your baby nurses, Oxytocin is released (the hormone that is released when you experience a hug or a kiss)  which causes the uterus to contract.   These contractions work to shrink your uterus back to its normal size, pre-pregnancy.

These contractions can cause painful cramps, but again the pain disperses quickly and will end after a few days.  Remember, your body is adapting to its new job.

Something my doctor told me, you will experience these cramps or contractions no matter what, and the more babies you have the stronger the cramps/contractions will be while nursing.

Long Nursing Sessions

Remember babies like to be close, so don't rush through nursing. Babies need to get used to nursing and more comfortable.  You may feel like you're constantly nursing.  This is normal since most babies nurse every 2-3 hours.  This is normal and necessary for establishing your milk supply.
Watch and listen for you baby's hunger cues.  Babies grow a lot in the first couple of weeks. In the first 24 hours of your sweet baby's life, you will go through what is caused cluster feedings.  This is perfectly normal. Your baby will want to nurse more frequently and often.  It will balance out after a short while.

You may start to think that you're not producing enough milk with all the frequent nursing.  Relax, you're producing the just the perfect amount for your baby.  Remember, a nursing baby stimulates the milk production better than a pump.  The more you nurse, the more milk you will produce.

If you're strictly pumping, try not to pay attention to the volume you get in the first few days.  Your body produces colostrum first and that beginning milk is just enough that the baby needs within the first few days.

Leaking and Engorgement

As your milk comes in, your breasts are going to feel full and may leak.  I would often wake up in the middle of the night when Avery would wake up to pump and as I was hooking up, milk would literally be dripping from my boobs.  This can happen any time if your breasts get too full.  Normally, after your body adapts to producing milk, it will even out and shouldn't leak milk as often.

When your milk is coming in the first week, your breast will start to feel engorged, Totally normally.  You shouldn't experience any pain, but if you do, its because they're full and you to need to nurse or pump to relieve the pressure.

For more information on breastfeeding and pumping, contact your local lactation consultant.  They're always available for advice or even lending an ear or hand when you're struggling or feeling discouraged.


Baby falling asleep

Newborns are sleepy.  They need more than 16 hours of sleep a day, so nursing can be a challenge at times.  Don't be surprised if you have to keep waking your baby up to continue to nurse.
Some helpful ways of keeping them awake: change their diaper before you begin to nurse and keep them just in a diaper.  This will wake them up and make them more alert.  Once they get latched and comfy, they may begin to doze back off to dreamland.  To keep them sucking use a baby wipe on them, rub it over their head, back and feet.  Babies don't normally like their feet played with, so give them a little tickle every 10 seconds or so to keep them alert.  Talk to them, let them know that it's time to eat and get a full tummy.

Thirsty?
You may become super thirsty while you nurse.  Most women reported that they would become very thirsty while nursing, so keep water and snacks nearby to keep you satisfied during you nursing sessions.

Set goals
Setting goals for yourself while breastfeeding is a great!  Like I mentioned before, I achieved my first goal today with breastfeeding.  I've made it to three months. My second goal is to make it to 6 months and so on.  When I was talking to my LC after I had Avery, I told her that with Kingston, I only made it to about 2 months and said it with some disappointment.  She then turned it around and said, "WOW, you made it 2 months! That's great!  You were able to provide your baby with some of the best vitamins and minerals in the world for 2 months.  That's one of the best gifts you can ever give your children is your milk, even if its 2 weeks, 2 months or until they're 2.  You're feeding your baby and helping their development."  So be confident when you're breastfeeding no matter how long you do it.

Formula
I still don't produce a lot of milk and I do supplement with formula.  Do I feel guilty about this?  Absolutely not.  Did I feel guilty ever? Yes.  I did when I first started giving formula to Kingston because I thought I failed.  WRONG! Kingston received breast milk from me and he received formula.  The main thing was, I was feeding my child.  Avery gets both formula and milk.  Roughly he gets one or the other every other feeding.  If he's having a formula bottle, I'll pump and he'll get that milk the next feeding.

So there you have it.  The truths about breastfeeding and all its glory.  Remember ladies, be confident in breast feeding.  No matter how often or long you do it, you're feeding your baby.  Don't feel guilty or upset if it doesn't work out how you thought it would.  Love your baby and cherish the time you did/have while nursing your baby and sharing that special bond.




Monday, February 23, 2015

Update

Well, it's been a while that's for sure.  It's been almost a year since I was able to last post.  We had some changes happen that took my time.  Kingston, my oldest son, turned a year old in August. He also just became a big brother at the beginning of this month.  After losing our Angel Baby, Harper, last April, we were shocked to find out that we were pregnant again.  My husband and I found out at the end of May; about seven weeks after our miscarriage that I was pregnant again.  I carried to term and delivered our second son, Avery Jung McClymont on February 4, 2015 at 4:07 p.m. weighing in at 7lbs 12oz and 19 1/2 inches long.  10 ounces heavier than his big brother, but 1/2 an inch shorter.

Luckly, this pregnancy went a lot smoother than my pregnancy with Kingston.  I wasn't put on bed rest for high blood pressure this time, but I did however have gestational diabetes.

The last year we purchased our first home as some of you may know.  We got all moved in and got started on our home makeover projects.  We got our bathroom painted, Avery's nursery decorated, new appliances, some landscaping done, and a fence was put up.

Soon, I 'll be returning to work at my job.  I'm currently working in FASHION!! I love it!!! Clothes are the best!

I'm also looking into starting my own daycare and preparing for that.  Hopefully soon, I'll be up and running so I won't have to miss any time with my precious boys and I'll really be able to be a full time stay-at-home mommy.  Though I'm only working 32 hours a week and I get to spend quite a bit of time at home with my boys, it will be nice to be 100% soon.

This will allow me to spend more time with my blog and family.  '

For now, that's it.  Keep an eye out for posts coming in the near future of projects we've completed and much more.


--Cindel

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training--It's scary to hear I know, but this 20 minute work out will leave you feeling...let's be honest, EXHAUSTED! But afterwards, you'll feel so good about yourself and you'll want to continue making positive changes for yourself.  

HIIT is THE best cardio work out to burn fat.  Why is this?  Because relatively, fat is used by the body to fuel lower intensity workouts than higher intensity workouts. 

20 Minute HIIT 
1:00 Jumping Jacks
 :30 Side Lunges
 :30 Squats
1:00 Jogging in place
 :30 Burpes
 :30 Lunges
1:00 Jumping Rope
 :30 Mountain Climbers
 :30 Speed Skaters
1:00 Butt kicks
 :30 Lunge kicks
 :30 Squats
1:00 Marching in place
 :30 Side lunges
 :30 Push up

Do the entire workout twice for the complete 20 minute work out.  

Cool down with a slow jug.  

Remember to hydrate and go at your own pace.  

You may be slow, but you're still lapping everyone that's on the couch. 

For a healty snack that's only 430 calories to give your body some fuel take 
1  100% Thomas' Whole Wheat thin sliced bagel
2 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
4 strawberries sliced
1 banana sliced 

Spread the peanut butter onto the bagel and top with fresh bananas and strawberries.  

*Strawberries contain a phytochemical that may increase the production of leptin, a hunger-suppressing hormone, and adiponectin, a hormone that accelerates fat burning and may fight diabetes.





Thursday, May 8, 2014

Harper: My Angel

A month ago today my husband and I found out that we were pregnant with our second child.  Then a week later our world was flipped upside down.  This is my story of my miscarriage.

April 8, 2014
A day that I will never forget.  I learned I was pregnant with my second child.  Kingston was going to be a big brother.  I’ll tell you, I was overjoyed that a second baby was going to be joining us in a matter of a few short months and scared as hell at the same time.  Memories of the pain from labor came flooding back since I had just done it 8 months ago.  More fear rose in me because we had just closed on our house the month before and we are in debt up to our ears with the purchase and trying to establish a new budget on our incomes.  Over all the fear and worrying about how we were going to make this work financially I was jumping up and down on the inside and out with excitement.  I took two more pregnancy tests to make sure.  I had taken a few a few days prior with negative responses.  We accepted it; we were happy; our plan of expanding our family was right on schedule. 

Over the next week we discussed ways of telling our family that we were pregnant.  We talked about giving our family Easter cards with a picture of Kingston telling them he was going to be a big brother. Or before Easter dinner, I would say a prayer and add at the end, “…and please Lord, bless this baby in my tummy?! Aaaammenn!” But in turn we decided to have Easter eggs on everyone’s plate with goodies and inside I would put a ribbon that says ‘It’s a Girl’ and ‘It’s a Boy’ inside each egg and let everyone be surprised when they opened them.

April 16, 2014

I was working on the surprise Easter announcement in Kingston’s play room as he played happily on the floor.  I was stuffing the eggs and getting them ready for our Easter dinner.  I got up and went to the restroom and notice I had some light pink spotting when I wiped. Being through pregnancy once before, I didn’t think too much of it.  Light spotting like this is normal.  So I informed my husband and he too didn’t seem too alarmed by it.  I remembered what my doctor said to me the first time this happened, so I went and got a giant glass of water and went a put my feet up and relaxed. 

As the night went on, I started to feel some cramping.  Again, I thought to myself, I’m about 6 or 7 weeks in and this is when my cramping started when I was pregnant with Kingston.  But as the night progressed, the cramping intensified.  I got up and went to the restroom again.  My fear was growing as I saw that I no longer had light pink spotting, but bright red blood and clotting pass into the toilet and onto the paper. 

Immediately, my worst fear had overcome me.  I remember telling Grant and walking to our bed in a stoupper.  I just laid there and prayed to God that this wasn’t the end.  I asked him to make the bleeding stop and to let me carry this baby to term.  Grant consoled me as tears ran down my face. 

A short amount of time later, the pain was in full swing.  I knew for sure that this was it for our sweet baby.  I was contracting and bleeding more heavily as the pain only intensified. At this point, I had given up.  I was angry with myself, my body, and God.  I wanted this baby; I wanted Kingston to be a big brother.  The pain had only gotten worse, so I took a Percocet to help with the pain and lull me to sleep. 

April 17, 2014

I woke the next morning and called my mom at work.  I said, “Mom I started bleeding last night and I shouldn't be.”  She said, “Well, when did your period end?” “Mom, that’s thing, my period shouldn’t even be here right now.” She immediately began apologizing and asking me how far along I was in the pregnancy and that this is just awful that I had to go through this. I told her I was going to call the doctor’s office and talk to them and see what they wanted me to do. 

After they opened, I called and they ordered me to have blood work done to determine if I was having/or had a miscarriage.  I already knew the answer to it.  I held myself together and went and had my blood drawn.  2 hours later the nurse called me and told me that my hormone levels were only 4 and I had miscarried the night before.  She was sweet and talked with a sincere voice.  I sounded strong and felt strong physically and mentally.  I had told myself I accepted it.  That the baby was only about 6 or 7 weeks in and it would be easy for me to move on.  The rest of the day I went about as usual.  I took care of Kingston, watched Grey’s Anatomy, and continued on with my life. 

April 18, 2014


The next I returned to work and just felt numb all the morning.  When I got home shortly after noon, I just wanted to lie on the couch and not do anything.  I remember starting to look at Pinterest and searched miscarriage. I read sweet poems that made me cry a little and I missed my baby more. Two of which made me break down completely.   



The tears had started flowing and I couldn't stop. I was sobbing uncontrollably and asking and pleading with God to let me have my baby back.  I just wanted to hold him or her, if not for forever just once in my arms and then He could have the baby back.  By this time I was texting Grant begging him to come home and telling him that I wasn't fine.  I needed him.  I held up great the day before, but I couldn't bear it any longer.  All my bottled up emotions burst out of me.  Grant kept telling me that he couldn't leave work.  I had to deal with my grief alone.  I had Kingston home with me, but how could an 8 month old baby understand what I was going through?  I was in for a big surprise.  

I stripped him down and my self down and sat in the warm shower and cried holding my baby that I had with me here on Earth.  We sat in the warm water and I told him that he is still a big brother, but his sibling was up in Heaven with Jesus and the angels.  After telling him this, it's like Kingston understood my pain and why Mommy was crying.  He let me hold him like a baby again, like I would when I cradled him near my chest when he was first born or when I was feeding him.  And then his big, bright eyes lit up, gave me a sweet, sincere smile and put his hand on my face.  At that moment I felt a weight lifted off me and the tears started to slow.  We sat cuddled in the warm water for a few minutes more and then we got out, got dressed and went and played and watched Monster's University.  

I was still sad when Grant finally got home shortly after 5. He was apologetic for not being able to leave work.  He understood that I needed him and that I was having my break down.  But looking back on it now, in a way, I'm okay with the fact that he didn't come home when I was begging him to.  That moment of holding Kingston in the shower came to me as I believe to be an answered prayer from God.  I wanted to hold my baby that was taken too soon and he let me.  

I haven't told any one yet of what I experienced. I told Grant that Kingston laid still for a bit to let me hold him like I did when he was a tiny baby, but that's it.  

That evening Grant and I were talking about why I might have miscarried.  Something was wrong with the egg or the sperm.  Maybe the egg didn't implant how it should have.  I learned that 1 in every 4 women loses a baby to miscarriage.  I'm now part of the statistic.  

I told him that I wanted to name our little angel.  I didn't want to refer to the baby as "it" or "the baby".  So we choose a gender neutral name and decided on Harper.  I think about Harper every day and how big my baby bump would be today if he/she was still in my tummy.  December 9th was my expected due date.  That day will be hard, but we'll get through it. 

With Mother's Day on Sunday, I'm excited to celebrate it really for the first time.  Grant gave me a card last year, but I was still only pregnant with Kingston, this year it will be different. My family will thank me for being a wife to Grant and mother to a sweet little boy, but I wonder if any one will remember, and take into consideration, that I'm not just a mother to a Sunshine baby, but I'm a mother to an Angel baby as well? 

I have faith that one day, God will allow me to carry a baby or two again to term and Grant and I will have our Rainbow Baby and Kingston will be a big brother that can tell his siblings here on Earth about Harper. 

So this Mother's Day, thank your moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters or cousins for being such a great mother to their child.  Say a prayer for those babies up in heaven who have gone home too soon and remember what the day is about. 

To all those moms out there that are celebrating Mother's Day to either a Sunshine Baby, an Angel Baby, a Rainbow Baby, or even a mother to a pet...Happy Mother's Day.


--Cindel

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Top Style Trends for Spring 2014

Spring is in the air which means new fashion trends are just around the corner. I love when a new season comes back into play again.  I’m always excited to read about and see the latest trends for that season.  Plus, many are excited when they can pack away their bulky winter wear for fun flirty colors. 

This spring’s colors and patterns are going to be all the rage and people won’t be able to get enough of them.  Unleash your inner fashionista with some of these picks for the spring season. 

Colors of Spring.

Every year Pantone releases the top colors of the season.  This spring the colors are mixed with pretty pastels and electric, vivid brights that will inspire many great color combos for any occasion. 

Here are the Top 10 Women’s Pantone’s Colors for Spring 2014.   


This season the color to wear for women is Pantone’s Dazzling Blue.  Who doesn’t love a pretty navy shade?  It’s a great motivator for sales as well since many already have the shade in their wardrobe. 
  1. Dazzling Blue
  2. Violet Tulip
  3. Radiant Orchid
  4. Celosia Orange
  5. Freesia
  6. Cayenne
  7. Placid Blue
  8. Paloma
  9. Sand
  10. Hemlock 

The Top 10 Men’s Pantone’s Colors of Spring 2014















The color to wear this season for men is Placid Blue.  Guys really can work this handsome sky blue from the professional button down to simple golf polo, this color is the color for men this spring. 

Pretty in Pastels
Of course you can’t forget the springy colors of pastel.  The spring season is all about pastels.  It’s a fad that will never die because pastels compliment most skin tones beautifully.   Pastels are perfect with the fresh, light, airy vibe for the renewal of the season.  Hemlock greens and placid blues are pegged to be the pastel colors of the season, but of course we can’t forget about a pretty mint shade or peach tone to invite spring into your wardrobe. 


Boho top paired with peach skinny jeans, gold sandals, purple bubble necklace and Butter London Nail Lacquer in Molly Coddled for the perfect mani-pedi!


Colors from left to right white, cream, cayenne, freesia, lime and hemlock!

A neutral color that works for every season is camel, a light shade of beige.  This color is popular during every season because it can be paired with many different colors and patterns.  Go ahead, peek in your closet and see what you have in this color. 

Flirty in Florals

Florals are in full bloom this spring.  This trend is synonymous with Spring and allows you to experiment with more patterns and colors that aren't as loud as some like cheetah print for example. 

Loud in Logos

Talk about a blast from the past, the 90s have are back and so are the fashion world’s love for logos and labels. This is one of the edgier trends for this season.  Pair these logos and labels with a pair of skinny’s and awesome heels for a fashionable street style look. 

Another street style that has come out of retirement in the fashion world are overalls.  Pair some overalls with a crop top with your favorite logo for a street style straight from the 90s. 



Lovely in Lace

This timeless fabric just isn't for bridal attire.  It adds the perfect touch to any spring outfit for a lovely, elegant look. Pair a lace top with a pretty in pink pastel and a touch of floral like a scarf or a fun blazer to compose the perfect spring outfit.

Partying in Pleats

Now, many people argue that pleats just don’t work well for their body type.  Most of the time you just need to find the right pleat style that compliments your body.  For example, if you don’t want a lot of emphasis on your behind try a stitched down pleats instead of voluminous ones.  Pleats are going to be a high demand this spring from preppy princess to punk chick.  The right accessories can pull together a great outfit. 

Socks and Heels

Remember the movie Clueless?  As if you could forget it. Alicia Silverstone’s character Cher and her best friend Dionne are a prime example of what I’m getting out.  Their outfits were completed perfectly by their knee high socks and heels.  Umm, hello.  The perfect shoes can pull together any outfit that may need just a little oomph.

“You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet.” -Cher



Sweet in Sweaters
Don’t go packing up all your winter clothes just yet.  Remember Spring can have its cooler days and you’re going to want something to keep you from getting too chilly. Our love for adorable knitwear haven’t let us down yet.  Keep warm by throwing a cute sweater over your fave spring dress or pair it with your favorite pleated skirt to compose the perfect cool, spring day outfit.  Pair it with some beige tights or socks to help tie the outfit together.  Just make sure that the colors still relate to the spring season and that the sweater fits well on your shoulders and isn't too baggy and bulky to avoid the illusion of frumpiness.   


Some of the hottest styles for spring 2014 are probably already in your closet now.  Revamp your wardrobe and have fun creating new outfits and experimenting with different prints and patterns that could accent the popular floral pattern that will be all the rage this season.  This season’s styles are going to be ones to talk about.  Remember fashion fades, but style is forever.