Thursday, May 31, 2012

F.A.T. Friday! I'm a visual kinda gal...

Welcome to my third weekly instalment of F.A.T. Friday! (That's Forging Ahead Together to a healthy lifestyle)

This Week's Suggested Topic Was: Do you set short term and/or long term goals? Are they visual? Do you "allow" yourself a reward for reaching a goal? Have you reached a goal recently? Please share!

I am a total goal setter but I've rarely ever reached my goals.  Either I simply don't commit and follow through or I've set them so astronomically high that I get discouraged and "give up".  Much like my commitment to getting healthy, I've also made the commitment to setting SHORT TERM ATTAINABLE goals.  I figure this will give me a better opportunity to see short term gain/reward for a short term commitment.  It made sense at the time and still does.

I have always been a visual learner.  Hands on kinda stuff.  If I can't see it and/or try it,  I can't do it.  Therefore, I thought I'd use the same learning "ideology" with my goal setting.  If I can see "it" (the goal), I can be reminded of "it", I can stick to "it".  Logical, right?!?!  I thought so too!

And so, the first goal I have set for myself on this long journey to healthy living is to fit into one of the two following dresses for my Bestie Tammy's wedding on August 25th.  I have these hanging in my room on my wall so, they are the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I look at before I head to bed (I wasn't kiddin' when I said I was going to be a visual goal setter...hahaha!).

  I totally SQUEEZED myself into them for your viewing pleasure you to also be able to "visualize"...

Dress #1- Fun & Funky
I've left myself some options...this one I am about 20-25 pounds from it not looking so tight and being "passable" to wear out in public! (Size 18)

Dress #2- Chic & Sophisticated
This one will require about a 30-35 pound weight loss for the same acceptable "public appearance". (Size 14)

Since I am heading out on a 5 week vay-k in 3 short weeks I thought I'd be realistic (see above) and have TWO options for my wedding attire.  I do plan to keep "strict"...mostly...while on holidays so there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to get the second dress on but I don't want to become discouraged.  I tend to learn from my mistakes.  LOL!

Regardless of which dress I will wear, it is evident that I need to get a little "sun" so I don't look like Casper!  LMAO!  With any luck hard work, I might have to go out and get a whole NEW DRESS in a size smaller than both of these...I'll keep you posted!

As far as "rewarding" myself for reaching this goal...just being able to wear something and FEEL GOOD...REALLY GOOD about how I look will be reward enough!!

And Finally...this weeks weight stats:

Week #4- Wednesday May 30, 2012
Start Weight: 282 pounds
Goal Weight: 150 pounds
Last Week's Weight: 261.8 pounds
Current Weight: 257.4 pounds
Weight Lost this Week:   4.4 pounds
Total Lost to Date: 24.6 pounds

*Since weekly weight loss may not be noticeable in pictures, I plan to post updated photos once every 3 weeks

Are you making the commitment this week? Come on then...Link Up & Let's (get) F.A.T!

Next Week's Suggested Topic:  What “triggered” you to take control of your weight and start on the road to healthy living?  If you're already "there" what keeps you "there"?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The importance of REALLY picking kids names carefully...

This week, I had a REALLY hard time picking from Mama Kat's writing prompts because I like almost all of them and had something to say about 4 out of the 5 suggested topics.  Go figure that I would ACTUALLY have something to say about almost all the random topics presented...LOL!

For the record, I've NEVER stole anything in my lifetime.  Or if I did, I have totally placed in into my subconscious...LOL!!  Anywho, I reluctantly opted to re-post one of my favorite Daddy Dave and I named our Daughter.

Assignment:  I almost named my child _______, but chose _______ instead because...

When we found out we were having twins, Daddy Dave and I were in a panic trying to come up with a second girls name in the event we were going to be blessed with two little girls.  Lucky we didn't have to "panic" for too long because as it turned out we found out early on that we were having a little girl and a little boy.  While we had already long decided on ONE girls name, it COULD have been disastrous had we had to use name #2.  I thought this topic fit nicely into the story of my daughters name while still giving everyone a little giggle about what "might have been"!

I almost named my daughter Elle , but chose Ave instead...

I feel so blessed in life.  I have my health, the love of my life and two beautiful children.  I thank God everyday for trusting me enough to send us two little angel to love and cherish. 
Ave Marie has long been a favorite song of mine, for as long as I can remember.  When I was getting married and I told my mom that I wanted that played at my wedding, she was adamant that Ave Marie was for funerals, not marriage ceremonies.  I spoke with the Minister and he explained the “meaning” of that song in the most simple way.  He told me that Ave Maria is a call to God to intersect and give a “special” blessing through his loving mother.  Therefore, he said, it is a song of “re-birth, new beginnings and blessings”, completely and totally appropriate for a wedding. 
I had the most beautiful woman, with the most beautiful voice sing that on my wedding day.  It is one of my most cherished memories of that day!  And who would have thought that our daughter’s name would be “born” as a result of that conversation with the Minister....
It was right after that discussion that I asked Dave what he thought of the name “Ave” for our daughter, should we have one.  Ave, pronounced Awe-Vay, is Latin and means “Hail” or “Holy Salutation”. He thought it was beautiful and we both thought about how “special” it would be to share our story of how she was named.  The story of how we called upon God for a sacred blessing on the day of the “birth of our union” and how we also called upon God for the same blessing for “her” on the day of her birth.  And so, as God would have it, we were blessed with our little baby girl and without a second thought or even a word mentioned, we named her Ave.

She is constantly being called AVE, as in the short form of Avenue or Ava (thinking I’ve misspelled it) and I know some may think that it was a silly-confusing name to call her, especially given some of the WILD names out there these days but at the very worst she’ll have to always be correcting people.  I  hope she will think that the lovely story she has to share when people do ask her about her name will outweigh the inconvenience of constantly having to correct people..only time will tell!
Allow me to leave you with what I think is the second best rendition of Ave Marie...the first was at my wedding!

...because our last name is Bowes.  Get It?
Elle-Bowes...Elbows!  LMAO!

Need Some Inspiration...Come Be a Part of Mama Kat's Writing Workshop

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wordless, Wordful or Whatever Wednesday- Take My Breath Away...

The Fam & I spent this past Saturday up in the Mountains in Canmore, AB

Even after 14 years, I loose my breath, if only for a second, every time I see them...stunning!

Come On & Show Me Your Wordless, Wordful or Whatever Wednesday Post!

A Step By Step Guide on How to "Bake" a Diaper Cake!

As a follow up to my Getting My Craft On...Diaper Cakes and promised,  I am posting a step by step guide on how to "Bake" a Diaper Cake...

Step One- The Ingredients
Gather together the items you’ll need to “bake” your cake.  The Dollar Stores often have a great selection and huge savings, so check there first.
Ingredients list:
45 Size 2 Diapers
10 Pairs of Baby Socks
14 Face Cloths
4 Bibs
1 Burp cloth
2 Teethers and a cute “stuffie”
1 bottle of wine (for moms-to-be that like to drink) OR 2 small jars of baby food and one large
16’ Circle Cardboard Cutout (for base)
No Pull Kid Hair Elastics (preferably clear but as you will see I used colored for some)
6 regular elastics (2 smaller, 3 larger)
Couple Safety Pins
Ribbon (3 rolls or one x-large)
Glue Gun
Packing Tape

Step Two- Preparing the Diapers
Roll all the diapers and fasten with a hair elastic.  Make sure the diaper prints/colors are rolled inside so only white shows.  (In Canada, Pampers don’t have prints all over the diaper)

Step Three- Assembling the Cake
Place bottle of wine (or baby food taped together to form a tower) in the center of your cardboard cutout; put a small elastic around the tower and add diapers. 

Place a larger elastic around the first base of diapers and add a second layer of diapers. 

Repeat for a third and final base layer of diapers with a larger elastic.

For the second tier of the cake repeat the above process adding only 2 layers of diapers

For the last and final tier, use a small elastic to add only one layer of diapers.

Here is what your “Undecorated” cake should look like.

Step Four- “Icing” the Cake
For the first and largest tier of the cake, it is most economical to use baby socks. It helps with design if you lay your socks all around the cake to determine where they will be placed.

Carefully remove one white diaper at a time from the outer layer of the first tier and place a baby sock over top and then replace. 

Repeat until all outer white diapers are covered.

For the second tier “icing”, I used facecloths (4 for $1) and you simply wrap the outer layer of diapers with them and use a clear hair elastic to secure.

For the third tier I used bibs to “ice” 4 of the white diapers and then I rolled one burping cloth in lieu of a diaper to compose the 5 diaper top tier.

Step Five- “Decorating” the Cake
Cut ribbon to fit the circumference of each tier and secure with a dab of glue at the back of the cake.

I used a small amount of glue to secure the teethers on the cake and used safety pins to secure the cake topper (stuffie).

Step Six- Packaging the Cake
Using one roll of cello-wrap and some packing tape wrap up your “yummy” cake and add some ribbon for a finishing touch.

Step Seven- The “Recipe”
Add the following “Recipe” card so that the Mommy-To-Be knows how to enjoy her cake and what ingredients were used.

And that my friends, is how you “Bake” a yummy Diaper Cake!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Spil Proof Snack Cups. Mama Loves...

I love linking up with Julia over at Pontifications of a Twin Mom ALMOST as much as I love my... spill proof snack cups! 

Munchkin Snack Catcher

Up until fairly recently, the kids have always had all snacks in their highchairs.  No exceptions.  Either I am getting more placid in my old age or they have demonstrated some small glimmer of "responsible snacking", either way, I have ventured past the highchair-snacking phase and have begun letting them have "dry" snacks in these IMPRESSIVE cups...

There are slits for little people fingers to get into...

While NOT allowing "snacks" to fall out when turned upside down...

EVEN when you shake it violently...

Another GREAT bonus is using them in the van during snacktime while we are out and about.  No muss, No fuss. 

Mama is loving the No Spill Snack Cups!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Songs That Make US Sing Saturday! The coutdown is ON...

In exactly one month, the kids & I will be heading "home" for our summer vay-k!  I am so excited I could pee my pants...
Get your dancing shoes on and those singing voices ready because ME, Ginger of Just Another Mom of Twins and Becca of Because I'm the Mommy are hosting "Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday Blog Hop!!" 
Here is just a few guidelines:

1.  Please Follow the TWO of "Us"  (we're so much more than just songs...LOL) If you're a new follower please leave us a comment so we can follow you back!
2. Pick A Song...any song that makes you wanna sing! Old-New-Country-Pop-Punk...anything goes. (Let's try to keep it family friendly if we can...LOL) If you want, tell us why the song makes you wanna SING!
3.  Add your link to the "Playlist"
4.  We'd REALLY like you to copy the Linky Code (just click on "get the code") in to your post so your blogger buds can join in on the fun or link back to the both of us so they can at least "find" the party, but you don't have to.
5.  We'd love to see the video of your song (which can easily be shared via but if you just wanna list your favorite song of the day, we're "cool" with that too!
.  Hey, and don't forget to grab our button while you are at it.  (BCIMommy still likes it cause she thinks it sounds dirty. *teehee*)
I am just so excited about heading back to my hometown of Porcupine.  I LOVE the time we get to spend is such a welcomed change from the City and spending time with my lifelong gal-pals and their families makes me giddy with joy!

So many of my fondest (and not so fondest) memories are tucked away in this Northern corner of the world and one of my "feel good" memories is the times we girlz use to spend at the "ZOO".  No, not an actual Zoo but you might have thought so because we had been known to turn into a bunch of animals after a few drinkie-poo's at this long gone but forever cherish watering hole.

And so, this song is in memory of those "Good Times"!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

F.A.T. Friday! The Dr. Bernstein Diet...

Welcome to my second weekly instalment of F.A.T. Friday! (That's Forging Ahead Together to a healthy lifestyle)

This week Suggested Topic was: Talk about what your “healthy lifestyle” entails.  Are you on a specific diet?  Are you using a certain program and if so how does it work?  What are some of the “perks” and/or challenges? If you are maintaining a healthy weight, come on…share-share sugar bear!

And so, I would like to "talk" a little about the Dr. Bernstein diet. I will start by saying that I do not proclaim to be an "expert" regarding this diet and all the opinions and information expressed is that of the writer...that'd be moi!

I have been on almost every diet out there. Weight Watchers, Diet Centre, Herbal Magic, Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Dr. Atkins...just to name a "few". Dr. Bernstein has,  BY FAR , been the easiest to follow and demands that I eat a very well balanced, healthy diet. His method has been scrutinized by many and the rapid weight loss experienced is controversial. Sceptics argue that unless you remain a lifelong Dr. Bernstein dieter, you WILL put on all the weigh you loose AND quickly. I don't disagree. However, isn't that true about any "diet"? If it takes you one week to loose 2 pounds on any given regime, it will take you 2 weeks to put it back on if you indulge in old, unhealthy habits. Same is true with Dr. Bernstein, only you will put the weight on faster because you loose it faster. It's all relative.

The Dr. B Controversy

One of the most controversial debates regarding the Dr. Bernstein diet is that your body goes into a state of ketosis. If you don't know what this is, the "quick" explanation is that your body begins to utilize stored fat cells, not muscle or healthy tissue, for energy. If you'd like a through explanation you can read all about that here. For those of you who do know all the nitty-gritty details of ketosis, I am sure you have an opinion one way or another; it's a terrible or reasonable method of weigh loss. If you sit in the "yard" of terrible, I would like to clarify that on the Dr. Bernstein diet we are not deprived of carbohydrates which IS a bad thing for the body and brain. We are extremely limited with regards to the amount and types of carbs we can consume but we DO consume them nonetheless. Ketosis levels are measured throughout the week during clinic visits.

The "Rules" of the Diet

For me, the most beneficial component to this diet is the restrictiveness. WHAT?? Yes, you did hear that correctly, I LOVE how restrictive this diet is. I'm the type of person, at least when it comes to food, that if you give me an inch...I'll take a mile. There is no room for "sneaking this" or "adding that". We are provided with an extensive, detailed list of the food we can and can not eat and must record it faithfully on our food sheets that are checked at each visit. 

There are only a few, simple rules to follow and weight loss success is guaranteed...

Rule #1- If it ain't on the list it ain't to go in your mouth!

Rule #2- Everything, I repeat EVERYTHING you eat must be weighed, measured or counted out.   It must also be recorded IN DETAIL on a food sheet.

Rule #3- Drink. Drink. And Drink some more.  Water that is!   Absolutely NO ALCOHOL! (total bummer.  It's the only "con" that I can think of.)

Rule #4- Eat all your protein & carbs everyday. 

Rule #5- You must "weigh-in" and be seen by Registered Nurses on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. (You must also complete all blood work and medical tests as required within 10 days or services are ceased.)

Rule #6- You must see the clinics Doctors once every month.

I am a total rule follower and these expectations help me remain accountable and on track. Following these rules GUARANTEES healthy, rapid weight loss of 3-5 pounds a week.  Because of these two factors...The Dr. Bernstein Diet works for ME!

Vitamins & Supplements

On my Monday & Friday visits to the clinic, I am given B12 injections and I am injected with B6 on  Wednesdays. These "shots" are no different than taking a vitamin supplement of the same, except that it is injected intramuscular and therefore is utilized fully by the body rather than most of if being expelled as it would if taking in tablet form. I am also required to take a multivitamin once a day and 2 Cal-K (potassium) pills twice a day.

What Do I Eat/Drink In A Day?

I am allowed the following servings from each food group every day: 3 protein (including dairy), 3 carbohydrates, 3 vegetables, 3 fruit and 3 "Garnishes". As mentioned above, there is a very lengthy list of these items that I can use to keep it interesting and enjoyable. I can't post the entire list but here are a few examples of some Allowed & Not Allowed Items in each food group:

Not Allowed
Protein (3 ½ ozs)
Crab, Clams, Mussels

Deli Meats

Salmon, Tuna, Haddock
Any Ground Meat

Pork Tenderloin

Turkey Breast
Restaurant Chicken

Dr. Bernstein Bars/Oatmeal

Breton Crackers (9)

Specialty Bakery Bread  (1 slice)

Goldfish Crackers/Melba/Wasa

Pitas/Tortillas (1/2)

Vegetables (8 ozs)



Green Beans

Fruit (5 ozs)




I thought I'd also include a pictorial of a days worth of food that I consume for your viewing pleasure:
Breakfast- Dr. B Protein Bar & Strawberries
= 1 protein & 1 1/2 fruit

Lunch- 3 egg white salad sandwich with 1 tsp light Mayo & Veggies
= 1/2 protein,  2 bread, 1 garnish & 1 veggies

Afternoon Snack- 1 laughing cow cheese chunk and 17 Goldfish crackers
= 1 garnish & 1 bread

Supper- Fillet Mignon, Sauteed Mushrooms & Onions and Mrs. Dash Green Beans
= 1 protein, 1 1/2 veggies

Night Snack- CINNABON: 3 egg whites, cinnamon, twin sugar, fat free cream cheese & allowed pancake syrup (1/2 each)
= 1/2 protein & 1 garnish

4-5  water bottles(750 ml) = 12-15 glasses of water

And Finally...this weeks weight stats:

Week #3- Wednesday May 23, 2012
Start Weight: 282 pounds
Goal Weight: 150 pounds
Last Week's Weight: 266.8 pounds
Current Weight: 261.8 pounds
Weight Lost this Week:   5 pounds
Total Lost to Date: 20.2 pounds

*Since weekly weight loss may not be noticeable in pictures, I plan to post updated photos once every 3 weeks

Are you making the commitment this week? Come on then...Link Up & Let's (get) F.A.T!

Next Week's Suggested Topic:   Do you set short term and/or long term goals? Are they visual?  Do you "allow" yourself a reward for reaching a goal?  Have you reached a goal recently?  Please share!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Warning: Parental Advisory. It's TRuck kids, not...

It's been a long while since I've hooked up with Mama Kat for her Pretty Much World Famous Writing know how it goes, life seems to get in the way sometimes.  I'm finally "back"...

Assignment #1- Write about a time your child embarrassed you in public.

Warning:  This blog post may use explicit language that may not be suitable for all readers.  Parental caution is strongly advised.

Ok, I feel like I have done my due diligence in warning readers that you may not want to read on if you may be offended by the fact that my 2 year old twins have not learned the proper pronunciation of TRuck yet.  No.  They certainly have not.

I almost fell off my chair Wednesday morning when we were at the doctor's office and Bryce & Ave's comments turned what were "busy-not-looking-my-way-eyes" to looks of empathy, maybe even a little humor but mostly shock & disgust, right at me...LMAO!

Let me start over.  Both Ave & Bryce are "late" speakers.  It's only been in the last month or two that they are really starting to "chat-away", however, their pronunciations are not quite up to par.  Let's take the work...oh, I don't know...TRUCK!  Bryce drops the TR and replaces it with a F.  Ave drops the TR and replaces it with a hard "C".  Can you see where this may be going???

Back to Wednesday morning in the Doctor's office; I always allow them to bring one toy when we go out somewhere.  Usually something small; a book, a little people, a plastic animal, a hotwheel, etc.  On this morning, Bryce insisted on bring one of his favorite trucks...

I am usually a hard a$$ about the "rules" but I was super tired and running late so, I caved.  While we were waiting to be called, the kids played quietly and then Bryce held up his truck with this HUGE smile on his face.  Here is the conversation that took place:

Me (in a nonchalant kinda way)"You really like your truck eh Bryce?"
Bryce- "ike da *uck!"
Me (Whispering)- "Truck.  You like your TRuck."
Bryce (in an excited, loud voice tone)- "Ike da *uck!  Ike da *uck!"
Me (loudly)- "Shhhhhhh....whisper.  Use you inside voice please"  No sooner had I said that Ave chimes in just as loud if not LOUDER...
Ave- "Brycie ike C-uck!  Brycie ike C-uck!"
Bryce (through hysterically giggles)- "Ya A-A! (that's how he says Ave)  Ike *uck...IKE *UCK!!!"
Ave- "Ike C-uck...IKE C-UCK!!!"

Just then the nurse called my name and I leaped to my feet and announced to the waiting room, "They love TEEEEEEEERRRRRRR-ucks!!!" smiled and disappeared into the exam room.

I WAS embarrassed until I realized they had both just strung together a THREE WORD SENTENCE!!  Woo Hoo!  I went from an embarrassed mom to a super PROUD MOM in 2.2 seconds. (So what that it wasn't phonically correct but hey, it's a start!)

I felt compelled to share a little video or two...while they don't string together the 3 word sentence (they don't like to perform on command?!?!?) you will get a better understanding of what was said/heard...LMAO!

              Get your inspiration on...Link Up with Mama Kat!!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WWW- My Blessings...

Whenever I am "down in the dumps" all I gotta do to brigthen  my day is remember to count my blessings!!!


I would love to see your Wordless, Wordful or Whatever Wednesday post...come on and LINK UP!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bubble Land & the Bubble Fairy! Mama Loves...

As far as weather in concerned, I live in one of the most unpredictable, best bring a parka AND a pair of shorts when you go out, places in the world.  Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Early last week the kids and I spent hours in the backyard soaking up the hot sunshine and playing with an abundance of "new" outdoor toys.  By the end of the week we were snuggled up inside with the heat blasting as it snowed.  Weird or What?

Anyways, during the "set up" of the backyard play area (because up here in Canada ya gotta put away all the outdoor toys or the weight of the snow or the pulverizing powers of hail could leave you "toyless") I found a box filled with surprises.  Sure, I bought every single item in the box but it was just as much of a SURPRISE as to the contents of the box as it was to the kids.  I shop lots and therefore forget what it is I have pre-purchased.  Allow me to explain...

I BUY EVERYTHING ON SALE/CLEARANCE.  I am always a season ahead of the times (buying winter stuff in the summer and summer stuff in the winter) and it saves us lots of money allows the kids to get much more for the same amount of money I would have budgeted for if I were buying current-season items.  It's a WIN-WIN-WIN... 
  1. I WIN because I love to shop and get bargains. 
  2. Daddy Dave WINS because it doesn't cost anymore than it should (RE: budget). 
  3. The kids WIN because they get lots of totally cool things to play with.
I have been slowly taking one "SURPRISE" out each day we play outside.  The very first item I pulled out on Mother's day was the Bubble Making Machine. Oh. My.  WHAT FUN!!  I really didn't anticipate it would work so well but if the wind is "just right" it fills the entire backyard with bubbles and transports us to what I have coined to be  "Bubble Land!"

At first the kids wanted it on continuously however, given that it uses about a 250 ml of bubble solution in no time and requires SIX AA batteries to operate, I had to teach them something new.  I love when I can come up a plan to STOP THE WHINING get the opportunity to teach them something new...

After about 10 minutes of continuous bubble making, I shut it off.  The whining and pleading polite requests to have it turned back on ensured.  After 2 seconds another 10 minutes, I couldn't take it anymore so I made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  When mommy declares that she has to make a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, the kids stop & listen.  It's kinda impressive.  Anywho, it went something like this:

Note:  It may help if you picture me waving my arms up and down using a voice with extreme excitement/disappointment and an overly-enthusiastic clap and cheer/dance at the end!

"Guess What?? (Both Ave & Bryce were quite and listening intensely)  The Bubble Fairy just sent me a message and she told me that the bubble maker can not be used all the time because then the magic will disappear and we wont have any bubbles at all.  OH NO!  That's not good news is it?  That's ok.  Not to worry...she explained that she will let ME know when it can go on AND when it must be turned off.   ISN'T THAT EXCITING????  But you can't ask because then the Bubble Fairy wont come by and let us use the machine.  Ok?  Do you Understand? (to which they nodded)  YA HOOO!!  This is so exciting we will never know when the Bubbles are coming....HOW EXCITING it will always be a SURPRISE when it's time to visit AND leave Bubble Land!"

And this would be "Bubble Land"

Did it work?  Oh. Yes. It. Did.  They need reminders from time to time but all and all the Bubble Fairy came through.

I highly recommend this investment...tons and tons of fun!  (Yes, you can use the Bubble fairy story too if your kids are as whinny persistent as mine...LOL!)

I'm linking up with Pontifications of a Twin something you LOVE?  Click Here & Link Up!


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