head diy Design Fanatic: February 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What To Do With Toilet Paper Tubes

Do you save toilet paper tubes with no plan as to what to do with them?
 I've been saving toilet paper tubes for several months now, ever since seeing a cute Christmas craft on Pinterest last fall. I never got around to making that Christmas craft, but still kept saving them

Well, here's what they ended up becoming...

I just cut them in half , marked the outside and filled them with pre-moistened organic garden mix.  After planting the seeds the tray was put in the window in my breakfast room. Starting seeds indoors before the frost helps you get a jump on the growing season.

Here's some of the bounty from last year's vegetable garden:

It's always hard for me to believe that the little seeds being planted in the middle of winter are going to grow and become beautiful plants like this.
" hope for the future is at the heart of all gardening".  Marina Schinz.

 Hope you have a bountiful day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Family Room Evolution

The decor in our home is constantly changing. Pillows are a great way to give you a new look without having to spend a lot of money. Making pillow covers is my favorite way to change things up around the house and they are definitely budget friendly.

Our needs have changed over the years concerning how we live in our home, especially the need for storage on the main floor. Our home might have a lot of square feet, but it lacks built in storage space on the main floor. The armoire and the baskets under the sofa table were used to hold necessary storage. When our family room looked like this, it did not feel very cozy.

 After finding another armoire on Craigslist, I used them to flank the fireplace. Now the family room has plenty of storage with the left armoire holding all of the TV, dvds, and stereo equipment. The armoire on the right holds throws, extra pillows, books and magazines. Would so love to build some molding on top of the mantel to take advantage of the high ceiling.

The family room feels so much cozier now.

Now, if I could just pick a new paint color...Notice that the wall under the stairs is painted a greige color. It's my sample wall. It has been painted at least 5 or 6 times. LOL!

Hope your week is off to a good start! It's been a busy day for me with doing laundry, cleaning the house and packing for my trip to Los Angeles tomorrow to visit my daughter and family. Can't wait to get there....I'm hoping to share some of our thrifty shopping excursions with you. One of the places we'll be going to a Costco size thrift store in downtown LA and I can't wait!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Two Valentine's Day Celebrations

We celebrated Valentine's Day twice this week. Mr. Fanatic and I had a lovely dinner on the 14th, but since our youngest daughter had to work, she and her boyfriend Nick celebrated Valentine's day on the 15th.

I set the table the first night and placed the fabric heart ornaments on each place setting, wrapped around a silver napkin ring. My mother in law gave me three silver napkin rings, but this one with her name engraved on it is my favorite.

I wait all year to order these chocolate hearts from Sees. The red foil hearts are only sold for a couple of months and aren't available after Valentine's Day.  I wish they sold them all year round because they are so good!

Of course Mr. F. gave me some lovely flowers.

Mr. F. made a steak  dinner for us on Valentine's Day, then the following evening, he coached our daughter's boyfriend and taught him how to grill a Filet Mignon, make mashed potatoes and a Dijon mustard sauce.  Nick brought over enough food for all of us to eat, but they had their dinner in the breakfast nook and we had ours in the formal dining room.
The dinners on both nights were so wonderful, especially because I didn't have to cook!

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's week!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope your Valentine's Day is fun...

and have something wonderful planned,

 with the one(s) you love.
Happy Valentine's Day !


Friday, February 10, 2012

Vintage Valentine Hearts

Last night the bug hit me...no, not the flu bug, but that thing where you just have to make something.
Mr. Fanatic was out of town and our daughter was doing homework and I heard my craftroom calling. Once upstairs, I started digging looking through boxes of fabric and found several yards of fabric that my grandmother made me a dress out of when I was about 8 years old. That would make it vintage fabric, no?  If  things from the 60's are considered vintage, then that would make me... oh, never mind.

I found everything needed to make this fun Valentine project in my craft room, so I didn't have to spend a penny. 
Valentine's Day, Valentine's hearts, fabric hearts, Vintage Valentine hearts, cottage, cottage style, farmhouse, farmhouse style, diyDesignFanatic.com, sewing project

With no plan in mind I used my pinking shears to cut the hearts out of the vintage fabric, found some leftover quilting felt and sewed it all up together like a sandwich. Once the pieces were sewn together, I cut the edges with my pinking shears. Then I went to my hoard boxes of ribbon and found some shiny string(that's the fancy name for it) and some burlap ribbon and glued it on the heart.
Valentine's Day, Valentine's hearts, fabric hearts, Vintage Valentine hearts, cottage, cottage style, farmhouse, farmhouse style, diyDesignFanatic.com, sewing project

I had the bare branches in mind when I made them. These branches have had  decorations on them for 3 seasons now. Gotta love it when something you have can be changed up for seasons and holidays.
Valentine's Day, Valentine's hearts, fabric hearts, Vintage Valentine hearts, cottage, cottage style, farmhouse, farmhouse style, diyDesignFanatic.com, sewing project

Valentine's Day, Valentine's hearts, fabric hearts, Vintage Valentine hearts, cottage, cottage style, farmhouse, farmhouse style, diyDesignFanatic.com, sewing project

 Valentine's Day, Valentine's hearts, fabric hearts, Vintage Valentine hearts, cottage, cottage style, farmhouse, farmhouse style, diyDesignFanatic.com, sewing project

So what do you call that thing you get when you just HAVE to make something?


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm Going to Hollywood!

No, I didn't make the cut on American Idol. A good voice is definitely NOT one of my gifts!

I just booked a flight for myself to Los Angeles and I'm going to Hollywood in a couple of weeks. Mr. Fanatic and our youngest daughter are going to be so jealous that I will be eating a "Double Double" at In N Out burger without them.

My posts have been scant the past few weeks and if you've been wondering why...it's because I've been helping my daughter find an apartment (from 2,500 miles away), because of an unforeseen circumstance. It's been a gut wrenching two weeks because she won't have use of a vehicle after today and she just got the keys to her apartment yesterday. It's amazing to me how many apartments are listed in the morning and rented by the afternoon even when the rent is more than the house payment we had when we lived in SoCal. (I'm showing my age here!)

She'll be living steps away from the Kodak Theater.

She found a place REALLY close to where she works and I'm going out there to help her get settled and to visit family. Since she wasn't planning on moving into her own apartment so soon and was living with my sister, she has practically NOTHING. Ok, she's got  a dresser, a small frying pan, a hand mixer, two bath towels and clothing, but no bed and nothing else. Sounds like a trip to TJ Maxx, Marshall's, HomeGoods & the Goodwill is in order! She needs all the basics and I don't even know if we'll get to decorating the apartment and making it look pretty. Hopefully she'll have a mattress for me to sleep on when I get there. Will keep you updated.

Makes me want to get on a plane today and fly out there immediately!

Hope you are having a good week!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My DIY Weight Loss

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Mr. Fanatic and I worked on some more raised beds so we can expand our organic vegetable garden. Spring will be here before you know it and we have to get the cool weather veggies in the ground soon.

 Today I thought I'd tell you how I lost 25 pounds on my own~ ya know I do a lot of things diy, and this was one of them. 

Where do I begin?...

In the past ten years I gained some extra weight and it started to make me feel uncomfortable. It wasn't only that I didn't like the way I looked, but it was causing me physical pain, as well.
So, last Spring I made
a goal that I was going to lose weight starting in June after we got back from a trip to Savannah. My goal at first was not to lose 25 pounds, it was to lose 10.  I wasn't sure how I was going to do it, because I didn't eat very much to begin with and didn't understand how my goal was going to happen.

This was my typical day's intake of food before:

Tea and Bagel for breakfast
sandwich for lunch
chocolate snack at 3 pm
Typical dinner: chicken, rice or potato and veggie
Maybe dessert

That's it!
I wasn't sure how I could gain weight on that, but ya know I'm a couple years(almost) past 50 and one thing I've learned is: you can't eat like you did when you were younger. (Plus I have no functioning thyroid ~I'm on thyroid meds ~ and am post menopausal-sorry if that's TMI)

So how was I going to lose weight now???
I had lost some baby weight after my kids were born 18 years ago by increasing my protein and lowering my carbs. Since that worked for me then,  I thought I'd try it again. A few of my friends lost weight following Weight Watchers and I could try that if my diet wasn't successful.

 I didn't take a "before" picture last June, but here's a photo of my youngest daughter and me on Venice Beach in Spring of 2010. I was wearing size 12/14 and Large to XL.

We had a photographer take family photos in May of 2011~Here's a photo of me a month before I started my new diet. 
Portrait Creations

Here I am at the "I Love Thrifting" event in July.  By this time, I had been on the low carb diet for just a few weeks and had lost a couple pounds
For the first couple of weeks I didn't lose much, but then did some "googling" and watched Dr. Oz and learned some things. Those extra things started working  and I started losing 1-2 pounds a week. Switching to only having protein for breakfast made all the difference in the world.
Here's the short version of how I what I did. It may or may not work for you and if you want more nitty gritty details, just email me.

I had a Jay Robb protein shake for breakfast and waited an hour or so and then had a protein snack
(Some days I had 3 scrambled eggs, but no carbs first thing.)
I limited my carbs to 100 per day.
I took some vitamins ( D, Magnesium, B6, probiotics, etc.)
Took some extra fiber when I remembered, around dinner time (per Dr. Oz)
Periodically used a colon cleanse 

That's about it.
I ate pretty much whatever else I wanted.... even bacon and ranch dressing and ice cream etc. I just didn't go overboard on the calories, but I didn't count calories, just carbs. I ate whatever I wanted, but counted my carbs and once 100 carbs was reached, only protein could be eaten.

I did not exercise at all. Ok, I tried for a week, but it didn't help me lose any more weight and I had to go take a 3 hour nap on the days I exercised. Couldn't afford to take a 3 hour nap, so I stopped exercising. I've tried to lose weight before by exercising, but I ended up gaining weight. Sorry, not worth it! Your experience may vary.

To keep track of the carbs  I wrote everything down I ate for two weeks just to make sure I didn't go over my 100 carb limit. After that I pretty much knew how many carbs were in what and I knew how to eat. FYI: that stoneground, whole wheat bagel I ate every day for breakfast was 60 carbs.With the tea with milk, I had been eating 72 carbs! No wonder I was getting fat!

Here's a typical days intake of food on a 100 carb a day diet:

Jay Robb whey protein shake for breakfast
(update: I have switched to Source Naturals True Whey Protein)
sunflower seeds or almonds for a snack
1/2 sandwich or  a burrito or cheese and crackers for lunch(I don't like to cook, remember?)
fruit snack around 3 pm if hungry
regular dinner ~ Chicken  and vegetables or 1 medium size burrito
Maybe dessert (If no starch for dinner) or a protein snack after dinner
Sometimes I forget to eat lunch until 3pm, so I skip the snack. 

This low carb diet was pretty difficult for the first 3 weeks or so. After that I lost my sugar cravings and no longer craved my 3 o'clock chocolate snack. If I got a craving for something sweet I would eat 3-5 jellybeans(yes, I wrote them down). It's amazing how a few jellybeans would stop the craving for something sweet

I  can go to Five Guys and get a double cheeseburger and go out to eat. It's just a different way of eating. A double cheeseburger is ok, but the fries are not. When we would go to a nice restaurant I would substitute the potato for a green vegetable or salad. One night after going out to Carrabas I had 20 carbs left, so we went to Walmart and searched the aisles for a 20 carb ice cream bar! I think it was Hagen daz. Being committed to a program is the only way stick to it.

After losing 10 pounds, my next goal was 15, then 20. Losing 20 pounds was so exciting because I had NEVER, EVER, done that before.

By the end of November of last year I had lost 25 pounds! It took me 5 1/2 months to do it, which is not very fast, but all things considered, it's pretty darn good! The holidays were a little difficult and the 100 carb limit was suspended, but I only gained back 2 pounds and have since lost those, plus a few more.

Here's a photo taken on Saturday:
 I now wear a size 8 and Medium.

A pair of my previously tight jeans now fits like this...

Right now I'm on a maintenance lower carb diet and limit my carbs to 150 a day.  My goal is to lose 5 to 10 pounds more and will go back to a 100 carb limit again in a month or two.
I would love to be a size 6 again!

Well, there you have it!

That's my diy weight loss story.


PS: you have to get enough sleep every night in order to lose weight. I sometimes use Melatonin to help me fall asleep. As you get older your body produces less of it, so supplementing is sometimes needed.
*Be sure to speak with your doctor if you are taking any medications before you add any vitamins to your daily regimen because some vitamins and minerals can interact with medications.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Take It Off The List

Both my husband and daughter had requested an ottoman for  the chair in our Master Bedroom. We watch tv in there almost every evening in the winter  and I blog in this chair, as well.

I would love to have an ottoman for my comfy chair.
The problem is, they are VERY pricey at several hundred dollars and definitely not in the budget!
With buying an ottoman out of the question, making one was put on the project list.
Problem is...it's way down on the list!

Well, last week, Susan from Between Naps On The Porch blogged about her search for an ottoman for her newly redecorated office. She found one at for a great price at World Market. I immediately went online and  ordered one that day and couldn't wait to get it. The best part about it was that the ottoman was on sale!
The box arrived and I immediately set the ottoman up in the Foyer.

Here the ottoman is all set up in our bedroom. It's perfect.

Here's Before...

...and, After:

The slipcovered ottoman was only $30 on sale. The slipcover is sold separately and comes in several colors. It was on sale for $39. I was only going to get the ottoman, since I could sew one, but again, it would be way down on the project list. 
Thanks to Susan, making an ottoman for our Master Bedroom is now off the project list! Yay!