Thursday, June 28, 2012

Paper bracelet tutorial..

Isn't it beautiful?
I've been looking into things to make that would fall under recycling. I'm not a wacko about it, but I am conscience of my environment. I am also frugal so it's a win win situation. haha  I came upon the idea of making my own beads from paper. Yeah, PAPER! I thought, "Hey, I can do that!"

I had magazines on hand, but in my reading it says, you can use just about any THIN paper you may have on hand.. The thinner the paper the better. That way, the beads have a smoother appearance when completed. The beads can be made in different shapes and sizes. With that being said, let's begin! :

Step 1: Choose any paper that has the colors you want to make beads from. Don't worry about the design on the page because the designs will not be noticeable when it's rolled up into a bead.

Step 2: Cut the paper into a strip from about 1/2" - 1/4" at it's widest, down to a point on the other end. The narrower the base, the shorter the bead. The longer the paper strip, the thicker the bead will be when it's completed. You can also thicken your beads by using more than one strip of paper. I used up to five on one of my beads.

Step 3: Take a toothpick and start rolling the paper (face down) starting with your widest end of your paper strip on the toothpick. You can see I made 2 smaller beads on my toothpick. I was attempting to make my center pieces for my bracelet, but decided not to use them. :)

Step 4: Add glue to the last 2" of the paper and roll the rest of the paper onto the toothpick.

Step 5: Once the paper is rolled and in place the way you want it, take clear fingernail polish and cover the entire bead.

Step 6: Once dry, slide the bead off of the toothpick. If you'd like the bead shorter, this would be the time to take the scissors and trim the ends back. See the newest bead in the middle? These were my rejects I discarded from my selection of beads for my bracelet I made. You can see here the different shapes and sizes that can be made. That biggest blue bead was made with five strips of paper.

To make my bracelet, I had some green floral wire on hand. I threaded my home made beads with some store bought beads. Like I said previously, I tried to make some solid colored beads, but I thought the store bought beads looked better overall. :)

This is a great great project to do with your children. My 7 year old even made 2 bracelets for himself. They weren't even trying to color coordinate them and they turned out cute! Hmmm.. Let me see if I can add a picture of Elijah's and Isaiah's bracelets.. :D

There they are! :) The two on the left were made by 10 year old Elijah and the two on the right were made by 7 year old Isaiah. I didn't do ANYTHING to theirs at all! They made them all by themselves! They even look boyish don't they? haha I have to admit, I want to steal some of their beads.. *giggles* I'm still waiting on Miss Hannah to finish hers. I think she's a little OCD like myself and wants them to be perfect.

Have I inspired you to get creative yet? See, even a 7 year old can do it! :)

Comments, ideas, feedback???

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Still holding on..

Hey guys! It's been a little bit since I've posted. I just wanted to update to tell y'all that there is nothing new on the home front. ha Exciting, I know!

Since hubby was laid off at the end of April he decided it was time for him to go back to work. We were hoping he'd get a call for the next nuke outage but so far, this hasn't been the case. He's suppose to do some welding and fitting on his new job. Bad news, he'll be working nights, they are 12 hour shifts, it's temp work, it's about an hour and a half drive from our home, less pay, he's suppose to work 7 days per week till the job is over. Good news.. It's a JOB, it's a JOB, it's a JOB!

The bad part of him working nights is trying to keep 3 children quiet in a 28' travel trailer while he's trying to sleep. His working 12 hour shifts leaves about 6 hours of sleep each day. The older he gets, it seems like the more sleep he requires (haha). I kinda like it being temp because he can work a lot and than maybe just maybe we can get something done around the farm when the job's over. There's just no spinning the hour and a half drive into a positive.. Less pay? I am thankful it's something! :)

This company said they "may" want him to go to Pensacola, FL for more work when this one's over. Hubby said if he gets sent for that job that we'd pack up the camper and head over there and stay. I'm not liking this idea because we still have so much that needs to be done at home. We still need to gather up another 12 rolls of hay for the cows, we need to get our house plans finished. We also need to get the house site prep work done so we can start when the house plans are finished.. He still needs to cut down a TREE that sits smack dab in the middle of where he wants to put the slab!!! lol

I always try to see the positive in every situation.. Try! :)

More news on the home plans? NADA! Haven't heard a word yet.. I called him last week with my elevations (because it's going to have a floating slab) and he said he was going to work on it at the end of last week and get back with us this week. So far I haven't heard from him. I PRAY PRAY PRAY he gets it completed soon, so we can do our final revisions (if needed) and than have them sent over to the number's man who does all of the calculations that the county requires with the plans. Shew, crazy stuff!

We did have someone come out and see the spot on which we want to build. What a great help he was!

Oh wait, I do have news! We started our own fishing business. It's not fancy or anything, but hubby's bought his commercial freshwater fishing license and license to sell them. We had just bought the license on Monday when he received the call about this job. Crazy how things work. He has an order for $75 worth of catfish next Monday, but with hubby working 7/12's, 1 1/2 hours from home, I don't see it happening! He won't have enough time for sleep, much less fish!

Hopefully with hubby working again and our plans coming along, my dream of building our own home DEBT FREE will become a reality. I am trusting the Lord that it'll happen! ♥

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I can still eat toast with preserves and still eat low carb!

As you all know, I have been doing the low carb/sugar free diet for about 9 months or so now. Maybe longer, maybe less. I'm unsure of when I officially started. Anyhow, I have now exceeded my goal of 25-30 lb weight loss and am now at 40 lbs of loss. WOOHOO! I DO NOT need to loose anymore weight. I actually stopped trying months ago but just continue to loose. It's not at a rapid pace or anything, but loosing none the less. With that being said, I still don't want to completely go back to the way I was eating before I lost the weight, because I don't want to gain the weight back again. So I still watch what I eat and keep a close eye on my carb count and sugar intake. Any time I want to eat higher carb foods, I look for the low carb alternative and give it a try. :) With this blog I'm going to share some new preserves I've found and compare the sugar and carb counts between eating toast the "regular" way as compared to "low carb/sugar free" way. I think you'll be shocked and eager to try it for yourself.

First let's look at the carbs the "regular" way.

I buy the Golden Bake Wheat Bread for my family to eat. It has a total of 15 g of carbs, less than 1 g of fiber, and 1g of sugar for 1 slice of bread. So if we take the fiber away from the carb count (although it's less than 1g) that's 14 net g of carbs.

Butter/margarine have 0g carbs

Now for jam. I don't have any regular jam, jelly, or preserves on hand but I found this one online. Bama Jelly carbs and sugar count It says there are 13g of carbs and 13g of sugar for 1 tbs of jam. I'm not sure what the difference would be between jam, jelly, and preserves, but I'd assume they'd be similar. 13g of carbs for 1 tbs! Uh oh!

All of this comes out to 27g of carbs and 14g of sugar.. WOW!!! When you start out on Atkins, that 27g of carbs is more than you're able to eat ALL DAY long! This also has LESS than 1g of fiber per these ingredients! Yikes!

Now let's look at the bread I use to eat sandwiches with and compare the two together.

I looked over EVERY label on the bread isle and I think I found the one with the lowest carb count. For myself, I buy Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat with Honey Flavor. The label shows the count for one or two pieces but I will just show you the amount for 1 piece for comparison. For one slice of bread it has 7g of carbs, 2g of fiber and 1g of sugar. When you take the fiber away from your carb count, you have a net carb count of 5g of carbs per piece and 1g of sugar. Not outstanding, but you've cut the carbs per slice by 2/3rds!!!  You can eat 2 pieces of bread and STILL be under the carb count in ONE of the regular pieces of bread. :)
We all know there is 0g of carbs in the butter/margarine..

Now for the preserves... I'm SOOO excited to share these preserves with y'all! They are new on the market. I have NEVER ate preserves in my life! I've always been a jelly girl. I like to see through what I'm eating and never liked my spread to be chunky. lol I'm strange, I know.. but anyway I found some Polaner Sugar Free Preserves WITH fiber at Walmart and thought I'd give it a try. It comes in a 13.5 oz jar.

Here it is on Amazon..

Now for the nutrition facts! 5g of carbs, 3g of fiber, and 0g sugars per tbs! No LIE! That gives you a net carb count of 2g of carbs and 0g of sugar! That is 1/6th what regular jam has in it!!!

Now let's look at the total for the new improved low carb/low sugar toast.. It comes out to a total of 7g of carbs and 1g of sugar!!!

If we compare the two together.. Remember, this is one piece of toast now..
Regular toast: 27g net carbs, 14g of sugar, and less than 1 gram of fiber
Low carb/sugar free: 7g net carbs,1g of sugar, and 5g of fiber!

Just picture what the totals would be if you at 2 pieces.. That's 54g of carbs, 28g of sugar for the regular toast and 14g of carbs and 2g of sugar for my way!  WOW! Don't forget to add the fiber. 10g of fiber for 2 pieces is nothing to turn a blind eye to. Fiber is the good carbs! I can eat 4 pieces the low carb way (not saying I should) and will just make it to the carb count in ONE piece the regular way. What do you think about that???

I know some may or may not be able to eat this number of carbs, but for me, it works! You can even share a half a piece with your child and shave off half of your total. I was bad this morning and ate 2 pieces, with the exception of my taste testers aka my children. lol

Living the low carb/sugar free way doesn't have to be sad, boring, depressing, or nasty.. This one is a KEEPER!

Let me know if you're going to try it and let me know when you do. I'd love to hear your opinion on it! :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My 1st sketch is complete!

Well we gave the guy a down payment to draw up our house plans. We've been waiting 3 weeks to hear from him! Hubby finally called him today and asked how the progress was going for the sketch. We can't get the plans officially started until we get the sketch right, right? He said he had them ready and he would be able to meet with us today or tomorrow. Guess which day we chose? lol

Anyway, we go meet him and I take a look to see what he has. I'm happy with a few things he did to my original plan, but other ways I was freaking out! I am such an emotional person and get overwhelmed easily. He was feeding me so much info, I thought my head was going to spin and drop off. lol

I couldn't get out of there soon enough! I cried on the way to my vehicle. :( I questioned picking this plan, I questioned building a home, I questioned everything! I just knew my husband would be his less than supportive self. He gets upset because he doesn't like to see me upset, but it doesn't help.. ya know?

Don't get me wrong about this guy drawing our plans.He is a very nice guy. He knows what he's doing. He doesn't even know I was upset (I hope). He just wants us to think of every possibility.

He wants us to add more sq ft to our house plan. lol I just wish he understood where I'm coming from. We have lived in a 12'x55' mobile home for 10 years with 3 children. We have lived in an 8'x28' travel trailer for the last 2 years and will continue to do so part time once our home is built. I wish he understood that we don't need a big blank wall for a 55" flat screen t.v.. Those are just not our goals as a family. He really is obsessed with the length of our walls in the living area.. lol This house is literally 4 times as big our travel trailer! It'll feel like we're living in a mansion at under 1200 sq ft! lol

My goals for a home? Hubby and myself PRIVATE space so we don't have to kick the children out to get alone time. Having a decent sized OPEN living area because we spend most of our time together in one room. A porch on either the front or back for our enjoyment.. Have at least one bathroom, my washer/dryer inside, washing machine, wood burner/fireplace, and a few others quirky things that are a must for me. lol It's also important to keep small enough to build with cash! Bigger the house, the more money we'll need!

I honestly try not to be difficult........ Hubby may say differently. lol

Anyhow, after seeing and thoroughly going through his sketch, we have decided on the revisions we want made to the plan. We will have to set up a new meeting with him and show him the things I want changed. I'm feeling a lot less overwhelmed and a bit more optimistic about the process. I just want it DONE and hubby had to explain to me that it's a process and that this is the most important part and we don't want this part rushed through.

Please pray for us in this area and that the Lord will provide the finances? Thank you!

*Living by faith*