Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Crafts

I don't know what it is, but I've been feeling awfully crafty lately. I just want to make thing with my own hands, invest the time and be creative. When our family friends Lucy and Nery announced they were having a baby, I immediately wanted to do something for them. I came up with a baby quilt. While it is obviously a beginner's quilt, I had so much fun picking out the colors and creating the design all on my own. Since I was going home a month from the announcement, I needed to work fast--and they didn't know what they were having. I chose gender-neutral colors in a mint and cream palette, and used a chocolate fleece for the backing. I used different color embroidery floss for each square and tied it all together with a chocolate ribbon binding. 

Here is my hubby doing the honor of holding it up to the camera soon before I added the ribbon:

Now that I've taken it home and given it to our friends, I feel like I need to do something else. Today, as I was looking around on blogs, I came across a new one -- GCD Studios. (Thanks, Kipp!) 

There, on the front page, is the perfect next craft. Holiday Ornaments!! Not only will they be fun to make, but I can get creative and use them year after year. Here are directions directly off of the GCD Studios blog: 

Styrofoam ball
Hot Glue
GCD Studios Papers

 Cut two 1/2-inch x 4.5" paper strips from each paper color and lace.
- Wrap paper and lace strips around ball crossing at center mark on bottom of the styrofoam ball.

- Apply hot glue and ends at top/bottom of the styrofoam ball.
- Repeat in same way with remaining strips

 Be sure to check out their blog for plenty of other amazing ideas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Style Icons

My sense of fashion is as varied as my interests. I love the girly glamour of the 1950s, yet I also like the edgy style girls like Rihanna can pull off. I guess I would call myself a creatively inspired person-- when I hear a song, see a photograph or check out an outfit I am instantly absorbed into it and zone off with my own interpretation or inspiration.

Here are some of my style inspirations:

Grace Kelly 

Audrey Hepburn

Lauren Conrad

Christina Hendricks


Who are your style icons?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Pioneer Woman

I love reading all types of blogs -- from fashion and beauty to home and garden. One of my new favorite blogs to read is The Pioneer Woman. My friend Kipp, who has an amazing blog Shiny Things Distract Me which I think everyone should read, enlightened me to Ms. Ree Drummond a.k.a The Pioneer Woman.

Everything you could possibly be interested in, she has on her blog. No joke-- she has everything!! If you are drawing a blank as to what to make for the holidays, I highly suggest you check out her cooking section, which has delicious looking dishes that will impress anyone. I've been in a baking mood, and seeing all of the amazing pies has made me want to step outside of the typical pumpkin pie box and try something new for the holidays.

Need some holiday gift ideas? Well, you're in luck because she has that. Going on vacation and want a tour of the hotel room before you get there. She has. those. too. I told you I wasn't joking!

Does anyone one else have favorite blogs to share?

Holiday Eating...

You’ve worked hard all year; going to the gym, staying away from junk food, all to be tempted with treats and every food imaginable right before the Thanksgiving Holidays and continuing until New Year’s Day. While it’s nice to indulge once in a while, stepping on the scale after a weekend of parties is enough to turn anyone into a Scrooge. If you don’t want to be associated with the millions of people who ring in the New Year with a weight loss resolution, you can appreciate the delicious treats of the holidays without breaking the scale. Here are a few tips that will keep you from overdoing it, but still allow you to enjoy yourself.

1. Relax

 The holidays are a stressful time, and with stress come overeating. Who wants to be stressed and overweight at the same time? Some people associate the holidays with FOOD, but this year try to partake in other activities with family or even by yourself that burn calories, not consume them.

2. Choose Wisely

Eat your favorite foods, but do so in moderation. There’s nothing worse than hating that pumpkin pie you loved a minute ago because you ate most of it! Pile your plate with low fat foods, vegetables, or protein. If you eat healthier during dinner, you won’t feel the need to overindulge on the dessert tray.

3. Exercise

 Even if it’s a walk around the block, it’s better than nothing. Try to maintain a 20 minute session of cardio at least 3 times a week so you don’t get off track from your regular workouts. Try simple, at home exercises such as Pilates or Yoga to keep toned and energized, and don’t forget to squeeze in your water intake. Drinking plenty of water will also prevent you from overeating at parties, or consuming empty calories.

4. Eat before you leave 

Try to have a healthy snack before you leave the house. This will also keep your stomach full, so you don’t start eyeing those potato chips. Most people gain weight from the holidays because they eat stuff they don’t during the rest of the year. If you have to indulge, do it on seasonal favorites. You spent the whole year not eating junk food for a reason, don’t start now. Limit alcohol intake or mixed drinks. Most mixed drinks are filled with sugar and empty calories and can add the pounds without you even noticing.

So even with a few tips, you can enjoy the holiday season without going up a dress size! Just be aware of what you’re eating and try to maintain somewhat of an exercise regimen. Come January 1st, you won’t be as unhappy as most people will!

Check out some of my other articles here: Yahoo! Contributor Network