Monday, August 15, 2011

Making a Lifestyle Change

I haven't blogged about my latest "diet" yet. The thing is, it shouldn't be a diet, it should be a lifestyle change. Last year before I conceived, I did weight watchers and lost 10lbs. I tried to be healthy when I was pregnant but that didn't happen. However, I lost all of my "baby weight" within the first 2 months. It was the other 40+ pounds that I needed to do something about. If you have had a child, you know how that reshapes you! You see, I got married and went to college in the same semester so I gained all of that weight on top of pregnancy weight. Well, Mr. Magnificent gained right along with me. We were to the point where we knew we wouldn't do something unless we put some money behind it. We are cheap frugal and being on one income made it truly a sacrifice. I knew of several people that had gone to Metabolic Research Center (MRC), including my sister. She went though them when she was nursing so I knew I could diet in a way that wouldn't jeopardize my breastfeeding.

We started MRC the 24th of May. Since then, Eric has lost 38lbs and I have lost 25.5lbs. Eric has reached his goal! Let me show you a quick before and after...

I need to get a picture of me in clothes that fit but I will give you an idea an idea of what my 25.5 lbs is like in sizes. I started out in a tight 16 and now my size 12s are getting loose.

Here is the problem I am having now... Eric is to the point where he no longer has to follow our strict menu and so it is getting harder on me to stick with my menu. As a way for me to be more accountable I am going to start blogging about my progress each week.  I will tell you more about my diet as we go through this. Until then, do you have any questions?? What helps you stay on track?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Comparison Shopping

I don't know about you but I spend a lot of time online researching items and comparing prices. I am not an impulse shopper. I want to make sure I get the best item and pay the cheapest price. I found a website that makes this tast a little simpler. is a great source that offers several different features. They have price comparisons for whatever you are shopping for. Here is a great feature- the prices they show include shipping and applicable taxes if you include your zip-code. They also have buyer's guides for products you might search for.

I have been considering getting Jorja a smaller (easier to travel with) stroller. So, I searched for combi strollers.  I was able to set my price limit, choose a color and see my options. Since I am a fan of Chicco brand, I did some searching and found this stroller that I like. It is chicco liteway stroller. listed several from I was able to click on the ones I was interested in and go directly to the site itself to read reviews.
Even though it was $129 at I was able to see that it was $10 cheaper at a store that I wouldn't normally search for. And I didn't have to type in 20 websites, just one.

I decided to then do some shopping around for my nephew's upcoming birthday. He turns a big 3 in September. Wow he has grown up fast!! He could use some shoes and I really liked some of the Baby Jordan Shoes I saw. They didn't help my baby boy fever. Since Jorja is growing out of the baby stage, I have been missing the tiny days... which makes me want another little one. A little boy this time. Not that we have any plans to add to our family any time soon but little read headed boys are adorable!! So, in the meantime, I will drool over some adorable baby sneakers!

Enjoy your weekend!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our First Home Part 5

I have loathed this kitchen from the very beginning! 
  • Ancient cabinets that were dark wood and 70s vibe
  • Vinyl counter with several places of missing or burnt vinyl
  • No dishwasher
  • Avadodo green stove and fridge
  • Windows that allowed you to see the laundry/sewing room (it used to be the exterior wall before they added on the room)
  • One ceiling fan/light
  • Black pantry with a couple wobbly shelves
  • And the list could go on forever
Well, take a look for yourself...

Two summers ago I talked Mr. Magnificent into doing the demolition while I was in California visiting my Grandpa. My allergies don't get along with all the dust and debris. I was sick after we did Jorja's room. The decoration came from a love for my Grandmother's blue & white china. I brought some home from California and I found my theme. Did I mention I got a dishwasher!! We bought the new stove a while before the remodel. This fridge was our third for the house. We gave up and bought a brand new one. Should have got one with an ice maker though.

We added the wood burning stove. I also collect metal cookie cutters and Mr. M created a way for me to display them. This was only one piece of the cookie cutters. Last I counted, I had 107 cookie cutters. It all started on our honeymoon and I have been collecting ever since.

Here is a closer look at some of the blue and white china. Pieces came from family, friends, yard sales and antique stores.

I also got to add some functional things that I love! This is great for my pots and pans. I no longer loose my lid in the corner of the cabinet. We bought these from Home Depot. We had to order my sizes and I'll admit they weren't cheap but they were a worth while splurge!

I have all of my cutting boards and cookie sheets in here! So much better!

This organizer is great since I only have 4 drawers. 

Just to recap.. 

Ah... it is nice to look through these pictures and remember just how far we have come. You may be wondering where the pictures are from the sewing room and living room. Well, we have yet to complete them. They did get new carpet when we did the rest of the house. There are talks of doing the laundry/sewing room. It has dark paneling and it is a little depressing in there. It just depends on finances and when I can talk Mr. M into it. He really is the one that does most, ok, all of the work. 

I really enjoyed sharing this series with you. Thank you for all the sweet comments :) 
Any suggestions on what you would like to see from me next?

Incase you missed the other rooms...
Part 1- Before
Part 2- Bathroom
Part 3- Jorja's Room
Part 4- Exterior

Linking at Parties on Link Parties Tab and...
Tickled Pink at 504 Main
Craft Junkie Too Friend

Our First Home Part 4

I hope you have enjoyed  Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3! Today I will be showing you Jorja's room! You should know that I am a "planner." I don't fly by the seat of my pants too well. I like to have a plan in advance.

So, when it came to redoing our spare room, I knew in the future it would be for our child. I also knew that I didn't want to repaint in a couple years either. I knew it would be a challenge to figure out a gender neutral nursery scheme. Thankfully I had some inspiration in a local fabric store. They had a Peter Rabbit/Beatrix Potter Quilt. I fell in love and Mr. M liked it as well. So, with that I picked a nice yellow for the walls. It is called Banana Split. Fun!


After we took off the paneling there were layers of paper, sheet rock and more wallpaper! 

Since this house was built in the 40's it is SOLID. How do you like the solid walls?


One of my favorite things in her room is the book wall. Mr. M & I made the shelves and now you can see all of her books on display!

 I made all of Jorja's crib bedding. Here is her quilt.

I changed the bumper pads when she was about 4 months old. She would get her arm in between the bumper and crib so I made the bumpers fluffy and she doesn't have that problem again. The bumpers have little pictures of Beatrix Potter characters.

The crib skirt has scenes from the books.
I inherited this wardrobe from my father. It was his as a child and was used for me as well. After failing at trying to re-stain it, we painted it white.

Tomorrow we will have the finale with my kitchen remodel!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our First Home Part 3

If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 feel free to go back and check out all of the before pictures and our bathroom transformation!
The improvements we made to the exterior went in phases. Here it is the week we bought the place.

It is funny to look at this picture because I don't remember the stump or the tree because they were the first things Mr. M took care of.

Next we painted the house and Mr. M made some planters. We also hung up our porch swing. Oh along with a new front door, screen door and light.

Then, last summer we decided to work on our "curb appeal." Mr. M went to a local nursery and they came out and drew out the landscaping (for free)! Then we went and purchased the plants and Eric and his dad did all of the planting. Around the same time we also laid concrete in the garage and added the door to make it a garage rather than carport.

Here is a close up of the sidewalk.

We had a mold like the one below that we used to do the pathway.

This is what our house looks like after our landscaping has had a year to grow.

The poor box woods by the driveway have just about all died thanks to the neighborhood dogs. My mother-in-law suggested putting mini fire hydrants there instead. I wish I had thought to take the picture earlier so it would have been brighter but you get the idea. Have you noticed that I have two front doors? We have tried very hard to make the proper front door look that way. It enters the living room while the other door goes into my laundry and sewing room. We all know how those rooms tend look most days!



It is amazing to me what Mr. M is capable of. For all the newbies, if you are wondering where the Mr. Magnificent comes in, you are seeing part of in this series but you can also check out my About page for the full story.
Linking here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A dorm room design to rival others

Guest post written by Andrea Booker
I like to take care of my sons and make sure that they are set off for their best. There's nothing different about me sending my oldest one off to college. I know that it's time to let him have some breathing room as a college student, but I want to also make sure that I have him set for everything that may come along. The first thing I can worry about is his dorm room being set up for him.
He could care less about his room design, so I went online a few weeks ago to order him some dorm room decorations. While I was online looking at that, I ran across the site After I looked through it a little bit, I decided to change over our home internet service to it.
I thought that for his dorm room design we could go pretty neutral. I picked out a few posters of his favorite bands to go with his stuff and he acts like he's pretty impressed with all of hte stuff that I've picked out for him!

Trying to make ends meet...

For those of you who are Stay-at-home moms, you know that trying to make ends meet is a little rough at times. Mr. M and I would like to be able to pay off our truck so we can in turn have the income needed to build a house in the not so far off future (1100 sq ft house can only hold so many people). Since I am not bringing in an income, we are trying to figure out ways I can make some money to make ends meet, have the occasional date night, and pay for gifts throughout the year.

Because of this, I have been pursuing my side job of Melissa's Custom Sewing even more. I have also been looking into how to make money blogging. You may find a few more ads here and there. I hope they won't become annoying as that is not my intention. I have also joined Blogvertise. This company pays your via PayPal to write about certain advertisers or have guest posts about advertisers. Lets just be honest here. I can occasionally post an ad post and make $10+. Considering I have 12 people to buy for on each side of my family (24+people) for Christmas and Birthdays, that money ads up.

What I am trying to say is that I hope you will understand my occasional "ads" and that sort of thing. If you are in the same boat I am, which some of you are, you should check it out for yourself! Thanks for the understanding!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our First Home Part 2

If you missed Part 1, go here for that post. I left you with a sneak peek of the bathroom. I should warn you that I do not claim to be an interior decorator. I am not one to spend much money on decorating. We have always intended to sell this house at some point so I was going for pretty neutral for the wall color, fixtures, and such. Now that we have covered that....

 We ditched any piece of the green!

I love my red shower curtain! My sister bought it for me for Christmas one year and I still love it. It was from Target and it has a quilted look to it. 

Thankfully we were able to relocate the sink which gave us a lot more room!
What used to be a linen closet turned into a large vanity area. The only downfall is that I have to close the door to get into the cabinets on the left of the sink. You are only able to see 2/3 of the vanity in the finished picture. There are matching cubbies on the other side of the mirror. My husband and father in law built the vanity to fit our space as well as the cubbies. I found the baskets (at Wal-Mart) and had the boys men custom fit the shelves. A little secret... I had them turn the bottom right "door" into a drawer. Now I keep my towels in there. You could also use it as a laundry hamper. This was actually my father-in-law's idea!

I was not to interested in having a separated tub/shower surround but since it was a remodel versus new construction, we had to find something that would fit through our house. I didn't want to deal with replacing silicone all the time so this was the best option.

On the decorations, I needed a place to display my Willow Tree collection and they ended up in the bathroom. They are all gifts from special occasions. I made the heart wreath that you can find a tutorial for here. It lives in my bathroom until Valentines Day comes around and then it goes on my front door. I only paid $5 for the clock on clearance at a Kirkland's in Branson, MO.

Come back tomorrow to see what the exterior of our house looks like today! Did you forget what it looked like to start with? Let me remind you- 

Check out the link party tab to see where I link up frequently. As well as Home Stories A to Z, Between Naps on the Porch, and Homework.

Our First Home Part 1

I decided it would be fun to reminisce about our transformation of our house. We bought our house in 2006. We had been married for 2 years at the time and were renting until this house came up for sale. I have to give God some serious credit on our house and one acre because the price we paid can only be considered miraculous.

Now when you see our house when we bought it you will think we are crazy. To an extent we are. 
However, we have a very handy family. My father-in-law built their home and he is also an engineer that does house plans on the side. As you know if you have been around here long, Mr. Magnificent (Eric) can do anything he sets his mind to. Plus we have a great brother and brother-in-law who are always around to help. Then we have the women for the cleaning, decorating, and of course feeding the hard working men. HaHa.

When we bought the house, there were some things I put my foot down about that had to be done before we moved in. It has been a work in progress ever since. It has been a blast to remodel our house. We have two rooms left but little Jorja has put a halt on our remodeling for a while. Which is fine since we would rather play than deal with sheet rock dust any day!

Are you ready to see some pictures???

The front of the house. 

The kitchen- the refrigerator is behind the door on the right. 

Standing in the kitchen looking at the pantry and what is now my sewing and laundry room.  Yes, those are windows on the interior of my house. I can't wait to show you how I fixed the windows when we remodeled the kitchen!

The living room. Notice the avocado green carpet!! This was the theme color for the house!

What is now Jorja's room. 

 The bathroom. The tile was PLASTIC!! Even the ceiling was green!!

If you are guessing what had to be done before we moved in.....yes the bathroom was the number 1 priority. 

I'll leave you with a sneak peek of Tuesday's post....

Don't forget to come back to see what we did with the bathroom after we gutted it!

Check out the link party tab for where I link up frequently!