Tuesday, December 25, 2012

100 days

i can't believe i made it.  i made it 100 days in my fitness journey.

back in september when i joined kdr fitness, i was frustrated and motivated.  i was lazy and had drive.  i was at my wit's end and was ready to make a change.

and i did.

i'm so proud to say that i made a commitment and stuck to it.  

i wanted to improve my health.  i wanted to lose weight.  i wanted to feel better.

and i did all of those things and i will continue my new lifestyle forever.

kdr fitness has been one huge part of the progress i've made.  i send an enormous thank you to ben, jamie, mike, gina, and gretchen who continue to push me to achieve my best self.  you guys are incredible.  and you keep me coming back for more torture. =)

i also send a big thank you to the ladies and gents in my bootcamp classes.  you're inspirational.  you're motivational.  you're tough.  and you show me that i am those things too.  thank you for your smiles and your high fives.  also thank you for making kdr fitness what it is:  a family.  we don't judge.  we don't compete.  we don't have fashion face-offs.  we just show up, sweat our asses off, grunt our frustrations out, and know we are better off for sharing those 40 minutes of hard work with each other.

seriously, thank you.

(especially for the fashion face-off part.  i've seen how other facilities can be, and i'm so grateful kdr isn't like that.  i don't look pretty when i'm working out because i'm working too hard to care about what brand of clothes i'm wearing.  plus, why would i want to buy a bunch of brand new clothing just to release a gallon of sweat all over it?  i'll save my fashion funds for clothes work outside the gym thankyouverymuch.)

the one thing i know for sure is that i never could've gotten this far without my own commitment.  my own stubborn self forcing down more fruits and veggies and getting to the gym four days a week.

i find it fitting that my 100th day is today, christmas day.  what a gift i've given myself, dontcha think?

i've given myself the gift of good health.

i've given myself the gift of fitness.

i've given myself the gift of increased strength.

i've given myself the gift of following through with something.

i've committed to this journey.  i'm 100 days in and i'm not going back now.

there may have been a few extra cookies in the past few days or will be in the days to come, but that won't set me back.

i'm looking forward to the next 100 days and the 100 days after that.

{image via}

to you, dear readers:  thank you.  thank you for your encouragement.  thank you for supporting me.  thank you for coming back to read my journey.  it's not always easy to share my progress or my feelings on thank you.  thank you thank you thank you! =)

to my family and friends:  you're awesome.  thank you for noticing my progress.  thank you for being my cheerleaders.  and thank you for understanding that i'm changing my life so that our time together will not only last longer, but will be more meaningful.  you're the best, thank you.

merry christmas to all!

=) andrea

p.s.  if you have any questions about my journey, feel free to email me here.  or if you have any questions for kdr fitness, about membership or whatever, email them here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

merry merry!!

{image via etsy}

sending warm wishes to you and your loved ones.

may your hearts be full of love and your days full of cheer.  may you enjoy the time you spend with family and friends and indulge (just a little) during this special christmastime.

and most of all, may you feel the magic of the season and soak it all in.  i know i will. =)

merry christmas!

=) andrea

p.s.  i'll be back tomorrow with a special 100th day post!

Friday, December 21, 2012

made with love

are you ready to see our handmade christmas card for 2012?  well, i'm finally ready to share it! =)

mike was such an awesome assistant this year.  like always, and like i mentioned the other day, i can procrastinate like no other.  i can plan well, but the execution is always a fail.  or a delayed success.  (i mean, the thought of making 60 cards is intimidating, so that's what scares me into nothingness until the last possible minute.)

(yes, i make 60 cards.  yes, i am crazy.)

but, despite waiting until the last minute to put together my little snowman cards, they turned out great, dontcha think?

i have a circle paper cutter which made this year's design so much easier.  i just set the diameter and cut out 60 circles in each size out of white cardstock.  i bought some more blank cards, some sheets of the blue, snowy paper for the background and the rick rack for the scarves (and other 'scarf'-type pom-pom string that was lime green so there would be a variety), but everything else i had on hand!  i had glue, brown paper for the arms, orange paper for the carrot, and black paint for the coal.  i even had little adhesive squares that are about 1/4" thick to create the 3-d effect of the snowman on the card.

i started by cutting everything out.  i find that creating a little assembly line is the best way to work...kinda like prepping everything in the kitchen for a big's easier when it's all ready to put together.  so, i started with the blue, snowy paper as the background and glued them to the cards.  then i worked on the circles: figuring out my three sizes and getting busy cutting 180 circles out of white cardstock.

then i got to work with the paint.  i used black (matte) puffy paint and a q-tip and carefully created little faces on the small circles and small buttons on the medium circles.  the paint dried pretty quickly, and once i was done cutting out the carrot noses out of my (had on hand) orange paper, i just glued 'em on!

i used the brown paper (that i had on hand from helping my best friend with her wedding programs in 2007...holding onto things can be handy!) and cut out some 'sticks' to use for arms.  if you follow me on instagram (i'm mykindaperfect), you saw this misleading picture of the 'arms':

then i glued 'em to the under side of the medium circles that made the bodies!

mike helped by gluing the big circles onto the cards (on the blue, snowy paper) while i trimmed my rick rack and pom pom strands into little 'scarves'.  then i used my trusty hot glue gun to stick the scarves on the under side of the small circles.

then we used the 1/4" thick adhesive squares to put the little snowmen together!  mike put the 'body' on the bottom and i stuck the heads on!

so cute, right?  i couldn't help myself but choose two types of scarves!  hey, i like variety in my crafts! =)

then i wrote my little 'merry christmas' message in each card, signed for mike, myself, franny, and leo!

then mike stuffed 'em and sealed 'em while i addressed 60 envelopes to go to texas, pennsylvania, wyoming, virginia, vermont, new york, new jersey, maine, connecticut, montana, and new hampshire!  our little handmade cards make their way all around america!

do you send christmas cards?  do you ever make cards?  i love getting all kinds of cards, but there's something about a handmade card (or anything else for that matter) that melts my heart.

speaking of melting my heart, i got a little visit at work yesterday from my dear friend jen (you know, my friend who choreographed clara's dream) and her two-year-old daughter, hannah.  hannah loves visiting auntie at work...she knows where my sticker stash is and she isn't afraid of getting in my desk for markers to color.  she even gets her own paper from the copier behind my desk.

so, while jen and i were chatting, hannah was doodling.  after scribbling out three terrific pictures of two-year-old-awesomesauce, she declared she wanted to draw something "for mike!"  (hearing this was an exciting surprise because she gets really shy around mike.)

so, i asked if she wanted me to draw something for her to color in, which sounded like a good idea to her.  "how about a car?" i said, sitting in the showroom of the dealership i work at, it only seemed fitting.  "yeah!" hannah replied.

so, i got my doodle on, and hannah got her scribble on.  and i love her creation!

doesn't it just make your heart melt when a child wants to make something for you?  it wasn't even for me and i absolutely love it!  and, of course, mike does too!  (and i laminated it so we could keep it forever.  yup, i'm that auntie.)

are you all ready for christmas?  i am not.  i cannot lie.  you know i'm a procrastinator, so i can't help but wait until the last minute for a few things.  but after tomorrow and sunday, i should be all set!  (except for a few handmade things for friends that will most likely wait until after the holiday to finish up!  oops.)

happy friday!

=) andrea

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

pinterest party!

this is one of those posts that was delayed due to the sudden 'you're storage is full' warning from blogger, which i've temporarily remedied.  sorry for not posting it sooner!

a few weeks ago, my friends got together to have a pinterest party!  

[if you aren't familiar with pinterest yet, i highly recommend you get on board asap!  pinterest is basically an online account of bulletin boards.  you can 'pin' images from different websites and blogs and save them to your personalized 'boards'.  all of your pins (unless they're on a secret board) are viewable by topic so others can 'repin' them.  the great thing about pinterest for bloggers is that when you 'pin' an image, it also saves the original source, so you're always able to give credit where credit is due.]

so, one friday night 6 of us got together for our pinterest party to enjoy a night of girls, wine, food, and crafts.  but what's a pinterest party?

the idea behind a pinterest party is that a few people will bring supplies for a craft they found on pinterest (for all to make) and the people who don't bring craft supplies bring food.  and pinterest is like the ultimate recipe book.  so, we were set to enjoy some yummy pinterest creations and make three pinspired crafts that would make great gifts.

because my craft involved paint, we figured we should do it first to make sure the paint would dry.  (luckily, it dried quicker than we thought!)  so, what was i pinspired by?

{image via}

{image via}

cute, right?  so, i went to joann's and bought a bunch of flower pots!  (the check out lady probably thought i was nuts buying 18 flower pots in november.)  6 of each size:  tiny, small, and medium.  in an effort to be a good pinterest party leader, i had made one creation ahead of time to have as an example in addition to pictures.  my friend michelle and i had gotten together in october to get crafty and think ahead to christmas, and i chose to make my pinspired snowman.

i already had a bunch of puffy paint on hand, so that's what i used, along with a little sponge brush.

they dried quickly!  a thin coat of sponged on puffy paint did the trick!

making pink for the cheeks out of the red and white i had!  no need to buy a pink!


i painted on a scarf and the cute face complete with an orange carrot!

make sure you test where the pots sit on top of each other to paint the buttons or scarf!  you want to show off your handiwork! =)

then i got creative with the scarf, trying to make it look like a nordic-ish pattern.

and a few colorful strings at the end!

so, that was my example for my friends.  i kinda like him.  i think he's pretty cute.  what do you think?  i think i'll call him sven.  sven the snowman.  i mean, he's already all nordic looking with that fancy scarf, right?!

because i had already made this snowman for myself, i figured at the party, i would make a christmas tree and my friends would be able to choose either.

i armed myself with green puffy paint and some glitter paint (that i already had on hand), and i purchased a package of christmas-colored sparkly pom poms and festive felt stars to adorn our lovely craft projects.  michelle also made a christmas tree and the rest of my friends opted for the snowman.  check out our festive creations!

i love the earmuffs!  i think i need to add some to mine!

i love the all-over sparkle affect!

we used a hot glue gun for the sparkly pom poms.

i love them all!  it was such a fun craft to make and would make a great project with kids!  in fact, michelle was inspired by our project and she, her son, and his cousin made snowmen one day shortly after our party on a play date!  i got this text with the following picture: guess what craft i'm doing with k and q today?! :-)

i'm glad we can pass on our craftiness to the younger generation! =)

next up for our crafts was renee's choice!  she purchased some chalkboard paint and a mug for each of us to paint as we wish.  renee's was painted, cured (at least) 24 hours, and baked before we got there, so it was ready for chalk!  she wrote the instructions right on her awesome new chalkboard mug!

bake painted mug (once cured for 24 hours) at 300 degrees...

for 35...

i love that you could give this to a teacher with a special message, a piece of chalk, and some goodies inside.  or you could exchange love notes with your partner.  or whatever you wish!  and you can paint whatever design you want!

before we get to our last craft, i have to share the delicious recipe that my friend jessica brought to the party.  because we had this girls night/pinterest party in november, we were in pumpkin mode.  and this pumpkin dip does not disappoint!

here's the pinspired image:

{image via}

and here's the totally yummy dip that we devoured!

and it's super easy to make!  only four ingredients!

1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
instructions:  mix ingredients together.  enjoy! =)

we had some nilla wafers, but this dip would also be delicious with graham crackers, apple slices, or even pretzels for a sweet and salty snack!

the last craft we made at our inaugural pinterest party was an adorable rustic looking lantern from the hostess with the mostess, michelle!  because our hands were busy making our creations, i didn't get any progress pictures, but here's what you need:

vase or hurricane

using the wire, wrap it around the skinny part of the vase and create a loop to become the handle of the lantern.  then use the twine to wrap around where you wrapped the wire to kinda cover it up and make it more rustic looking.  then tie it off, drop a candle inside, and viola!  you have a lantern!

cute, easy, and inexpensive! =)  i love crafts like that.

we had a wonderful night enjoying each others' company, snacking on some yummy food, and crafting our little hearts out.

have you made anything for gifts this year for christmas?  i still haven't started my handmade gifts, but i've got plans yo!  hopefully i'll be able to crank 'em out before we celebrate with our friends and family!

are you someone that plans all year and is totally ready for christmas or are you like me?  i wait until the last possible minute.  what can i say?  i've said it before, and i'll say it again:  i'm a procrastinator.

in christmas crafts and pinterest parties...

=) andrea 

Friday, December 14, 2012

{five things} that are happening right now

1.  i've completed making my christmas cards!  the design on the front is done....but i have to finish writing our message on the inside....and address about 60 envelopes.  

so, in case you're wondering where i've been, i've been up to my eyeballs in paper, scissors, paint, rick-rack, and glue. 


2.  i've filled up my free storage for hosting my photos on blogger!!  so, my apologies for this boring, photo-less post and my lack of posting this week in general.  i have a few posts to share, but can't load my photos, so, no dice for now.  i didn't realize it would take me exactly 13 months to fill up my storage, but alas, on 12/11/12, i got the 'you're full' warning.  which is both crazy exciting and a bit annoying.  i can't believe i've blogged and shared enough of my little life that i could need to upgrade and pay for hosting.  well, here i go, researching my options.  hopefully i can squeeze that in this weekend and be back to 'normal' next week.

3.  yesterday i was having one of those i-have-nothing-to-wear-in-this-closet-full-of-clothes days.  then i decided to try on some pants i haven't worn in a few years.  i tried them on a few weeks ago, and i could get 'em on, but it wasn't pretty.  they were very tight and not comfortable.  definitely not something i could wear all day.  well, yesterday...

they fit!  they slipped right on and buttoned right up!  yay for progress that's noticeable to me!  (and others!  a few people have mentioned they notice my weight loss too!)

4.  i'm sore.

today will be my fourth workout day this week and i'm really feeling my efforts.  wednesday's class was 'camper's choice' where each participant chooses an activity (burpees, jump squats, knee-ups, planks, bootstrappers, dead lifts, kettlebell swings, whatever...amy - i almost chose ropes in honor of you!) and we go around the circuit of all of our activities two or three times (depending on how many people are in the class).  there were 9 of us, and the combination of exercises we chose was killer.  then combine it with last night's 'buns 'n' guns' and let me tell you:  my guns are on fire!  i feel my hard work and can feel myself getting stronger.

and you know what?  i like it.

5.   i feel so sparkly.  they say 'diamonds are a girl's best friend', but i must say, 'diamonds that are from your best friend are the best of all'.  every morning when i put in my beautiful earrings and my lovely necklace, i feel an overwhelming sense of joy and love.  mike is such a special guy and i'm so lucky to share my life with him.  and the fact that he not only makes my heart overflow with happiness, but also adds sparkle to life just makes me feel so special.

what's going on with you?

happy friday!

=) andrea

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

{recipe roundup} yummy holiday treats

if you're anything like me, you always have at least a few go-to recipes for different occasions...but you also like trying something new.  heck, trying new recipes is how 'sunday yumday' was born!

looking back at the past year plus, i've shared a bunch of recipes with you.  some are awesome, some so-so, but i wanted to give you a little recipe roundup (with links to the original post of the recipe) of some of my favorites that will most likely make appearances during the holiday season.

#1:  pizza dip.

this one is a fan favorite.  it's pretty easy and very versatile because you can include (or exclude) any pizza toppings!

this has actually already made an appearance this holiday season.  we had our first holiday party on december 1st and of course i brought pizza dip!  my friends nicole and chris are huge fans and i love to make my friends happy!

and since i'm trying to eat more healthy, i paired a few scoops of pizza dip on big hunks of bell pepper (instead of bread or chips) and it was delicous!  i love pepper on pizza, so why not put pizza dip on a pepper?!  delish!

#2:  anything in a wonton cup -- philly cheesesteak bites or cheesy ranch burger bites or crab rangoon bites

the wonton wrapper has become my biggest culinary obsession.  they make the perfect vessel for bringing deliciousness to your taste buds.

find these in the produce section -- near the tofu!!!

you can even make chips out of wonton wrappers! =)

#3:  stuffed mushrooms

i know not everyone likes mushrooms, but i love 'em, so all the more for me! =)

these are a favorite of mine.  there's something about the combo of mushrooms, spinach, and goat cheese that make my mouth water!


#4:  baked brie

puff-pastry wrapped brie with pecans, honey, and maple syrup?  yes please!


#5:  chocolate pretzel bites

these are easy and fun to make, you could even have your kids help!  they make a great treat to give as a gift.  imagine anyone's face when you show up with a tin of these for a hostess gift?  i'm sure you'd get a great big smile!  and you can make them for different holidays or occasions with different colored m&m's!

#6:  deviled eggs

this is a no-fail, simple recipe for deviled eggs.  i know some people add relish or other creative ingredients, but a simple, delicious deviled egg is a fan favorite.

#7:  buffalo chicken dip

my friend heather and her husband john love making this dip and i do too!  it's a great party dip!  a little spicy, a little cheesy, and a whole lotta yummy!

#8:  spicy black bean dip

now, i actually didn't feature this recipe, but my friend andrea at pie birds, buttons, & muddy puddles did!  we got together to do some crafts one evening and she made this yummy dip for us to enjoy.  it was delicious.  i didn't even know it was primarily beans!  it was so flavorful, i swore there was chorizo in there somewhere!  if you like a little mexican flair, this a dip for you!

{image via one perfect bite}

#9:  nutella banana bread

this is a terrific christmas morning recipe or one to give as a gift.  banana bread is a yummy treat, but swirl some nutella in there and i'm a happy girl!  your kids will love it! =)

#10:  ???  reader's choice!

what's your favorite holiday recipe?  do you have a go-to appetizer or a never fail entree or dessert?  share your recipes with me and i'll feature them here on my kinda perfect!  just email me here, and next week i'll share all the fantastic recipes you've shared with me!

and that's my recipe roundup for yummy holiday treats!  great items to bring to a holiday party or to serve to your family...even great gift ideas!  we've all gotta eat, we might as well enjoy it!

=) andrea

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