Friday, September 30, 2011

Last day... no excuses!

Hello everyone

So today is the last day before you change your life if you are taking the "Get off your broom" challenge. If you think of it that way it goes much easier... you want to be healthy and the bonus is you will loose some extra pounds. Take it one step at a time, each day as it comes! It's only really you against you so YOU can do this! So can I ...hahahaha

I have a showing of my house again today with a couple that has been here twice already! Third time is a charm! We hope to get an offer and then things will be much easier all round. No more house viewings and carting the animals back and forth (poor guys). It has also made it a real challenge to eat properly but ... no excuses!

So yesterday I managed to stay on track. I am following the new Weight Watchers points plus and the eating clean whenever I can while on this challenge. I purchased a few frozen dinners (Smart Ones) and I like soup especially at this time of year. I also love salad but my downfall with that is that I love sauces and dressings and we all know that is where the calories are packed into. So even though I am not an advocate of FAT FREE I did purchase a few fat free dressings yesterday. I did read the labels however and only bought the ones that I could read and knew most of the ingredients!

So I have 29 total points plus for a day. Yesterday I did really well and ended up with no extra points used and no points left over! That is great for day one! I know the challenge does not officially begin till tomorrow but I wanted to get tracking in case the first few days did not work out well.

I bought some treats to help me ease into the change of lifestyle eating plan... and my favourites were

The new WW brownies - 3 pt plus
Yoptimal Lactose free yogourt - 2 pt plus

I know I can get fat free yogourt but here in Canada I have to make a choice between eating lactose free or eating fat free and the cost of my pills that allow me to eat dairy is high so I mostly always opt for the lactose free. If you are not lactose intolerant I would suggest going Fat Free or at least low fat in your dairy items! Dairy is a big culprit of fat but healthy fat so mix it up! Pick and choose where you want to splurge with your fat. You need to eat some fat each day but choose healthy fat like olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil (which you cannot heat up so use this for salad) or omega oil (which is a combination of healthy oil). I have also switched from using margarine to using coconut oil on my toast and where ever I can. I avoid margarine like the plague. It is artificial and clogs up your everything so try to stay natural as often as possible, your body will thank you for it in the end.

Okay... time to scoot off now and do any last minute cleaning etc. Wish me luck with the house today! Please let my little house sell!

Selling your house spell:


Benjamin or benzoin, cinnamon sticks, and dried basil (if you grew it yourself, that is best), two green candles, an estate agent's picture of your house, a censer containing charcoal and a red pen.

Make the benzoin, cinnamon and basil into an incense by crumbling and mixing them. As you do so imagine your old life in the house going into the incense to be transformed.. Light your candles and place the picture of your house between them. Light your charcoal, and when it is sparkling, sprinkle some of the incense into the censer. As you do so, imagine your house being sold, the telephone calls, the contracts, the moving arrangements. Waft the incense over the picture and write SOLD on it with a red pen, in bold letters. Now carry your incense over the entire house, loving it and imagining giving it over to someone else who will also love it. Place the picture, plus a little of the unburnt incense mixture underneath your doormat. Sale Agreed!

This is from the book "Magic House"by Teresa Moorey

I simplified this spell and visualized myself doing all of it in my head. I did hold the real estate picture in my hand the entire time and I did walk through my house with it and do the visualization of the happy times we have had here. Then I wrote the word SOLD on my picture and placed it under the front doormat. 

I do many of my spells creatively with visualization. They seem to work just as well for me. I'll let you know if I get the agreement!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Weigh In

Hello Everyone:

It is but two days till the "Get Off Your Broom" Challenge begins!

I decided to try to start today to get on track! So I weighed in at 142 pounds. I am 5'5" and I like to weigh 120 - 125 pounds so that is my goal for December 31st.

I honestly think it will be a real challenge to get there working through the holidays but I will do my best!

I have purchased a few frozen Weight Watchers meals for the moving days and showing days that I am short of time in hopes that these will help to keep me on track. My favourites of their meals are the Pizza and the tuna gratin.  Most of you know that I am trying to eat clean and these do not fit into that way of life but sometimes, when times are busy, I think these are better to have around than nothing cause the alternative might not be a good one.

Today I will be having a boiled egg and yogurt for my breakfast and I have brought tomato and rice soup and a salad with calorie wise dressing for my lunch. Now at my work, which is a family run business, there is almost always JUNK FOOD temptations so I have to contend with that also. Today we should also have to unload a few wine skids so that will be some burning off of calories.

Because we are in the middle of a move, I have no workout DVD's available! They are all packed so I plan to dance if I can tonight after dinner and I will walk ... if it is not pour rain, around our building at work a few laps if I can also. Last night I did a few stretches and got my blood flowing.

I have also left myself a note not to add salt to anything from now on and to drink lots of water... actually my hubby just brought me in the first one of the day! He is very supportive and knows that today is the planned day to begin.

I will try to do my before photo tonight... and try to post it by October 1st!

I'll be back later with more on how today went!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Get Off Your Broom Challenge

Okay, so I have decided to take the "Get Off Your Broom Challenge" hosted by The Domestic Pagan
I am thinking this is a great way to get me motivated for my fitness goals as well as get my blog off and running with all the new recipes and exercise ideas and just other inspirational things.

So I will be back with some photos and my start weight... I know this is not posted as something that is necessary but it works for me. I am wishing everyone on the challenge good luck and I hope this blog will be a great help to you all! The Challenge starts this Saturday... anyone can join in the fun. So if you are feelin it.. get over there and sign up!

I have gained a whopping 20 or so pounds and I am just to the point now where if I don't get it under control... I am going to have to purchase a new wardrobe. As much as I don't like shopping, I don't like new clothes much either! Lets be honest, if I had the money to dress like Stevie Nicks... things might be different but the articles I have are few and I love them. So I don't want to start all over looking for new clothes just because I now look more like my bears than I should.... oh, for all those of you who are new here, I am a bear artist... I make artist bears... like teddy bears for the adult collector! Seraphim Bears

Anyway... I'll be back here soon to offer some inspiration and keep things exciting!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Practical Magic 2011

Welcome to my Practical Magic party:

Don't miss out on this years Practical Magic room sprays:
Visit my Etsy shop

What a year I have had... what a month has just past.

I am so late to prepare for this party that there is little time to prepare... as a matter of fact I have only hours until some of you will be here so what should I write about ... well a love story of course...

A story of family, of a love that is made to last forever, of two people who met in unfortunate circumstances and fell in love. A story of magic...

I was to leave a clientele of over 300 patrons in a salon in Toronto, Ontario and start a whole new life in the movie industry doing makeup. It was risky and I was already older than most ... but something magical was pulling me and I, no matter how scared I felt could not hold myself from taking a chance.

I was in my Gillian stage: I was in a terrible relationship with a very difficult man who was a musician... He was bad news ~ my Jimmy Angelov "I'm feeling very into sisters right now" It was always all about him and I was ready for a change but didn't quite know how to get out. So I reached for the moon hoping to at least catch a star...

"there's Blood on the moon"

My classes were to start in only a month and all my clients knew I was leaving. They were hopeful for me and sad to see me go at the same time. I was scared and excited... then I received a phone call from the owner of the private makeup school I was to attend..." Hello Michele?" "Yes" I replied. "Hello, this is Nadia and I am the owner of Complections International Makeup School. I have some bad news... I cannot have you start your classes this coming month. I am calling to tell you that you will have to wait to begin your classes for another three months." I was quiet and saw this as a sign that I should not attend the classes. I already had my loan and thought ... with a heavy heart... I guess I should share the money with my difficult boyfriend and help him to help his mother? The conversation continues with Nadia enrolling me 3 months later but I am not convinced that I will attend... still believing this is a sign. I went to my boyfriends house that evening and told him the story and offered him the money... he did the only nice thing he had really ever done... he declined my offer. He said this was something I had always wanted and I should still go...


The first morning of classes has arrived. I am nervous! I have not been to school in a very long time! I am always. As I enter the school the lady sitting at the front desk tells me to go up to the student lounge and someone will be there in a while to take me to my classroom. With a smile and shaking hands I say thank you and head up the long flight of stairs. As I arrive at the lounge there is one other person there sitting reading a paper. I get settled across the coffee table from them and start to shuffle my bags around wanting to make sure that I have all that I need... I still have time to run out if I have forgotten anything. Suddenly the person across from me puts the paper down from in front of their face to take a sip of the coffee. A man... and I hear myself saying " Did you know you look just like David Bowie"... I am a huge fan of David Bowie or at least I thought I was ... when in reality I was ... from the time I could like boys... looking and waiting for this very moment. Yes, this man was my husband to be. Entering my Sally phase... he is my officer Gary Hallet.

In reality he looks little like Bowie... he is much cuter! He says from that moment in the lounge he knew we would be married. It was a long courting and very difficult as we were both in difficult relationships that we ended before starting anything serious with each other. We did everything right... and we still do.

So after we had gotten to know each other better and were students together we decided to move ahead and become a couple... you see it was a sign... if I had started my classes when I was suppose to I would never had met him. The owner of the school still takes credit for our love to this day... I think she can claim that... don't you?

My husband and I have lived in a lovely little river house for 6 years now and decided just a few weeks ago to look for a new home. We have been very blessed by our families and have managed to get where we are today because of their love and help. The first home we owned was a condo apartment in Toronto, Ontario ... is was sold to us by my father and he looked for a new home with his new wife to be...

We stayed there and worked hard... both working three jobs a piece and we were like two ships passing in the night... as a matter of fact I never saw him so my third job I took was as a hostess in a restaurant that he was cooking in. So each time I seated the next guests I swept myself through the kitchen and kissed his face... we were not married yet then.

While living in our little condo we tried to create all the magic we could! But every so often we would go to a small town outside of Toronto where his parents lived and it was so beautiful and peaceful to me that I asked him if we could leave the big city and move to this town. He was reluctant but after a few years past and we decided to be married... he agreed to take me to the small town that my heart desired. His mother bought our small river house for us and we packed up our bags and moved ourselves to Belleville. We all work together to this day a family business brewing wine!

It was a quirky little house but we are okay with quirky! As a matter of fact we are more than okay with quirky.. .we love quirky! We again worked and saved and eventually purchased the house from his mother and father. It was our second home together...

But after 6 years we were ready to start looking for a new home... our third and first home. You see WE have never chosen a home together until now. These houses, as lovely as they were, were chosen by our loved ones... our new home that we will move into October 28th... three days before Halloween... is our first home that we chose.

I should also mention that we have a thing for the number 3... our little river house was #3 and our new home is #234 and we move in 3 days before Halloween... It is our Magic House to be...

 Here was the house in the movie but I am sure if you look closely you can see the similarity in ours.... it's all in the magic... see past the veil...

We will need to update the kitchen in our new home and you know exactly what I will be aiming for don't you...

Of course it will be our version of this and fit in our space but it will definitely have this feel... I can already see it in my minds eye!
I have already mapped out where some of the important crystals and mirrors will be placed in our new home. I used a wonderful book purchased as a Yule gift for me by my Mother in law called "Magic House ~ practical magic for a harmonious home"

This book is absolutely amazing and I am so excited to move into our new home and create the world we long to live in...  a magical hallway with a round mirror on the wall just in front of our front door as it slightly faces the staircase... the mirror was left to me by my Mum's Mum and will hang in a real place of honour there... 

"Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder.  Keep rosemary by your garden gate..."

Our new gate will definitely have rosemary planed next to it and we even have this same beautiful white arch... here is the gate side of our new home at the present... well the fence that leads to the gate... but in a few years, it will be filled with flowers and magic... can you see it?

"Place a small piece of sandalwood under the stair carpet in several places, to keep the stairs safe."
"Keep a little jar of flaxseed and red pepper near the door to prevent evil entering your home"

I will be planting lavender in the spring... we have a beautiful new backyard and a lovely old maple grows on our front lawn. In the front I will plant the lavender...

" Lavender bushes yield up their scent when brushed, ensuring that all who come to your door feel calm and at ease." 

"Plant lavender for luck..."

A kitchen that is the heart of the home where magical meals will be prepared and a dining room to gather and share the food among friends.

Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water will be present: Earth in the dining room , Air in the study or in our case the office and Seraphim Bears Studio , Fire in the kitchen, and Water in the bathroom.

A large piece of Carnelian in the living room which brings peace. This is the hearth of your home.

We have "art on the fence" in our backyard at present and in among the things on the fence is a horseshoe... this will be one of the very first things that will be placed on our new home!

Home Protection Spell:

Light a brown candle on your alter and relax
Cast a magic circle around you with your wand
Take up your horseshoe, holding it with its horns pointing upwards and anoint it with patchouli oil and say these words...
"My house stands firm, my fortune is far"  x 3 (there is that #3 again...heeeheee)
Place the horseshoe before you with the pot of salt within it's horns and relax again
Now visualize your circle expanding outwards from the pot of salt which is the center, further and further until it pops through the walls of your home and surround the entire house like a bubble
Affirm very strongly that this bubble is there, this it keeps out anything bad but magnetizes good things, such as friendship
Now imagine the bubble topped with your horseshoe, shining and pulsating... powerful
Take your salt and your horseshoe and go over the entire house placing a little salt on every external opening... windows, attics, toilets etc. anything that leads to the outside
imagine a smaller version of your horseshoe at each of these points
Now go around the outside of your home sprinkling salt wherever you can
Finally, fix your horseshoe over the front door, preferable outside.
Give thanks to any God or Goddess that is special to you and ask that they watch over your home
Affirm that any traces of your magic circle have faded from the interior and clap your hands to clear the air but leave the external bubble in tact.
When you are finished, toast your efforts and the powers that are helping you. Repeat this whenever you feel it necessary

From the book: Magic House by Teresa Moorey

So to end this post I will say that in relation to the movie Practical Magic... I will be moving into my Magic House in only a few short weeks...

My spell when I was a little girl as I never wanted to get married either... and I knew I could never marry Bowie...
" He will hear my call a mile away. He will whistle my favourite song. He can ride a pony backwards."
" He can flip pancakes in the air. He'll be marvellously kind. And his favourite shape will be a star. And he'll have one green eye and one blue."

I met the man that I drew pictures of my entire teenage years and fell madly in love... although I did not realize it was not Bowie I was drawing and although my J does not have two different coloured eyes... one blue and one green... he is the love of my life and there will be no beetles allowed in our house. We have two Siamese cats to make sure of that. 
I reached for the moon and caught the biggest star in the sky! And he has given me the moon!
I have a very deep connection to the story portrayed in the movie Practical Magic and I cannot wait to share more of our journey in this house with you... through both food and plants, exercise, relaxation and love... 

We have had so much fun in our little river house... but it is time for a new chapter and Practical Magic will most definitely be a part of that new chapter! (look at me with that short blonde hair... heehee)

And here are our boys all dressed up for Halloween.... 

And a most excellent Birthday cake for the man of my dreams this year... a day of the dead cake! Yummy!

May you always have the courage to be you! Live life large and make no apologies for who you are!

Thank you to Frosted Petunias for once again hosting this incredible party... I just made it in time!
I hope you enjoy all the other participants in this celebration of magic. Thank you for coming to visit me at my NEW blog this year!

To see my blog entry from last years Practical Magic party click the link below:

Tomorrow is the Practical Magic Party...

Hello Everyone... so as the time keeps ticking by and I sit here listening to the theme of Practical Magic I find myself in a bit of a whirl wind. If there was any year that I MUST be a part of this wonderful event put on by Frosted Petunias it is this year... the year and month that we take possession of our new home! Our MAGIC home! I will do my very best to get it together and make this happen! I REALLY need my broom stick now don't I! Here I go... See you tomorrow!

Eatin' through the freezer

As you all know... I am on a journey of healthy living... I am hopeful that includes not being wasteful.

So we have purchased a new home. We are moving in just before Halloween and are also now trying to sell our little sweet river house. Reguardless of what happens with that we are moving but we have our fingers crossed that all falls into place.

In saying all this, we don't want to move a ton of food especially frozen stuff so we have made a deal that there are no complaints and we are eating through our freezer; not to mention that this allows us to save some cash, instead of purchasing more groceries we are eating what we have... what a concept, I know! Now in our freezer are a lot of left over things from before we decided to go healthy... this is a bit difficult but as I said, no complaints. We are looking at each meal with a bit of a sense of humour.

Last night we had Weight Watchers frozen dinners... they were in need of being eaten as they smelled a little freezer burnt but tasted fine. That meal was not too bad in terms of things as at least the calories were low. But tonight is a different story. We purchased these chicken wing thingies and they are so killer hot that you just want to die not to mention the salt! But we have a bag of them left so they are on the menu tonight... my hubby and I are both battling a bad could with stuffy noses and fevers so I figure we can use these as a sort of medicine and BURN the virus to death! Hahahaha

I also found tucked away in our chest freezer four half used bags of perogies. I thought these would be a good compliment to the fires of hell chicken bits as they are very bland so that is our very delicious menu for this evening. I think we are in for a world of hurt tomorrow but we won't be hungry tonight.

On the flip side... I also found a stuffed turkey in the freezer! Whaaawhoo! So I will try to get that in the oven this Sunday and have some mashed potatoes and gravy and some of those mixed frozen veggies that are in the freezer. I even found a pie and some other desserts and ice cream too! Sounds like we will be having a celebration feast this weekend and maybe we will be celebrating selling our little house that we dearly love... it's just too tiny for two artists.

I guess my moral for today is waste not want not and even though there are some not so healthy things in our freezer, the dinners we have been preparing are a bit strange and in that cause some laughter and laughing is really good for you, especially in times of stress, sometimes brought about by things like trying to sell your house. Hahahaha So have a wonderful day, stick to your healthy lifestyles and if you need to indulge for whatever the reason... find a way to enjoy it and don't beat yourself up over it!

Be back soon with more fun stuff...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Moving and Food

So I have been contemplating just hiding and not writing on this blog but then I thought again. I want this to be an honest account of my journey and sometimes things don't go as we hope! It seems that for me moving is a bit stressful! And for me stress means comfort food. Although I have not purchased a lot of the bad stuff to keep in the house I have indulged outside of the home with pizza, ice cream and even Tim Hortons donuts and muffins with sugared coffee! I plan a peanut butter and jam sandwich on nice white bread for my breakfast today too!

I am however moving towards better eating again. I have low fat turkey thawed in the fridge and yesterday I had whole grain bread with a boiled egg for breakfast. I had a nice salad but the dressing most definitely was not on the eat clean list nor was the crispy bagel chips! I had a sub with assorted cold cuts and white pasta....

We purchased a house and our house is now up for sale! These past days have been filled with packing until too late, painting and lifting and not wanting to smell the house up with food smells. We might have a buyer already but I don't like to count my chickens before they are hatched. What I keep focusing on is the size of my new livingroom that I will be into in end of October! I can workout there! I am really excited as I have never really had a space large enough to workout in but I have made it work as best I could. I might even be able to do laps around my back yard! Hahaha But in all seriousness I am really looking forward to a normal routine again where I can get healthy!

I am not giving up of course and the fact that I am here writing is a good sign of that and good things to come. I have not even had time to go to the grocery store. These next days now however will be better. The house is finally ready and staged. The packing will go a little at a time now and I will hopefully be able to make healthy meals again starting tonight after I go shopping! I am looking forward to it. I like cooking with spices but I don't want to right now in case we get that last minute call to have a viewing so I plan to have many outside BBQ style meats etc and keep the inside stuff to potatoes and a veggies that are fairly non aromatic... in other words... no brussel sprouts or cabbage!

The good thing is I am up so early and still up late and lifting heavy things and moving all the time... I am burning more calories than normal so I am wishful that the food and moving balance out a bit at this time of unsettledness!

Now I will be back soon with more news and if you are trying to follow a better lifestyle and following this blog don't loose heart if you slip up every once in a while. Life takes you places sometimes but don't also give in and stay in that dark place. Get back in the saddle again. I'll be back really soon with more!