Monday, April 30, 2012

11 Questions

I got this from Maybe Matilda - she didn't tag me (or anyone) but I thought it'd be fun!

1. Name some of your celebrity crushes, past and present . . . go ahead and name one (or two, or three). Male or female.
 Well...  I had my fair share of celebrity crushes while growing up.  I specifically remember Benny from The Sandlot (photo source) being one of my first crushes.  He was so darn cute!  ;-)  Wonder what he looks like now... also remember liking Jerry O'Connell (anyone else remember My Secret Identity?), Kirk Cameron (I mean, who didn't have a crush on Mike Sever?)

2. What’s your favorite book?
 Most recently I fell in love with the Hunger Games trilogy (before the movie).  Its so good!

3. What are your 5 favorite TV shows?
the recently ended Chuck ;-(
Once Upon a Time
The Office
Drop Dead Diva

4. Guilty pleasure?
I still like watching Disney princess movies.  Sometimes even without my kids.

5. Any goals you’re currently working on?
I have my weightloss goal, but more importantly than that, I have been trying to be more deliberate in a lot of areas of my life this year.  I feel like I have very little control over certain things (my kids' developmental delays) and I let that feeling of inability to do anything overflow into areas of my life that I can actually do something about.  So, I have been working on carving time out for myself, sometimes its going to the gym, or having a girls night... others its making sure I go to bed early enough that I can do my devotional and write in my journal. I can make those things happen, but I have to be intentional instead of forgetting and then complaining that they aren't happening.  (photo source)

6. A trend or style you’ve wanted to try, but been scared to?
So many... I am a curvy girl, so a lot of style trends scare me. There are items that I love on the hanger but make me look pregnant or worse once I put them on.  But thanks to the fabulous ideas I have on my Pinterest style board I have been getting brave and trying new things lately.

7. A skill you’d love to learn?
 Serious couponing.  I am a casual couponer.  I would love to be like the women I see on tv and blogs who only spend $50 a month and feed their family of eight gourmet, organic meals (slight exaggeration).  But it seems that I am too lazy/busy/impatient/etc.

8. If you had a day to yourself with unlimited money to spend and no obligations, what would you do?
I would travel as much as I could, but one day isn't much to travel.  Maybe I would go to one of those ridiculously expensive spas and get pampered all day.  aaahhh.... that sounds nice!

9. A person (living or dead) you’d love to meet?
I don't want to be cliche and say "Jesus" - besides, I know I will meet Him someday.  So, I would pick Mother Theresa.  I think she could help me get a little perspective for those days when I feel like having a pity party for myself.

10. If you weren’t doing the career you’re doing now (being a stay-at-home mom counts as a career), what would you want to be doing instead?
Well... I guess I would probably be doing something in marketing or a writer.  My English teacher in college tried to coax me into changing my major.

11. What are the names you want/wanted to give your kids until your meanie-pants spouse vetoed them?
Well, I wrote short stories in middle and high school so I would scour my mom's baby name books to find names for my characters.  I had a nice little list going of names for my kids long before I met my husband.  We didn't use a single one of them.  :-(  Here are a few of my favorites: Girls: Ainsley, Sierra, Dakota, Madison, Brooklyn, MacKinley... Boys: Cole, Caeden, Andrew, Jacob.

There you go... a few things maybe you didn't know about me.  Feel free to spread the blog love and do your own get to know you questions.  Please leave me a link to your post if you do! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Blog Makeover

Well, if you have ever been to Wani's World before you can see that we've had a little makeover of sorts.  ;-)  It took some work (my hubby had to work out the HTML kinks for me), and a lot of painstaking decision making on my part (I liked so many of the cute backgrounds at Cutest Blog on the Block, it was so hard to choose one!).  Here are a couple that I loved but didn't make the cut.

Sigh... it was a hard choice.  Obviously there was the temptation to go with the Hunger Games background... but that is not what my blog is about so I let it go. The others are all adorable and while some of them fit my personality I wanted something that really reflected what Wani's World is about: our crazy family life, homeschooling and all the crafts and other stuff that comes along with it. And I wanted a title banner that would be able to include one of our super cute family pictures, because that is what its all really about anyway, right?  ;-)  So that is how I ended up with the lovely Denim Flowers theme that you see now.  What do you think?  Good choice?  Please say YES!

Anyway, other than the facelift, not a lot has changed.  I'll still be blogging about the usual stuff.  But if you have any ideas of things you would like to see on the blog in the future feel free to contact me!  I love hearing from my readers!

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [a]he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Family Photo Session!

Its picture time again!  As usual Pinterest has come to the rescue. ;-) I have pinned a bunch of links for photography instruction and inspiration on my photography board. So when our family session was coming up I went there to get ideas. I found this great post from Home Stories from A 2 Z on How to Prepare for your Family Session. She uses photos from Pinterest as she explains how she chose their clothes, picked inspiration poses, etc. I loved seeing the inspiration poses side by side with their family pix. There were a lot of great ideas on here. I was able to use a few of them for our family shoot!

The above image was one of my inspiration photos.  Here is our version...

While preparing for our family photo session I also found these posts helpful too:

Elizabeth Halford's Dress to Match the Sofa

Click it Up a Notch has a bunch of What to Wear posts

Typically I am a DIYer in most areas. Because I am cheap... er... frugal... or whatever you want to call it. But I am also a deal hunter and if I can find a sweet bargain I will go for it! Awhile back I saw a deal on Plum District that I couldn't pass up. It was a photo session with disc from Peter Jonathan Images for $59 (valued at $200)!  We got an incredible deal!  We enjoyed our session with Pete Nagy.  He was professional and he was especially great with the kids.  Here is his blog post about our session together.  And here are a few of my faves!

Linking up to:
Capturing the Joy in Life

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WLW - Eating Healthy on the Go


We all have days when we feel like we are moving non-stop. Tuesdays are usually like that for us.  We have to get up and get Joe on the bus by 8:20am (that is early for us), then Christine has therapy at 9am and 10:45am, then Joe gets off the bus at noon and we hurry to have lunch and leave to get him to his therapy at 1pm, then home for quick naps before we have to leave for Nate's karate at 6pm, then home for bedtime!
Whew... Tuesdays wear me out!  Sometimes I forget to eat altogether until halfway through the day when my body and stomach remind me.  Other than the obvious stomach rumbles telling me I'm hungry, I get headaches if I don't stay hydrated.

I think one of the key things to eating healthy on the go is planning ahead. No matter what diet or eating habits you are using planning is so important.

Hungry Girl has Healthy Snacks for Traveling

Healthy Child.ORG has some great suggestions for How to Eat Healthy On the Go

Hungry Runner posted some other great tips from Hungry Girl

Pinching Pennies - Healthy Lunch Ideas

The New Healthy has some good On-the-Go tips too

Here are a few things that I often do to help the kids and I to keep up our healthy eating when we're on the go:

- bring supplemental food with you - sometimes I don't have time or ingredients to pack a whole lunch but I'll bring some fruit, cheese sticks or 100% juice boxes with us so I can order less fast food while we are out

- take water with you, or order ice water instead of soda - sodas are filled with empty calories and tons of sugar

- keep healthy snacks in the car on a regular basis - I still have kids in diapers so I've always got granola bars or baggies of cheerios in my diaper bag when we're out and about

- when getting fast food I opt for grilled options instead of fried (most of the time) and look for alternatives for french fries... or if I can't bring myself to do without the fries, we'll get one big one for the whole family to share so we just a few fries each instead of getting a whole order each

We had a super busy weekend, with a few meals that I honestly felt "full".  Not the healthy satisfied full, but the "I over-ate" full... by the end of the weekend I had realized what I was doing and took measures to avoid it (boxing up half my meal at The Cheesecake Factory - that is a big deal people! ;-).  Then I was sick Monday and Tuesday and am still recovering from that now.  I have been drinking water life crazy trying to fight off this illness.  I weighed in at the same weight as last week.

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pinterest Favorites

I am a Pinterest addict. I am working on cutting back but I can't go cold turkey. As part of my therapy I thought I would share with you a few projects I have actually done that I found on Pinterest.

Paint Chip Word Builder

Density Experiment

No-Bake Energy Bites

fabric Christmas tree art

Bread Clasp label wires

If you've ever been to my Pinterest boards you know this hardly scratches the surface of the things I have pinned.  But these are just a few of the many tips and ideas that I have gotten and used from Pinterest.  It can be a great resource to find just about anything! 

Let me know what your favorite Pinterest projects are!

paint chip photo source

bread clasp photo source

Monday, April 23, 2012

Swimwear Restyle - Faux Cami

1 Timothy 2:9 - "And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes." (NLT)

Modesty is a big issue. The world, our society seems to see no place for it. And there are debates within the Christian community as to how far we should go as women of God to maintain our modesty. Are the Amish on the right track with their simplistic approach to modest clothing? How about the Apostolic Pentecostal women with their long skirts and long hair? Should women be allowed to wear pants? Or should we not worry about modesty at all and wear tight shorts that say "bootylicious" on them?

Clearly this could stir up endless comments on all sides of this debate. But I am not here to take sides. I myself find it difficult at times to find a balance and achieve modesty and still feel somewhat fashionable. It seems like the clothing industry makes everything either sexy or frumpy and I am at a loss as to what to buy or wear sometimes. Sometimes we have to take fashion into our own hands!

Summer is just around the corner and along with that comes trips to the pool and all that goes with that. So I thought I would share what I have come up with to avoid the granny moo-moo bathing suits but still remain modest. I created a faux cami look for my bathing suits via layering. This works best if you have a suit with a deep V but could be used with most other styles too. I find that most suits that fit my curvy body type end up being very revealing in the cleavage area. I had a hard time finding a good pix to show it because I'm usually hiding behind a kid! But I think you get the idea.

You will need:
a tankini or one piece bathing suit to modify
a pair of bikini bottoms in a coordinating color (I would go for solid if your suit is patterned or if your suit is solid and you want to add some pop then you could do a coordinating pattern)
needle & thread (coordinating color is optional because all of the stitches should be hidden - and if you are desperate or don't sew you could use safety pins)

1- try on the suit and decide how much coverage you want - put pins on the suit to mark where you need to cover
2 - cut the bikini bottoms in half (cut at the sides and in the middle of the dare I say... crotch part)
3 - lay the front piece of the cut bikini bottoms inside the suit top and line it up with the marks you made - this will serve as a faux cami
4- pin in place along the edges of the neckline
5 - stitch (or pin) around the neckline to attach the "cami"
6 - once attached trim away excess fabric around the edges to avoid added bulk underneath the suit top
7 - TaDa!  Now you have a cute, modest, stylish swim suit you'll be comfortable wearing to the pool or beach!

Here is a suit (available online at Divinita Sole) that is similar to what I've done with mine, where it has a cute cut but layered with a cami for coverage. Divinita Sole also carries other styles of relatively modest bathing suits and a whole line of modest dresses too.

There are a lot of views on modesty, what women should wear and how much is too much skin to show... Here are a few posts that I found interesting:

Great post on Modesty & Swimwear.

Scientific take on modesty and swimwear.

Bianca from In the Name of Love shares her take on Swimsuit Modesty.

A Guy's Perspective on Modesty.

I hope this tutorial is helpful.  If you modify your own bathing suit please send me a link or pix! I'm linking up to:

The Southern Institute

Craft & Tell

1 Peter 3:3-4 - "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (NIV)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

7 Things...

Seven Things I Never Heard of Before I became a Mom...

Febrile Seizures -

RBI Gene (Retino-Blastoma) -

Ophthalmologist -

Orthotics -

Physiatrist -

Umbilical Hernia -

Vaccine Reactions/Side Effects -

These are all things that have greatly impacted my life.  Its only through the grace of God and the support of my family and friends that I am not overwhelmed by the challenges facing our family, my children.  But God is good.  And even when I do not understand it, He has a plan for us.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

 Photo Source

Saturday, April 21, 2012


April Hearts at Home Blog Hop topic: Balance

Mary Byer's Book 'The Mother Load' asks the question: "If you are taking care of your kids, who is taking care of you?". So, who does take care of you? I know my answer would often be "not me". Even secular movies depict the battle we moms face when it comes to juggling everything we have going on in our lives: work, family, marriage, friends... our list of responsibilities is endless.

But this is something that I have been working on. I'm tired of mommy burnout. I want to find ways to get refreshed so that I can be caring and loving to my children instead of grumpy and complaining.

I'm always looking for ideas to help me create a better balance in my life. Around the holidays I found this great article on Mothering Magazine's website about 5 Fixes for Crazy Busy Syndrome. The article recommends doing the following:  1. Renounce the How-Does-She-Do-It-All-Disease. 2. Shun Those Voices.  3. Screw Tradition.  4. Rethink Gift-Giving.  5. Last Resort. (you have to read the full article to get this last one).

Sometimes all you can do it make a couple of small changes to relieve some of the (sometimes self inflicted) stress of motherhood. I have been trying to be intentional about creating healthy habits like: working out with a friend a couple times a week, planning play-dates that are as much for the moms as they are for the kids, going out with my girlfriends 1-2 times a month, being deliberate about planning date nights with my husband, doing a devotional and keeping a prayer journal...

What about you? What do you do to create balance in your life?

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. - 3 John 1:2

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WLW - Stress

Stress... how did Alicia know exactly what to make today's topic? We have a lot going on in our families right now. On top of our usual stuff Joe and Christine are both coming up on a series of new doctors' appointments (lots of paperwork), Isaac is looking at a job change (ah!), we've decided not to try to sell the house for at least another year or more, my mother and father-in-law are looking moving soon, we have two new sets of neighbors, my brother and sister-in-law have been talking about possibly moving to California, two of my sisters are pregnant, my youngest sister is getting married in August, and I'm trying to finish school up with Nate and get Joe plugged in with some special summer therapy services. Sometimes I feel like our life is always crazy, but this is crazy even for us.
When we go through stressful times it effects our body, mood and behavior. On top of the physical effects of stress, it often throws us out of our normal routine, and it can easily take our focus off of the One who is in control and put our focus on the things that are going on that seem out of control. I have had to remind myself over and over again lately that He is in control. God has a plan. Sometimes I am not sure what that plan is, but that doesn't change the fact that there is one. A plan far better than what I could put together, one infinitely better for everyone. A plan that uses everything for His glory. (And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28)
Even though things have been stressful I have tried to do three things in the midst of everything. First, I have tried to remind myself of His sovereignty. Father really does know best! It is actually a relief when I think of this fact. I think it kind of takes the pressure off of me when I realize that whatever the situation, whatever is stressing me out at the time... its all in His hands anyway.
, I have tried to refrain from old habits of stress eating. If it hadn't been for the Easter candy I would have done pretty well in this area. I did have a few days where the candy was out on the kitchen counter and I did a little nibbling... but when I actually realized what was happening I put it away in the pantry so it is no longer visible and easily accessible. Then I made a batch of the energy bites to fill in during those munchy moments when I am tempted by the lingering Easter candy! ;-)
, I have been consciously trying to find and focus on the blessings in our life. I know it sounds simple but its been an important thing for me to do. It is a good to be reminded of the good things in your life when you are going through hard times. I have a beautiful family, two supportive sides of the family who love us, great friends, we have a roof over our head and food in our bellies... God is good.

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

I have decided to share my actual weight instead of just posting my lbs lost every week. When I started linking up to Weight Loss Wednesday I weighed in at 189lbs. It is not my my heaviest, but its certainly not my healthiest either. I know its not much but I weighed in today at 182lbs. So I am down one more pound this week, for a total of 7lbs lost. Progress is progress, no matter how small. ;-)

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)

photo source