Friday, September 28, 2012

Time to get my sexy back

After 3 weeks without having a computer I finally feel apart of the "real" world again! Let me back up and begin as to why I have been without a computer . . . well, my delightful 8 month old decided that she wanted to pull on the cord to my laptop therefore sending it crashing to the ground from our ottoman. So here I am, trying to catch up with all of my blogging!

In the past 3 weeks many changes have taken place. One of the main changes in my life is a huge one & something I am proud of and will continue to share with you all. Over the past year, between my pregnancy and my Mother passing away, I began to let myself go & gained over 75 pounds. I went from running 3-4 times a week, being fit and healthy... to absolutely no exercise and using food as my comfort and coping tool to deal with not feeling the pain of losing my Mom. By doing so I ended up at nearly 250 pounds (220 lbs. after pregnancy). I never imagined in my life that I would end up where I am at now. I often find myself asking "how could I have let this happen?" I hate myself for what I have done to my body, I fear looking in the mirror at myself & avoid shopping for any new clothes, as I am afraid to look at the true size that I am now compared to before my pregnancy.


As I put the weight on, I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew that with each bite of food that went in, it would be even harder to take off. But at the moment I didn't care. I used being pregnant as an "excuse", I used being in a depression and watching as my Mother's life slipped away as an "excuse". Food became my comfort. After losing my Mom, I spent the remainder of my pregnancy focusing on what was to come, the holidays & our baby girl's arrival. Also weighing heavily on my mind was the fact that now I was the oldest child, the only girl, I now had to hold my family together, just as my Mom always did. I now needed to take care of my Father and be there to help him through his grieving. I had to put my grief aside. Once again, I turned to food for my comfort.

I never allowed myself to feel the pain and reality of losing my Mother. My responsibility was my Father, my Husband and being a new Mom myself. I threw myself into starting my own business again, starting a design blog, anything that would keep me busy and not let me think about the pain.

Now, I have decided, it is time for ME. It is time to get back to the ME I used to know.


I started my new weight loss goal on September 1st after being confronted by a close friend of my Mother's at my Niece's 1st Birthday party. Let me tell you, if you have never had to battle with your weight, getting dressed and being in public (ANYWHERE) can cause an anxiety attack. I dread having to pick out clothes or be in a crowd of people. All that ran through my head was "Who is looking at me?" "Are they looking at my back fat?", "Are they looking at how tight these jeans are on me?", "Are they looking at my arms, double chin, rolls of fat..." The thoughts in my mind were never ending, all while constantly adjusting my shirt, how I was standing, making me want to run into a corner and hide away. The turning point for me, was when my Mother's friend actually came up to me and said she was concerned about my weight & how much I had gained in the past year. As a "fat" person, you always have thoughts in your head of what others are thinking of you, but hearing it out loud, someone actually saying and validating all of your insecurities changes EVERYTHING. My immediate reaction was to run inside and cry (which I did, pathetically) My second reaction, was to change it. I decided this was IT, this was the END & something needed to CHANGE.

3 days ago, I took a pledge. I made a promise to myself that it was now time to focus on ME. After months of putting everyone else first it was time to put ME FIRST!

Over the next year, I plan to take you all on the journey with me. Through the hard days, the emotions & the triumphs of my weight loss. I don't expect it to be easy with an 8 month old toting along side me the whole way, but I plan to make it happen, I plan to accomplish my GOALS!

Start Date: September 1st, 2012            Start Weight: 220 lbs. (size 16)
End Date: September 1st, 2013       Goal Weight: 135-145 lbs.

So here I am, on Week #4 of my "Get Sexy Back" Challenge
I have only lost 7 pounds, but here is what my daily routine/ meal plan looks like:

(Sample) DAILY ROUTINE/ MEAL PLAN
Daily allowance of calories: 1,200
Hours of exercise: 1-2 hours
6am- wake up & stretching
6:30am- Breakfast (3 eggs & wheat toast or 90 cal special k cereal bar)
7am- morning walk/ run (2-3 miles) & free weights
Noon- Lunch (progresso soup, turkey sandwich on wheat with fruit)
3pm- Snack (fruit, carrots or Quaker rice snacks)
5pm- Dinner (chicken breast, vegetables or fruit)
9pm- Zumba (50 min) & stretching

& let me tell you, ZUMBA is AMAZING!!


Follow me on my journey, feel free to share your weight loss success story,
or join in the challenge with me!







Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Fall Y'all!

Hey, happy fall y'all! I am sure that after my last post about 30 pinterest projects in 30 days, you all have been wondering where I have been & more importantly why have I not done another post?! Well, I have been busy working on a few to share & I promise that you won't be disappointed! With Halloween soon approaching I have dedicated my next post to some fall decor DIY decor projects and I have been running around here like a mad woman all weekend trying to get it all done!

I love to decorate my home and change things up with the seasons, but buying new decor accessories and decorations each season can become hard on the pockets. My goal this year was to set out to decorate the whole house for Halloween for less than $40. Now, keep in mind that we are technically still 'newlyweds' and have only been in our home for a little over a year & 1/2. So that means that we really have NO holiday decor (or very little). Last year I only bought some leaf garland and 2 fake pumpkins. I was nearly 8 months pregnant and surely did not feel like getting my pumpkin of a belly up on a ladder and decorating the whole house! So that's all I had to work with, we are starting from scratch here!


Check it out: I am featured over at Liz Marie Blog
Click on the link for even more Halloween & Fall decor ideas over at Liz Marie Blog



The first thing I did was search around my house to see what I could use. I dug through storage bins, closets, anywhere something good might be hiding! Here is what I came up with:

- a roll of brown craft paper
- 3 yards of linen fabric
- 2 wooden frames
- scrap wood from other projects
- old family daguerreotype photographs
- some old papers
- newspaper
- scrap booking paper
- felt fabric
- scraps of burlap

(there were a few more items that I found that aren't on the list,
but those I will explain later with another post)

Next thing I did was start searching Pinterest and old magazines that I had for inspiration...
Before I start decorating or getting myself into any craft project, I draw out my plan first. This helps me stay on track whenever I have to run into Michael's or any other store to complete my projects. I write down the supplies that I need & have a guideline to where I am going to place everything in my home once all of my craft projects are completed. I gather everything I need & then get started! Here is the start to our Halloween home decor, I hope you enjoy!


The first thing I ended up making were the "trick" & "treat" banners.
I used about a yard & 1/2 of fabric for each.


To paint the letters, I chose the font that I liked and then printed them out on card stock, cut them out, placed accordingly and traced onto the fabric with a black pen



Next step is to paint in the letters. For this I used Martha Stewart craft 
chalkboard paint because I like the flat matte look of it.




To hang the banners I used two dowel rods and twine, then hot glued the fabric to the dowels. 
NO SEWing!!!



This project total took be about 2 hours to do, but with a baby in the house, 
it honestly look me about 2 days to complete ;)


As seen on:

For the glass doors in the hutch, I wasn't loving the fact that you could see everything inside. I felt that It took away from the overall look of the decor, so I decided to use newspaper and tape it to the back of the doors for an easy fix.


Other projects that I created included:
These simple Halloween banners that I made out of brown craft paper. I cut out the shape that I wanted, printed the letters off of my computer onto card stock then used double sided tape for adhesive.


I found this skull at Michael's for only $5.99! I placed it on a cake stand for a more "specimen" look


This frame was only $1.99 at Michael's. I covered it with scrap booking paper, lined the inside of the frame with linen fabric, printed the letters off of my computer & made two rosettes out of the left over linen.


This pumpkin was left over from last year. All I did was spray paint it white & hand painted the "C" 


This chalkboard sign was simple and easy to make. I had the extra piece of wood laying around my house, painted it with chalkboard paint & now I have a sign that I can change as the seasons come and go!


This tree has to be one of my favorites! It was actually one of the centerpieces from our wedding. I spray painted it white, wrapped some linen around the bottom wooden box to fit the decor and added the crows (from Michael's: $2.99 & $3.99)


So in TOTAL I only spent $13 on this whole room!
Hoping that this post has inspired you & don't forget, great decor doesn't have to cost you a ton of money!


Check back soon for more Halloween decor to come. For now here is a little sneak peek...




Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Pinterest project a day

With at least an hour or two a day spent on Pinterest, gathering party inspiration, DIY projects & home decor ideas I figured that with all that I have gathered, I should start actually doing some of them! My goal is to create at least one Pinterest project a day, for 30 days! Now, there is no guarentee that I can do one every single day (due to budget) but my goal is to give all of my readers inspiration to tackle their own Pinterest projects that they have collected & if I can figure out a way to cut costs on these projects and save a little, well... I am on a mission to share those tips with you all too :) So here we go, first up: "Home is where the heart is"

I originally found this project on Pinterest awhile back, and instantly fell in love with the idea. You see, I grew up in California, but our family is originally from Rush Springs, Oklahoma. My Oklahoma memories are near and dear to my heart, the family reunions, watermelon festivals & summers on the family farm. Oklahoma holds my heart and forever will. My Husband's family on the other hand lives in Greenwood, South Carolina. We currently reside in California due to my Husband's career in the Marine Corps, but our hearts are spread out all over the country from one coast to the other, which is why I found this project to be so fitting for our family. 


the state maps were found HERE
the frame is from Michael's (8x10)
& the backing is just regular brown craft paper

Here is hoping that this project inspires you to do one for your own home & will remind you, that no matter when you might reside...
home is wherever your heart is

(just a few more ideas that you could do for this project...)
If you have a loved one who has served overseas in the Military, or you have moved from state to state over the years, add those to your collage with the location and dates of deployment/ dates that you resided there. It will be a great memory to have displayed in your home

& feel free to follow me on PINTEREST! http://pinterest.com/jenniferciani

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Planning M's first birthday

It may only be September, but I am already in full swing planning Madisyn's 1st Birthday party (can you tell I am a tad bit excited??) Well, I figure with all of the holidays coming up that I have to plan as well, why not get a head start?! Being that Madisyn's birthday is in January, I am now finding out that having a winter baby makes it very difficult for party planning. My biggest challenge: finding a location large enough to accommodate the guest list, even if it is cold & rainy and are unable to utilize outdoor space. I want to ensure that all of our guests will be comfortable without being "cramped". This includes kids too! They need space to run & engage in activities in-between food, cake & present opening. But how will I be able to do this if it just so happens to be pouring rain?? I tell you, Moms who have Summer babies have it easy!

In the meantime, while I work out all of our location dilemmas, here is the inspiration/ theme that I have decided on for her big day: 
A Shabby Chic Winter ONEderland


Pinterest has been my lifesaver when it came to gathering my ideas. My plan is to try and attempt to tackle at least ONE project a week, whether it be her invitations, decorations, favors, etc... that way (hopefully) it will save me the hassle of stressing at the last min. to try and get everything done while in the midst of the hussle & bustle of the holidays...

The Inspiration:

The Invitation:

more to come soon . . .




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