Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teacher Mystery

Yesterday, I picked Aubrie up from school and she asked me where her teacher's (Miss Krista) bed was.  I explained to her that her bed was at her house.

"Just like I drive you to school from home, Miss Krista drives to school from her house.  When school is over, she drives back to her house."

Aubrie is silent for a moment.  "Miss Krista doesn't live at school?"

It's amazing what we assume our children already know!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My New Website

Hi everyone!

I know I haven't been blogging a lot lately, but I plan to change that, as I have a TON of things to blog about.

I FINALLY got my website up and you can check it our here.

It shows all of my artwork and graphic design.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm a Contributor!

Hey everyone!  For a few weeks now, I've been a contributing writer on another blog, Women Who Do It All.  I have been picked to write bi-monthly on living a healthy lifestyle.  Check it out now!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My New Mural - Bath Junkie

Here is my latest mural job.  This was done over at San Tan mall in Gilbert, AZ at a store called Bath Junkie.  This is a really unique store that has all types of bath products, soaps, lotions, cologne, shampoos etc., as well as house cleaning products and products for your pets.

The unique part of this store is that you pick the product, and then there is a wall of different scents to choose from.  You can mix up to three to four scents to customize your product!  They even have a menu of mixed scents that you can try out as well.  This is by far the coolest store to come around in a while.

They also host parties.  Princess parties for girls, nights out with the girls...any occasion really.  So my job was to paint a life-size french-style bathtub for the party goers to stand in front of, and receive a picture to take home with them. 

You can see the party table to the right, and the wall of scents on the left.  Above the bath tub I painted a chalkboard with a fancy frame.  Bath Junkie will write the name of the birthday girl or their scent of the month on the chalkboard.

I used gold paint for the frame, faucet and mirror.

The owner wanted extra foo foo-ness so I added glitter to the bubbles.


This was a really fun project. The total size was 4.5 x 6.5 feet.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Alpha-Elite-est, The Gym Month 5

It's been 5 months since I started back at the gym.  I've done hundreds of burpees, box jumps and mountain climbers.  I've shed blood from doing planks, as well as shedding sweat and tears.  I've suffered jitters from fat burners (my idea), sand in my eyes from sandbag cleans, bruised pinkie fingers from boxing and an occasional midnight binge, polishing off boxes of ice cream.  Is it worth it?  You bet.

The Alpha Elite Training team is a personal training duo, Kimberly Elliott (my trainer), and Andrew Hangartner (who've I trained with in the past.  Their philosophy is based off of education and motivation.  They educate their clients to make them more inclined to continue on a successful path of fitness and nutrition.  Their clients learn what to do and eat and why.

Kimberly and Andrew don't just run you through a killer workout to burn calories, (in fact don't even dare mention calorie counting to them!)  They actually sit down with each individual client to find out who they are and what they envision for themselves.  They then create a plan of action to help clients obtain their goals.

The Alpha Elite team is definitely NOT "one-size-fits-all" trainers.  But you have to be willing to do the work necessary to obtain your goals.  It's not easy and it is a TON of work, but when you see your results, the  self gratification is more than I can explain.  I've been training with Kimberly 3 times a week, as well as going to my gym on the off days.

The top 10 things I have learned and obtained from training with Alpha Elite:
1) Everyone is different.  Alpha Elite follows a carb-cycling diet.  However it WILL be adjusted to fit your body, and how  your body reacts to the food.  For instance, my body loses more fat eating (complex) carbs at every meal, I eat 5-6 measured meals a day-depending on how late I stay up.
2) Boobs are the first thing to go.

3) I've doubled my weight used in bent-over rows (20lbs each hand), reverse flys (10lbs), seated rows (60-70 lbs), and lateral pulldowns.  I've also increased weight in dumbell curls and overhead presses-basically my whole upper body.
4) I hate leg workouts.  I've struggled for a year with my legs.  Anyone who knows me from high school knows that I was NOT an athlete.  Therefore my legs had never really built any muscle in them.  The result is in training my legs and trying to build muscle, there is no "muscle memory" for my legs to fall back on.  So I'm basically building muscle from scratch and will take longer to do so than an ex-athlete.
5) The area where the top of your back thigh meets the bottom of your butt is affectionately called a 'bu-thigh" or a "thass".
6) Water is essential to losing weight.  If you are an active person, you want to drink at least a gallon a day.  It sounds like a lot, but after a while, your body starts to crave it.  FYI, 8-500ml bottles equals a little over a gallon.
7)  THROW YOUR SCALE AWAY!!! Your body goes through weight changes throughout the day and throughout the week.  Especially women, who gain a lot of water weight once a month.  The true test of losing weight and inches, is how well your clothes fit.  Buy a goal-outfit and measure yourself against that and how well you fit into it.

8)  I've lost major visible size in my stomach area and I've leaned out in my back and shoulders.  I can actually start to see definition in my arms and shoulders.  I'm in-between sizes right now.  I was a 13-14, but now I fit in-between a 10 and an 8!  Major success!
9) A tan really makes you look skinnier.
10) Food=Fuel.  Just like your car need gas to go, your metabolism needs food to go.  The more you eat, the more you will lose.   Sure, crash diets may make you lose weight, but if you're like me, the weight ALWAYS comes back.  Following a food for fuel diet teaches you how to eat correctly and lose weight the correct way, and how to keep it off.  I now know how to read my body, and what to do to adjust my food to produce results.
These past months have definitely not been easy, but with a trainer like Kimberly, I've stayed motivated, worked past the difficulties and feelings of wanting to quit.  I've even begun running intervals, which I've always maintained in the past that I would never run unless it was for my life.  I actually have some girlfriends who want me to run a 5k with them, (3 miles).  Maybe I'll do it.  Kimberly seems to think it would be a breeze for me.
We'll see!

Monday, June 13, 2011

What's Better? Low-Fat Yogurt

Today is the 5th of 7 installments of an article I read in Muscle and Fitness Hers magazine.  It's about myths of certain foods you think are better for you.  Today is low-fat yogurt.

The Dirt:
A serving of low-fat yogurt may contain a petty sum of fats, but it is weighed down by about 17g of sugar - which makes it slightly redundant.  According to a 2009 study published in Circulation, you should consume no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day.  A cup of low-fat yogurt chews up nearly 70 of these calories.  Unless you're consuming these simple carbs immediately post workout, that amount of sugar will rattle your clean-eating efforts.

The Clean-Up
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
Although Greek yogurt starts out the same as regular yogurt, its consistency thickens through processing and, depending on the brand, results in twice the protein and about half the carbs.  However, Greek yogurt sacrifices something in the process - whey, which leaves you with mostly slow-digesting casein protein and a a little less calcium.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Family, Friends and Sake Bombers

Well another year older...I'm definitely in my mid to late 30's....sigh.  I was never one to freak out about age.  I tend to live in the moment and never worry about the long-term future, (hubby HATES that sometimes).  But as I approach 40, it's kind of hitting me a little.  I mean, do I worry about trying to have another child? Or should I start worrying about retirement?  Or both?

Usually my long term goals are things like:
Will I have enough wine for game night on Friday?
What cute outfit will Aubrie wear on her first day of school?
If I do two extra sets of plyometrics today, MAYBE I'll be able to eat that half pint of Ben and Jerry's tomorrow.

But lately, I've actually surprised myself by setting money aside for a Gym Membership renewal, 2 MONTHS away!  Whoosh...what a rush to think that far ahead.  I mean, I think I just got dizzy.

One thing that I always look forward to is my birthday month.  Yes you read correctly, I said month.  Not just a day, or a week, but I get a whole birthday MONTH.  Weather hubby likes it or not.  And this birthday was particularly great because my sister left her husband and three boys to come celebrate it with me.

She endured a missed flight, and a 5 hour turbulent ride from Virginia, PASSED where I live in Phoenix to San Diego, only to change planes and get to Phoenix.  God love her for making it here the same day, and the almost midnight pickup arrival time, made me flashback to 15 years ago when 11pm was usually the time I was first leaving the house to go watch a band play.  Now a days, I'm usually I passed out on the couch watching CSI or something.  It felt good driving on an almost vacant highway at that time of night!

So every year, my girlfriend's get together and try to do something fun for our birthdays.  Last year for mine, we took pole dancing lessons, then went to eat.  After that there was a strip club across the street and we tried to get in, but they wanted to charge us 10$!! I mean  we were women for crying out loud.  So instead we headed over to a casino and instead of getting carded for the dance club we were let in for free and were asked if we were there for the "Cougar Contest." F-ing half-my-age-bouncer-that-I-could-easily-squash.

This year it was Sushi.  Some of my GF's couldn't make it but we had a blast anyway.

I get sake Bombers any chance I can get

Hope from Peanutbutterandhopey.com, myself and Noelle.
(Gotta have two glasses of beer for those sake bombers.)

Noelle and Me

Julie (My Sister), and me.

The next night, actually ON my birthday, we went out to dinner with our close friends.

Hope and Me

Julie and Aubrie

BFF's Aubrie and Emma

After that, we went back to Hope's house for Game night.  My sister brought along a bottle of vodka that looked like a machine gun.

We then took turns taking pictures as Charlie's Angles.

I didn't actually open it until Memorial Day though...

It was a great couple of days, and true to herself, Julie got a picture of me the next morning and then played with apps on her new iPad...then uploaded it to facebook.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: Costume Discounters

When I was offered the opportunity to review something from Costume Discounters, I jumped at the chance.

My thoughts raced  to myself first, (some would call a fault).  Images of platform shoes and Go-Go Boots raced through my head, maybe I can finally be Wonder Woman for Halloween.  So I browsed through the shoes and found a bunch that I loved.  Including Wonder Woman boots. 

Red and White Super Hero Boots Adult

For going to see my bro-in-law’s band play, (if and when we have a kid-free night)

Sexy Black Patent & Lace Peep Toe Pump A

For going out with the girls…

Red, White and Blue Sandal Adult

 But as I was skimming over all the heels, Aubrie peeked over my shoulders and saw the banner of costumes.  It immediately became clear to me that she was seriously lacking in the dress-up department.  Compared to most of her friend’s who have maybe ALL of the Disney princess costumes. 

So “Mom of the Year” mode kicked on and thoughts of adding to my shoe box collection in the closet quickly diminished. 

They have a wide selection of toddler costumes including Disney Princesses.  And it took all my energy not to get the little Princess Lea costume, I mean she’s going to have to learn who THAT princess is sometime…

After going back and forth with her, she chose the Snow White Ballerina Costume.

Toddler Disney Ballerina Snow White Cost

She was so excited when we got in the mail; she put it on immediately and danced around.  It is a high quality costume with a picture of Snow White on the button in front.  I also love the puffy sleeves made with strips of ribbon.

They also have different styles of Snow White costumes you can check out here:

Maybe I'll be Snow White for Halloween this year instead!

Aubrie now plays dress-up even more, I will need to get a bigger box for all her dress-up clothes!

Next time you need a costume or are even looking for a great pair of heels, go to Costume Discounters. They have GREAT things for Fourth of July!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I'm Back

After a two week hiatus, I'm back... Over the past two weeks I celebrated my birthday, my sister visited me, and memorial day...along with a gymnastics trial for Aubrie.  I also have a review coming up.  All of which will be posted in the next few days.  I hope you all hung with me!  In the meantime I heard a song today that reminded me a of a real funny commercial, so here's a couple of flashbacks for wordless Wednesday.

That one always cracked me up!

Here's another one...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The Winner of the AWESOME TuTu Toes Flip Flops is...

HOPE!  Congratulations!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Pet Portraits

One of the reasons I've been absent lately, is that I received a commission to paint three pet portraits.  These are smaller than I've ever done before at 6"x6".  They were a birthday present for my friend's husband, whose dog's are the two Great Danes.  They were both very happy to get them!

Tego (Great Dane)

Asia (Great Dane)


If you would like to see more of my pet portraits, click here.

If you would like to purchase a portrait of your pet, contact me at lifesgristle@cox.net.  
The portraits are painted from a picture, and are acrylic on canvas.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nutty Over Coconut

For me, one of the first signs of warmer weather is when I start seeing coconut everywhere.  In lotions, perfumes, and food.  It brings back memories going to the beach and slopping Panama Jack Coconut Oil on.  It didn't do much for sun prevention, but it sure smelled good!

As soon as pool weather hits, I look for everything coconut. 
One of my favorite discoveries this year is:

Desert Essence Organics Coconut Hand and Body Lotion
A little REALLY goes a looooong way!

As far as eating coconut, I don’t like the texture much, but lately I’m seeing a lot of different varieties in health food stores.  For instance in Whole Foods the other day, I saw coconut flour and coconut pudding.

Coconut Flour is a delicious, healthy alternative to wheat and other grain flours. It is very high in fiber, low in digestible carbohydrates, a good source of protein and gluten free. It lends baked goods an incomparably rich texture and a unique, natural flavor. I personally have not tried it, but I'm thinking I may try.

I have been cooking with coconut oil for some time now.

"The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc." (source)

One of my favorite finds this year is Archer Farms Coconut Macaroon coffee from Target.

Now, some of you may already know what's coming next, but this is not on my No-Fun Diet, but I may partake in a drop in my wonderful coffee!

What are some of your favorite signs of Summer?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

TuTu Toes Giveaway EXTENDED

Because I've been so busy lately, I have not been able to market my giveaway as I would like, so I am extending my TuTu Toes Giveaway for another week!  The winner will be picked on May 16th!

Monday, May 2, 2011

What's Better? Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

I've been real busy this last week and haven’t blogged much.  But I’m back on track with the 4th installment of “What’s Better?”  This time it’s Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter.  This is from an article I read in Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine, which talked about 7 myths of foods we eat that are the healthy alternative.

The Dirt:
Most normal peanut butters, offer as much nutritional goodness as a helping of cake frosting.  Reducing the fat makes it even worse.  A tablespoon of reduced-fat peanut butter contains close to 2 grams of sugar.  If you’re still stuck on wanting to trim out the fat, reduced varieties will only lighten your spoon by a mere 2 grams of fat, mostly on the good-fat side.

The Clean-Up:
Natural Peanut Butter.  Try natural peanut butter (I’ve been eating this for about a year now), made with ONLY TWO INGREDIENTS – peanuts and salt.  Because it’s loaded with mostly protein and healthy fats, an occasional indulgence won’t leave you feeling deprived, and it’ll be easier to ward off cravings.

What I have discovered from eating natural peanut butter is that it must be kept in the refrigerator, and there are no-stir varieties if the natural oil grosses you out.  Note to dieters, peanut butter is considered a healthy fat, not a protein.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Busy Weekend

I hope everyone had a Great Passover or Easter!  Our weekend was extremely busy.  Saturday my friend Hope over at Peanut Butter and Hopey, hosted a wonderful annual egg hunt at her local park.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Starbucks Earth Day Giveaway!

Today only, (at participating Starbucks) if you bring in your own mug or tumbler, Starbucks will fill it with any coffee or tea, hot or iced for FREE!  This is an Earth Day promotion!

A Sucker for Salads

Since I'm constantly eating veggies these days, I figure the best way to keep it fresh is by creating beautiful salads.  Then I'll actually WANT to eat it (for the 5th time in a day!)  

Here's a salad I brought over to a friends house a few weeks ago.  I got the idea from Cobb salads, but there's no meat in it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No-Fun Diet: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

First things first...Please enter my CUSTOM FLIP FLOPS giveaway!

I originally got this recipe out of Disney's Family Fun Magazine.  It is now my FAVORITE complex-carb side dish!  If you like black beans and sweet-potatoes, you'll be surprised at how well these two flavors mix.


Monday, April 18, 2011


Marnie over at Sassy Kat Boutique makes the most ADORABLE TuTu Totes and TuTu Toes!

  Personalized Pink Fringe Skirt Tote    Pink Polka Dots Tutu Tote

Thank you so much to The McMommy Diaries for featuring me on her McHoppin Monday Blog Hop!  Link up below!  Come back later today when I will be posting my new GIVEAWAY!
~ Marcy

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NetworkedBlogs Blog Hop 4/14/11

Not getting enough followers on FB's NetworkedBlog's?
Welcome to the Networked Blog Hop by Life's Gristle and Peanut Butter and Hopey!

~ ONLY link up your NetworkedBlog link. 



~ Follow the co-hosts Life's Gristle and Peanut Butter and Hopey(spots #1 and #2).
~ Follow our guest host, spot #3, "Home Growing Happiness." We'll pick a random guest each week using Random.org.
~ If you would like to spread the news of this hop, Grab the button and post somewhere on your post, side bar, wherever.

Thanks for linking up!

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