Floral Spring Wreath

Hi Friends!

Spring is upon us!  Most days I’ve been enjoying lovely weather.  During my week of Spring Break, I was planning to hike around the hills and landmarks each morning to catch the sunrise and God’s beautiful creations.  However, every morning I woke up it was cold, windy, and cloudy 😦  It stayed fairly windy every day, and by the time the temperature warmed up, I got busy with other things…….

Such as this wreath!

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Completed Wreath

Tomorrow I will attach a ribbon and then hang it on my door.

I bought the wreath and flowers, and used floral wire to attach the pieces together.

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Here are photos of the wreath layer by layer…

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Yellow leaves

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Greenery

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All done!

And of course, this wouldn’t have gotten done without my trusty side-kick……..

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Susan

I sure have been in the Spring-y mood, and this wreath was my outlet! I hope you enjoy this beautiful spring weather, wherever you might be.

Stay joyful,

Libby

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Currently (An Abridged Update List)

psalm 27-14

Friends, I have come to an important conclusion:

Today, March 20th, there is nothing better than Spark in the morning, curled hair, iced coffee, and a fantastic book.

Also, today, the AP Juniors class I’m observing had a long and in-depth discussion about High School Musical 1, 2, and 3.  This of course was highlighted by impromptu singing and dance moves, movie quips, and laughter.

Today is the first day of spring!  And the start of sPrInG bReAk! (Remember MSN days and how cool the AlTeRnAtEd LeTtErS were to use? And impossible to read?!)

This semester I’ve been observing Junior and Senior English classes at the local high school.  I’ve applied for student teaching in the fall, and am eagerly awaiting to hear about my official placement!  I also coach a 12s club volleyball team; our team name is Fire, which is fitting as these girls are little balls of fire, always working hard and improving.  I’m so proud of them!

Today, I hope to finish the book I started this week.  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr takes place in Europe during World War II, with the majority of the action happening during the Normandy Invasion.  Told through multiple viewpoints, All the Light We Cannot See takes readers back and forth through about 10 years in the main characters’ lives.  We see Marie-Laure, a girl who loses her eyesight around age 6, and her father escape to England.  We see Werner’s fascination with radios take him deep into the German army.  Both face decisions along the way that not only challenge them, but us as readers, too.

“This jewel of a story is put together like a vintage timepiece, its many threads coming together so perfectly.  Doerr’s writing and imagery are stunning.  It’s been a while since a novel had me under its spell in this fashion”  Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone.

So if you are looking for something to read over spring break or this summer, I highly highly recommend this book.

Suze is as cute as always, except when she wakes me up twenty minutes before my alarm.  She has also taken a strange fascination with laying in the sinks…..

hashtag sinkselfie

hashtag sinkselfie

Enjoy the beautiful weather and God’s promises!

Stay joyful,

Libby

Day 25 || AdvoCare Challenge COMPLETE

advocare

Hi Friends!

Thats right—I hit day 25 today on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge!!! I did it!

First of all, I’m so excited that I completed the challenge and was successful in doing so.  I’m not going to post any before/after pictures, because well, I forgot to take any good ones for public eyes!  What I can do though, is tell you my results!  Check it out—

  1.  Energy levels:  Before, I pretty much just wanted to lay on the couch all day.  I didn’t have a whole lot of desire to do a lot of things.  Now, I’m excited to start my day and keep it going until bedtime.  (Do I still like vegging out on the couch sometimes? Yep! Just not nearly as often 😉 )
  2.  Sleeping Patterns:  Before, I had gotten myself into a pretty crummy sleeping routine during Fall Semester Finals week.  Christmas break helped that right along, and by January, I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep until 2 a.m. most nights.  Now, I still struggle to fall asleep sometimes, but it is much less often.  I’m able to wake up easier in the mornings, too!

  3.  Body Compositions:  This is what I was most skeptical on.  Like I’ve said before, I wasn’t looking to lose a lot of weight.  The average is 10 pounds, 10 inches for people who complete the Challenge.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting that, nor wanted to lose that much.  My goal was to lose 5 pounds, and lose a couple inches off my waist/love handle section.  My results: 6.5 pounds, 10.5 inches!!  (I measured my waist, love handle section, booty, thighs, and upper rib cage)

  4.  Eating Habits:  This section was my main goal.  I wanted to first cleanse my body of the toxins its been storing up the past 20 some years, then help reset my metabolism.  Giving up sweets and fried foods was not easy (and I fudged a few times), but I am now conscious about what and how much I put into my body.  In fact, extra greasy and extra sweet foods don’t even sound very appetizing.  From now on, I’m going to follow the 80/20 rule where I eat properly 80% of the time, and eat brownies (and other not so healthy foods) the other 20% of the time.

Overall, doing the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge was extremely worth it, and worth the price.  We are distributors because we believe in the success of AdvoCare products, and want to help you find the best product for you.  Check out the AdvoCare website and shoot us an email at hutchison.advocare@gmail.com

Stay joyful,

Libby

Homemade Almond Butter

Making your own nut butter…. say WHAAA?

Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought this process was complicated and unattainable by someone (me) who did not have professional grade kitchen equipment.  Remember in grade school when you learned about George Washington Carver’s ingenuity with the peanut?  For me, it was 4th grade and we wrote our very first research paper about him.  Looking back, it seems like this sparked two things in my life:  my love of writing, and my love of peanut butter.

As far as my love of writing, I’m fueling it every day with my job and classes.  My love of peanut butter..well it’s fueling me 😉

Lately I’ve been learning how to properly manage what I eat, and take more care about putting the right foods in my body.  I’m no health nut; I love my double dark chocolate brownies and would probably eat 6 of them at the same time if I let myself!  But instead, I’m being more purposeful in what I eat.

So when I realized it didn’t take a Jiff factory to make nut butter, I decided to try it out for myself.

It was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Well, if you don’t count the fact I about broke my NutriBullet….. But that is a simple operator’s error. You won’t have that problem 🙂

Really, you only need 1 ingredient:    Almonds!

I used a 9 ounce bag of Roasted Almonds.  I read a lot of recipes where you would do your own roasting, but my motto in life recently has become “Work Smarter, Not Harder”.

Toss those in your NutriBullet, food processor, or high powered blender, and let ‘er rip!  Don’t worry if it takes a while for your almond to progress from whole almonds, to chunks, to mush, to the almond butter.  Have patience, and stop every now and then to scrape down the sides of your container.  After a while, your almonds will begin to release their oils.  This step causes the chunky-mush of almonds to bind together into the glorious almond butter!

I also added about 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil, and 1/2 tablespoon of honey to add sweetness.  The perfect time to add these mix ins is once the almonds were ground and just starting to stick together.

So far, I’ve eaten my homemade almond butter with apple slices and on a whole-wheat tortilla with a little more honey.  I’m looking forward to trying my an almond butter and jelly sandwich and maybe adding a little to my oatmeal in the morning!

 What do you eat your nut butters with??  Leave me a comment and let me know! I’m dying to try it! 
Stay joyful,
Libby

Day 19 || Advo-Update

advocare

Hi Friends!

It is Bret’s and my 19th day of the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, which means we only have 5 days left.  I can’t believe it!  When we began, I thought it would take such a long time to complete.  I was really unsure if it would do anything for me personally, and honestly wasn’t expecting much for myself.   (Well, I was wrong!)

Okay, here’s the scoop on why I did the 24 Day Challenge.  I mainly had 2 reasons:
#1: I wanted to be healthier.  I wanted to eat better and fuel my body properly, so I thought this might jumpstart me into those healthy habits.

——-and——–

#2 (which is more of the real reason):  I was the skeptic.  I heard about the results, I saw the pictures, and I read the testimonials.  Sure I was really happy for those people who were successful with the challenge!  BUT, I wanted to see if it really would work on me.  I gained a few pounds back in the year since my man and I had been married that I wanted to eventually lose, but I figured I would only lose about half of it on these 24 days.

Okay if I’m being honest, I didn’t expect to lose any weight actually.
***Spoiler Alert**** I did!
 
In the past 19 days, I can tell my body is changing for the better.  I’m eating much healthier, and my cravings for sweets has nearly diminished.
Confession: I caved and had my favorite type of hot chocolate the other day.    Shame, shame, everybody knows my name 😦
Realization:  I could barely drink half of it because it tasted TOO sweet!  At first I was frustrated because if I was going to splurge on that, I was going to enjoy it!  But then I was happy because I realized that my eating preferences no longer enjoyed sweets like they used to. 🙂
I haven’t weighed or measured myself for a couple days, but I can absolutely tell a difference in how my clothes fit from two weeks ago to now.  On Day 25, I’ll post my actual results, along with my plan of action to continue the healthy habits I’ve formed by doing the 24 Day Challenge.
Are you interested in starting your own 24 Day Challenge?  Contact us at hutchison.advocare@gmail.com or go to squadhutchison.com.
Stay joyful,
Libby