Trying the Atkins Diet

I have never been a tiny girl, I have curves and a weakness for potato chips which have kept me with some meat on my bones since high school. I have never been unhappy about my weight, knowing that I could do something about it if I wanted to, but being comfortable with myself I never really did. I also stayed very consistent with my weight for a lot of years.

During my senior year of college I struggled with depression, which for me meant a lot of junk food and little activity. So unfortunately, a year after graduating, I found the added weight did not want to leave on its own, and I decided it was time to do something.

After research of the effects of different diet plans, what they entail, and how likely I would be to stick to them, I decided the Atkins Diet would be the best fit for me. I know carbohydrates are a huge weak spot for me, so I looked at this diet as a way to lose weight and get myself away from the seductive power of the carbs.

If you’re unfamiliar with how Atkins works, it is based on low carb, high protein, and is structured into 4 different phases.

Phase 1 is very restrictive but it is when you will lose the most weight and detox yourself from carbs. You are restricted to no more than 25 grams of carbohydrates per day, and your diet mainly consists of meat/fish, cheese, vegetables, and nuts. After 2-3 weeks in phase 1, and when you are within 15 pounds of your goal weight, you begin to move to phase 2, then 3. In the later phases you gradually increase the daily carb allowance and can add more typed of food into your meals. Phase 4 is continuing your life being aware of your carb intake and being healthy.

Being 6 weeks into the diet, there are some upsides and some downsides. The upside is it is not as difficult as it sounds to make tasty and interesting meals with such limitations. The downside is craving the carbs and sugars and keeping the willpower to stay away from them. It becomes easier as your body detoxes from those foods… but I am sure I will always have a love for potato chips.

For breakfasts, I mainly have protein shakes with almond milk, occasionally bacon or sausage. Eggs are also an acceptable food and often recommended for a great breakfast option, but I am slightly allergic and eggs bother my stomach. Not eating eggs does make breakfast the most difficult meal to plan for. I often get bored with food if I eat the same thing all the time and look for ways to keep variety in my diet.

Lunches and dinners are not as difficult as I expected them to be. I took the week before starting Atkins to research and try out some good recipes so that I would have a game plan. I found this to be really helpful, it is much easier to stay on track when you know just what you are going to have and don’t have to start planning when you’re already hungry.

Check out my recipe posts for some of the great low carb lunches and dinners I came up with. Some are so tasty I will continue to make them even when I have moved on from this phase and have added more food options in.

Look for more posts as I continue through the phases and get to my goal weight! I’m hoping to lose about 40 pounds and get myself in a healthier place.

How To Care for Succulents…. Learned the Hard Way

Recently, on somewhat of a whim, I purchased a nice potted succulent mix at a local nursery. I was feeling the need to add a little green to my life I guess. I picked out a nice little mix with some cute succulents and took it home.

I thought I was being a good plant mother by watering it once a week and moving it more into the sun from time to time. So I was confused and sad when a few of the plants in the mix started to drop all of their leaves!

To Bing I went for some answers, and after reading carious articles and websites here is what I learned about watering succulents properly. Succulents need to be watered less in humid weather. Since desert areas are where these plants thrive they have adapted to be able to pull moisture from the air. If you live in an area with more humidity (like I do in New England, which gets very humid in the summer) you need to water succulents much less often.

  1. Traditional potting soil can be harmful to succulents. Since common plants can suffer more from a lack of water, traditional potting soil is designed to hold moisture and deliver it bit by bit. Because of this, many people who plant succulents in traditional potting soil accidentally overwater because they do not realize the soil is still holding moisture.
  2. You can root the leaves that fall off your succulent to make more plants!
  3. You can root the leaves that fall off to make more plants! (I didn’t get adventurous enough to try this)

I learned I really should have done my research before the plant purchase. Unfortunately, my little plant friends have not bounced back even with less watering. The only one that has survived is the little ground cover one. Maybe next time I will be a better plant mother.

Happy plant friend
Happy plant friend
Less happy plant friend. The leaves on 2 have fallen off
Less happy plant friend. The leaves on 2 have fallen off
Sad plant.....
Sad plant…..

Camo Cake – Pinterest Win

When you’re known to be a good baker, and your best friend is planning a redneck themed birthday party, of course you’re going to be making a camo cake.

To Pinterest I went in search of some tips and tricks to making a camo patterned cake. I had seen it done before, as well as tie-dye, zebra, rainbow, and all sorts of mixed color cakes. The questions was; how difficult were they and did they really turn out looking as awesome as the pictures?

Well thankfully Pinterest did not disappoint and I found lots of tips and tricks, which I pieced together to make my own cake.

The main idea of making a camo cake is to have about 4 different colors of batter, then drop them by large spoonfuls into the cake pan to get the desired pattern. Most tutorials seemed to recommend using a yellow or white cake and dividing the batter into 4ths. One to stay white, one to be dark green, one light green, and one dark brown.

Since I am not a huge fan of using excessive food coloring, and because dark color food coloring is always messy, I decided to make more of a marble cake and using a chocolate batter for the brown section. So my final battery product was half a chocolate cake as is, half tinted with green (to make dark green), half a yellow cake left as is, and half a yellow cake tinted light green.

I was little skeptical of how it would bake; wondering if the colors would all run together while it was in the oven. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it came out smelling delicious and looking camo!

For the final redneck theme touches I frosted the cake with a traditional white buttercream. I also tried out Wilton’s spray-able food colorings (Click here for the product ) to make an American Flag design on top. The spray color was a little cumbersome as it was hard to control exactly where the color went. With a little help from Momma Bunni, I used wax paper to make a sort of stencil for the spraying.

All in all, for a first attempt on a camo cake and spray color decoration, I was very pleased with the result. I got rave reviews on the cake as it was perfectly in theme for the party, and of course delicious!

Stay tuned for recipes and baking tips!

Here is the batter in the pan
Here is the batter in the pan
Baked cake!
Baked cake!
Cake in all its frosted America glory
Cake in all its frosted America glory
All together, flag outside and camo inside
All together, flag outside and camo inside

The Bandaid Allergy Saga

A few years ago I began to notice I would often get a red, rash-looking area where the sticky part of a bandaid had been. Usually this happened on my arms, and would disappear after a few days with not itching or anything. Since this was an un-

bothersome occurrence I mostly ignored it until it began to get worse.

As often can happen with allergies, this little issue with using bandaids gradually became worse, to the point of developing a red area after having a bandaid on for a few hours, that would take days to disappear.

I am one of those people who is pretty bad about going to the doctors. I go for my yearly physical and if I have any big issues, but I tend it decide if an issue is big when it lasts for more than a week. Many a times I have discovered I have had bronchitis or a sinus infection only after suffering for a week and a half, convincing myself that it’s just a cold. Recently, I went for a follow-up on an ankle sprain that was still bothering me… a year after the sprain happened.

I blame this illness denial and anti-alarmist attitude on my mother, Momma Bunni; the woman who has to be in dire pain or dragged by yours truly to see a doctor. This includes the time she thought her appendix might have burst, but wanted to wait and see how she felt in the morning (it turned out to just be a bad case of kidney stones thankfully).

And so rather than going for an allergy test or consulting my doctor, I decided to try and figure out this bandaid reaction through a few little experiments and some internet research. After the initial web searching I determined I likely have an allergy to the adhesive, or one of its ingredients, used in bandaids. I took a trip to my local pharmacy and bought 5 various types and brands of bandaids then slapped them on my arm and waited to see what was going to happen.

I stuck the 5 different types in a line down the inside if my upper arm and left them for 24-hours. As usually happens, nothing much shows up right after the bandaids come off, but as the skin readjusts to being uncovered the redness shows up. For the first time I discovered some of the bandaids had left blisters where the edges of the adhesives had landed.

Since I have never gotten blisters before I am not sure if it is due to the length of time I left them bandaids on for, the area I picked being a bit more sensitive, or if it is just a sign of the reaction becoming more severe.

All in all this experiment left a few more questions but also gave me a few solutions. For example, it seems that the CVS brand bandaids bother my skin most. The Band-Aid brand and Curad brand did not result in blisters, while the various CVS brand one did.

I have also learned that it is very difficult to get a list of what ingredients are used in the adhesives for bandaids of any brand. In various forum discussions and message boards I was able to find many people who also suffer from this odd allergy, many who have it much worse than I do. While common answer to the question of the precise source of the allergy is often rosin – which is found in all types of adhesives, perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, etc. – I am not yet convinced that is the culprit for my allergy.

Perhaps a trip to the doctor for an allergy test is needed after all.

Here are the various bandaids I tried for the allergy experiment
Here are the various bandaids I tried for the allergy experiment
The blisters and marks left after wearing the bandaids for 24 hours
The blisters and marks left after wearing the bandaids for 24 hours
placement of the different types of bandaids
placement of the different types of bandaids – inside of my upper arm

Hello world!

Welcome, I would love to tell you a little about myself and my blog. I am a young woman in my 20s who one day realized I do a lot more and know a lot more than the average 20-something. I have always been looked to by people in my life for advice and help in all sorts of situations, as well as praised for my creativity and wisdom.

Now I can’t take full credit since a lot of it comes from my mom (Momma Bunni), but she shares with me so I can share to others.

This blog will basically be a collection of things I know, learn, and discover that I would like to share. There will be recipes, tips and tricks for the household, craft ideas, humor, wisdom, and more. I am always open to suggestions, feedback, and comments.

I hope you enjoy what I share and are able to take something away from it. Happy reading!