Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New driveway *replaced after picture*

When John and I bought our house it only had a one car driveway and a carport, we didn't mind since our property was big enough to expand the driveway and turning the carport into a garage will boost our equity. Well last week we did the first part and we couldn't be more pleased with it.

John bought a bike to ride to work meaning his truck stayed at home 90% of the time. Because we only had a one car driveway it got left in the street all the time which always worried me.
A couple Thursdays ago I had the day off and someone pounded on my door at 7 AM. I didn't answer the door since I wasn't dressed and the pounding sounded forcefully scary. After another 10 minutes they pounded again and rang the door bell 3 times, I dragged Winston with me to answer the door and when I cracked it open a grumpy construction worker told me to move the truck off the road or it was going to be towed. It was a really good thing I was home or they would have just towed John's truck. That was the final straw though and told John that it was probably time to extend the driveway.

John finished installing the vinyl fence in the small section by the driveway so that all would be ready for cement.
For once we hired a contractor, we didn't want to do it ourselves and the extra money spent to get it done right was very worth it. The contractor prepped the space by taking out the dirt and digging down the area, they also cut the curbing making the approach (fancy word for the dipped part of the driveway) wider. He also suggested that we get new supports for the carport since the original brick wasn't very safe. He did those for free.

This is what is looked like before (4 years ago when we bought the house, lots has changed since then)

And what it looks like now. The contractor did a very nice job.

My neighbor liked the work so much that he had the contractor do his whole driveway too. Since cement is so expensive and wasn't really planned into our "projects for the year" we just did the addition and not the whole driveway.
Those that have a big driveway, don't take it for granted. They're awesome!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm dieting ...or am I?

Dieting, a word that most people don't like to hear from someone my size, but when my work started a Weight Watchers group I decided to join to lose the 20 or so pounds I've gained since high school. Why should I have to wait for my situation to get worse to change it?
 Most of the co-workers in the group didn't understand why I was there and usually questioned my decision publicly. Keeping my mouth shut about my "dieting" helped keep people calm and I usually hung out in the back of the WW meetings so people would leave me alone.
But now that I've lost 13 pounds and I'm fitting into some of the clothes I hung onto (pathetically) since high school I want to shout it from the roof tops. I'm so close to my goal that I can practically taste it.

Weight Watchers doesn't seem to be a real diet since I can still eat cupcakes, popcorn and chocolate, in moderation that is. WW has a point system, depending on height, weight and age you get a set number of points a day plus 49 extra points a week so you can have that Oreo cookie when the mood strikes.

It's been a really nice experience learning how to eat better. Before in the grocery store I never looked at the low fat or fat free items, but now that's all I ever buy. I try to buy the healthiest things possible which means that I had to train my taste buds to stop liking all the fat. We're even drinking fat free milk and that's more like white water.
On top of the grocery store we're doing bountiful baskets every week to get fresh produce and John and I have both really enjoyed it. It pulls us out of comfort zone sometimes when we get stuff I'm not use to cooking with.

In the beginning of WW I was having a really hard time with dinner so I went on a search to find good, healthy recipes and I came across my bible, She makes the most delicious recipes and calculates the WW points for you. It has been my saving grace.
We tried most of her soups and pasta dishes and her cupcake recipes are all I ever use to bake with now. They don't taste "healthy" at all and I fooled John's co-workers with them, they all raved about them even more after I told them what was in them. 

John has been extremely helpful and encouraging through this whole thing. He helped look up healthy recipes for his nights to cook and when I sent him to the store he always came out with healthy things. Even the King of Snacking asked if it okay for him to snack in front of me since he didn't want to make it harder on me. He deserves a medal for how supportive he was.

The 12 week Weight Watchers course at work has now ended, but I plan in keeping it up since I don't find it difficult. I dropped 3 pant sizes (Plato's Closet has been my shopping choice since I didn't want to shell out big bucks for clothes that would only fit for a few weeks) and I hoping to drop one more in the coming weeks.

My confidence has been soaring, I'm so much happier now and I'm also off my daily heartburn prescription which is saving me money. Weight Watchers is awesome and has really changed my life for the better. I hope to always eat healthier now and teach good eating habits to future children.

Friday, May 11, 2012

April's block of the month

The class showed us a cool way to sew all the triangles so this block went together quickly and easily. No un-picking for me!

I watched parts of the Daria season that my sister got me for Christmas, made my sewing go by quickly.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yard work

The last few weekends John has been a busy boy. He ran sprinklers to the parking strip and repaired SO VERY MANY through out the yard so that we could get sod down.

Last year we removed the rock from the parking strip and moved them to the side of the house.
We had hopes to lay down sod last year, but winter snuck up on us. Because we were planning on laying the sod last year I bought 300 crocuses to plant under the grass but it didn't get done so they sat in a box of saw dust in my parents' garage. I really hope they bloom next spring, but they might not since they're really suppose to be planted in the fall.
If they don't bloom I'm not doing it again since it would mean that I'd have to dig 300 tiny holes through the grass to plant the bulbs. Planting them before the grass is down is so much easier since we just scattered them throughout the area and then laid the sod over them.

The sprinkler heads and the crocus bulbs.

In case anyone is wondering where to get sod for a good deal, go to Aposhian Gardens in Magna. We got over 200 sq. feet for $80 where as other places wanted to charge us over $100. It's a run down little nursery, but you can't beat the prices.

New grass! I think it's a lot more inviting than the rocks and we won't have to spend hours weeding it.

We also contemplated on extending our driveway to make it two cars wide, the guy we were going to go with was going to do it this week so that meant John had to finish the fence. In the end we won't be getting concrete this week...or any time really soon...but the fence still went up. I'm so glad, I was tired of it sitting by the side of the house making homes for spiders.
Before: The small chain link and the dirt pile that will one day be a driveway.

After: The vinyl fence. So pretty, tall and white. The backyard's fence is finally all done!

Other summer projects planned: finish the back flower garden and find a way to keep the dogs out of it, finish the salt water tank and possibly a driveway...maybe...