Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weight Management Class

It’s NOT your fault….DIETS DON’T WORK!

If they did, you could go on one and never have to go on another.

Don’t just go on a diet…. learn what to eat, when to eat, how to balance your place, what to look out for, etc…..

A diet is temporary, usually unhealthy, and most people gain back more weight than they had before the diet.

An education will last you a lifetime and can keep your children from inheriting the same bad habits you learned from your parents. I was lucky enough to have a mom that corrected her bad habits and made sure I corrected mine so my children won’t have to!

Live The Lifestyle Health & Weight Management Program is just that, a lifestyle.

I will be your personal coach, I will hold you accountable, I will make you succeed, I will change your life!

Contact me for class info:
Brandi Perkins
Weight Management Coach
Friend me on Facebook for health info: brandivacation

(Insert inspirational photos of morbidly obese people wearing the same itty bitty clothes that still manage to fit after they lose hundreds of pounds.)
*Seriously, I could post pics and will if you request them but I don't think they tell you much except that people lost weight. Anyone can do that; BUT, can they lose fat instead of muscle and is what they did something sustainable for the rest of their life? Most all of the time the answer is "No". 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

An unorganized and health conscious person's foray into freezer meals

As many people already know, I hate menu planning. I mean, I go onto Pinterest for a great recipe and get stuck there for the next hour and totally forget what I went on there for.

 I've been putting my favorite recipes on my Cozi recipe box so they're all in one place. This has been a HUGE help! I highly recommend using Cozi or one of the other great sites for storing your recipes. I'd love to hear where you decide to store yours. Cozi has some drawbacks. The iphone app doesn't allow you to look at your recipes which I think is stupid. Also, it doesn't have any great way to organize your recipes except by tagging them. So I can put "Freezer" for a tag and then do a search for the recipes with that tag. It's not a bad way to do it but I think more options are needed. Still, for the ADD person, it does get your recipes in one place so you're not completely distracted by other things when you want to find recipes.

Now, I've always been a fan of making extra lasagna and putting one in the freezer but I've never been able to figure out what else works. I also never thought about deliberately planning a day to make a bunch of freezer meals so you can just pull them out later. I went through a bunch of freezer meal sites looking for ideas and recipes. This was an awesome idea!! It really worked out well! I know we saved a bunch of money on groceries by doing this. The initial bill was slightly higher but we skipped a whole trip to the store! I drive an hour to get to Whole Foods so this is a huge deal.

The first thing I did was decide which recipes I wanted to try and wrote them down along with the ingredients needed to do so. I could have used the computer and an app for this but any easily distracted person knows it's best to just go old fashioned on this part. :-) (I crossed them off as I made them so I didn't miss anything.)

After I made my list, I organized the ingredients into a shopping list. I know, more work doing it this way but this is what worked for me. It takes less time in the store when the list is organized.
 This is what I ended up with! Not bad for a first timer! We've used most of it up and most of it has been really good! All of it has at least been edible so nothing was wasted here.

I didn't write down where I got all of the recipes since I added them to my Cozi when I found them. I did put "untested recipe" on the description until we tried it so I knew to either delete it or add my thoughts about the recipe. Remember, my Cozi is only for my favorite recipes.

Freezer recipes we love!
Baked Chicken Nuggets
16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp panko
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.
Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.
Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.
Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 - 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked though.
To freeze - Follow the directions given to completion, baking the chicken nuggets. Allow them to cool and then transfer them to a cookie sheet or large surface covered in wax paper and flash freeze. Once they are mostly frozen (30 minutes to 1 hour), place them gently in a freezer bag and freeze. To serve: Place chicken nuggets on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until warmed through. OR microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

*Cheat by cutting up chicken, putting in a bowl, pouring olive oil over, mix. Take chicken a little bit at a time and mix with breadcrumb mixture then layer on a pan. I don't see any difference when coated with oil especially when it's getting frozen.
Cookie Dough
Make your favorite chocolate chip cookies or other similar cookies. Put them on the cookie sheet like you're going to bake them but put them in the freezer. After they're hard, put them in a baggie (labeled of course) then thaw and cook what you need. This has helped us from eating too many cookies at one time and is great to pull out for unexpected guests.

(I use the Betty Crocker recipe except I use Cottage Cheese instead of Ricotta and I always double the cheese. No, I don't count calories. :-))
*When frozen, just throw it in the oven and assume it's going to take around 2 hours to cook. I usually leave the foil on top for the first hour and put it back on later if I think the top is going to burn.

Frozen Grapes
The kids love these! A great healthy snack that's super easy! Just wash them and freeze them! We haven't had a problem with them sticking together; at least, the kids haven't complained yet.

Terriaki Chicken
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup white sugar (or mix with brown sugar)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 skinless chicken thighs

*Double Sauce
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.

*Since I doubled the sauce, I used 1/2 c. brown sugar and 1/4 c. white sugar. I lined my pan with heavy duty foil then poured most of the thickened sauce over bone-in thighs (skin removed) and some boneless breasts but reserved a little. Cooked, covered with foil for 30 minutes, removed foil, poured remainder of sauce over and bake another 20-30 minutes. Wow
Freezer Meals We Like.
Chicken Broccoli Bake  (Even my broccoli hater husband liked this one!)
16 ounces frozen broccoli florets (or about 3 cups fresh broccoli florets)
3 cups cooked cubed chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup* (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup chicken broth
paprika, optional
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups rice (uncooked measurement), cooked according to package instructions (should make 4 1/5 cups of cooked rice)

1. In covered saucepan, cook broccoli in water just until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. In greased 9 x 13 baking dish, spread broccoli across bottom and sprinkle chicken evenly on top. Generously sprinkle black pepper over chicken.
3. In mixing bowl, combine cream soups, mayonnaise, curry powder, and chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle paprika on top if desired.
4. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Spread cheese on top and bake 5-10 minutes longer, until melted and slightly browned.
5. While casserole is baking, cook rice. Serve the chicken and broccoli mixture over hot rice
*For Freezer: Put rice on bottom of dish and top with chicken/broccoli mixture then freeze. No freezer directions so just add more time for baking.
Cooked Hamburger
ground beef
green pepper
shredded carrots

cook beef with finely chopped/shredded veggies.
Freeze in freezer bags after cooled. Use for spaghetti, chili, sloppy joes, nachos, etc..
Things that worked well but need recipe tweaking
Southwest Chicken
*The salsa for this is great! The sauce on the chicken looks yucky after it's cooked and is just bland. I recommend changing the sauce and I added cheddar cheese on top for personal preference. I think it's a neat idea and I love the way she stores the salsa with the chicken. Just put the salsa in a bag and put it in the bigger bag that holds the chicken.

I have a throw it together style so sometimes it's great and other times it's too much. Here are the things I like to add:
Spike Seasoning (not too much, this is where I usually mess up)
and some other seasoning depending on my mood
*I tried squash in here once and it made it really moist. I had major objections to messing up their meatloaf with squash so if you're going to try to hide it, leave out the seeds. I forgot. :-)

Cooked Chicken and Chicken Broth
This is a great idea and I hope to be able to use it in the freezer. I tried 2X and both times it all got used up before I could get it in the freezer. 
We love to use cooked chicken for chicken salad.I put mine on lettuce and tomato for a great salad. This would be great for many recipes that use cooked chicken.
The broth left from cooking a whole chicken can be frozen. When you're buying MSG free chicken broth (that actually tastes good) this is a huge money saver. I flavor the water with Bragg's Seasoning and salt. It comes out SO good!
Onion and Green Pepper
Chop it and freeze it! This is a great time saver for recipes!

Things I learned!
*Label the bags with a sharpie including date, what it is, and cooking instructions. This allows anyone to pull out the bag and prepare the meal!
*I learned that I still have trouble figuring out what's for supper even when I have a freezer full of meals. That's just sad.
*It takes some of us longer than others to prepare these so ignore others that tell you it's only 4 hours to make them. I did take my time but it took me all day.
*Invest in something that chops veggies. 
*If you hold your breath while cutting onions, your eyes don't water. Breathe through your mouth. You'll know if you forget.
*If you like a meat sauce with stuffed shells or lasagna rolls, go ahead and put it all together instead of just stuffing with cheese and freezing. I used the frozen cooked meat and a jar of sauce and I had to wait for the meat to thaw enough to mix with the sauce before I could pour it over the shells. I also had to shred mozzarella so that was just another step before I could get it into the oven. Since it was frozen, it was going to take a long time to cook anyway so this just added to the time. It would have been a better idea to just make it up ahead of time. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Plants: To Kill or Not To Kill

Green thumb? Apparently not. :-) I'm going to keep trying until I find plants that are truly hard to kill. If I didn't kill it, you should be okay. Do you have any plants for me to try?

These two plants are the same thing. One is definitely dead, the other is still hanging on. Poor Areca Palm Trees!  To be fair, I left them alone with the hubby for a month so it's not all my fault. I'm going to try again with these.

 Indoor Lemon Tree. It's not totally dead yet. I never did get around to finishing potting it.

 Snake Plant: AKA Mother-in-Law's Tongue
Can't kill this one!! I'm getting more of this!

 Ferns: Well, they didn't survive my absence too well and I didn't do such a great job keeping them alive. They shed leaves like crazy. I think this one was a bad idea. The plant in the middle? That's the fake one. :-)

 I had Ficus Trees in my bedroom but they had flies so got kicked outside. They've really been thriving out here. If you think it looks bad in this pic, you should have seen it a couple of weeks ago. I might get more of these if I can find some that can be guaranteed pest free.

This is supposed to be my herb garden with tomato plants. I need to add drainage, I think most of the plants drowned. The herbs are hard to kill. I think Thyme and Oregano are still hanging on with the tall Basil. See the lizard?

Decorating For Fall

For the first time in my life, I have actually decorated for fall!! You have to understand, I totally stink at decorating so this is a big deal for me. :-)

Here's my fireplace. I know the picture stinks, sorry! I hit Michaels and bought one of their baskets with stuff in it (middle pile of stuff) and put it on it's side. There are 3 strands of maple leaf garland stretched out and some cheap decorations at each end. Maybe I'll add some lights or something.

Dollar Tree vases and bowl. Dollar Tree little pumpkins mixed in with the oranges (real). Flowers from Whole Foods ($5 each!). Placemats were from a clearance sale somewhere last year. It's not fancy but it's decoration! The placemats do a great job hiding the surface of the table. I can't wait to get that project done.
Battery powered lights that look like sticks from Target combined with fake plant from Michaels.

You can't forget the smell! An orange (there was a rotting one in the bag), cinnamon, and cloves. Just add water and simmer! This smells SO GOOD!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Insulin/Blood Pressure Tips

As explained by Dr. Rosedale, insulin stores magnesium, which relaxes your
muscles, but if your insulin receptors are blunted and your cells grow
resistant to insulin, you can't store magnesium. It simply passes out of
your body through urination. If your magnesium level is too low, your blood
vessels will constrict, which will raise your blood pressure and decrease
your energy level. I actually wrote my first medical review paper on this in

Insulin also affects your blood pressure by causing your body to retain
sodium. Sodium retention causes fluid retention. Fluid retention in turn
causes high blood pressure. Another dietary mechanism responsible for
driving up your blood pressure is directly and specifically related to your
fructose consumption.

Fructose breaks down into a variety of waste products, one of which is uric
acid. Uric acid drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting the nitric oxide
in your blood vessels. Nitric oxide helps your vessels maintain their
elasticity, so nitric oxide suppression leads to increases in blood
pressure. In fact, 17 out of 17 studies demonstrate that elevated uric acid
levels lead to hypertension.  (my note: low Potassium does the same thing...)

According to the latest research in this area, the safest range of uric acid
is between 3 and 5.5 milligrams per deciliter, and there appears to be a
steady relationship between uric acid levels and blood pressure and
cardiovascular risk, even down to the range of 3 to 4 mg/dl. The ideal uric
acid level appears to be around 4 mg/dl for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women.
How to Take Control of Your Blood Pressure

If your hypertension is the direct result of an out-of-control blood sugar
level, then normalizing your blood sugar levels will also bring your blood
pressure readings into the healthy range. (Core helps correct this) To
accomplish that, the first thing you need to do is remove all grains and
sugars, from your diet until both your weight and your blood pressure have

Following the TLS Program to the letter can help you take control of your
diet in an incremental manner. Following this plan will automatically help
normalize your insulin levels. Not only will it help normalize your blood
pressure but it will also radically reduce your risk of the two most common
causes of death, heart disease and cancer, and also other major epidemics
such as obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's.
* For Info on TLS send an e-mail to brandi_prkns@yahoo.com.

Additional Dietary Considerations

Besides dramatically reducing or eliminating sugars, including grains,
normalizing your omega 6:3 ratio is an important dietary factor if you're
hypertensive. Consuming omega-3 fats, such as that our Heart Health Omega
III, is one of the best ways to re-sensitize your insulin receptors along
with Core if you suffer from insulin resistance.  Avoid the Omega-6 fats are
found in corn, soy, canola, and sunflower oil. If you're consuming a lot of
these oils, you'll want to avoid or limit them. Use Olive Oil, Extra VirginUnrefined Coconut Oil (Organic) or Grapeseed oil.

If you're struggling with high blood pressure, you'd also be wise to limit
your coffee consumption. The connection between caffeine and high blood
pressure is not well understood, but there is ample evidence to indicate
that if you have hypertension, coffee and other caffeinated drinks and foods
can ex acerbate your condition. If you want to eliminate caffeine from your
diet, try to do it gradually over a period of days or even weeks in order to
avoid withdrawal symptoms like headaches.

Another common substance that also elevates uric acid levels -and hence your
blood pressure, is beer. The yeast and everything that's used to make beer
result in a powerful uric acid trigger, so decreasing or eliminating beer
consumption is also something to consider when you're trying to normalize
your blood pressure.

Exercise - Ideally Outdoors!

Another vital strategy to take control of your health is exercise. A
regular, effective exercise program consisting of aerobics or Zumba, Body
Sculpting Fitness exercises,core building and strength training, can go a
long way toward reducing your insulin levels and your blood pressure. The
newest evidence strongly suggests that 20-minute sessions of high intensity
exercises are FAR superior to lengthy cardio or aerobics sessions, and
provide you with more benefits in a fraction of the time.

Nearly every program should incorporate anaerobic sprint or burst-type
exercises one to three times a week,as these have been shown to be even more
effective than aerobic exercises at reducing your risk of dying from a heart
attack. And, if you're insulin resistant, you'll definitely want to include
weight training in your program. When you work individual muscle groups, you
increase blood flow to those muscles, and good blood flow helps increase
your insulin sensitivity because you have more muscle for SUGAR to be sent
to by insulin.  This will also stop fat storage and is key to any kind of
workout routine.

The vast majority of people can normalize their blood pressure by
implementing these strategies, along with normalizing your vitamin D levels
(ideally via appropriate sun exposure unless you have a gene variant where
you don't make Vitamin D), and reducing your stress. (TLS ACTS)

Yes, there's overwhelming evidence that vitamin D is essential for your
heart and cardiovascular system, so it's not surprising that it would have a
beneficial impact on blood pressure. In fact, research shows the farther you
live from the equator, the higher your risk of developing high blood
pressure ,and blood pressure is typically higher in winter months than
during the summer.   A study published lastyear also concluded that the
 disproportionately higher rate of hypertension among African Americans 
compared to Caucasians appears to be due to higher
incidence of vitamin D deficiency.

There are a number of mechanisms that can explain the connection between
vitamin D and blood pressure:

Lack of sunlight reduces your vitamin D stores and increases parathyroid
hormone production, which increases blood pressure.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to insulin resistance (IR) and Syndrome
X (also known as Metabolic Syndrome), a group of health problems that can
include elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, obesity, and high
blood pressure.

Vitamin D is a negative inhibitor of your body's renin-angiotensin system
(RAS), which regulates blood pressure. If you're vitamin D deficient, it can
cause inappropriate activation of your RAS, which may lead to hypertension.

Exposure to UV rays is thought to cause the release of endorphins, chemicals
in your brain that produce feelings of euphoria and relief from pain.
Endorphins naturally relieve stress, and stress management is an important
factor in resolving hypertension.  Did you know dancing in your kitchen can
release huge amounts of endorphins? If you have to think or handle
stress...crank up the tunes and dance a little while.

According to research presented at the annual American College of Cardiology
meeting in New Orleans last year, vitamin D deficiency is associated with
stiff arteries, which can drive up your blood pressure.

Isotonix Vitamin D3 w/K2 also increases your body's natural
anti-inflammatory cytokines and suppresses vascular calcification.  K2 will
drive the calcium from your blood into your bones. Very important for
healthy bone structure.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are severely deficient in vitaminD
regardless of race or nationality. In the United States, the late winter
average vitamin D is only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a very
serious deficiency state. Overall, it's estimated that 85 percent of the
American public are deficient, and as much as 95 percent of U.S. senior
citizens, so getting regular exercise outdoors in full sun could be like
hitting two birds with one stone...

Stress, including unresolved emotional issues, can also contribute to
hypertension in some people. Prayer, meditation, avoiding negative people or
focusing on Positive Truth in your life are all useful techniques to keep
your stress levels under control. Daily sun exposure and exercise are also
often ignored but effective, all natural mood-boosters and stress-relievers.

Supplements and Other Alternatives

Although there are supplements that can be helpful, such as the ones I've
listed here, it's important to understand that they should never be
considered as an alternative to the primary recommendations above, which
treat the real cause of the problem. Using the supplements below without
incorporating the lifestyle recommendations discussed above is an allopathic
approach not very different from using drugs. In most instances, it is not
nearly as effective.

Calcium and magnesium. : Calcium Plus is the most bioavailable form of
Calcium in a blend of 5 different calciums:
The Magnesium is in proper ratio which makes it doubly beneficial.

Vitamins C and E. Studies indicate that these vitamins can be helpful in
lowering blood pressure. If you're eating for your nutritional type, you
should be getting the right amount of both these nutrients through your diet
alone. If you decide you need a supplement, make sure to take a natural (not
synthetic) form of vitamin E. You can tell what you're buying by carefully
reading the label. Natural vitamin E is always listed as the 'd-' form
(d-alpha-tocopherol, d-beta-tocopherol, etc.) Synthetic vitamin E is listed
as 'dl-' forms. You also want to limit your dose to no more than 100 units a
day and make sure you take one that has tocotrienols in it.
*Send me an e-mail if you need me to find out her recommendations on anything I haven't linked to. brandi_prkns@yahoo.com.

Olive leaf extract. In one 2008 study, supplementing with 1,000 mg of olive
leaf extract daily over eight weeks caused a significant dip in both blood
pressure and LDL ('bad') cholesterol in people with borderline hypertension.
If you want to incorporate olive leaves as a natural adjunct to a
nutritionally sound diet, you should look for fresh leaf liquid extracts for
maximum synergistic potency. You can also prepare your own olive leaf tea by
placing a large teaspoon of dried olive leaves in a tea ball or herb sack.
Place it in about two quarts of boiling water and let it steep for three to
10 minutes. The tea should be a medium amber color when done.

Breastfeeding. Studies have shown that babies who are breastfed for more
than 12 months have a dramatically reduced risk of developing hypertension.
Researchers believe long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (the same found
in fatty fish) in breast milk provide a protective effect for newborns.

Quick tricks. Increasing nitric oxide in your blood can open constricted
blood vessels and lower your blood pressure. Methods for increasing the
compound include taking a warm bath, breathing in and out through one
nostril (close off the other nostril and your mouth

Like obesity, high blood pressure is an epidemic. And, like obesity, your
best treatment is to evaluate your lifestyle and make the necessary
adjustments as with the TLS program.  A natural approach to preventing
disease and healing yourself when illness strikes is always the better
choice. In the case of high blood pressure, lifestyle changes -with
particular emphasis on normalizing your insulin levels -can put you on the
road to a drug-free, all natural return to optimal health.

What About Blood Pressure Medications?

The strategies discussed here should help to resolve high blood pressure
issues for the vast majority of people, however, it's VITAL that you do go
on a medication to lower your blood pressure if your blood pressure is very
high! Yes, this is one of the few instances where drugs are necessary, as
without it you are putting yourself at serious risk of a stroke, and the
brain damage that occurs during a stroke tends to be permanent and typically
or frequently irreversible.

On the converse side, if you are currently taking high blood pressure
medication you want to make sure you never go off of them without careful
monitoring. Doing so will put you at high risk for a condition called
rebound hypertension that could cause your blood pressure to skyrocket and
cause a stroke. The vast majority of people taking medications for their
blood pressure can safely come off of the medications as long as they are
carefully supervised by someone familiar with the process.

Once the cause of your problem has been addressed using the lifestyle
changes above, then you will be able to slowly wean off your medication.

However, do NOT take antidepressant drugs to treat hypertension!

The Transitions Lifestyle Program  (TLS) is a powerful resource to help you
not only normalize your blood pressure, but also take control of your

Atha "Terry" White, ND, MH, CPT
Balance Your Plate - Balance Your Weight

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Looking for a way out of your current financial situation?

The majority of people over the age of 65 make less than $25,000 per year. The average longevity for them is another 18 years. Most of that income comes from Social Security. Do you think SS is going to be there for you? Is this what you want for your future? Food for thought.
Do you ever recommend a movie or a restaurant to a friend? That's network marketing. What a big word for such a simple concept. Do you get paid when they go to the movie or restaurant that you recommended? Wouldn't you like to get paid for doing something SO easy, something that is just natural to you? That's what I do. I'm a stay at home mom. I homeschool my children. I move around a lot. The odds are against me being successful in a business and yet I am. Why? Because the business I chose (I have to laugh because I didn't really have a choice. I'll tell you about it in a minute.) was the only one out there that the average person can do and be successful. Is it right for everyone? Of course not, negative people can go elsewhere.
Here's my story:
My mom had a business. She started making money with the business and decided I needed to join her and make my own money. She stopped selling products to me at cost and made me pay retail so I partnered with her. My husband started working long, stressful hours at his job. We never saw him and he wasn't the man I married. Anyone that has been there knows what I mean. I didn't see an end in sight. If I didn't do something, nothing was going to change. I took another look at the business I had (I was only interested in getting things at cost to start with.) and I was totally awed by what I saw! Brilliant is the only word to describe it. No MLM crap in sight! My husband was in that thing that starts with an A but isn't Amazon. I knew I didn't want any part of something like that. 
Fast forward, my mom is making over $4500 a month and I'm following in her footsteps. I know the business works because I've seen it work. The only people I've seen not be successful are the ones that didn't show up in the first place. I'm sorry but the truth is that you're not going to be successful in any business unless you're willing to get the training and education you need to run your business. The training and education is there but so many people are expecting some free ride to wealth and are unwilling to actually work to make it happen. If you're looking for something that will make you rich quick without any effort on your part then I wish you luck. Do you want to try something that is low risk that could change your life in as little as 2 years? Okay, some people do make 6 figures in less than a year but these are exceptional people that do things most of us are unwilling or unable to do. Many people take longer because they don't treat their business like a business. If you treat it like a hobby then it's going to pay you like a hobby. 
Do you qualify to work with me? Here are some characteristics I'm looking for:
*Coachable! If you won't listen then I can't teach you!
*Must be willing to go to trainings! (I don't mean cheerleader meetings. Yuck! One of those things I hated about that other company! I mean real trainings to get the knowledge you need.)
*Must have a refusal to quit. I have no use for quitters. Make a commitment and stay the course.
*Must be basically friendly. I don't care to work with someone that's mean. Just a personal thing. I can refer you to someone else if everything else is good.
*Must be a positive person. 

Is this you? Do you want to check it out? I'd love to show you and work with you! I will match your efforts! Whatever you put into your business, I will put into your business! I won't do it for you. I don't believe in handouts but I'm always ready to give a helping hand! There is no pressure from me to partner with me EVER! Did I mention there were a few things I hated about that other company? 
I will give you all of the information I can until you have what you need to make an educated decision. This may not be right for you, you may not be right for this business. You may know someone that needs something like this. It's never a waste of time to find out what's out there. My business is kind of like a university with different majors. This means that people with different interests and abilities can work for themselves without the risks associated with starting up a traditional business. I specialize in nutrition. I work with doctors to help them create ancillary income while creating a more proactive practice. That's my passion! That's my major! Yours can be the same as mine or totally different! The freedom to chose is only one awesome aspect of this business! 
Send me a note at brandiperkins@gmail.com and we'll chat.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Star Wars Room

Well, I got Kayla's Star Wars room finished finally! I haven't been able to get her to completely clean it yet but that's coming soon (with some loving help from mom). If you're like I was, you're searching for the perfect ideas for your child's room and how to create the different things yourself. I'll do my best to help make it easy for you. If you have any questions, please ask!

She didn't want all of her walls to be blue so we left this one alone and pulled the blue color in by stapling fabric over a cork board. I used the one sold at JoAnn's and Michaels that doesn't have any sides. Super easy to make! Cut fabric big enough to wrap around to the back (make sure it's in the right direction so that it doesn't end up upside down when you hang it on the wall). Then all you have to do is staple it and hang it! You can add ribbons and buttons but she didn't want them.

 The shelves are just the ones from ikea. She's been collecting the comics and needed somewhere to put them.

The canvases were made using this tutorial. I did the stars differently than she did. We put glow in the dark paint on the canvas first, then we temporarily glued stars on the canvas, spray painted it black, took the stars off. I didn't take pictures because I didn't think it would work but it was super easy and worked great! I suppose you could always just finish up with glow in the dark paint splatters for the same effect. (I used Elmer's spray glue that will do a temporary or permanent bond. The stars were the multi-colored foil type ones you can buy anywhere.)

We made the cornices using this tutorial. I'm planning on putting fabric on the middle of these using starch unless she changes her mind. (I doubt it. sigh.) If you're like us and have never cut crown molding, you may find this video helpful. We nailed the cornice but glued the molding to the board. Nailing was a pain and caused a lot of problems. The glue holds just as well. You'll just have to do things in steps so the glue has time to dry. We just used wood glue but there may be something out there that will work better.

We used the cheap Walmart frames for the poster. We had an old one that was scratched up so we took the clear plasic from that one and sandwiched the poster in between the two pieces of plastic (it's been straightened out since these were taken). I just glued hangers to the back (wood glue works here, too).
For the scarf (had to girly it up some) I just used some wooden tiebacks from the curtain section. You can use pretty much anything that can screw into the wall and stick out enough to drape something over it.
I know it's a crappy picture but the light switch is just mod podged fabric over the plate. You can just glue it. You can use paper or fabric to cover the light switch cover. It's super easy to do! After you cut your fabric (big enough to go around to the back), glue it, then just cut a small hole in the middle where the switch goes and tuck the edges under.

Here are the other two cornices along with the Star Wars cookie jars Walmart had at Christmas. The paint is just blue paint that matches the blue fabric. I just brushed a coat on in straight lines. It sure beat doing three coats of paint and it looks really cool!

And, of course, no Star Wars room is complete without the Wampa rug! If you cringe when you see how much these suckers are, you can make it yourself using my tutorial.

I have a few more ideas that I might add later (after she gets that room cleaned!). I'm thinking about shelves to hold some of the Star Wars Lego creations as well as something involving an air plant thingy. Be sure to return for the update! If you need more ideas, I've pinned a bunch of stuff to my "Kids Decor Ideas" board.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Trashbag for car

I didn't care for the denim trash bag I made so when I came across a pin for another bag I decided to give it a try. The denim one was too big and I didn't like the way it looked. I'll try another one eventually.
I think this bag turned out really well; imagine what it would look like if I could sew a straight line! Here's the link for the tutorial I based mine on (she takes better pictures :-)). I didn't have the cloth stuff she had so I made do with the cheap stuff. I also didn't want to spend more money for fabric when I wasn't sure if it would turn out. So, here are the things I did different:
1. Since I used cheaper fabric, I put batting in between the fabrics.
2. I have DVD players on the headrests so I didn't want the added bulkiness of tying so the strap is just one long piece.
3. I wanted both colors on the strap so I just sewed an extra strip in it. (I should have sewn the straps on with the other side showing, oops.)
4. I cheated and used one piece of fabric for each color instead of two. Worked fine and one less seam to mess up.

I'm not going to repeat everything since she did such a great job on her tutorial. I'm just showing the modifications that I made.

Here is the batting stuff I used. 11X22 worked well if you use the same sizes as the tutorial.

That gusset thing she did worked out great! If you're wondering why there's no bottom seam it's because I used one piece of fabric instead of sewing two together. I was able to use fat quarters for the blue and green. Luckily, they were both cut bigger than the measurements on the package said.

This is what the strap looks like before you baste it (sew it). Make sure it's straight when you sew it, use the sewing machine as a guide. I had a lot of excess length so that's why there's so much hanging off the top. It doesn't show when the bag is sewn so I just left it. I figured out the length I wanted and just drew a chalk line on the fabric.

This is what the bag looked like before sewing the right sides together. When the outside bag is inside out inside of the inside bag which is right side out (right sides facing each other), just pin the batting to the two seams so it can get sewn on as well.(Did you get all of that? :-))

To make the extra strip on the strap, just cut a piece of the fabric the same length as your strap, adding at least 1/2 inch to the width for sewing room. Just sew the edges together with right sides facing (both sides) then turn the tube right side out. I use a chopstick to help.

I know I'm going to have to wash these (which is why she used the other fabric) but I can always put a plastic bag inside for those times when the kids are going to have yucky stuff to throw away. These were pretty easy to make but I had already done most of my mistakes on the denim bag (see blog post). I hope this helps you make your own! FYI-if you don't want your kids to chose the fabric, better not let them know what you're doing. That's how I ended up with the space theme for the back of my car. :-)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Keurig Apple Cider Cups - Potpourri

Quick idea! Instead of throwing out the Keurig Apple Cider kcups, use them for potpourri! The house smells so good when the kids get one of these that I decided to see how it would do on the stove.

Just take off the tops and shake the pulp into a pan.

Add water and simmer. (I know, it doesn't look the greatest.)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

I know, totally not healthy. I decided to be a good wifey and send some treats in to hubby's work since they were working long hours on projects.
These were the first batch I made. They didn't rise at all. The kids tried to make some rolls with the dough. Bricks. I used "Clone of a Cinnabon" on allrecipes.com for these. Many people have made those successfully but it didn't work for me. Maybe because I wasn't using a bread machine. IDK.

I moved on to "Cinnamon Rolls II" and loved the dough! I didn't change a thing! Since the directions were for bread machines on this one as well, I had to use guesswork in the assembly process. Super easy!
I'm giving directions here to make life easy on you but the ingredients came from allrecipes.com. I used the dough from one recipe, caramel from another, and frosting from a third. :-)

These are the rolls with the caramel and the frosting. I flipped the rolls upside down after they were baked and spread the frosting on them.

This recipe fit in my KitchenAid mixer when doubled. FYI

Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg

Cream Cheese Topping:
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 C Vanilla Ice Cream (or heavy whipping cream)
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/3 C Butter

In 2 cup measuring cup, heat milk. Add water, butter, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for a few minutes. It should foam.
Put mixture in mixing bowl. Add salt and eggs, mix. Add flour, mix for a while. This will let the mixer do the kneading for you.
When finished mixing, put a little bit of flour on the counter and knead for a minute. It should be slightly sticky. Put a few drops of oil in a bowl, put dough in bowl then turn the dough over. This gets the oil on top so the dough doesn't form a hard crust. Cover bowl and let dough rise.

Punch down dough then spread softened butter, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar (I use brown and white). Roll dough so it looks like a long log. Cut slices. Put in lightly buttered pan to rise unless using caramel. Add caramel to the pan before you put the rolls in if using caramel. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes (190 degrees in center roll).

Add topping while warm.

Cream Cheese Topping:
Whip it all together, easy!

Dump ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil for a minute, too long and the caramel will get too hard after it bakes.

*You can flip the rolls upside down after baking to keep the filling from coming out. I didn't have any problems but apparently others have.