This week in the World of Slimming 1/12/17

Before Christmas I was down over 20 lbs! Then the week of our Anniversary happened, and I really didn’t get back to it until Thursday last week… OOPS!

But back I am, even if it is getting off to a slow start…

This last week was still full of holes and bad eating pits that I completely fell into, yet a 2 pound loss is nothing to be sneezed at.

Onwards and downwards as they say in the weight loss world!

Here is our plan for the week:


If you have any questions or would like the recipes please leave a comment below!

Wish me luck,
Until next time,

Laura x

Steampunk Rally

Sorry for the poor quality photos, I took them late in the evening,
using my phone, by the light of a single lamp.

Josh got $50 in Barnes & Noble gift cards for Christmas, and last week we spent that and a little bit more to add to our board game collection.

The first and most definite purchase we picked up was Widow’s Walk, an expansion to one of our favorite games, Betrayal at House on the Hill. A review will be coming soon, and I will link to it here.

Then we took a chance on a game we’d never heard of before, Steampunk Rally.
I am a fan of the steampunk community and the arts and fashions that come out of it, so any steampunk themed game always piques my interest.

The aim of this game is to build a ship/craft/machine that will take you through the course and across the finish line fastest. However, while tackling the track your ship also takes damage, if it takes too much damage it starts to fall apart, and could eventually explode!

img_0056We love games with bits, lot of bits, the more bits the better, and Steampunk Rally does not disappoint!

There are dozens of dice, hundreds of machine parts and 16 inventors to choose from, each with their own unique, and ‘fictionally / historically’ accurate abilities.

Every round is split into four phases:

  1. The Draft – You can choose to either add new parts to your ship or trade them in for resources.
  2. Venting – This is like a reset or cool down of individual parts.
  3. The Race! – You roll all the dice you’ve collected and place them onto your machine to activate the parts and trigger their abilities.
  4. Damage – If at the end of the race phase you are showing a negative number on your damage wheel, then you have to remove the same number of parts from your craft.

As I said before, you want to get across the finish line fastest, but that doesn’t end the game, it just signifies the start of the final round. Everyone gets one more chance to get as far as they can past the finish line, if there is a tie for first place, the winner is the person with the largest machine.

Although there are lots of bits, and at times, lots of moving parts, but it is really easy to get used to the rules and then the game just flows to the end.

I really like this game, and not just because I’ve won 2 out of the 3 times we’ve played. It has a great mixture of game mechanics from deck building, to strategy, to frantic dice rolling that make sure it’s never boring.

So, would I recommend Steampunk Rally? Yes.

Until next time,
Laura x



Josh’s losing machine







J2’s Kitchen

Problem: J2 LOVES our kitchen, he will not stay out, no matter what we tell him.

He also LOVES playing with the toy kitchens at his Grandparent’s and Great Grandparent’s houses.

Solution: Get him one of his own.

Now, there are tons of toy kitchens out there, of all sizes, designs and, more importantly, quality. J2 is a busy boy, he loves to run, jump, crash into things, fall down, bang things together, climb… I think you get the idea. We needed a kitchen that would survive him.

After doing lots of research and reading reviews, I settled on the KidKraft Vintage Kitchen. It’s sturdy, bright, and has lots of moving bits to keep J2 interested.

Josh and I picked it up on the Monday before Christmas and left it in the garage with the intent of assembling it on Christmas Eve.

As you know from recent posts, we are all sick, and we have been for a while. This turned out to be more of a problem on Christmas Eve when I sent Josh to bed at 8 because he had a migraine and was pretty much out of commission.
Two hours later I decided to get started thinking, ‘It won’t take too long, it’ll be like an Ikea bookshelf, easy!’


I started out with this:


And what followed was this:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.




Yes, it took me seven hours. During those seven hours I put J2 back to bed once, fed J3 twice, and did some cleaning to keep myself awake.

I ended up going to bed at 5am, and got up again at 8am to start our Christmas Day celebrations with some cinnamon roll waffles.

J2 LOVED the kitchen, so it was definitely worth it, it’s the first thing he plays with in the mornings, and the thing we have to drag him away from at night.

Until next time,
Laura x

Note to self: In future, take a look at the instructions at least 24 hours before something’s needed!

Christmas Decorations on a Budget

One day, when we have all the money in the world, and it will happen, I will decorate our dream house from top to bottom, family and friends will feel like they’ve accidentally ended up at the North Pole!
Sadly, that day is not here, not even close actually, but that’s not going to stop me from decorating the way I want to.

Here’s a bit of backstory:
In December 2014 my parents and my Nanna came to Texas to visit us for the first time; we were both working, I was pregnant with J2, and neither of us were feeling very Christmas-sy. We had a few ornaments for the tree, and a small village, but, like Mother Hubbard’s cupboards, our apartment was bare. That was when my mother decided to use some of the wrapping paper she had bought to make a paper chain for our little tree.


Admittedly, at the time, I thought it was a waste of paper… sorry Mum.

Jump ahead two years and it’s time to decorate the new apartment. Everyone’s sick, there’s a surprising amount to unpack and, again, I’m not feeling Christmas-sy.

I hastily put up the tree, threw the lights on and then stared at the box of random ornaments. We have knitted ornaments from my Nan Betty, sequined ornaments made by my sister, strings of beads, and one piece of silver tinsel. Then I opened another tin and found the little paper chain, I draped it on the tree and realized that when it’s not surrounded by clutter it actually looks quite charming.

Fortunately my mother bought the biggest rolls of wrapping paper available, so even after using them for two years we still have enough for a few ornaments and probably another two years!

I took the lights off the tree, and disassembled it to make it easier to distribute the lights evenly.

I had a couple of adorable little helpers.

dscn2822 dscn2847 dscn2839 dscn2900

Then, once naptime rolled around, I spent 30 minutes making the paper chain longer so it would cover the tree. It still didn’t look very festive, I needed a few ornaments and a topper, Pinterest to the rescue!

img_9610I remembered that a few years back I found a tutorial to make 3D snowflakes and decided to use that as the topper, I made a basic cone to place over the top of the tree, cut a slit in the top and used some super glue to keep the ‘star’ in place.


This one was very simple, just three strips of paper with the ends glued together to make a ball.

dscn2865-2I concetina’ed a square of paper then folded it in the middle and glued the edges together.

img_9764This one came about through braiding three strips of paper together, it naturally curled around into a spiral, so I just looped it on a piece of string, et voila!

I made two of each and, all in all, it took me little over 2 hours, and would’ve been quicker if the boys had stayed asleep.



The end result, a simple, yet charming little tree.

I had lots of fun thinking of ways to decorate, and next year I should have some more to share!

Until next time,