Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


I Want to be a Mamavation Mom!

Mamavation is a social experiment that was created for moms as a way to encourage them to lose weight and guide their families towards a healthier lifestyle. It is also an opportunity for two moms (Mamavation Moms) to enter a 7 week healthy living boot camp. The selected moms will receive the following:

~ Nutritional plan created by Dr. Renna, a nutritionist
~ Fitness program created by Tracey Mallett
~ Treadmill from Smooth Fitness
~ Earth Footwear
~ EA Sports Active
~ Tracey Mallett and Tae Bo DVDs

In exchange, the Mamavation Moms have to keep a daily food/exercise journal, appear on MomTV, post on their personal blogs about their weight loss journey, tweet their experiences and upload a weekly vlog. And provide lots of encouragement and support for other moms out there who are moving towards a healthier lifestyle.

Mamavation moms are selected via Twitter. I really want to be a Mamavation Mom. So, please, help me to make this move towards a healthier and, ultimately, a happier lifestyle. To vote for me go to twitter and tweet the following: “Hey @bookieboo! I want @curiouschild to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support!

Thank you,


Hey, I Think My Butt’s Getting Big…

Actually, I don’t think, I know. I saw the proof when I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office yesterday. I also could have done without the loud pronouncement too, Miss Skinny Nurse Who Looks Like a Model, I can read really big numbers!

When I was in the Army, it was easy to keep my weight down ~ running 3 to 5 miles every day and doing PT will do that for you. But after I got out of the Army, well, I got lazy. For one, I was pregnant with baby #4 while trying to take care of one~year~old twins and their incredibly active three~year~old sister. I know, how do you get lazy with that much activity, you do. Trust me. Jump ahead, twelve years and I still haven’t been able to lose that “baby fat” but I was no where near where I am now.

I used to say As long as I keep it below 130 lbs, I’m golden. Then it became Hmmm, my minimum will be 145. Now I’m at oh~my~friggin~gosh~did~the~scale~just…I~mean~really~should~it~spin~that~many~times stage.

I’m thinking I really need to get this weight thing under control. Not just for the obvious reasons. Vanity, anyone? But for health reasons too. Both sides of my family have histories of high blood pressure, sugar diabetes, heart ailments and obesity (why couldn’t I get that genetic predisposition towards skinniness that seems to plague my mother who has never weighed more than 95 lbs soaking wet?)

One thing I know for sure, I need accountability, not just to myself but to someone else. Therefore, I’m hoping that by putting it “out there” I will be more faithful to my program. TwitterMoms and EA Sports Active asked bloggers to share their top ten tips for getting in shape after the holidays. So here are mine:

1. Eliminate fast food from my diet ~ I cook a lot but I also buy a lot of fast food (sometimes I really don’t feel like cooking) but no more. It’ll be baby steps…my kids are going to protest! Um, yeah, this mom’s world, if I can’t eat it, neither can they!

2. Increase my steps ~ I bought a pedometer to keep track of how many steps I take per day. My goal is 70,000 steps per week. We’ll see how that goes…

3. Exercise ~ I have a Wii Active. I think I need to use it in order for it to work. That thing is so much fun, I just need to get my exercise mojo back that’s all.

4. Drink water ~ I have an intense love for Crystal Light but I ran out a while ago and need to buy some more. If you haven’t tried it, please do!

5. Eat more fruits and vegetables ~ I should qualify that with eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. My husband only likes the canned stuff, but I’ll figure out a way to get the fresh stuff in there.

6. Deal with stress ~ I’m a stress eater and my weakness is trailmix. Yeah, I dunno what that’s all about but when I’m feeling the pressure I will down a bag of trailmix in 2 seconds flat.

7. Keep a food diary ~ My thing is that I don’t eat a lot. I just eat the wrong stuff. So maybe if I keep track of what I’m eating, I can find healthy alternatives.

8. Find a support group ~ Even if it’s online, it helps to have someone cheering you on and offering words of encouragement.

9. Eliminate coffee. Cut back on coffee. Continue drinking coffee and give up sodas.

10. Take it one day at a time!

This post is in response to a sweepstakes that is being sponsored by TwitterMoms and EA Sports Active. For more information click the logo. I did not receive any compensation for this post. But winning the EA Sports Active Personal Trainer would be pretty sweet!


Crochet Basics

One of my big projects for this year has been my blankets for Project Linus. I’ve written about the various blankets that I’ve made and I’ve posted many pictures of the blankets in their different stages of completion. So I was pretty excited to find out that people are actually paying attention and enjoying my little rambles (shout out to Melissa and Patty!).

Some of my friends have expressed an interest in making their own blankets for Project Linus. Yay! But, like me, they don’t have a lot of knowledge about how to crochet stitches other than the basic chain stitch. I’ve been using YouTube a lot! The tutorials are easy to follow and it’s almost like having an instructor on hand. And so much easier than trying to read a book (I’ve done that and it’s an exercise in frustration).
I promised I’d put together some of my favorite tutorials. So here they are:
1. How to Crochet – tutorial created by eHow; demonstrates the basic steps for getting started with a chain stitch which is the base for all projects
2. Crochet Popcorn Stitch – shows how to crochet a popcorn stitch; there’s a bit of a lag but if you can get past that, this is pretty easy to follow
3. Ripple Crochet – probably one of the easier tutorials to follow for how to create this stitch
4. Changing to a Different Color – ok, I admit, I like this one because the English accent is just so classy

If you know of some helpful tutorials, please post the link. I’m always looking to learn new stitches

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