Get to know Us Part I: “Mamabot” Dana

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Hi world!

I believe these series of posts about us has been LONG overdue. I’ll start this 3 part series off since I am the one that keeps up with our blog. I mean, it’d be AMAZING if Ittybot was doing the blog posts, right?! I’ll keep this short because I feel like if I wrote too much it’d come off as narcissistic. Although I’ve already reached that point by writing this post. LOL.

In a nutshell, I’m an ambivert that has a knack for being creative. I love photography (duh, I have a photography site) but that’s a distant second to my adorable family. Recently, I’ve been into traveling (never had much of an interest prior to moving to Europe) and started to pick up reading again – I shouldn’t say again since I barely read before, HAHA. I like to keep busy so I don’t slump into my lazy bum mode. Therefore, I always have some sort of project in the works. I don’t claim to know it all, but I’m a perpetual student that has a desire to keep learning.

My goals are the same as most people: to lead a healthy and happy life. A life that you don’t need a vacation from. It’s not about the money, the big house or the fancy items in my possession. Don’t get me wrong, all those things are nice but as long as my friends and family are healthy & happy, my glass is overflowing. I have a crazy family that always keeps things interesting and an amazing group of friends that are my ride or dies. I am proud to gloat that yes, I am in my happy place!

The universe still has a lot planned for us and I am excited to see what we (the Bots) make of it.

Dana-Signature

DIY State Silhouette Art

DIY State Silhouette Art Minneapolis, Minnesota

Every once in a while (usually on a Holland gloomy day), I get SUPER homesick. So I decided I wanted to make a little state silhouette art piece for my new work area. Seeing it helps remind me where we want to ultimately end up and that sitting at my desk chugging along will help us get one step closer.

The project cost me under 10 euros and I still have a lot paint left to make others. I plan to make one for Florida and Holland as well. Basically one for every place we’ve lived. I think it will be cute on a wall at some point.

What you need:

  1. Canvas: I purchased mine from Xenos for 99 cents
  2. Gold Glitter paint: I had my bff send some cheap Martha Stewart Paint with our sweets swap. You can also use gold glitter scrapbooking paper – which is MUCH easier. I just couldn’t find any nearby.
  3. Paint brushes
  4. Red Craft Paper/Red Paint: I happened to have a TON of mini clothesline pins with hearts on them (Amazon.co.uk) from a previous project so I broke off the heart and hot glued it on.

The project itself is as straightforward as it looks. I googled what the silhouette of Minnesota looked like and I started sketching with a pencil. After painting the silhouette, I noticed you could still see my sketch mistakes that the eraser couldn’t get. Don’t fret – white out! After the paint dried, I simply used a hot glue gun to glue the heart to where Minneapolis is. Ok, so it’s a little far left but my hot glue gun dripped and I had to cover up the damage. HAHA.

I loved how simple this was and plan to do many more in the future. Maybe Ittybot’s silhouettes or animal silhouettes for his bedroom. The options are literally endless!

Dana-Signature

Transformation Tuesday: My (UN)success story.

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Almost every woman at some point and time in their lives has been concerned about their body image. I am no different, my friends. During high school, I was desperately trying to gain weight because people thought I was bulimic.

Fast forward 10+ yrs and I’m on the flip side of things and trying to LOSE weight. I can never be satisfied, can I?! We were planning an amazing trip to Dubai and the Maldives. Maldives, being my ultimate bucket list item. So I HAD to get fit for this occasion, right!?

Working out was never my forte and dieting was definitely never in my vocabulary. I knew this would be a challenge of epic proportions. In addition, I had a c-section when I had Ittybot and since the docs sliced the muscle in my abdomen, sculpting those muscles will be extra problematic – if possible at all.

The web has all these amazing success stories about how people lost 50 lbs in a few months. So naturally, I thought I would be one of those amazing success stories too.

HA!! Here’s my UN-success story…

I fall in the “normal” category, meaning I’m not underweight nor am I overweight. I just wanted move that scale down a tad (tad=16 lbs, LOL) and get toned. I worked out 3-4 times a week doing random challenges. I was tracking everything I was doing and I was eating much less.

Where I went wrong was that I didn’t work myself hard enough and I took a lot of “pity breaks” when my friend of the month would visit and I’d extend that break an extra week. Haha. I also wasn’t dieting very well either. I was cutting my portions down but I still was eating unhealthy meals. What can I say? I have a weakness for grease and salt. I was fooling myself with the notion that if I sucked down one green juice a day for 4-5 days out of the week, it would cancel out my unhealthy choices. REALLY?

By the time the trip rolled around I did lose a couple pounds and shaved off an inch or so in my measurements. But I know I could have done much better if I was much more strict in my regiment.

Here’s my before & after:

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Moral of the story, you won’t get results if you don’t go 110%. I know, I know you and I have heard this 50 million times.

Don’t get me wrong, there IS a mini-success story to this. I did drop 2 lbs, gained some muscle, and trimmed down more than an inch in each area. BUT I WANT MOOOOORE! I know you ladies know that feeling, don’t lie.

It is now 2 months after the trip. I put those 2 lbs back on (ok, plus a little more) and I’d like to banish them forever and ever.

I figured if I wrote this down, I’d be held more accountable for my weight-loss journey. I have no shame in sharing my story because I know it’s relatable. A lot of people have been there. But don’t let our un-success story hinder you from your ultimate success story!

I’m considering doing a weekly or more realistically, bi-weekly (ok, maybe monthly) update on Transformation Tuesdays. I’ll list what I did how I’ve been eating etc, etc. What do you guys think?

Since it’s the new year, do any of you have a new year resolution to shed some lbs? It’s probably the most common resolution right after overindulging during the holidays. If you guys feel my pain (and gains, lol), leave me an inspiring comment. OR if you have an amazing SUCCESS story, I’d love to hear that too! We can be each others motivation!

I look forward to removing “UN” from my story!

Dana-Signature

Happy 2015!

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Happy New Year!!! I realize I am a little late on this but I have literally been glued to my AWESOME Christmas present from my Mr. – The Kindle. Mid 2014, I wanted to start reading more but our tablet gave me crazy headaches. The Kindle paperwhite is AWESOME. I love this little guy! If anyone has any book recommendations, shoot them my way! I have a special interest in finance and business books but I’m open to all suggestions.

We rang in yet another year here in the Netherlands. This year will be different the last. We won’t be spending nearly as much time on airplanes or in hotel rooms. We definitely have had a chance to scratch at the wanderlust itch but it has come to a point and time that we slow our roll.

While I have many goals I’d like to meet this year (maybe I’ll share them sometime) our biggest goal this year is to see our family. Whether it be moving back or making it to our annual family vacation this year, I WILL SEE THEIR CRAZY FACES. Being so far from your family definitely makes you miss them so much more. Especially with Ittybot around, I feel like he is missing quality time with this awesome little cousins. PLUS, I really do miss my Chipotle like crazy.

How about you guys? Any awesome resolutions?!

Dana-Signature