Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coco Key: A Review

Looks like this week is the week to catch up on posts that should have been done a long time ago!

A few weeks ago, I decided to take The Son to Coco Key, an indoor water park at the Marriott in Mt. Laurel, NJ. It's a little more than an hour drive from where we live and I had heard it was nice so I thought it would be a fun summer treat for him. Although I think tickets are a bit higher right now, I paid $26 per person for us to go. I packed lunches that we ate in the car because I didn't want to spend money on food AND I knew that there would probably not be any healthy options available. I was definitely right about that. The Son got a big kick out of sitting in the front seat having a "car picnic" though, so it all worked out great (yes, this was when we were parked, not driving!)

Here's a shot of some of the slides, etc. You can see The Son in the lower right hand corner of the second one.

Coming down one of the slides...

Check out that six-pack on Momma's little surfer!

Not too sure about this one...

Oh yeah, that's a lovely shot of me...not! Well, at least my arms look kind of thin! ha ha!

So, you can see from the pictures that The Son had a good time. I however, had a few complaints. It wasn't terrible but I highly doubt I'd go back again. First of all, a big complaint that I had was even though I searched and searched the website for height restrictions, I was unable to find them. There are also pictures on the website of parents and children going down slides together and the children don't look much bigger than The Son. This made me think that there were in fact, no height restrictions but unfortunately, I was very wrong. There were three BIG slides that guests could go down, two where you ride on tubes and those were both for guests over 48" tall. Well, The Son is no where near 48" tall so he was unable to go down. I didn't make a big deal about how disappointed I was but the slides were really fun and he would have LOVED it! (Yes, I went down, he went down the body slide at the same time and we ended up in the pool together.) Honestly, I think the only reason he was too small was because the inner tubes were too big for him, had they invested in some smaller "kid-size" tubes, more people could go down. I say that because there were plenty of other activities that ended up in the same depth of water AND the water was fairly shallow anyway so it most likely wasn't because of that. So, needless to say, I felt a bit ripped off because The Son, whose ticket cost the same as mine, was only able to go down 1 out of the 3 big slides.

I also didn't feel that the park was extremely clean and it wasn't warm enough. They advertise that it's 84 degrees but it sure didn't feel like that and remember, I spend hours in the pool teaching swimming lessons so I know a warm pool when I feel it!

Lastly, the only food options they had in the park area were fast food choices and a bar with cocktails for the grown-ups. That might have made things a bit more fun, but since I had to drive an home... I didn't imbibe. ;) Like I mentioned, I was aware of this and packed accordingly, please note however, that you are not allowed to bring food and drinks into the park. Hence, our "car picnic."

I received an e-mail survey a few days after I attended the park and I filled it out with the above comments. A few days later I received a 15% off coupon to use should I want to return... ummmmm, no thanks, 15% off won't even cover my gas to get there again. A free overnight room at the Marriott, sure, we'll be back, 15% off, no thanks.

So to sum it all up, it was OK. The Son had fun and would definitely go back again but I probably wouldn't give him the choice. ha ha! I also learned that you can't just trust a website for accurate information and should call with any really important questions.

There's lots of other Coco Key Resorts so go ahead to their website if you're interested in finding out if there's one near you. I do hear they often have promotional codes you can find on-line. There weren't any when I looked but you may be luckier.

Enjoy your Tuesday everyone... I'm still at the Y being creative with art!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Strawberry (and Rhubarb) Fields Forever

Good day everyone! This post is long over due. I'm finally getting around to posting our pictures from the strawberry picking we did well over a month ago. Strawberries are by far, my favorite fruit but unfortunately, here in Pennsylvania, we have a very short strawberry season. Nothing beats the taste of fresh picked berries. These did not disappoint.

There's one of the tractors to take people out to the fields, we got a plain old hay wagon with our tractor but it was still fun...

See... my handsome guys

and me...

heading out to the fields...

Picking and posing in the fields...

A boy and his rhubarb...

Look at those sweet little beauties! YUMMY!

OK, that was fun but tiring...

Look what we got!

Thanks for coming strawberry picking with us. The Husband and I enjoyed these berries for days. The Son, goofy kid, won't even try them. More for me, I say!

I'm working at the Y a lot this week doing a "Creative Arts" camp. Should be lots of fun. I have some cool projects planned for my little campers. Have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

General Mills Responds.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I wrote to General Mills to tell them that I would no longer be purchasing their foods if they say they contain 0 grams of trans fat on the nutrition label and then list partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients. I must admit, it wasn't an extremely well-crafted letter, the on-line form they give you to write to them is literally about a one inch by three inch block and it's difficult to see what you're writing. I proofread as much as I could but probably could have been a bit more eloquent in my complaint. Anyway, here is their response to me:

Dear Mrs. CityMomma/CountryMomma:
Thank you for contacting General Mills regarding partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, or trans fats.
General Mills supports the new FDA rule providing consumers with more information about trans fats – partially hydrogenated vegetable oils – in their diet. We comply fully with this new rule that went into effect January 1, 2006. Any product requiring such information is appropriately labeled.
We will also continue to pursue new technologies and alternative oils as part of our on-going efforts to improve our products.
Hydrogenated vegetable oils have been popular substitutes for saturated fats, which had previously been known to raise blood cholesterol levels. Only in recent years have studies emerged showing that the potential health effects of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils may be similar to saturated fats.
General Mills is proud to offer a broad portfolio of food products to meet widely varying consumer preferences, and we are constantly looking at new technologies and alternatives to improve our products. New information about trans fats adds to that challenge, but it is an issue we are pursuing.
We appreciate your comments regarding this important issue, and will share them with the appropriate personnel. Thank you for your interest in our products.
Gwyn Walters
Consumer Services

Basically, all I see is blah, blah, blah but it's not like I was expecting much more. I KNOW that General Mills complies with the FDA regulations on labeling, I said that in my letter but I also said that the FDA regulations are misleading and therefore, so is General Mills, either they didn't understand what I was writing about or they didn't care, probably a little of both.

So anyway, not very exciting but good to note, I won't be purchasing any products containing trans fats any more, whether it's "legally" identified on the label or not. I'm off to write to Edy's ice cream now too.

So there General Mills, no more Raisin Nut Bran for me and no more $4.65 or so every week from me to you.

I'd also like to thank everyone who was interested and left comments on yesterday's post.

Jen, The Son won't eat the PB that has to be mixed, although I'll give it another try, I don't want him eating soybean oil either so thanks for that tip!

Nom, I don't think we have the grind your own PB in our grocery store, I've seen it before, but not around here, I'll keep my eyes open, perhaps he'd like that a little better.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Trans Fat Trap or When Zero isn't really Zero!

Healthy Living with

This may seem a little boring but, this is an important post for those of us trying to live healthy, you may not even realize what you don't know! I sure didn't...

I haven't done an official Healthy Living post recently so I decided to do one this weekend. It's official... I passed my on-line certification and I am now an official "Nutrition Assistant" this will allow me to work as a consultant for weight loss groups such as the ones that my "weight loss lady" Ms. Phyllis runs. There is a new career in my future and I think I'm really going to like it... more details to come...

I lost another 2.5 pounds this week. I am SO close to 60 total, 59.8! I don't like to round up because I want it to be true weight loss that I'm discussing, so next week I'm hoping to join the 60 pound club... I should say "start" the 60 pound club because no one in my group has hit that number yet, a couple are right behind me and will be joining me soon! Yay us! I am also participating in Ang's summer weight loss challenge to lose 15 pounds and I am definitely going to go well beyond that challenge goal. I don't know if I'll actually win the challenge but I do feel proud about my accomplishment either way. My trainer worked up a new weight program for me. I did chest and biceps yesterday and my arms are killing me! In a good way of course. Today will be triceps and back... can't wait!

So this week, I'd like to discuss a topic that really concerns me. TRANS FAT! If you haven't heard about trans fat, it's pretty safe to say that you're living under the proverbial rock. That being said, hearing about it and understanding/knowing about it are two entirely different things. I've done a little bit of research on the web, you can check it out for yourself if you want to, most of the information I'm giving you is from the American Heart Association and the FDA.

Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils." Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages. Companies like using trans fats in their foods because they’re easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers. Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Trans fats can be found in many foods – but especially in fried foods like French fries and doughnuts, and baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and shortenings. We can find out if trans fats are in our foods by reading the ingredients label. Notice, I didn't say by looking at the nutrition facts label, that's the part that freaks me out! The Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers of food to state that there are 0 grams of trans fat per serving as long as there is less than .49 grams. Many food manufacturers have made serving sizes smaller so the label can say 0 grams but they still contain trans fat.

The American Heart Association recommends 2 grams or less of trans fat per day. If you are eating foods that you think contain no trans fat but they actually contain .49 grams, you are reaching that 2 grams (and probably much more) very quickly. I have been duped for months now by General Mills' Raisin Nut Bran which I love but will no longer eat and by Edy's Slow Churned Frozen Yogurt that also has partially hydrodgenated soybean oil listed near the top of its ingredients list. It's upsetting, in fact, The Son's favorite Skippy peanut butter has partially hydrogenated fats listed as well. We've switched to the Skippy Natural which is a bit more expensive but all natural with no trans fat.

I'm telling you this because I was shocked when I learned it. We think that reading the nutrition label will give us accurate information and it does, per serving size, but I believe we need to know the real truth so that we can let manufacturers know that we will no longer consume products containing ANY trans fat. I wrote to General Mills last week about the Raisin Nut Bran and I'll share their reply with you tomorrow. Let's just say, I was unimpressed but not surprised with the answer they gave me. So, read the products' ingredients list and if they list any partially hydrogenated oils... and they will... put them back! I'm finding that by shopping in the store's organic/natural section, it's pretty easy to avoid the trans fats all together.

I hope I didn't bore you with my scientific post too much. Have a great weekend everyone! We're off to the gym and the pool.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fifteen Years ago today...

is the day that I became Mrs. The Husband's last name. ;) If you want to read about how we met, click here for the post that I wrote last year. Today, to celebrate my 15 years of wedded bliss, (most of the time) I'm going to tell you all some of the reasons that I love The Husband. These are in no particular order...

1. He's Smart!
The Husband is a smart guy. He's well-educated and well-rounded and just generally an interesting person to talk to. He pretty much always wins at Trivial Pursuit. The times that I've managed to beat him, I walk around feeling like a genius for days! He knows a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff and I am definitely attracted to his brains, smart guys rock!

2. He's Kind!
Sometimes, this can be a downfall because The Husband is definitely what you would call a Really. Nice. Guy. He's the kind of guy that will give you the shirt off his back but the downfall is that sometimes he's SO nice that he forgets to worry about himself too. I love him for that though because his sweetness and earnestness just make you know that he's genuine and really cares about people.

3. He's Cute!
Duh. Of course I would think that, I'm his wife, but The Husband IS a really cute guy. Kind of like that sweet cuddly teddy bear that you've always loved.

4. He Likes Stuff I Like.
The Husband is especially great as a husband because although he LOVES "guy" stuff like the Red Sox, the movie "Hoosiers" and Rugby, he also likes things that I like. We met doing musical theatre and still like to attend shows and performances on a regular basis. He watches show like "So You Think you Can Dance" with me and even goes shopping with me. If he's pretending to like those things, that's fine, he does a really good job of pretending and does it with me anyway, that's all I ask for.

5. He's a Hard Worker and Takes Care of Us.
I don't like it that The Husband works as much as he does but I know it's not his fault and he's working hard so that I am able to (pretty much) stay home and raise our child. It's also really, really important to me that The Husband is the kind of guy who helps around the house and cooks on occassion. I hear from friends of mine that their husbands do NOTHING to take care of household duties or child care at all and I simply cannot imagine. The Husband is great about putting The Son to bed at night, cooking a few times a week be it breakfast or dinner and generally being a helpful guy. I know that if I ask him to do something to help me out, he'll do it with out too much complaining. He's just very considerate that way, it's one of the little things that make me realize how much he loves me.

6. He's Supportive.
The Husband is just over all, a very supportive guy. He's been very supportive of my weight loss but never made me feel as if I needed to lose weight, if that makes any sense. When people ask him how he feels about it, he tells them he's proud of me but that he was proud of me and loved me just the same before. I know he means it because he's always been that way. If I want to do something, he'll help support me so that we can find a way for me to do it.

and the most important thing of all...

7. He is a Wonderful Daddy!
I could not ask for a better man to be the father of my child. (and canine children too) He is patient and loving, creative and affectionate and The Son loves him more than anything. It warms my heart when I see my two guys together hanging out, watching "Man Cave" on HGTV playing silly kid games, drawing together, etc. The love between them is obvious and I know that The Son is a very lucky little boy to have a Daddy who loves him so unconditionally.

So on this day Sweet Husband, I want to wish you a Happy Anniversary, I love you very much and look forward to many more happy years with you. Now COME HOME! Your business trip has lasted far too long. Today is the first July 23rd since 1994 that I've woken up with out you!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thank you and an apology...

Yes, CityMomma/CountryMomma's pity party is officially over. I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to the people who commented on yesterday's post. I don't require a lot of comments to make me happy, the few that were left thrilled me to no end AND I especially have to thank Darlene my best non-related comment leaver and my Gorgeous 39 year old cousin Chrissy (who will only be 39 for a few more hours) because she too is an excellent comment leaver. MWP, you rock too!

The Son and I are about to leave for VBS soon, he's excited. I'm heading to the gym, I'm not excited because my hips are hurting and I have a cough so it makes it hard to work out. Still doing it though... it must be done! Later, we're heading to the craft store to pick up my supplies for next week's Creative Arts Camp that I am running. I might be back to blog later, I have some great pictures I've been holding back because I'm lazy and was bumming about no comments. I promised The Son that we would do some art activity later too, it's yucky weather today and we can't go to the pool!

Have a great day everyone, I hope the sun is shining where you are!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I've come to a conclusion...

Working out and going to the pool are more fun than blogging. No one (but my beautiful sister) leaves me comments anyway. Boo hiss. I put up those super cute pictures of The Son and Pocahontas and no one cared.

I lost another measly .6 pounds last week but that still means I've lost 12 this summer so that's pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I will admit that I probably wasn't being quite as careful as I should be the past two weeks so any loss is a good loss. I've buckled down and I've been faithfully tracking my foods this week and increasing the work outs again.

The Son is in Vacation Bible School this week (which is a whole ironic story in and of itself) so I have a little bit of free time in the mornings to hit the gym. We're heading to the pool and I'm working tonight so I'm signing off to head out for the afternoon.

Enjoy your Monday people!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We travel back in time with Pocahontas (at Disney)...

I only say travel back in time since we went in April and it's now July. I realized recently however that I barely posted any of our Disney pictures so I'm going to try to do a Disney post every week or so in order to get them posted. (This is also known as, "I don't know what to blog about today OR I don't want to give a post much thought.)

The Son, needless to say, is not that into the princesses, sure, he thinks they're pretty but loves to tell me, "They're not as beautiful as you are Momma." I fall for it every time. That is, until he met Pocahontas at Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is probably The Son's favorite park and next time I visit Disney, I'll have to allow two days because we were somewhat rushed. We didn't make it over to "Rafiki's Conservation Station" until later in the day. You have to take a train over to a conservation area where they have smaller animals, a petting zoo (which was closed by the time we got there) and most importantly, they have... Pocahontas! Because it was late in the day, it was empty and The Son was able to have a lengthy discussion with her as well as some great photo opportunities. He tried to impress her by telling her that he could do "complex math" and she told him they didn't do math in her village. Huh? So, she wasn't the brightest Native American in the tribe but she was still very sweet. I think The Husband was a tad bit jealous that he didn't get a few special moments with Pocahontas too.

We also got to have a few moments with Rafiki and Jiminy Cricket but they were mere blips on The Son's Character Radar once his Native American Princess came along... notice it's all about the "thumb's up" with him again.

So heading over to Conservation Station worked out really well, he also got a private tour of the smaller amphibians and reptiles from one of the naturalists there. She was very impressed with The Son's knowledge of animals and told us that many adults don't know facts that he knew. I wasn't surprised but I was proud. That's my boy... even if he probably does prefer Pocahontas to Momma now.

Have a great Wednesday! We're off to the Y for work outs, pool time and swim lessons... no big surprises there, huh?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Calling All Runners!

I just registered for my third race. The first was a local 5K, the second was the mini-triathlon I did at our Y and this one is a 5K with an additional 2 mile dog run/walk! It is also affiliated with our Y so it will be very convenient for me. I'm excited and working on increasing my time and hopefully my distance since I'd love to run the 2 mile part as well as the 5K part. If I have to walk that, it will be OK, it's kind of hard to run with Ziggy since he just goes faster and faster and I can't keep up. We'll have to do a little training over the next month to get us both ready.

Race huh? Did someone say Run? Race? Food? Treats? Take me! Take me!

So, here's my problem. I am having trouble getting much past the 3.1 miles I do on the treadmill. Yes, I run on the treadmill instead of outside. I like it for so many reasons but mainly because it's air conditioned and also because I can take The Son to Kids' Corner for child care. It's just easier than scheduling my running around The Husband who works so much. I have a plan for today's run to try and get past that 3.1, I know I can do it and would like to keep working up to running the full 5.1 miles. (and you should know, I'm pretty slow but I finished my first 5K in just under 36 minutes so if I can beat that I'll be thrilled)

For today...
* Warm up stretches. I've been having a lot of hip pain and just looked up stretches to help me out.
* Mile 1- run at easy slightly challenging pace 5.3 to 5.5 on treadmill
* Mile 2- work on speed... 2 minutes 4.0+ pace 2 minutes 6.0+
* Miles 3 and 4 run at fairly easy pace of 5.0 to 5.1

It will be a definite challenge but I really do think I can do it. I have about a month to work up to the full 5.1 miles and I'm pretty sure that on race day, there will be a break between the 5K and the 2 miler so with my training I can do it!

Last but not least, if you are a runner and have any suggestions for good work outs to build both speed and distance, please, post them in my comments. I am definitely a beginner runner so I love to hear advice from those who've been running longer than I have. I also realize there's lots of info out there that I can "google" and I've done that but I'd love even more personal advice so hit me with it if you have it!

Have a great Tuesday, we're off to the Y for some running and pool time and then to karate for The Son it's a beautiful day in sunny PA!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kickin' it at Karaoke!

I know, I know, no one says, "Kickin' it" any more... did they ever? I had to use that title because it was equally as cheesy as karaoke is. I don't care though, we had fun!

My cousin Chrissy and her friend Cherie are visiting from Connecticut. They seem to think that traveling to semi-rural Pennsylvania is "vacation" and since I love when they come visit, I won't burst their bubble... ;)

We headed out to a neighboring town on Saturday night to hang out, have cocktails (cat-tails as The Son says) and sing karaoke. Here we are before heading out, Chrissy is the one in the aqua top... we're just a few months apart in age so I consider her the friend I've known the longest in my entire life. My parents have baby pictures of us in the swing together... so cute.

Here I am, singing like a big dork. I sang, "Chain of Fools," "I'll Always Love You" and "Orange Colored Sky." It was fun.

The three of us got up to sing the karaoke classic, "I Will Survive," we asked some guy that we met to take our picture, he was an interesting character.

We had lots of these...

Which led to lots of these...

Those are NOT our cigarettes, they belong to the guy that took our pictures for us... really... I'm a good girl.

We left the karaoke bar around 1:30 and headed down the street for one more drink. Chrissy was the designated driver and really didn't drink much at all. Just want to add that so you know that even though we had a great time, one of us was a responsible adult and that we would never drink and drive. We got home after 2 AM and Chrissy and I stayed up until 4:30 talking which was fun but I regretted it the next day because boy, was I tired... I guess it's true that I'm getting old!

The rest of the weekend was much more low key but equally as fun. It was great to get a girls night out! We did go to the gym and the pool on Sunday and hung out with more friends and family. Good times... Good times.

Enjoy your Monday everyone, I'm off to the Y for an evening of swim instruction.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Big News from a Shrinking Woman.

Healthy Living with

I've been slacking a bit on the Healthy Living posts, simply because I haven't really had anything new happen other than continuing to lose weight. I didn't have a giant loss this week, I lost .6 pounds but hey, that's a little more than half a pound and it put me at a total of 56.4 so really, I'm fine with that. It was one of those weeks when I kind of knew it wouldn't be a lot... ladies, you know the week I mean.

I have two bits of somewhat big news though...

1. I finally got measured by my trainer, it's been about a year since she took full measurements, even though I've only been working on losing weight for about six months. We went all the way back to my full set of measurements to find out that I have lost TWENTY-THREE inches total! Seven of that in my hips alone! I gained half an inch in my calves which is kind of funny to me but it must be from all my running. She was thrilled and I am thrilled! My body fat percentage has gone down about 10% and while it's still very high, it's getting better. Small changes yield big results continues to be my philosophy!

2. I registered for a class to become a certified dietitian! I will receive the materials at home for a home study program and then will take an on-line test which will enable me to work as a dietitian for weight loss groups. It will not be the same as going to school for four years to be a nutritionist so I won't be able to work in a medical environment but that's fine with me, I'm not one who want to be in the medical field anyway. I think it's going to be great for me to have the knowledge to keep myself on track and hopefully, I'll be able to eventually help others like my weight loss friend, Ms. Phyllis has helped me.

On another note, this weekend should be fun, my cousin Chrissy and her friend Cherie are coming from Connecticut to visit us again. We don't have a lot planned but we'll probably work out tomorrow and then head to the pool. (the theme for my summer is "the pool") We're going out to karaoke tomorrow night, perhaps I'll even take a few pictures. I'm a big karaoke dork! I just love to sing and I'm not too bad at it either, if I do say so myself! I'm looking forward to having some grown-up girl fun, if only for one night.

The Son is at camp right now and I'll be picking him up at noon to go to the... well, you know... POOL! ha ha! He loves it and so do I, everyone's happy.

Enjoy your weekend everyone! Stay healthy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

First dip in the outdoor pool!

We've been spending a lot of time at the Y's outdoor pool these days. It's fun for The Son and relaxing for me. I usually take him there after my workouts and his summer camp. We pack our lunches and snacks and eat lunch together and then he gets a chance to play with lots of different friends, in and out of the water. The water temperature is still a bit cold but when the beautiful sun shines, everyone is happy and warm.

I took a few pictures last week of his first dip in the outdoor pool. It wasn't particularly sunny on this day so I apologize for the slightly grey pictures.


First time down the big slide!

Oh Yeah! It's a little cold!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

So, guess where we're going today? Enjoy your day everyone!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sprucing up a Bathroom Cabinet: Easy and Cheap version

In the City House we had this cabinet hanging in The Son's room over his changing table. It held lotions, diaper cream and little odds and ends.


I knew that I wanted it in our downstairs powder room and The Husband finally got around to hanging it up in there for me. After he hung it however, I didn't really know what I wanted to put in it. I get lots of inspiration from other blogs that I read and I remembered someone's blog where they lined their cabinet or hutch with inexpensive scrapbook paper. I think it might have been The Nester's blog where I initially saw it. Anyway, that's what I decided to do.

I got a few sheets of blue flowered paper and some coordinating blue striped paper. It's interesting to note that I hadn't planned this in advance and I'm pretty sure that those pre-packaged scrapbook "stacks" only contain three of each pattern. I searched and searched through the numerous packs of paper I have and honestly couldn't find four that match, that's how I ended up with two different patterns. Now that it's finished though, I quite like it. So if you're going to do this, plan ahead and buy the actual paper in advance.

I didn't even have to cut the paper, I just hung it up and overlapped it, it fit perfectly. I used a little bit of my tape runner to adhere it to the back, as little as possible since the back is that cardboardy looking stuff since this is just an inexpensive Target cabinet, it might rip when I take off the paper, IF I take off the paper and it would be super easy just to put more paper up so I didn't really worry about that.

I got a couple little beachy themed items from The Christmas Tree Shoppe and then I used samples from prior "gifts with purchases" that coordinated with my bathroom as well as some hotel soaps that looked cute all stacked together. You certainly could use other items that you'll actually utilize but we don't use this powder room for much more than, well, going to the bathroom. I thought the teeny little sample items would look cute and I am very happy with the way they turned out.

Lastly, I know I got this idea from Kimba's blog (and no, I'm not linking directly to the posts, these blogs I'm linking to are interesting and good enough that you'll find something you like, even without the direct post from which I got my inspiration.)

I had the basket, also from The Son's baby room and I simply hot glued the starfish onto the front of the basket, filled it with unwrapped toilet paper and voila! a cute little toilet paper holder for the back of the potty to fill in some of that empty space.

A cute, virtually free project that really spruces up my powder room! I love it! I'm working on lots of free decorating ideas for my home right now because money is tight (for just about everyone I know) and I have some mini projects that I've been putting off for a while. (Butler's Pantry, bookshelves in study, laundry room, etc.) Stay tuned, they might even happen THIS summer! ha ha!

The Son is in camp, I'm heading over to the Y to work out, go to the pool and teach swimming later this afternoon. My tan is coming along nicely and yes, I'm wearing sunscreen... Have a great Wednesday everyone.