About LiveLifeArtfully

I am a full time graphic designer/mom who is working my way towards being a stay-at-home mom. I currently design brochures, and everything else needed of me, at a cookie dough company. I also recently signed on to sell Premier Designs Jewelry. I like to think I am a creative person! I've started out as a 6 yr old painter and developed into an experienced graphic designer. Lots of interesting crafts and artwork all along the way too! I enjoy sharing creative ideas, items and just finding the creativity in every day life. That's what this blog is all about...finding your own creativity and living life artfully!

Christmas Mini Sessions (Monroe & Pineville)

We may have moved out of town, but my loyal clients keep me coming back home! This year I will be doing Christmas mini sessions in Monroe and in Pineville! These sessions will be $100, 30 minutes long and can be scheduled at 30 minute increments from 10-12 and 2-5 in Monroe and from 2-4:30 in Pineville. As always, your disk will include 7-10 edited images and printing permission.

NEW for this year!…I will be including a FREE Christmas card design* with every session! I will have multiple designs and sizes to choose from and they can feature one or multiple photos from your session**. You’ll also receive an ornament gift from me, featuring your best family photo and the year! It will arrive with your disk and ready to go on your tree!

Message me soon to schedule your session, because I am already booking slots! Contact me for available times.

How to Book

Email me: bettsdesign@yahoo.com

Facebook: Betts Design Photography

Blog: Comment on this blog post

*Free Christmas card design is included as a design file on your disk that you can get printed at the place of your choice…we recommend Sir Speedy in Monroe. We are not providing actual Christmas cards…just the finalized design.

**Only photos taken by Betts Design Photography may be used in the Christmas card design.

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Manic Monday: Insanity #9

WEEK 7 (what was supposed to be)

This week was a little bit of a disappointment. Monday started off a little crazy b/c little man and I were driving back home from being out of town all weekend. My hamstring was still hurting, so I didn’t even consider doing the workout.

As soon as we got back in town, I realized, it was madness as people were tapping the gas stations dry and clearing the shelves at Walmart in preparation for Hurricane Isaac. Starting Tuesday, we were working on preparing our house as it was projected to hit us Wednesday night. Tues-Wed were spent preparing for the storm. Thursday was the day we were supposed to see the worst of it, but it ended up changing direction and we hardly saw even the slightest bit of bad weather.

Because of missing so many days of the workout, I decided to sit the rest of the week out and just start back up this next week. Honestly, I will be so glad when this program is ALL DONE with. It usually takes up my usual break time, where I either take a quiet break from everything or do projects around the house I can’t do while little man is awake. I’m sure I’ll find some sort of exercise/program to keep working on toning my muscles, but this extreme routine is not something I’m up for going through again…at least not now.

THREE more weeks to go!!! I can do this!

Manic Monday: Insanity #8

Day 31 (8-20-12)

Today is the start of week 6 for me…the start of the 2nd half of this Insanity workout. I just finished my Fit Test and sadly, I still have another workout to do. Normally the Fit Tests are done on a Monday and it alone counts for your workout…not this round. I still have Max Interval Circuit left to go. :/

After the fit test, I’m pooped! I’m taking a little break between it and the next workout so I can stop breathing like a woman in labor blog my results…compared to the first day of Insanity. So here you go…

Exercise                    Day 1            Day 31

Switch Kicks………………60……………….82

Power Jacks………………35……………….40

Power Knees……………..70………………..82

Power Jumps…………….21………………..20…I wore myself out on the first 3 exercises 😦

Globe Jumps……………..6…………………..9 (each number represents a round of 4…24–>36)

Suicide Jumps…………..14…………………21

Push-Up Jacks………….13…………………23 (see! arms are getting stronger!)

Low Plank Oblique……..37…………………50

Max Interval Circuit…well, that was fun. If you thought the first half was hard, you better put on your big girl/boy underwear for this half. This workout is an hour long and it feels like 2 hrs. I had to take a couple of extra long breaks today. After having that rest week and the Fit Test right before this workout…my body was NOT ready for this. At one point I took a break to go put cold water on my face (I could feel heat radiating from my face and making my chest hot) and wouldn’t you know…my glutes started to cramp. That was interesting. I can honestly say I have never experienced that…EVER!

Based on what I felt today…GOOD LUCK…cause you’re gonna need it (at least I will :P)

DAY 32 (8-21-12)

I could barely even move today and I’m pretty sure an 85 yr old grandmother could have picked up toys off the floor easier than me. Needless to say, I did not do the workout today. I had a legit excuse though…I couldn’t MOVE. :/

Just so you know what you may experience with the first day after the first day of round 2 (did you follow that?)…my glutes HATE me! The back part of my shoulders HATE me! My lower back muscles HATE me. Do you see why bending over and picking up stuff was a nightmare today? I even took Ibuprofin, but think my muscles just laughed at it and said “Seriously? Is that all you got?” I got NO relief. Hoping for a better, more muscle friendly day tomorrow so I can finish another grueling workout. Ha!

Day 33 (8-22-12)

Today I’m out of town at my mom’s, but that hasn’t stopped me from doing my workout before and it didn’t stop me today! It is easier to workout at home, but I managed. Again though, her house seems so much hotter than mine. I had everything set up in her bedroom to keep the noise down while little man napped (sound is multiplied by 10x every where else in her house…or so it seems :P)

I’m convinced these fans are NOT working! I see them spinning, but they are not helping me even in the slightest way.

I was still extremely sore from Monday, but the hubby told me if I just start to workout, my muscles will warm up and I won’t notice the soreness as much. He was right…but, after I stopped working out and I cooled back down, the soreness reared it’s ugly little head again. It really is mainly just my glutes at this point. I seriously had NO idea how often I use those muscles. I’m hoping this is a very good indication that they are getting firmer and SMALLER! 😉

The best part about these workouts, so far, is that they are very different from the first set of month one. Right now, it seems as if the first month was really just prep work for round 2…more of a cardio strengthening series to make your heart stronger and muscles more flexible. And now that that is set, it’s time for the REAL workout. Maybe this is why so many people don’t see weight loss until this second half. We’ll see if my deductions are right the more I get into this part of the program. So far though, I’m getting excited about the firmer muscles! My lower thighs are super tight, my arms are starting to get toned and my upper abs are nearly rock hard (if only the bottom ones would kick in :P).

Excuse the funky ribs…they always show no matter what I do.

I’ll be visiting with family in TX for the rest of this week, but I did make sure I had my videos with me. It should be interesting doing these workouts with so many people in the house. 😛 Maybe I can rally together a cheering squad to keep me pepped up! Haha!

Day 34 (8-23-12)

Between a super long dentist appointment first thing this morning, being in the car for nearly 6 hours as we headed to TX, visiting with family and making Oreo balls for firemen, I did not manage to find time to do my Insanity workout. Since it was recovery day, maybe I can do both workouts tomorrow?! We’ll see how everything plays out!

Day 35 (8-24-12)

This morning I decided to go back and do yesterday’s workout that I wasn’t able to do. I had planned on doing the recovery workout this morning and then the scheduled workout this afternoon. Sadly, those dang plyometrics from the recovery got to me and I slightly strained my right hamstring. 😦 I am really not a fan of that type of workout…especially now. 😛

So, I will not be doing today’s workout for fear of further injuring myself. If you remember from my first attempt at Insanity, I injured myself around day 2, but continued to workout and made the injury even worse. I ended up having to sit out 3 weeks. I do NOT want to have a repeat of that…so I’m sitting out to allow it some time to heal. Needless to say, I’m frustrated again. :/

Day 36 (8-25-12)

Today was my nephew’s birthday party, so we all got up early to get ready and head out to the fire station! Sooo many kids and SOOOO much energy this afternoon, that we were all completely exhausted by the time we left. Little man and my niece were conked out in the backseat not even 5 minutes after we left.

Sadly, during the party, my kiddo had a fit on the floor and when I bent over to pick him up, I yanked on that injured hamstring. 😦 I just about cried. I was literally limping for the rest of the party and my frustration just tripled. I’m hoping come Monday it will feel better and maybe I can start back up again…just being a little more cautious.

Manic Monday: Insanity #7

Day 25 (8-13-12)

Today was Day 1 of the “rest” week…Core Cardio and Balance, but I didn’t do it. This past weekend was just way too stressful and after a very late night trip to the ER for little man last night (hit his head on the coffee table and got a nice gash…thankfully, no stitches), I needed a day to recover.

The damage 😦

This workout is the same one that is set for every day of this week, so I don’t feel like I missed something terribly important.

Day 26 (8-14-12)

Honestly, sitting out for a few days was GREAT! The reason why wasn’t so great, but it just goes to show you, I still do NOT like working out. Haha! I did manage to do today’s workout though! It wasn’t too bad. It’s around 40 min long and there are a lot of exercises that make your muscles fatigued, but you won’t get as worn out this week…what a relief! (Hubby tells me week 6 is a not a walk in the park though, so enjoy this “rest” week while you can.)

For the first time in ages I actually got slight foot cramps towards the beginning of the exercises today. I used to get cramps ALL the times when I was a kid and VERY bad ones at that. These were different though. It may have been due to the quick sideways movements I had to do for some steps, but this time is was the sides of my feet that cramped up (opposite my arches) and I’ve never had that happen. I paused the DVD, rubbed it out, put my shoes back on and got back to it. Didn’t have a problem with it again after that.

Also, towards the end, mainly once the end stretching started, I began to get light headed. Not sure if that’s because I sat out so many days and my body was just readjusting or what, but I sat down for a couple of minutes just to be safe (since I didn’t want to pass out on the floor :P). I don’t think this week is going to be so bad…especially after I get my body reacquainted with the torture I’ve been putting it through for a month. Ha!

Plus, we just had one major stressor lifted off our shoulders, so hopefully my workouts and my attitude will be better for this next round of Insanity blogging! (I think I heard some “YAY”s out there.) 😛

Day 27 (8-15-12)

Today it was extra hot in my house and I’m not sure why. We’ve actually had cooler temps this week, but it was burning up in the living room today. I even turned the main light off and did my workout with just the dome lights on.

It went a little better today! Only 1 foot slightly cramped up, but not enough to stop the workout. The way he lays out these exercises is really a LOT easier on the system than the previous workouts. It’s still a challenge, but hopefully you won’t find yourself dying to lay face down on the floor to catch your breath (like I usually did with the earlier workouts :P).

Ok…I tried to do a search for a funny image of someone on the floor after a workout…you know, to add a little comic relief…and THIS is what I got…

This is a JOKE, RIGHT? Pretty sure none of these people did a workout at all. I don’t even look that nice and pretty BEFORE a workout. 😛 Ok…maybe, the basketball player at the bottom right did SOME sort of exercise, but I’m kinda doubting it.

Anyways, I’m afraid the rest of this week might sound like a broken record, since it is the same workout every day, but I’m hoping each day I’m able to tell you it gets easier and easier. Nothing encourages like knowing something gets EASIER!!!…especially a workout!

Day 28 (8-16-12)

This Core Cardio and Balance workout was even easier today! Too bad you don’t just do this workout the whole program…I’d be able to do it in my sleep after a few more days! 😛 Guess that’s why you only do it for a week. :/

Downfall today was that I didn’t drink enough water before my workout. Result? I now have a killer headache. Did you know dehydration can lead to headaches? I did, and I still didn’t drink what I should have. :/

Be sure to drink PLENTY of water, before and after your workouts.

Here’s a little tidbit for you…

Coming from a Dr. who deals with breast cancer…Drinking water from plastic bottles that have been left in your car or out in the heat appears to be leading to breast cancer. The heat causes the chemicals in the plastic to be released into the water. After personally examining a handful of patients (none of which had breast cancer in the family), the common thread between them was they all drank a large amount of plastic bottled water. 

Not convinced? There are plenty of studies that back it up and still yet, many people who say it’s just not true. Why take the risk? My mom uses glass water bottles! We use a purifier at the house. In the long run it’s probably cheaper than continually buying plastic water bottles anyways. 

Day 29 (8-17-12)

Things are seeming a little ridiculous at our house. Once again I did not do my workout today. When I got little man up this morning, I discovered that he had thrown up in the bed (while this was saddening, it was not surprising…he usually sits quietly in his bed until we come get him…if it wasn’t for a video monitor, we’d think he slept all day :P). He threw up again very shortly after I got him up. I knew he hadn’t been exposed to anything, so I didn’t think it was a virus. He’s been putting his fingers in his mouth a lot lately (pretty sure he has some new teeth coming in in the back), so I’m almost positive he just got a bad germ in his mouth. Unfortunately, to be safe, I couldn’t let him eat anything for a few hours…which meant I couldn’t eat in front of him. How mean would that be? Since I usually workout at nap time, and I hadn’t had any food up till nap time, there was no way I would survive the workout.

Isn’t this pitiful? I had to distract him from not being able to eat by watching Cars. It worked for a while.

I’ve gotta get things back on track, b/c I know this next half of the workout is intense! Not really looking forward to it, but I am looking forward to the results!

Day 30 (8-18-12)

Today was the last official day of my “Recovery Week”. Since I missed Monday and yesterday, I’m tempted to do the workout again tomorrow. It’s supposed to be my rest day, but considering I already sat out 2 days this week, it shouldn’t hurt me. I’m just REALLY nervous about what the next few weeks have in store. I’ve watched the hubby do a couple of the workouts from the 2nd half and I will tell you now, it does NOT look easy.

If you haven’t been eating correctly so far, NOW is the time to make sure you do, b/c I’m pretty sure you’ll be worthless if you don’t. You’re going to need all the energy and nutrients you can get!

Say a prayer for me! I have a feeling I’m going to needs lots! Haha! 

I have a friend that is doing this workout and she is struggling with the fact that she is not losing any weight yet. She’s not far into the program yet, but she’s used to doing a good, hard workout and losing weight pretty quickly. It wasn’t until the end of this week that I started to see the numbers go down on the scale. And if you remember, I actually gained weight during the first part of the program…and so did the hubby. In all honesty though, you couldn’t notice the weight gain! If you read posts online from other Insanity users, SOOO many of them will tell you to NOT look at the scales. You need to go by your measurements!

When I started the program (the 2nd time), I weighed in at 120 lbs. I gained 2 more lbs. during the first few weeks (and I was eating healthier). I now weigh 119 lbs and I actually just started seeing the numbers drop THIS week…week 5. I’ve noticed my arms have firmed up, my thighs are much firmer and are toned in some areas, my calves are larger (praying I don’t have my grandmother’s thighs…she once got her jeans STUCK above her muscular calves b/c they were so big :P), and my abs are beginning to become more defined! Whether the lbs are coming off or not (according to my BMI, I only needed to lose around 7 lbs), my body is in MUCH better shape than it was before! That’s what I was trying to tell my friend. Stick with it! Whether this is a program that will help you drop the pounds or not, it WILL get you into much better shape and QUICKLY! If she can survive this, it will only help her with any other exercise routine she chooses to do! But I have a feeling she’ll lose weight if she sticks to it and eats healthy!

Favorite Things Mini Sessions

It’s about time for me to do another mini session date in Monroe!!! I had been tossing around some ideas of what I wanted to do this time and decided on a “Favorite Things” session!

Does your child have a favorite thing at this point in their life and you want to remember it? My son absolutely LOVES his paci and blankie (more specifically, the tags!)…not so much my hubby. 😛 I know he’s going to outgrow this stage soon, but it’s been a huge part of his life up until now and I don’t want to forget it! He wants his paci and blankie when he’s sleepy, when he’s gotten a bobo, when he’s bored, when he wants to snuggle, when he has to ride in the car a long time, when his little feelings get hurt, etc. I think part of me allows him to still have them b/c it keeps his little. You momma’s probably understand. 😉

So what is your child’s favorite thing right now? Does he/she have a favorite toy, shirt or jersey, food, blankie, pillow, or something else? Let me help you capture this special memory before it passes! The best part is, since it’s their favorite, they should feel extra comfortable at the session!

ADDED BONUS!!!

If all 7 of my time slots get booked, one person will get 50% off their session!…just $25 for special memories!

Here’s how you can contact me to book your session!

Comment on this blog post.

Email me at bettsdesign@yahoo.com

Message me on my Facebook page HERE.

Manic Monday: Insanity #6

Day 19 (8-6-12)

I didn’t feel all that bad coming into today’s workout. However, I am now sitting on the couch, blogging after just the first part of my workout today…Pure Cardio. I still have Cardio Abs to go and I am struggling to keep my eyes open. My body is just focussing on doing something else today, so that first workout just wore me out.

Here’s where it gets worse…Cardio Abs has a warmup session at the start of it too. Oh boy!!! :/ You know…I’ve noticed myself kind of complaining here a bit lately…maybe not so blatantly, but I see I’ve been doing it. I said from the beginning that I wanted to keep this as real as possible. I never liked reading people’s success stories where they only talked about how determined they were, they found the motivation and had amazing results when done. Now, don’t get me wrong, I want that too and I know I’ve even said some of those things myself, but where’s the REAL stuff? Was every day a breeze for them? Did they never miss a day? Have aches or pains? Doubts they were making any progress? Cheat on their “diet”? I admit, I’m a realist. I wanna hear the REAL story. Not just the positive side of it all. I think people can relate better when they see that others have similar struggles and ups/downs. It’s what makes us human after all, isn’t it?

All that to say, I know I’ve been complaining (in my own way), but I’m being real with you. I don’t like working out. I don’t find it rewarding (I may change my mind after I see my “after” pics). And I REALLY hate having to change my eating habits. Oh…and I really don’t like being hot and sweaty. I like taking it easy. I like working hard on creative projects and find it very rewarding when I complete one. I LOVE sweets…especially things I bake from scratch (and that use real butter!). I like staying cool in my air conditioned house.

I guess I’m just trying to make a positive change in my life and we all know that in order for change to occur, we have to do something different. We can’t continue down the same path, doing the same thing and expect different results. And with most change, comes challenges. How we handle those challenges will ultimately determine how much of a change is made. So, while I may bicker about working out, I’m still working out, because that’s the only way I can improve!

Hopefully you can relate! Now…onto Cardio Abs!!!

Day 20 (8-7-12)

EXHAUSTED! I’m pretty sure my body was telling me “DON’T DO IT!!!”, but my head said “DO IT!”. I should have listened to my body. I felt absolutely horrible this morning. I took meds a short time before the workout though (Cardio Power & Resistance today). I’m not sure if it’s the exercising or the extra strength rapid release Tylenol I took, but the pain was gone during the workout. However, my body is completely drained now and I feel completely worthless. I just kept thinking “I do NOT want to have to make up a day or make this program last any longer than it has to.” Bad idea. Oh well, it’s done now. Think I’ll take a snooze on the couch and hopefully recoup a little.

FYI…this is the workout that has a good bit of jumping and push-ups in it. You’d think I’d remember this before I start the workouts, since I’ve been doing this program for over 3 weeks now. Probably would have helped me in my decision making on “to do” or “not to do” today. 😛

Listen to your body!…but make sure it’s your body talking and not you just looking for an excuse to sit it out!

Day 21 (8-8-12)

Today was Plyometric Cardio Circuit. It’s one of the rougher ones for me b/c of all the exercises involving the push-up stance, but I’m still seeing an improvement in my upper body strength. I was instructed to sit today out (by my mother…aka…family nurse), b/c I was having slight dizzy spells earlier while in a sitting position. I had these spells earlier on during this workout program, but they never got any worse and lasted only for a short while. If I was still having them when it was time to start today, I would have sat out, but they had stopped. Sorry, Mom. :/

I didn’t have any pain today like I had the past 2 days and I hadn’t taken any pain meds either. Those experts are starting to change my mind about this workout thing. 😛 Apart from that, nothing major to blog about today. My body is still tired from focussing on another function, but the pain I usually have associated with it was gone…which is not a normal thing for me…this soon.

Ladies, try to continue to do your workouts during that time of the month…even if you just experiment for 1 month. See if you notice any changes. Don’t let it be an excuse for you to sit out.

Day 22 (8-9-12)

If today wasn’t Cardio Recovery I probably would have sat out. I’m just off today and I’m not sure why. I don’t have any pain at all, but I just feel funny. The fact that I didn’t have to get my heart rate up is the only thing that made me feel like I could do today’s workout. It wasn’t bad at all. Hopefully I’ll see my energy pick back up with these last couple of days of week 4…b/c today, this is what I really felt like doing with my yoga mat…

Day 23 (8-10-12)

I just quit my workout with 15 min left to go…plus I still had Cardio Abs to do too. This has just been a rough week for me. You could probably tell just by how short all my posts have been. I’m just not all here this week. Yesterday was a stressful day for me…mainly b/c I was informed I once again made a financial mistake due to incorrect bank info stored online. Joy.

So, I cried my tears, tried to start back with the workout and just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t even b/c of this particular workout…I wasn’t tired, barely even sweat…just wasn’t gonna happen. I’m done for today. Going to take a much needed nap and hopefully I’ll feel better when I wake up. :/

Day 24 (8-11-12)

I think the stress finally got to me. I ended up completely sitting out today’s workout. There was just absolutely no way it was going to happen…too many stress symptoms. This is one of those times where I know my body is screaming at me to just STOP and take a break. I ignored it a few times before, but there was no ignoring it today. Next week is the rest/recovery week. It’s not as intense as the workouts have been, up to this point, but it will still keep your system in check and used to a regular routine. The hubby is already in the 2nd half of this workout and it looks to be so much more intense. I’m honestly not looking forward to week 6, but I’ll stick it out…luckily I have week 5 to do first! 😉

Fun Friday: Back to “School”

Kids are now starting back to school…I always dreaded it, but I’m sure my mom secretly looked forward to it. I understand it now! Not that I don’t want my little man in the house with me. I LOVE spending time with him, but a break every now and then would be nice. He’s literally with me 24 hours a day.

I’m always looking for little activities to do with him that will keep in learning mode. He’s a smart fella and loves to learn, so I like to keep educational things at his disposal and within his reach. So when I came across some fun (and cheap) educational tools at the Dollar Tree, I couldn’t pass them up. Little man has a pretty large playroom (we turned a sunroom into his playroom at our new house), so I was able to dedicate a whole side of it to his “learning area”!

I got these teacher charts that feature the alphabet and numbers 1-10. They came in a pack together so they were just $.50 each! The numbers border came with 14 strips for $1 (I only needed 3 for the windows) and I cut up a cars/trucks border to place on either side to fill up the window.

He has a box full of books…that even overflowed to the top of the box! He also has a big 3 shelf bookshelf in his bedroom…full of mainly Usborne books (we highly recommend them!). Of course, we couldn’t forget his reading pillow! I have a CD player placed behind it and he already knows how to use it and find his favorite songs. 😉

In the blue bucket (also from Dollar Tree), I put learning flash cards for the alphabet, numbers, animals and sight words…each $1. I also got him a 3 pack of cards that has 2 Bible oriented card games and a heroes of the Bible deck! The foam blocks are great for counting and sorting!

On another wall, I put 2 more posters…one for animals and the other for insects. Since his playroom is the old sunroom and looks out into the backyard, he sees insects all the time out his giant windows. Now he can see them up close on his posters and learn a little more about them!

He absolutely loves his little learning area and I can hear him saying his bugs, animals, alphabet and numbers even when he plays in there by himself! Some days he doesn’t even pull his toys out to play, but has books scattered everywhere and will even “read” out loud!

I caught him like this the other day…going over his letters and pictures associated with each one!

Total cost of charts, borders, card, blocks, bucket? $12…2 sets of poster, 2 borders, 4 decks of cards, 1 3-pack of cards, 2 bags of blocks, 1 bucket. (I also got a vowels/sight words chart combo and a chores/rewards chart combo for later down the road.)

While he’s still a couple of years away from going to school, I like to keep him surrounded with learning materials…and it’s easy to when you can find good deals like these!