An easy and fun last minute Christmas craft for kids!

I’ve been blogging over on LIFamilies and had to share this adorable project Natie did for his teachers. It’s so simple and very quick to do if you want to include this as a last minute personal touch to any gift you have.

I hope everyone is keeping busy…I have lots to update you on, but for now – Happy Holidays! Blog

As much as I do in advance this time of year, I always seem to be scrambling around last minute for something. This year it was personal touches on gifts.

It’s my son’s first year of “real school”…he’s in Kindergarten. That’s not to say preschool isn’t real school, but his preschool was also his daycare & they went off a different calendar year. So now that he’s in kindergarten I lose that extra time to prep for teacher’s gifts…a weekend too!

Like most Mom’s, I’m logging into Pinterest for ideas. I came across this easy and fun craft to add to his teacher’s gift. I always like to include something personal from my son in addition to their gifts. To me it just makes it special, not to mention he loves it too!

We did this project in two days. My husband & I worked as a team to “build”…

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Catching up…where has time gone?

Things have been crazy since my last post!  Sometimes I don’t know what’s more hectic…the summer with things planned every weekend or the fall with MORE things planned every weekend!  My birthday & Natie’s along with several family members are in the fall, add fun fall activities and we’re always booked solid!  Once November comes I try my hardest to give us some time to just “be” before booking again for the holidays.

Well, let’s see…Oh!  BIG thing…little man Natie started Kindergarten this year!  He’s adjusting great but has mentioned how much more work they do compared to preschool.  The amount of homework they get is…well….a LOT!  Kindergarten has changed from when I was in it many, many moons ago!  I think I played dress up & ate paste all day.  I even remember naps.  No more, which is fine being Natie stopped taking them a couple of years ago anyway.  Here are some pictures of his first day. (swoon)

1st day of k

Walking to the bus stop…  this picture speaks volumes…

1st day of k1

Soon after the first day of school soccer season started!  Natie has never played so I wasn’t sure if he’d like it but boy he does!  He does fantastic at it too.  As much as he loves t-ball, soccer is definitely his favorite.  The constant moving is what helps keeps his focus.



For my birthday – apple picking…pumpkin picking…CHECK…CHECK!


Darn Saturday’s where Daddy has to work…


We’ve also been busy with Halloween!  It was never a favorite holiday of mine until I had Natie.  I was always obsessed with fall & harvest things, but when Natie came along & fell in love with dressing up & decorating….I did too!

Here’s a fun Pinterest project for Halloween – Tomato Cage Ghosts ~ A very simple project that is adorable to boot!

Pinterest Halloween

Can’t forget out favorite fall activity – Boo at the Zoo – Bronx Zoo that is!


It was so much fun.  Very strange having random people taking pictures of you throughout the entire day.  Following us around.  Screaming – “There’s the witch!”  Little girls love witches!  HA…I had one following me around the café and store.  It was cute though!  Lots of people giving us thumbs up and the staff was so happy saying we were the best dressed family there.  One lady even came up to use while eating and asked to take our picture…while eating… Natie said “that was awkward!”


For Halloween Rich & I dressed the same while taking Natie out for Trick or Treating, but the little man changed things up & went as a Marine.  He was a big hit as always.  Saluting the homes that gave him candy.  The men who were vets were so proud.  It was a great night!

Epps on Halloween

…oh and another big night for us was Natie’s 5th birthday!  We ended up taking him to Medieval Times and he had a blast!  (and yes, he dressed up too!)

Natie Medieval Times

All in all it’s been a blast…despite me getting some 24 hour stomach bug, and Natie & I having these head & chest colds that we can’t seem to shake.

The diet & exercise part of my life has been on hiatus.  I’ve been mindful – even with the darn Halloween candy in the house, but there’s been no real game plan.  I have yet to juggle life and staying on track.  My weight has remained the same – up & down a couple lbs. here & there, which is great in my book.  I’d rather stay on top of it & maintain then say – “Oh my…WTF happened?!”…because let’s face it – we all know what happens!

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Thursday, WI update…

Hey all – I hope everyone has had a great week.  I sure did!  We had a great holiday weekend upstate…got some more “things” done in the house upstate & managed to get out & have fun too.

I ended up eating out a lot – more than my normal weekends…  Our absolute favorite place Grazin is a must when we head up – at least once…sometimes twice we stop there!  We ended up ordering Chinese one night as a “I really don’t feel like cooking a meal tonight” and then one night out to a great BBQ place to celebrate a family friend’s birthday.  Oh and you can’t forget pie & ice cream celebration for the birthday too.

Meh…One weekend isn’t going to kill the journey…and it didn’t.  I gained 1.2 lbs., which is probably going to come off this week with plenty of water.  No worries here!

c25k is going great – up to week 2, day 1.  LOVING being back out there.  I realize I have a long way to go from where I once was, but I have no problem starting over.  My ankle is feeling great, my spirits are up…it’s a good thing!  I think as my “reward” when I finish the c25k program is to get new running shoes.  If you remember the caterpillar incident…(gag)…in my awesome holey shoes…well I’m still wearing them for runs.  They’re fabulous and are the perfect fit for me but are beaten up beyond belief, so I think a new pair would be a great reward to keep moving!

I did manage to skip the fair junk food and just focus on quality time with my wonderful niece & nephew & of course my booo Natie!  The ferris wheel is his absolute favorite ride…this one went fast!

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Thursday WI…how did we do?

Just a quick blurb from me on our Thursday WI results, but a look into my PIC Kim at GettingFabuless working the c25k program.  I missed being out there with her yesterday for our lunchtime workout because I was at Natie’s Kindergarten Meet & Greet with his new teacher & classroom.  It was such a great time finding his seat & cubby, meeting new friends & checking out the cool stations in the classroom.  I think it’s going to be a great year!

…and thanks to the PTA I bawled my eyes out with this poem…thankfully they included a package of tissues… sniff sniff…

I Wonder...

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This is the last time…

I seem to be saying that a lot this week! Not with regards to my weight loss journey, but my dear sweet little Natie entering Kindergarten next week. KINDERGARTEN!!! Wasn’t it just the other day he was that little tiny baby in my arms in the hospital?

NatieBoy, time really does fly!  Does anyone have a pause button?

It’s funny though, we do find ourselves this week saying – oh this is the last Monday in preschool, oh this is the last Sprinkler day at preschool, oh this is the last time you’ll be riding to work with Mommy….you get the point…  


As per usual I’ve been away from posting.  Life just gets me going to when I have a moment it’s an unplugged moment!  In this time we’ve enjoyed a great family vacation – one we haven’t had in…well, ever!  We spent lots of time exploring, in the pool, going on a boat ride, riding amusement park rides, riding go-karts, playing mini golf just tons & tons of activity!  My eating was in check too.  I didn’t track, but was aware of my eating and believe it or not at times didn’t feel like eating!  (Say what?!)

Pool time 20140807_174727 20140806_165517 Natie McQueen


We’ve also been doing a lot of work in the family home upstate, which has been more therapeutic than emotionally upsetting.  I think it’s time for change, so little by little, room by room we’re making those changes.  

Let’s see…what else has been going on…  oh, signed up for a 5k in October!  It’s been a long time since I was running so I started back with C25K.  I love the program and got great results last time, this time will be no different!  The ankle has been holding up.  A little wobbly and pain while running, but I’m doing it without a brace & am hoping it is strengthening with each run.

Also more news this week…  my PIC Kim over at GettingFabuless and I are not doing WW.  It sucks, because we were on such a groove with it, but the past few meetings have been the pits.  Like painful to sit through.  The leader that was once awesome was getting on both of our nerves.  I think the last meeting we went to I must have sighed a dozen or more times.  I just couldn’t sit through it anymore.  The only other meetings I can go to is at the butt crack of dawn at an express meeting, which is great timing, but again another leader I just don’t connect with.  It’s so important to have the right leader & we’re on such limited times that we can go.  We’re both working Moms…working Moms that refuse to take our children to the meetings.  So it really was the best decision for the both of us to cancel our subscription & join back up with MFP.  My WI day is going back to Thursday – where I prefer it anyway.  We’ll WI & report back to each other with a snapshot of our WI and of course on here.  Hoping to see that MFP widget on the right show some big numbers!  

Here’s our latest video…hopefully we’ll have another tomorrow after our WI’s!  



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Weight Watchers Weekly Wednesday Weigh In – on Friday! Week #11

I think it’s my mission each week to see how many “W” words I can cram into the title…

Again…it’s not Wednesday, but since I WI on Wednesday’’s still my Wednesday WI! I’m so bad with being consistent with posting. Something I need to work on. Happy Friday though! 🙂

So this week I stepped on the scale & it showed a 1 lb. gain. My total loss is 11.8 lbs for 11 wks. I’m more than happy with that too. First gain in the 11 wks I WI…and it was a deserving one.

One thing that aggravated me a little with my leader is she kept trying to over analyze my week. It’s plain & simple – I ate too much & didn’t track. I almost think she wasn’t happy that I was “fine” with my gain. I seriously felt the same this week as I did last week with my 2.4 loss. Is it strange to say I actually felt better? I felt as though the scale actually reflected my week for once.

So this week my goals are the same as always – 10k steps/day & track! I’ve already missed my 10k step goal on Wednesday & Thursday. This new office is killing me with that. I need to figure a way around it. I really do feel better with seeing & meeting that number every night.

So here’s to losing that 1 lb and more if I can. We have a vacation planned soon – an actual vacation not just going upstate so I need to get in my groove since eating out will be a must for 4 days straight. I’m also going to be missing a WI and meeting that week so I need to stay focused – probably get some support & motivation from the great groups on instagram on my down time at night. If you’re on a weight loss journey of your own and don’t have an instagram account – get on there. I’m finding it to be key in keeping me focused. Look me up at @fitnhealthyinprogress Crazy long name, but someone already had my name. 😦 :p

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Sometimes I feel like Sybil…

Remember that movie with Sally Field from the 70’s…she has DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder…previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder…  yeah.  I swear, I feel like that sometimes.


For example…yesterday I was all ready to just throw in the towel.  The night before I ate way too much pizza – an ENTIRE 12″ pizza…by myself…despite my almost 15k steps and great planning all throughout the day at the zoo.  The morning just started off all wrong.  I was done.  It was a struggle to walk at lunch.  I was in a pissy mood.  I felt like a failure & just wanted to give up.  

Today – complete opposite.  Looked forward to my lunch time walk…I think I even had a smile on my face that said “Yeah, I got this, this is for ME!!!”  Even after I fell flat on my face after twisting THE ankle on the grass…got up, still smiling!  I’m rocking my foods today, tracking, being mindful.  DOING.THE.PLAN.

This back & forth seems to be a daily occurrence.  Sometimes back & forth several times a day.  Maybe I should see someone?  :p

Oh yeah, I do…my Weight Watcher leader – Lori!  Oddly enough, our WW leader posted a simple picture in her Facebook group…this picture:


This picture really hits home with me.  I may even use this wording on a picture of myself & keep it with me – to remind me there’s no going back!

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