Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Little WMS Inspiration

Hi, everyone!
Popping in quickly to let you know I've got a little ditty over on the Waltzingmouse Inspiration Blog today...

WMS Funky Flowers and Join Us

Hope you'll stop in for a peek if you get a chance!




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Different Kind of Phone Case

Good morning!
Hope your week is off to a great start...
I know mine is!
Less than 2 weeks and 3/4 of my kiddo's head back to school...
with the 4th part of that equation heading back a week later!
YAY for me! *giggle*
I love them more than chocolate...
they are my reason for breathing but...
I just can't get anything done when they're here all the time!
And they're ready.
They're just as tired of me as I sometimes am of them...
we need our space.

So anyway...
the reason I'm popping in.
I had to have Erin's stitching phone case dies when they were peeked during the recent PTI release...
I had a plan for them and my order landed over the weekend and after a few attempts finally got my first one completed.
Now when I say "first one completed" I'm referring to using them "my" way...
I've actually already stitched 2 leathers and one suede using them the way they were designed...
super easy and my kids love 'em!
But if you haven't caught my posts about what I've been up to the last few months and why I almost disappeared...
really quick...
I'm taking care of me.
I'm 40 pounds lighter...
ok someday's it's more like 35...
did you know that a woman's weight can fluctuate by 10 pounds in just a day?
SO unfair!
But that's another reason why I try not to focus on what the scale says and instead look at how my body has changed and how clothes fit now compared to a year ago...
muscle weighs more than fat but takes up a fraction of the space so that scale...
it really is just a number.

But last month...
I added running to my routine.
Started out just trying to run for 15 minutes without having a heart attack and dying...
I'm now signed up for my first 5K this fall...
and I'm running 5 miles each morning.
In just over 6 weeks I went from a 15 minute stretch to 5+ miles...
my goal is 6 1/2...
planning on running a 10K next spring.
Now...I'm slower than a herd of turtles...
but I'm also just setting my speed on the treadmill and setting off...
I'm planning on starting to run on the track when the kids get back in school and it starts to cool down a bit...
I know I can increase my speed then so I'm just focusing on endurance for right now.
But when I run...
I need tunes to keep me going.
And I've said this many times over the years but in case you've missed it...
I'm country to the core.

Born and bred.

Except for my music.

I'm a metal girl...
and I've discovered that when running...
the louder...
the harder...
the faster the music...
the more I push myself.
And while you may not know who I am referring to...
I really think I need a tee that says "Body by Five Finger Death Punch" because I'm running at least 2 1/2 miles each morning to Ivan and the boys.
So I need an arm band for my phone and I can tell you they're $30 a pop at Dick's or Academy...
and right now I'm sporting a vicious bruise/"burn"  (like a rug or floor burn?) mark on the underside of my arm because of mine...
it HURTS!
Especially when I'm sweating and it just keeps rubbing the same spot every morning.
So when I saw the phone dies I wondered if I could make a more "comfortable" one with them...
one that won't burn...
or scar...
and that's what I've attempted to do.
Haley helped me pick this fabric and I gotta say I think it's kind'a awesome...

PTI Phone Stitching Dies


PTI Phone Stitching Dies

First...I cut a window in the front panel so I could add some clear vinyl...
helps me see my screen when running and I'll know whether I want to interrupt a run for a phone call or let it go over to message.
Then I cut some straps...
one short with a D ring for looping through...
and one long with velcro for attaching to the arm.
I took it for a test run this morning...
literally...*giggle*
and it worked great!
Except I knew I would have some tweaks...
and the first one is I need to give about an extra 1/4" of clear vinyl in the front panel...
once I put on the arm band the fabric has a little "give" to it...
the vinyl didn't so it started to separate at the side seams.  
And I don't know why I thought my arm was that big...
I just barely was able to keep it on because I made it way too big.
And while I like the fabric backed with felt for cushioning and support...
it's not gonna be great for washing...
and I don't know about you but I sweat when I run/workout...
so I think what I want to do is to make a thin "quilted" layer to give support and cushioning while still being pretty easy to throw in the wash.

So what do you think?
Saving $30 a pop and no scars...
plus the fact that this one is actually really comfortable...
I love that... 
I'll be working on my tweaks and then I plan on having an entire wardrobe of these babies!

I'm gonna be back very soon with more goodies so I'll see you then!
Have a great day!









Monday, June 30, 2014

12 Kits of Occasions- June Edition

Good morning!
Can you believe it's already the end of June?!!
We went shopping on Saturday and I've already started with getting the kids back to school goods...
they'll be headed back in just a few weeks...
this summer has went SO fast!
And I haven't gotten even a fraction of what I had planned done...
why aren't there more hours in the day?
I could really use them if anyone knows the secret!

But seeing that it is somehow the last day of June...
still can't believe it...
you know what that brings...
12 Kits!
And this month our fabulous hostess was Marybeth...
and since June is the month of weddings...
can you guess what the theme is? *wink*
Marybeth sent an incredibly gorgeous kit full of all kinds of wedding and anniversary goodies...


and Kara worked her special magic to create an equally gorgeous collage.
Here's what I've come up with so far using this kit...
I don't have a lot of wedding/anniversary goods so I definitely hoarded this kit *wink*...

12 Kits- June 2014



12 Kits- June 2014



12 Kits-June 2014


Make sure to head over to the 12 Kits of Occasions Blog HERE to see what all the others were able to come up with using this gorgeous kit...
I know I can't wait to see what they did!
And please stop and visit our special guest Lindsey from OccasionalCrafting.
You can see all the creations on the 12 Kits board on Pinterest HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by...
and I hope you have a wonderful week!
I'll be back soon!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Waltzingmouse Inspiration

Hello!
Just popping in to let you know I've got a couple of quick and easy projects over on the Waltzingmouse Inspiration Blog...


That's all for now but see you again soon!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How Do I Do It?

Hello, Hello!
See...
I've actually managed to pop in here a couple of times lately...
and if I can ever get all my home projects completed and my house put back together...
you might just catch me around here even more! *wink*

But I'm popping in today not for a card or crafty project...
though I promise I'm gonna be getting my craft on soon...
instead it's to answer a couple of questions I had regarding THIS post and what I've been up to the last few months.

A quick photo recap...
this is me May 2013...


and this is me June 1st 2014...


Yes..
it is true.
I am the most UN-photogenic person in the entire world...
I hate being in front of the camera...
much rather be behind it...
but I first met with my trainer on May 1st of this year and that's when I decided I would start having a monthly pic to document how far I have come since I started strength training and toning...
this was taken last Sunday on our way out the door to church.
And yes...
I dress like this for church...
it's ok.
God doesn't care what you're wearing just as long as you show up. *grin*

OK, so...
one of the biggest questions I was asked was how do I do it?
With 4 kids...
one with special needs...
a hubby...
home...
commitments...
how do I find the time?
As mom's we are busy from the time we put our feet on the floor each morning till the time we close our eyes at night and we're doing everything for everyone but ourselves and it's hard to find a moment to go to the bathroom by ourselves much less an hour for exercise!
And I wish I could tell you I found extra hours in the day...
I really wish I could find a few...
but I didn't.
I MAKE the time for me.
That's right...
I said it.
I not only said it...
I DO it!
I finally said that I'm going to be selfish and I'm taking time for myself.
Luckily all my kids are in school and I have the day to myself to get all the things done I need to for our family...
and for completely different reasons than before...
now laundry may not have been washed...
or folded...
or put away.
The dishes may not have been done every night after dinner...
and there's been a lot of quick meals versus nice, sit down dinners...
and with all of this...
hubby isn't upset...
the kids actually have started pitching in and helping out...
YAY!!
But most importantly it took me saying the hardest word in the English language...
"No."
It wasn't so hard to say it for some things...
a little harder to push myself away from the computer and blogging and even harder to get out of my craft space...
but it downright hurt to say that word to my kids when they asked to do something...
or go somewhere...
all I could do was explain to them how I needed to do this for me now so that I could be the mom they want...
the mom they deserve...
in the future.
And luckily they're old enough to understand...
and they could see how hard I was working and trying...
and they cheered me on.
Believe it or not...
kids understand more than we give them credit for...
and now I'm able to say "Yes" much more often and even better...
I actually have the energy and I FEEL like going and doing what they're asking!
I as I told a friend recently...
this was a family effort...
IS a family effort...
because I'm not done yet and still have some goals to reach...
but I couldn't have gotten this far without my incredible, amazing hubby and kids backing and supporting me through all of this...
every step of the way.

But if you are really adamant that you can't find the time...
if you're really crunched and you want maximum gain from a small amount of time...
research and ask your doctor about HIIT.
All it takes is 20 minutes 3 times a week and you can do it with various exercises:
running...
jumping rope...
cycling...
name it.
But it's a 1/2 set...1 minute is all out balls-to-the-wall-like-the-devil-is-on-your-butt.
You give everything you have to give for that one minute...
then take a 2 minute recovery...
then everything for one minute...
2 minute recovery.
Repeat this for 20 minutes and then a 5 minute cool down...
it revs your metabolism and it's effects are supposed to last for 72 hours.
I do mine at the gym on M-W-F on the treadmill after weights...
I'm only up to about 8mph right now for that one minute...
hoping to hit 10mph eventually...
then I recover anywhere from 2.8-3.5mph for 2 minutes.
I adjust my speed depending on where I am in the set because right about halfway through...
I need that recovery desperately.
But if you really don't have a lot of time and can't make the time...
talk to your doctor about HIIT and whether it's right for you.

Another question was diet...
how did I diet and still feed my family?
Did I have to cook 2-3 different meals a night?
The answer is "No."
When my doctor and I first talked about this and if you've been around here before you may know about my food "quirks"...
like how I think divided plates should be mandatory in all restaurants and are one of the the greatest inventions ever...
right there beside air conditioning...
because see...
my food isn't allowed to ever play together.
EVER.
I've never eaten a casserole in my entire life...
nor Chinese...
Mexican.
Just the thought of food mixing together...
I can't even look.
So I have the eating habits of a 3 year old...
and if my doctor had told me I would have to completely change my diet...
well then he could have just told Patrick to go ahead and order my casket because I would have starved before I could have done that.
Literally.
I would have just stopped eating altogether.
It would have been easier to do that than change the eating habits I've had my whole life.
And in addition to me...
we have Hunter...
who has even more food issues than I do...
though with her you can understand.
So I didn't even have to explain everything before my doctor broke in and told me not to change one thing about my diet...
instead...
it's all about portion control and moderation.
Eat what I want...
but control my portions.
And that's what I've done.
I started exercising on November 15th...
I started dieting January 2nd.
But I also had some misinformation and basically lost the month of January as far as dieting went and the beginning of February saw me starting a food journal.
Everyday everything that passed my lips was written down and calories counted.
And from the beginning of February to now...
I've lost a total of almost 35 pds.
I hit a plateau a couple of weeks back and got discouraged because I actually even gained a couple of pds so I made Patrick hide the scale from me...
I was starting to obsess and that's not who I want to be.
I'm so much more than a number and I can even rationalize that those couple of pds were muscle gain because I have been working out and yes...
there are muscles where there used to be flabby things that continued to move after I had stopped so rationally...
muscle gain.
And muscle weighs more than fat...
realistically if I'm building muscle I can expect small weight gains...
but yet I can also expect to be smaller because muscle is also leaner than fat.
It's all good but I still made him hide the scale from me and I'm not sure where he put it which is ok because I've made a few changes to some goals and have decided to focus on strength training and toning more so than weight loss and over the next month...
my goal is to lose just 1 pound.
That means I only have to burn 3500 more calories than I take in over the course of the next month...
because 3500 calories = 1 pound.
Whether you're losing or gaining...
that's what it takes.
Why am I changing the weight goal?
One...to give myself a bit of rest from counting calories...
it's HARD...
and I'm tired and I just want a little break.
That doesn't mean I'm going wild with food...
I'm still watching everything...
but I don't stress the calories as much right now.
Two...I've decided to set a goal to run a marathon.
Giving myself one year to get in shape and build up my endurance for running...
which running burns a lot of calories so I need to adjust my intake a bit and relaxing the calorie counting lets me do that.
But my point is before I got off track...
I didn't change my diet.
I eat everything I always have...
chicken nuggets, fries, hamburgers, pasta...
but I make them at home...
our fries are just cut potatoes and if I have enough time...
I bake them versus frying but if we're rushing...
into the fryer they go!
Our burgers are slightly modified and I'll be glad to share some new favorite recipes if anyone is interested...
but I've mainly tried to cut out processed food as much as possible and instead make healthier home versions...
but I still eat what I want.
I make allowances if I know we may be eating out...
I either workout extra beforehand or I cut other calories for the day...
sometimes a combination of both and sometimes...
I just chalk it up and start over the next day.
But no special pills or powders or diets...
just eating what I've always eaten...
only in moderation.
Let's face it...
if I didn't want to take a BP pill for the rest of my life and that kick started my weight loss/getting active...
why would I want to take a pill to keep me skinny for the rest of my life?
Or drink a powder?
Or eat "special" foods?
I want to enjoy my food...
enjoy my life...
so learning to eat what I love in a healthier way is for me the best way.

I am by far not a diet or fitness expert...
and definitely not a doctor...
just a regular mom trying to figure all this out for myself but please feel free to ask any questions you might have and I'll happily answer them if I can and then you can discuss with your doctor what may be the best course of action for you.
And I can't stress enough that because I'm not a doctor...
remember before beginning any diet and/or exercise routine you really should check with your doctor.

I'm still on this course myself...
and I'm gonna make adjustments as I go along...
change goals...
add new ones...
but I'm gonna finish this.
And we'll see if I meet any of my goals by the one year mark!

Now I'm off for run...
till next time!




Saturday, May 31, 2014

12 Kits of Occasions...May

Good morning!
Hope your summer's off to a great start!
We've got kids out of school...
little league is almost over...
and we are knee deep in home improvements project!
Currently we're painting and laying some new flooring...
and I'm not complaining about it because my craft space is getting the treatment...
YAY!!
I'm also hoping it gets some much needed organization when it's all put back together because I can't find anything! *giggle*

But today is the last day of the month and you know what that brings...
12 Kits of Occasions!
After an unexpected hiatus last month...
I did manage to get a few cards done with the wonderfully fabulous kit that Joyce sent...
here's another gorgeous pic courtesy of Kara...


As I think you can gather from the pic...
this month is all about the guys...
and here's what I was able to come up with...

DSC_1471


DSC_1473


DSC_1469


DSC_1472


DSC_1468

And like always...
lots of goodies still left to play with!
But make sure to pop over to the 12 Kits blog HERE to see what everyone was able to come up with using this awesome kit...
including our 2 guesties this month...
and Lindsey from Occasional Crafting.

Well, I'm off to get some more painting done before heading to the ball field this afternoon...
and hopefully I'll have my crafty space back in order and I'll see you soon!
Have a great weekend and till next time!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Sweet Father's Day

Just popping in to let you know that I've got a sweet little Father's Day project over on the Waltzingmouse Inspiration Blog...
check it out of you have a chance!

WMS Man of the Hour and Stitched Tags


Hope you have a safe and wonderful Memorial Holiday!
Till next time!

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