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Motivation Monday

Welcome to week 3 of Motivation Monday!

I didn’t get around to picking a Pinspired workout last week, but I really like that idea, so I’m not shelving it yet. I just didn’t have much time to spare last week. I won’t really this week, either, but I’m going to throw something extra in anyway.

On with the report.

Monday – Lilly had swimming lessons last week (and this week), so we headed there after I finished up last week’s Motivation post. I’m having a difficult time remembering exactly what I did that day lol. I know I ran my 3 miles, but I cannot seem to remember at what time of the day.. Hmm.. At any rate, I got it done.

Tuesday – Jake got home a little earlier than normal, so he did me a HUGE favor, and took Lilly to the park so I could run without distraction. I took the opportunity to get a 5 mile day out of the way.

Wednesday – After swimming, my step-mom treated us to lunch, and took Lilly to Build-A-Bear, and home with her to have a sleepover. I took it as a sign, and got my second 5 mile day taken care of (plus, hopefully burned off that Chik-Fil-A lol).

Thursday – I ran 1.5 in the morning before I met Lilly at the pool. I was supposed to have a pool day with friends, but it was raining/lightning(ing?) all day, so we cancelled. I felt bad about splitting up a shorter run, so I ran another 2.5 in the evening (total 4 for the day).

Friday – I was supposed to have a pool day (again) but when we got to the car to go to swim lessons, I found we had been vandalized, and our back window had been shattered out. I spent the day vacuuming glass out of the car and street with the shop-vac instead. Fun. It was such a bummer day, and I was pretty sore by Friday, so I took a rest day.

Saturday – I ran 2 miles in the morning while Lilly was playing with neighbors and Jake was cleaning out the garage. I had plans for a little while in the afternoon, and ran another 2 miles later in the day. I don’t know why I split it up that day, but I ended up with an extra mile (4 for the day).

Sunday – I had more than completed my promised mileage, so I took another rest day.

Total Mileage for the week – 21 (Yay me!)

 

I just did a weigh in and am at 124 lbs. Woo.. Kind of.

This week’s plan:

This week I am going to add one more 5 mile day for a total of 3, with two 3 mile days. One of the 5 mile days I am going to walk (quickly) on a steep incline. I’m also going to add 3 ab days. I have an “ab-roller” that I actually really like, so I’ll just use that.  I’m going to add some kind of stretch routine in there somewhere too. Maybe yoga or something. My quads have been killing me after the longer runs.

What is your workout plan for the week?

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It’s Friday! Hey-O!

Oh, Friday… ::sigh::

I love Fridays. I’m not really sure why considering I stay home with the girls, and the weekends are not necessarily any different than the rest of the week (ha!), but I do. It must be left over attachment from school days? I don’t know.

This week has been.. Meh. Just one of those weeks, I guess. I spent the week in kind of a crochet slump. I’ve got ideas, but follow-through? Not this week.

BUT — I didn’t come here to whine and complain.

Actually, I wanted to show you all what I DID get accomplished this week.

An order for this sock monkey hat:

Sock Monkey

A blue sock monkey order

And this pullover for Lilly:

This pullover is not only my first completed clothing item, but also my first “Granny Square” pattern. Can you believe that I’ve been avidly crocheting for nearly TWO YEARS and have never done a granny square until now?! I’ll definitely be making more granny squares, AND more of these pullovers. In the future, I’ll probably stick to solid colors with accents instead of the self patterning yarn.

I found this pattern on this fantastic blog:

http://pardonmychaos-amanda.blogspot.com/2011/08/granny-square-top-tutorial.html

I actually did not follow the pattern this time, just used the idea. I had to find the granny square instructions, as they are not included, but that was no biggie. I just headed right over to Teresa Richardson (The Crochet Geek) and found a video. To save you time, however, here it is:

http://www.crochetgeek.com/2009/01/crochet-traditional-granny-square.html

Watch the video. I honestly did not find the written instructions to be completely accurate (it doesn’t seem to include the corner instructions in every row), but the video is fantastic, and the chart is spot on and easy to follow.

I just made it as big as I thought it needed to be (11 rounds – the pattern says 9 rounds, but my girl is bigger than hers), and followed her design (kind of) for the sleeves and neck.

It was super easy! A great beginner project and first clothing item. I’ll be scouring her blog for more patterns in the very near future!

Other than that, I didn’t get a ton done around here. I managed to get most of the chairs sanded, so they’re almost ready to paint.  Hopefully, I’ll get that post up soon. I’m ready to get those FINISHED and off of my queue of unfinished projects. I’ve been feeling that end of summer panic — you know, the “OHMYGOSHITSALMOSTTHEENDOFSUMMER!” feeling that drives you to pack your days and weeks full of all of the summer activities you intended to do at the beginning of summer, but haven’t actually done yet? Yeah, that one.

So, weather permitting, we’ll be at the pool later. Maybe the Denver Zoo next week, and then my oldest goes to camp for two weeks. Once she gets back, it will be a mad dash to get everything ready for the school year. BOTH girls are starting new schools — Kacie – HIGH SCHOOL ::shudder:: and Lilly – Preschool. I can’t believe it!

Happy Friday and have a fantastic weekend! What are your plans?

 


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How-To Tuesday – Color Inspiration: Choosing Colors for your projects

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso

I think Mr. Bob Ross may disagree on the “one can never learn how to paint” (happy little trees..ha!), but what a beautiful quote. Some colors do just sing, don’t they? Lovely. I feel the same way about some yarns.. Anyway, on with the post.

When I started this blog (about a month ago! Time sure flies!), I reached out to fellow crafters and asked what they would like to read about. One crocheter asked how to choose colors for projects. Now, I don’t particularly consider myself an “expert” in anything really, but I happen to get quite a lot of compliments on my color choices. I’ve been struggling a little with how to describe my process for you. I think, because honestly, it’s mostly just intuition. My best projects are those I don’t have any problems picking colors for. Sometimes, I decide the color scheme before I even decide the project, like the yarn is asking to be used. I’ve even not started projects in the past because when I started thinking about what colors to choose it would give me anxiety, and who wants that?! This is supposed to be fun, and stress relieving, not inducing!

Tip: When I’m having a hard time envisioning how my colors are going to come together in a pattern, I actually grab my colored pencils and sketch it out. This has led to color scheme changes more times than I can count!

crochet hooks

Sometimes I just like to look at these pretties

So. Here goes. Some *hopefully* useful methods to assist in choosing color schemes.
  • Get Online – We all want to create things that everyone considers beautiful. I’m not saying go copy whatever is popular in cyberspace. I’m saying, one of the best ways to find out what color schemes are “hot” is to do a quick search of your favorite online shopping sites. Let it inspire you. 
  • Get Outside – Mother Nature is gorgeous if you’d just look at her! Head outside. Lift your head and look around. Stop looking at your phone 😛 (I’m guilty of that one sometimes). What do you see? More likely than not, some amazing colors!

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” 
― Alice WalkerThe Color Purple

Seriously. Look around you 🙂

  • Go Shopping – At the home improvement store. The paint sections at The Home Depot and Lowe’s are wonderful resources for finding gorgeous color palettes — AND they’re already put together for you! For FREE! Go grab some swatches!
Home Depot Paint Swatches

Example of some paint swatches you will find at The Home Depot — pretty, right?!

  • Experiment – Step outside your comfort zone. Go BOLD. Something. Just try something you wouldn’t normally try. If you’re apprehensive about potentially wasting time on the wrong colors — do what I do. Grab your colored pencils and sketch pad and release your inner artist!
bold

Some of us have an easier time “stepping outside the box” ..

I once bought what I considered to be a fantastically beautiful skein of yarn, only to come home and have my teenager announce that she thought it looked “vomit-ish”. Lo-and-behold, when I completed the scarf I intended it for, I was overwhelmed with compliments on, you guessed it, the colors! Even my opinionated teen later admitted that, when paired with the gunmetal grey, the chartreuse (yes.. really) actually looked quite good.

crochet scarf

Scarf in question — what do YOU think?

Color is more complicated than it seems. I’ve taken whole classes centered entirely around color theory and choosing colors that complement each other (in hair school, not for crafting, but someone should offer one!).  Get friendly with a color wheel and learn the basics of color theory. This site has a wonderful (and easy to follow) explanation: http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory. It really is helpful to get to know the basics.

Color Wheel

Even a boring old color wheel is pretty to look at

Happy Tuesday! What colors are you currently working with? I’d love to hear what inspires you in choosing colors! Feel free to add your two cents in the comments. Any totally odd color combos that have just worked for you?


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Motivation Monday

Welcome to week two of Motivation Monday! I can tell you that I already feel so much better than last week. I’m pretty sure this was just the kick in the pants I needed to get going in the right direction. I mean, it’s one thing to let myself down. It’s another thing completely to publicly fail!

So. This is how my week went (exercise wise).

Monday – I jogged 3 miles, but not all at once. I run at home on my treadmill, and sometimes my youngest makes it her goal to keep me from doing whatever I’m trying to do. Nothing like your preschooler standing dangerously close to the treadmill repeating, “Can I touch it now? Can I touch it now? How ’bout now? Now?” while reaching toward the running belt with her tiny finger. Puts an end to things pretty quickly, but I did get it done!

Tuesday – Life kind of got busy on Tuesday. I got 2 miles in before Lilly went to her summer preschool class, but afterwards I had a friend over to get her hair colored (I’m a hair stylist when I’m not staying at home and/or crocheting). When that was all done, it was dinner time, so we ate and had some wine that she brought over. After wine, I figured I should probably not operate machinery. 😛

Wednesday – I typically get VERY busy on Wednesdays, but I managed to get 5 and a half miles in on the treadmill. I had planned to make up the 1 mile from Tuesday, but I felt so good, I just kept going for an extra mile and a half.

Thursday – I was pretty sore on Thursday, so I walked a mile and called it good.

Friday – We had family in town and plans to go to the mountains, so I got 1 mile in before we left, and ran the other 2 in the afternoon.

Saturday – I was really tired after a late night out with friends, but I hopped on that treadmill anyway and ran as fast as I could for a mile. I completed that mile in about 8 and a half minutes (which is fast for me), and I spent the rest of the day feeling proud of myself lol.

Sunday – By Sunday, I had completed my promised mileage for the week, so I took a rest day.

When it was all said and done, I completed 15.5 miles on the treadmill last week — technically half of a mile more than I said I’d do, but also technically NOT all running. At any rate, I feel wonderful.

Diet is another story. I generally eat pretty well. I buy organic and don’t buy a ton of junk or processed foods. My youngest has a food dye allergy, so we steer clear of a lot of that stuff anyway. We did go to McDonalds on Saturday. The problem I run into when I’m running consistently, is this false sense that I can then eat whatever I want. I had Ben & Jerry’s too ha! But I only ever eat about a third of a small container, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

I’m not posting pictures this week. I can feel that my body is toning up, and I know they’d be better pictures than last week’s, but I’m planning to just post pictures every other week. No weight lost, but none gained either.

This week I’m going to stick with running. I’m going to up the mileage to 5 miles 2 days this week, and 3 miles 3 days this week. I’m going to add to that more focus on my diet and water intake (I drink a lot of coffee..). I’m considering picking one of these Pinspired fitness plans to try for this week and let you know how it works for me. I’ll keep you posted!

Get out there today — do something that makes you sweat for a little while (and I don’t mean eat spicy foods) 😛 You’ll feel better simply by having done it. Plus, you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

What are you doing for exercise today?


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I’m A Liar Liar Pants On Fire

It just occurred to me that the other day I said the color inspiration post was going to be “my next post”. It’s a good thing that when you tell a lie, your pants don’t actually start on fire, because mine would be ablaze! *However, how hilarious would it be if it happened to habitual liars, or people who told huge/hurtful lies? There would be a lot more honesty in the world!

Wednesdays can get a little busy for me (piano lessons for my oldest, bi-weekly grocery shopping, entertaining Lilly, fitting in a run, cooking etc.), but I am going to try to get the color post cranked out today — although, AS I was typing that, my husband called to let me know he wasn’t going to be home until pretty late, so we’ll see lol. There’s always SOMETHING, right?

I’m also trying to get the chairs sanded and ready to paint, but it’s been difficult as Lilly has decided she HATES the sound of the power sander and doesn’t want me using it in her presence (ha, kids.). 

Bring it Wednesday. I’m ready for you.

For now, here’s a funny yarn-related picture 🙂

sack for yarn

I would totally carry one of these. Would you?
I actually want to know where I can buy one ha!


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How-To Tuesday — Tie Dye Crochet

Finally! The much anticipated “messy” crochet tutorial 🙂

Tie-Dye. I’m not a huge tie-dyer. I think before I started this project, the last (and only other) time I tie-dyed anything was in middle school. I won’t say exactly how long ago THAT was, but suffice to say it was not recently.

This was a fun project. I will definitely be trying it again!

“The waaaaiiiiting is the hardest part” — Tom Petty 

Lucky readers – you don’t have to wait 6-8 hours to see the results 😛

After the initial wait time, I rinsed (and rinsed, and RINSED) the material until the water was mostly clear, then washed it by itself in hot water with a small amount of laundry detergent, and ran it through the dryer until it was mostly dry.

I don’t LOVE how it turned out, but I’m satisfied with it, as it was my first time. Plus, I had a LOT of dye, so I whipped up a shirt for myself as well!

Here is the finished product:

What do you all think? I contained the mess pretty well. I would definitely make sure you have a container you don’t care about, gloves to protect you from dying your skin, and a roll of paper towels on hand.

I’d LOOOOOVE to see your finished items if you try it!

Happy Tuesday!


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Motivation Monday

Hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.

Today I am starting a new weekly series. As you can see, I am calling it “Motivation Monday”. I promise not to divert away from the craft theme more than once a week, but this is something I feel I need to share (if for no other reason, just to hold myself accountable!).

I don’t know about all of YOU, but the hustle and bustle of MY day to day life can really get in the way of things I intend to do (for myself).

This series is personal for me. I’m going to be sharing some very exposing, and embarrassing pictures with all of you in the name of motivation and bettering myself. I guess I just ask that you be kind and supportive.

Like a lot of women, I have body issues. I am incredibly self-conscious about the way I look, how my clothes fit, etc.. Sometimes, I am mildly happy with myself, but most of the time, there is SOMETHING about my appearance that I am stressing over. I’ve tried crash diets, cleanses, and diet pills with minimal results and never any that are long lasting. The happiest I have EVER felt about my appearance was when I was eating right and exercising regularly (and efficiently). This series is all about getting back to that point. Maybe not LOOKING exactly the way I looked 8 (or so) years ago, but FEELING GOOD about the way I look more often than not.

 This first post of the series is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever shared with anyone. Much less a bunch of people I’ve never physically MET, but I’m going to suck it up and post it anyway.

I know I appreciate a blogger who is real. I appreciate a blogger who is honest. I appreciate a blogger who “lets you in” to their personal lives a little so you get a sense of knowing them.

 

Now for some stats — I weighed myself after taking these pictures this morning and I am currently 125 lbs. I’m just under 5 feet tall, so that is more than I should weigh. I’m going to set a weight loss goal of 15 lbs over the next 6 months. Hopefully that is realistic and attainable.

Let the transformation begin! I’m excited to share this journey with you guys!

Anyone want to join me? I’m not exactly sure what kind of “plan” I’m going to start, but it will involve running on my treadmill. I actually run often, so I will start with 3 miles 5 days per week. Helpful suggestions are welcome! I will say that I am not willing to do any extreme lifestyle changes — I’m not going “Paleo” lol — no offense intended, more power to you if you are able to maintain that diet, I just know myself and my family, and we wouldn’t last. I’m not against trying new things, but I have to make diet changes that fit with my entire family, or they won’t stick. More about our diet next week!

Happy (and hopefully motivatingMonday!