Sunday, January 30, 2011

Etsyblogger of the Month: The Art of Joy

This month's Etsyblogger is The Art of Joy. She designs the cutest things. I even got a customized sticker set myself a while back. It's that one up there...see...right on top :)

A couple of my faves from her shop are this printable Kawaii knit themed calendar...

and this robot party invite....

And she is super generous too. Check out her website and you will find free printable downloads. Etsy even used her background for their Twitter page back in October. You can sneak a peek here in the Storque article.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Food: Mushroom Stroganoff

Now my Wordless Wednesday makes sense :)

...and don't mind the shadow...or the glare.
It was dinnertime & the lighting was poor...
and I was eager to get to it :)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2
Yield 2 large bowls

4 oz Extra Wide Egg Noodles
1/2 medium Onion, Sweet
16 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms
1/2 cup Organic Vegetable Broth
1 tbsp All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Light Sour Cream
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, Ground
1/4 of a lemon, fresh squeezed juice
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Garlic (minced)
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cook noodles according to package directions
Chop onions & slice or quarter mushrooms
Saute onions & garlic in oil in large skillet
Add mushrooms and broth (white wine works well too) - cover & simmer for about 5 minutes
Gradually add flour to liquid in center of skillet & whisk until thickened
Add sour cream, nutmeg & pepper & stir until heated through
Pour mushroom mix on top of pasta in a large bowl & enjoy :)

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 1 large bowls
Calories 422; Fat 10.54g; Saturated Fat 5.48g; Cholesterol 85mg; Sodium 270.08mg; Carbohydrate 58.96g; Dietary Fiber 5.67g; Sugars 9.33g; Protein 16.66g

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Etsyblogger Carnival: Love

Cuff Bracelet Maroon Burgundy Rose Flower by Hot Pink Chick
Book of Kellis in Wood, wall hanging illuminated letter "R" by Jack Dolan Woodcraft
Word Charm, Red Necklace by Tickette
Wisconsin Wood Violet on Canvas by L Young Studio
Hand Appliqued Letter R on Cotton Quilt Fabric in 3 inch Wood Embroidery Hoop by Felt It
Peacock Blue Art Silk Fabric by Fabric Mart
I Love You Just the Way You Are, 8x8 Print by Suzanna Anna

The choices for this Etsyblogger carnival hosted by Foxy G Knits were:
1) Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, taking the life of 1 in 3 women each year. National Wear Red Day is Friday, February 4, 2011, and together we can make a difference. As knowledge is power, can you "spread the red?"

2) Valentines Day is fast approaching, and love is in the air. Using "love" as your theme, be as creative as you can be!

If I wrote on the first, I am afraid it would come off like one of the many papers I did when I went to school for exercise I stuck with Love :)

And to translate: "Roses are red, violets are blue, I love you just the way you are"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Week's Workout

I guess that I don't really need to introduce these anymore. But I will say one thing, this workout was great. Not easy, but since when does an easy workout equate with great?

  1. Stability ball chest press: 12 reps, 3 sets

  2. Lat pull down then assisted pull ups: 12 reps, 3 sets
    ...this was amusing if you were there to see it...the machine was being used so my trainer was the 'assist', he got a bit of a workout in there :P I couldn't do even 1 if Cujo was chomping under foot - I would wind up legless and rabid :)

  3. Incline bench row into reverse fly: 3 cycles, 2 sets
    ...using different dumbbells - with the flys I used half that of the rows...during the flys do not bring your arms all the way down in front, but more like at 10 & 2 (vs. straight down at a 12 o'clock position)

  4. Medicine ball moving pop squat into overhead swing: 2 sets across floor and back
    ...holding ball down in front pop forward into a squat, stepping forward swing ball overhead with straight arms

  5. Diagonal walking lunges then leg press machine: 12 reps, 2 sets
    ...take one step forward on a diagonal into a lunge, then another in the opposite diagonal

  6. EZ bar ladder curls to 10: 1 set
    ...holding bar do 1 curl, wait for partner (or imaginary partner if you are alone) do 1 curl, then you do 2 & they do 2, then 3, then 4, etc. up to 10
    ...this can be surprisingly tough

  7. EZ bar overhead tricep press: 12 reps, 2 sets

  8. Pike crunches: until burn 2-3 sets

Has anyone tried one of these workouts with me yet?
And don't forget the cardio. I have been doing pretty well keeping up there too. I try for a 15 minute warm-up on the Elliptical and a half hour on the bike after a strength session. On off strength days I do 30 minutes each on the Elliptical and bike. Once it is warm I will be getting back into the hour walk outdoors after dropping off kiddo at school.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Year Update

It's the last week of the month and I was sitting in bed last night going over my goals. Were they too much? Too little? Too early to say. I have made some progress creatively speaking. If you follow my Tilt's Creations blog you have seen the things I have been making. If not, here's a little peek...

The biggest problem with the goals so far has been the photography. While I have come up with some ideas for backdrops and such, the weather has not been cooperating. Natural light is always always, always best, but this time of year it is hard to find. Especially in my house where there are very few places withe good window placement. I could default and just take some with lights, but that is cruddy as well. My house is quite dim. I could go into how frustrating it is to find bright enough lamps and such in stores that are too lit to see how well each piece lights up an area, but no one wants to hear that.

And from lack of photos comes lack of listings. I have made up for this by listing a bunch of destash patterns in my Tilt Too shop. I have a couple dozen more to go and some fabric bits too.

I guess that's not too bad. If I go another week without photos for listings, than I may downgrade it to "kinda not so good".

How are you doing with your goals?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Food: Orzo with Olives

First of all, yes, this is similar to the Olive Pesto Pasta recipe. But is does have a different flavor. A little parmesan can make a big difference in taste.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3
Yield 3 bowls

6 oz Orzo Pasta
1 can Pitted Black Olives
Juice & zest from 1/2 of a lemon
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Parmesan Grated Cheese
1/4 cup Arugula, Raw

note: use tarragon or basil if no arugula available

Cook orzo (one half the package) according to package directions and drain.
Chop the olives with the brine - add lemon juice, arugula & zest. I find this easiest to do in my "whizzer", aka mini food processor.
Mix everything then add Parmesan & arugula

Nutrition: per serving:
Calories 394,Total Fat 21.13g, Saturated Fat 2.17g, Cholesterol 3.33mg, Sodium 508.48mg, Total Carbohydrate 46.51g, Fiber 2.03g, Sugars 1.2g, Protein 8.38g

This is higher in fat than I usually prefer...but note the low saturated fat, that kind of makes up for it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This Week's Workout

Another week another workout. This one kicked my butt. Quite literally. It is quite amusing to watch me sit down right now.

1. Hammer strength chest press then modified push ups: 12 reps each, 3 cycles, no rest
2. V-grip lat pull down then stiff leg dumbell row (one leg per cycle): 12 reps each, 3 cycles, no rest
...the stiff leg is a tough balancer...standing with arms at side, slowly bend forward while raising one leg straight up behind you - forming a T with your body...then row

3. 1 arm dumbell rows on bench: 12 reps each arm, 2 sets, no rest

4. Bosu ball squats then tubing pull down with knee raise burns*: 12 reps, 3 cycles, no rest
...these were funny - my balance is for crap. My legs shook like I was freezing cold - it was quite amusing...stand on the platform side with the ball side down
5. 1 leg lunge on bench: 12 reps per leg, 3 sets, no rest
...standing in front of bench, set one foot back onto bench and "lunge" (seems squat like) down...sounds odd but isn't, plus, it's a toughie on the rear

6. Bosu ball donkey kicks then ceiling touches then fire hydrants: 12 reps, 3 cycles, no rest word: ouch...also, reminds me of early Jane Fonda aerobic days.
...on all fours, one knee on ball - work one leg at a time thru cycle....kick foot back (horizontal to ground) then with bent knee & foot facing upwards, kick up then, well, pretend you are a dog at a hydrant - bent knee swing knee up & out to the side

7. Bosu ball hammer dumbell curls then tubing tricep kickback burn*: 12 reps, 3 cycles, no rest
...stand on ball part of the Bosu

8. Pike crunches: go until fatigue then do a couple more, 2 sets, 30 sec rest between sets
Note on the "no rest" if you have to. I had to take some rests during some of the lower body exercises because my heart rate got up there.

*burn: rapidly do exercise until fatigue

Anyone want to try it with me? :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nfall2rt Prizes

I was cleaning up my work area yesterday and realized I had not blogged about this prize pack from Nfall2rt. Bad blogger, bad.
If you have ever seen Nancy's blog or shop, you know that she creates more than just paper goodies. And goodies they are. Heck, just look at the cute packaging.....

These little striped notecards are great. The color in this photo is not the best, but you can still see the cuteness.

And the mushrooms...gotta love the mushrooms...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Of Bears and Blankies

The blue blanket has been with the little guy since the beginning. He love the blue fuzzy soft side as much as the silky. He sleeps with it every night. It will often go on car rides. It has even made it's way into church a few times. It has been cleaned more times than I can count. It has only needed any triage twice...not bad for a 5 year old blankie.

Now the bear. He has been around since the beginning. But it was not until kiddo was almost 3 before it was a necessity. I have turned back around to home and retrieve it more than a couple times.

He came from Harrod's...not exactly around the corner when you live in Michigan. My brother and his wife brought him back from their London trip years ago. Has it been washed as often? Um, nope. I am so afraid to wash the little guy.He doesn't look too bad. Though not nearly as crisp white as he once was.

Anyone know how to safely wash a teddy bear? One that is necessary and not replaceable? Without spending as much as it would cost to fly back over to London and get another?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This Week's Workout

A while back I mentioned working out more regularly. And I have been. There was some stumbling around the holidays. More because of everyone being home than the holidays themselves. But I am back into it and have decided to post my workouts. I think it might help me stay on track.

I do cardio - mostly stationary bike and elliptical - for an hour at least 4 days a week. On the days with a longer weight routine, I may bring the cardio down to 30 minutes. The strength training tends to have enough circuit quality to keep that heart rate up just fine :P

So, this week's 30 minute routine is going to be done 3 days a week: (Normally the "weeks" will start on Tuesdays)
  1. Plate presses: 12 reps, 3 sets, 30 sec rest
    ...Chest press on bench with grip plate

  2. V-grip lat pull down (12 reps) & reverse fly burn* with tubing: 3 sets, where a set is both exercises, brief rest between
    ...Lat pull down with rope attachment
    Using tubing around pole, quickly do reverse flys w/arms straight

  3. Lunges with dumbbell hammer curl walks: 12 reps, 3 sets, 30 sec rest
    ...This is a walking lunge with hammer curls on the step forward

  4. Stability ball with dumbbell "power clean": 12 reps, 3 sets, 30 sec rest
    ...Standing at a wall with the ball at my lower back, squat down with "catch" (curl weights as fall down), on the up raise weights above head. Reset and repeat.
    Very awkward for me at first, you don't need much weight - gets the heart rate way up do these quickly.

  5. Barbell curls (12 reps) & tubing curl burn*: 2-3 sets, no rest b/w
    ...basic curl, w/tubing either place under feet or at low point on a pole or something

  6. Diamond medicine ball push up: 12 reps, 3 sets, 30 sec rest
    ...push up w/hands forming diamond on the core too :)

  7. Bosu ball half burpees: 12 reps, 3 sets, 30 sec rest
    ...Burpee: push up type position with hands on the Bosu, "jump" legs in towards you and back looks weird and a bit awkward, but tough (like pic, but hands are on Bosu and don't jump as far in towards chest)

  8. Medicine ball cross choppers: 12 reps each side, 3 sets, 30 sec rest
    ...Sideways lunge position, keeps arms straight & "chop" the ball out and into the knee chopping a tree, or so I am told. I have never chopped a tree.

  9. Medicine ball sit up toss on bench: 12 reps, 2-3 sets, 30 sec rest
    These are fun...and you need a partner. Holding the ball, throw it from chest to partner, they toss it back & as you catch it, lay back (not all the way) & then sit up & throw it back again. And if you lose it and fall back, you are just laying down on the me on this one :P

*burn: simply means to do this exercise rapidly until it burns...and then do 5 more :P

Friday, January 14, 2011

Etsyblogger Carnival: New Year

This week's Etsyblogger carnival is brought to you by Missie from Sykin and is either about business goals or personal resolutions. Since I just wrote about my year in review and included goals, I will go a bit into the personal side.

My biggest "resolution" is a continuation of what I began in August. The first step was dropping pop from my diet. I have only had 3 since the end of August. Two of which were during a migraine, which always helps. I have gone back to a mostly veggie diet and am working out again. I am proud to say that I have dropped nearly 20 pounds since then.

The exercise started with walks after I dropped the kiddo off at school. I began adding gym time on the elliptical and recumbent bike. Then in October I received a free personal training session for my birthday. Jackpot! I then got a few sessions myself. They were awesome! As an ex-exercise scientist, I know how & what to do to improve my health. Nitty gritty bits of nutrition and exercise know how are still jammed in this old brain of mine. But nothing can compare to the jump start from another person. Not to mention the accountability after paying for and scheduling sessions.

My goal is to simply continue and up what I am already doing. Cardio 4 days a week and strength training 3 days. Some weeks may have to be adapted for home workouts, but with the basement getting cleaned, that should not be an issue.
Tomorrow's post starts a weekly feature that details my workouts. It will be one more way to help keep me in check.

End goal - to have lost weight and get healthier. Numbers? Deadlines? Sort of. My most comfy lifetime weight is still 35 pounds away. At a healthy & doable 2 pounds a week, I am looking at a date somewhere around June. Just in time for shorts :)

And I have some prizes for myself along the way. Comic books for the smaller achievements, DVDs for mid range ones and some fun funky new clothes (most likely from Etsy) when I finally get there. I am using Livestrong's My Plate to track my food & exercise and Goal For It to track my overall progress and rewards.

Do you have any personal goals for the new year?

Friday Food: Quinoa Pilaf

Simple and very good for you. Makes a great side dish or small meal.

Servings: 4 bowls

1 cup Ancient Harvest Quinoa
2 cups Organic Vegetable Broth, Low Sodium
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper, Raw
1/3 cup Scallions (or just a few stalks)

Dice bell peppers and chop scallions.
Boil broth in pot (will need a lid later) while saute scallions & bell peppers in pan
Once boiled, add veggies & quinoa to broth, cover & reduce heat - simmer for 15 minutes until water is absorbed.
The quinoa will look translucent with a ring around the little spaceships.
Serve & eat!

Nutrition: per serving:
Calories 194,Total Fat 2.87g,Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 73.25mg, Total Carbohydrate 36.03g, Dietary Fiber 4.62g, Sugars 4.92g, Protein 6.6g

No idea what Quinoa (KEEN-wa) is? Neither did I the fist time I made some. I found this online:

It is a light and fluffy grain with a slightly nutty flavor. A great alternative to white rice or couscous since it is lighter and not sticky.
Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2%, compared with 7.5% for rice, 9.9% for millet, and 14% for wheat. And it is gluten free for those that need to restrict gluten from their diets.
Quinoa's protein is a complete protein. It also provides starch, sugars, oil (high in essential linoleic acid), fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
And it cooks quickly!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Duni Prizes

I won these lovelies last month but have been slow in blogging about them. The sleep mask is wonderful! I have had a few migraines recently and it is perfect to help block out the light while I try to rest.

And she recently opened up a new shop on Etsy, PeriDot. Check out this lounge wear set....

Looks so comfy cozy - and even matches my lovelies from her!

She also has a shop a Dawanda, her own website and a blog where you can see all her latest creations.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Year in Review

I am not good at goal making. I know you are supposed to do such things for business, but I don't see how you can set a number for how many items you'll sell. How many to make, sure. To list, yup. To market, okay. But to sell...maybe a wish list :)

So, last year...

Crafts, kids, home & life had 4,964 visitors, 131 posts, currently 147 followers

Tilt's Creations had 5,757 visitors, 115 posts, currently 93 followers

Tilt Treasures had 15,620 visitors, 65 posts, currently 96 followers

Tilt Etsy had 9,378 visitors, 31 sales, 46 new listings
The new listing this year included some non-bag items like stuffies, table runners & pillows.

And a bunch of banner changes. I can't help it, they are fun. I like to change it up seasonally and for sales. But as a customer - what do you prefer? The same banner that "marks" the shop or changing it up from time to time?

Tilt Too had 3,743 visitors, 47 sales, 51 new listings...all destash patterns and fabric

Tilt ArtFire had 2,091 visitors, 0 sales (so sad), new listings

Craft Shows & other had about 25 sales (I say about because I am missing something somewhere....still need to finish up some paperwork)

So...what does this mean? Aside from the fact that this is what "successful" shops do on a monthly basis :P
It means I want to do more. Sew more, list more and of course sell more. But to work I need actual numbers to focus on.

My "numbers":

Sew: minimum 3 days a week.
Photo: once a week for listings.
Listings: about 3 per week.
This should be doable. But I do give myself leeway for life - sick kids and such.

What will the sewing be? Not just bags. Between each batch of bags I will do some pillows, coasters, baskets, stuffies, etc. I know I've said this before and not always with the best results...but I have not yet hung up my machine.

Embroidery & other hand sewing: 2-3 nights per week. Note the nights. I watch tv :P

Non-sewing crafts and art: at least one day a week.
Whether or not this will be for me or for the shops is yet to be determined. I have already started on cleaning up the basement to make space for painting. I should have an area cleared for a February start.

Blogs: no change. I averaged 2-3 per week, I think this is fine. But I will try to have more focused day themes. Friday food, Thursday carnivals, keeping the Wordless Wednesdays. I'll do the kids and home and me posts more regularly. My life is kind of boring after all, there is only so much to write :P

What are your top 3 goals this year?