Monday, February 28, 2011

What's Been Going On

I was looking back at my posts these past couple weeks and realized how little of it was personal. So here is an update.

Coughing. Runny noses. Sore throats. Achy backs. Catching of breath. Ear infection. Sinusitis.

It has been a fun couple weeks on the homestead. Luckily the above was split between my son and myself and not just all him. Although he's had it the longest. What started as a cold for him morphed into an ear & sinus infection. He is doing better today. He actually wanted to eat and drink. Big step. But now Mommy can barely walk up the stairs without losing her breath & avoids swallowing because it hurts so much. Good times, good times.

And so my 5 bags that should have been quite some time ago have been a very slow go.

At least the evenings were kiddo free & I got some embroidery done. I love the way Poison Ivy turned out. I am glad I decided to add organza and beads for the leaves and flower.

And my biology background came out with these cells...or maybe it was all this illness on my mind :P

Here's to hoping the Amoxycillin kicks in and he is back in school soon. Mommy loves him dearly, but is ready for some alone time. If for no other reason than for it to be my turn to get better. I have lots I want to sew for a photo shoot in a couple weeks. More on that fun news later.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This Week's Workout

Another week, another workout. I could really feel this one in my arms...which are starting to show some definition - Woo Hoo!!!
  • Dumbbell chest press on incline bench then lat pull down: 12 reps, 3 cycles, no rest b/w

  • "YTWL's": 2 sets of 12 reps, rest b/w
    ...this one is not easy to explain - facing down on an incline bench, using small weights do these 4 exercises in succession: start with arms hanging straight down, bring them up to shoulder level in a "Y" (where your body is the straight line part of the Y) - then bring your arms up & out in a lateral raise (this is the "T") - then bring them up like a row stopping at shoulders to push them straight ahead parallel to the ground (the "W") - lastly, arms are held alongside your body with your palms facing up (they'll be down by your hips) and raise them up behind you (the "L")...the last one reminds me of penguins sliding down a hill - why? dunno, something about an old cartoon sticks in my head....I hope that made sense - it should when you actually get into position. Ether way - it's a tough are in a position like the one below:

  • Cable row machine then single leg dumbbell front raise: 12 reps, 3 sets, with rest

  • Stability ball "wall sit" with dumbbell lateral raise: 12 reps, 3 sets, with rest
    ...ball sits at your lower back as you get down into squat position for arm work

  • Squat thrust with dumbbell hammer curl into press: 12 reps, 3 sets, with rest

  • Stability ball single leg squats: 12 reps each leg, 3 sets, with rest
    ...wowsers - this one was hard. I found it best balance-wise to put one foot onto my opposit knee rather than just floating there...and yes, I looked ridiculous with all the wobbling, but it does one heck of a job!

  • Resistance band lateral leg lifts: 12 reps each leg, 3 sets, back to back w/o rest
    ...these are what I think of as the "Jane Fonda" type exercises, but modernized with that darn band around my it is like the pic below, but with a stetchy band around your ankles

  • Stability ball hamstring curls then hamstring machine: 12 reps, 3 cycles, 1 set

  • Incline bench skull crushers: 12 reps, 2 sets, with rest
    ...this was done with a bent bar attachment on the cable machine - they are tricep overheads but on a bench - keep elbows in tight to head and pull up until arms are almost straight - do not lock elbows

  • ABS: I am just choosing random ones this week

I only have 3 or 4 more training sessions left, but I will be cycling through some routines he gave me from before I started posting them here, so there will still be another couple months of weekly workouts. Don't know if that is good or bad, but it sure will be nice for me to have them easily findable in the future :)

So - have you tried any of these yet?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Etsyblogger of the Month: "Bunny Kissed"

Faerie Garden Fancies is the name of Bunny Kissed's shop. She is an artist and a teacher who is lucky enough to live out in the country with her partner, four kids and one very spoiled cat. She blogs at Diary of a Crazy Rabbit Lady. Let me show you some of her creations.

This Pink Wildflower Pin just screams Spring:

I can almost picture the little faeries who would eat with this place setting:

And for a big reader like myself...gotta love this bunny:

One of her pieces is featured in this treasury - be sure to check it out.

Happy Etsy Blogger of the Month to you Bunny Kissed!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Etsyblogger Carnival: Go Green

This week's Etsyblogger carnival is hosted by Honey from the Bee. With St Patrick's day right around the corner, the two topic choices were:
1) St. Patrick's Day will be our next holiday. Write about any St. Patrick's Day traditions you have or memories... crafts.... food...
2) Thinking Green... write about what you're doing to make this a greener planet. This could be about your art or just around the house or at work.

I have only done something for St Patty's day once. And it was the "usual" for the U.S....hit the bars early & stay all day. Once was enough. Is the U.S. the only place that equates St Patty's day with getting stupid drunk?

Anyway - I like the second choice better. Green around here is also the "usual"...recycle (we are lucky to have a good curbside program), buy local when possible, go organic when we can afford to, give clothes & household items away rather than toss know, the "usual". But I always want to do more.

I am starting to incorporate more upcycle into my crafts. Scraps have always been kept to make small items and I PIF scrap bags on my Tilt Too site. PIF= pay it forward...I list them for the $0.20 that Etsy charges per items plus shipping, so it is as close to giving it away as I can get online.

I made a batch of market totes from a "rescued" slipcover. I have another that I will be making into a new batch sometime next month. Older, gently used, clothes are also falling in line to become something "new".

The first thing I have made is this skirt for a little girl, size
5T. I am going to have one of my son's friends try it out for me.

My mom passed on some jackets and things for me to play with as well. There is a bright teal raincoat just itching to be a fun tote. Now I just need to find some pattern designed specifically for upcycling. I know I can just adapt a regular pattern, but it would be nice to practice and get my chops with something already tried out.

I did find one shop, Fox and Doe (patterns now relocated to Lily Giggle), where I got a couple great patterns for kids that I am looking forward to making for my son and niece. The Krew jacket will be the first one I tackle. Isn't it adorable?
Anyone here know a good place for upcycle patterns? Mostly for adult clothing?

And to add to the fun - an Etsy treasury featuring Etsybloggers and Green :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Week's Workout

I think I forgot to post last week's. It was a good one too. Maybe I'll toss it in at the end of this 3 month training stint.This week used the "ladder" technique a few times. It just means that I only do one set of a cycle of 3 exercises...starting the 5 reps through each then 10 then 15. Those last 15 are not easy. The same weight is used and it is a little lower than I would do with a regular set.

  • Chest press then star push ups then chest fly: ladder

  • Lat pull down then 1 arm bench rows then dumbbell front raise into row: ladder

  • Pull ups using the assist machine (no way other wise :P ): 6 reps, 3 sets, with rest

  • Back extensions while holding plate then plate reverse fly: 12 reps, 3 sets, with rest

  • Stability ball military 1 arm presses - keep feet together or even with only one foot on the ground: 12 reps, 2 sets, with rest

  • Diagonal walking lunges then dumbbell step ups (10 per leg)...hold dumbbells while doing lunges also: 2-3 sets, with rest: lunges were done across the room, not measured out

  • Leg press then Bosu ball squats: 12 reps, 2-3 sets, with rest

  • Rope curls then rope triceps extension: 12 reps, 2 sets, with rest
    ...this was done on a machine but can be done with resistance bands around a pole or weights

  • ABS - incline pikes then leg swings then medicine ball twist: until pooped out :P

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blogfire: Going WoW for Glass

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Gifts

We, at least me, do not get into Valentine's day...but I do like the cute gifts...the yummy ones are even better. Hubby went out and got these for us - all from Gayle's in Royal Oak (they have the best chocolate!!!)

For the youngest...who of course probably won't actually eat any of it...more for us :P

Hubby tried to find something music related for our oldest, but nothing hit right. So he is making him work for his treat...

...and he did put the puzzle together before inhaling the pieces.

And for me, I get to chose my treats based on my mood. These make it easy....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Market Totes

The other week I made a small batch of 4 market totes. They are made from that meshy bag fabric that is kind of stiff and almost feels waxy. I have a few bags from this material that hubby got at work (freebie promotional type goodies) and I use them constantly. I know I could buy the cheapies they have in most stores, but I do not care for the straps. Most are just sewn with an "X" along the top band of the bag. I prefer my handles to wrap down and under the bags for that extra support.
So when I was in JoAnn's a while bag and saw the poly bag fabric being sold there, I snatched some up to make my own.
And I made some for the shop also. There are only 3 now, but they all look pretty much the same. Like this...

I have more fabric to make another set of four, but not until after I make the 3 other bag sets I have already cut out. I also have some fun pink floral fabric that was a slipcover to make into more shopping bags like these....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Simple Breakfast Hash

Simple and barely needs a recipe. But it is so simple & yummy that I had to share.

Servings: 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1 medium potato
1 medium bell pepper - color is your choice (I used 1/2 of a red and green)
1 small onion
1/2 cup vegetable broth (organic low sodium is always preferred)...I do not always measure, use enough to cover the bottom of the is essentially used to replace oils or butter, plus it adds some flavor
seasonings: options: basil, tarragon, savory, black pepper

Pre-cook the potato slightly in microwave: wash & poke some holes in the skin with a fork (unless you like explodey potatoes in your microwave), place on paper towel and cook for roughly 6 minutes.
Cube the potatoes once cool enough to touch.
Chop peppers and onion.
Saute onions in large skillet. Add peppers, potato, seasoning and stock. Cook while stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until heated through, stock has absorbed and peppers are slightly softened.
Eat :)

Nutrition (per serving):
Calories 148, Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 35g, Carbs 35g, Sugar 4g, Fiber 4g, Protein 3g

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This Week's Workout

Another week, another workout. I did not get around to posting last week's workout. And that is okay since I only did it twice. The snow days kind of mucked things up. My trainer is trying to make my workout home-friendly. He knows that life tends to get in the way of me getting to the gym on a regularly scheduled day. So now I can do things at home if I have to. But I do prefer getting there - no distractions at the gym.

  • Barbell squats then dumbbell stationary lunges: drop set of 10-8-6-4-2, no rest

  • Dumbbell front squats then dumbbell squat thrust into hammer curl: 3 sets of 12 with 30 second rest b/w cycles

  • Dumbbell alternate dead lifts then standing military press then T-raises: 3 sets of 16-12-12 with 30 second rest b/w cycles

  • Hack Squat (V-squat machine) then dumbbell lateral raises: drop set of 10-8-6-4, no rest

  • Bench cross step up: 16 reps, 8 each leg, 3 sets with rest

  • One leg stepper step up: 16 reps, 8 each leg, 3 sets with rest

  • ABS...aka "crazy abs": 3 different exercises:
    *Incline bench with medicine ball: hold ball above head and make circles while doing sit ups...when trainer yells 'reverse', you reverse...then throw ball as sitting up - pause to catch ball - then go back down...repeat until you feel like dying

    *sit ups dubbed "Birthing Baby": with legs at 90* forming a triangle with feet touching, do "push through" - as sit up arms 'push through', alternating left leg-center-right leg-center
    *pike type sit ups with medicine ball: arms straight overhead, don't let feet touch the floor, bring feet and ball up to meet straight above
    these exercises are not easy to put into words, but once you try, it's not too difficult, well, they are, but not the form :P

Update on progress: I feel stronger but have not changed any measurements. I need to get better at consistency. Cardio was only good for 3-4 days a week...not the 5 minimum I was shooting for. I do hope that warmer weather will at least help on those days I can't get to the gym.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Roseworks is Hosting My Giveaway

I love entering giveaways and figured it's about time I do one myself. So hop on over to Roseworks Jewelry blog for a chance (actually, there are 5) to win my Janet Handbag.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Green Guy Was Collected

Well, he was in a collection, on ArtFire. Big thanks to Starlight Garden for including him :)