Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quilt Stories.... Dinosaur Rag Quilt 2013

My younger granddaughter asked me if I would make her a rag quilt.

And she wanted dinosaurs

So she and I went to the store and found the fabrics...

And so I made it

though by the time she got it, she didn't like dinosaurs.   Or perhaps her vision of what would happen to the fabric did not match mine.


But mom loved it and uses it all the time at the pool or in the car.

Did I mention that rag quilts are awesome!  A great first quilting project - a high success easy project that can't fail - and is extremely hardy and useful as well!   Win-win...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Healthily Ever After....

I'm going to put something out here just because it's what I believe and maybe it will help some of you.  I think we keep looking for a formula to become something specific - like a size 10 or a specific weight - because somewhere in the recesses of our minds..... at that size/weight, we will 'live happily ever after'    I think that is what freaked me out so badly when I got close to that impossible dream and life was NOT easier.  It was actually harder at the time because so many changes had occurred that affected everyone around me.  I think that is why I preach so hard on making small do-able changes until you are ready to make big ones.  Changing your life in an instant is hard - and we can do it... we do it all the time FOR OTHERS AROUND US - we respond to all the crises of home and hearth and some of those are permanent changes - and we take on the responsibility of helping others cope.  And then one day we are sitting here - old - feeling like failures because we don't know how to dream for ourselves.  And we put all those emotions into our FAILURE to get a few pounds off.  But the truth is..... healthy habits create healthy lives.  Eat real food.  Park farther away.  CHOOSE to nourish your body.  CHOOSE to move.  'Happily ever after' doesn't happen at a specific weight any more than it did when we got married.  Strive every day for a little more 'healthily ever after'.... and you will get there.  Love yourself.  Take care of you as well as you take care of others.  It's hard and it feels selfish.... but you can lead the way and teach your kids that taking care of yourself is a GOOD thing.   For me, I am watching my daughters sacrifice themselves for their children.  I hope they can take a lesson from me about health and happiness BEFORE they reach the age of FIFTY....

Day 37/90

Man, it's been a long time since I posted!

So much has happened and I'm still on a track.... note I didn't say ON TRACK... but on A track!

My resolve to follow 3 rules for 90 days has taken a hit but is still there....
    1-2 miles daily
    Daily dvd
    Log food and follow parameters

More about these below!  The weather is gray and I don't feel well.  Nothing I can put a finger on but just not well.  I have felt this way for a couple of days - kept pushing the training... took a rest on Sunday and did 2 of my 3 scheduled miles yesterday.  Still kind of punk :-(  I am thinking perhaps I am overtraining.  Today is supposed to be a dvd - tomorrow 5 miles (and dvd).  BECAUSE I still feel out of sorts, I think I will skip the dvd.... and plan on miles only tomorrow.  Or see how I feel tomorrow and do the 5 miles with Leslie Sansone (who will work my abs and arms at the same time :-)

Today I will focus on respecting my body's apparent need for rest and on food.  Real food in a healthy mix.

Something I am doing is working.  I haven't taken measurements in a while but I HAVE lost 6 pounds and a pants size so that is something :-)  And other than the last few days, I have felt stronger and better.

So that's where I am right now.  Below is the plan I set out for my 90 day time frame.  By day 80, I will decide how to navigate the NEXT 90 days :-)

    #1 Continue with 1-2 miles daily.... CHECK!  This appears to be a life habit now though of course some days are easier than others! [Note: I have been actively building this habit since January 2012]

    #2 Follow the schedule for Supreme 90 Day system (the $20 younger sibling of P90X) CAREFULLY.  I have to modify the modifications! 

But it gives me good guidelines (and a schedule) for strength - FOCUS - work.   The trainer is knowledgeable and not annoying..... the participants are gym rats.... not too annoying :-)  And there are enough dvds that if one does aggravate you, you can move on tomorrow!  The workouts themselves are short (20-30 minutes) and heavy on planks/shoulders.  My shoulders often give me trouble so I improvise and substitute other dvds.  Many of the Biggest Loser trainer dvds (Bob Harper & Jillian Michaels) include a second short workout with a focus on a specific body part. 

I like having a schedule that tells me - today is Abs or Legs or whatever. [I often like Bob & Jillian's (and Biggest Loser) dvds but I get bored so easily that I can't seem to follow the same dvd for more than a couple of days!  And the BL ones feature the contestants who sometimes annoy me.. LOL!!  any excuse, right?  When you watch the show and didn't like a contestant or a specific season, it makes it hard to do the dvd :-)]

And whatever the trainer (Tom Holland - Supreme 90 Day) on the dvd says about higher weights... I am seeing progress by being conservative.  Beginners need to start much easier than these dvds (IMO)  Injury will hamper my progress much more than using a lower weight will :-)

     And in the last few weeks, I added my 3Day walking training to the mix.  This has slowed down the dvd system some but I expect that will get back in gear as my body adjusts.  I also am utilizing Leslie Sansone's walking dvds to help rack up those miles AND do some work on arms & abs.

     #3 Log food and try to stay within parameters.    Not good the last week or so.... but I hate logging my food LESS than counting calories and I think it is important.  I tend to be a grazer.... I feel hungry and I go to the fridge or pantry and grab the first available thing that attracts my taste buds.  NOT what my BODY NEEDS, but my taste buds.  In order to handle true hunger (which I'm not sure I recognize), I need to know that my body is nourished.

I am using some guidelines from the book Coach Yourself Thin (by Michael Scholtz & Greg Hottinger) to ensure that my body gets the nutrition it needs.  [(check out http://novowellness.com/) to learn more about these guys.  I first caught up with them on the Biggest Loser website where they work as fitness and nutrition experts) - but have since worked with them in other places.  The emphasis with them is BUILD YOUR OWN LIFE.... in other words - it's your life, take charge!]

Very simply, I am shooting for X servings of different things.... what I pulled (for me) is: Protein 9 servings, Dairy 1 serving, Fruit 1 serving, Veggie 4 servings, Fat 5 servings, and a 200-calorie snack.   Now - I do not worry one bit about more fruits and veggies :-)  And I only pay attention to the fat by NOT fussing about nuts and avocados. 

But I tend to OVER-carb (bread, pasta, rice) and UNDER-protein .... so keeping track is just smart.   My game plan is to simply watch portions, log what I eat... and regroup mid-day to determine what's left.   Sometimes I can separate hunger from boredom / emotion by looking at the data. 

I use this as a tool to ensure that I am nourished NOT as a tool to punish or berate myself.

Other "food things" I do to help my health is mostly eat REAL unprocessed food... and TRY to keep only healthy options in my immediate vicinity.  Sometimes problematic since I have 2 young adults who have the autonomy to bring JUNK in and are more than willing to share :-)  BUT I have the right to say NO.  (I also keep a running list and supplies for acceptable go-tos when the taste buds / emotions win! - like yogurt, string cheese, cut veggies & hummus, etc)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day 27/90

Today's dvd is the Core Dynamics - my loser back really hurts though so I don't know if that will hurt or help!  I'll decide soon :-)

4 miles is on the agenda and I have one done - I will plan on getting most of that outside in case the treadmill is the culprit.

And NEXT on my agenda is a LIST to tackle today :-)

Day 26/90

Today's dvd didn't happen for lots of reasons.... mostly BECAUSE I DIDN'T GET AROUND TO IT!  It's on me :-)

That said - today's scheduled 6 mile training walk DID happen - so I'll take credit for that one :-)  I did more than half of it on the treadmonster watching Becoming Jane..

AND a bit of gardening....  I started tomato and pepper seeds on my porch so that I'll have transplants in a few weeks.....  I planted snow peas before the rains started in earnest... and later did a little spot weeding.  I have TONS more to do and keep up with so I only get a little credit here.

As for the house...  I don't think I did very much.  Hubs went out of town and I had (have?) grand plans but it sure didn't happen today :-)

Closets are on the agenda - and I got sucked into working on clothing a bit!  The seasonal and size switch makes me a little crazy since I have a range of clothing between size 4 and size 12!  Yikes!  My recent efforts have brought me down to a 10.... so that's something!  I will make an executive decision about the 4s in July.  That's my deadline for choosing to keep or donate.. I'm not sure that is a size I can easily maintain - but I'll decide that one later.

Spot vacuuming happened.... our tax return arrived from the accountant so there was a little attendant ANGST as I reviewed it...  I made a cheesy casserole for dinner (and I will freeze the leftovers because it was GOOD.... and too good to hang around and eat too much of at one time :-)

Mostly I enjoyed the day - I spent some time reading on my porch and had a great long conversation with one of my girls.  I guess I needed some downtime.

Food was reasonable except that I forgot to record it.  It's hard because I really don't WANT to be tied down to writing what I eat down anywhere... but the truth is that I won't eat a proper mix if I don't.  When I don't write it down, I eat whatever grabs me when I'm hungry.  I do eat healthy food - but that generally leaves me with an excess of available grain carbs and cheese and a shortage of protein.

And let's not forget that it is EASY to forget the random snack-y things that I pop into my mouth when my brain is dis-engaged!  Grazing is dangerous!

So that's why I need to do this.  I'm writing it down now to remind myself to get my dumb little notebook and get back on board!

The evening passed in a pleasant blur of crocheting and an old movie :-)

My lower back really hurts tonight - I don't know if it's the bending / stooping.. or the treadmonster....  will have to adjust life tomorrow accordingly.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 24/90

Trying to get my mojo up this morning... just don't feel well :-(

Got my morning mile in but just can't wrap my head around the cardio session on the schedule for today.  Maybe my body is tired.  Maybe the rest day on tomorrow's schedule should be taken today.  Maybe if I push thru today, it will ultimately be more effective.  Maybe I'll do it later.... no, I already know that's not gonna happen!  Leaving in an hour and a half for the day.... it's now or never.   Decisions, decisions.......

I did it... I did it!!  I feel like POO... but I did it.. and it's done - now on about my day :-)


So...I am the bomb!  I dropped my son off at his class at 11.... spent about 10 minutes roaming in Lowes... and decided there was a better way to spend a FOUND hour....  I moved my car to Target (which is approximately a half mile from campus).. and WALKED.  TO campus, a loop and back to Target..... twice... another loop and back to Target and halfway back where I met my son.. and he and I walked back to the car.     Hot and sweaty - but 3.5 miles done!  Which means 4.5 miles total so far today and NO money spent...  Go me!   Also the first time this year that I managed the dvd AND my 3Day mid-week training (4 miles) in one day... again GO ME!  I am getting stronger :-)

******Really hot when I got home so I didn't do too well with the housecleaning project.  I did bag up some collected clothing to get rid of when we go out tomorrow....  It's 8pm and finally cooling down... I hate to get into a project this late... I think I'll go into my closet and see what I can get rid of or pack away until next winter!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 23/90

 A day at home!!  And gorgeous weather to boot!  My list is long and I'm excited to get to it :-)

My morning mile done - dvd chosen and ready to go... and at least 2 more miles on the agenda today along with a TON of other projects.. 

Picked up some marked down mushrooms yesterday and found a recipe to stuff them with for dinner tonight... something new!

***** dvd done!  Core Dynamics - oh my middle.  I AM beginning to see a little progress.... I have been modifying the modifications.... and am getting better at some of them.  Not so much others but that's okay :-)

Housekeeping project started - today - the guest room (DONE), the family room (DONE enough :-) & interior windows in the rooms I did last week (living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room)!  All done and I am stopping!  Now on to figuring out dinner, and preparing for tomorrow (another errand day - letters / bills to mail, package to drop off at UPS, Goodwill dropoff, etc...)

I do want to mention something about my lifestyle program at the moment...  I feel GOOD!  Even though last week was a BLIP where I didn't follow my own rules :-)  I also didn't get DERAILED :-)

I think the difference THIS time is that I am recognizing an ebb and flow to things.  I am no longer interested in a one size fits all program.  I am interested in a 'what fits in MY life' prgoram.  I am not interested in being a specific size or weight.... I am interested in being strong, in fitting in my own clothes (and SKIN) comfortably... and I'm interested in being as pain-free and mobile as possible as I age.  DONE!  I want to do what I want to do... so I MUST find a way to stay strong , active and healthy.  period

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 22/90

Mid-afternoon by the time I got here....  food low but recorded....  one mile done and the total body workout dvd...  errands and groceries..

moving along on the housekeeping project .. next up is cleaning my interior windows and doing all the house floors.  I find this project interesting - but am trying to be careful not to get too caught up on how things 'ought' to be done.  When I do that, I get nothing accomplished.  My house is way bigger than I like so cleaning is an ordeal.. so I don't do it.  And it shows.  So this is another area for me to work on - and now that I have set a food/movement system in place, I CAN focus on other things!


So..... nothing done on the housekeeping project front.  I got another mile and a half in..... some paperwork and finished up a baby blanket that I'll share later in the year after I gift it!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Day 21/90

Such a headache this morning!  Yikes!

Got my morning mile in - thank goodness for sunny warming weather.... and SLOWLY began working on today's project from the 30-Day Housecleaning Project.  Today I will tackle my bedroom and an extra room.  Of course the project says bedroomS with a surface clean - but we are much worse off than that!  I will start in my bedroom.. and move on from there.  And I have 2 bedrooms that shouldn't be too bad so I will plan on popping in there to dust, straighten and do floors....  but we'll see how the day goes...

My extra room will be my laundry room.... again, like MY bedroom, clutter is an issue.... but my plan for both is to dust with polish, straighten, vacuum and mop.  But the clutter areas are problematic.. and I don't want to get too sidetracked with the clutter and not get the cleaning done!

Also on the agenda is a Legs workout and a couple more miles.... but the headache has to go!

So far, I have done a little work on my room and gotten sidetracked with sorting yarn and straightening projects....  need to get back on board!

***mid-day update...
another half mile and the legs dvd - go me!!  Headache on its way out the door - still here but better

Navy bean soup in the crock, 2 loads of laundry done and all yarn sorted and projects organized :-)  Bedroom ready for furniture polish and floors.... and laundry room half neatened...... one two three go!!!

neatening / dusting took a LOT longer than I hoped... it's been way too long and there is WAY too much clutter....  but I am satisfied that half a job is better than none and I will get back to the surfaces another day.   Time for floors!

At the end of the day, I did get the floors done!  Not sure if I will get caught up with the project - but 4 days of the first 7 are done!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 20/90

2 miles done today... dvd calls for cardio but I'm bushed - it's SO not happening!  Still logging food though I didn't make the best choices today.... I do feel better at the end of the day than I did at the beginning!

Catching up.....

30-Day House Cleaning challenge With Crystal with Money Saving Mom:

Starting SIX days late because of my week of not being in my regular schedule!  I am free for the next couple of days and thought I would see what I can do.... my housekeeping skills are negligible and I have a HUGE house to keep - and a boatload of decluttering to do...  ANYTHING will help! 

So... here's what I accomplished today:

Day 1 - Surface clean living room and kitchen  (kitchen stays pretty good - I am fairly regular with wiping down cabinets & doing floors every couple of weeks.... hubs is the BOMB with neatening!  So I focused on the living/dining area)
       Dusted & polished (quickly) all furniture, locating stray items as I went around the room..... even caught a couple of lamps and picture frames as I went :-)   I re-homed and handled most of the stray items.... vacuumed and mopped.  [still have ONE hotspot where the small strays collected - I pledge to handle that before dinner!]

***Strangest thing I found was hardware from when the tv was mounted a year (2 years?) ago..... I THINK what happened was that a) it was unneeded and left on the floor after the tv was mounted, b) somewhere along the line I got sick of vacuuming around it and picked it up off the floor and set it on a shelf under the end table... and c) it has lived there ever since.  I really need to do better!
  Day 2 - Clean bathrooms
         Can I say YUKKKK!  I have 4 bathrooms - mine (the public main floor bathroom), my husband's, the other main bath that my son's share for showers and a private one off one of my sons' rooms.  Mine is handled fairly regularly - since I USE that one.  And the guys handle their own....  BIG mistake!

Anyway - I started mine and hit the other one on that floor.  Oh my.... that one was half the size with less than half the stuff and took twice as long to clean :-(  Okay - not whining... LEARNing... I NEED to oversee this process :-)
It's not done to my satisfaction but I made sure I got it fairly decent so I could leave it for now.  I was going to stop because I am really tired - but peeked into the other bath anyway.  One of my sons had taken responsibility for it since his girlfriend comes over quite a bit and uses that one.  Oh my AGAIN!  45 minutes later, I feel a little better.... I'm not sure I would even quite call that one decent.... but it's lightyears away from where it WAS so I am satisfied FOR TODAY.  And I do not have what it takes to look at the private one.... not today :-)

****Weirdest thing here is that my husband's trash can is gone and he has no idea where....  go figure....   No worries... I'll replace it and the old one will probably turn up right back in its place in the bathroom :-)

Aside from this project - I also finished a book this morning, did 5 loads of laundry, have black bean soup in the crockpot for this week's meal (and freezer), mac 'n' cheese prepared and ready to cook, and a pound of navy beans soaking.  Made juice for myself this morning :-)  I've cleared the yard of branch debris from the shrub trimming that took place this week while I was gone.... and have walked 2 and a half miles!  Sheets are changed, linens are switched out and I'm still awake :-)

Plotting the next moves..... Days 3 & 4 are to surface clean bedrooms and then extra rooms.... Days 5 & 6 bring me back to the living room, kitchen and bathrooms so I will skip those for now and bring them into rotation on the appropriate days... and move on from there!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 19/90

Thought about a dvd tonight but I am so so tired!  Besides the one on the schedule is arms/shoulders and they are SORE!  Carrying around a 6 month old all day has taken its toll :-) n  If this were going to be my way of life.... I definitely would take steps to get that extra exercise in!  But it's a one week wonder... so whew!

I did romp a bit with my granddaughter outside when the baby napped but he was cranky and wanted to be held today so it wasn't long.  My daughter never did manage to get the stroller out for us so walking wasn't really an option.... so there you go!

Eating was definitely better today and I totally rocked the night - mostly because I passed out at 9pm.... lol!

I am kind of excited about the things I will do this weekend - getting my house/life back in order... but am way too bushed to think hard about it :-)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 18/90

Oh my, I am really having a rough go this week!  With the 2 hours of driving and keeping up (mostly) here at home, I am not doing well fitting the exercise in.  It seems like every day SOMEthing happens that makes it a little tougher.... and my brain is not making it happen!

Last might I was so bushed - that, after a good day....  I turned into MUSH!  A little late night snacking.... and today SUBWAY for lunch.  Choices are not optimum, but not too bad either.

One more day of babysitting and then back to my normal life!  I WILL be doing a dvd on Saturday no matter what - and I am looking forward to doing some walking too!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 17/90

Not quite as tired as last night.... but a busy day!!  Had 3 little ones today and had a blast!  Not much exercise though except for baby presses - shoulder work!  On my workout schedule today is supposed to be a rest day.... I didn't even get miles done!  I feel like I almost have the oomph to do an AB dvd... but probably not!

Still doing fine on food - and scale isn't moving.... but with 2 hours of commute a day and a 7am-4pm gig with the babies....  I guess I'll give myself a pass until Saturday :-)  I'll take care of myself and see if I can work something in but not beat myself up if I can't!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 16/90

Tired, just tired....

My grandboy is teething and wanted to be held....  and the house was a joyous grand central station of daughters and grands....  I LOVED it

But I am tired and ready to pack it in.

No miles

Just a little cardio today....  3 min of jumping jacks and 5 min of outdoor romping with the 3-year-olds in the sun... the wind was too chilly to stay longer...

Tomorrow I fly solo with the 3 little ones....  how much cardio can I get? 

Food good - and for THAT I am proud :-)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 15/90

What a day of fun :-)  Left home early to take care of my little ones.... and had a full day with a lively toddler and a teething 6 month old.  How quickly we forget!!

Put a roast in the crockpot for my daughter so she had a dinner cooking though she'll probably use that another day soon - it's April Fools and we had an idea that she is using with her little one with hot dogs and spaghetti :-)  But I did leave salad there too to round things out!

My husband picked me up and we came home to salad and refried bean wraps... yum-o!

So tired when I got home but stepped out right away and got a mile in... then came back and did my Chest/Back dvd... go me!!  I remember how hard it is when you work full-time!  But I'm glad I get 'er done.... 

Tomorrow is cardio.... and hopefully I can get out and walk some with the little ones to add to my miles :-)