Fitness for September 2015
September 30, 2015
For the past month I took a break from my normal routine of using fitness videos and used some of my book and fitness magazine routines. I have a collection of workout and yoga books and lots of fitness routines from magazines that I have clipped out and saved. So, the first couple of weeks of September I used the magazine routines alternating in some yoga. It was fun to put on some good workout music and do those sets of exercises for 20 to 30 minutes.
The second half of the month I chose to use some of my workout books and alternate those with yoga from my yoga magazine. I also got a new Pilates book from Sams at the end of August so I mixed that in this month as well.
I really like this Pilates book. It is a full color book with step by step photos of the exercises. At the end of the book there are several different Pilates routines that you can do – like one is classic Pilates, another called spinal call and working the leg-core connection. There are twelve total routines at the back of the book.
As you can see my other cat likes the Pilates book, too. She has been out more lately since I have started this new routine. She is usually more shy and quiet than my other cat who loves to join me for my daily workouts. I guess she is a Pilates fan.
Some of the other books I used for my workouts this month were some that I have had for a while. They are books that use an exercise ball and some of the exercises use weights. So a lot of these workout are more for toning and strength training.
As you can see I own a few fitness books that are about working out on the ball. The exercise ball is probably one of my favorite fitness tools. I know it is not exactly convenient for storing but there are so many things you can do on the ball and so many areas you can tone up much better than just doing traditional exercises. I think working out with weights on the ball is a lot of fun as well as some of the abdominal work.
So, for this past month I enjoyed creating my own routines or using some from the books. Most of them were about 20 to 30 minutes long. On my yoga days I usually did about a 20 or 25 minute yoga sequence from my Yoga Journal magazine that I bought several months ago. It is a great magazine and I never get tired of the routines in there.
For the coming month of October I have decided to go back to using my Cathe workout dvd’s and alternating yoga or the Pilates book in between video days. I find I do best with variety which is why I am constantly changing my workouts each month. I also think it helps your body stay in shape to do different things.
What kinds of workouts have you done lately? Let me know by leaving a reply.
Uses for Ruffle Scarf Yarn
September 25, 2015
Ruffle scarf yarn is for crocheting and knitting scarves – hence the name. This type of yarn became very popular a few years ago. It is still popular and you see it in craft stores or online in various colors an textures.
I knit a LOT of scarves in this ruffle yarn. I knit many for gifts, to sell and for myself. After a while I got tired of just knitting scarves with it and decided to try using it as an edging on scarves or shawls.
The above scarf is a crochet version I designed using Homespun yarn as the base and Patons Pirouette yarn as the ruffle edge. The pattern can be found in my etsy shop.
The photo of the red, black and white scarf is a knit version. I knitted this scarf in Texas Tech colors for my neighbors daughter who goes to school there. The ruffle yarn is a lot of fun to use with one or two other colors of yarn to showcase some team colors. This pattern is also available in my etsy shop.
The above cape is something I designed about a year ago for my Grandmother. Again the main body of the cape is knit with Homespun yarn and the ruffle edge is Patons Pirouette. This pattern is easy and can be found on etsy.
The blue shawl above is a lovely prayer shawl design that is knitted in Homespun yarn and then edged with the ruffle yarn. I gave this to my friend this summer who was going through chemo therapy to fight breast cancer. Blue is one of her favorite colors. This pattern is also on etsy.
It is pretty easy to use this yarn as a decorative accent. You have to crochet or knit with your base yarn and the ruffle yarn held together. Below are a couple of photos showing how to crochet or knit with it for an edging.
I have also found that a lot of the Homespun yarns from Lion brand yarn coordinate well with some of the Red Heart Boutique Sashay or the Patons Pirouette yarns.
Patterns for these designs can be found in my etsy shop – links above highlighted for each specific pattern or in my craftsy pattern store.
Have you used ruffle yarn before? Let me know by leaving a reply in the comments and tell me what you made.
Have a great day!
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September 16, 2015
The past month or so I have been working on a lot of new crochet designs. I was on a sewing spree for July and part of August and now I am on to crochet. Instead of working on my normal scarves or shawls I have designed some new things – a couple of different styles of crocheted bags.
The above photos are my new crochet market bags. I had a lot of fun designing and crocheting these bags. I think I ended up making four of them in about a week. I made one in the round, the one on the left, a large size one which is the pink one in the middle and a medium size which is the royal blue on the right.
I love how quick and easy these are to make and the options – you can make one in the round if you don’t like to do seaming or you can make the other two versions that are not in the round but require some sewing around the sides and bottom seams. All of the bags feature a fun top drawstring and tie handle.
The photo of the red one above is the fourth one I made and that one is crocheted in the round.
I decided I did not need to have four of these bags so I ended up giving three of them away to my three friends in my monthly knitting group. They all seemed to like the surprise gift. It also feels good to make things for others. All of the other ladies in my group knit but do not crochet so I thought they might enjoy something different.
I kept the periwinkle and blue one since it went with my bike that I ride to the store sometimes. The bag worked well for holding groceries and it fit perfectly in my bike basket.
All of the market bags were made with Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn. It is just a basic worsted weight acrylic yarn but it works well for certain projects, like these bags, and it washes well. It is one of the yarns I prefer if I work with a worsted weight acrylic – also there are tons of colors and prints to choose from and it is on sale every three weeks at Hobby Lobby.
The other bag I designed is a cotton crochet bag that I have named Shades of Color. This bag is a color work crochet pattern – it uses three coordinating or contrasting colors. I choose a light blue, navy and a dove gray for my bag.
The stitch pattern I designed this bag with was a lot of fun. The different stitches and the color changes make it interesting. I have already used this bag several times for different shopping trips to the store and even to Hobby Lobby to buy more yarn – that I don’t need!
The Shades of Color bag is crocheted with Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton. It is a good basic 100 percent cotton yarn that is soft and easy to work with. It is also on sale every third week at Hobby Lobby – but not the same week as the acrylic yarn.
Both of these bag patterns are available for download purchase here on my site under Digital Downloads, in my etsy shop, on craftsy and on ravelry. You can click on any of the highlighted links to take you to the sites. Also, if you are purchasing the pattern on etsy please use the coupon code BAG10 to save 10% off either of these patterns – coupon code expires October 15, 2015.
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I am currently working on a couple of other crochet projects and a knitting project so check back to see what is new.
DIY Bug Repel Spray
September 7, 2015
One of the things I love about summer and early fall weather is being able to sit outside on my front porch after my morning workout. I love to sit out there with a cup of coffee and read or do a little crochet or knitting. One of the things I don’t like are the mosquitoes that also like to sit out there with me.
Since I have been using Young Living essential oils for the past nine months I have gotten quite a collection and decided to make my own DIY bug repel spray this year. I tried it once before in the past with some other oils that were not Young Living and I didn’t think it worked all that well. Well, this blend I came up with seems to work pretty good. I have used it daily for the past few months and do not get mosquito bites. The mosquitoes do still come around me but they do not seem to bite me. The other bonus with this blend is that it does not smell terrible like some of the other products you buy. It is also free of harmful chemicals.
The blend is a combination of citronella essential oil, rosemary essential oil and peppermint essential oil with a tiny amount of optional witch hazel. It is super easy to make up. I keep mine in a 2 ounce glass spray bottle. I think I ordered the bottles from Amazon but you can also find them at Whole Foods or Sprouts.
The main essential oil in this blend is the citronella oil which is known for keeping bugs away – especially mosquitoes. I added in the other two oils to make the smell a little more pleasant and they were also listed in my Pocket Reference book as recommended for an insect repellent. The citronella oil is pretty strong on its own but if you only have that one then you could probably try the blend with just it and leave the other two out. I also read in my Essential Oils Pocket Reference book that blending the citronella oil with cedarwood enhances the insect repelling properties. I have not tried that blend yet. Two of the top oils to blend with citronella as listed in the book were palo santo, and idaho tansy but I do not have those oils.
Citronella essential oil has powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal medical properties as listed in the Pocket Reference book. That in addition to being an insect repellent. Other uses as listed in the book include:
- respiratory infections
- muscle-nerve pain
- digestive problems
- skin problems (acne, oily skin, eczema)
- skin penetration enhancer
In addition to using my DIY bug repel spray I have also been taking a gauze pad or cotton ball and placing 2 or 3 drops of the citronella oil on it and sitting it next to me when I am outside. I have a friend that lives in Michigan that told me about using essential oils last summer to make a DIY bug spray and she said it also worked well to spray it around the perimeter of the area you are sitting in. I am not sure what her blend was but I remember her telling me about spraying it around her deck so she could sit outside in the evening to read.
If you would like more information on Young Living essential oils please email me at email@example.com. You can also click on the highlighted Young Living to take you to a sign up page.
*Please note that this blend is my own creation and opinion, it may or may not work for everyone.