Fitness Friday this week – should be called Freezing Fitness Friday! It has gotten very cold here in Texas in the last 24 to 36 hours. It was a beautiful day on Wednesday – 79 degrees and yesterday it was 34. Today it is 27 and suppose to go down to 16 tonight. On top of the cold temperatures we also had some freezing rain and sleet early this morning. A lot of people are without power. So far our power has not been affected and I am hoping it stays that way. Praying for all those without power for it to be restored to them soon.
Well – on to the fitness post. Below are the workouts I used this week:
This week I chose to to a schedule of cardio, weights and then yoga. So my workouts were:
Monday – Cathe – Rockout Knockout
Tuesday – Cathe – Lean Legs & Abs
Wednesday – Shiva Rea Yoga – More Daily Energy
Thursday – Cathe X10 Hi-Lo workout
Friday – Cathe Flex Train
Saturday – Shiva Rea Yoga – More Daily Energy
I really like Rockout Knockout. It is a kickboxing workout that uses weighted gloves for part of the workout. Lots of sweating in this cardio session.
My yoga session on Wednesday was accompanied by my two faithful workout friends – my cats. They like yoga workouts much better than cardio. The More Daily Energy dvd has several workouts to choose from in the yoga matrix. I chose to do Evolution Standing Flow and the shavasana which took about 27 minutes.
Today’s workout, Flex Train, took a little motivation to get out of bed and get it done since it was so cold. Once I got moving around everything was good. I was just glad to wake up and have power and a warm house. This workout has lots of different chapters to mix and match. Today I chose to do the warm up, legs & shoulders, disc lunges, legs-firewalkers, core-abs and the stretch. Lots of variety in this workout and the shoulder section gives you a real burn as well as the ab work.
I also created a new smoothie recipe earlier this week. I used some leftover cranberry sauce I made on Thanksgiving in the recipe. I am calling it Cranberry Christmas Smoothie. I thought it was really good! Recipe is below:
This time of year is busy so it seems more difficult to fit workouts in every day. I usually try and schedule something even if it is only a 20 or 25 minute session. It keeps me on track and starts my day off better if I find time to workout even for just a few minutes. I have not decided yet what I am going to schedule for next week. I might do the cardio, weights and yoga routine again. I am also considering ordering the new P90X3 that is coming out next week. My fitness group on facebook will be starting a challenge for 90 days with the new dvd’s and I would like to participate. Changing my workouts regularly keeps me interested and offers me new challenges. What workouts are you currently doing? Click on Leave a Reply to tell me about them.
The crochet motif jacket is complete. I love the way it turned out! I got the idea to make this from a picture I saw on a magazine at the store. I have been wanting to make one for a while now and decided to start it back in October. I finished it a couple of weeks ago and finally got a chance to photograph it last week when I wore it one day.
The motifs were crocheted first using a large size crochet hook – so they were quick to crochet. The part that took the longest was deciding on placement and then sewing it together. I left it on our dining room table for about two days before I actually got around to sewing them all together. Even after I was done I made a couple of adjustment to the front ones so it would lay right.
When I wore the jacket the other day my husband commented on how nice it looked on me but he questioned the warmth of it. I told him it was more of an artistic fashion item and not a sweater for warmth. It is surprisingly warm though when you have it on and comfortable to wear. I don’t think I will wear it on a really cold day but it is perfect for a mild weather day here in Texas. I love how it looks with jeans and I am currently planning to make a denim skirt that I think will go with it really well.
The yarn I used for this project was from Hobby Lobby. It is called Debut and is one of their brands of yarn. It is really soft and comes in lots of pretty colors. I chose to use 3 colors for my project which were midnight, stormy blue and smoke. I tend to wear a lot of blue or gray in the fall and winter so I thought those colors were best for me.
Sorry for so many photos – I just really like how this turned out and wanted to show the front, side and back views. I am planning to write up the pattern of how I made this and have it available on etsy and craftsy in the future. Right now I am busy working on other crochet, knitting and sewing patterns and have not gotten this one written up and published.
What crochet or knitting projects are you currently working on or have finished? I would love to hear about them. Click on Leave a Reply to tell me about them.
This is my weekly fitness update. I am planning to do a weekly post on my workouts, workout tips, smoothie recipes, etc once a week. It will either be called Workout Wednesday or Fitness Friday. This week Wednesday was very busy so I am doing the Friday version.
Since this week was a holiday week and my 3 sons were off school from Wednesday on through the weekend I decided to give myself a slightly lighter workout schedule. I always plan my workouts on Sundays and they are scheduled from Monday to Saturday. This week I decided to do my Exhale Core Fusion dvd’s alternating with my Shiva Rea yoga dvd’s. Below are the workouts I used:
I really like the Exhale Core Fusion series and how they are formatted on the dvd. Each dvd is approximately 50 minutes long but they are divided into 10 minute segments. I usually choose to do 30 or 40 minutes depending on how early I got up and how much time I have before getting the boys off to school. Some of the dvd’s also have a 5 to 10 minute bonus segment at the end. I love the results I get from these workouts and I say I chose a lighter schedule but these workouts are not as easy as they look. They really tone up your whole core and the leg workouts they have in them are amazing. The exercises look easy and simple but yield big results.
The Shiva Rea dvd’s are divided into different length of segments. A lot of hers that I own are about 20 minutes long per segment as the case with the AM Energy. The Creative Core series is a little different set up and I just did the whole dvd which is about 25 minutes long, I believe. I love yoga and her yoga workouts are some of my favorites.
So, this weeks schedule was as follows:
Monday – ECF – Body Sculpt – 30 minutes
Tuesday – Shiva Rea Creative Core + Lower Body – 25 minutes
Wednesday – ECF – Pure Intensity – 40 minutes
Thursday – Shiva Rea – AM Energy – 20 minutes
Friday – ECF – Power Sculpt – 35 minutes
Saturday – Shiva Rea – AM Energy – 20 minutes
Sunday – off-rest day
Below are some of the photos from the workouts:
As you can see from the photos my faithful workout partner was present – my cat. In the one photo you can see him even watching the yoga dvd. He is a funny cat. He usually sits in the middle of the room waiting for me to do my workouts every day. I also had to use my fitness grip socks this week that my husband bought me last year for Christmas as it was kind of chilly most mornings. Thankful I had those and didn’t have to be barefoot or I would have had some cold toes!
I didn’t have time to blend up any new smoothies this week. I continue to drink my green goddess smoothie at least 2 to 3 times per week. I was having one almost every day but now that the weather is colder I am not really in a smoothie mood like I was in the warmer months.
I am planning to schedule some cardio and strength training workouts for next week. I like to alternate my schedule so I don’t get bored. What workouts are you planning for next week? Let me know by clicking on Leave A Reply.
Recently, I finished this crochet cape project. I made this cape for my grandmother for a gift for her this Christmas. She is in her 90′s and somewhat sedentary these days since she suffered a stroke and broken hip back in April. My mother mentioned to me that she was going to need some things to wear around her to keep her warm this winter as she lives in Michigan, where it is cold in the winter.
I crocheted this cape using Homespun yarn from Lion brand in the color spice. I love the colors of the Homespun as well as how soft and warm it is. I really like to crochet and knit with this yarn in the winter months. The lower edge of the cape features a ruffle yarn as the trim. The yarn is from Patons and called Pirouette. I like how some of the ruffle yarns coordinate with the Homespun yarn so well. I have also made a crochet scarf using the ruffle yarn as just an edging and knit a wrap using the ruffle yarn just on the edge and the Homespun yarn as the base of the wrap.
This pattern is something I designed on my own. I do have the pattern available in my etsy shop if you are interested in crocheting one yourself. Click on the highlighted word etsy to take you to that link.
I made my grandmother a lap throw several years ago that I crocheted in different colors to go with her couch. She says she loves it and uses it all the time. I am hoping she will like this cape, too. It is always nice to hear when people are using the things you made for them.
What gifts are you crocheting or knitting for people this Christmas? Click on Leave a Reply and tell me about them.
One of the things I love about fall and the Thanksgiving holiday is cranberries! I have been buying, cooking with and eating fresh cranberries for at least a month now. I like the fact that I can get this huge jumbo bag of them at Sams Club.
I like to make traditional cranberry sauce, like the directions on the package of cranberries. I recently developed my own new recipe using that concept but adding some rhubarb to the mixture. It is really good – I have made it twice now.
Bring water and sugar to boil, in a medium size saucepan, dissolving sugar. Add cranberries and rhubarb, turn heat to medium-high. Cook until cranberries pop. Stir frequently. After they have popped for a few minutes stir and press them against side of pan as much as desired. Turn heat to low and simmer 3 to 4 minutes then remove from heat.
I really like this combination of the cranberries with the rhubarb. It reminds me of being a child – my grandparents had a big garden and grew rhubarb. My grandma always made rhubarb pie and this wonderful strawberry-rhubarb jam. I actually bought the rhubarb to make this crisp recipe – which I did and I liked but then I decided to try it with the cranberries. I have been enjoying it in the morning for breakfast with my Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain cereal or even as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I also like to eat it with this Linwoods flaxseed and goji berry blend that I bought recently at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Another great thing about the combinations of cranberries and rhubarb is that both are great for your health and your skin. They both contain Vitamin C. Rhubarb is also high in calcium and water to keep you hydrated. Rhubarb is also a natural food laxative and keeps your digestive system in good order.
I have also recently made this cranberry bread in my crock pot. Yes, in the crock pot!
I got the Fix It and Forget It New Cookbook by Phyllis Good a few weeks ago from Sams. I always have to check out the books at Sams and usually end up finding something to buy. This recipe was for Cranberry Almond bread made in your crock pot. It turned out really well and my husband even liked it and I didn’t even know he liked cranberries. The recipe uses fresh cranberries. I tweaked it a little and used 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 all purpose flour to make it a little more whole grain. I really enjoyed eating this for breakfast with my cranberry rhubarb sauce.
I would love to hear about any of your cranberry recipes. Please click on leave a reply to share them. Have a great weekend!
This week I have been using two of my exercise books to workout with instead of my usual dvd’s. Sometimes I get tired of doing the dvd’s and need a change. I think that is one thing that helps to keep me motivated to exercise every day is to have variety. I think if I had to do the same thing all the time I would get very bored and decide to quit. So far I have kept a regular workout schedule for the last 5 or more years and I think alternating my workouts and change is the key to keeping me interested and seeing results.
Both of these books use an exercise ball and they also use some dumbbells with some of the exercises, a medicine ball or a handled exercise band. I bought the one book on the left recently this past summer at Half Price Books and the one on the right I have had for several years – I got it from Barnes and Noble on sale. A lot of the time you can find some decent fitness books in the sale section at Barnes and Noble.
Both of these books have color photos and detailed descriptions of the exercises. I also like the fact that at the end of both of the books there are workout routines. For example on Monday I did the Sports routine from the CORE book. It was compiled group of 16 different exercises from the book. On Tuesday I did the 101 Ways to Burn Fat on the Ball book – the Five Minute Arms and Five Minute Shoulders routine – 2 rounds of each of these so it was about 20 minutes long with a few minutes of stretching at the end. On Wednesday, today, I did the 101 Ways book again using the Five Minute Butt, Five Minute Legs and the Pilates routines. I did 2 rounds of each of these as well so it took about 30 minutes. The photos below are from the routine today.
Tomorrow I plan to do the CORE book again – using the Warrior routine which is compiled of 19 different exercises. Friday I will do the CORE Power workout that is 18 different exercises. Saturday I will use the 101 Ways to Burn Fat on the Ball and do the stretching routine.
I really like using the exercise ball, especially with weights. It is a great way to tone your whole body and really work your core.
I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I can’t believe tomorrow will be Thursday already and next week Thanksgiving!
This navy knit top is made from a Butterick pattern that I bought at least a year or two ago. I am sure I got the pattern when they were on sale and had great intentions to sew it up asap but life got in the way – or other sewing projects!
I got really motivated to make this when I saw Deby from So Sew Easypost her finished versions of this top on her blog a couple of months ago. I made a comment to her on how I also had the same pattern and she responded that it was really easy to sew. I decided I needed to get it done!
One of the reasons I had put off making this top was while it said it was easy on the pattern it looked somewhat complicated after I had cut out the pieces. There really are not many pieces to it – like maybe 4 or 5 – but it still looked like a challenge. I have a lot of sewing experience and make a lot of my own clothes but I remember making this other twist front top a couple of years ago and it did not fit me correctly. It was too low in the front and I didn’t like wearing it.
This sewing project was much more successful than my previous one. I made the size 10 – the smallest size is an 8 and based on the measurements I went with the 10. I did decide to adjust the lower V point up a little and I am glad I did or I think it would have been too low cut for my taste. I think I brought that point up about an inch. The gathered front area is very attractive and the top is comfortable to wear, too.
I also made some pants from the same fabric using the Bernina My Label pattern that I have for just the basic pull on pant. They are really comfortable and the fabric has a poly blend with the cotton so they don’t get too baggy when you wear them. I am not sure where I bought the fabric – maybe Joann’s. I have had it in my stash for several months now. I tend to buy fabric when it is on sale and stick with colors I like.
The above is the back view of the top. Sorry it is a little wrinkled – I took the photos later in the day after I had been to church and sitting for a while.
I will definitely make this top again. There are two other versions in the pattern. They have the same front but one is sleeveless and the other is longer, more like a tunic, with long sleeves. I think I will make the long sleeve tunic version next so I can wear it with some new leggings that I recently made.
I recently got a new bread machine – my parents brought it to me when they came to visit in October. They got it from a neighbor at a garage sale. I have a bread machine, an Oster, that I bought about 4 years ago but it has been well used and I am not sure how much longer it will last. It sometimes makes some loud squeaking noises when it is kneading the bread. Also, I do not really like how the Oster bakes the bread. I usually just use the dough cycle and make rolls or make my own loaf of bread and bake it in the oven when using the Oster bread machine.
Whole grain bread loaf made using the dough cycle on my Oster bread machine and baked in a large loaf pan in the oven
I really like my new-old bread machine. It bakes the bread in there really well. It also makes really nice dough. It had the book with it and even some recipes the previous owner had clipped that were from an early year 2000 magazine. The receipt was even in there and this bread machine is 19 years old! My husband also observed that it was made by the company that makes his welding protection helmet. Interesting…
Baked Bread in 19 year old bread machine recently purchased at a garage sale
The size loaf it makes is pretty big – it is a round size. I wasn’t sure I would like that but it seems like it is okay. I forgot to take a photo of a finished loaf before we started devouring it. My whole family loves this new whole grain recipe I made up.
Place all ingredients in your bread machine as recommended by the manufacturer. Set bread machine to a basic loaf cycle setting and start.
I listed these instructions in the order that this older Welbilt machine recommends - yeast 1st, then dry ingredients, then the liquids.
I have a newer bread machine that you do them in the opposite order - liquids 1st then the dry then the yeast. For best results use the recommendation of your particular machine.
As the cycle begins and is kneading the bread lift the lid and check to see if it is blending properly. If it looks sticky add a little more bread flour 1 tsp at a time or if it is dry add a tsp of water. Bread machines vary and I find I have to usually add a little more flour to prevent it from sticking. It is okay to lift the lid and do this during the kneading process but I don't recommend lifting the lid during the rising or baking.
Everyone in my family also loves these garlic rolls I make in the bread machine. They go great with spaghetti or any type of pasta dish. I have made them with just the bread flour or sometimes with part bread flour and part whole wheat pastry flour. Both versions are really good.
3 1/4 c. bread flour or 2 1/2 c. bread flour & 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
Garlic Oil Mixture for finished rolls:
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tblsp butter
6 cloves garlic, peeled & minced or 2 tsp already minced garlic from jar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Place all ingredients in order recommended by your bread machine. Start the dough cycle.
When dough cycle is finished remove dough to a lightly floured surface and divide dough into 12 equal pieces - Shape into desired roll shape - I usually just do a round ball. Place rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow rolls to rise 45 min. then bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
While the rolls are baking combine the above garlic oil mixture to use on rolls in a small sauce pan and heat over low heat for 5-10 minutes to melt butter and infuse the garlic.
After rolls are done and cooled for approx. 5-10 minutes roll them around in garlic olive oil mixture and place back on pan or on a cooling rack.
Check your bread machine within first 5 to 10 minutes of kneading the dough to see if it is too sticky or dry. If it is sticking add 1 tsp of flour at a time until it forms a nice dough ball or if it is dry add 1 tsp warm water at a time until a nice dough ball forms. It is okay to check on the bread during kneading and lift the lid - do not lift lid during the rising. All machines vary as well as recipes so I usually have to add a little more flour to get the right consistency.
I really enjoy making breads and rolls in my bread machine – or I guess bread machines now that I have two of them. The breads I make in the bread machine are usually much healthier than the ones I buy. They do not contain preservatives so you do have to eat them within 4 to 5 days or freeze half your loaf.
I hope you enjoy the recipes. I would love to hear about your experience using a bread machine – click on leave a reply to let me know.
I recently finished a couple more knit cowls. Both of these cowls are knit in the round on circular knitting needles in one continuous piece with a deliberate twist – known as a mobius cowl or wrap. I love projects like these that do not require any seaming.
The cowl-wrap above is knit in Homespun yarn in the color Fire. A very pretty rustic orange color for fall or winter.
This version of my mobius cowl is a lacy knit version. I also used Homespun yarn for this accessory in the color Tudor – it has shades of blue and green along with purple and cream.
Both of these cowls are my own pattern which is available in my etsy shop if you are interested in knitting your own. I am also selling both of these cowls in my shop as well – they make a great gift.
I am currently working on a new crochet motif sweater pattern that I hope to finish soon. I am also knitting a sweater in some yarn that I found in my stash that I have had for a long time. What projects are you currently crocheting or knitting? Click on Leave a Reply to let me know.
This smoothie is a creation I developed with ingredients that are good for you and good for your skin, too. I have been trying to make one in the afternoons several days a week and drinking them as a pick me up energy drink – that I know is loaded with fresh ingredients and healthy vitamins. It is super quick and easy to make, too.
Here is the recipe:
handful of spinach
1/2 c. frozen chopped mango & pineapple blend (I got mine at Sam’s)
1 or 2 pieces of crystallized dried ginger (I got this from Sprouts)
1/2 to 3/4 c. filtered water
Blend all of the above ingredients until it is smooth – 1 to 2 minutes. I use my Nutribullet with the smaller size blending cup to make this. It blends up really well in there.
Some info in the ingredients in this green drink:
Spinach – vital for looking and feeling young and fit, keeps your skin healthy, has B-vitamins, vitamin C, carotenoids, calcium, fiber, lipoic acid, magnesium and zinc
Mango – high in beta-carotene needed for healthy, clear, skin and overall immunity, protects the brain from memory loss, contains vitamin C, vitamin E and fiber
Pineapple – contains vitamin C to defend against premature aging, also contains enzymes that have antioxidants and help produce energy, rich in bromelain to help reduce inflammation
Ginger – also good for inflammation in the body due to joint problems, protects your digestive system from premature aging, regulates blood sugar and boosts circulation
Green smoothies are a great way to get extra healthy nutrients into your body each day. I will admit it takes a little getting use to drinking them. They usually taste better than they look, in my opinion. I have tried some that I do not like at all but this one has a very pleasant taste to me, with the ginger in it, and I always feel very healthy and energized after drinking one.
I would love to hear about your experience with trying green smoothies – or any good smoothie recipes you have to share. You can let me know by leaving a reply.