Fitness for October 2015
October 30, 2015
The month of October is almost over…tomorrow is Halloween and the time will fall back this weekend. This past month I followed a pretty intense workout schedule using my Cathe Friedrich programs – Xtrain and Ripped with Hiit and doing yoga. I am trying to ramp up my workouts some and get ready for her new series that I have already pre-ordered called ICE which stands for Intermediate Conditioning Extreme. The title itself makes it sound like the workouts will be a challenge. The workouts are coming out the end of fall 2015.
I alternated my weeks in October with one week Xtrain mixed with yoga a couple of days and then the next week Ripped with Hiit and yoga. I averaged a 5 to 6 day a week workout schedule with 2 of my days being yoga.
For my yoga routines I used this older Yoga Journal magazine I bought back in April 2013. I also used my new crocheted yoga props that I made myself on many of my yoga days. For more on the crochet pillow and strap see this post.
I love doing yoga on my non cardio days. I really enjoy yoga on Saturday mornings, too – it is a great start to my weekend to get up early Saturday, before 7 am, and do 20 to 30 minutes of yoga. Yoga also helps keep me flexible after the intense cardio and weight workouts I do.
I have also started juicing again this month. I kind of put my juicer away a few months ago and got out of the habit of using it. I decided it was time to start up again. I love buying the produce and looking through my juicing books for interesting juice combinations. I think the reason I don’t keep up with it on a daily basis is because of the clean up involved with the juicer parts – it doesn’t take that long but it is something else to have to do when you are done juicing. I find it works better if I make two or three juices up and store them in mason jars in the refrigerator so I don’t have to drag the juicer out every day.
A benefit I notice with juicing is how good I feel and how much more focused I am. I also think it helps influence better eating choices. My goal is to have a fresh juice at least 4 to 5 times each week.
The fresh kale, in the photo above, is from my garden. This was something else to motivate my juicing. I grew some last year and used it with my juicer and remembered how much better it tasted and juiced than the kind I buy. I grew some again this year, from seed, and it is doing really well lately. It tends to not grow so good in the hot Texas heat in the summer but does very well in the spring and fall weather.
So, what kind of workouts have you been doing lately? Let me know in the comments below.
Have a great day!
New Crochet Designs
October 27, 2015
I recently finished some new crochet designs. The first thing I completed at the beginning of October was this crochet laptop sleeve and this little crochet case.
I love this vibrant V stitch design used to create my laptop sleeve. I was inspired to create this because I was tired of having a large laptop case to carry when traveling. This sleeve is perfect for holding my 16 inch laptop and it will slide down inside a larger bag that I carry when I travel. The stitch is also very thick so it provides some extra cushion for the laptop. I also created this little mini case to hold the laptop power cord and the mouse that I use.
My other new design for October was this fun chakra yoga pillow or bolster pattern. I was tired of using my couch pillows for a yoga bolster when doing certain poses so I decided to crochet one. I got inspired to do one in chakra colors as I have a book about chakra yoga and thought a crocheted pillow or bolster would be fun to make and something I would use. I am really pleased with how the pillow turned out and I have already used it many times in the last couple of weeks. Along with this pattern I also made a yoga strap to go with the pillow.
Both of these patterns are available here on my website under my Pattern Store tab. You can also find these patterns in my etsy shop, on craftsy and on ravelry.
Visit KimberleeG’s Craftsy Pattern Store »
What have you been crocheting or working on lately? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Have a great day!
Essential Oil Blends for Perfume
October 16, 2015
There are many ways to use essential oils. One of the ways I have found to use them daily is wearing them as a perfume. Not all oils are good for this but I have discovered a few of the different essential oil blends from Young Living that smell nice when worn as a fragrance.
Three of the blends I have discovered that work well as a perfume are:
- Lady Sclareol
- White Angelica
Awaken is actually a combination of five different Young Living Blends in fractionated coconut oil. The blends are: Joy, Forgiveness, Present Time, Dream Catcher and Harmony. According to the Essential Oils Pocket Reference Book this blend enhances inner self-awareness, stimulates right brain creativity, amplifying functions of the pineal and pituitary glands to balance the energy centers of the body. I think this blend has a pleasant smell and have applied it on my wrists and behind my ears and over my heart area in the morning before doing some yoga.
Lady Sclareol is a blend of 11 different single oils to create a lovely fragrance that I have been using a lot as a daily perfume over the past several months. This blend is suppose to enhance feminine nature by improving your mood and raising estrogen levels for women – it may also provide PMS relief according to the Pocket Reference Book.
White Angelica is a blend of 12 different single oils in fractionated coconut oil. This blend is suppose to bring a renewed sense of strength and protection to the body, create a feeling of wholeness in one’s own spirituality and neutralizes negative energy as stated in the Essential Oils Pocket Reference Book. I have also been wearing this one a lot as it has such a pleasant and calming smell.
To wear any of these three essential oils as a fragrance you can apply them as you would any perfume, as each of them are safe to apply without dilution, to the wrists, neck, behind ears, on the forehead, on the shoulders or over the heart area. You could also use a small glass spray bottle and dilute about 15 to 25 drops in one or two ounces of filtered water to create a body spray – I have done this with some single oils to create my own blend and this works well.
If you are interested in learning more about essential oils or about Young Living specifically please contact me using the form below and I will get back to you.
If you are interested in signing up to be a Young Living member please click on the highlighted Young Living to take you to the sign up link. If you join Young Living with this link I will send you a free gift for signing up once you have ordered you starter kit.
How do you use essential oils and what are some of your favorite Young Living blends? Please let me know by leaving a reply.
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!
Visit KimberleeG’s Craftsy Pattern Store »
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.
Visit KimberleeG’s Craftsy Pattern Store »
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Fitness for August 2015
August 28, 2015
This month I have been working out using my P90X3 workout again. I think this is my third time doing the program. I am not actually doing the whole entire 13 week schedule like I did back in Jan to April 2014 but I am using P90X3 about four times a week and doing my own yoga routines a couple other days of the week. I have found it to be a great schedule for August.
As you can see from the above photo my faithful workout buddy – my cat – is really into P90X3 and using the bands.
On another workout day he was into snuggling with my weights. At one point he was actually laying over the top of them stretched out but he moved before I could get his picture. He never misses a morning workout with me.
One of the things I love about P90X3 is that all the workouts are 30 minutes long and there is a lot of variety. There is cardio, cardio with weights, weight training, isometric exercises, kickboxing, yoga and even pilates. You do not get bored with these dvd’s.
The reason I chose to only do them four days a week instead of six like on the program is because I wanted to either ride my bike or do yoga on off days which is what i did.
I have also been making my own bread a lot lately. One of my sons wanted me to make cinnamon rolls so I found a cinnamon bread recipe instead from my Make Ahead Bread book and it turned out really well. My son really likes it too and I have made it two or three times now – it makes a large loaf.
As I mentioned in a previous post on baking homemade bread this book has a neat concept that makes baking homemade bread very simple. You make your dough ahead of time, like the night before, and refrigerate the loaf, get it out in the morning and bake it for like an hour and you have the best loaf of bread ever. I have used many recipes from the book, a lot of them are whole grain types of recipes, and they have turned out well. This cinnamon roll bread was another success.
We had some homeowner issues this past month. We discovered back at the end of July that we had a water line leak since we had a terribly high water bill. We had to do a lot of investigating and my husband had to do a lot of digging around but we discovered two leaks in our front yard – one up by the house, the shut off box and one by the water main by the street.
Well, lots of money later we now have a whole new water line installed thanks to Legacy Plumbing. It was about a four day process though to get the leak accessed and a temporary fix, get the permit, have a professional digging company come and hand dig the trench you see in the above photo and then another day for the plumber to come and do the whole line.
There was one day when this first happened that we did not have water for about 24 hours. You don’t realize how much you need and use water. I went to the store and bought gallon jugs for us to use to brush teeth, wash hands and dishes and we bought bottled drinking water. It makes you really appreciate having running water in the house.
I will say that Legacy Plumbing was a great company to use and if you live in my area of Plano, Texas and need a plumber call them. They are very fast to respond and do a very professional job and their plumbers are friendly and knowledgeable. We also used them back in May to get a new hot water heater – lots of plumbing issues for us this year.
Well, my boys are back in school now -this was their first week so things are busy around here again – actually they are always busy but now there is more of a routine to things. I was kind of sad to see their summer break end but it is nice to have the house be a little quieter during the day again.
I hope you are able to get some workouts in for the fall. I am planning to use some of my workout books for the month of September.
Have a great weekend!
Knitting Pattern Lacy Wrap
August 19, 2015
This knitting pattern is one of my new designs I recently completed.
I actually designed this wrap after finding this pretty yarn in my oldest son’s school colors figuring I could wear it to some of the football games in the fall. I bought the yarn at Tuesday Morning, of all places. I didn’t even know they had yarn there until someone in my facebook knitting group posted a photo months ago of a bunch of yarn they bought there. So, I had to go check it out and this was one of the yarns I found. The yarn is by Rozetti and it is called Soft Payette.
I originally had the idea to make this into a longer wrap but ran out of yarn. When I went back to Tuesday Morning to see if they had more (it was a few months later) it was all gone. So, I decided rather than frogging the project I could create this pretty tie front cape. I think I actually like it better that way as it is just perfect for covering the back and shoulders – which is just what you need in the kind of climate I live in for the early fall.
The other feature I really love about this wrap is the pretty scallop edges on each side. The stitch pattern I used to knit this created the pretty edges. This pattern is now available in my etsy shop, as well as on craftsy and ravelry if you are interested in knitting one click on one of the highlighted links to take you to the pattern.
I have also been crocheting a lot lately. I will be sharing some of my crochet creations soon so check back.
Have a great day!
Sewing Summer Tops
August 12, 2015
Recently I have taken a little break from blogging. One of the reasons being that I was gone for 10 days in July on a family vacation. I have also been focusing on some other things during my break from blogging and one of them is sewing some new things for summer. This summer I have made a couple of bathing suits, some lingerie (posts to come on that later) and some new summer tops. In addition to sewing I have been doing a lot of crocheting and developing some new patterns.
One of the reasons I love to sew is that I enjoy being able to make something the way I want it to fit. Another reason I prefer to sew my own clothing over buying it is because I can make something that will last a lot longer and wear better than many things you buy at the store. I have some shirts in my wardrobe that I made probably 8 or 10 years ago that are classic styles that I still wear and they are still in good condition. I don’t know if I have many articles of clothing that I have bought that I can say that about.
The above top is one I made about a month ago and have already wore it several times. It is perfect for our hot Texas weather in July and August. This top is made from a pattern I have had since 2010. The pattern is New Look 6965 and it has four or five different tops in the same pattern. I have made a couple of the other versions in the pattern in the past. This particular top features a tie shoulder strap that was suppose to be made with ribbon. I decided to use my crochet skills and crochet the straps since I had the perfect color of navy blue cotton yarn to match the fabric.
The next top I made after the navy one was this light blue floral print button down shirt with a collar. It is hard to see the tiny floral print on the fabric in the lighting I was in in the above photos. I think I have had the fabric for four or five years and the pattern is very old – a classic from my pattern stash McCalls 2094 from 1999. I like the style of this top with the front and back darts and the button front. I have a couple of pairs of shorts and a couple of skirts it will go with so lots of options for wearing this shirt. I even discovered a crochet headband I made years ago that is the same color blue.
The third top I made was this purple print one. This is another fabric I have had in my stash for years. This top was made using a newer pattern that I purchased on sale at Hancocks a few weeks ago. The pattern is McCalls 6967 and included in the pattern with this cute little top is a couple of dresses and a skirt. This was a really simple pattern to sew and I will probably go through my stash and make another one – it only takes one yard of fabric and a couple of hours to make this top.
The last top I recently finished sewing was this simple knit twisted shoulder top. This pattern was actually my own creation using a pattern from My Label pattern software and figuring out how to do the twisted shoulder. The whole top is made with a serger and super simple. In my etsy shop I offer a tutorial on how to make a top like this using an old t shirt. This particular one I actually used fabric and a pattern drafted to my measurements.
The other thing I finished in the past week was this crochet shrug – which I thought looked good with my twisted tank top and a skirt that I made a few years ago. The shrug is one I started a year ago and put it aside to work on other things. I decided it was time to get it finished and completed it. I love the way it turned out and wonder why I waited to long to get it done. This shrug is crocheted using Patons Glam yarn and is black and glitter sliver. The pattern features a ripple and pretty scalloped sleeve. I will be offering the pattern in my etsy shop very soon as well as on craftsy and ravelry.
School is starting here soon for my boys and we have been busy with the back to school yearly things that go with that. Even though there is another month or more left of summer it kind of feels like summer is ending once the kids start school – I am hoping that means the heat will end as well but I have a feeling it will be another month or more before that happens.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying cool.