Working Out Week 39 of 2014

This past week I decided to do lower impact workouts along with yoga.  My workouts this week were:

  • Monday – Yoga – Light Up Practice from YJ magazine + 2 yoga ab moves – 20 min.
  • Tuesday – off – rode bike to store for groceries
  • Wednesday – Cathe – LIS – Turbo Barre + 2 yoga ab moves – 32 min.
  • Thursday – Cathe-LIS- Slide n Glide Muscle Conditioning premix + 2 yoga ab moves – 32 min.
  • Friday – Yoga with weights routine + 2 yoga ab moves – 20 min.
  • Saturday – Yoga – Shine On Practice from YJ magazine – 20 min.

Cathe Turbo Barre workout

Turbo Barre is one of my favorites on the Low Impact Series dvd’s.  For a while I was trying to do this one once a week.  My cat loves this one as he gets to sit on that chair and jump around trying to get his tail when he is not watching me.

Cathe Slide n Glide workout

Slide n Glide is another great lower impact workout on this dvd collection from Cathe Friedrich. I chose to do the floor work – or muscle conditioning – portion of the dvd on this day.  Those slide discs give you an awesome workout.  This is another cat approved workout.

The other three days I worked out this week I did yoga.  I used some of my Yoga Journal magazine practices that I have clipped out from the magazines and I keep them in a three ring binder.

One of the reasons for the lighter schedule this week is because I decided to do a juicing diet of sorts this past week.  I didn’t do an entire cleanse or detox as I did eat something light for breakfast and lunch along with my juice I made.  I also ate dinner with my family as I usually cook every night anyhow and it is typically a healthy meal so I didn’t give up eating dinner for juicing.   Breville Juicer

The photo above is of the new juicer I bought last week.  I am really liking my new appliance.  I am having fun trying different juices and enjoying the health benefits of the juice, too.  I really like juices that have carrots in them and they are so good for you.  I am amazed too at how full you feel after drinking one of these juices.  I guess you figure that it contains quite a bit of fruits and vegetables and you are getting all the good micro nutrients from them.  I also notice that I have a lot of energy and I am sleeping really well, although I don’t usually have sleep issues – I seem to be sleeping more deeply.

After watching the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead dvd I checked out from the library last week I got much more interested in juicing and the benefits of it.  I know for many, like Joe in the documentary, it is to lose weight and get healthy.  I consider myself pretty healthy but I figured juicing might improve my health even more and give my body better nutrition.  Some days it is just really hard to eat five or six servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  When I look at all the things I have juiced this past week there is no way I would have been able to eat all of that.

Also, even though I was eating along with juicing I did notice some change in my waist and hips as in losing an inch or half an inch here and there.  I was impressed since I was not striving toward losing anything – just goes to show you this process works if you try it.  But, as Joe mentions in the dvd there seems to be a lot of people not even willing to try it for a few days.   I will say if you do decide to try it around the second day you may want to be close to home and near a restroom.  My body was for sure detoxing some things that day after having a juice in the morning and another for lunch – this was my second day doing that.  I didn’t feel terrible just a little fatigued for a couple of hours and was glad I was at home since it was a Sunday afternoon.

Sweet Earth Juice

The juice in the above picture was one I made a couple of days ago and it was so good.  It had a sweet potato and carrots in it along with a couple of other things.  The recipe was from a book I checked out from the library last weekend called Joyful Juicing.  There are lots of great recipes in this book.  I tried another one today – a green variety and it was kind of tart with a whole lemon in it along with spinach and cucumber but I liked it.  It also makes you feel so healthy after drinking it and you have natural energy for hours.

Joyful Juicing book and alkalizing greens juice

One thing I have noticed about the juices is that I like them better cold so I put ice in them when I drink them.   I also have refrigerated them for a few hours before drinking them and then I don’t need any ice.  I know all the info I have read says to drink it immediately for the most benefits but I find that refrigerating them for several hours or even a day makes them tastes better to me.  I have even gotten my three sons to try some of them and they said they were okay – not all of them but a few.  Since I have been buying so much produce the kids seem to be eating more apples and oranges too, so that is good.

Reboot with Joe book from library

The other book I have checked out from the library on juicing is from Joe Cross, the creator and person behind the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentary.  This book is excellent for explaining what a reboot is and how to do one step by step.  It also gives you recipes and shopping lists for what you need to be successful.  I mentioned before I am not interested in doing a complete reboot as I don’t feel the need to lose weight but I am reading the book and learning so much about the juicing process and all it has to offer.  There are also plans in the book for people like me who don’t want a full juice diet and will be eating along with juicing.  So far the recipes I have tried from his book are excellent.

Healthy Baking - Whole Grain Carrot Bread

When you juice your produce the juicer produces pulp from you fruits and vegetables.  The book the juicer came with and the Reboot with Joe book give you some recipes for using the pulp.  I decided to use my $2.50 book I got from Tuesday Morning a couple of weeks ago and make my own Whole Grain Carrot Bread using the carrot pulp.  This bread is so good.  The pulp from the juicer is so fine you can hardly tell it is in the bread.  This recipe from the book had lots of whole grains in it like whole wheat flour and flaxseed meal and only one tablespoon of honey for the sugar.  It is a yeast bread so I made the dough in my bread machine on the dough cycle and then baked it in the oven after letting it rise in the bread pan.  So far everyone likes it and it is great toasted.  I feel so healthy when I eat something like this that is made by me with whole grains and natural ingredients.

Weekly Fit Tip:  Eat right to see results      “You are what you eat”

Working out is important to overall health and so is eating correctly.  You can not expect good results from exercise if you are still eating and drinking things that are not healthy.

- Strive for at least 5 to 7 fruits and vegetable per day – get a juicer to help you achieve this or make green smoothies in a blender

- Eat whole grains

- Cut back on meat – especially red meat; eat fish at least once per week and more chicken   – try for at least one day per week of no meat – I try and do a meatless Monday (I just don’t tell my family)

- Cut back on caffeine and sugary coffee drinks and soda

- Cut back or eliminate all alcohol – you will feel much better and think more clearly

- Keep sugary foods to a minimum – I will eat dessert but only a couple of times a week and usually a smaller portion and something homemade so I know the ingredients in it

- Drink LOTS of water every day!

- Plan meals and fix and freeze things ahead of time when you can

- Keep processed or pre-packaged foods out of your house – if you have kids this is hard but I try and keep them to a minimum and buy things that are at least partially healthy (if that is at all possible with pre-packaged items I am not sure but I do read labels and look for fiber content and sugar amounts, etc)

- Read food labels and think before you buy

I hope everyone had a great first week of Fall.  I am glad it is starting to cool down here a little – although I hear it might be back to 90 in a few days.

-Kimberlee

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KAL for Circular Perspectives Cowl

KAL – stands for Knit Along.  I think I have mentioned that before but just wanted to let anyone know who might not be familiar with it.  I just finished this cowl that was part a KAL from the Mountain Colors yarn group on Ravelry.  I really like how it turned out.

Circular Perspective Cowl

The yarn used to knit this cowl was from Mountain Colors – Crazyfoot yarn – and came in a kit with the five different colors.  The cowl is knit on size US 6 circular knitting needles and is knit in the round so there is no seaming.

New ChiaoGoo needles and Mountain Colors yarn kits

The above photo is of the yarn and how it comes packaged in the kit with the colors in the order to use.  I ordered two kits as I liked both of the color combinations and I will be giving this finished one away as a Christmas gift – so glad to have something finished super early this year.  I knit this project on my new Chiaogoo knitting needles.  This was my first time using this brand of bamboo needles and I love them.  They are very pointed for bamboo.  I got the small size interchangeable kit so there are sizes 2 through size 8.

Close up of Circular Perspectives Cowl colors

You can see how nicely the colors transition and how pretty the stitch is in the above photo.  This pattern looks complicated but I thought it was pretty simple to follow as long as you used markers in between the repeats in the pattern.  I would think that if you are an intermediate knitter you can knit this cowl.  It was also simple enough to do while watching TV or Netflix.  The pattern can be found on Ravelry at this link:  Circular Perspectives Cowl

Circular Perspectives Cowl

The cowl can also be worn long, in a single layer.  I am looking forward to knitting the other one in the blue-teal colors but I am going to have to wait as I need to finish up a couple of other things I have on needles or a crochet hook.

Fall and Winter seem to be the time of year for me to really get into a crochet and knitting mood.   Are you working on any new crochet or knitting projects?  Tell me about them by clicking on Leave a Reply.

Have a great day!

Kimberlee

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Working Out Week 38 of 2014

It is September 20th already.  I don’t know where the time goes but it seems to be flying by this month.  My workouts this past week were:

  • Monday – T-25 Total Body Circuit + 2 Ab Moves on Ball – 28 min.
  • Tuesday – off/ Rode bike to store for groceries
  • Wednesday – Cathe CrossFire dvd – fitness blast & firewalker premix + 2 Ab Moves – 29 min.
  • Thursday – Shiva Rea Daily Energy – Solar Meditation & Chakra Namaskar sequence + 2 Ab Moves – 27 min.
  • Friday – T-25 Ab Intervals + Yoga Breathe For Joy Sequence from Yoga Journal magazine + 2 Ab Moves – 45 min.
  • Saturday – Shiva Rea Daily Energy – Heart-Air sequence + Core + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min.

For the next twelve weeks I will be taking Tuesday’s off or just doing a bike ride or light yoga in the evening that day.  The reason being is that I am doing a group Bible Study at our church and it meets on Tuesday mornings – I don’t think I want to show up at that all sweaty and in workout clothes.  I also don’t want to get up any earlier than I already do, 6:00 am, so I have decided that I am okay with taking that day off and just working out 5 days a week for the next few months.

T 25 Total Body Circuit

Monday I did T-25 Total Body Circuit.  I remember this one as being a tough workout and it still is for me.  Lots of cardio and lots of planks and push ups in this workout.  Tons of sweat at the end.

Workout Cat

Look who was waiting to workout among the workout bands on Wednesday – my faithful workout friend.  He sat there on and off during the workout.

Cathe CrossFire workout

The above photos are part of the Cathe CrossFire workout.  I was able to catch some of the jump turn squat sequence in my photos.  This is where you start out facing forward and then have to jump and turn 180 degrees to face the back into a squat and then repeat – many times.  I really like the CrossFire workout.  It is a total body workout.  On this particular day I got up about 10 minutes later than normal so I only did one of the premixes that is about 27 minutes long instead of the whole entire workout that I think is over 50 minutes long.  That is one thing I love about her dvd’s – lots of premixes so you don’t feel like you have to do a whole hour long if you don’t have the time.

Shiva Rea Daily Energy yoga dvd

The yoga dvd I used this week on Thursday and Saturday was the same one – Daily Energy from Shiva Rea.  This dvd is set up with many different 20 minute yoga sequences that you can pick to do and also some core work, forward bend and some meditation segments to add on to one of the 20 minute ones.  I really like this dvd and I love yoga days!

Weekly Ab Moves

I am trying to continue with my weekly two ab moves after each of my daily workouts.  This week I decided to use my exercise ball and do the two exercises with that – the cat approved.

documentary dvd from library

I also watched this documentary dvd that I checked out from the library.  I had seen the guy, Joe Cross, who made the movie on Dr. Oz a while back and I also had heard of the dvd.  It was a really good and interesting documentary on his journey with following a strict juice cleanse to help himself lose weight and to get his health back as he had a debilitating condition that was causing him to have to be on quite a few medications.  After watching this dvd I learned the following day that a sequel to this one was just released this week so there is now a Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead part 2.

The documentary really impressed me as to how juicing can really help you become and be a lot healthier.  I had been thinking of getting a juicer a while back but decided not to since I had my Ninja blender.  Well, after learning more about the benefits of juicing I decided to buy a juicer.   I got a Breville one like the one in the dvd, I think.  I had a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond so I used it to buy one.  I am impressed with how well it juices fruits and vegetables and how easy it is to clean.  There are kind of a lot of pieces but they clean up pretty fast.

So far I have made three different kinds of juices since Friday evening.  I am amazed already at how I am feeling and how the juices seem to really fill you up, give you energy and make you less hungry.  I was not having any hunger or snack attacks at the normal times I usually do – like around 4 pm.  I am not sure I will do a full Juice only cleanse like many people do for a certain amount of time but I am considering doing a partial diet of juices for a few days – like for breakfast, snacks and lunch and then eat a sensible dinner with my family.

Be Not Afraid

 Weekly Fitness Tip:  Don’t compare yourself to others

- Focus on your goals and realistic exercise programs and time frames not on what others are doing

- Fitness is a journey, not a race.  It is okay to start out or go slowly, just do something and don’t give up

I hope everyone had a great week and you are getting a chance to workout and cook some healthy meals.

-Kimberlee

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Lace Tee Knitting Project

The lace tonal tee that I was working on for a KAL with the Artyarns group on Ravelry is complete.  I actually have had it done for a few weeks but had to block it – which I did last week and I wore it to church this past Sunday.  Also, it has been too hot here to wear it until this past weekend when it really cooled down here in Texas.

Front and Back of Lace Tonal Tee

I am really proud of knitting this lace tee – sweater.  I believe this is one of the most intricate lace projects I have ever done.  The whole sweater is knit on circular knitting needles and knit in the round so there is no seaming .  The project was part of a KAL – knit along – in a group on Ravelry for Aryarns.  I think the only way to get the pattern right now is to do the KAL.    The link to the KAL is:   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lace-tonal-tee-knitalong

Lace Tee knit with Regal Silk yarn from Artyarns

The above photo gives you a close up view of the lace pattern.  The pattern is suppose to have more of a sleeve with the diamond border but I ran out of yarn and hated to have to order one more skein just for a few more rows.  So, I just finished the sleeve with a round of knit and then the bind off for a small cap sleeve.  I think it turned out fine.

The Regal Silk yarn from Artyarns that this is made with is a lovely yarn to knit with.  The project is actually suppose to be knit with various skeins in a tonal color scheme but I already had this color in Parrot so I decide to just use it.  Also, less weaving in of ends after the project is done since I didn’t do all of the color changes.

I plan to knit another one of these in the future.  I think I will make it a little shorter though and not do an extra round of the middle diamonds as called for in the pattern.  This is more of a tunic length for me.  Also, I learned that the 100 percent silk yarn is very stretchy.  Since this was my first time using this yarn or making this type of sweater I didn’t realize it was going to “grow” as you put it on.  That’s okay though.  I like how it looked with my tiered skirt that I made a few months ago and I think it will also look great with some leggings in one of the colors.

I hope everyone is having a good week.  I am currently working on some new crochet and knitting pattern designs.  Fall is in the air here in Texas and scarf, shawl and sweater season is soon to be here.

Take care,

Kimberlee

 

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Working Out Week 37 of 2014

The 37th week of 2014 is just about over and we are about halfway through the month of September already!  One year ago today I was attending the all day ShaunTervention conference here in Dallas, TX.  What a great event that was and I am so glad I made the decision to go – even though it was kind of outside my comfort zone.  I typically do not do workouts in public or in any type of group settings – I have always been a workout at home person.  I also met some really nice people at that event along with Shaun T and the people in his vidoes, like T-25.

Me & Shaun T photo from ShaunTervention Sept. 2013

The workouts I did this week were:

  • Monday – T-25 Alpha Cardio + 2 Abdominal Moves – 28 min
  • Tuesday – Shiva Rea Creative Core Abs + 2 Ab Moves – 37 min
  • Wednesday – T-25 Core Speed + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min
  • Thursday – Shiva Rea Creative Core Lower Body + 2 Ab Moves – 25 min
  • Friday – T-25 Speed 1.0 + Yoga practice from Yoga Journal Magazine – 48 min
  • Saturday – Yoga – Shine On practice from Yoga Journal Magazine – 20 min

2 Weekly Ab Moves

The above two photos are of the two abdominal moves I chose to do this week.  They are yoga based moves that you hold for a count of 5 to 8 breaths versus doing lots of reps.  I did pretty well getting them done every day except for Friday and Saturday, I forgot to add them in those two days.  As you can see my friendly workout partner, the cat, approves of the moves.

T25 Core Speed 1 hand Burpee

I continued to do my T 25 workout dvd’s this week but varied the workouts I used.  This week on Monday I did Alpha Cardio, again, then on Wednesday I did Core Speed.  This is one of my favorites.  It is really fast paced and there are some tough moves but I love it.  You sweat a ton and feel like you have gotten an awesome workout when the 25 minutes are over.  Photo above is of the one handed burpees that you do multiple times.

T 25 Speed 1.0 Speed 1.0 was another T 25 workout that I did on Friday.  This one is cardio with each cardio move followed by a welcomed stretch.  I had forgotten how I like this workout.  It is another great sweat session with lots of stretching in between.

Shiva Rea Creative Core Abs

I also stayed with the schedule of doing my Shiva Rea yoga dvd’s on the non cardio days.  The Creative Core Abs is great for your whole core.

Yoga with Shiva and cat

The other Shiva workout I did was the Creative Core for the Lower Body.  The cat of course joined me for part of this workout.

Homemade Cashew Butter

I made some homemade cashew butter this past week.  After seeing how simple it is to make almond butter I decided that cashew couldn’t be that different or hard to make.  For this I just heated about 1 1/2 cups of cashews in the microwave for 2 minutes.  I then put them in the food processor and processed them for about 2 minutes – stopped the processing and then added 2 Tbls coconut oil and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and processed for about 2 or 3 more minutes.  This stuff is really good – not quite as creamy as the Jif kind I have bought in the past but I really like it and the flavor it has.

Positive Results

Fit Tip of the Week:   Simple daily exercise results in overall better health.

-Discipline yourself to get at least 20 minutes or more of some type of physical exercise every day

-People who stick with a daily exercise regime are more healthy and positive

-Daily exercise may not always be exciting or fun but the simple task of sticking with a routine is worth the positive results

Next week I will be continuing to do some T 25 and yoga- I may also throw in a Cathe video in the middle of the week.   I hope everyone is planning to do some type of physical exercise in the week ahead.

Have a great weekend!

Kimberlee

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Knitting Project Lace Shrug

This knitting project is one of my recently completed patterns that I designed myself.  The shrug is knit with Knit Picks Chroma Fingering weight yarn.  This yarn is a lot of fun to knit with as it has such beautiful color changes and the yarn is also super soft.  I cannot wait to design more projects with this yarn.

Front and Back Guppy Lace Shrug

The color of this yarn is called Guppy so I am calling it the Guppy Lace Knit Shrug.  The lace pattern I knit this with is a two row repeat and lot of fun to knit.  I used size 7 circular knitting needles to knit this accessory.

Close Up Guppy Shrug Back

The above photo is a close up of the back so you can see the pretty lace pattern and just how beautiful the color changes are in the yarn.  I am so glad I decide to buy some of this yarn this past summer and try it out – it did not disappoint me.  I also ordered some in a couple of different colorways with ideas for knitting some other accessories and possibly a sweater.  The Chroma yarn also comes in a worsted weight which I ordered in one color thinking as the weather cools down it will be nice to have a heavier weight yarn for a scarf or shawl.

Side Guppy Shrug

I have been designing a lot of new shrugs lately.  I like having this type of accessory with me when at church or a chilly restaurant.  It is not as bulky as a full sweater and just enough to keep the chill off of your arms and shoulders.  Also, they are perfect for those that live in warmer climates because sometimes a sweater is just too hot in the fall and winter.

This pattern is available in my etsy shop or on craftsy if you are interested in knitting one.  You can click on the highlighted link or the icons in the sidebar for either shop.

What knitting projects are you currently working on?  Click on Leave a Reply to tell me about them.

Have a great day!

Kimberlee

 

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Working Out Week 36 of 2014

This week was kind of short since there was the Labor Day holiday.  I kept thinking Tuesday was Monday and Wednesday was Tuesday.  Therefore when Friday got here I was wondering how the week went by so fast.

For week 36 I decided to pull out my T-25 workouts and alternate those with yoga.  So my schedule was one day cardio and the next day yoga.  This was similar to last weeks schedule but I used different workouts.  I really liked my schedule this week and the workouts I chose.

  • Monday – T-25 Alpha Cardio + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min.
  • Tuesday – Shiva Rea Yoga – AM Energy dvd – bonus segment Heart Salutation from Radiant Heart + 2 Ab Moves – 22 min.
  • Wednesday – T-25 Ab Intervals + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min.
  • Thursday – Shiva Rea Yoga – AM Energy dvd Shakti Flow + 2 Ab Moves – 22 min.
  • Friday – T-25 Lower Focus + Find Instant Calm Yoga workout + 2 Ab Moves – 50 min.
  • Saturday – Ride Bike + yoga + 2 Ab Moves – 35 min.

T 25 Alpha Cardio workout

The cat and I have missed Shaun T and his T-25 workout.  I forgot how much you can sweat in just 25 minutes!  I did the entire workout last year from August to October – the whole 10 week schedule with my facebook fitness group.  Most of it is written about in my past blog posts.  I also attended Shauntervention here in Dallas last year around this time.  It was an awesome all day event where I got to meet Shaun T and learn more about him and his positive motivation.

Shiva Rea AM Energy Yoga

Tuesday we (the cat and I) did the Shiva Rea AM Energy dvd that I own.  This one contains three different 20 minute segments plus one bonus 20 minute segment from the Radiant Heart dvd.  We did the bonus Heart Salutation and it felt awesome after the fast paced cardio the day before.  I love the Shiva Rea style yoga and have many of her dvd’s.  I guess the cat missed doing her yoga too as he was around on and off my mat for most of the workout.

T 25 Ab Intervals workout

Ab Intervals was the second T 25 workout of the week.  This one is a combination of floor abdominal work and then some cardio in between.  A great session for the abs and the back to strengthen the whole core.

Shiva Rea yoga AM Energy dvd

The photos above are from my second session of Shiva Rea’s AM Energy dvd.  This time I did the Shakti Flow session.  This one has a free flow yoga dance at the beginning and then goes into the yoga poses.  Another great workout the day after T 25 and my lower abs were really feeling it after Ab Intervals the day before and the core work in this yoga workout.

T 25 Lower Focus

Friday I did T 25 Lower Focus, a combination of leg cardio and toning moves.  Another sweaty workout session.  After this I did a 20 minute yoga workout from a Yoga Journal magazine called Find Instant Calm.  This was a good way to stretch out and “calm” down after the cardio.

Abdominal MovesThe entire week I also included these two abdominal moves at the end of my workouts.  You can see the cat liked those as well.  I found these two moves from a popsugar video last week and decided to make it a goal to do 20 reps of each every day this past week.  I almost forgot to do them yesterday but got them in – even though it was a couple hours after my finished workout.Baking Sourdough Bread

Last Saturday I made some really good sourdough bread using some starter I made earlier in the week.  My oldest son has discovered he likes sourdough bread for sandwiches so I decided to make the dough in my bread machine and then bake the oval shaped loaves in the oven.  It made two loaves so I was able to freeze one.  Everyone has decided (all 5 of us) that the bread is really good.  I will be making it again in the near future.

Baking Sourdough Bread

 

Endurance Discipline Determination

Weekly Fitness Tip:  Endurance, Discipline, Determination – Keys to Daily Success

  • Starting an exercise program and then sticking with it are one of the keys to becoming more fit and healthy – Endurance
  • Getting your workout in regularly is not always easy or enjoyable but the end results are worth it – Discipline yourself to Just Do It and you will be glad you did
  • Remember that exercise daily repeated over time will get you results – Determination

-I think that once you begin a regular exercise regime and stick with it that it becomes part of who you are and what you do.  There are days I wake up and feel tired (didn’t sleep well) or just not very motivated to do my scheduled workout – but I choose to get up, get going, and get it done – which makes me feel so much better afterwards.

I hope everyone had a great week.  The weather here is still hot so I am not sure about getting ready for fall yet but it looks like I need to start thinking about it.  I have started stocking up on cans of pumpkin to try some of the new recipes I recently found on pinterest.  I also need to make a new fall wreath so I will probably work on that later this coming week.

Take care,

Kimberlee

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Sewing Ruched Front Top

The new ruched front tops I recently made are so simple to sew and super comfortable to wear, too.  I decided to make these after seeing some tops like this somewhere and I liked the look.   I didn’t even have to go and buy another pattern, thankfully, since I have quite a few already.  Ruched Front Top in Cotton fabric Red Ruched Front Top in Knit Fabric

The red top in the photo just above is the first one I made.  I bought this fabric on clearance and I decided to use something that wasn’t real expensive in case the top didn’t turn out.  Well, it did turn out and I have already wore it several times.  I am glad the clearance fabric is soft and washes well.

Ruched Knit Top

After making the light red color one in a knit fabric I decided to make one in a cotton fabric.  I love good quality cotton fabrics and I think some of the cottons I find at quilt shops make great fabrics for clothes and bags, too.

Ruched Cotton Floral Top

I have plenty of cotton fabric in my stash and I had this one in a pretty summer looking floral.  I have had it for a couple of years as I remember I made a skirt with some of it and a bag, too, a couple of years ago – both of them I still have and wear-use.  I really like how this one turned out bright and colorful and I have a couple of pairs of shorts to wear with it.

Both versions of this top turned out well.  In my opinion though the knit one has a better drape and look to it for this type of design.

How To Make a Ruched Front:

To make a top like this you just need to know how to sew and to gather fabric.  You will need a two piece pattern for a top with a front and back and a small cap sleeve or even a sleeveless top.  Below are some photos on how to create the ruched front.

Creating ruched front top with pattern drafting material

I used a pattern for a cap sleeve top that I have designed from the Bernina My Label program I own.  I recommend using pattern drafting material – its kind of like interfacing – and tracing your top front pattern piece so you don’t ruin your actual pattern.  (mine is kind of wrinkled in the photo from use and also from a cat who likes to sit on it)  You will just need one side of the front traced.  Then draw lines which start at the center front and extend almost to the side edge.  You can see in my photo above I have 6 slash lines.  Cut these lines and then spread them apart to open the center front – this is the part that will be gathered.  I used some tape to hold the slashes about 1 to 2 inches apart.  I then retraced the pattern piece.  Front of Ruched Top pattern cut out

Above is the photo of my cut out pattern piece and the marked areas for where I gathered the fabric.  To do this I just ran two long basting stitches on each side of the front piece and then pulled them up to gather until the lower part of the top seemed straight.  I then placed the fronts right sides together and sewed them.  You may want to sew an extra row of stitching to hold the gathers in place.  I then just finished the top according to the pattern.  Super fun and simple to sew.

What projects are you currently working on?  Click on Leave a Reply and tell me about them.

Have a great day!

Kimberlee

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Working Out Week 35 of 2014

I am not sure if it is because it is the end of summer approaching or what but the last couple of weeks have gone by so FAST!  I feel like I was just posting about week 34 and now it is week 35.

This past week I chose to vary my workout schedule with some Exhale Core Fusion workouts, Cathe workouts and riding my bike.  The change in the schedule was just what I needed.

  • Monday – ECF (Exhale Core Fusion) Power Sculpt dvd – 40 min
  • Tuesday – Cathe X-10 dvd – 42 min
  • Wednesday – Ride Bike + Exercise Ball book – 36 min
  • Thursday – ECF Lean and Toned dvd – 40 min
  • Friday – Cathe X-10 dvd – 38 min
  • Saturday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + yoga – 35 min

Power Sculpt Workout from Exhale Core Fusion

I went back to using some of my Exhale Core Fusion dvd’s this week.  I haven’t used them in a couple of months.    I have mentioned before how I love the set up of these dvd’s.  Each one contains five 10 minutes segments that work a different part of your body.  Monday I did the Power Sculpt dvd and did four of the five 10 minutes segments.  All of their workouts are done in bare feet and give you excellent toning over your whole body.  They are a nice change from the high rep weights I have been doing the past couple of weeks.

Cathe X10 Workout

So then on the days after doing the ECF workouts I did a tough cardio plus weights workout from Cathe Friedrich called X10.  This workout is also kind of set up in segments where you can pick and choose what one or how many you want to do.  Usually I do the premix ones that are two workouts combined to make a longer workout.  You can do them single if you are short on time and need a 27 minute or less workout.  On Tuesday I did the X42 premix which is Hi-Lo plus Fat Burning Circuit.  On Friday I did the X38 premix which was Low Impact plus Step.  Both of these workouts also have a nice warm up and cool down that is the same.  I was very sore on Friday after the step session.  I woke up kind of sore in my legs and hips from the ECF workout from Thursday and this workout added to that soreness.  It is a good sore though – means I know it is transforming my body.

It is a little harder for me to ride my bike in the mornings with having to make sure the kids get up and off to school.  I managed to do one day during the week and then another on Saturday.  It wouldn’t be quite so bad if it was light out a little earlier.  I can’t really go until 6:45am because it is dark before that.  So, for now I am just going to be riding one or two days per week.

I did my jump rope workout once this week.  I am getting more stamina with the jumping rope.  I found a good workout video on YouTube that is from popsugar for a 10 minute jump rope workout.  I also found some other really good workouts on their YouTube channel. 

Food Prep Friday - Chicken

I also did some food prep on Friday (yesterday).  I like to buy really large packages of chicken breasts and divide them up and freeze already cut up or marinated so that part of the prep work is done.  It is a good way to save some time – that way when you thaw the chicken out it is already marinated and ready to be cooked in the oven, grilled or stir fried.   I have been doing this for several years.  I also have begun using this meal prep book again for some recipes.  The book is above in the photo and is called Once A Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg.  I bought this book several years ago from Sams.  There are one month meal plans in the book with shopping lists and the directions for all of the recipes.   Some of the recipes are pre-cooked and then frozen and others are just marinated or seasoned and then frozen to cook on the day of, as the ones in my photos.   The book also offers tips on making menu plans and shopping lists.

Weekly Fitness Tip:  Eat Healthy   – one of the best things you can do for yourself, in addition to regular workouts, is eat healthy.

- try eliminating all or most processed foods or pre-packaged foods and replace them with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds.  A friend of mine once told me if you stick to shopping the store on the outer parts where the produce, dairy and meats are you are less likely to buy the processed, boxed items.  Of course we all need a box of cereal, some olive oil or flour so that method doesn’t always work for everything.  One thing I try to do though is not go down the chips and soda aisle at Walmart.

- learn to prep some foods and meals so you will have healthy choices available and be less tempted to go through a “drive thru” for a quick meal.  Remember “failure to plan is planning to fail”    I know that if I take an hour or two each week to get some meals prepped and in the freezer or just prepare some healthy snack options I am more liking to stick with healthy eating.

I hope you had a great week and have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

-Kimberlee

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Summer Reading, Smoothies and Sandals

This summer I have read some really good books.  One of the books that I read at the beginning of the summer and really enjoyed was First Love by James Patterson.  Another book that I thought was really good that I recently finished was The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.

Summer Reading

I am a big James Patterson fan and have read most of his books, or listened to them on audio.  This particular book, First Love, is one I checked out from the library.  It is not your typical high speed thriller book, with lots of action or twists, as many of his other books are known for.  This book is a story of two young teenagers that decide to leave their homes in the state of Washington at  the spur of the moment and travel to various big cities in other states for an adventure.   The book is about a boy and a girl, told in the girls voice.  It is a sweet and enjoyable story of young love and crazy things teenagers do.  Some of them are kind of hard to believe but it is a fiction book.  There are also some real life situations that are thrown in that make you realize that life is fragile and needs to be enjoyed each and every day to the fullest.

The other book I read and really enjoyed was The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.  I think I have read one other book by him before in the past and of course I have seen the movie The Notebook, based on his book.  The Last Song was a story about a teenage girl and her younger brother that go to visit their Dad in North Carolina who they have not seen in a few years.  The parents got a divorce and the kids live with the mom in New York.  The teenage girl does not want to be there and makes that known to everyone.  At first she gets mixed up hanging around the wrong crowd but then she meets a boy who is a good kid and from a nice family.  She begins a summer romance with him and also starts to mend the relationship with her father.  I don’t want to give anything away in case you read this book but some things happen toward the end to draw the Dad and kids a lot closer and make you realize that life can change at the blink of an eye.  I will say you will need some tissues at the end of the book.  I borrowed this book from my mom and told her she should have warned me about that for the ending.  I think this book was also a movie but I have not seen it.

Living Simply book

I also like to read non fiction books and tend to do that in the morning after I have done my workout and I am having a cup of coffee.  One of the books I read and really enjoyed this summer was the above book called Living Simply – enjoying the peace of God.  I got this book at the beginning of June at Mardel for half off.  The book is comprised of about 40 sections, or chapters, that are each four pages.  The first one, for example, is called Unpack Your Bags.  There is a scripture and then a few paragraphs to read.  At the end there is always One Final Thought for you to read like with the first one it is “Taking time to unpack the emotional clutter of yesterday allows you to more fully enjoy God’s irreplaceable gift of today.”  The next page is titled Thoughts for Living Simple with scriptures or quotes related to the title of that day.  The final page, number four, is Remember and Simplify with words of encouragement and advice.  This book is small and very easy to read.  I enjoyed reading the advice and scriptures of each day and I plan to start reading it over again.

On now to smoothies…  I got a new smoothie book about a month ago from Barnes and Noble.  The book has some really good recipes that I have tried.  The book also gave me ideas for creating my own with a few less ingredients than called for in the recipes in the book.  Smoothie Book

One of the ones I created and absolutely love is this Mango Peach Smoothie.  I have made it with and without the added spices and both combinations are good.  Mangoes and Peaches are high in vitamin C and the mangoes protect against premature aging.

Mango Peach Smoothie

Mango Peach Smoothie

  • 3/4 c. frozen sliced peaches (could also use fresh)
  • 1/2 c. frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. mango or peach greek yogurt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. orange juice
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 Tbls flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie or apple pie spice (optional)

-Blend all of the above ingredients in a high speed blender (I use a Ninja blender) for 1 to 2 minutes or until everything is smooth.

The other smoothie I created was a Raspberry Mango blend.  This one is not quite as good as the Peach Mango but has a pleasant taste.  The honey in this one is optional but if you prefer a sweeter smoothie then I would add it.  I tried it with and without and liked it better with the honey.  Raspberries are really good for you and have lots of antioxidants to help you look younger.

Raspberry Mango Smoothie

Raspberry Mango Smoothie

  • 1/2 c. frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 c. frozen mango chunks
  • 3 or 4 slices of frozen or fresh peaches
  • 1 container of raspberry greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbls ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. water
  • 1 to 2 tsp honey

-Blend all of the above ingredients in a high speed blender for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.

Moving on to Sandals:

Ahnu Sandals

I recently discovered a new shoe company.  The shoes were advertised in a Yoga Journal magazine I had checked out from the library – they are Ahnu shoes.   I looked them up on the internet and fell in love with their sandals.  They had this particular style half off so I got them for $45.00.  They are so comfortable and easy to walk in.  The color of the sandal is called lead.  They are a shade of blue that goes pretty well with denim or other blues.  I thought they were going to be more of a gray color but I am happy with the color they actually are.  I originally ordered the black but they were a 1/2 size too big – they seem to run long.  They offer free shipping both ways so I sent them back but they didn’t have the size I needed in the black so I got this color.  I am so happy with them!  They also sell some cute flats and I plan to order some of those in the fall.

I hope everyone is having a good last week of August.  My kids started back to school this week – one in 11th grade and 2 (twins) in 8th grade.  We have been pretty busy this week with getting more school supplies needed for certain classes and filling out more forms for each class.

-Kimberlee

 

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