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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Working Out Week 34 of 2014

This week I had a really great workout schedule with doing weights again and riding my bike and jumping rope on the non weight days.  I also tried out some new recipes for dinner that were good and made my own almond butter.  It was a very busy week with fitness, cooking, errands, knitting, sewing, daily house upkeep and laundry, and getting my kids things together for back to school this coming Monday.

My workouts this week were:

  • Monday – Jari Love Extremely Ripped Body Rock, Weights & Abs – 35 min.
  • Tuesday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + Yoga – 35 min.
  • Wednesday – Body Bar + Exercise Ball books + ride my bike to the dentist – 38 min.
  • Thursday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + Yoga – 33 min.
  • Friday – Jari Love Extremely Ripped 1000 Weights only – 40 min.
  • Saturday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + Stretch – 30 min

Jari Love Body Rock Workout

My Monday workout was a good mix of heavy, high rep weights and some ab work.  This particular dvd is not one of my favorite ones from Jari Love but I decided to use it as I hadn’t done it in quite a while.  Overall it is a good weight workout.

Ball, Bar, Disc Workout

The middle of the week I did my own mix of the Body Bar and Exercise Ball book workouts and also used my slide discs with some of the bar moves – creating my own exercises with the two together.  I also had a dental appointment that morning and rode my bike the 1 mile my dental office.

Jari Love Ripped 1000 Workout

The Friday workout was back to weights with Jari Love Extremely Ripped 1000.  I really like this workout and how all of the moves are compound moves meaning you work your arms as well as your legs at the same time.  This is a very effective workout.  She also reminds you during the workout how doing compound moves really increases your metabolism and makes your body burn fat even while at rest.

I have continued to ride my bike every other day and do my jumping rope after the bike ride.  I do notice I am able to jump rope a little longer this week than last week – building up my stamina, I guess.  Except for on Thursday – I could only do a couple of minutes of jumping rope as I woke up with a mild sinus headache and let me tell you that you do not want to be jumping rope with a sinus, or any kind, of headache.  It seemed to make it worse!

As I rode my bike this morning I realized that Monday the kids start school.  I knew this of course but it was hitting me at that moment as I rode that I may not be able to keep up with as many bike rides when school starts.  The main factor being that I need to be at home to make sure everyone has gotten up and gets some breakfast, as well as making lunches for the 3 boys.  Also, the biking route I like to take is right near the elementary school in our neighborhood and traffic will be heavy there with carpool drop off.  I might try and ride one day during the week and then just on Saturday’s and see how it goes.

Cookbooks from the library

A week or two ago I checked out a couple of good cookbooks from the library.  I used them in the past week to try out some new recipes and was pleased with the results.  The one above on the left is various different baking mixes, sauce mixes, rice and pasta mixes and other things as well.   The other book on the right is a really nice cookbook with lots of recipes for using fresh ingredients and cooking in minimal time – good for those who are busy or work a long day or just when it is hot out and you don’t want to slave in the kitchen for an hour or two.

I made up several mixes from the baking mix section of the Healthy Mix book.  I had good results with some and just okay with others.  The ones that were okay I had to tweak some to make them better.  Like the brownie mix said to make them with milk – well I have never heard of doing this but tried it anyhow and they were kind of different.  Not terrible but just not like real brownies, either.  I tried it again with oil and a little water like you would normally do and they were much better – the kids loved them and ate them up very fast – I did get to enjoy one which is all I needed anyhow.  Also, the quick bread mix in this book was a little odd as the mix seemed very dry when I blended it.  It only called for an egg or two and no milk or anything to moisten the ingredients.  I took it upon myself to add some milk and it turned out much better and looked like a quick bread mix should look.  My oldest son said maybe the book just assumed you knew to add the milk – I don’t know about that but in my opinion it is missing something.  I tried another mix in there though and that one is fine.  It is hit or miss with this one.  I guess you need to have some cooking experience to figure it out.

Pan Seared Salmon with fresh garlic and rosemary

The Cooking Light Fresh Food Superfast is a great book.  The book has lots of color photos of many of the recipes and everything is pretty quick and easy to make, too.  Just as it implies.  I like the fact that it uses fresh ingredients too and not anything canned or boxed in the recipes, for the most part.  I tried this salmon one night  – photo above – it was pan seared with a small amount of olive oil with fresh sliced garlic and fresh rosemary from my garden.  My kids really like this recipe – that is always a plus.  Another one I tried from the book was the italian sausage calzones.  Those were a hit with the family, too.  I was even able to make my own crust for the calzones using the Healthy Mix book and the healthy baking mix in there.  That made it take a little extra time instead of using a premade pizza dough but it was worth it.

Making Almond Butter with a food processor

Making Homemade Almond Butter

Another thing I made this week was something I have wanted to try for a while – my own almond butter.  I saw a recipe last week on pinterest and decided to try it out.  I followed some of it but had to tweak this one as well to get it how I liked it, or thought it should be.  Of course I did this on a whim with not a ton of time so I improvised and heated the almonds in the microwave for about 2 minutes instead of 15 minutes in the oven and then I processed them for about 2 minutes, scraped the sides down, processed them for about 2 more minutes, decided it looked like almond meal so I added about 1 tsp. of coconut oil and processed again for 1 to 2 minutes.  This was the best almond butter I ever had – really.  I will never be buying it again.  I made this in about 10 minutes or less.  It stores nicely in the refrigerator, too.  If you want the original recipe click on the highlighted link to take you to the blog with the recipe – Flour On My Face.    

Weekly Fitness Tip – Variety

- Try different workouts to avoid boredom.  Doing the same activity (like walking or running) can get boring and stale.  Alternate your activity with some other types of workouts like weights or yoga – this also keeps you interested in continuing to workout, in my opinion, and the change does your body good.

- Give new exercises or workouts a chance, don’t try something once and decide it is too hard and you just can’t do it.  Sometimes you have to do things a few times to get a feel for them.  Example:  Five or six years ago I started doing some step aerobic workout dvd’s.  I was terrible with them at first and thought I would never be able to keep up with the people on the dvd.  After watching it a time or two and then trying it slowly I got the hang of it – I also tripped or fell off the step a few times but I was determined to keep on – it got easier each time.  I still occasionally step wrong and stumble but not like the early days.  This makes you feel a sense of accomplishment.  

I hope everyone had a great week and you are getting in some exercise.

Kimberlee

 

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Knitting WIP for August

I have a few knitting projects that I have been working on this month.  These projects were actually started back in July.  Two of the projects are part of a KAL – knit along – from a couple of Ravelry groups I am in.

The first one that I started is for a KAL in a Ravelry group for Artyarns.  This is my second time doing an Artyarns KAL and my first time using the Artyarns Regal Silk yarn.  This yarn is a joy to knit with and very soft.  I plan to knit more project with it in the future.

Artyarns KAL for Lace Tonal Tee

This is my first time knitting a sweater of this complexity.   The project is called Lace Tonal Tee.   I have knit sweaters before just not one that is this advanced.   I am really enjoying knitting it and learning more about knitting lace and how to read charts as I go.  This sweater is short sleeve and knit on circular knitting needles all in one piece.  The sleeves in my photo are currently on “waste” yarn and I will be going back to knit them at the end using double point needles.  I am about 3/4 of the way done with the sweater now.  The KAL started on July 15th.  I am hoping to finish it by the end of this week – that is my goal.  This sweater is suppose to be knit using 4 various shades of yarn that go together to create a tonal effect but I already had the Regal Silk yarn in this color called parrot so I decided to just use that.  Also, I figure I will have less yarn to weave in at the end if I am not changing colors often.

The other KAL I decided to join is a new group I recently found on Ravelry for Mountain Colors yarn.  This project is for the Circular Perspectives Cowl.  The pattern can be found and purchased on Ravelry – you can click on the highlighted pattern name to take you to the link.  The pattern is designed by HeartStrings Fiber Arts.Circular Perspectives Cowl for KAL

So far this one is slow going for me.  I am determined to get that lace sweater done so I have been focused more on that.  Also, this one has 300 stitches in the round – that is a lot of stitches to knit.  The cowl is knit with a fun lace pattern that isn’t too complicated so far.  You use five different coordinating colors of yarn – it was a kit that I ordered from Paradise Fibers.  I just switched to the second color.  This is the pale sage to moss blue kit.

Circular Perspectives Cowl with Mountain Colors yarn

When I ordered my kit I could not decide on colors so I decided to get 2 kits.  I am going to knit one of them for a gift.  I also ordered some new bamboo circular needles – interchangeables – called ChiaoGoo.  I learned about these from another knitter in a facebook knitting group I am in.  I really like these needles.  They are very pointed and so far work well for knitting this lace pattern.  I have the KnitPicks nickel interchangeables and these seem just as good as those.  They also came with a pretty little fabric case to store them.  I prefer the bamboo needles for knitting lace over the nickel or aluminum needles.

New ChiaoGoo needles and Mountain Colors yarn kits

The kit on the left in the above photo is the one I am currently knitting with.

My other WIP (work in progress) is actually almost done.  This is knit with Knit Picks Chroma Fingering weight yarn in the color Guppy.  I really love this yarn!  It is super soft and knits well.  They have so many awesome colors, too.  This is my almost finished knitted piece.  I am not going to tell you what it is going to be – as I will be doing a future post on the finished item once it is totally complete.  You will have to come back for a visit in a month or so to see it completed.

Knit Piece in Chroma Fingering Weight yarn from Knit Picks

 

I hope everyone is having a great month – it is hard to believe that August is half over.  Enjoy the rest of the month!

Kimberlee

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Working Out Week 33 of 2014

The weeks are flying by lately.  I feel like this one went super fast!  It seems like the first part of our summer was kind of slow and the second half is gone in the blink of an eye!  Does anyone else feel that way?

This week I was busy with getting my kids back to school supplies together, the dreaded shopping for those – although this year it is not so bad.  The older they get the less they seem to need.

Also, band continues for my high school age son.  A pretty rigorous schedule this week with long days and some nights.  This morning we had to be up by 5:15 am as he had to be there for group photos at 6 am.  So, I was up extra early today – before it was even light out.  I did my routine a little different today.  Since I couldn’t see to go out and ride my bike that early I did my morning devotional reading first and had a cup of coffee – then by 6:45am I was out for my Saturday morning bike ride.  Not too many people out that early on a Saturday morning.  It was nice to see the sun coming up and breathe in the fresh morning air.

Workout Schedule for week 33 of 2014:

  • Monday – 101 Ways to Workout on the Ball book – 30 min.
  • Tuesday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 35 min.
  • Wednesday – 101 Ways to Workout on the Ball book + Body Bar Book – 35 min.
  • Thursday – Ride Bike + Body Bar book & foam roller stretches – 42 min.
  • Friday – 101 Ways to Workout on the Ball book + Body Bar Book + jump rope – 38 min.
  • Saturday – Ride Bike + Jump Rope + Yoga – 34 min.

Ball Workout book

The above book is the book I used several times this past week.  It is an older book published back in 2004, ten years ago, that I got on sale in 2006 or 2007.   It is still a really great book though and has lots of great ball exercises, some with weights and some without.  The book is all color photos and has step by step photos of the moves which I like.  Also, the back of the book has various routines for arms, abs, core, legs, total body, etc that you can do.

Sample of workout routine in back of Ball Workout book

The above is a sample of what the routines in the back of the book look like.  It refers you to the page number where the exercises are so you can get the full explanation on how to do them.  I like books that are set up this way.

101 Ways to Workout on Ball Book

The above photos are from my Monday session using the ball book which were the 15 minute Morning Wake Up and the 15 minute Arm Toner routines.

Ball and Bar Workout on Wednesday

On Tuesday I went to the library – a place I visit often and always find new books to read or listen to on audio.  I have an ereader, a nook, but haven’t used it in over six months.  I am a “book” person and I enjoy going to the library.  I was checking out the fitness books and found an interesting Body Bar workout book.  The book again is an older book, published in 2006, but it has some good workouts in it.

I have this body bar from some Firm workouts I used to own many years ago.  I do not have the dvd’s anymore but kept the bar.  I think it is an 8 or 10 pound bar, I can’t remember.  Anyhow – I used the Bar book along with the Ball book on Wednesday.  The above bar move is called the kayak and you can feel it in your core for sure.

Body Bar Workout book from library

Ball and Bar Workout

On Friday I used the Ball and Bar books again and I also decided to combine some of the moves using both together – having some creative fun with my workout this day.

New 6 pound dumbbells and jump rope

The above is a photo of my new 6 pound dumbbells that I found at Academy the other day when shopping for new backpacks and lunch boxes for the kids.  They had some odd increments of dumbbells in this brand that you don’t normally see – like 4, 6 and 7 pounds.  I thought the 6 would be nice for when 5 is too easy and my 8 is too hard.  I used them some for the tricep work in my workout on Friday.

Also, in the above photo is my new jump rope.  I had one but had not used it in a while and when I went to go look for it I couldn’t find it.  I think the kids used it for something and forgot to hang it back up in the garage, but no one admits to that.  I read this article in our newspaper about a month ago about this guy in Dallas who jumps rope about five times a week as his form of staying in shape – I think he is like in his 50’s (I don’t remember his exact age).  I decided I am going to try and jump rope for a few minutes when I get home from my biking.  Let me tell you I thought I could do 10 minutes but I am lucky to get in 5 minutes.  Jumping rope is a real intense workout!  You will sweat and get your heart rate up in a very short amount of time.

Shoes laced differently

I discovered this new way to lace my shoes last Sunday on pinterest.  The info said it was from a podiatrist.  This is the way to lace your shoes if the ball of your foot is wider than your heel – as mine is.  It really helps give your toes room to spread.  I have now re-laced all of my fitness shoes this way.

Weekly Fitness Tip:  Be Patient – Change Takes Time

-Working out for just a week or two is not going to get you dramatic results – as the saying goes “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”

-Stick with a schedule – realize that doing even just 15 minutes a day of exercise 5 days per week is better than none at all.  Not everyone is able to workout for 30 to 60 minutes per day.  Do what works for your schedule and don’t compare it to others.

-Fitness is about a way of life, a lifestyle change, not a quick fix so you can reach a goal and go back to old habits that are not healthy.

-Not everyone is ready for extreme hard core workouts at the beginning.  Start off with something simple like walking or running or jumping rope (which is an excellent workout I am finding, in a short amount of time).  You can then alternate that with lifting light weights or some yoga or stretching.  If you start something that is too hard it will just frustrate you and you are more likely to give up.

-Make sure you schedule in “rest” days each week so you don’t burn out.  I usually only schedule a rest day for Sunday but I like to workout 6 days per week.  Maybe you only want to do a 4 or 5 day a week workout routine to begin and then add more days later on.

I hope everyone had a great week.  See you next week!

Kimberlee

 

 

 

 

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