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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Bathing Suit Bottom Redo

One of my recent sewing projects has been to replace the worn out elastic in some bathing suit bottoms.  To be honest with you they were wore out last year but I neglected to fix them then.  I decided I needed to get them done this year as I really like the bathing suit and the top was still in good shape – so are the bottoms except for the elastic.

Ripping elastic from bathing suit bottoms

The above photo is of the bottoms with 2/3 of the elastic removed.  Let me tell you that removing the topstitching and then the serged edge that attaches the elastic is a lot of work!  I think it probably took me 3 or 4 hours total time (I didn’t do it all at once, it was too boring) to rip all of it out.

Once I had the elastic all removed the process was a lot faster and only took about 20 or 30 minutes to put in the new elastic.  I used a Kwik Sew pattern, pattern 3238 which is a bathing suit pattern I have made before, for the elastic length for the waistband and the legs.  I knew that those bottoms fit me well and the elastic measurements would be right.

Sewing elastic to bathing suit with serger

After cutting the elastic to the measurements I used my serger to attach it to the edges of the waistband and leg openings.  I first divided the elastic in half and then divided the bottoms fabric in half and marked it so I would know where and how much to stretch the elastic as I sewed.  I also used wooly nylon thread in the lower looper as that part will be next to my skin and the wooly nylon is a lot softer and provides a lot more coverage and stretch than a regular polyester or cotton thread.

Sewing elastic down with sewing machine and narrow zigzag stitch

After attaching the elastic with the serger I then took it to my regular sewing machine and turned the elastic over and stitched it down using a narrow zigzag stitch of a 2 width and a 2 length to topstitch the elastic in place.  I also used a ballpoint needle as it sews knits and over elastic better than a universal needle.

Elastic replace in bathing suit bottoms

The photo above is of the front and back of the bottoms after replacing the elastic.  I even remembered to sew the tag back in the back – not that I couldn’t figure out which was the back but I was glad I remembered.

Bathing Suit with elastic replaced in bottoms

 

Well, here is my new-old bathing suit.  I tried the bottoms on and they fit much better now and are not all loose.  It took a while (like a few weeks) for me to complete this project as it was a real pain to rip out that old disintegrating elastic.   It was so bad it would just crumble in some spots but I still had to rip out all of the old serging holding it in so I could replace it and not have all of the bulk.  The top for some reason does not, and I hope won’t any time soon, have this same problem and as you can see the bathing suit is still in pretty good shape for being several years old.  I am glad I was able to recycle it and not have to just get rid of it.

The weather here is still hot and will be for at least another month or more so I will be able to wear my “new” bathing suit when we swim in our pool.  My advice to anyone attempting to do an elastic replacement in a bathing suit is to be patient and just keep at the ripping of the stitches and eventually when you get to the sewing part it is super fast and easy.

Have a great day!

Kimberlee

 

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Working Out Week 32 of 2014

This past week just flew by.  I am a day late in getting this post in because of my dining room painting project that I worked on yesterday for about 7 hours.  I painted the lower half of the room, from chair rail down to the floor, with two coats of paint.  It took a while and I did have to do some laundry and eat lunch in between the two coats I applied.  I had intended to do my workout post last night but I was too tired.  After cleaning up I did some knitting while watching an hour or two of television with my husband.  I just needed to relax and not worry about anything else the rest of the evening.

The past week I decided to concentrate on using weights and doing high reps and then alternating with my bike riding and yoga workouts.  What a noticeable difference -doing three days of weight training- in muscle definition!  My workouts this week were:

  • Monday – Jari Love Ripped 1000 Weights only workout – 40 min
  • Tuesday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 33 min
  • Wednesday – Amy Bento Slo Mo Strength NRG mix 1 Total Body Challenge – 47 min
  • Thursday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 40 min
  • Friday – Jari Love Ripped to the Core – 40 min
  • Saturday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 30 min

The Jari Love workouts I have had for many years.  I like the results I see from using them.  They are very high reps but she does vary the counts and some of the moves so you don’t get too bored.  These workouts will definitely define your muscles in a short amount of time.  Also, muscle burns fat and increases your metabolism while at rest.  Another good reason to do some weight training.

Jari Love Ripped to the Core workout

The Jari Love Ripped to the Core workout is a lot of compound exercises – meaning you work the legs and the upper body at the same time.  The cat seems to like to be around for most of this workout.  I have certain equipment he loves like the long step and he will sit by my dumbbells that are not being used.

Amy Bento Slo Mo Workout

The weight workout I did in the middle of the week was Amy Bento Slo Mo Strength dvd.  This is also an older dvd that I have had for quite a few years.   This workout is pretty long and I chose to do one of the premixes that are a little shorter.  The moves are all done with a pretty slow count and with heavier weights.  The hammy rocker move in the photo above is a real leg burner.  It is sort of a three part move and two of the three parts are shown in my photos.

Amy Bento Slo Mo Strength workout

Another move in the Slo Mo Strength dvd was for the arms called Bicep Bonfire.  Your biceps are literally hot to the touch when you get done with 3 rounds of this move.  It is also a kind of three part move – it is done with 8 pound dumbbells on the video but I had to go down to 5.  It is really an arm burner.

Biking in the early mornings is still on my weekly rotation every other day.  It is getting hotter each week though in the mornings.  I like to come home and do my yoga outside but it is too hot to do that lately – especially on some of these humid days.  I have had to start doing my yoga inside lately.  I did manage a few minutes outside yesterday morning, though.

Smoothie Book

Last Sunday after church I went to Barnes and Noble because I had a coupon to use.  I found this book on the clearance section about smoothies to boost your immune system and it looked interesting so I bought it.  I have tried a couple of the recipes (with some little adjustments of my own) in the book and they are good.  The one I tried is made with blueberries and grapefruit and the other was with blueberries and mango.  A lot of the recipes use bee pollen in the smoothies but I didn’t have any so I left that out.  I was going to get some but forgot when I went to my local health food and vitamin store the other day.  I will have to add that to my list for the next time I go there.

Below is my weekly fitness tip.  These tips are just some things I feel are helpful to ensure your success with working out and becoming a more healthy person.

Weekly Fitness Tip:  Find a family member or friend to workout with you

-Having someone to workout with keeps you accountable and motivates you to stick with a schedule

-If you don’t have a family member or friend then find an online fitness group on facebook or even a motivating blog or fitness website with helpful advice to keep you focused.  I have belonged to a small fitness group on facebook that is a “closed” group, (meaning anything you post is just in that group and not all over facebook for all your friends to see) for a little over a year and I love that group.  It is only about 150 people and I think only about 25 of us are regularly on there and posting but I feel I have a lot in common with the others on there and we are all positive and motivating for each other even when one of us falls off the workout wagon or off their clean eating.  I also found out that one of the members lives in a city right next to me – others are from all over the US and even Canada.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend – what is left of it.  School starts here in a couple of weeks but I feel like we have already started since my oldest son is in the marching band and they have already been back at it for a week – all day long – and I have been to a band meeting one night and volunteered for the uniform fittings one day last week.

Take care and keep working out!

Kimberlee

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Knitting Pattern For Lace Scarf

A couple of months ago I came across this Paton’s Glam Stripes yarn at Michaels on clearance and I purchased quite a few of the colors.  I figured I would be able to design some pretty new accessory patterns with it.Glam Stripe yarn

I am sharing a couple of the projects I made with the yarn and a free diagonal lace scarf knitting pattern.  If you click on the red highlighted text it will take you to the pdf pattern that I designed.  Below is a photo of the scarf pattern.

knit scarf with paton's glam stripe yarn

This scarf is a great lightweight accessory.  The pattern is fairly simple – a 2 row repeat and features bias (diagonal) ends.

Bias End of Lace Scarf

This scarf is super quick and easy to knit, too.  It is knit on size US 8 knitting needles.  You can use other yarns, not just the Paton’s Glam Stripes, but I like how it turned out with the coral Glam yarn and the glitter parts on the bias.

I also knitted a shrug in the navy blue Glam Stripes yarn.  The shrug pattern is available in my etsy shop.  It features an openwork knitting stitch and is also pretty simple to knit.

Glam Stripe Knit Shrug

I like how it turned out with the Glam yarn and I am looking forward to knitting more with this pattern and other yarns.  I love to take a pattern and experiment with different yarns or even different needle sizes and see what I can create.  Sometimes it can look totally different than the original I designed.

I am still working on my crochet project that I started a couple of months ago with the Glam Stripes yarn in black.  I seem to be knitting or sewing more lately than crocheting so it is coming along slowly.

Crochet Project with Glam Stripe yarn

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of August and are getting some crocheting or knitting done.  I currently have a few projects going and I will be sharing more of those in the coming weeks.

Have a great day!

Kimberlee

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Working Out Week 31 of 2014

This week was a shorter workout week for me.  We went on a three day trip down to San Antonio, Texas to see the Alamo and stay in the Riverwalk area and do a few things with the kids before school starts back.  It was a nice trip and a beautiful area but I am also thankful and glad to be back and home and in a routine.

My workouts this week were:

  • Monday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 38 min.
  • Tuesday – off – driving to San Antonio – walking once got there to Alamo and 1 mile to eat dinner
  • Wednesday – a lot of walking around San Antonio
  • Thursday – off – driving back from trip
  • Friday – Jari Love – Ripped and Chiseled workout – 40 min
  • Saturday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 33 min.

The middle of the week I didn’t do any set or scheduled workouts but I did a lot of walking on Tuesday and Wednesday around the Riverwalk in San Antonio.  We stayed right down on the Riverwalk so everything was close by and in walking distance.  The first day there we walked down to The Alamo which was about two or three blocks away and I think we had to walk almost a mile one way to eat dinner that night.  Lots of complaints from the kids on that one but I told them this way we could walk off our dinner on the way back to the hotel.

Alamo Mug trip souvenir

 

Alamo Mug and beads from trip to San Antonio

The photo above is of the mug I got from the Alamo gift shop and the beads I got in the clearance bin for $2.00 a strand at a little shop in the other direction from our hotel.  The shops were called the Shops of LaVillita and they were these cute small little boutiques and art galleries that you don’t see in the mall or just on any street corner.  I thought I would make some knitting stitch markers with the beads or maybe a bracelet.  I really like the mug as it is a nice shape and I like the art work and wording on it – it says Remember the Alamo on the bottom and the year 1836 on the mug and the handle.

Fountain at the Shops at LaVillita in San Antonio

My son and his new hat from LaVillita Shops in San Antonio

The two photos above are of me and my oldest son – this was our little shopping trip to the Shops at LaVillita on Wednesday.  He found this hat in one of the shops and wanted it.  I told him he could get it if he intended to wear it more than twice.  He says he will.  He is driving now so I told him it could be his driving hat.  The other photo is of me in front of this pretty little fountain in front of a quaint cafe.  I wanted to take my sons photo in front of the fountain but getting him to have his picture taken is difficult.  I barely got the one in the hat.  He will probably be mortified when I tell him I put it on my blog…

Riverwalk San Antonio, Texas

 

Riverwalk San Antonio, Texas

 

Riverwalk San Antonio

The above photos are of the Riverwalk area.  It is really neat how all of these hotels, restaurants and shops are on either side of the river.  You can take a river boat tour which takes you on a 30 or 40 minute ride with a guide but we didn’t end up going on that.  My one son observed that it might be costly for the five of us and also the boats don’t go very fast and you could probably walk along side one and hear what the guide says, is what one of my 13 year old son’s told me.  He is kind of right.  I really enjoyed just walking the area and seeing the ducks and other birds and all of the green foliage that borders the sides of the river.  It is pretty open and easy to get around during the day but it gets pretty crowded in the evening with everyone going to eat at the restaurants.

Jari Love Ripped Workout

 

So back to the regular routine of workouts on Friday.  I decided to do an older Jari Love workout that is called Ripped and Chiseled.  It is a weight training workout and it is very high reps.  I had forgotten how hard this one is and the results you feel later on in the day and the next day, too.  The whole dvd is about 60 minutes and I choose to do about 40 minutes of it.  The reps are high but you don’t get too bored with the exercises because she varies the count and does single, 2 -2 count, 3 and 1 count and 4 and 1 count.  My legs, arms and upper back are feeling this today.

I have decided that with my weekly workout post I am going to start including some tips for success in working out on your own, or anywhere really.  These are tips from me, a real person and mother of three sons – I am not nor have I ever been a professional fitness trainer or belonged to a gym.  I just choose to be healthy and workout and do my workouts at home – on my own – making my own schedule.

Fitness Tip for the Week - Commit to exercising starting now!

-Schedule you workouts for at least 4 days per week for 30 minutes or more per day and you will see results – maybe not overnight but within 3 to 4 weeks.

-Start out small in the beginning – just go out for a walk or ride your bike or do some stretches or yoga.  There are lots of free videos on You Tube or you can go to your local library and check out dvd’s or books on working out – that is how I started out years ago – by utilizing what my library had to offer.  There are also lots of great routines and information on workouts on pinterest.

Well, I hope everyone is having a good weekend.  It looks like it is going to be a pretty nice day here today so I may be doing some swimming this afternoon for a little extra workout.

Have a great weekend!

Kimberlee

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Working Out Week 30 of 2014

The last full week of July has past – week 30 of the year.  It has gotten really hot here in Texas in the past week or two.  My workouts this week are below:

  • Monday – Cathe LIS – Total Body Trisets – Chest, Shoulders and Tri’s – 31 min.
  • Tuesday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 40 min.
  • Wednesday – Cathe LIS – Turbo Barre – 40 min.
  • Thursday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 35 min.
  • Friday – Cathe LIS – Total Body Trisets – Back, Bi’s and Core – 34 min.
  • Saturday – Ride Bike + Yoga – 33 min.

This past week instead of doing cardio dvd’s I decided to do some weights for the upper body and also my Turbo Barre workout on Wednesday.

Cathe Total Body Trisets Upper

The weight training workout I used this week was the same one, from the Cathe Low Impact Series called Total Body Trisets.  The workout is actually a total body workout but I chose to just do the upper body portion of this workout on Monday and again on Friday.  This workout uses some heavier weights like 10 and 15 pound dumbbells and the exercise ball with some of the sets.  The workout consists of 3 exercises per grouping that you repeat two times before moving on to the next set.  It felt good to do some heavier weights this past week.

Cathe Turbo Barre Workout

The cat joined me again on Wednesday for the Turbo Barre workout.  (see him on the chair) This is our third Wednesday in a row of doing this workout.  I did the muscle conditioning portion with the lighter 5 pound dumbbells and then on to the floorwork and then the ab work.  I love the fun and challenging ab moves in this workout.  You can see some of them in the photos above.

On the days I was not using my dvd’s I rode my bike through the neighborhood.  I got bored with my old route so I changed it up a bit this week.  I would then come back home and do my yoga outside on the patio – it feels good to do the yoga after a bike ride.

 

Ball Exchange exercise

The ball exchange move is one of my favorite ab-core exercises and I did plenty of them on Friday with the Total Body Trisets dvd.  This move is where you place the ball between your lower legs, lower them down while lowering your upper body with the arms stretched overhead, then raise both your legs (while holding the ball) and your arms back up and grab the ball with your hands and lower your legs and your hands (now holding the ball) back toward the floor – you don’t actually touch the floor with your legs and arms though.  When you do about 25 or 30 of these for two rounds you really feel it.

What is one of your favorite exercise moves that you did this past week or recently – or maybe a favorite new workout?  Click on Leave a Reply to tell me about it.

Have a great weekend!

Kimberlee

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Easy Sewing Pattern For Tops

One of my favorite sewing pattern brands are Kwik Sew patterns.  I realize they are a bit more expensive than some other pattern companies but I don’t mind paying extra for a stylish pattern that fits well and has excellent directions.

The other nice thing about their patterns is they are often classic styles.   They also come printed on nice heavy paper, not that thin tissue paper that tears easily.  All sizes are included in the pattern and I have found that if you want to sew something for yourself and then use the same pattern for someone that is a different size you can easily use this thin, see through, pattern tracing fabric – its kind of like interfacing and is usually sold near the interfacing – to trace multiple sizes.  I have also used quilters grid before to trace patterns since you can see through it.

One of my favorite Kwik Sew patterns that I bought years ago and have made many times in various fabrics and prints is pattern number 3632.  This pattern is for a top or dress that has an elastic casing at the neckline and sleeve cap to gather those areas in and create and cute and flattering top.  Kwik Sew Top made by Kimberlee

 

Back of White Knit Top sewn by Kimberlee

This white knit top above is one I made in the past month.  It was super quick and easy to sew.  There are only 2 pattern pieces and then you have to sew the casing for your elastic at the neck and arm area, hem the bottom and its finished.

Blue and Yellow Chevron Cotton Top sewn by Kimberlee

The blue, yellow and white chevron print top above is also made using the same pattern but with a cotton fabric.  The pattern is very versatile and I have used various types of fabrics for it.   I love how easy it is to make one of these tops – like in a couple hours or less.   I have also used stitches other than a straight stitch to sew the topstitched area – on these two tops I used a narrow zigzag stitch for the casings and the hems.

This particular pattern would be a great project for someone learning to sew.  The pattern is really easy to read and to sew.  I also noticed that Hobby Lobby is now carrying some of the Kwik Sew patterns as well as Joann and Hancocks.  In the past in my area I could only buy them at Hancocks.

What types of sewing projects do you like to do?

Have a great day!

Kimberlee

Knit White Top sewn by Kimberlee

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