Month: March 2014
Working Out Week 13 of 2014
March 29, 2014
This week I finished week 12 of P90X3. I can not believe there is only one week left to go in the program. The variety this exercise program has makes it go really fast and with the workouts only taking 30 minutes a day, six days a week, it is easy to fit into a busy schedule.
This week the schedule was the same as week 10. You can look at my post on that to see the exact schedule. Some photos are below of the workouts.
I really love the Pilates program. It is fun and challenging and I always look forward to doing this workout when it is on the schedule. The pretzel exercise at the end (lower right photo) is one of my favorites in this routine.
The Decelerator workout was on the schedule twice this week. I like this workout but twice in one week I do not like so much. There are some really great exercises in this routine though – like the starfish push ups (lower left photo) and the superman-bow (lower right photo). There are also some that are super hard and I can not do completely like the crane cracker push ups (upper left photo) – I am doing the modified ones there with just the knee on the elbow. The full move is to go forward and raise your leg that is behind you up, extend your leg on the elbow out straight and do a push up. I think if I tried that I would land on my face for sure. My cat seemed to like doing this workout twice in one week.
I also did my Exhale Core Fusion a few times this week. I did the Abs & Arms dvd this week. The segments I did were Upper Body with Band, Abdominal’s with band, Abs with Leg Curl Variations and Band. The segments are 10 minutes that I did after P90X3 a few of the days this past week. A couple of days I was too busy with having to get my kids to school early to be able to do an extra 10 minutes.
The Pilates book I checked out from the library a couple of weeks ago was also used a couple of times this week. I am trying to do between 6 and 10 of the different exercises in there at least three times a week. The pilates is so good for strengthening your core and leaning out your body. The book is called Pilates Practice Companion by Alycea Ungaro. A great book with color photos of each exercise.
Also, on the subject of books I finished reading the Tony Horton book The Big Picture.
This book was an excellent read full of positive and motivating advice and information. One of the main things that sticks with me and one of his 11 laws is to “Do your best and forget the rest.” I am trying to remember this when I get stressed out about everything I have to or want to do or accomplish. I need to remember that doing my best is the main focus – not doing more just to say I did more. I am not talking just about fitness here – about things in everyday life as well. Another great chapter in the book is Law 4 “Variety is the Spice of…Everything” I totally agree with that. I am a person who is creative and I get bored easily doing the same thing (especially when exercising) over and over. Take the Decelerator workout for example. I have done that one 6 times in the last 4 weeks and to be honest with you I am tired of it. I like it okay but I have done it so much lately it is starting to annoy me. Tony mentions in his book that you should not do something just because everyone else is doing it – I tell my kids this all the time. He also talks about how adding variety to everything in your life, not just with exercise but in all areas, makes things more fun and interesting – another thing I totally agree with. You can click on the book link to read more information about the book if you are interested in learning more.
This week I also became an affiliate of Beachbody programs. The icon is in the sidebar for P90X3 if you are interested in learning more about the workout or in ordering it. I have really enjoyed doing this program and all my previous posts about it can give you more information. I do not endorse things I do not like or believe in.
Well, I hope everyone is having a nice weekend. It is finally getting warmer here in Texas. I am ready for spring and was actually able to wear sandals a couple of times this week.
Have a great day!
March 26, 2014
Sewing your own jeans is a lot easier than you think. About 5 years ago I made my first pair of jeans because I was fed up with buying jeans that never seemed to fit me how I like. I decided that instead of wasting my time shopping for jeans and paying a bunch of money for them I would learn to make my own.
This is the first pair of jeans I made using a Kwik Sew pattern. The pattern is number 3193 and I know as of a year ago it was still in print. I made these jeans approximately 5 years ago and yes I still wear them. They have become a little faded over time but they are very comfortable.
It is kind of hard to see but I embroidered the back pockets of these – I did not have good light conditions outside for these photos but wanted to show how these jeans looked. The pattern is super easy to follow with great zipper instructions. There are 2 versions of the jeans a wide leg, as I am wearing, and a straight leg. I like that the waist is a littler higher on these and not such a low rise, too. I am getting too old for those low rise jeans.
I began making more of my own jeans a few years ago after buying the Bernina My Label pattern drafting software. This is software that helps you design your own patterns using your measurements. I am not sure if they still sell it but there are other software programs available that do this. I really like it because it is a more custom fit. It does – has – required some tweaking and learning to do things on my own. So, all the current jeans I have made I am now using the My Label pattern which is essentially my own pattern made to fit me.
Recently I have been on a major jean sewing spree. I told my husband the other day that I was really getting a system down for making them and I can now get a pair done in about 5 or 6 days. This of course is not working on them constantly and some days I only have time to sew for about 30 minutes and some days I have no sewing time. The most sewing time I ever get is about a 2 hour session on the weekend.
I have taken 2 Craftsy classes that have really helped me learn a lot more about designing and sewing your own jeans. The first class I took a couple of years ago was Online Sewing Class Jean-ius by Kenneth King. This was a great class and I learned so much about fitting and sewing the details on the jeans like the pockets and waistband and topstitching techniques. In this class you can actually learn how to take a pair of your favorite jeans and copy them to make your own pattern. The other class I recently took through Craftsy was Sewing Designer Jeans with Angela Wolf. I learned some more great sewing tips and techniques for the jeans as well as how to put a curved waistband on the jeans after taking Angela’s class. I also learned how to distress the denim fabric in her class. Both of these classes are wonderful for increasing your sewing knowledge and learning the skills you need to make your jean sewing a success. You can learn more about the classes I just mentioned by clicking on the highlighted text to take you to the link to them. If you are going to make your own jeans I would highly recommend taking both classes.
Some of the tips I have that I think are important when sewing your own jeans are:
- Use a size 90/14 or 100/16 denim sewing machine needle
- Take your time and sew slowly – especially when topstitching
- Make a muslin first using inexpensive muslin just to get an idea of the fit – this way you can adjust some things without ruining your expensive denim. You may still need to make a few minor adjustments on the denim but at least it will be less and you won’t ruin your fabric
- Press all your seam using a hot steam iron. This will make sewing so much easier and your seams will lay nicely. I took a whole class on pressing once from my Sewing Guild and it is a very important step.
- Use 2 spools of the same color thread through the needle when topstitching versus using the jeans thread they sell. I tried using the jeans thread on my dark denim ones and my machine (an older Bernina) does not like it – it is very thick thread and requires tension adjustments. I found it easier and less stressful to just use 2 spools of thread and a stitch length of 4 for your topstitching.
- Sew your inner leg seams first, before the outer leg seams. This is the opposite of what patterns usually tell you to do. This way you can topstitch the inner leg seam easily. Also, stitch from the center crotch point down to the hem on each side for best results when sewing this seam together.
Fabric is a fun and important part of making your own jeans. I have bought denim fabric from JoAnn that I like as seen in the pair I made 5 years ago (above) as well as the glitter denim fabric I used in this pair:
This pair was the first pair I made after taking Angela Wolf’s class. I had this fabric in my stash and decided to use it. It is hard to see but there is a light silver glitter in the fabric and this denim is very lightweight – no stretch. I embroidered my own design using a K logo for Kimberlees Korner using a metallic silver thread.
I also got this fabric that I made these shorts from at JoAnn. I have only wore these once since it is still kind of chilly here.
I didn’t have enough of the fabric to make the curved waistband facing so I used the fabric that I did the pocket lining with and love how this turned out.
The fabric I recently bought from Fabric.com is really nice quality denim and a great price, in my opinion. They also have free shipping on orders over $35.00 and it arrived quickly. The photos below are the jeans I made using the fabric I bought from there.
So far the above light color denim and the shorts are my two favorite pair. They both fit how I like them – not too tight and not too low of a rise. I really like how the curved waistband adds some extra give to the waist area, too.
What sewing projects are you currently working on? Click on Leave a Reply and let me know. I am still in the jeans sewing mode and currently working on another pair of denim shorts using some more fabric I found in my stash. I also have a tan twill fabric cut out for shorts using the jean pattern but have not started sewing those yet.
Have a great day!
Working Out Week 12 of 2014
March 22, 2014
I am back into the workout routine at home once again. This is end of the 11th week of P90X3. I can not believe there are only 2 weeks left in the program. It seems like it has gone by pretty fast, in my opinion. I guess having the variety in the workouts has kept it interesting and makes you want to keep up with the schedule.
This week the schedule was the same as week number 9. To see that schedule you can look at my previous post on that week. Below are a few photos from a couple of the workouts this week.
Do you see my black cat in some of the photos? He worked out with me almost every day this past week. I think he really missed our morning workout sessions when I was gone last week. He seemed pretty happy to be hanging out with me again every morning. It is interesting how our pets get into a routine. My other cat was pretty close by too for most of the workouts but she is camera shy and tends to stay toward the side of the room by the wall – or maybe she is smart and just doesn’t want to get stepped on.
I also incorporated some of my Exhale Core Fusion workouts a few of the days this week using the Body Sculpt dvd. I did the Upper Sculpt, Stretch Sculpt and Ab Sculpt this week. I really like how these dvd’s are divided into those short 10 minute segments and it is easy to fit one in after I finish my 30 minutes of P90X3.
The black cat is once again working out with me – right next to my side in the above photo. He is kind of hard to see as he blends in with my navy shirt.
I also went to the library the beginning of this week and found a new PIlates book that I had not seen before. It is called Pilates Practice Companion by Alycea Ungaro. I really like the book and how it is formatted into beginner, intermediate and advanced workouts. I used the book a few times this week and plan to use it more in the next couple of weeks. I really like how the Pilates lengthens and strengthens my core, waist, hips and legs.
I have also gotten back into eating better this week since we are at home and I am still trying to incorporate lots of protein and fiber into my diet. I found a really good oat bran muffin recipe from another blog and have made it twice this week. It is from the Pink Recipe Box and the recipe is for Healthy Chocolate Chip Oat Bran Muffins. I did not have the exact ingredients so in place of the applesauce I used a 1/2 cup of almond milk and the first time I made them I added a little extra brown sugar as I didn’t think 1/4 cup was going to be enough since I didn’t use the applesauce. The second time I made them I did reduce the brown sugar to 1/4 cup and I thought they were just as good. I really like how this recipe is low sugar and high in fiber. The oat bran I used was NOW brand the first time and Bob’s Red Mill the second time.
My family also liked the muffins and so did my friend Karen. I met her yesterday at Starbucks for our coffee and knitting get together that we have been trying to do a couple of times a month and she really liked the muffin and wanted the recipe.
I hope everyone had a great week and got in some workouts. Have a great weekend!
Sewing Project Knit Jacket
March 18, 2014
I recently made this knit jacket using a pattern that I also made a tunic from this past summer. The pattern is Simplicity 1668. It is one of those patterns considered to be sportswear as there is a whole ensemble that you can make in the pattern that includes a dress, jacket, pants, shorts and a tunic. So far I have only sewn the jacket and the tunic.
The fabric I used for this jacket was a lightweight knit that I believe I bought from Hancock Fabrics. The jacket is very easy to sew as it has minimal pieces. There are no sleeves to sew as it has a dolman sleeve. I always like that as it makes completing your project so much easier when there are no separate sleeves to sew. The front features a shawl type of collar and that was sort of time consuming to sew as it requires interfacing and since it is curved you have to sew slowly and do some clipping to make the seams lay nicely. I don’t think the jacket front is hard to sew just requires a little time and patience to ensure it turns out well. You also need to press it to get a crease to make it fold back.
As you can see from the photos the jacket is a 3/4 sleeve and it also has an asymmetrical drape as the back is lower than the front.
I really like this jacket a lot and was so pleased that I had some navy pants that I made a couple of years ago that went with the jacket and It also looked nice with my Olympic Crochet Scarf that I had finished during the winter Olympics. I think I would like to make this jacket again in the near future in a cream or white for spring or summer. This jacket is the perfect thing to keep with you for those air conditioned places that are so chilly in the summer time.
Currently I am working on sewing some jeans and jean shorts. I will be doing a future post on them so be sure to subscribe via bloglovin, email or RSS for updates.
Have a great day!
Working Out Week 11 of 2014
March 16, 2014
The past week I was on vacation for Spring break with my family and we traveled to Destin, FL to see my parents and then traveled to Ashburn, GA to see my husband’s family. I took the P90X3 workout dvd’s, my exercise mat and my exercise bands with me so I could stay on track with my workout schedule and not get behind. I am proud to say I worked out every morning of our vacation with the exception of Saturday, since we had a 15 hour car trip back to Texas. I am going to try and fit that workout in today, Sunday, to make up for not doing it on Saturday.
This past week the schedule was as follows:
- Monday – MMX
- Tuesday – Decelerator
- Wednesday – Triometrics
- Thursday – Pilates X
- Friday – Decelerator
- Saturday – CVX
Since we were out of town I was not able to take any photos the past week of the workouts. I did take photos of our trip though. The weather was nice enough in Destin the first couple of days that we were able to enjoy a little time on the beach. The above photo was taken by one of my twin sons of me and my mom sitting in a gazebo by the ocean.
We also went to the Gulfarium and saw a dolphin show and some of the other features in the various tanks around the place. They had a shark moat but it was kind of dark in there so I was not able to get any good photos of the larger sharks. I was able to get a couple in the other tanks of a smaller shark and a hammerhead as seen in the above photos.
I am really pleased that I was able to maintain the workout schedule even though we were out of town. I brought the dvd’s and my laptop so I was able to workout where I could find room and thankfully at the condo in Destin there was a nice TV with a blueray player and enough floor space to workout. The workouts only take 30 minutes of your time so it was easy to just get up and get it done – just like I do when I am at home. I will say I did not get up quite as early since I had to consider the other people around me in the small place we stayed in. At my in-laws in Georgia I was able to get up at pretty much my regular time since they operate a farm and are early risers. I would take my laptop into their spare living room and use the dvd’s on there to workout. My oldest son was sleeping in there on the pull out couch so I did kind of wake him up but he is a teenager and just put a pillow over his head and went back to sleep. He wasn’t too interested in getting up and working out with me.
Eating a healthy diet while traveling is always a challenge. I tried to plan ahead on the drive over there and had healthy snacks and even packed our lunch so we didn’t have to stop for fast food for lunch and dinner, only dinner. When we did stop for a meal during the whole trip I tried to make healthy choices and get a grilled sandwich, no fries and a water to drink. It is possible to eat fast food and not overeat if you are careful about your choices. I am looking forward to getting back on track this week though with cooking healthy meals at home and will be planning my menu today and probably shopping today or tomorrow since we don’t have much food in the house.
Well, I hope everyone is having a nice month of March so far. I will update again at the end of the week on week 11 of P90X3 – only a few weeks left in the program.
Working Out Week 10 of 2014
March 8, 2014
The first week of March went by quickly. This marks the 10th week of the year and week 9 of P90X3 for me. This week the workouts changed again – some new ones were added that I had not done yet. The new workouts really brought out the intensity in my opinion. Below is the schedule for the past week:
- Monday – Decelerator
- Tuesday – MMX
- Wednesday – Eccentric Lower
- Thursday – X3 Yoga
- Friday – Triometrics
- Saturday – Eccentric Upper
Decelerator was one of the new workouts and it is quite a challenge. It is a really good total body workout. I really like a lot of the moves we did in this one, especially the superman-bow move (lower right photo). My cat seemed to like this workout, too.
Another new workout in this weeks rotation was called Eccentric Lower. This was mainly a lower body workout as it says in the name. This workout uses dumbbells for a lot of the exercises. I used 12 and 10 pounds and a 15 for one or two moves. As I was doing this workout I didn’t really feel much – you only do 10 reps of a lot of the moves. But, let me tell you that later that day and the next morning my whole upper thigh, glute and hip area told me that workout was changing my lower body for the better.
I also did some of my Exhale Core Fusion workouts after the P90X3, just like last week. This week I used a different dvd – the Pilates Plus. The workouts I used were just 10 minutes sessions again: Pure Core, Upper Body, Thighs & Glutes, Flat-Round Back-Core. The Thigh & Glutes is one of my favorites on this dvd as it incorporates a lot of ab-core work and you can really feel it tone your waistline. As seen in a couple of the photos below you kneel and lean back as far as you can then twist to the left and right – it sounds easier than it is, believe me. The other move you continue to lean back and then tap your fist together about 8 or 10 times per side – thighs are burning the whole time and the waist is really getting a great workout.
I have also been breaking in some new training shoes this past week:
The shoes are Sketchers Go Fit Cross Training shoes. They recommend training shoes for workouts like P90X3. I have been wearing Nike training shoes that I really love but they seem to be wearing down on the inside which seems to happen to me since I workout a lot. I couldn’t find any Nike ones in my size the other day that I liked so I decided to try these. So far I really like them and they are super light – great for plyo moves and a lot of jumping. They are also comfortable to walk in.
I hope everyone has had a good first week of March. I am hoping it will start to warm up soon – I am really tired of winter this year and ready for warmer temperatures.
Have a great week!
St Patrick’s Day Lace Infinity Scarf
March 4, 2014
Now that the Olympics are over it was time to move on to some other crochet and knitting projects. St. Patricks Day is coming soon so I started this lace knit infinity scarf the last couple of days of watching the Olympics. I finished it a few days ago and wanted to share it on my blog.
I really like how my new design turned out. The yarn I use is the Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn – a soft worsted weight yarn. Both yarns are in the sparkle version so the green and the white both have metallic silver thread in the yarn – you can kind of see it in the close up photo below. I only did a small amount of white since that is what I had leftover from making my Olympic projects. I also like the length – it can be worn long as a stylish accessory or doubled for warmth.
The knitting stitch I used for this pattern reminds me of crochet. I really like the openwork of the pattern. I am currently designing another infinity scarf – cowl using the same pattern mixed with another stitch and I really like how it is turning out. I will be sharing that on my blog soon so check back often to see what is new.
Have a great day!
Working Out Week 9 of 2014
March 1, 2014
This last week of February has gone by so fast! I can not believe it is now March. This past week I completed week 8 of P90X3 and I also did a few extra workouts after my 30 minutes of P90X3 using one of my Exhale Core Fusion dvd’s. I like those workouts because they are pilates-yoga based and are divided into 10 minute segments. I did one segment each day this week after P90X3. I really like how the Exhale Core Fusion tone your whole body – especially your abs and they give you a great stretch, too.
This week was transition week again for P90X3 so the workouts were as follows:
- Monday – Isometrix
- Tuesday – Dynamix
- Wednesday – Accelerator
- Thursday – Pilates X
- Friday – Agility X
- Saturday – Yoga
Isometrix and the Pilates are probably still my favorites for this week. Below are the photos from those workouts:
The Exhale Core Fusion dvd I used this past week was the Lean and Toned. I did the following sessions: Pretzel & Core – did this twice, Upper Body, Flat-Round Back (very hard ab and thigh workout) and Gluteal toner. I have decided to try and start incorporating my Exhale Core Fusion workouts – since I have all of them – into my daily workout just for a 10 minute session. These workouts really help tone your whole body. Below are photos from the upper body session which is done with light weights. Try doing the push ups with your hands forming a triangle underneath you – it is hard.
This past week was also the start of another fitness challenge for me called Power of Vitality. This challenge is through my husbands work and spouses are allowed to participate. You receive points for your daily workouts and at the end of the challenge, which I forgot to check the specific date on, you get to go shopping with your points and possibly get something really nice depending on how many points you have. I think it is great that his company is encouraging their employees and their families to get fit and lead a healthy life style. The Power of Vitality website also has a lot of great health information and even healthy recipes. I tried one this past week. It was a rice dish made with brown rice, turmeric, coriander and sundried tomatoes. I had it for lunch two different days and it was really good.
I am also reading the new Tony Horton book The Big Picture – 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life. I am now on Law 5 – I guess that would be chapter 5. So far I really like the book and it has a lot of great advice.
I hope everyone had a great February and are looking forward to an even better March. I am going to continue on with the P90X3 program and also try to do my Exhale Core Fusion dvd’s as a bonus workout.
Have a great day!