A New Lease on Life

Today is the start of my 9th day of my new workout program! I am following a Hybrid Calendar that I made for use with Turbo Fire and Brazil Butt Lift. This is the first 4 weeks of my program. Today is Tuesday of Week 2.



I’m having ok results so far, I am hoping to amp it up as I start to tweak my diet more.  I didn’t lose much weight, but I did lose 7 inches total in my first week. I made myself take horrible swim suit before pics and am using them as motivation, but I’m not ready to share them yet. I will share my measurements though, this chart shows my starting measurements as of Monday March 9th, 2015 along the far left. My goals (not quite where I was pre-pregnancy, but close) are along the right in the yellow column.  I will be taking and adding my new measurements every week on Sunday for right now. 





I will be working my butt off, hopefully literally from now on to get myself more fit and in better health. I can’t carry on the ways I have been, and I’ve known it for awhile, but been lazy. If I’d dealt with it when I first started, it wouldn’t have gotten this bad but we all know how fun hindsight is. 

I needed some new workout gear as well, my go to brand is of course Lululemon, but I wanted to try out Fabletics since I could get an entire 3 piece outfit for less than the cost of a pair of Lulu pants. I got my first outfit from them yesterday and it was great quality and super cute. I will be ordering two more today because I’m seriously lacking in that department. 





Aside from that I have a couple final exams coming up next week, so I’ve just been trying to tie up loose ends and get in some reviewing time. And stay not stressed while doing it. Hope you’re all having a great St Patrick’s Day!!

The big 2-8

Yesterday was my birthday. I still don’t know how I feel inching closer and closer to 30. I guess part of me is ok with it, but there is also a part of me that feels like I haven’t really accomplished a whole lot in the 10 years since I graduated high school.
The last couple weeks, while this feeling loomed over me, I’ve been thinking hard about setting some goals, big and small. I feel like I need something to guide me along the way so that when I do hit 30, I don’t feel regret or remorse for what I could (or should) have done. I’m not going to share all these goals and dreams here, but along the way I might share a few, or share how progress is going towards certain goals.
I am going to try to blog more, as sharing pictures and information about my goals and progress will help me to stay on track better.
One of my goals is better health. Last summer I got back on track with healthy eating and working out and I had really amazing progress for the first 3 weeks, then I slowly started to drift back into my old ways and progress stopped and regression happened. Next week I am starting a new workout program, JNL Fusion. After my third baby, I found Jennifer Nicole Lee on YouTube. She put out these short but deadly workouts and following those I saw fantastic results, even with a crappy diet full of fast food and lacking in fruits and vegetables. So when I saw she had a DVD workout series out, I snapped it up. I’m actually really looking forward to it, because while they were tough, her workouts were still fun and super effective. While I won’t be following any specific eating plan, I am going to cut out as much processed food as I can and just try to eat as clean and healthy as I can. I also have about 4 months worth of Shakeology powder hanging around my house, so I will be starting to incorporate those back into my daily life.
I’m also trying to severely limit the amount of yarn I buy this year. As in, technically, I’ve only ordered two skeins of yarn this whole year (and I ordered them as a birthday present to myself.) That’s not to say I won’t have new yarn coming in, but I really want to shudder thinking about how much yarn I acquired last year. I could probably yarn craft the next two years before I ran out of yarn, maybe even 3. I signed up for a yarn club before the new year started, but I paid for it then too and I’m trying to not feel bad about that. Instead, I’m using that to help calm any other yarn purchases as I WILL receive one skein of yarn each month until the club is over. I also had the good fortune of winning some free yarn on Instagram, which was amazing for someone who is having new yarn withdrawals.

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As far as actual projects go, I’m doing well there. I crocheted up two cute Amigurumi for my niece and nephews second birthdays (with yarn from my stash.)

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I crocheted my fiancé a funny Valentine’s gift on a quick break from reading for my University english class

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I don’t have pictures of everyone, but at the start of the year I forced myself to find every unfinished project I had from 2014 and work diligently to finish them finally. Well when they were all found and counted, I had 38 projects that weren’t done. There’s been some finishing, some frogging and some progress made on larger scale projects and I can say, quite proudly, that I’m now down to 24 unfinished projects from 2014. This week I’ve been working on a knit bath mat I started in the summer, and a crochet butterfly prayer shawl that I sadly started in December.

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I’m moving the stitch markers each week, just so I can actually see the progress made each week. Both are just repeating the same thing over and over, so without that marker of where I started it seems like no progress has been made. Yesterday, being my birthday, I allowed myself to cast on a new project (that isn’t being made as a gift) and I’m extremely in love with it!

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It’s called The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People and its a free download on Ravelry. I didn’t know that was what I was going to cast on until the morning when I was browsing my Ravelry queue and saw it, then I browsed the finished projects and there was one in there that instantly made me think it would be adorable in this yarn. The yarn is Cushy Sock base (75% Superwash merino, 25% nylon) in the colourway Rainbow Acid Rain by iKNITiatives on Etsy. I remember her posting two skeins of neon looking yarn on Instagram one day and I told her I would buy them both as soon as they were listed. I love the, both, but I had no clue what I was going to use this particular skein on. It’s working up so pretty though, and I think I will really love this shawl.
As for school, I hadn’t informed the blog world, but I am in full time university getting my Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Accounting. It’s going, there has been a lot of illness in the house this winter with flu, fever and even pneumonia, so I’ve definitely fallen behind in that. I am determined to get back on track though and that is my priority in any time of the day that I am being allowed to pay attention to my computer and not my not-so-independent toddler. I have 6 classes right now, 2 of which I will be done by the end of March for sure, 2 that I’m having to take extensions out on because the weeks of sickness and lack of sleep kept me from getting enough done, and 2 that I just started in February.
That’s really it for now, just a kind of all over update since its been forever since I blogged last. I hope to share some more progress and a bit about my goals as we go on.

First Lush Haul

So I’ve known about Lush for a long time, but as a younger person I decided their items were too expensive and that I wasn’t into that “hippie bs” of worrying about animal testing or chemicals or any of that stuff.

27 year old me is different. 27 year old me is very aware of how chemicals affect products and us as humans and everything around us. I’m way more into trying to use things that aren’t possibly detrimental to our health. I think these realizations have come not just as part of growing up, but as part of having children. You don’t want them to be exposed to things that can be avoided so easily.

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For my first order, I kept things simple. I have friends who use Lush, and everyone was recommending things to me. What I really needed at the time I placed my order was shampoo and conditioner. I have really fine, thin hair. Drugstore shampoos weight it down, even the ones that claim to be weightless. My hair has been void of body for as long as I can remember. Even with the help of “volumizing” products I got very little in the way of results.
After reading reviews and ingredients and comparing shampoos, I decided to give BIG shampoo and bar conditioner a try. My order got here quickly, and I didn’t wait more than an hour to hop in the shower and give it a try. I will say that it’s strange to use a shampoo that has coarse chunks of salt in it, but it worked into my hair well. When I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair it felt squeaky clean. The conditioner bar was a bit strange to use too, but once I figured it out and was able to run the conditioner through my hair I was quite happy with it. I have to say that this is one of the best smelling shampoo/conditioner combos that I have ever used. The scent isn’t overpowering, it just smells light and clean and it lasts on my hair much longer. When my air hair dried, it was much lighter and bouncier. It had about as much body as it normally gets when I add products and blow dry it all out. I still have yet to blow dry my hair after using this combo to see what happens, but I expect great results when I do. My fiancé noticed a difference in my hair that night when he got home. It was shinier and looked healthier and it was extremely soft, not crunchy.
Its been like that, every time I’ve used it. I don’t know if it is cleaning the crud and whatever that was left behind by the drug store shampoos or what, but my hair looks and feels much better, for much longer. I will be using BIG for a long time to come.
I also ordered a shampoo bar, called New. It’s supposed to help promote hair growth for those with fine hair and breakage. I put it in a bar tin, but I really wanted to try big first, so I will give an update on New once I’ve given it a real try. It smells spicy and awesome though, so I can’t wait to give it a good try.

As for future orders, I have a list. I have a friend who has recently used the Henna for her hair and raves about it, so I might be giving that a try in the near future before she abandons me to travel to Australia with her boyfriend!! This same friend also swears by Dark Angels so I will be trying that out at some time too.

One of my goals this year was to start trying to take better care of myself. We might be halfway through the year, but I am finally starting. I feel that self care is important for everyone, but especially for moms. I know that for the last almost 8 years there haven’t been many times where I’ve put self care on a high priority. It seemed silly to worry about what my hair looked like or skin care or even just taking a few minutes every day to relax and let go. Now, I’ve realized that it’s not. Self care is a very important part of who you are. It’s helped me to keep my identity as my own person and not just a mom. Even a 15 minute shower with yummy smelling gel and a good moisturizer after, a half hour soak with bubble bath after the kids go to bed. Sometimes that is all it takes to help unwind from the stresses of every day life, and isn’t that something we all need?

Wednesday WIP’s

This past week I made progress on 2 of my WIP’s from last week. I also started 2 new projects. There is one project in particular that I didn’t work on last week that I need to make some serious progress on in the next 2 weeks, so I’m hoping to be able to get in some good time with it.

Previous Works

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1. Bath Mat (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, “Off White”)
*Got some more rows put onto this one, it’s officially half done now. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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2. Christmas Lovies (Knit Picks Brava Worsted)
*Last week I showed you 2 that I had finished up. A red and white one, and a green and white one. This week I managed to get one with all the colours and started another red and white one.

New Works

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1. Summer Library Bag (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, “Crown Jewels Ombré”)

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2. Cairbre Cardigan (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, “Oak Moss” and “Teacup”)

The plan for this week is to finish off both of my 2 new projects as they are for a competition on Ravelry called Nerd Wars. I also need to do some major work on the Batman Blanket that I showed in my post last week. I’d like to get the bath mat to at least 75% done and to pick up the Kitten Poker socks again and make a little bit of progress on them. I haven’t touched them since my needle broke and I had to try to save what I could of the one sock. I’m hoping we will be brave and give them another go.

Wednesday WIP’s

Every Wednesday I’m going to share my current works in progress. I’m hoping that taking pictures of them every week will help me to see my progress on things that are taking longer, where seeing progress on a daily basis is tough (like losing weight or growing your hair out!)

I will only share the things I’ve actually worked on at some point since the previous Wednesday when I photographed them. If it doesn’t appear it’s because I didn’t make time for it.

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1. Bath mat. (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Off-White. Deep stash, 2012)

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2. Lovey’s. (For my Etsy shop/Craft fairs this fall and early winter.)

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3. Kitten Poker Socks. (Knit Picks Stroll, Cork. Stashed 2013.)

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4. Mrs. Bakery Bear. (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Lake Ice Heather. Stashed 2013.)

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5. Batman Blanket. (Knit Picks Brava, assorted colours. Bought for project 2014.)

So those are the 5 projects I’ve been working on the last week. Hopefully by this time next week I will have some more done on them, maybe even some completed! Yay!

Happy Canada Day & Christmas in July Starts!

HAPPY CANADA DAY fellow Canadians! I hope you all enjoy your day with family and friends, some great food and fun activities and of course, fireworks. I personally will be eating with my fiancés family and then coming home to hang out in the hot tub with a beverage or two, and watch fireworks from my backyard.

In other life news, I’ve decided to get myself back into shape. I’ve got myself eating better and consciously drinking more water. Yesterday I got back on the treadmill for the first time since I was about 4 months pregnant with my now 1 year old son. I’m using an app called 10K Free to help me with my running. Yesterday I was on the treadmill for 30 minutes, only 8 of those minutes were spent jogging or running. I couldn’t believe how out of shape I was, I did the run exactly as the app specified (it talks to you) and I was sweating buckets. I can’t remember a time I’ve sweat that much doing any sort of workout! I’m hoping to add in some non running workouts too, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself right off the start. I also hope to add in at least one yoga session a week to try and help with my flexibility.

Christmas in July
So it’s July 1st and I will just briefly touch on this currently, but I will make it a regular weekly update this month. I have made a list of personal gifts I want to make AND items I want to make for my shop. I will share these lists next week, as I’m making this just a quick post. Every week I will share what I’ve made and keep a progress list. I have made some very lofty goals, ones I don’t expect to achieve fully in July alone, but ones that will push me to get a good head start and to get the ball rolling into August and September as well so that I am better prepared for the holiday season.

And with that, I will say farewell for now. I have finished my breakfast oats and need to get my day going, but I will talk to you all soon.

Current Custom Orders In Progress

I’m currently working on 2 custom orders. I try to keep Sunday for personal crafting and family and chores, but I thought I could show you all where I’m at with both orders. That doesn’t really count as working, right?!

The first order I’m working on came to me because of a custom order I had just finished and shared in my InstaGram feed. It’s for a moose hat but with slight differences from the original one. I enjoy that because then it’s not quite the same hat twice in a row!

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I think it’s going to be adorable and I know the mother is going to love it.

The second custom order is something a bit different. It was for a fox photography prop for a newborn baby. Not with a diaper cover style bottom though, just with one of those little blankets that drapes over them.

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So far so good! I was really happy with my yarn choices. I think it gives a softer, more vintage style to the piece and won’t look so harsh on baby or in photos.

I have tons of personal works in progress and works that I wish were in progress. The life of a crafter is never dull. I’m hoping to make progress on some of them today and then finish a few things up over the course of the upcoming week too. I need to keep a better eye on how many things I have on the go! I always just seem to forget about certain projects when I’m taking a mental tally before starting something new, go figure!!

Stash Enhanced

I’ve been working to “stash down” my yarn, so why would I be enhancing?! Simply put I needed some springy colours and a couple weights of yarn that I didn’t have.
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See? Springy colours.

I also finally broke down and bought myself a ball winder. I have skeins of yarn that need to be wound. I wound one by hand and that was enough. I’ve been avoiding using the yarn because I don’t want to have to hand wind a ball! I also wanted to wind some of my other yarn that comes wound in what is supposed to be centre pull balls that just end up in a big knot. I also get really sick of using the outside yarn and having to stop every few minutes to unwind more to use.
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So I’ve spent lots of today winding balls to prepare for some super crocheting time where I don’t have to waste time! I can’t wait.

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I got a pair of sock blockers with my order too, so I’m hoping to finish up the pair of socks I’d been working on at some point in the near future. And then do a new pair. And maybe another!

That’s my stash enhancing for the week, now to work on using it up.

Crafting for Kids

This year I decided to vow that I would make more of the gifts for Christmas. I also vowed to do this last year but just never got around to until it was too late to even bother!
I’m happy to say that I have started work on one of the gifts I hope to give to my daughters. They share a very cute pink, white and blue striped room. I even made faux wainscotting and put that on the bottom of their walls. However they have no cute, girly decor or accents in their room.
Enter:

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This photo shows some of my current progress on the Once Upon a Time Sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.
I haven’t ever successfully completed a cross stitch, though I have attempted and failed more times than I’d like to admit. I just didn’t “get” it, much like crochet actually. After trying and quitting many times over, something finally just clicked!
So far I am very happy with how it’s turning out and I look forward to the first of each month when the new patterns come out. I am currently behind, but I didn’t decide I wanted to actually try this until mid February. By the time I had my supplies hunted down it was only a couple days before March. I’m hoping to complete the patterns for both February (partially done above) and January this month. And then March and April next month. Any spare time in either month I will devote to trying to finish the framing and squares so that I can just worry about the monthly pattern.
When it’s all done I will be framing it to hang on their bedroom wall, since it won’t be done until December it will be a perfect Christmas gift for them. I may have to come up with my own custom frame too since I doubt any of the stores here will have one that fits it properly.