Thursday, January 30, 2014

Workout Challenge and Reward

I have such a hard time sticking to regular exercise!  It's so boring!
I'd much rather go hike up a mountain, ride my mountain bike, ski, or explore a canyon!
But, that's not something I can do everyday.

In an effort to try and get myself on track with regular and worthwhile exercise/running,
I'm giving myself small challenges.  They should be much easier to meet than something like a 5k in three months.  For my first challenge, I decided I needed to work out a minimum of five days
in the first week.  If I did that, I'd get to go buy a piece of workout clothing.
I already had my eye on something I'd recently seen but wouldn't let myself get.
I couldn't justify it if I really wasn't working out!

It worked!  I worked out five days in the first week and ran/walked a total of 11 miles.
Woot!  Here's my new workout top!  It's so cute!  And, such a deal at TJ Max!
Check out the adorable little ruffle and gather on the t-back...

The back is longer than the front and covers up my tush!

I had worn out running shoes and lucked out at REI this week on a new pair that was on clearance
I also picked up a set of six pairs of socks at TJ Max for only $5.99 (that's like $1 per pair!).

I've got Pandora on my phone for tunes to keep me going.  
And, Endomondo to keep track of miles and all that good stuff.  

I'm on track again this week...I've done four out of five days so far.  And, I'm up to almost twelve miles so far this week...almost 23 miles since I started my challenges!  This challenge will earn me a new pair of exercise pants/tights.  It may get a bit more challenging next week when my daughter moves back to go to school and I'll be working out on my own.  But, I CAN DO IT!  :-D

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Claudia Cowl

Remember the yarn I got at the Christmas party exchange with my knit group?
I did finish the cowl I started on New Years.  And, I did get around to blocking it.
Finally found some time to photograph it to show you.
Here it is....ta da....

It's inspired by the Claudia Scarf that I made last Fall.
I chained 105 and crocheted a similar pattern in the round.
When I felt it was about half as long as I'd like (15 rows), I started crocheting with the other end of the skein from my base row, going the opposite direction.  That way, it has points on both ends.
I also weighed it before I started and checked periodically to be sure I'd have an equal amount for the other side.  I tried crocheting a fancy edge but I think it looks better without it.

I washed it and blocked it.  It's so small compared to the shawls I've made so blocking was easy!
The finished size is 10" wide (tube) by about 12 1/2" long.  It's perfect!  I love it!

This Inner Yarn Zen yarn is super soft and I absolutely love the blues in it.

I haven't had a chance to wear it yet.  Weather seems to be a lot more like Summer than Winter.
The weather forecasters are hopeful that a change is coming and that we might even get rain.
I'm doubtful though.  We haven't even had a whole inch of rain yet this season.  We're about 
seven inches short of normal for this time.  We're keeping our fingers crossed!
At the very least, temps are expected to drop and I might be able to wear my new cowl this weekend.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Blog Party Prize!

I've decided what my blog party give-away prize will be!
A sweet friend of mine from my knit group started a company last year making lotion bars.
They're wonderful!  Not only do they smell amazing and keep skin moist and happy,
they're also really cute and fun to use.  I like them so much that I thought one of these would be the perfect prize for my give-away.  And, the winner will get to pick out which scent they'd like to have.

They're very portable and easy to use.  Simply rub on your hands, feet, or anywhere you need a little moisture and protection from dryness, rub it in and you're good to go.  After a few minutes, it's non-greasy and lasts a long time...even through light hand washing.
I also love the molds she uses.  They're so cute!

The bars are made with beeswax, organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, Kukui nut oil, organic shea butter, non GMO vitamin E and essential oils.  She's created over a dozen wonderful scents. They're all so wonderful that it's hard to pick one!  Here's a link to Kamalei's Naturals to see
the list of scents or to buy some if you can't wait until the end of February.
She even has a set of samples that you can choose five different scents to try.
How fun is that?!

Just a reminder, every follower of my blog and every comment from the start of the
Grow Your Blog Party to the end of February will go into the drawing.
I'll announce the winner on February 28th.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful time at the party!  :-)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's Party Time!

It's that time of year again!  Vicki, at the "2 Bags Full" blog is hosting her second annual "Grow Your Blog" party.  Over 500 bloggers have signed up and the fun will begin on January 25th.
She'll have a list of all of the participants and links to all of the wonderful blogs that are participating.
To join in on the fun, visit her blog by clicking HERE.  Visit as many blogs as you'd like.
There will even be give-aways on many of the blogs.

I love blogging and have been doing it for years.  I find it to be rewarding in many ways.
I love the creativity of putting together a post.  I love hearing from wonderful people and knowing that others are reading and enjoying what I have to share.  And, best of all, I love meeting and making friends with so many awesome people.  Blogland is a wonderful place!

If this is your first visit to my blog, allow me to share with you a little about what you will find here.
I'm a fiber arts lover and post a lot about knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, needle felting and more.  You'll see posts about cooking, gardening, crafting, sewing, and life.  I also love the outdoors and traveling.  So, I love to share my outdoor adventures and trips.  My trips are often much more of an adventure as I love to not only see new things but do new things as mountain biking, canyoneering and hiking.  And, many of our trips include camping.  
I also share stories about my family.  Especially my wonderful daughter.
She's my best friend, she's fun, smart, amazing and she's a harpist.

I'm pretty sure I'll be doing a give-away for this party.  I just haven't had a chance to decide on a prize yet.  I'll post it soon and will probably provide some options to be sure the winner gets something they'd really like to have.  To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and/or any other post over the next month.  If you're a follower of my blog, you'll get an additional entry.  So, each comment and each follower will count as an entry.  I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner at the end of February.

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit!  Enjoy the party!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What's Up?

Looks like I've gone missing from my blog again!  Oops!  Life continues to be crazy busy.
But, it's all good.  Here's what's up...

My daughter is still home for winter break.  That means I make the most of our time together before she heads back to school for a very full semester.  We've been doing some of the normal fun stuff we like to do together of watching chick flicks, crafting, working out together, cooking, etc. She also had a practice harp recital to get ready for her upcoming junior harp recital at the university. She hopes to have at least one more practice recital in the next week or so. The first one was at our local gluten free bakery/coffee shop.  Here's a picture I posted on Instagram from that day...

We've been on the road a lot lately to take care of lots of errands, going to harp lessons and yesterday we went over to the condo that she rents near the university with another girl and got her room all put back together.  Painting and repair work was done over the past few weeks and we had everything moved around and out of their way.  The trip for harp lessons and school stuff is over an hour each way and we've been going at least once a week.  It usually takes up the entire day.

Last week, we had the privilege and honor to see off a Marine friend of my daughter as he left on deployment.  She spent some time with him the evening before and found out their departure time was changed to 4:00 a.m. the next morning.  I think he was surprised that she wanted to go even though it was so early.  He's a sweet guy and how could we not show our support?!  We were the only ones there to see him off as his family is on the opposite side of the country.
I'm happy we were able to do that.

One of the things on our to-do list was to do a photo shoot so my daughter could have some new pictures with her harp to use for fliers for the upcoming recital.  We found the perfect spot to shoot on one of our recent visits to the post office.  It was a brick wall on the outside of the building.  Sunday was perfect because the town it's in is practically closed down on Sundays.  We weren't sure how it would work and planned several other locations, just in case.  But, this worked out great and the brick background turned out to be perfect for the flier.Here are some of the photos I took...   

This next one is turning out to be everyone's favorite of the three fliers she made up.
The brick wall is a perfect canvas to add words for the flier.  We're so happy this worked
out so well and is crossed off the list.  Now for printing, final touches on the gown,
figuring out the reception food, etc.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that my husband's 94 year old grandpa has had some extreme health challenges lately.  We thought he wasn't going to make it about a month ago.  Then, he pulled through and was put into a convalescent hospital.  He was still with it but barely drinking anything and refusing to eat.  He's skin and bones but still hanging in there.  He's now been moved to a care facility closer to where most of us live.  He's starting to eat a little.  Grandma found a new home closer to all of us and has her home up for sale.  My daughter and I went over last week and helped with packing.  She's moving this week.  My mother-in-law must be SO exhausted after the past two months.  We're celebrating grandpa's 94th birthday this Thursday. 

Hubby is having to do a lot of travel for his job lately.  Another down-sizing occurred recently and they piled him with SO much more work, not any more pay, and TONS of stress.  Poor guy!  I support him as best I can and hope things get better.  I hear similar stories from others about jobs these days.  Seems so crazy and unfair to keep getting rid of people and loading the jobs of many on one person.  There are only so many hours in a day and only so much one person can do.  Sheesh!  Luckily, he has a passion for riding bikes that helps him relieve stress and stay fit.  We got him a brand new road bike a few weeks ago.  I think it gave him a little boost.  :-)

I'm trying to get regular with working out and trying to bump it up from occasional tough hikes or bike rides and walks to running regularly.  I'm working on some goals.  My first one?...Work out five days this week and I'm going to buy myself a new piece of workout clothing.  I've already got my eye on something.  I just couldn't justify getting it until I was actually working out!  Plus, I'm thinking that short goals in the beginning might get me going enough to make longer goals and stick with it better.  Here's hoping!

Well, that's it for now.  I need to get back to that crazy to-do list!  Have a wonderful day!  :-)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Yarning into the New Year

A lot of people like to go out for New Years Eve.  I used to.  And, I might again someday.
But, I love spending the evening at home, away from all the craziness.
We like to make an extra yummy and fun dinner and just relax.
We usually have the TV on and watch movies and stuff.  This year I had another monster
sinus headache (I've had way too many of those lately because of the extra dry weather).
So, we never turned the TV on.  But, I eventually felt good enough to 
play with some yarn.  Remember this yarn that I got at a gift exchange?...

Turns out that it's even prettier when it's worked up than it was in the skein.
I love it!  I only have about 300+- yards.  So, after researching patterns on Ravelry and 
playing around with some different ideas, I've landed on making a cowl with it.
There should be plenty of yarn for that.

I spent time on it yesterday morning too.  Such a great way to start the new year!
I'm about half way done with it.  I expect to have it finished very soon.
I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished cowl.

How did you spend your New Years Eve?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Baby Boy Blues

A new baby boy will soon be here!
His parents are super sweet and daddy is a Blues musician.
What better color for the 'lil one than blue?!
Mom and dad like that color too!

I knitted up a snuggle sack and matching hat.
I'm giving it to them with a cute little onesie and adorable striped PJ's.

It's knitted with Caron Simply Soft yarn.  So, it will be easy care...washer and drier!
I made this snuggle set a bit bigger than the ones I've made in the past.  I'm hoping it will be a sure fit and be usable a bit longer.  The finished size of the snuggle sack is about 10" wide by 18" long.

For details on the pattern and how I made it, you can visit me on Ravelry.

New Year Wishes

Wishing you all a year that is...



Surrounded with those you love and filled with good health and good times.

And, for all of you creative folks...lots of fabulous creativity and time to express it.