Focus 35 Friday Update 08/29/14

Friday, August 29, 2014

The last two weeks have been really good! 

The first week I followed my T25 schedule and got in three run/walks in. The scale didn't reflect my effort but I did go out for supper and ate more salt than I should have and finished the night with an ice cream and a stroll along the Halifax waterfront.  It isn’t always about the numbers. The skirt I had made that week was 1.5 inches smaller in the waist then the last skirt I made myself. That was an accomplishment!

I packed my workout gear and headed to Newfoundland for a vacation. I got in some walks and an arm workout with my sister. We improvised and used heavy water buckets for some of the moves. My arms were so sore the next day!

This morning the scale said I gained needs a new battery... guess I'll get my real result for the week tomorrow. And I slept in so I didn't have time to do my that will happen tomorrow morning too.

WIP: Amelia’s Hoo’s in the Forest Chevron quilt

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My friend Emily seemed like she was always working on a quilt. I used to joke with her that she was a little old lady as, at 26, she would be sitting on the sofa, hand stitching a quilt for what seemed like forever. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to do something like that. 

Now I get it.

Creating something handmade is awesome. Anyone can go to the store and buy a machine made blanket or quilt and receive the instant gratification that comes with that. You can order a quilt from an artisan and wait with anticipation for them to finish your order. Making it is a labour of love.
Some quilts can be made in a matter of hours, some a few days or weeks. I might just hold the record on this one though. I bought the fabric for this quilt when Amelia was just a few months old...Now she is 3.

I picked this gorgeous Hoo’s in the Forest fabric collection by Riley Blake and held onto it not knowing where to start or what to do. I finally decided on a chevron style quilt but the tutorial that I had pinned no longer led to a blog post. So I had to start the search for a tutorial again. After a while I can me across this tutorial from MODA.

I got to work but, because of a few cutting mistakes, I ended up with not quite enough fabric to make the top as large as I wanted to. 

I wanted the chevron pattern to go horizontally so the strips are sewn and then put together on the diagonal. 

I've finally finished putting together the zig zag top but need to add a 10” border around all 4 sides to make it big enough for a twin bed. I am thinking that I’ll use a solid white and a pink with white pin dots on it for the border. If I don’t have enough of the pink fabric in stock I’ll have to find something else that isn’t fussy but has a bit of character to it.

Emily is going to help me with the backing and then with sewing it all together. I'm terrified I’ll ruin it.  Fingers crossed it all turns out okay!

What are you working on? Link up at Freshly Pieced and share your Work in Progress!

Pinterest Project: Dress Up Storage

Friday, August 22, 2014

One of the projects we tackled while the kids were away was painting our basement. Since Gordon’s father passed away, he has moved the furniture around in the basement a number of times. He had a vision but couldn’t make it happen without tearing the place apart.  So with the kids out of the house he patched walls, fixing spots where hockey sticks have left their imprint and “pucks” left dents, and holes that had been cut to thread wires and cables through the walls.
Long story short- the basement looks awesome. 

And because we had everything we needed on hand it didn’t cost us a penny. My sewing space is another story but I digress.

We tried to pair down old/ broken toys and reconfigured the storage for the kids things. They have a little tykes football that doubles as a dress up trunk but inevitably it gets stuffed full of random things. Awhile back during one of my Pinterest binge session I found the cutest dress up storage idea.  We had a storage shelf that G was about to put in the shed when I remembered the storage idea. I pulled up the Pin, showed G and about 2 hours later we were done! The longest part was waiting for the Modpodge to dry between applications.

G cut a new back for the shelf and I used ModPodge to adhere wrapping paper to its surface. I don't think I did this part 100% correctly. There were a few little bubbles but they didn't affect the overall result. Now when we get home from NL, if the paper has come off I'll know I did it wrong!

While I was doing that, Gordon screwed a dowel rod through either side of the larger section. We carefully attached the back and then I organized the dress up things. I was really happy with how it turned out. If we had more time I would have painted it but we didn’t and the dark finish coordinates with the basement furniture so its all good.

I love the polka dots! Wrapping paper is from Target.

Austin's dress up is in there too. You can see some of Spiderman's muscles poking out behind the puffy dresses.

I can’t wait to see their reactions when they see this next week at home J


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I could actually hear the crickets this week. 

The house was so quiet. At night there were no little feet hitting the walls, no one coughing or tossing and turning. It was still. And I loved it. I loved sleeping through the night and only having to get myself ready and out the door in the morning. I also hated it. There were no little feet hitting the walls, no one coughing or tossing and turning. No little girl pattering into my bed at night and wrapping her little arms around my neck saying “I love you SOOO much” before cuddling in and resting her head on my arm and squeezing me tight.

My house is spotless. And not just the quick “lets tidy before company comes” type of clean but a real “this is how clean our house was before kids and I would apologize for the nonexistent mess” type of clean. I discovered that when the house is so clean little things that don’t bother normally bother me in my day to day life are irritating to no end. Seriously...why is it that when the dishwasher has dirty dishes in it dirty dishes still end up on a counter or in the sink? Is it a guy thing? I took a poll at work and its you know why it doesn’t usually bother me? Because there always seem to be dishes in my sink and the dishwasher is running every day. I ran the dishwasher once this past week.

I only ran the dishwasher once this week. There wasn’t an endless parade of cups, or dirty plates because mommy put supper on the wrong plate (yeah that is over....). But that also meant there wasn’t any little giggles or made up Lego adventure stories at the breakfast bar or Ozzy helping me in the kitchen in a way that only he can.

We watched adult shows when we wanted (Orange is the New Black at 9am on a Saturday- sure! Why not?!), went out when we pleased and I worked out without little people under foot. I enjoyed it, but I missed them. I missed my workout buddies who get underfoot and taking the kids with us on adventures. I didn't miss the kids shows (but that could be because G watched transformer cartoons the past couple of days).

And while I missed them terrible and feel guilty for enjoying out time alone, I also feel relaxed and rested.  When we get home from Newfoundland our house is reset and ready to get into the routine that will come with back to school. I feel connected to my husband in a way that comes from having actual uninterrupted conversations.

I feel like we've actually been given the best gift. Our kids have spent a week with Nanny and Poppy and have been making amazing memories. It hurts that they can’t be with my family every day so for them to have uninterrupted time with their grandparents is amazing. Every night they have told us stories of the memories they have been making.  And, while we have missed them, G and I have had a chance to cross things off our to do lists and spend real time together.  And as tired and frustrated as I was I am renewed and ready to reinvest in my littles.

We completed so many projects! I can’t wait to share them with you!

G catching a last uninterrupted nap before we dock.

But right now I've got a ferry to will into port so I can grab my littles and squeeze them tight!

Focus 35

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So I've written about my awesome birthday and updated the 34 x 34 that I set out to accomplish. I did achieve a lot on that list and I'm really pleased. It was an ambitious list and it ended up at about 80% complete. What I noticed was that I fell short on my fitness and health goals. I've been sitting with 34 for a few weeks now. I like 34...the age doesn't offend me..but next birthday makes 40 feel really close...I need to set my goals for the year.

A while back I started a Beachbody program and I was doing really well with it. I started feeling so good and was dropping inches but the number on the scale wasn't moving. I knew it was making a difference in my shape and, finally after 3 weeks, the weight started to drop.

At the time I was a full time mom and had a great daily routine. Get up, take Austin to school, come home, do my workout with Amelia, take Amelia to playgroup, lunch, cleaning/laundry while Amelia napped, pick up Austin, hang out with the kids, make supper, go for run/walk, put kids to bed, put me to bed.

Does that not sound like the ideal day? It did to me (still does actually)...but I had to go back to I got a new job and my routine changed. Gone were the daily workouts and runs...I am lucky at this point to get a workout in at all in the evening. It was so much easier to get in my daily workout and nightly run when I had hours of time with my kids during the day. I didn't feel guilty for take 30 minutes twice a day to myself. Working full time again changed that. I only have a few hours a day with my littles and I have a hard time missing even a minute of that precious time.

Late in the spring Gordon's father got sick and, sadly, he passed away in June. Over that time my weight climbed without me noticing. I gained about 10lbs over a four month period....I was about as happy about that as a slug on a salt lick.

I have been struggling with getting the time to myself to work out. The kids have had evening activities, I've been staying up late to get the housework and projects done, packing lunches and folding laundry. I have been exceptionally tired...the kind of tired that comes from weeks of interrupted sleep due to worry and a little girl who refuses to sleep all night and who then sleep for one full night (maybe two) to give her mother the delusion that can only come from 1 full 8 hours mixed in with weeks of 2-3 hour stretches.

Needless to say fatigue has been cramping my style. With the littles gone to visit my parents, there is no excuse not to focus on my health. I HAVE THE TIME. I've gone running and have returned to T25. I'm optimistic that two weeks of routine will keep me motivated and give me the strength to say no to my hubby and kids and yes to my time to get fit.

I'm lucky to have an inspirational Beachbody coach Mandy Leonards who I met online in a due date group when I was pregnant with Austin. This girl goes after her dreams and is supportive and encouraging. When I was struggling to find a fitness plan, I got a message from Mandy out of the blue. Perfectly timed. I have a few friends who are also doing a program to help keep me motivated. I cannot fail at this. There are a lot of good things to come in the next few years and I want to enjoy them without worrying about my weight or my strength. I want to be a role model for them and set the right example for them. I need to quit quitting.

Road trip!

Monday, August 11, 2014

This past weekend our kids embarked on their second annual Newfoundland Adventure to Nanny and Poppy's. I miss them like crazy and it's only been two days!

Ozzy has been counting down to this trip for a month. I have been planning for the trip for all of two days. Thank goodness for Pinterest! I found some great road trip car games. And we played car bingo, I spy, the alphabet game, sang some songs and both littles had naps (at different times of course!)

Amelia really enjoyed her Magic Wonder colouring. I love how these markers don't mark up anything else. No worry about making a mess. Crayola if you are reading this I'd be happy to review some products for you! Lol

Do you like the kids seat belt covers? I made them using this tutorial by SewRockin'. You can't see it but Amelia is sitting on a brand new piddle pad that I made using this tutorial and a waterproof change pad. I made two- one for the car and one for the "accident" bag.  I can't believe I haven't made these sooner!  For Austin's seat belt cover I used the tutorial by Sew4home. These projects were pretty quick sews and while I was at it on Friday night I made a seat belt cover for me too!

The kids were thrilled to be getting on the boat with their "wagons" (aka suitcases with wheels)

So excited to go!

I know it's a little blurry but just too cute not to share!

I had a hard time letting them go. Ozzy looked me in the eyes and told me not to worry. He knew I would miss him but he would have fun and pretty soon I would be in Newfoundland with them. Bless his heart!!! I really do have the sweetest boy :)

The Captain and I hit the road back to home and stopped at a few places along the way. I finally never have to wonder about the Big Red Barn and Quilt shop again (not worth the stop unless you REALLY like kitschy things, over prices flannel baby blankets and old Christmas decorations).  We had thought about taking the Cabot Train home but I hadn't slept the night before and near bit the Captain's head off when he suggested adding several hours to our drive, so we didn't.  (Note to hubby: Do not address the wife with a suggested activity that involves being the in car longer than planned before the 3rd coffee after a night of no sleep.)

Who's the captain you ask? This guy:

One of the many fine items available at the Big Red Barn...


What will we do for a whole week without our littles? I foresee a lot of cleaning, painting, C25K'ing and uninterrupted T25!  

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