Saturday, December 25, 2010

Placemat Crochet hook Roll

Using the same basic method as my Crayon Pouch you can make a Crochet Hook Roll.  Just fold up 5 inches from the bottom and sew every inch (or about that much, some may be a little bigger/smaller to adjust for the length of the mat.)  Fold the top down to meet the opening of the slots and stitch the top fold right at the edge.

For the closure, I used 2 decorative buttons and some round black elastic, but you could do the ribbon method from the Crayon Pouch, just make sure to sew the ribbon on first (before the pockets are sewn) and to only attach the ribbon as far as the pouch will roll, not the whole length.  There is probably also a way to do buttons or Velcro closure of some kind. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bib from Dad's Shirt.

I got this idea from another blog, but I didn't use a pattern or their tutorial so I don't remember where I saw it.  If you saw something like this somewhere else, I'm not taking credit for the idea, just sharing my version of it.

My husband was getting rid of a shirt that didn't fit him well anymore.  Aside from some wear in areas from age, the shirt was still good and I thought I could make something out of it.  My first thought was a dress for my 2 year old but seeing as how I was swamped with Christmas stuff, I wasn't willing to commit my time to that.

Therefore we have the Shirt Bib.

All I did was get a bib that I liked the shape and size of and use it as a pattern.  I pinned it  to the front of the shirt where it buttoned and cut it with about 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I bought a coordinating hand towel (probably $1.50) and cut out the same pattern.  I stitched the two together (right sides facing each other) and left a 2-3 inch opening to allow me to turn the bib.  Then I top-stitched around the whole thing which closed the opening and helped the bib to "sit" flatter when on.  Because of where I cut the shirt, there was only one button attached so I cut off another one and it helped to keep the two layers from shifting.  I cut some Velcro for the neck and sewed it on.  The whole thing took a couple of days on and off (like 5 minutes here and there) and I think it looks pretty cute. :)

Sorry for the lack of step by step pictures.  I wasn't sure it would work the way I wanted and didn't think to take any pictures as I went.  But its pretty easy I swear.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Poinsettia Hair/Hat Clip

Using the tutorial from Infarrantly Creative I made my daughter and niece some hair (or hat) clips.  I didn't print out the template ,but used my daughter's head as a starting point for a good size clip.  I didn't have (or remember to buy) a button making kit, so I just used a circle of felt for the top to cover the stitches.   I also added some grosgrain ribbon around the clip so it didn't pull the girls' hair.

My 2.5 year old actually "helped" by pulling the needle through after I had pushed it most of the way, so it was nice that she felt like she could participate in the sewing. 

How to make a travel crayon pouch

I made this for myself and my daughter to eliminate a frustration I had.  She loves to color and will do well coloring at restaurants and places where we have to have her sitting for awhile, but keeping crayons in a diaper bag is not practical.  I had seen many crayon case tutorials online, most of them were rolled up in little spirals and tied with ribbon.  I thought about it and realized I would need something for her to draw on and the paper will get mangled and lost in the diaper bag. So I made a slight modification to what others had done and made this pouch. This way I can keep a small notepad or even folded coloring pages in there and not worry when I get somewhere that she needs paper.   

Difficulty = Easy
Minimal sewing skills are required, just basic knowledge of your machine.  Must know how to make a straight stitch and back stitch, thread and load a bobbin and thread the machine.  Depending on the material of the place mat, mistakes can be easy to disguise.  The type I used is great for hiding flaws.  It is ribbed in texture which helps provide guide lines to follow when sewing and mistakes are not evident if the thread matches.

*A cloth place mat, the kind I've been using is available at Walmart (sometimes) and Target (in solid colors)
*A 16 count box of crayons
*a small note pad (I got a 3 pack of Mead 4"x6" memo pads from the grocery store for about $1)
*Grosgrain ribbon in a coordinating color in 1/4" to 1" width depending on preference or what you have available (black works well for most and a small roll would be under $2)
 *Thread that blends with the place mat
* sewing machine
*Ruler or tape measure
* pins

 1. Fold up the long side of the place mat 3 inches.  Sew along the existing seam or as close to it as you can on both sides.

2. Measuring from that first seam, mark four 1 inch sections for the pockets. 

3. After the 4 pockets measure 4.5 inches from the last seam.  This will make your notepad pocket. 

4. From the end of the 4.5" pocket continue measuring every inch to the last seam on the right side.  If the place mat isn't measuring perfectly within the inches adjust each one slightly to make the pockets look about the same size.  Also, I noticed with the first pouch I made, my place mat was not as long as the subsequent ones I bought and I had to eliminate a whole pocket from it.  It doesn't matter too much because fitting 12-14 crayons will be enough variety for most kids.

5. Sew each line from the top of the flap down to the fold.  Make sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end of the line.  If you're fast and did all your measuring/pinning,  this should only take about 10 minutes..

6. Pin the ribbon tie to the back of the pouch just above the slot openings (about 3 1/4" up from the fold.)

7. If you can, adjust the width of  your stitch to the narrowest width so you can get close to both edges of the ribbon.  Sew ribbon staying about 4 inches from the edge going to 4 inches from the other edge.  Flip around and sew again if you are using a wide ribbon.  For 1/4 inch, one pass will be fine.

Sorry I just couldn't take a clear picture here but you see how close the needle is to the right side (sort of.)

8. Fold the top flap down to meet the slot openings.  Pin this to secure.  Sew right along the top fold to make a permanent crease (less llikely crayons will fall out and more likely it will easily fold to put away.)

9. Insert crayons and pad and fold up.  You're ready to color on the go. :o)

P.S. Suzanne, if you read this, Zach is getting that blue one for Christmas. ;o)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Isabella likes the idea of porridge more than oatmeal.  I made a Quinoa version and I played with it and did an easy oatmeal version.  It is REALLY tasty and all of us really like it.  It almost doesn't seem like a meal but like a treat.

Serves 1 toddler and 2 adults (adjust accordingly)
I would say 4 servings if you had fruit or toast on the side.

2 cups plain oats
2 tbsp quinoa (optional)
1 1/4 c water
1 c milk
1tsp pumpkin pie spice
a little bit of vanilla extract (forgot to measure)
1 tbsp butter
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp sugar (or less to taste, honey or maple syrup are other options)
raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

1) bring liquids just to a boil in a pot.
2) add oats, quinoa, spices, and sugar. Mix
3) bring back to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
4) add butter and let sit for 5 minutes.
5) stir and serve with raisins (unless like my husband you prefer no raisins.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Favorite Breastfeeding Items

1.) Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads

 These are my favorite nursing pads because they are thin, contoured and really absorbent.  They also don't leak through the backing material.  I have tried several brands and even the cloth kind that are washable and some are okay, but these are great.  I use them mostly at night when I am going longer between feeding and am more likely to leak.  These are also great during the first month when your supply is not regular yet and you get engorged.  If I wasn't so frugal I would use these all the time, but instead I buy a cheaper one for the day time and when I am at home and I use these for when I REALLY want to make sure I don't leak (holidays, outings etc) and at night.

2.) A nursing pillow

I have tried the Boppy and My Brest Friend brands. Both in my opinion are most useful for the first couple months of nursing.


Boppy Nursing Pillow with Slipcover, Lots of Dots
 Pros: Its easy to use just slip it on and off when you need to.  It has multiple uses such as letting the baby rest on it, tummy time, and a prop up pillow for when they start to sit.  Also, it is a great pillow for mommy to sit on during the postpartum recovery.  The covers are easy to wash and change and there are many options to match your taste.
Cons: For tall people it still might not get the baby at the right height to nurse without an arm under it.  No back support and it will shift when you move.

My Brest Friend
My Brest Friend Deluxe Pillow, Light Green

 Pros: It has a back support pillow and the part the baby rests on has raised sections of foam to bring the head higher up.  There is a pocket in the cover to hold any little things you may need while nursing so you don't have to go looking for them.  The body is adjustable and secure.  It has an easy clip feature so you can take it on and off.  It is very comfortable when on and I felt very secure and more hands free with this than with the Boppy.

Cons: It is bulkier than the Boppy and not as multi-functional (so far as I have seen.)  The cover is hard to get on and off to clean.  Because of the adjustable waist, it is not really able to be used by Daddy for baby holding support or by others who may be holding the baby.

3.) Nursing Bras

Motherhood Maternity: Light Support Nursing Sleep Bra First, no that is not me, I am not that brave.  But this is a sleep/lounge nursing bra.  I know there are women who feel this is not needed, but I am not one of them.  I do not like to leak milk on my pajamas and sheets between night feedings and I need something to hold in my nursing pads.  I would recommend two of these for night time, as well as a comfy, around the house option.  Also there are other types of sleeping bras but I like the cross front for ease of access when I'm half asleep rather than a clip on the strap.

Motherhood Maternity: Medium Support Padded Cup No Wire Nursing Bra

Motherhood Maternity: Medium Support Padded Cup No Wire Nursing Bra

I like this one because it is like a T-shirt bra with a smooth cup.  It is supportive and easy to use.  Also, it is lined and adds an extra layer of leak protection (which has really come in handy when I've forgotten pads a few times.) Again, I would get at least 2 of these to have another while washing.


4.) Nursing Friendly Clothing.

This is more of a category than a particular product.  Stretchy camisoles in neutral (black, gray, white, etc) are great under shirts to help with concealing skin if you lift up your shirt to nurse.  They are also great while wearing low V neck shirts or button up shirts to allow more coverage but quick and easy access.  I like nursing tanks with built in bra's because they offer more support and coverage under clothes (and help smooth out my belly a little, lol) and can also double as a light weight bra option if it has a built in bra. As stated above, I also prefer V neck or low scoop neck T-shirts for easy access.  Lifting my shirt, even with a nursing cover, exposes stretch marks and more skin than I'm comfortable with.  Pulling a shirt down allows you to be quick , discreet, and even feed in a front carrier like an Ergo :o).

5.) Nursing Cover

You can make these pretty easily, but there are some nice ones you can buy for $15-$30 if you don't sew or don't have the time/energy to deal with sewing one.  For my first pregnancy, my mom made me some covers that worked excellently.  For this one, I found a deal on and got a new one.  I use it whenever I'm out and nursing and whenever someone is over my house and I have to nurse.  The downside is that as your baby gets older they are less likely to accept the cover over their heads and more likely to yank it off exposing you.  At that point, I either go to a more private place or shove the sides of the cover under and around the baby so I won't offer a free peep show. (People who are lactivists, I am not ashamed of breastfeeding and I know its natural and should not be viewed the same as lewd exposure.  However, I personally am more comfortable being covered so please don't comment about my rights while feeding. :o)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Workout Update

After finishing the actual 30 days of the 30 Day Shred, I continued doing level 3 about 3 times a week.  Even with the amount of workouts being cut in half I've still seen results.  I lost another inch on my midsection, and about 1/2 an inch on each thigh and on my hips.  I've lost 4 more pounds which has brought me within a pound of my pre baby #2 weight.  I'm hoping to continue at this pace for awhile longer and see if the results keep going.

Honestly, I still hate working out but I can deal with 25 minutes of pain if I'm getting results.  If things plateau I'm hoping to try one of Jillian's other DVD's. I'm also still not dieting, still nursing my 6 month old, and have not added any extra workouts into my week.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Earring Holder

Thank you to my sister in law, Lizzie, for having so many earrings and inspiring me to make this project.  I walked into Lizzie's room about a month and a half ago and saw over 30 pairs of earrings laid out on her dresser top.  She couldn't see them in the jewelry box and therefore never worse some.  So my brain went "!!!!!!!!!"  She needed a solution and her birthday was coming.  I searched the internet and found a great tutorial for exactly what I wanted. Check out the tutorial HERE.

I made some more for my Mother in Law who wanted them backless.  This added the option for her to put in some dangle post back earrings too, not just the hook post kind.  Also this one would let the wall color show through.

Instead of a picture hanger, I thought the grosgrain would look cute as a hanger.
Here are the earrings organized on the holder.  Told you she had a lot :o)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Raisin Pudding Breakfast Porridge (Made with Quinoa)

From Quinoa 365 by Green & Hemming

2 1/2 c. 2 % milk (I used lowfat)
1 c. quinoa
1/4 c. raisins
2 tbs[ maple syryp or honey (I used honey and maybe a little more than 2 tbsp)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp butter

Combine milk quinoa, cinnamon, raisins and honey or syrup in a medium sauce pan.  Cover, bring to a boil, let simmer stirring occasionally for 5 min.

Beat eggs and vanilla.  When quinoa has cooked temper the eggs.  Put 1 tsp quinoa in the eggs and whisk.  Repeat 7 times.

Mix in the eggs with the rest of the quinoa in the pan and stir.  Cook on low for about 5 more minutes until thickened then add the butter and serve.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


 1 c. couscous
1 chicken breast (1 big or 2 small)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1/4 c. raisins
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (4 medium or 3 large)
2 c. low sodium chicken broth
Optional: 2 tbsp. slivered almonds

1.) Put the chicken breast in a medium pot with the broth and cook until its done (soft and easily shreaded).  If you want, put 2 breasts in and save one for another meal during the week.

2.) After chicken is done, remove from pot and remove broth and save in a cup or container. Put in oil and onion cook until translucent.  Add garlic, cook another minute or two.  Add in the broth back in.  Add the spices back in.  Check for saltiness and add some if needed.  Cut the chicken into small bits, because it is so tender it will cut and shred really easily.  Add chicken to the pot.  Bring to a low boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

3.) While that is happening, microwave a cup of water to boiling hot (about 1 min 30 sec is fine).  Add this to a good sized bowl with the couscous and raisins and cover for 5 minutes.

4.) Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork, put on a large plate or serving dish.  Scoop chicken and onions onto the couscous in the center (I like to make a hole in the middle of the couscous for the stuff to sit in).  Pour the broth over the whole thing and let the couscous absorb the flavor for a few minutes before serving.

OPTIONAL sprinkle chopped almonds on top.

Serves 4 if you have a side dish with it.  For us it feeds 1 hungry husband, me,  and one 2.5 year old who eats a lot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baby Legs

Tutorials for DIY Baby Legs are in abundance online.  So I'm not trying to add to the noise.  I am, however, using this tutorial, which I was directed to by Make It and Love It.   The directions are so straight forward and easy I am upset I never made these for my daughter.  She was forced to be stuck in pants or leggings during her crawling months and I missed out on such a cute accessory option.  Real Baby Legs cost more than I'd like to pay and they tend to be patterned which, in my opinion, can limit their usability.

So, I bought 3 pairs of socks in neutral "boy" colors.  It probably took less than 30 minutes total to make all 3, but that's a hard estimate because I did it over a couple days since I don't have a sewing room ready at hand.

I am anticipating the mobility of my little guy who I am sure will crawl much sooner than his sister did.  Also with the cooler weather coming I may have need for more cover up options in the house as well as outside.  With my Ergo I have noticed his pants pull up and don't cover his calves so I'm hoping this will be one solution to that as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Ricotta Pasta

I may/will tweek this recipe because I just did it and didn't measure anything.  I had about 2/3-3/4 a container of ricotta from another recipe I made.  I had a can of pumpkin in the pantry and I figured I could make a sauce out of it.  So I apologize if its not exact.  My advice would be to taste as you go and add a little at a time to suit your tastes.


1 lb pasta (I would suggest rigatoni, penne rigatte, fettuccine, or linguine but any will do)
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (using about 2/3 a can)
1 15 oz carton ricotta (using about 2/3 a carton)
1.5 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp salt
.5 tsp pepper
.5 tsp nutmeg
1.25 c milk

Mix it all in a sauce pan and let simmer for about 10 min.  Serve over pasta. Done :o)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Day Shred - Before and After Photos

I tried to crop the pictures to as close to the Before day as I could and took the color out just so any contrast could be seen. Please ignore the stretch marks and know that I am still a work in progress. :oP  I also did not include a straight on belly shot because my stretchmarks make me too self conscious for that, give me credit for being brave enough to post what's here. LOL
BEFORE: Front view
AFTER: Front View
BEFORE: Back View Arms
AFTER: Back View Arms
BEFORE: Back View
AFTER: Back View
BEFORE: Side View (my least favorite)
AFTER: Side View

Dream Toys

In an alternate universe I have the space and money for these things for my kids to play with.

Designer Dollhouse
Fun Explorers Rocket ShipRed Vintage Kitchen

Slow Cooker Beef Stew


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced ( I used the baby carrots and just threw in enough to look like 4 whole carrots)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (I didn't have any on hand so I left it out.)
  • 2/3 c to a cup of barley (I added this in because I like thick stew.)


  1. Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, celery and barley.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours. (I did mine for about 4 hours on high and a few more on low, mostly so I didn't have to deal with putting it in the fridge until dinner . ) 
  3. Serve with bread.
    Overall this was an easy recipe.  It really helps to have everything ready the night before and throw it in while making breakfast.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

30 Day Shred Finale

Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred

Level 3 Overview:

Strength exercises
1.) Walking Planks**
2.) "Supermans"
3.) Dumbbell Clean with Deep squat**
4.) Jumping Lunges**
5.) Plank Row with Leg lift**
6.) Walking Push ups**

Cardio exercises
1.) Mountain Climbers**
2.) Sumo Squat w/ plie jump
3.) Shadow Boxing with dumbbells
4.) Butt Kickers and Jumping Jacks with Dumbbells
5.) Jumping Squats**
6.) "Rock Star" Jumps**

Ab exercises
1.) Pike Crunches**
2.) Scissor Crunches**
3.) Sit Ups**
4.) Side/Oblique Crunches**

**Indicates an easier option available

Day 29:

Level 3:  I added more of the hard versions of the exercises today.  I am motivated at this point just to get the 30 Days over and see the results in the end.

Day 30

Level 3: Shaky muscles and I needed to workout on a towel so sweat wouldn't drip on the floor.  Lovely.  I'm still going because this is still only my 26th day of actual exercise due to taking 1 day off a week for 4 weeks.

Day 31

Level 3: 27th workout day.

Day 32

Level 3: 28th workout day.

Day 33:

Day Off and I needed it.

Day 34

Level 3: 29th workout day. I was already tired from a long day, its taking a lot of will and peer pressure (from this blog and from my husband) to finish the 30 days.  Part of me thinks "Ah you're close enough" but I know close is not done.  I'm still not great on push ups and my ankle is better but not 100% so I am still doing easy versions of a few exercises.

Day 35

Level 3: 30th workout day!!!!  Again I faced the reluctance to do it for no other reason than because I don't feel like it.  My brother in law just did a whole marathon today and I don't want to work out for less than half an hour, makes me feel so lazy. lol.

Results: Workout 6 days a week.  No change in diet or other activity.

Non Measurable Observations:  My jeans are looser. Clothing is fitting better.  I can see a big difference personally in my mid-section and some difference in my rear end.  I also notice a difference in my ability to perform the exercises.  When I started I peeked at level 3 and thought "No Way! I will probably never even try that level."  But now I'm doing it and it gets easier daily.  My endurance is up and I can tell I am stronger in certain areas.

Measurement Changes:
DAY 1:   Waist = 33"; Belly Button Area = 38.5 " (ewww); Hips = 42"; Left Thigh = 24.5" Right Thigh = 25"
DAY 30: Waist = 32" ; Belly Button Area = 35"  ; Hips = 41" ; L. Thigh = 24"; R. Thigh = 24.5"

Total Inches Lost = 6.5"
Approximate Weight Lost = 4-5 lbs (I wasn't watching closely at the beginning so this is a close estimate from where I started until today.)

In my opinion, this is a great workout to kick start your body into more exercise or to change up your routine.  For me it was a major change to work out at all and my postpartum body was way out of shape (and still needs a lot of work.)  As you can see the overall results aren't dramatic (no 20 lb weight loss and 4 dress sizes,) but there are differences.  I think the program recharged my abs and brought them back in line with the rest of my body.  I think, if I continue with this and some more cardio I can meet more of my goals and get in better shape.  I would definitely recommend this DVD to anyone who wants to try it because it really makes you work and is not a huge daily time commitment.  Feel free to ask questions in the comment section about the workout and I'll answer them if I can.  I am debating whether I will post Before and After photos. It depends on how brave I am this week and if I have time to take some.

Monday, October 11, 2010

30 Day Shred Week 4

Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred

Day 22: 

Level 2: I'm having some ankle issues and had to cut back on the jumping today.

Day 23:

Level 3!!!  Still having the ankle issues and still cut back on the jumping but I did Level 3 on mostly the easier versions.  I can already feel that I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

Day 24:

Level 3: I'm sore today in several places that Level's 1 & 2 didn't effect.  I guess that's good, right?  I still did the easier versions.  My ankle is still bothering me.

Day 25:

Level 3: Did about 50-60% with easy version.  My ankle is really not into a few of the moves Butt Kickers and jumping lunges are two of them I just can't do with out serious pain.  I must have strained something.  Lesson learned: Don't do 30 Day Shred in bare feet, you need ankle support. Also, I am realizing that my push up muscles are my weakest for whatever reason but my shoulders are pretty strong in every other exercise and I am using heavier weights for some of those.

Day 26:

Level 3: It's still hard to get through some exercises and I am always happy when she counts down to 5, 4, 3,2, 1.  Relief.

Day 27:

Day off, went to the beach.

Day 28:

Level 3: I will write an overview/summary of level 3 in my next post.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

30 Day Shred Week 3

Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred

Day 15:

Level 2 today slightly easy version because my bum shoulder and neck muscles were not feeling okay.   Thank God for A/C because I would not workout without it in the 105 degree temperatures we are having.

Day 16:

Level 2. Worked out with my 2 year old and it was distracting but interesting.  I won't be doing that much anymore.  :o)

Day 17:

Level 2: Barely got the workout in after the kids were in bed.  It's still hard especially the last 1/3.

Day 18:

Today was my chosen break day.

Day 19:

Still on Level 2 and afraid to try Level 3, though I did watch it to preview the pain.

Day 20:

Level 2: Did mostly the hard version of everything.

Day 21:

 Level 2: Its been a long day.  I might be brave enough to try Level 3 tomorrow. We'll see...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

30 Day Shred Week 2

Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred

Level 2 Overview

The "easy" version of each exercise still kills.  There is a 2 minute warm up and cool down with this level too. Though there is only 1 "cardio" section per rotation, most of the other exercises feel like cardio too.  Much more sweat involved in this level.

Strength Moves:
Walking Push Up (easy option: instead of doing the push up at the end, hold a plank position)
Squat Row with Weights (easy option: don't squat as low)
Static Lunge with Row (easy option: don't lunge as low)
Pendulum Lunges and Hammer curls (easy option: don't lunge as low)
Leg Extension with Shoulder Press (easy option: less extension)
Chair Squat with "V fly" (easy option: don't squat as low)

Cardio Moves:
Jogging in place with high knees (easy option: lower knees)
Squat Thrusts (easy option: Plank pose with alternating forward step touches)
Obliques Twist (no easy option)
"Skaters" (easy option: less of a leap more like a step touch)
Plank Jacks (easy option: plank with a side step touch alternating)
Double jump rope (easy option: single)

Abs Moves:
Crunch with single leg lift (easy option: keep leg higher instead of lowering it to 2 in. off the floor)
Chest weights with double leg lift (Weights held up at full chest press legs straight out and lifted straight up)
Crunch with knee lift
Plank Twists (No easy option and its so HARD)

Day 8: 

My formerly awesome sleeper/napper has decided to work against me.  He woke up twice during the half hour I was working out.  But I did it anyway, just had to stop which is not really the point of her workouts.  I went back to level 1 today so I wouldn't have to focus on a new routine but I did try to do the harder versions of the exercises instead of the easier versions.  

Day 9:

Another frustrating day in nap land but I did level 1 again, finishing while my 4 month old curiously watched me from the sidelines.

Day 10:

Yay! The kids stayed asleep today and I did Level 2.  I'm sticking with this level for at least a week or more.  I did 1/2-2/3 of the exercises following the "easy" example chick.  At the end, I was so sweaty my glasses were fogging up.  Sexy right? LOL

Day 11:

Level 2 today.  There is a point in this level where she says "I want you to feel like you are going to die."  Seriously, she says that as motivation.  As if the intense desire to collapse is a good thing. 

Day 12:

I decided Fridays are my days off from Shreding.  So today is another break day for me. Although, I ended up feeling like I worked out after a long hot day with the kids.

Day 13:

Level 2 again.  I am doing at least 1/2 or more of the exercises without resorting to the "easy" version and some exercises don't really have an easy option.

Day 14:

Level 2 again.  So tired, want to lay on the floor, but at least week 2 is done.

Week 2, Exercising 6 days a week, no change in diet or other activities.

I'm really surprised.  I lost inches the first week, and by week 2 I could see a serious difference.  At this point, my biggest change is in my belly.  Not my waist, but the area right around my belly button.  After 2 kids and no workouts the muscles were just not in the right place anymore.  I have lost 2.5 inches so far just there alone.  Also, the workouts get easier every couple days.  I can tell when things hurt less and then I know I should probably try the harder one (though I really don't want to).  I really don't look forward to working out at all, but I am really motivated by the changes I'm seeing thus far.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

30 Day Shred Week 1

Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred
Level 1 Overview

I've read other places that people consider this level an intermediate as opposed to a "beginner".  If you have injuries, bad knees, etc. not even this level will be okay for you.  The workout consists of cardio, strength and ab work.  In the cardio sections, there are jumping jacks, punching while in a squat (boxing), running in place (kick your butt), and imaginary jump rope.  In the strength sections, there are push ups, lunges, squats, and flies with weights.  The ab section includes crunches, oblique crunches, bicycle crunches and leg lifts.

Day 1:

  I thought, 20 problem.  How hard can it be?

HA! I was schooled.  I did level 1 of the shred and by 1/2 way through I was tired and hurting in places that hadn't been worked out since before by 1st pregnancy (or longer).  Jillian was not as mean as I thought she would be but she doesn't stop for mid way stretches or breaks because its only 20 minutes.  Every exercise works more than one part and they are not hard to learn like a big aerobic dance workout.  The exercises burned so they must be working.
As the 2nd half wore on, I found myself cussing to myself (kids are napping) and just wanting it to stop.  My muscles are shaking and I am sweating a ton.  Lord I hope I don't wimp out on this.  I really want to do it the whole way through.

Day 2:
 Owwww...I'm sore. (whiny tone)

But I did it even though my 4 month old woke up right near the end, I finished.  Still on Level 1.

Day 3:
Still sore but not worse than yesterday.  I had a hard time getting to the workout because my 4 month old kept waking up from his usual long nap.  So my husband tried it with me tonight.  He works out regularly and is in much better shape than I am but he still worked up a sweat with level 1.

Day 4:
Still sore. Mostly in my calves, quads, and shoulders/chest.  The hardest thing is that I am sore because of the workout and working out the same way is painful.  I am not one to happily step into causing myself pain.  I keep hearing it starts getting better around now...we'll see. My husband did TDS with me again. :o)

I am having a lot of trouble near the end of certain sets because my muscles are so tired and shaky.  Fun stuff.

Day 5:
I took a day off here because I had no time during the day and no energy that night.

Day 6: 
Still sore.  My legs didn't want to do some of the things I was asking them to do.  But I got it done.

Day 7:
I don't want to work out but I'm going to anyway....Does this ever get easier?

I did Level 2 out of curiosity. Seriously a new Level of difficulty.  She seems to like the plank position more at this level.  Ouch, can't wait to see what's sore tomorrow.


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