Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation #1 - The Losing Weight Part

I did it and then some!  After losing about sixty pounds ten or so years ago, I got stuck at the "last 10 pounds" part.  Then it very slowly starting creeping up.  When the summer clothes gave me a muffin top this year, it was the final straw.  I was NOT going there again.  The goal was to take off twenty pounds, but I moved it up six more pounds after reaching the twenty pounds.  I am four ounces--yes, ounces-- from the new goal of 118.  I'll let you do the math for the original number. 
How?  Mostly Nutrisystem along with the My Fitness Pal app, and the Map My Run app.  I just could not get there on my own this time.  No, I'm not making any money for promoting Nutrisystem, nor will I gain by getting someone else to join.  This is my month to transition to doing my own food shopping, and I'm done.   Several things made this work for me:
  •  I could just follow the simple plan and eat the designated meals not worrying about portions, cooking, and nutrition. It gave me a nice quick and successful start.
  • While I was losing the weight, I had access to all kinds of information about healthy eating and cooking from Nutrisystem.  There are links to articles on what to eat, why it's good for you, why other things are not a good idea.  I got to practice this stuff cuz I was still cooking for Brian.  (Added bonus:  Brian got all sorts of interested and is now watching his eating and losing some weight, too.)
  • I liked the Nutrisystem food.   I really did.  If you are a gourmet cook or have a particularly sensitive palate, it might not be the one for you.  I was kind of surprised at first that the food included some things that seemed a lot like sweets and the number of meals with pasta or bread.  Then I realized that nothing ends an attempt to lose weight faster than sticking to a Spartan menu or ultra healthy food.  The actual weight loss is the important thing at this point, and Nutrisystem foods are made to be low glycemic and high in the good stuff  in a healthy portion size.  Truth is that we are going to be eating some sweets, and it's good to learn to do it in a reasonable manner.  Sometimes the thought that I could have that chocolately bar for lunch or the dessert after dinner was the thing that got me through.  I have no complaints.  You also get to customize your order, so if there are some things that you don't like, you can choose not order those items. 
  • I use the My Fitness Pal app for recording food and exercise because I found it easier and more convenient than the Nutrisystem one.  Map My Run keeps track of walking and bicycling, etc. in addition to running and syncs with My Fitness Pal automatically making that stuff really easy.
  • I also had access to forums and blogs where people share their experiences--what worked for them, what they do during the difficult times, and, probably most importantly, why they failed in other attempts.
  • The forums and blogs gave me lots of ideas for exercise and encouragement to push to new heights in this area.  I started jogging in my fifties.  First around the block which totally wiped me out.  After a number of starts and stops, I worked my way up to 2 1/2 miles at the most which I thought was the most I would ever do.  Then I found people on the Nutrisystem forums that were a whole lot heavier than me who were running in 5k races all the time.   With this encouragement and the Map My Run app I upped my running and bicycling. 
    From my first official 5k
    From my most recent 5k for the Molly Wilmot Radiation and Oncology
    Center running in honor of Brian's mom, Carol, who died of ovarian
    cancer a few years ago.
    I've been alternating between running and bicycling for exercise everyday.  I'm not up to Brian's level in bicycling (he does 50 mile rides on an easy day), but I'm way better than I was.  Next on my agenda:  Biking to Lake George and back.  Last time I did that I was 19, and I'm sure I can do it now in half the time I did then.  Never thought I'd be in better shape in my sixties than my twenties:-O

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I have a blog?

Holy crap!  I almost forgot about the blog.  Nah, not really.  I've just moved the blog down on the to-do list because it was sucking up too much time.  BUT I got some sewing finished that I want to share cuz it's so freakin' cute.  As it turns out, the way to get me into the sewing room is to tell me the recipient's mom is three centimeters dilated.   
 Taggy blanket, pacifier holder, burp cloths, and bib finally finished! 
Got that fairy centered nicely on the bib!
Something tells me IdaMae Catherine (named for a great grandma or something
 like that) will NOT be finding her name on any personalized
merchandise; so I've embroidered it on a few pieces.
I used some of the fairy fabric for the back of the
burp cloths.
Brian says he doubts the parents will recognize this quote from The Hobbit.
Who on earth hasn't read the book or seen the movie??? In any case, I think
the quote is more than appropriate for always-hungry new babies.
Blanket is about 35 inches square with a soft flannel lining,
And the newby's name embroidered on a corner.
My first pacifier holder was quick and easy with the snap
setter and some little clips I got online.
An update for those who sew:  Sometimes we forget or maybe never realize how much our work is worth.  In the spirit of helping sewers appreciate the value of their work, I looked on Etsy to see how much items using similar quality fabrics and embellishment would cost. 34" square embroidered taggy blanket: around $45, pacifier holder: $5, 2 terry backed embroidered burp clothes:  $24, bib: $11.  That about $85! 
Have to share a photo of our neighborhood's summer guest siting on our fence post.   
He was the talk of the town stalking bird feeders (not for seed either), resting on mailboxes, decks, and lawns, using low lying tree limbs as a dining table for his squirrel and chipmunk feasts.  His habit of eating just outside the second floor windows led me to think he preferred company when dining.  He has apparently moved on as juvenile hawks usually do.  We are all sad and miss him--especially Brian who has noted an increase in the number of squirrels that tend to file their teeth on our siding.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Beachcomber Bag

Every time I vacation at the beach I wish I had a open weave bag for all the shells and stuff I find, and every time I get home I forget to make one--until this year.  Finally!

It's from a remnant piece of white cargo netting I found at Joann's a few months ago.  It should be perfect for letting the sand fall through and for air drying.

 I thought about binding the edges with some pretty fabric but decided to go with French seams on the polyester netting so that it would dry out quickly.  Nothing worse than a damp smelly bag of seashells.  Wait, there was that time the 145- pound dog rolled on the not so freshly dead cat when we were out walking in the woods.  Yeah, that was definitely worse.  Turns out that some dogs still have that ancient wolf thing of rolling on the kill to bring the scent back to the pack.  The message got a bit messed up by the time it was passed down to my dog.  His idea was to quickly roll on anything dead and gallop gleefully back to me, his pack, to share the great news.    Loved that dog--most of the time.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just doin' the small stuff

I've not done anything particularly blog-worthy lately.  Just puttering around with the Silhouette making beautiful labels to turn my ugly, recycled Tide containers into zipper storage.  Look at those perfectly cut little zipper thingies!

 No,  the ugly containers will not stay on the shelf.  They are a cabinet,

 with the black, pumpkin looking one holding all the neutral zips,

while the zig-zag pink labeled one holds my colorful zips.

 I also made a little, everyday bag from old jeans.
Yeah, I stole Sandra of Sandra Sews little button eyes idea.  Cute and they're covering the uneven stitching lines I made at the top of the pockets.  That pen is supposed to look like a nose. No one else sees that but me, though.

We've also been trapping and releasing these guys in a lovely forest far, far away from our house

 because they have been doing this

to my newly sided house.  They are also gnawing on my lawn furniture, eighty dollar bird feeders, and anything else they can get their little teeth on.  Fifteen down and still have four more out there hanging off my bird feeders this morning.  I think I may have to stop feeding the birds to get rid of the problem.  That's a bit sad.  I do love watching the beasts.  I liked the squirrels, too, before they started chewing all my stuff.

Did some fun stuff like hiking at this beautiful place in the Huyck Preserve at Berne, New York
 with my lovely husband, Brian and daughter, Keegan.

Last, I started doing Nutrisystem this week!  When the last ten pounds I needed  to lose (for the last eight or nine years) turned into twenty, I HAD to try something different.  Why I could lose well over fifty pounds on my own, but not this last bit is beyond me.  I tried Weight Watchers, but didn't like all the time I had to spend counting and recording and just thinking about food.  I think I need these two things:  recognizing what an actual portion should be again and paying attention to the extra-eating triggers.  I figured Nutrisystem would quickly work well for both those issues.  It has already been an eye-opener on both counts.  I lost a couple of pounds  in the half a week I've been on the program.  Good start!  Wish me luck...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fixing a Painting Mistake at Last

About ten years ago, I painted my mantel brown.  You can see just a bit of that "brown" mantel in this old photo of my son and grandson.  It would be the bilious green strip at the top of the pic.

I swear it looked brown in the store! Somehow, in my house it looked like a pea soup green . By the time I accepted that it was not going to somehow turn brown if I just put enough coats of paint on, I didn't want to deal with it anymore.  I have spent the ensuing years telling people I thought it looked just fine, thank you.

Well, it may have taken ten years to get up the courage to try again, but I do love it this time. It's Behr's Dark Cavern. It's a deep gray with a brown tint, not blue.

I should have done this ten years ago.  Another job off the list!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

If You Are Looking For A Large Tote Pattern...

try the Totally Versatile Super-Sized Tote.  I got the pattern on Craftsy, but the designer has it on Etsy, too.

This pattern seems too easy to have gotten such an nice bag!   This is a BIG bag at 22"  wide, 14" high, and 8" deep.  It will make a great beach bag. There are two huge beach towels in there with lots more room for other beachy essentials.

There are pockets between the straps on both sides. I finally took the time to make the design on the fabric pocket match the  the base fabric.  If I keep this up, I may be able to say I'm an intermediate level sewer without feeling guilty. Look how those designs line up, well, almost line up!

Both sides of the lining have pockets as well.  You, of course, get to decide the size of the inside pockets.  I tested to make sure my Kindle in its case would fit in one. Gotta have my Kindle with me.

I only made one change--so unlike me.  I added that flap with a snap thinking it would hold things in if it tipped, but I'm not really happy with how it pulls on the fabric when in use.

It does look nice when it's not too full, though.

Last, it folds up nicely if your packing for a vacation.  

Definitely want to make a few more of these.

Linking to:  

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Have Blue Balls

Why?  What were you expecting?

So, about this batch of bath bombs---see those little crumbles?  That's because my first one fell apart!  All and I mean ALL tutorials on bath bombs say not to make them when the humidity is high.  So, of course, that meant I would go right ahead and make some during our third day of near 24 hour rain.  Yes, I will have to agree with everyone. Humidity does mess up the process.  I just do not understand why, though.  I would think it would be even better what with the air helping supply some of the liquid part.  In any case, I squeezed those little blue balls into submission.

(Sandra, about that double dog dare, I may have no class, but I believe I have won this dare twice over ;- }