Workout Essentials

If you have been following my workout journey on Instagram, I appreciate the support.  It feels great to prioritize my health goals.  The number on the scale isn’t dropping as much but that wasn’t my primary focus.  I am seeing changes in how my clothes fit, my strength, and gaining endurance.  The gear I use also contributes to my success.  I don’t want to spend an entire workout fighting with clothes, it’s distracting and will have an impact on your workout.

Having the right gear can make your workouts much more enjoyable.  There are many options to choose from, but these are my tried and tested favorites.  When I started running 20 years ago, I thought nothing about shoes or clothes.  I bought whatever shoe I thought looked cool and wore some old cheer stuff to log the miles.

Cotton + Indiana humidity were not a good combination.  This was before all the glorious performance fabrics we have available now.

I encourage you to find the right combination of things for your workouts.  Trial and error is okay and may lead you to find something amazing.  My top places to find gear at reasonable prices:  TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and thrift stores.  Many races are now giving out performance fabric shirts and people donate them after a couple of years.  I have also found some great running tanks on a Facebook swap group in my area.  TJ Maxx and Marshalls are also my go to spot for workout socks.  They can get expensive pretty quickly.

While I save money on socks and shirts, I do not scrimp on shoes and sport bras.  These two areas will halt your workout goals pretty quickly.  This is where I would start my trial and error then build out.  Always check a stores return policy as well.

Sport Bras

For those with a cup size bigger than a C, be ready for a price shock to get a quality high impact sport bra that can support activities.  Many manufacturers offer sport bras by cup size, but not all high impact bras are the same.

via Target.com

These are a great option for the price point.  I was very wary at first, knowing that I could return it if it sucked.  Well, it didn’t suck and exceeded my expectations.  So much so, I have emailed Target to keep these stocked.  Bonus:  sometimes there is a 20% coupon with the Cartwheel App.

via Jackrabbit.com

Moving Comfort has some good options as well.  My personal preference is a sports bra without the Velcro adjustable straps, it bothers me while I run.  The Maia has a bra closure and no Velcro.  Do you notice the higher neckline on this one?  It’s a detail that is hard to find and I appreciate.

Wearing the Maia in this picture from a workout.

Tights

Lots of options for tights.  Almost too many options.  I like Old Navy’s Go-Dry High or Mid Rise Compression Crops.  They don’t wiggle down as I run or fight me while doing yoga.  They stay put.  I have enough issues while running, I don’t want to be that person fighting her tights the entire time.  Lots of colors and patterns to choose from.

Shoes

Finally, do not scrimp on your shoes.  Sorry they won’t last years either.  If you’re wearing them regularly they should be replaced every 300 – 500 miles.  Make the effort to find a shoe store near you that specializes in running or walking shoes.  Get fitted from knowledgeable staff that can recommend a shoe based on your gait and usage.  You may pay more, but it’s worth it.  Typically, they offer a 30 day return even if you’ve worn the shoe outside for miles.  Brands change their style every “season”, so the shoe you have been in may not work with tweaks they make in the new model.

Maybe you find a new favorite.  Don’t hesitate to share your favorites as well in the comments.  I love hearing about products.

 

 

 

“This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a portion of sales if you make a purchase using links in the post.  All products are things I have, use regularly, and would recommend to you if we talked face to face.

 

It’s Okay To Grab The Seam Ripper

If you don’t like where a project is going, it’s okay to grab the seam ripper and start over.  It’s a lesson I had to remind myself of yesterday.  Sunday afternoon I started quilting on the Kona HST quilt in my WIP pile.

I had been contemplating the quilting design and decided to just move forward with it.   Starting with an offset triangle and following that design around.  All was well until I had to change the bobbin.  Something wasn’t right after I changed it.  New thread?  The tension is off?  Fingers crossed it isn’t something more, like the timing.

Working on the quilted triangles I started to question my original idea.  After taking a few hours away from the machine, I couldn’t shake that feeling that it wasn’t right.

Yesterday some frantic texts were shared with Rachael to get a second opinion.  She agreed with my assessment.  It’s okay, but not exactly right.  Notice those evenly spaced horizontal lines?  That’s where I want this design to go.

Last night I grabbed my trusty seam ripper and started busting up the stitches.  The first row was painful.  As I went on taking out the quilting became satisfying.  Taking out what I didn’t feel was the right design is time consuming.  Ultimately, I will be happier with the finished product.  For now, this sits in my sewing space waiting for me to get home from work.

Do you have any projects that you’ve taken the seam ripper to?  If so, how did you feel after?

May Action Items

April’s action items of 20 days of activity over 30 minutes was a success.  It could have been better, but Mother Nature decided Indiana needed buckets of water dumped on us.  It has been raining for about a week.  Yes, I have a treadmill downstairs and at home workout options.  There is something about getting outside to enjoy your workout.

Hubby and I were chatting yesterday about how I could realistically expand on my workouts.  He bought me a gift certificate to my favorite pilates studio for my birthday…in December.  With job change and schedule changes, I had not tried to work it in.  That changes today.  My first class in years is tonight.  It really fits into my May action items.

  • Continue with 20 days of 30 + minutes of exercise.
  • Focus on core work at least 2 days per week.
  • Log 60 miles for the month.  That means more running and less walking.
  • Cut out sweets unless I make them.
  • Cut out alcohol until Memorial Day weekend.
**Not all drinks in this picture were consumed. Just a collection after a trip.**

The last two action items were added because I stepped on the scale in April.  While I’m usually not focused on the number, it was not what I thought it would be.  Looking back on my dietary habits over the last couple of months, I should not be surprised.  Sweets and wine late at night have been creeping in.  Cookies and brownies at work in the afternoon have been high.  Seriously, warm cookies on a shitty rainy day makes the day a bit brighter.  Also, the cafeteria is filled with everything I could want for lunch.  Yes, I ate a plate of nachos for lunch last week.

Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised.  Maybe it was more disappointment that I wasn’t see a change with everything I was doing.

As I have said before, I don’t follow one dietary plan.  Everything can be in your diet, just keep it in moderation.  By limiting the sweets to just things I make, that should help.  Cutting out alcohol should help as well.  As for lunches, let’s see how that goes.  I have better results with small changes.

What is your goal or action items for the month?  Follow and/or me on Instagram with #healthysewist.

April Action Items

I’m excited for April to finally arrive.  The chance of snow in Indianapolis goes down exponentially and spring comes into bloom.  My allergies aren’t as excited, but they make medications for that.

April is very project oriented right now.  I can’t share them all with you right now, but some good stuff is coming.  DIY, upcycling, and some vintage quilts.

Vintage Quilts

As we transition into spring I’m focusing a bit more on vintage quilts.  I have a stash of them just wadded up in my WIP cabinet.  In an effort to keep busting through WIPs, this is a natural progression.  Plus, it’s fun to give new life to these old quilts.

DIY

I have some fun projects lined up that I have been meaning to make forever.  Spring is just the right motivator to get them done.

Wedding Anniversary Trip

Our seventh wedding anniversary is April 24th.  I have planned a getaway to a secret location.  Everything is planned and I haven’t told my hubby where we are going.  You guys, I have kept a secret, this is HUGE!

Healthy Actions

For March I met the goal of at least 15-20 #healthysewist entries.  Hubby had the stomach flu in March and the house was in chaos for a few days.  The weather got cold here again too and we had a contractor at the house a couple of days.  Not everything is an excuse, but definitely some hiccups.  Running has helped me have more energy and yoga is letting me focus on strength.

For April I want to push myself to 20 #healthysewist entries on Instagram.  I’m working on some new photo ideas for these too since I’m terrible at selfies.  Maybe some new trails or locations for runs?  How many times can you see this mug?

3 Places for Quilty Inspiration…The Last One May Surprise You

3 Places for Quilt Inspiration by quiltytherapy

3 Places for Quilt Inspiration by quiltytherapy

Inspiration for your next quilting project can come from anywhere.  Since my phone is with me almost everywhere I can document things as they catch my attention.  I have quite the collection from the last couple of years and I want to share with you some of my favorites.  Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

Murals

Whether indoors or outdoors, a mural really brightens an area.  I have stopped in my tracks on a run to grab a photo, like the one below.  A community center in San Mateo, CA has this lovely on their wall.

This mural is at Big Lug Canteen, a newish brewery in Indianapolis.  It’s bold and fresh.  It could be a quilt design.

Watercolor murals are sprinkled around the Indianapolis Airport.  The colors melting into each is my favorite part.  Interestingly, I think this looks like a slide under a microscope.  Thoughts?

If you have traveled to iconic spots in San Francisco you may have seen this mural.  It sits on the corner of Haight and Ashbury.  Stunning, yet I wonder what other murals may be painted underneath it?

A concert backdrop is another form of a mural.  The Decemberists caused quite a stir with this album cover.  It’s an interesting read on an often talked about issue with quilters.  It’s still an inspirational piece.  

Building Architecture

The Brooklyn Bridge may not look like much inspiration to most people.  I see stunning straight line quilting and creating that small swoop with the supporting cables.

Back on the west coast visit Alcatraz to find this rusty gem.  Again, I see some quilting details to work into a project, a wonky crosshatch.

In Key West this wall could be a quilt pattern.  I had almost forgotten about this picture until I was digging into some photos from my honeymoon.

Restaurants – especially the bathroom tile

Restaurants house some of my favorite inspiration.  Nada, here in Indy, is filled with color and stunning tile work.  This is a floor and I feel bad for walking across this beauty.

I was giddy when I saw this in the bathroom over the weekend.  Stunning.  It could be a quilt back that I would put together.  Yes, I took my phone to the bathroom.  I have missed out on some interesting tile work in breweries and restaurants without my phone.  It’s an overlooked area for inspiration and someone carefully put together the look of that room.

Speaking of brewery bathrooms, this is from one in Pittsburgh.  I would love to remember the name, but we visited five to seven breweries that day.  No way could I keep them all straight.  So much color goodness.

I had to stop in traffic in Cooperstown, NY to get this picture.  It’s greasy spoon diner we have been to a few times.  Everytime I’m drawn to the stained glass window.  Last trip out, I yelled from the back seat for my husband to stop and jumped out to grab the photo.  Worth it.

Where do you find your quilt inspiration?  Anywhere unusual?  Share below in the comments.

I Want to Stay in A Castle

This post contains sponsored content, but all opinions are my own.  

Traveling to Europe has been high on the list of things my husband and I want to do.  We discussed going there for our honeymoon in 2010, but it didn’t work out.  You can see about our honeymoon here.  Maybe for our 10 year anniversary.

With Europe’s size we have narrowed down our spots to two locations:

  • Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Germany or Austria

As we started researching and planning, I decided I really wanted to stay at least one night in a castle.  There are many to choose from.

 

Lucky for me and you, HomeAway is giving away a stay at Dun’s Castle in Scotland to celebrate the release of Beauty & The Beast in theaters March 17th.

I call dibs on this room.

Take a video tour below.

 

The giveaway is for you and 20 guests.  If you win, you’ll take me right?  Just kidding.  If you don’t win the grand prize, runners up are eligible for a week vacation at any HomeAway location.

Take a minute and sign up below.

Dun’s Castle Giveaway