Favorite Things This Week

 

Welcome back for my favorite things this week.  It’s been an eventful week at our house.  P started Pre-K, you know the actual school kind that is FREE.  Hubby and I celebrated being together for 12 years.  Finally, we are researching options for a new garage door.  There goes all the savings of no daycare payment.  How is your week going?

Let’s jump into my list for the week.

Fall

No quite Pumpkin Spice Latte fall, but lots of prep work for Halloween and our decor.  Time to dig into my Pinterest board for ideas.  Plus working on a Halloween quilt for P.  When do you bust out your fall decor?  Lots of stores already have theirs out.

Take me back to Cooperstown

If you want a jumpstart on fall projects, here is an easy tutorial for a Fall Fabric Wreath.

fall fabric wreath tutorial

 

Youtube

I have been working on some big projects at work this week.  While doing so I’ve been listening to music and the occasional video.  Prepare to laugh and feel all kinds of gushiness.

Speaking of fall, this had me cracking up.  So many giggles.

Sewing & Quilting

A variation on a string block is a go to for me.  Cluck Cluck Sew has the Diagonal Strip Quilt tutorial on her blog.  She finally finished her quilt.  She touches on being paralyzed by the fear of finishing it.  Do you ever feel that way?

I am digging these improv stripes from Debbie at A Quilter’s Table.  Wish I had some more time to play along right now.  Are you participating?

Life

I love planning.  We use a family calendar, but maybe it’s time for me to bring back a paper planner.  There are some good benefits discussed here.  Do you have any suggestions or favorites?

We are going to sneak away for a couple of days this weekend.

Favorite Things This Week

As my weeks have become more hectic, there are a few things that have helped through the chaos.  These are my favorite things this week.

Target

Who doesn’t love Target already?  There is one close to house I like to sneak off to and enjoy browsing items for inspiration.  They have a School List Assist feature on their Web site that I used this week.   P is starting Pre-K MONDAY! His school has a generic supply list and Target had it on their site.  I was able to just grab the list and load into my cart, presto!  There are a couple of little items left to pick up, but I’m done.

Did you also see that Target is now offering Lisa Frank pajamas for grown ups?  Just take my money.  I could totally wear this set and snuggle under my Scrappy Unicorn Rainbow Sprinkles quilt.  Rad!

via Target.com

 

 

Health & Fitness

As my mileage has gone up with training, I’m reading a bit more health and fitness related articles.  The topics mostly include making time and motivation.  Talking about making time for exercise is not an easy conversation to have personally.  I am giving up time away from other things I enjoy to help reach this goal.  I’m investing in myself to make this happen.  Transformation Fitness & Wellness had an article on making time this week that hit home.  Read it and tell me your thoughts.

The health coach in me has to agree there is no on or off track, you are just living.  Many people feel one bad thing in the day ruins the whole day and that’s not the case, especially when it comes to diet and exercise.  This quote from the article because I have heard this from many people in coaching.

I was putting so much pressure on myself to be perfectly “healthy” that any slip-up, no matter how small, was seen as failure and I’d consider the whole day a loss, binging on junk food and telling myself I’d just start again fresh the next day. I was either 110% on track or 110% off the rails. ~ Pumps & Iron

We have to treat ourselves better than that.  If that is your mentality, let’s chat about some ways to build your skills in that area.  Check out the post here.  What was your take away?

Sewing & Quilting

Quarter square log cabins are quite trendy right now.  They look like great scrap busters.  Have you made one?  Below are links to a couple of finished quilts posted this week.

Stitched in Color 

Hyacinth Quilt Designs

For myself I plan to start on P’s Halloween quilt.  My beemates made gorgeous Halloween themed blocks and I just need to make a few more to complete the top.  If time allows over the weekend, maybe even a tutorial on my improv scrappy blocks from the quilt above.

New Running Goal – A Sub 2 Half

Can’t believe I actually wrote that title and putting this out there publicly.  I am so proud of my husband for achieving one of his fitness goals (more on that later this week) this year that it’s motivated me to aim for a big stretch goal.  Over the years I have ran a number of half marathons.  Truthfully, I haven’t really put the effort in for training.  I’ve come close with a 2:14.

This is the time I need to focus on my training and reach this goal.  I have used the above quote many times during trainings for races.  However, I did sacrifice and not give my best.  Slept in on Saturday mornings, half asses a speed workout, skipped a mid week run, and generally didn’t prepare myself.  Sure I can run a half this weekend if I wanted to, but it would be an ugly performance.  Why not set myself up for success and reach my goal.

I want to be at or below the two hour mark.  Aiming for this goal will force me into more speed work, yoga, and long runs.  Hubby and I have worked out a plan to help make this happen.  We discussed the pros and cons of moving my runs to the early morning to avoid Indiana heat.  We decided that isn’t a realistic step for a couple of reasons.  First, I would have to go to bed basically after P in order to make a 5:30 am run part of my morning.  Second, I decided I enjoy the down time in the evening with hubby and I don’t want to give that up.  Third, well it’s easy to oversleep and just say I will do it later!

In an effort to plan to get myself into the mindset of running a sub 2 half I put a couple of things in motion this week:

  • Downloaded a training plan designed to help achieve the goal.
  • Scheduling in yoga on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to help with core strength and stretching.
  • Researching new shoes.  My current shoes won’t last into the training.

I start today and plan to run the Monumental Half Marathon on November 4th.  Not sure how this will impact my sewing time at this point.  However, many of my ideas come while running.  Maybe I will create an amazing idea while I run.  It is my other form of stress/life management.

Any tips or support is greatly appreciated.

 

Mom Guilt is Real

Not only is mom guilt real, it can hit you hard some days.  I’ve adjusted to the guilt of not being a stay at home mom with my son.  It’s probably best for the whole family that it didn’t work out and he has had wonderful experiences in daycare.  This is about the guilt as you make decisions for your kids that they can not do.  I’m sure many of you have had to do the same.  It sucks!

The after photo

About six weeks ago P was playing in his room.  We had friends over and a couple of parents were in there.  He loves to jump and he jumped over a quilt on his floor.  He had built a fort/lounge area earlier in the day.  Sobs were ringing from his room.  This wasn’t his normal, I’ve fallen cry, it was a deep I’m hurt cry.  After a few minutes of snuggles and lots of tears, he let me look him over.  His front tooth was displaced.  Crap!

I called the dentist first thing in the morning and he referred me to a pediatric dentist.  Luckily, this new dentist could fit us in that day and help us assess the damage.  This was just an ordinary fall, everything will be okay was the thought my husband and I had.  Nope, X-Rays revealed P had broken the tooth.  We scheduled a procedure to pop the tooth back in place.  Yeah, I know, gross.

He had to have some sedatives and laughing gas, but the procedure went okay.  We went back to normal and would have a follow up visit in a month.  Over that month, his teeth became more gray and we knew that meant the teeth were dying.  At the follow up it became apparent we had to make some decisions.  Root canal or extract the teeth.  Everything was pointing towards root canal for a bit.

Tuesday night before his procedure

Monday night we meant with the dentist and after more conversations we went with extraction.  There are a number of reasons we chose extraction, but I didn’t want something similar to happen in six months and we have to pull them anyway.  The financial side of a root canal with my kid didn’t make sense either.  He loves to jump and I would be that over cautious helicopter mom when he wanted to try the simplest thing.  He wouldn’t realize, I was trying to protect the investment in his teeth.  Plus, why should that hold him back?

The last few days have been rough.  I was really conflicted on if we were making the right decision for him.  Then yesterday’s procedure happened.  We gave him the sedatives as recommended and went to our appointment.  P was okay with the laughing gas for a bit, then it changed.  He was over it, went all rage against the gas mask.  Sobbed and thrashed for 10-15 minutes.  He was inconsolable.  It was the worst to sit there and know he was scared.  We tried everything we knew how to do to calm him down.  I started singing a made up song with just his name and that seemed to soothe him.  The poor dentist and the hygienist, they had to listen to me sing.  That had to be torture for them.

We got him calmed down, well he cried himself to sleep, and the procedure was over pretty quick.  Teeth removed.  It was the right decision as we examined his teeth later, they were gray and looked terrible.  I scooped him up and the snuggles began.  I still felt wrong about putting him through that.  It took me a bit yesterday to get used to his new gum line and his new smile.  Then the real stuff set in.

He began asking questions about, “What if other kids make fun of me or don’t want to play with me because I look different?”  Ahhh, buddy.  I wanted to say those kids just suck, but that’s not how you handle it.  My advice was to say, “Yes, I do look different.”  If they persist, “Everyone loses their teeth.” He thought he looked like a zombie and that made him sad.

The guilt will fade in a few days as we all adjust.  He’s at daycare right now and I’m nervous for how his day will go.  As a parent, we have to make decisions for our kids and we don’t always know the lasting impact.  We will do something as a family tonight that will be fun.

Exhausted momma and P

I received lots of positive thoughts and comments from other parents yesterday.  It was really helpful.  If you know a parent that is struggling listen to them and offer support.  They don’t need or want judgement for their actions.  Parenting is scary, but with support from others it’s easier.

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?