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.

 

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.

 

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?

March 2017 Action Items

The word goal sounds rigid.  Now I understand why people would cringe and lock up when setting goals when I was health coaching.  My goal for January wasn’t realistic.  I was still adjusting to a new job, new location and new routine.  February was about feeling the groove and making tweaks.  Now I can focus on adding more in and having action items.

Action items sound better instead of goals.  I want to turn my focus towards my health and fitness as spring begins to make it’s arrival.  Being healthy helps me be a better wife and mom.  Healthy also doesn’t have to mean weighing a certain amount.  Rather, it means being comfortable in my skin, having the ability to go run 4 miles no problem, and not feeling exhausted after a work day.  That is my definition and would love to hear yours in the comments.

It’s been roughly two months since I started my new job.  As a family we have adjusted schedules and routines to make it work.  Most mornings I’m at work by 7:30-7:45.  It’s early, but gives me time in the afternoon to exercise and still get P.  The time is there to meet my goal as well as the motivation.  Now here comes the accountability.

My goal for March is to exercise 3-4 days per week for at least 30 minutes.

Look for #healthysewist tags on Instagram to keep up with my accountability.  There should be a minimum of 15 on there this month.  March has 5 weeks and I will start from today.  Hopefully there will be some long runs to hit this bridge on the Monon Trail.

The job change has done wonders for my stress level.  Sorry old coworkers if you’re reading this, but it’s true.  I don’t feel that I have to sew everyday as a way to cope with the pressure or to get a mental break.  My evenings and weekends are spent with the family.  Sewing has become this bonus activity to enrich my life, not balance it.  It’s a shift I didn’t anticipate.

During March I want to continue to work through some older projects and ideas that have been sitting around.  Starting in April I hope to turn my focus towards some other projects. I think you guys will like that series.