Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thing 14 -- Do Over!

OK, I started out strong. Then I was weak. Then I was super-human for a few days to make up for the weakness and well.... then I just stopped. So, I'm going to start this one over again and this time, I'm going to keep track on paper of what I've done (or not done!). Thing 14 starts over today. Or maybe tomorrow....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thing 14 -- Day 2

Day 1 -- 20 crunches (+ 5 peanut butter cookies)
Day 2 -- 30 crunches (+ 1 banana)

Average to date = 25 crunches/day -- ahead of plan!

Still no pain... maybe I'm doing them wrong?
Quite possible.

Maybe I should do more of them?
Not likely.

Two days done... so far, so good....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Finally, a Thing!

At (very) long last, I have started on Thing 14 -- Average 20 crunches/day for 30 days.

Last night, I did my first set of 20... 10 in the middle and 5 on each side. I'm feeling OK today, no pain. I'm happy about that but of course, also wondering if 20 crunches is enough, if I'm not feeling it at all today?

My husband tells me that the 5 peanut butter cookies I ate right after doing the 20 crunches (yes, I really ate 5 of them!) pretty much negates the value of the crunches. Party pooper!! I told him, though, that crunches or not, I was going to eat the 5 peanut butter cookies anyway so 4 crunches per cookie was still better than NO crunches per cookie, right??? He also tells me that you're not supposed to work the same muscle(s) on consecutive days... but I think that skipping a day and doing 40 every other day would throw me right off the track... remembering which day it is AND doing 40? Me thinks not....

So, I'll try to keep up with my 20, maybe even work up to 25 or 30, we'll see how it goes. At this point, I'm happy to have come within sight of one of my Things, so today, 20 is good enough for me!

Wish me (and my abs!) luck!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

June & July Projects

No, nothing from the list... but I wanted to show y'all that I'm still alive and kicking, and at least doing something while ignoring everything on my list. (**sigh**)
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Rachel got a butterfly quilt a little while back, so this one is for Jessica. I purchased the fabric months ago with no plan in mind, and sort of made up the pattern as I went along.

Those green blobs are froggies!

This one was for a friend's new baby girl. The pattern is called "Posy" something or other, and it's from my favorite pattern book, "Creative Scraps: Quilting with Bits and Pieces." Of course, as is typical, I modified the pattern a little bit, but it still turned out OK. The colors look much nicer in person!
Not sure if you can tell from this picture, but the edge of the flower petals are "ragged" looking. That's intentional, it's supposed to look loved and worn.

This one was for my neighbor's new baby boy. I call it "A Star is Born" but it's really my own twist on a pattern called "Bundle Up Baby Girl," which is made with girly colors and flowers instead of stars. No, I don't usually follow the pattern. Ever.
Not sure why the "ragged" looking ones are appealing to me so much lately, maybe because I'm feeling ragged most days?!? Anyway, this one is also intentionally "worn" looking, both on the stripes and the stars. Easiest quilt I've ever made, though, will be making lots more of these in the future, the possibilites are endless when you have a shape you like!

So, there's my "non-update," really. Maybe I'll surprise everyone someday and actually get back to the list! ;-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Still not Thing 12

OK, this is STILL not Thing 12 (or Thing 11, Thing 14, Thing 15 or Thing 16). Oh well....

I just finished this quilt for my mom, a (belated) Mother's Day gift. I told her in advance her gift would be late, just wasn't expecting it to be quite this late. But, who better than your own mom to understand how kids + job don't always = time to quilt...

The pattern is a log cabin, and it's from my favorite quilting book, "Creative Scraps: Quilting with Bits and Pieces." The sample in the book is done in Christmas prints (reds, whites, greens and it's gorgeous), but I decided to give it a shot in non-holiday colors.

Mom's favorite colors are blue and yellow and of course, she loves flowers.



Close-up of one of the blocks. The quilt is 4 blocks wide & 5 blocks long, plus borders:


Close-up of the quilt tag, which I hand embroidered. Starting this year (2008), every quilt I make has an embroidered tag (for posterity -- ha!) and someplace on it, a ladybug. For this quilt, it's a little more obvious than on some of the other ones I've made. Yes, I blocked out Mom's last name and mine. (You can never be too safe, you know!)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Not Quite Thing 12

OK, so I've made very little progress on "the list." I'm a bit disappointed since some of them are just SO easy, what's my problem?!?!? Oh well... there's always tomorrow....

In the meantime, these aren't quite Thing 12: Make a Kat Quilt, but I've sure had a lot of fun with them and I wanted to share. In trying to figure out what Kat Quilt I wanted to make, I decided to try my hand at a few new patterns. I think they both came out great (if I do say so myself!) and they've helped build my confidence that I can make any Kat Quilt I choose, once I finally get around to choosing one from the gazillion "must have" patterns I've been looking at!

This first one, called "Mousekethanks," was for Luanne, who gave my family a very generous gift. Though this can't begin to show our full appreciation, it was my best attempt at combining my favorite hobby (quilting) with hers (Disney!). The pattern is a Double Irish Chain and it's available for free (along with tons of other great patterns) on the Quilter's Cache website.


Red, black and pink would not usually be my first choice quilt colors, but Mickey fabric isn't as easy to find as you might think and as it turns out, Luanne's home office is pink, so the quilt fits right in!

Might be hard to tell, but those are Mickey heads on the red fabric.


This next one was for
my daughter, Rachel, who gets a bit frustrated at me when I spend so much time sewing and then ship all the quilts to other people. I found a set of 5 coordinating butterfly fabrics a while back and couldn't walk away from them. I had no specific intent in mind when I bought them, but when I came across this pattern, I knew the butterfly fabric would be perfect! I call this quilt "Butterfly Kisses" and the pattern is available in an amazing book called "Creative Scraps: Quilting with Bits and Pieces." If you quilt, you MUST own this book, it's awesome!



Hoping to have more "list-relevant" updates soon but hey, so long as I'm having fun doing something, that's all that matters, right?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New Thing 16

I was hoping to post about my progress on a bunch of Things, but alas, there has been none...

The good news, however, is that I finally have a new Thing to take the place of "TBD" as #16 on my list: Update Jessica's baby book

In reality, this should probably be start Jessica's baby book.... the one I had to have 6 weeks before her due date, the one I lost sleep over, the one I searched high and low for and could not stop obsessing about. The beautiful pink one that's still wrapped in plastic in the closet in the nursery. Yes, Jessica will be two in June....

Good news, though! Somewhere around here is a stack (OK, many stacks) of papers from the doctor with all her stats, her bracelet from the hospital and a bunch of other "stuff" to go in the book. The key will be to find it all and transfer it from the papers to the book. My goal is to do it before her birthday, but that's only a month away.... wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

At long last, I can cross off the oldest un-done thing on my list, the one I consider more important than any other. Last Thursday before leaving for vacation, hubby and I finally, finally signed (in a million places), sealed (got stamped by a notary) and delivered (to the appropriate relatives) our wills, living wills and healthcare proxies. Yeah!!!

I'll admit, writing a will at first seemed morbid, which is what delayed us to begin with. But, once we sat down to talk about it (specifically, who gets the kids), we really agreed on everything. The rest was just a matter of drafting the documents (hubby is a lawyer and the software is on our home computer... we just "never got around to it") and getting them signed. What a relief to know that everything will be taken care of if, God forbid, something should happen. Plus, isn't it Murphy's Law that says that now that I have a will, I'll never need it?

Not sure what I'll put on the list to replace this Thing... I have a couple of ideas kicking around in my head (I'm thinking "redecorate the guest room" as my top choice right now) but like Julie, part of me feels like there's something else I'm supposed to be adding to this list, I just haven't realized what it is yet. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Nice" incentive

Thing 14: Average 20 crunches/day for 30 days

**sigh** Haven't even started yet. Thought the bling would inspire me, but now I just spend a lot of time admiring my well-decorated, yet still-too-un-toned-for-my-own-satisfaction stomach. However, today I received an amazing, wonderful, nice surprise that has given me the incentive I need to get started... I hope.

Seven weeks from today, I will be packing for a weekend trip to Disney, where I plan to spend time playing with my kids in, gulp!, a swimming pool. The "pool" is not the bad part, it's, we'll, it's what you have to wear in the pool that I'm dreading! It's been close to a year since I put on a bathing suit and the thought terrifies me. I certainly can't do a total body makeover in the next 7 weeks, but I certainly can start the crunches I've been planning on anyway, right? At least even if I still don't feel good in the bathing suit (and no, I'll never feel "good" in the bathing suit!), I can't blame it on not getting around to this item on my list.

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bling!!! (Thing 13)

I am so brave!!!!!

After 2 failed weekends of trying to get someone to watch the kids at a time when the piercing place was actually open, I decided to take matters into my own hands yesterday and go all by myself to Ink Link Tattoos for my belly bling. Honestly, I surprised myself by even being brave enough to get out of the car... but when I found out that a 60 year old grandmother was in line right before me to get her belly button pierced, I figured I could be that brave, too!

The guy who did it was soooo nice. I told him I was a little nervous and he assured me it wouldn't be near as bad as I was imagining. He spent a lot of time marking the spot with ink to make sure it would be perfectly straight, explained how to care for it, and then kept making small talk to distract me (it worked!). I didn't watch him do the piercing (I can only be so brave, you know!) but I felt a poke that wasn't any worse than getting a shot in the arm (a shot, not getting shot, LOL!) and then he said, "you're done!" I was like, "What? That's it? I was worried about THAT???"

I have to clean it twice/day for 9 months (Dial anti-bacterial soft soap, followed by saline solution on a cotton ball) and I can change it in 2 months... though at this point, I'm not in any hurry to do that. He said I can go back and he'll change it for me... we'll see how long it takes me to get sick of the jewelry I have in there now. It's a bit sore if I bump it, but not bad. I have to move it around when I clean it, and that stings a bit, but everyone I know who has a belly piercing says that goes away soon enough, like getting your ears pierced. I'm so glad I did this, I feel so cute! Ahhh, sometimes it's the little things. Or, should I say, the little "blings....."

Here's a picture. Clearly, I need a tan. (Yes, I live in south Florida, but who has time for sun???) Also, not the most flattering pic to take yourself, but you'll get the idea...


So... now that Thing 13 is done, hopefully I'll be motivated to start on Thing 14. Also, I have a new Thing 15: Make window treatments for master bathroom.

I love this 5 Things blog. I know I don't post often enough, but where else can you have "make curtains," "make quilts," "finalize will" and "pierce belly button" all on the same list without looking insane??? Loves it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Finally, another Thing done!

If you think that my lack of posting means lack of progress on my 5Things list, well, you wouldn't be too far off... However, I just finished one of my Big Things and it turned out really well!


When I first decided to re-do my 4 year old's room, I had an alterior motive. I really, really want to install chair rail in my downstairs, but I have a really open floor plan so the rooms all sort of merge into each other, there are columns to go around in the dining room, a raised entry way, and some other little obstacles that have kept me from attempting it. I figured that Rachel's room (a nice, plain rectangle) would be the perfect place to try out my skills with chair rail and my miter saw. After some very careful deliberation, however, I realized that though chair rail was cute when she's 4, she'll probably hate it when she's 14 and, well, a mom can only sign up for so much!


Instead, I decided to paint her room in 2 shades of pink (her favorite color) to match bedding, curtains, throw pillows and accessories she already had. Of course, "standard" paint brands don't make the right two shades of pink, I could only find them in the Ralph Lauren brand. Perfect colors and great quality but of course, also twice the price. Let the fun begin...


When I told Rachel I was going to re-do her room, she begged me to do it in princesses. A normal request for a 4 year old, but in the 2 years she's been in the room, she's also begged for Elmo, Dora and Care Bears. I was firmly against a "character theme" that she was likely going to outgrow before the paint finished drying. However, when I (er, um, Santa) came across some princess bedding that happened to match perfectly to the two shades of pink paint I was already planning on, and realized that a comforter, sheet set, throw pillow and extra set of sheets (to make curtains) could all be purchased for under $100, well, I (er, Santa) had a change of heart. Luanne was right... the question was not "to Disney Princess or not to Disney Princess," it was actually "which Disney princess." We couldn't decide, so we did a bit of each.


It started with the paint, which I did as a surprise one day while Rachel was at school. Over the course of a few weekends, I then sanded down and painted white the bookcase and dresser that she already had. I purchased the matching desk with chair and bed (2 months on backorder, it just came in last week!) and painted them white as well. I bought a giant cork board and a few picture frames (all painted pink) and let Rachel pick some princess from a 2007 princess calendar to go in the frames. Of course, redhead that she is, she picked 2 pictures of Ariel and then 2 of Jasmine, go figure!

Here are some videos, a before and an after. The lighting is not great and I hope you don't get dizzy watching them. I still have a few more little things to do (like get her a box spring for the bed and add some more pictures to one frame). All in all, though, I'm calling Thing 7 DONE!


Before Video (warning, this room is messy!!)

video
After Video -- Thing 7, Done!
video
To add to the excitement, I have finally come up with a Thing 13, and also have a new Thing 14 to take the place of Thing 7:
New Thing 13: Pierce my belly button! Yes, I'm 32... mother of 2... executive at a Fortune 500 company. No, I have no idea why I think this is the next great Thing for my list, but I've made up my mind.... I think!
New Thing 14: Average 20 crunches/day for 30 days. Clearly, this goes hand in hand with New Thing 13 :-). I know I won't be able to do 20/day everyday, but if I can average 20/day over the course of a month, I'll be happy. Let's hope I'm not doing 600 crunches on Day 30....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Thing 8: Conquered and Honored!

Drum roll, please... fanfare, trumpets, confetti.... I want it ALL!!! And dang it, I deserve it on this one (if I do say so myself).

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of all ages.... it is my greatest, most proud, most exciting accomplishment from the 5 Things list to date....

I have officially completed Thing 8: Be a Non Smoker!
It's been a long time coming and though I stopped smoking on September 13, I hesitated to cross this one off until I was really, really sure. Today, I am really, really sure, and man, it feels great!!

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In celebration of both Thing #8 and some other writing I've been doing for an awesome new website called CoolMomsCare, Julie at The Surrendered Scribe gave me a blog award called Bloggers with Integrity -- For the Spirit of Giving. You can read what she had to say about me here, her words are so nice, I'm humbled and appreciative!


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New Things: I already had a TBD next to Thing 12, from the completion of Thing 5. I have one new Thing to add, so I'll put that as #12 and leave #13 as TBD for now. Don't worry, I have some ideas, just want to pick the one that's most fun and most about ME this time around!

Thing #12 will be to make myself a quilt, with a pattern that will challenge me. I know, I know, I've had lots of quilts on my list. However, I've never, ever kept for myself (or even for my own family!) one of the quilts I've made, and it's time I did one for me. Many months ago I bought a pattern that looks basic enough for me to handle, but with a very striking finished look. I think I'm going to dig it out and start looking for fabrics to make the perfect "Kat Quilt" as Thing #12. Pictures to follow as I get started!