Monday, June 24, 2013

Fitness by Pinterest: A Four-Week Exercise Challenge

If you are anything like me, you've spent a lot of time saving fat-burning, calorie-torching, metabolism-boosting exercises to Pinterest. And I hope you've actually been able to try some of these exercises.

Me? I can honestly say that of the 79 pins that are on my "feel.the.burn." board, I have tried ... one of them.

My fitness routine is pretty boring right now. Other than tennis practice once a week and walks with Sloan - and an occasional sit-up/push-up session while watching the Food Network - I definitely don't have much variety in my workouts (if you could even call them that).

I do belong to a gym, but the ideal time for me to go would be really early in the morning before Sloan wakes up -- and I am just NOT a morning person. We do have a small home gym that I really don't (ever) take advantage of either.

Hello, Joe. 
Well, time for that to change. In honor of #motivationmonday, I've decided to get up and get moving with something I'm calling: Fitness by Pinterest: A Four-Week Exercise Challenge. Pulling from all the fitness information I've already saved, I've created a four-week exercise calendar that I'm hoping will get me out of this rut and start making exercise a bigger part of my daily routine. I mean, with something called the "World's Fastest Workout," how hard could this be?

Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

10 for 10

I almost can't believe these words as I'm typing them, but today our sweet Sloan is 10 months old. 10 months! There's just no way that can be true. I mean, wasn't I just in labor (for 36 hours) yesterday? Didn't we just get home from the hospital?

24 hours young.
For the record, I'm not wishing for my postpartum days back. Nope. I just -- Warning: major cliche ahead -- can't believe how quickly time has flown by.

So, in honor of Sloan's 10-month birthday, here are 10 fun facts about this little peach:

10. She's the first grandchild on both sides of the family. (Just like her mom!) And on my mom's side of the family, she is now the fourth generation of first-born women.
Six weeks old at my cousin's wedding in NYC. I can't believe how tiny she was! And it's hard to see here, but my favorite part of this picture is her Dr. Evil pinky wave. Because I'm sure she's dreaming about Mike Myers.
9. Sloan has already traveled to 9 cities (including one other country). So far, she's proven to be an awesome road warrior. She's impressed the flight crew on plane trips to New York City, Vail, Richmond and Grand Cayman. And luckily she was great company from the backseat on road trips to Greenville, Clemson, Charleston, Asheville and Pine Island, Fla.
Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Sloan getting her passport photo taken. Hands down one of the funniest moments I've experienced in the past 10 months.
8. I love how quickly she is picking up on things we teach her, like dancing, waving, clapping her hands and giving kisses. She can also give you a "hug" but right now it's really more like a headbutt. (It's a start, right?)

7. I've already packed up 5 tubs of clothes that she's outgrown. Craziness.

6. Crawling? Ain't nobody got time for that! If you put Sloan on her belly to try and get her to practice crawling, she will almost immediately flip over. Not interested. Sloan would much rather spend her time chasing after the dog by scooting around in her walker.
Like I said - not a fan of tummy time. Circa October 2012.
5. Sloan is definitely showing us that she's willing to try anything. Like petting a stingray, for example.

4. She already has 4 teeth -- two bottom and two top. Right now there is a super cute gap between her two top teeth. I already miss her gummy smile, but I'm digging the gap-toothed grin, too.

3. This baby girl loves her naps. And that's certainly something that I don't take for granted!
Don't you kinda wish there was an adult version of a swaddle wrap? 
2. We already had to cut her hair! Almost two months ago Sloan got her first hair cut. It was absolutely the fastest haircut in history, because I was barely able to snap a few photos.

1. She is -- hands down, 100 percent, without a doubt -- a daddy's girl. But I wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Home Improv-isation: Part 2

About a month ago, I spilled the beans about how skilled I am at sewing fond I am of using tape for DIY projects. If you also lack sewing skills, you'll likely appreciate the following two improv-isation projects.

I'd been wanting to add a table and some artwork to our foyer for a while, but just hadn't found the right pieces. As luck would have it, within one week I was able to find and create everything I needed!

Exhibit C - Foyer Table Drape Cloth

Living around the corner from a Goodwill definitely has its advantages!
I recently found the perfect sized table to put in our foyer. The only problem is that it was begging to be covered, since I bought it secondhand and has some wear and tear (but I can't resist a bargain!). After I bought a burlap-style tablecloth to conceal the table, I decided it needed a little color. Then I remembered that I still had some fabric leftover from our family room curtains. So, I cut a piece to size and then attempted to seal the edges together using fusible webbing.

Well, I clearly either 1) didn't read the instructions on the box correctly (who has time for that)? or 2) bought the wrong kind of fusible webbing because I absolutely could not get the stuff to work. Rather than head back to the store to try and find the right kind, I decided to instead turn to a trusty friend.

No, not duck tape. Good 'ol industrial-strength glue. May I introduce you to E-6000. You can use it for all kinds of projects, including on fabric. All I had to do was iron the edges of the fabric over to create a clean edge, and then glue the "hem" that I'd just created. Not even 15 minutes later, I had my drape. 

It's good thing I didn't mess this project up, because I only have a little bit of this fabric left.
Could I have used duck tape to hold this together? Sure. But I had another project where I knew my trusty companion would be needed. 

Exhibit D - Burlap-covered Poster Frame

This poster, which is a compilation of Italian postcards, is an awesome daily reminder of our honeymoon in Italy.
I was at the Ballard Designs showroom last month when I found a pile of what the store was calling "book wraps." Well, to me these looked like reproductions of vintage posters. And there were only $6. SOLD!

They had a handful of different posters, and the images were either French or Italian. Since we spent our honeymoon in Italy, I grabbed the three that were Italian (a map of the whole country, a map of Rome and the one above) plus a map of the whole world. But then I needed to figure out a way to display the posters.

I knew I didn't want to go the traditional frame route, but I did give some thought to making some pallet wood display boards. After weighing my options, I decided to do something that didn't involve hammer and nails. (And splinters.)

All I needed to complete this project was foam core board, burlap, thumbtacks, picture hangers and - you guessed it - duck tape. I'm fairly certain you can figure out how to put it together, but just for fun, here's a picture of the back of it.

I should have invested in this stuff years ago. 
And, voila! We finally have some artwork for our foyer. The cool thing about these boards is that now I can easily swap out the posters should I find something else that we want to hang up. I'm already thinking about what I can create and hang up for holidays and special events.

Finishing this project and knowing that I could easily swap out the posters down the road inspired me to get cracking on another project that I've been procrastinating thinking about. Believe it or not, duck tape was not used at all. But it did involve spray paint ... can you guess which project I'm referring to?