Try it Tuesday Returns!

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Hey all! Long time no blog 🙂 We got home from RAGBRAI last Sunday and I feel like we have been playing catch up ever since!

Luckily, this last weekend I had some time to work on a new (super fun) project. I’ve been looking at quilts on Pinterest and convincing myself that it’s a project I could tackle. I have a VERY basic knowledge of quilting from my wonderful mother, who is basically a quilting guru. Like a pro.

Anywho, I had seen a few chevron quilts that I just loved:

SOURCE – MESSY JESSE

SOURCE – QUILTYLICIOUS

While these look really complicated, they are really quite simple. Each square is a half square triangle, which is just a square separated diagonally in two different fabrics, like this one:

My quilt was 8 squares by 8 squares, so I used this awesome technique to create 8 at a time.

I did my math a little wrong, and my squares ended up 1/2 inch smaller than intended.

After getting my squares cut and laid out, I simply sewed the squares into rows, and then sewed the rows together. After getting my batting and backing pinned into place, I used my little sewing machine to sew the lines along each chevron. This was definitely faster for me than hand quilting, and much easier. However, I probably wouldn’t try this on a larger sized quilt. The baby quilt ended up being about 36″x36″, and it was still large enough that, at times, I had a hard time maneuvering it through when sewing.

For the binding, I simply extended the backing up and around to the front. I came across this technique on Pinterest (of course), and it led back to a wonderful sewing site called Made by Rae.

All in all, I completed the project in about 7 hours. I was really happy with the outcome, and was proud to give it as a gift!

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Turkey Thursday and Packing up!

Turkey ThursdayAny Thursday can be Thanksgiving – just cook a giant turkey! Gavin and I cooked that wonderful bird Wednesday night to carve up and take with us on RAGBRAI.

One of the hardest things about going on vacation is sticking to nutrition and fitness goals while still enjoying your trip.

I’m not much help on the nutrition side – as anyone who has gone on vacation with me knows! However –  here are a few quick tips that might be of interest:

  • Get a taste of all kinds of food, but don’t over do it on any one item. More often than not, the last bite of a treat is not the best, the first is! Sample lots of different foods!
  • Treat yourself to things you can’t get at home or in your normal daily life. Make vacation meals different and special!
  • Eat slowly! Savor and enjoy each bite. This will give your brain time to tell your body you are getting full.

Some of my favorite travel workouts can be found at:

The least fun part of vacation for me is packing, but Gavin and I knocked that out on Wednesday night. Sam always looks super sad when we pack – he sits by the bag and gives us his best Sad Sam face.

Sad Sam

Notice that sweet makeup bag? Now on to the fun stuff!

Try It Tuesday – Travel Makeup Bag!

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I am gearing up to go on RAGBRAI in less than a week, and beginning to make my list of things to take along. Packing clothes, shoes, and that kind of stuff is the easy part for me. The tough part is figuring out how to get all my toiletries together and organized. So…after looking on Pinterest I found this wonderful Quick & Pretty Makeup Bag by the lovely ladies of Pretty Prudent.

How did it go you may ask?! Superb!! Pretty Prudent’s tutorial was wonderful, and had photos for each step. A few notes:

  • My bag ended up a little larger than the one on the tutorial because I only had a 9″ zipper.
  • The final measurements of each piece of my bag was 10 inches at the top by 13 inches at the bottom. They were 11 inches top to bottom.
  • Even though the tutorial called for a zipper foot, I just used my standard foot and it worked fine.
  • I used home dĂ©cor fabric for the interior and the lining because 1) it was what I had on hand, and 2) I really prefer to use it when making bags because it seems more durable.
  • From start to finish, this project took me about 35 minutes.

I’m excited to use this on RAGBRAI next week, and will let you know how it holds up. Let me know if you would like one of these – it was fun to make and I’d be happy to throw a few more together!

Cold as Ice?!

When the weekend kicked off on Friday, Gavin and I were looking for something fun, different, and active to do. After kicking around the going to the driving range, frisbee golf, and a few other ideas, we decided on ice skating. It seemed like a great thing to do in the middle of the summer.

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Most important lesson learned this weekend – Even if it is summer outside, they still keep it cold inside ice skating rinks. It’s really not a great idea to wear shorts.

Oh well. It was a great way to kick off a great weekend! We ended up going out for dinner afterwards at Saints Pub + Patio, and having a great night. The weather was beautiful all weekend, so on Saturday we met Gavin’s aunt and cousin for breakfast and a quick bike ride.

On Sunday, we went to the Kansas City River Market. The River Market is a group of open-air shops and vendors selling everything from produce to artwork to thrift store type stuff. They have a beautiful flower shop that had this beauty in it:

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After perusing all the shops and picking up a few goodies, we posted up on a park bench to enjoy the weather and chat.

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Hope your weekend was wonderful, and gave you a chance to recharge your batteries in preparation for the week ahead. Be sure to check back in!

Super Sweat Countdown Workout

ImageHappy Thursday! Can you believe it is already mid July?! Time flies when you are having fun, I guess.

I have an awesome workout for you today  –  and the best part is that anyone can do a variation of this workout. There are 8 exercises in this workout, and the first time you go through the following sequence, you’ll perform 12 reps of each exercise. The second time through, perform 11 reps of each, then 10 reps of each, etc. When I completed this, it took me around 40 minutes.

Here is the great news: if starting with 12 reps and counting down from there sounds horrible, start with a lower number. Counting down from 10, 8 or even 5 reps will still give you a great workout! Or – start with 12 reps and decrease by 2 each time. So, you could start with 12 reps, then 10, then 8, etc.

Here is the video breakdown of the workout, with modifications of each exercise:

Hope this workout is helpful for you! It’s great because you don’t need any equipment, and can complete it in your home, while traveling, over lunch – whatever works for you!

Thanks for stopping by – let me know what you think of this workout. Hope you have a great day!

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Hope your Tuesday is off to a great start!

Today, I have a quick, fun, and completely customizable project for your home – a table placemat! I purchased the supplies for this project months ago when my mom was in town, and I am finally getting around to finishing starting it.

You will need:

  • 2 pieces heavy home dĂ©cor fabric sized to your preference – I cut mine to 14.5″ x 18″
  • 1 piece of heavy interfacing or light batting cut to the same size as your 2 pieces
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine

Instructions:

  1. Press your pieces of fabric, and place them right sides together. Then, pin along 3 sides – the 2 long ones, and one short side. Leave one short side unpinned.
  2. Sew along the 3 pinned sides, leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  3. Turn the fabric right side out, and press the 3 sides you just sewed. It will look like a little pillowcase 🙂
  4. Place the interfacing or batting inside the fabric, and smooth it out so it lays flat. Be sure that there isn’t any bunching or folds in the interfacing or batting.
  5. Once everything is smooth, fold the ends of the only open side remaining together and pin. Then press all 4 sides.Pin ends
  6. Topstitch along all 4 sides, a quarter inch from the edge.
  7. Sit back and admire your work!Finished placemat

From start to finish, this project took me about 25 minutes. Honestly, the toughest part for me was cutting the fabric in straight lines. Everything else is pretty darn simple.

Let me know if you give this a try, and how it turns out! Have a great day!

Whew! What a wonderful weekend!

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Gavin, Sam and I just got home from our wonderful July 4th weekend. It was awesome to spend a long weekend with friends and family. We were up in central Nebraska at my parent’s house on a small lake. We spend a lot of time laying out, tubing and wakeboarding, swimming, and snacking. It’s the most relaxing place!

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Niece Lauren, Her Dad (my Brother) Bryan, Cousin Emma.

My Mom asked us to plan to make breakfast on the 4th, so we whipped up a few of my favorite varieties of pancakes. Dad couldn’t wait to try them 🙂Image

We had Blueberry and Strawberry pie pancakes (recipe here), Double Chocolate Brownie Batter pancakes (recipe here), and oatmeal pancakes (recipe here). They were all a hit, especially the Double Chocolate, and the perfect way to kick off a day of playing! I even got to see one of my favorite freckle faces, my sister Sara!

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Hope you all had a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!

 

Happy Fourth of July!!

I was hoping to kick this post off with an awesome photo of Gavin, Sam and I on our Fourth of July trip to Salt Lake City last year. Apparently, we didn’t really take pictures anywhere in Utah except the Olympic Training Center in Park City, so here is an awesome photo of us on the luge instead. 🙂Image

Wishing everyone a fun, safe, and happy Fourth of July!

Fit, Fab and Freckled Book Club!!

Each month, I’m going to select a different book for the Fit, Fab and Freckled Book Club. Throughout the month, I am planning to post questions so we can all be in a sort of virtual book club. For this month, the book is (drumroll please!)

book Club - inferno

This book came has been on best seller lists and all that jazz, and I’ve also got quite a few personal recommendations for this book. When the Da Vinci Code (also by Dan Brown) came out, I read it in about 2 days. Here’s hoping Inferno is as engaging!

 

Do you have a favorite book?

Try It Tuesday – Microwave Mug Cake Edition!

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Every Tuesday, I am planning to try a new recipe, craft project, home solution, workout, or something and let you know how it worked for me.

For the very first week, I made a mug cake from Babble.com (click link for recipe).

This was a super easy recipe that only took me about 5 minutes from start to finish. Here are the high points:
– First off, this was delicious!! I will definitely be making it again!
– When I do make it again, I will be sure to mix it better than I did this time. Some of the egg wasn’t whipped up enough, and it stayed together in the cake.
– I may add a few tablespoons of quick oats for a little more texture!
– I think this would be awesome with some unsweetened cocoa powder to make it taste a little more like a brownie .
– The recipe recommends cooking for 1:30 – 2 minutes…1:30 did the trick in my microwave.
– This was the perfect serving size for one or to share with a buddy.
– We didn’t have any ice cream to put on top (which I’m sure would have been perfection in a mug), so we just splashed a bit of almond milk on top to give it a little bit of creaminess.

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All in all, this is a delicious dish! Satisfies the sweet tooth and doesn’t leave you with a bunch of leftovers to snack on for the days to come.

Do you think you this mug cake is something you will try?

Long Walk!

Long Walk on Sunday Afternoon!

Gavin, Sam and I took a 5 mile walk around Lake Jacomo today. It was wonderful: the weather, the scenery, the company, all perfect. We’ve been lucky here in KC – it’s unseasonably cool, so being out during the middle of the day is bearable.

Walks of any length can be a great way to prep for a running event. They get you used to being on your feet, moving, and getting your heart rate up. Starting with just a 10 minute walk can get you on your way to 5K!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my first ‘real’ post! Hopefully this is the first of many!