Friday, September 30, 2011

Kiss Dry Goodbye part 2

I am a blogging fool today. The workout is done, and I have now showered using the Biolage products from shespeaks. The shampoo is GREAT! It has a pleasant citrusy floral scent. It lathers really well. After using it my hair felt pretty dry, but of course I still needed to condition. I used the hair masque next. It also has a great scent. I don't know how I feel about the jar. It is a cream, so it comes in a jar, not a bottle. I have never used anything like this, so I was a little unsure how much to use. I took out what looked like about the same amount of conditioner that I normally use. I left it in at least 3 mins. The jar says 3-5, but I didn't bring a timer in with me. After rinsing my hair felt good. I toweled dried it and combed it out. Not tangles. I then used my blow dryer. Even after blow drying, it still feels soft. The masque says to use a few times a week. I will probably only use it once a week. I may also share these with my oldest daughter. Other than coloring and the occasional blow dry, I don't do a lot to damage my hair and dry it out. I realize just being dries it out. She on the other hand colors, blow drys, flat irons, curls etc. You know typical teen stuff. This may be just what her hair needs. I would recommend both of these products to people. These are items that can only be sold in a salon. I will keep you updated. TTFN

Kiss Dry Goodbye

Thanks to shespeaks, I went to a local salon, Hair Inc. and got a great new cut and color. I was also given a full size Biolage hydratherapie shampoo, and a Biolage Aqua Immersion Creme Masque to try at home.

At first I wasn't too sure about the salon. It is located inside Crabtree Valley Mall, by the food court no less. I however soon became impressed with my stylist Evelyn. She is very experienced in color mixing and worked for Aveda for a time. The prices with my cool shespeaks salon discount weren't bad, and I love my new cut and color. Take a look for yourself.



I will probably go back to the salon, because they are not just another mall salon. But, I do still miss Brandon at Ciao Bella.

I plan on using the shampoo and conditioner later today after my work out and will let you know what I think.

BTW, if you haven't checked out shespeaks yet, please do. They are very cool. They ask women their oppinion on various products and services. I have gotten all kinds of free stuff, and lets face it, every little bit counts right. TTFN

Scarf pictures

Okay so it took two days. The blocking was a little more time consuming than I would have liked. Then I had to wait for good light. The pictures do NOT do the color justice at all. When it was damp for blocking you could totally see the lavender in it. I love this scarf. It is light and airy and soft. I LOVE alpaca silk blends! I just wish I could afford to knit with them all the time.
Here is the before.

And the after.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's on your needles Wednesday #3

First let me say, has it really been a week since I last blogged. Wow! As of right now. I have nothing on needles. Kind of a strange feeling. I finished the scarf a little earlier today. I need to work in a couple of ends and block it. I will take before and after blocking pictures to share. Right now, unblocked it is kind of ruffly looking. I was going for more soft and drapey. I hope the blocking helps. I would really like to start a new pair of socks, but haven't unpacked the sock yarn yet. Before we moved I organized and regrouped all my yarns. Right now the only yarn I have unpacked is cotton. So I guess my next projects will be dishrags/wash cloths and can/bottle covers(koozies) Not terribly exciting, but will use my stash none the less. Of course, that may inspire me to finish unpacking the garage so I can find my sock yarns. I will take and hopefully post pictures tomorrow. I have way better light during the day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's on your needles Wednesday #2

Well, I still have the scarf on my needles. I have made pretty good progress and am over half way done. However, as it is a detailed lacey pattern, I have to focus when I am knitting. That apparently means I can't knit it while I am watching something interesting on tv like Dateline or 20/20. When I did that this weekend, I kept making mistakes and needing to tink back a row. And then try to figure out what row I was supposed to be on. It was really bad. There were even a few times that I knit a row instead of purling and vice versa. The strangest thing is usually I have a 3 mistakes and done for the night rule, and I totally exceeded that and just kept right on going. I really want to get this done. Of course then I would need to find my yarn as I have nothing to work on next. I will post pictures when it is done. Something to look forward to right? TTFN

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weekend and workouts

Early Saturday morning the kids and I piled into the car and drove to Richmond. Gwen had an orthodontist appointment. I know it seems strange to drive there after we have moved, but we have paid our portion and hopefully she is almost done, so a couple hour drive every few months doesn't seem too bad. Getting up at 5 on a Saturday made it feel like a poor decision. The best part was of course I could see my friends who I miss desperately. The kids all had friends to spend time with too. We only planned on staying Saturday and driving home on Sunday. That is what we did, but it was not nearly enough time. Visits with friends felt SUPER rushed. I really would have liked to have driven up on Friday, but the kids really wanted to go to the football game. Because I am a great mom, I let them. Next month I am going to push for driving down on Friday. It will be my birthday weekend and therefore I get my way. Right? I am sure two days will also not be enough time, but it will have to do.

Unfortunately I did not workout on either Saturday or Sunday. I had planned on hoping on the treadmill on Sunday, but didn't. Not to make excuses, but I slept poorly in a strange bed, and after a 3 hour drive I just wanted to put my pajamas on and climb in bed. So I did. I certainly paid for it on Monday. The workout was hard. I did realize when I was almost done that I had gone further, faster and burned more calories. I am beginning to push myself. My calves hurt and I tell myself this is a positive. Today was the same. Faster, further and more calories. Yeah! The bad, or maybe good part is that I have stared to talk to myself during the workout. I chant positive affirmations. I sure hope no one walks in while I am doing it. I am my own trainer. If it makes me stronger, healthier, thinner and sexier, I am all for it. One week in. No weight lost, none gained. Clothes don't fit any different and except for my calves and ankles hurting I don't feel different. I sure hope I see changes soon.

I have also signed up for a Self workout. It is designed to drop 8 lbs in a month (2 a week). I will not being doing the exact plan. My treadmill only has 2 inclines and I have to stop it to change it. I like the strength workout. I can't wait to try it tomorrow, or maybe even later today. Plus the pork chop recipe for dinner sounds pretty good. Bonus, I don't have to think about dinner! I may even get the ingredients for the black bean brownies and try to sneak them to my kids. TTFN

Friday, September 16, 2011

workout day 4

Yes I know I skipped day 3, but I did workout. Day 3 was so much easier than the previous 2. I think it was because of the fan. My girls have big fans mounted on the walls in their rooms. Not sure why but they are there. While walking I considered switching the office with Gwen's room so I could put the treadmill in front of the fan. My thinking was the little fan feels so good, wouldn't a big fan feel better? Craig vetoed the idea. He doesn't want to carry the treadmill upstairs. Plus, the office doesn't have a closet and Gwen needs a closet. Dang!

Today's workout was harder than yesterdays. But, I realized that I was walking faster today, than yesterday. Much faster in fact. So that would explain why it was harder. Right now I just want to go back to bed. I am so tired. But, I have much to do so I won't.

Tomorrow I have to get up early and drive to Richmond. Gwen has an orthodontist appointment at nine. Finding time to fit a workout in will be tough. Charlene and I may need to go for a walk like old times. Sunday we will drive home. Once again a workout will need to be snuck in there.

My trying to establish this habit has rubbed off on Craig. He got up yesterday and went for a run. He hasn't done that in awhile and paid for it the rest of the day. Apparantly his calf tightened up on him and bothered him the rest of the day. Of course he didnt stretch enough and didnt hydrate and refused to eat a banana. So I have little sympathy for him. I just hope he keeps it up. TTFN

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rosetta Stone

My kids are taking Spanish 2 this year. Gwen was supposed to be in Spanish 2 honors, but they don't offer that here. I think this is a good thing. You see she is behind what they expected her to know coming in. Gwen did REALLY well in Spanish last year. Right now she has a low C. Everyday is a struggle. I am also beginning to think her teacher isn't very good. I have tried to help her. My Spanish is super rusty, but I am better than nothing. I have shown her web sites that will help. I have offered to tape vocab all over the house for her. Right now the main problem is vocab and verb tenses. So, I bought Rosetta Stone. I bought versions 1-5 off of Craig's list. Brand new and for a great price. I messed around with it the first day. It seemed pretty good. I did have one complaint. Within the lessons is a section where you practice pronunciation. I can speak Spanish well. I have had native speakers compliment my accent. Rosetta Stone doesn't like it. This is VERY frustrating to me, and I know how to say the word. It is SUPER frustrating to my kids. Clarece is really the only one using it, and she has never taken Spanish. So far she has picked up a few words. I am impressed. Gwen hasn't even touched it. She has been busy though. Maybe this weekend.

Today I think I figured out how to make the pronunciation part work. You need to speak pretty slow for the computer to pick up the words and sometimes need to break the words into syllables. This is pretty hard for me to do as I don't speak Spanish slow like that. I do have a friend that ask me on facebook last night if we had problems with this part as her daughter did with her French one and hasn't touched it since. This brings me to a few questions. Has anyone else tried Rosetta Stone? What do you think of it? What problems/concerns did you have? TTFN

What's on your needles Wednesday #1

Lately my posts have not been about knitting or any kind of crafts. It seems the "other stuff" has taken over this blog. So, I decided to commit to at least one post a week on knitting and crafts. I am calling it "what's on your needles Wednesday". I will post what I am working on, and hope others will comment on what they are working on. Since my blogging hiatus during nursing school, I don't know if anyone is still reading this, but maybe this will get some people here.

I am currently knitting a scarf. The pattern is called Ocean Currents. It is from a book by Sheryl Thies called, Ocean Breezes. I have chosen to knit this in an alpaca silk blend that I purchased from Hermes Alpacas in Midlothian VA. In the move I seem to have misplaced the label, but I think I am knitting it in Twilight. However I am not sure. The color is sort of a pinkish purplish brown. Hard to explain and I don't think the picture does it justice. I LOVE this yarn. It is SO soft. The owner of the farm had knit this scarf up in a greenish color and had it on display at a craft fair I attended. This is why I chose this pattern and yarn combo. I think this yarn is making for a lacier version of this scarf. I started this scarf last December while finishing up my third semester of nursing school. I decided a few months ago that I was knitting it too tight. This is a "problem" of mine. Usually it doesn't matter, but in this case I think I was making it impossible to lay flat and blocking wouldn't have helped. I have restarted it. I am almost back to where I was before ripping it out. It has a light airy quality to it. I have no idea if it will lay flat, but I am not ripping it out again. I was thinking the other day that I may knit this scarf again in another yarn just to compare the two. Hopefully I will finish this scarf this week and have something new "on my needles" next week. Please let me know what you are working on. TTFN

Workout Day 2

I am one day closer to a new habit. I sure hope so. Today's workout went pretty good. I stayed on the treadmill longer than yesterday but not as long as I want. It is a baby step. I think it is better to set your goals high and work towards them than to make them completely manageable. The workout felt better than yesterday. I have a feeling today I will be sore though. My calves are killing me right now. No amount of stretching is helping. I am not concerned about the number on the scale. That will come in time. Right now I just want to build some stamina. I also need to find our fan. The treadmill is in the office, which has 2 huge windows with southern exposure. There is so much sun coming in that room even with the blinds down and the air on that room is warm. I really need a fan blowing on me like at the gym. That will be one goal for tomorrow. One that will hopefully be easy to achieve, hard to say though because my kids had it last. TTFN

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Starting a routine

So ever since the move, and my not being in school, I have been trying to lose the weight I should never have put back on again. I can give all kinds of excuses like moving into temporary housing and eating out made it hard to make good choices. However, they are just excuses. I knew full well how to make healthy choices from a menu. I know all about portion control. I have many tools at my disposal to work out, I just chose not too. I have heard and I am sure there are studies to back this up that to make a new routine a habit you need to do it for 30 days. That may be true, but I have also found that even a several year old habit of eating well, and excercising and be broken in just a couple days.

My husband tells me if I work out, I will feel better and sleep better. I'm not convinced. It never worked before. That being said, today after putting it off as long as I could, I hopped onto the treadmill. I will admit, I didnt stay on as long as I had planned. But at least I did it right? Tomorrow I will stay on longer.

I have been eating better. We almost never eat fast food, or out at all for that matter. I avoid box type dinners and try to make everything from scratch. I am loosing weight. Slowly. Research says that is the best way to loose it. I am hoping that my workouts kick it up a notch. They never have before, but I am holding out hope. When I initially lost this troublesome weight. I did it with weight watchers. I counted my points and measured everything. I didnt really work out. If I did, I didnt lose weight. I couldn't bank points, I had to use them. The problem was I wasn't hungry. So I was forcing myself to eat, and often times things that were not good for me(ice cream) to use up my excercise points so I could still lose that week. I kept that weight off for 2 years until we moved. No excuses, just bad choices. I worked at it and lost almost all of the weight again, and we moved again. When we first lived in Richmond, my friend Charlene and I walked nearly everyday, and the weight was starting to come back off. But, Charlene went back to work and we stopped walking. We both complained that we were gaining weight, but we never got back into it. Without that friend for motivation it didnt work. Craig suggested we join a gym. He was my motivation, or so I hoped. However, he quickly grew bored and stopped coming. I continued going, working out, 30 mins of cardio, 15 of weights almost everyday. I didnt lose any weight at all. I continued going hoping I was at a plateau and would soon break it. Then I got the flu...There was a point when I was sick that I wished I would die. I felt so bad. I was out of the gym for a week and lost 10 lbs.(not the way you want to). I could never get back into the routine of going. Then I started school. I didn't gain weight in school, but I sure didnt lose it either.

So now, I eat fresh food, fruits and veggies, and much smaller portions,and as of today I am working out again. Wish me luck! While I want to wear a smaller size, for me it is also about health. I want to be there for my family. I also want to be able to enjoy the time I have with them.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


It has been so long since I posted any knitting or craft project. I have been working on stuff, just not much. Lets see, I finished a quilt.
This picture is before it was quilted, but you get the idea. I have knit several pairs of socks. When my mom and dad came to visit in May, I learned to make a fabulous table runner. So, I made a few of them.

I also made a cupcake one for Valerie for her birthday,and a red and black floral one. I will try to post pictures of those later.
Most recently (yesterday) I finished a fabri Knit hat. I bought this in a kit several years ago(maybe while I was in Minnesota). The fabric looks sort of like a bandana. The pattern was a simple knit 3 purl 2. The hat turned out kind of cute. I wasn't too sure while I was working on it, but it worked out ok. The fabric wanted to twist and fold strangely. It was hard on my hands to knit as it really didnt want to slip like yarn would. I would need to knit a few rows and then rest, or the pain would almost be unbearable. It reminded me of when my tendonitis would flare up, and I couldn't type. Fortunately the hat is done. It will most likely turn out like many of my interesting medium projects and be a one and done. I can honestly say I prefer to knit with yarn.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Yesterday one of the bloggers I read (Jessica)had a post about issues she was having with her almost teenage daughter. I want to share it with you all as it is something I experience quite regularly. I am so tired of hearing the words but everyone else does/has. The last few weeks it has been concerning the dress code at their school. Apparently the dress codes is rather loosely enforced. The girls are supposed to wear shorts that are no shorter than finger tip length. No thin straps. No bra straps showing. No midriffs showing. You get the picture. Any of you that have tried to find shorts that are not too short know the challenge I have been up against for the last few years. Couple that with girls who have really long arms. Gwen practically has to wear Bermuda shorts to comply with the dress code. The first week she came home and told us that everyone wore short shorts and no one cared. After a week of this with both her and Clarece, I had to finally explain to them once again that I didn't care what everyone else did they would not. I explained that they signed a paper agreeing to a dress code and they would abide by it. I explained that I have never been swayed by what other parents do. Their father and I make decisions to raise them the way we see best. Often times it is contrary to what others do. I don't care. My kids don't have cell phones. Yes sometimes I think it would make things easier. Yes the older 2 who are 15 will soon have them. But honestly, I am not sure why so many kids have them. My kids do not get email or facebook until they are 13. That is the rule, no exceptions. When we were preparing to move, my youngest ask for an email to keep in contact with her friends. I told her to use mine. She followed with all her friends had one. Once again...I don't care. Please take a moment to read Jessica's blog. It is really good.