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Friday, December 09, 2011


I whipped this half dozen up for a secret santa gift I'm making for a fellow member of an online crafting community I frequent.

This secret santa is going so great. Not only am I having fun, I finally tried out doing a blanket stitch (on the spatula--it's felt sewn around cardboard--only one little dab of glue at the joint to help keep it really stiff) and I LOVE it. It looks so neat and it's really easy. But I think the best part is, I haven't spent anything on the gift yet (the idea is you make a $10-20 something). All the supplies were in my craft stash (except the cardboard which was the back of a legal notebook I had laying around).

Next up: The Baker Sock Monkey. Sock monkeys are kind of my "thing" so making that should be no problem (it's a classic Rockford Redheel monkey, very "retro"). His/her apron and oven mits might be more challenging. But I need the finished monkey before I can rough up a pattern for the clothes. Once I get the pattern, making the items shouldn't be that hard. But I might have to actually BUY something for the apron (might need some fusable tape to help stiffen the ties for the apron).

Oh, and there will be THREE oven mits. One for each hand and one for the tail!

(and yes, I might have skipped yoga last night because I was caught up in my "baking"--but I've decided December will be a "free and easy" month, where I can make changes and be super flexible with everything and kind of really practice "maintenance")

Merry Craftmas!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-POOKIE- 12/15/2011 11:00AM

    Thats awesome!

Im making real cookies for my secret santa partner for work, "everything cookies", chunky with fudge, chocolate chunks, broken pretzels etc

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Ch-ch-ch-changes! (or "I am The Ball Whisperer")

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The "it gets better" campaign is not just for bullied teens.

I'm extending it to flabby adults who exercise regularly. In particular, 35 year old fat women who have to spend 30 minutes flopping around on a giant ball.

Guess what dvd came back up on the S90D schedule yesterday?

Welcome back, Ultimate Ball. Notice I didn't trot out the lame "bawl" joke this time? Yeah, know why?

Because I am THE BALL WHISPERER. (wait. . .didn't I see a porn with that title. . .oops, no dirty talk on "the spark". . .*smirks*)

Last nights half and hour with The Ball was SO much better than any other appointment. Yes, I did still have one spectacular buck off (in which I gracelessly crashed into my coffee table and a tool box sitting next to it--OUCH) and a few less than graceful dismounts (meaning I didn't roll back on The Ball after the exercise but just slid from it onto my knees--there was just no energy to haul my fat back to starting position) but overall it was VERY good.

The hard exercises were still hard (like plank on one foot and pikes and those truly effed up skier things--honestly, I'm not sure I'll ever do that one perfectly, what with my lack of coordination) but I was far more confident on The Ball and much more coordinated. And I was stronger in my core, able to really DO everything since I didn't fall off The Ball nearly as much. AND, the one legged moves (you do one legged squats and lunges--meaning one leg on The Ball to do the move) were SO much better (thanks in small part to my fingertips ever so lightly grazing the t.v. stand--furniture training wheel for the win!).

But strangest of all. . .

I was LOOKING FORWARD to this date with Ultimate Ball. I wanted the variety it brought and to see if I had improved (and I wanted a shorter dvd because I'm feeling all crafty lately and just want to get my exercise done as quickly and efficiently as possible so I can do something more fun).

And today I'm feeling it in my abs, in particular my obliques (that's the side stuff, right?) and the hip area. It's not horrible pain or anything, but just a slightly sore awareness of my core in general. Some of it could be residual ache from the Back/Bi dvd (my upper back and rib meat is cranky today from that--hate one day soreness delay!) but either way. . .

It feels GOOD to be a little sore/achy. It's like having proof that I really did my best and I'm getting results (even if I did fall off The Ball or had to use lighter weights for some exercises on a previous dvd).

Oh, and my ablings (not full abs yet, still too much fat over them) are definitely more visible. I can see exactly where my "six pack" would be if I chose to really put all the effort into getting them (since "abs are made in the kitchen" and I just don't have the desire to eat all the rice and fish and whatnot to really re-build AbTown, I'm ok with AbTown remaining a bit run down and slum like).

After a positive experience with The Ball, I trotted out my foam roller and gave the crabby muscles a good smooshing. They rejoiced (and I sighed and grunted like a farm animal taking a big dump--felt SO good) and made me feel less silly for spending $20 on that goofy hunk of foam (yeah, I got a hearty eye-rolling from my wife when I bought it).

Here's to the rest of December staying upbeat like these last few days have been. (getting my crafting on is really helping keep the funky moods at bay).

Keep on keeping on with your exercises. It DOES get better!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTABOUTHEFACE 12/8/2011 11:27AM

    Get it girl! Major props to the ball whisperer...dirty or not.

We don't have a ball so we don't do that workout but we are doing the shoulder one tonight and that should confirm that I would be less sore falling 3 stories to the ground. But sore is good.

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Supreme 90 Days: Review: Back/Bis

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

First up, I broke my cardinal rule. I didn't preview this dvd before I did it. Honestly, I didn't realize it was new (and it might not be--I can't be arsed to look up if it's hit the rotation yet, so this could be a double review, too).

Major things to know about this dvd:

It's long. 45 minutes running time. That's like a year in S90D time. If it runs that long then that means it will most likely take you longer to do it (as is the case with a lot of the strength training dvds--you have to pause to get your reps done).

It involves The Ball. But only a bit and nothing too hard (if you can survive Ultimate Ball you'll be well prepared for "balling" in this dvd).

It has the funky production that I just don't think I like so much. Normally the S90D dvds have the exercise demonstrated by the folks doing the dvd right before they do it. But on a few of them (Back/Bi and there's one other but the name eludes me now) it cuts to one demonstrator who shows the move as Tom's voice over describes it. It's done pretty well so you can really see what's expected BUT it's a bit annoying when you're doing the dvd (and it adds to the running time).

Overall, this is a pretty solidly tough workout. You start with a core set of 4 exercises (techncially 3, since one is side plank lifts and each side is considered a separate exercise) then move on to 4 (if memory serves) rounds of weight lifting exercises (4 sets of 3-4 exercies done 3 times through--yeah, you're going to be tired).

There are moves you've done before (bicep curls for example) but with a little twist put on them (you do "basic" bicep curls then you do one where you curl more to the outside of your arm and another time you do concentration curls--same basic move but changed just a bit). Then there are moves that are new or compounded with other moves to make them more grueling (like deadlifts to rows--yeah, you do a full deadlift move--down then back up then deadlift down again and do a row--separate each move isn't that taxing but together I was wimping out).

Overall there weren't any moves that were so new/complicated I couldn't catch on pretty quickly. That's not to say it wasn't challenging and (yet again) humbling. I had to drop down to 5 lb weights for the third round of one move (hinge at the waist then press weights out in an "overhead" fashion). I also had to trot out my 8 lb weights as I got fatigued. But I also managed to do some moves with my highest weights (12 lbs for plank rows--full 12 reps for 3 sets--I was slow but I got it done--barely!).

The one big negative of this dvd is the cooldown. The generic one (used on all the dvds) is just not sufficient for this workout. You don't really need the lower body stretches (hardly tax the lower body at all) but you REALLY need to properly stretch the arms/shoulders/back area after this one. I had my normal forward folds and got out my yoga strap and did some shoulder stretches then did some chest openers. I also got on my back to do some spinal twists (focusing on the lower back--that move that had me going down to 5 lb weights really got my lower back fired up--not hurt or anything but really working).

I'd also recommend getting out the foam roller and rollering your back and shoulders a day or so after this one. This morning I'm still feeling a bit tight/stiff in my upper body and a good rollering should fix that up no problem.

Bottom line: Another solid workout but one you need to have time to do at your pace so you can maintain good form and challenge yourself with heavy weights (though your first time through, I'm a fan of "babying" myself and allowing lighter weights while I get the moves down pat).

It felt good to get back to the strength training dvds after a run of more cardio based ones (I'm sure it's designed that way--give your muscles a week long break while you cardio yourself before getting back to the muscle work).

Supreme 90 Day is continuing to prove worth the monetary investment.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTABOUTHEFACE 12/7/2011 10:45AM

    I'm screaming sore from doing that one last night too!! We did a 15 minute HIIT session just before it. Idiots. So 70 minutes later we were a sweaty, sore mess. This is a LONG workout but works the muscles really well so I suppose that's the ultimate goal anyway. We always do our own cooldowns because I need to turn Tom off asap before I throw the remote at him.

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Zero Calorie BACON!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Didn't think it was possible, did you?


(just in time for christmas)

Hee hee! Made you look!

I whipped this sweet little bacon tree ornament up during my lunch break. I just need to put a cute little face on him (or her) and s/he'll be ready to give away for christmas.

(not that bacon is really that bad calorie wise, just so you know--but it is a sodium punch to the throat and pretty fatty--but oh so yummy!)

Tis the season for crafts. I think I'll make up another of these for the craft exchange I'm doing.

Merry Craftmas!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-POOKIE- 12/7/2011 9:25AM


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CATLADY52 12/6/2011 6:59PM

    Whip me up a batch! Cute idea. emoticon

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TONYA46 12/6/2011 5:31PM

    Hey Sparkers,

If anyone is interested, I found a turkey bacon that looks like bacon, and tasted like, and has 100 mg of sodiumper slice and the slice are not thin. It's Sam's Club, Members Mark Turkey Bacon.

I don't like turkey bacon, but when I changed some of the things I ate, I happened upon this bacon, it is absolutely good to be a turkey bacon and it low in sodium.

Hope some of you will try to find and try it..... I promise you won't ever eat regular bacon again..... emoticon...It's been a year now since I have had regular pork bacon.

Keep Sparking!!!!!

Comment edited on: 12/6/2011 5:32:51 PM

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SHRINKINGLULU 12/6/2011 4:56PM


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SPAYYOURCAT 12/6/2011 3:52PM

    BLT = Bacon, lace and thread emoticon

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    HA! I thought it was going to be that bacon scented air freshener! Too cute!

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SIMPLYDEE 12/6/2011 2:18PM

    lol when you find the real thing let us know

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KEEP_GOING247 12/6/2011 1:47PM

    Aww you got me all excited!!! LOL. Happy holidays

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Yoga: Changing more than just my body

Monday, December 05, 2011

I had TWO good lightbulb moments recently and BOTH were born in yoga.

At the top of the month the yoga schedule changed all around. I can still get my Monday and Thursday yoga on but it's earlier and there's a new instructor. So I had to re-work my whole exercise schedule not once but TWICE. First just to have the time to get everything done (had to not do an S90D workouts on yoga day--just not enough time between getting home from work and leaving for yoga). Then, once I got the feel for the new instructor, I realized I had ZERO energy to do a workout and then the kick ass yoga flow class she runs (thankfully she only abuses me on Mondays, my regular instructor runs the Thursday class which is not as hot and not as crazy cardio vigorous).

Of course the schedule change had some of the regulars (from the class I had been doing) all a twitter. One woman and I were lamenting how "hard" the new Monday class is. She seemed more miffed/saddened by the change and (as shocking as it sounded coming out of my own mouth) I replied "But change is good. It's a nice challenge to do something different and harder." She looked at me like I was some kind of sage. And the kicker was, I wasn't blowing smoke up her ass. I really BELIEVED what I said. I enjoy the harder class because it is harder and different from what I was used to (and that sucker is HOT, too--I haven't done a hot class in months, so just that alone is a huge challenge).

But even more shocking, I had a total "shame on you for being judgy" moment, too. The sceond Monday I was trying out the new instructor/class, I go into the studio and there is this gaggle of three 20-something women clustered together and chatting away. I couldn't help but overhear their conversation and it was just what I would have expected. Vapid, inane babble about boyfriends and shopping. I'm not making that up or over imbelishing. One chick was clearly the ring leader and was holding the conversation hostage yapping about some "stalker" on facebook and just every cliche "snotty girl" thing you've ever heard (complete with over use of "like").

So of course I immediately think "bitches" and radiate that low level hate that is born in my own insecurity. They MUST be yoga bunnies who can just bend and twist and do every move and are freaking perfect and I'm going to look like a big ass loser next to them and why do they even have to be here, ruining my day and making me feel so self conscious and now this class is going to suck forever if they're always here and change really sucks and I hate the world and these three bitches. . .

You get the idea.

And then I listen a bit more and I realize that the ring leader has done yoga before but her two minions may not have. She's giving them pointers on what will happen and reassuring them.

I was shamed. They weren't some "queen bee" bitches set to ruin "my" yoga. They were beginners just like I had been back in the day. Shame, shame, everyone knows my name (though I do still find them annoying).

You'd think I woud have known better then to just have knee jerk "hate" toward someone, what with my experience the very first Monday I tried the new class. This super skinny (and I automatically assumed--correctly--super flexible) chick saddled up next to me and I immediately thought "oh great, the skinny bitch has to camp out next to me and make me feel all self conscious--I hate her already". She was clearly more well versed in the class (knew the routine better than my newby self) but to my SHOCK she took breaks, rolling back into child's pose when it got super intense and plain out skipping one sequence all together. Now I don't normally pay that close attention to what others do but the class was pretty packed so I was right up in her business. And seeing her doing her own yoga reminded me that I needed to pay attention to my own mat, to do MY yoga for MY body and MY mind for that particular day. She obviously wasn't judging me so why was I wasting my time judging her (or even caring what she did at all).

Holy crap, yoga is really changing me. I'm more flexible and toned and I'm also becoming less freaked out by changes and slowly getting more comfortable with myself so I can be less judgemental toward others.

Well what do you know about that? This whole exercising and weight loss thing really IS a lifestyle change.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCHENPOSSIBLE 12/11/2011 11:50PM

    I'm always worried about people looking at me during yoga and judging me. But I had a sort of epiphany like you explained above. This is MY practice and I can't be hung up on whether someone is watching me or not. I'm there to do me, by getting longer and leaner. Hope you had an excellent class.

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MISTYBLUE716 12/11/2011 6:22PM

    I recently developed a love for yoga...definitely something I know I MUST incorporate at least 2-3 times a week with my workouts...its awesome to work up a sweat but not having to go full out intense and learn some stress relief in the mix!

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7WORSHIPS 12/9/2011 9:58AM

  emoticon emoticon I find that yoga does in fact change you. In addition to helping me get my blood pressure down to normal, I find it helps me find my center of peace, thus leading to more peace with myself and others. And of course being more flexible helps with all the other type exercises!

Change is indeed good!

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SHRINKINGLULU 12/5/2011 1:45PM

    Change is good!!! Especially the kind that's happening in you! You're doing emoticon

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