Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Exercise Week 2

It's funny how in just one short week a goal you thought you could maintain doesn't work out so well. I am finding myself at that place right now as I'm writing this update. This past week I've found it difficult to keep up with my exercise routine. My original plan was to use my ab lounge and do my favorite Jane Fonda Aerobics workout video five times a week. I've quickly realized that this isn't a realistic goal for me and so we have our new goal:

I would like to do the Jane Fonda Aerobics workout video at least THREE times each week (my weekly updates run Wednesday to Wednesday). I would still like to use the ab lounge five times  a week since that doesn't take nearly as much time and doesn't put me in a soaking sweat which would require a shower.

Being soaked in sweat after the video workout is one thing I am really disliking. The main reason is because I have to take a shower so that's a good 1 hour every day that I'm spending working out and showering. Not that I don't want to workout, its the showering that's bugging me.  That and my body isn't used to working so hard so I have some super sore leg & butt muscles that need a break inbetween workouts.

{photo via 30 Day Fitness Challenges}

I was talking to one of my sisters and she told me she wanted to do one of those 30-Day-Challenge workouts on Pinterest. She and a friend were going to work through it together. I asked her what you had to do for it and she said all you have to do is a certain amount of squats every day. I was like, "oh I can do that!" So I will be joining them on that for the next 30 days. We got through the first three days of the challenge this week!

Workout Info for Week 2
Wednesday, April 2: nothing.
Thursday, April 3: nothing.
Friday, April 4: nothing.
Saturday, April 5: nothing.
Sunday, April 6: Jane Fonda Aerobics video, 2 sets of 20 on ab lounge.
Monday, April 7: 50 squats.
Tuesday, April 8: 55 squats. 2/20 ab lounge, JF Aerobics video.
Wednesday, April 9: 60 squats, 2/20 ab lounge

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

After Pregnancy Style

Something I thought before I gave birth: I would finally have a flat stomach and be able to wear my old clothes again. The truth? haha!!! After giving birth I felt like I had a 4-months-pregnant belly. Yes it was much smaller than right before delivering, but oh to my disappointment it was no where near flat! And unlike the real 4-months-pregnant belly, this one is squishy and weird instead of firm and cute.

After giving birth I attempted to wear some of my old clothes again. Having bad luck in getting my old clothes to fit right I finally decided it was time to clean out the closet. Since I am also breastfeeding I have a whole other area of my body that was definitely bigger than the pre-birth body which made many of my tops not fit right either. I know some things might fit again with consistent exercise and healthy eating, but there are quite a few things I'm certain will never fit again.

The closet clean out when better than I expected. It was really sad to see some of my favorites go, but it was also really nice to have enough space to hang all my clothes in my closet (before I had them in multiple places because they didn't all fit in the main closet...yes, I'm aware that I have a lot of clothes).

Not too long after I cleaned out my closet a friend passed along some of her clothes that she no longer wanted. The best thing? A lot of them were super cute, most of them fit me, and quite a few of them were my favorite brand: Old Navy!!! Couldn't get much better than that, right?!

These photos were taken about 6 weeks apart. You can totally tell that I'm starting to lose weight!

I've taken two outfit photos since having a baby. I'm not thrilled with the first outfit or the way it fits me. I think there is going to be a lot of adjusting to the way my body looks now that I didn't even think about before giving birth. I started working out a few weeks ago (beginning of April) and already I can tell a difference in my body! The second outfit is close to three weeks of working out consistently. This process is taking some time and a lot of effort, but I am willing to do what's necessary to feel good about myself again.

I'm hopeful that some of the new clothes I was given will make some cute outfits. If I get something on that I feel really cute in I'll try to get pics so I can share the outfits with you. Until then my sister and I put together some Sister Style posts so that we're not completely lacking in the outfit ideas department while I get back in shape!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Adding A Personal Touch To Baby Thank You Notes

My mom raised me to write thank you notes and I remember writing them all the time as a kid. However, since moving out on my own I have had a difficult time keeping up with thank you's. For example: I still haven't written wedding thank you's even though I bought the cards and stamps right away. I know. That's awful... The reason they aren't done right now? I lost the list of people I was supposed to write thank you's to!

I thought these Hallmark cards {I bought at Walmart} were appropriate for sending boy thank you's!

Anyway, I promised myself I wouldn't take so long to send out thank you's to all the people who gave us gifts for Little Man. And at three months old his thank you cards are written, signed, and waiting for stamps so I can mail them off! I feel quite accomplished!

I wanted to add a little something from LM. I thought putting a tracing of his hand in each card would be the perfect thing to do. Little did I realize how difficult it was to hold a child, hold their hand and trace their hand all at the same time! If you try doing this then I suggest getting someone to hold the baby while you do the hand holding and finger tracing parts. That's what I ended up doing and it worked out SO much better.

Here is a pic of us holding his little baby hand in the right spot so we could trace his fingers. It was a little difficult, but they turned out really cute and I'm glad I did this!

After it was done I wrote his name and put "3 months" in the hand print so the person receiving the card would know how old he was when it was traced. I thought this was especially cool since most of the gifts we received were from out of state friends & family who don't get to be apart of his every day growing up (I'm from Oklahoma, hubby is from Mississippi).

I just wanted to share this with you all since I thought it was a neat idea. I didn't see it anywhere or anything like that. Usually my ideas stem from Pinterest stuff, but not this one! It's all Blue Eyed Beauty original!!!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

DIY No-Pin Skirt Hem

I recently made a LOT of new jean skirts. Most of them have been for myself, but I made some for my little sister, and some for a few other people. One day I was really getting frustrated with pinning the hem of a skirt so I decided to try something new. And it worked so well that I made the rest of the skirt hems the same way!

Step 1: Make your skirt! If you're doing a denim skirt from jeans, go ahead and do all the steps up to making the hem line. If you need a tutorial I have several to choose from:

Step 2: Once your skirt is made up to the point of being hemmed, go ahead and check the bottom to see that the inserted pieces are fairly even with the leg part of the pants. I know the bottom of the skirt in this photo doesn't really look even, but it is.

Step 3: Take the skirt to the sewing machine. Start on either one of the side seams and fold it over just as wide as the presser foot of your sewing machine. **Hint: You don't start in the front or back because it will be more obvious when you're finished.

This is the edge of the skirt where you should start sewing. I used a pin to hold flat the flaps so you could see what it should look like before you sew. I only used the pin so I could take the photo.

Step 4: Sew around the bottom of the skirt, keeping the fabric folded so that it is just as wide as the presser foot all the way around the bottom. Once this is done continue on.

Step 5: Now, fold the hem part that you just worked so that the folded edge is even with the left side of the presser foot and the bottom edge is even with the 3 mark on your sewing machine. Start on one of the side seams (see hit in step 3) and work all the way around, keeping the fabric even as you go.

The underside of the skirt will have two lines of stitching, but the top or outside of it will only have one.

Step 6: Remove any excess threads, and you're done!

Here are some photos of the finished skirt hem:

And here is a photo of my sister and I rocking some of our other skirts where I used this same no-pin skirt hem:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cloth Diapering | Getting The Stains Out

Since we've been cloth diapering I hadn't figured out how to get the stains out of the diapers. Being the forgetful person that I am, I didn't put bleach in the diapers when they were being washed in the washer for the first two months. I kept meaning to do that, but every time I went to wash diapers it wouldn't even cross my mind to add bleach to them. Well, one day I finally did remember to use bleach in the diapers and my stain problems are  now resolved!!!

Little Man has yellow poop. It can be quite gross, and the worst part was when there were poop-explosion-diapers with it everywhere! Ugh. I hate changing those, but it's even worse to clean them out! Yuck. Anyway, because of these PED's almost all of the cloth diapers and their covers had yucky yellow stains on them. It was quite annoying. I will say that with one wash almost all of the diapers came out sparkling white again (there were a few that had light hints of stain, but after being washed the next round with bleach they look fine too). I've taken a comparison photo so you can see the diapers as they were before I did one bleach washing and after that wash cycle:

Even our cat, Demi, prefers the bleached diapers! I picked him up and moved him several times, and each time
he went right back to the bleached diaper!

Bleach will now be a regular part of the wash cycle! I have been using just a little bleach in every load of diapers that I wash. So far I have no bad things to say about doing this. The diapers almost always look great (occasionally when there's a really bad PED diaper they have a little hint of stain...they are clean, but a little stained. The next time I wash them with the little bit of bleach the stain goes out the rest of the way).

I just wanted to share with you that bleach does really make a difference in how white the diapers are. I just used off-brand bleach from Walmart. Nothing fancy. I wash the diapers on a small load, add in 1 cup of my Homemade Laundry Soap and I add in about 1/4 cup of bleach now. Those first two times when the diapers hadn't been bleached at all I did about 1 cup of bleach for the whole load.

I'm happy to report that things are going well with cloth diapering and I'm really glad I started using bleach regularly. That makes a huge difference in their appearance... Not that anyone besides me really sees the diapers, but I didn't like them being stained so it's nice to see them all fresh and clean!

Note: I use Econobum Cloth Dipaers which are sold online through Walmart.

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