Monday, September 5, 2011

Punk Monkey: Giveaway!!

Hello everyone!  Please, don't forget that I am no longer posting on this blog.  I've moved!

I'm over here

And, I'm going to be doing a giveaway on this, adorable Punk MOnkey, soon.

Be sure to go to my new home and check out how to win her!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Updating my blog

As most of you know, this is only one of THREE blogs I write and keep up.  I know, I'm a little nuts.  But the past two months I've been secretly working on conglomerating them all and now, it's a reality!  I've had some wonderful help in this process and I'm endless grateful. 

Now, I'm a little worried that the readers I've gained on this blog will not follow me over :(  I worked so hard to make this a great blog full of smiles and info.  My BIG blog will be more of the same, just everything all in the same spot. 

I will have my running updates, photography, sewing, food/recipes, thoughts and adventures with my kids organized so it's only one click of the button instead of three.  I really love my new blog and I know you all will too.  Please join me over there!

I have Facebook page with cute updates and info on up and coming posts, if you have a request for something you'd like me to write on or do so you can see how it's done, you can post it there!

Hop on over to my new home and let me know what you think!  I have a goal to reach 400 readers by the end of this year.  And I want each of them to be people like you all who enjoy what I do and follow me because you want to, not because someone begged you. 

The New Mommy Hobbies Site!

Writing is my passion and it brings me such great joy to write and read the comments, or notes sent by people who were touch by my sharing a particular story.  Don't leave me now!  We're only getting started :)

Thank you all so much for your support!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Of Food and Love: Papa & Mama

Of Food and Love: Papa & Mama: I posted on my new blog today...the differences between D and I and how we... Papa & Mama <~~~ click to read the post

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A new home

Hey...if you haven't visited me yet, please do

Pretty soon all of my posts will be here:

That's right...I'm a .com now!  Follow me on FB (Mommy Hobbies), grab my button ~~~>  right over there
Show some support to another mother :)
Thank you all!  You really have encouraged me with your comments, and reactions (checking those little boxes below) to my posts.  It means so much!!

Running: I have a crush

There is good news and there is better news.  I have better news.  
My new shoes came in the mail.  I have been waiting for them for what seems like an eternity.  The advertizement on their site said "VIPers get their orders shipped within two hours!"  I was so on that.  PAid $1.99 to become a VIP member.  Saved myself $20 off my shoes plus $16.99 on the shipping.  Well worth the $1.99 if I say so myself.  However, I don't know what two hour time frame they were talking about.  Two hours before a natural disaster, or two hours before they knew I was going to call and cancel my order after waiting close to TWO WEEKS.  Yeah, not cool.  But I can say, that my shoes are A-mazing.  Hands down the BEST foot ride, ever.  My feet felt like they were running on little clouds.  Puffy little white pillows.  My legs felt good, too.

I have a been a die hard Puma fan for a while...but my friend, Terry, told me about Mizuno and highly recommended them.  And she kept recommending them until I finally took the bait -- AND the test.  Yeah, I went online and they have this nifty little test I took to assess, as best they can, what style and type of shoe needed for my gait. 

Monday, I took them for a test run.  1.39 miles in 11:24.  Lapped an 8min mile, too.  I was in a hurry that day so I had to cut my run VERY short.  boo.  But I want to go again, and again and again. 
I'm a happy woman with my Garmin and my shoes. 

Oh, and I'm crushing on my Garmin.  He's so stinkin cool.
I just registered for another 5k and he's coming with.

Silent cheerleaders.  The weekend is coming, what's in it for you?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Running: The Juggle

There are a few moms I follow, here in this vast world of blogdom, and admire greatly.  They seem to have it all together.  Seriously.  They are running half-marathons, full marathons, 197 mile relays, you name it.  Some of them have upwards of four children, too.  I don't see how they can do that and balance their home life.  But, I am not them and they are not me, so here is my life:

To be honest, I don't have it all together.  Some days I do and some days I don't.  That hurts.  There are days when I am barely hanging on to sanity because there is so much on my to-do list and it's already after lunch.  No bueno.

For a while I had a fabulous routine going and I was able to hit my goal of twenty miles per week.  Now, I'm down to six miles.  If I'm lucky.  Yeah, my routine took a major hit.   Just recently, I identified the culprits and I'm sad to say that it's Body Pump and the gym.  They take up too much time.  If I plan on going to the gym, I must have dinner started by 3pm.  No later.  Dinner is ready and left warming from 4:30pm until around 6 when D gets back from work and picking up the kids from the gym.  I get back around 7, we have family time then settle down for the evening.  
That was happening two days a week.  Two days, too much for me, anyway.  The rest of the week I was sewing Punk MOnkeys, cleaning, going to church, going to prayer, doing other various churchy things and otherwise.  Eventually, I had to admit to myself that it wasn't working and something had to give.  And it's going to be Body Pump.  It's not worth the stress for me.  My family doesn't deserve that at all.  So, I'm only going to do Body Pump once a week, if that.  I might even quit the gym.  I'll miss it, but my family is more important.

Nothing more discouraging than an unorganized schedule and a stressful day.  So, I'm taking back my weeks and my days and my miles.  I'm reorganizing myself and starting over again. 

 As much as I love running, I love my family more.  The End.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Running: 24:16

Holy running shoes.  New personal record, folks.  I ran 3.09 miles yesterday and BEAT my last PR!  My last PR was the 5k in a neighboring town.  Omggggeee.  *sigh*  And I thought my life as a wannabe-runner was over.  Nope, I'm still kickin'.

In spite of my lack of updates, I HAVE been running.  I just haven't been running as much and, quite, frankly, I've been really discouraged.  After some thought, I figured out why.  My focused had switched.  Body Pump was really taking over my workout life and my running was being put on the back burner.  So, yes, now I have successfully managed to cheat myself out of a half-marathon and dash my dreams of running a marathon.  Forget about running one this year. 

The words "just give up" even started to surface in my mind.  I'm ashamed.  But, I'm not going to quit, because I've found that I really, really love running.  Can someone say, therapy?  Yes.  It is.  A slight form of therapy is what running has become.  I enjoy running, listening to my breathing, thinking, focusing on making it, challenging myself to keep a certain pace it's all a very healthy experience.

So, I know a while back I posted a teaser about getting a Garmin.  Can I say, that my running experiences just got ten times better!?  Garmin is UH-mazing.  I am still learning how to use all the features, but let me tell you, that virtual partner will push you to be better!  I still haven't named it yet, but I will.
Last night my run stats looked something like this:

My actual time was 24:16 but I accidentally started the timer again and it messed everything up :(  boo.  But, believe me, I did run 3 miles in a little over 24 min.  (like I said, still getting used to it) It was a great feeling.  Just me, the pavement, and my Garmin. 

Hopefully, my posts on this blog will become regular again.  Tomorrow I'll post about juggling my life and rearranging my schedule to fit in my workouts.

Hey, you, silent cheerleader, you still with me?  I need all the support I can get!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Of Food and Love: Simply Basic and a Pack of Crayons

Of Food and Love: Simply Basic and a Pack of Crayons: Well, several packs. Four 24 packs to be precise. Over the weekend we decided to try out the melted Crayola poster board activity. It was...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mommy: Life

I love catching photos like this.  My son is so inventive.  He really wanted to make a swing from his old bat.  He tried to enlist my help but I told him no...didn't stop him and ten minutes later I caught this out of the corner of my eye.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Running: Update~ Sewing: Update

I haven't written on this blog in so long.  But let me give you a quick overview.

Since my etsy shop, I have been really, really busy sewing.  I haven't made many sales through etsy itself, but word of mouth.  Etsy has really helped though!  I am sewing a new Punk Monkey almost everyday and it consumes a lot of my time.  It takes me two days to sew one monkey...sometimes three.  And that, only because I have children and I can not sit down and speed through the process.

My running:  SO discouraged.  I haven't stopped.  I run every week, but my shoes and schedule have put the skids on me.  My shoes are giving me fits.  I busted on of the shoe lace holder-contraptions on my new Pumas, putting those out of commission.  So, I returned to my old faithfuls and those started giving me shin splints.  NO bueno.  But, I did order a new pair of shoes and....well, I will post on that when they come in.  I also, FINALLY, got my Garmin Forerunner!!  I am so, so excited to share with you all my experience with it.

So, that is it, for now.  Sorry for lack of posting.  I really need to get on the ball.  I do have another race scheduled, so I'm not down and completely out!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Of Food and Love: This Weekend: Give Up

Of Food and Love: This Weekend: Give Up: "Give up on being critical of your neighbor -- it ruins beautiful things like relationships. Give up on being selfish -- sharing is so much ..."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mommy Hobbies on Etsy!

Yes, I finally did it.  Set my fear on the back burner and went for it.  I now have an etsy shop showcasing my cute little Punk Monkeys.  If you have the occasion, stop by and help a mother out.  Favorite me, share the link, post it on your blog.  I love making these little guys and hope to share the handmade goodness with more than just a few close friends and family folk.

Also, just a little bit of a teaser here... I will be hosting another giveaway soon.  More handmade yummies coming your way from a good friend of mine.  You really don't want to miss this one.  The giveaway will be in about two weeks time.  Spread the word!  Give yourself a head start and publicly follow my blog by clicking this button on the right side of my blog (if you don't already).

I just might do another Punk Monkey giveaway to celebrate the opening of my new shop, too!  Anyone in?? 

Punk Monkey: Peace, Love and Socks

This is Divine.

She is going to be a gift for a sweet young girl named, Serenity. 

How appropriate, peace signs and Serenity.  It's a perfect love match.

Hug her tight.

Snuggle and have fun, my dear...

Want one of your own?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photography: Simplicity

I was doing dishes the other morning and this beautiful little creature floated beneath my window...

Now, I'm not much for nature photography.  It takes a certain eye. But this was just too perfect.  A beautiful butterfly sitting in my tiger lilies. 

I love simple things and nature has a simple quality about it.  It's just a butterfly on a flower, but it's so beautiful it makes you stop, smile and think.

I love that.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Running: We were a motely crew...

Roma. Getting ready for our run. Later, she ditched the cap. Too hot
 My son is amazing.  He is five, but does things and has ideas that I don't think a five year old should do or have.  I don't mean bad things, just things.  Like the other day as we were driving back to the house he kept pestering me to stop the van.  Finally, I did.  Slightly irritated I turned and asked him, "What? Do you want to walk to the house?"  His face got a little red and he said, "Yes.  Can I have your phone?"  What??  Well, it was for him to call me, of course, to tell me to slow down as I followed him in the van.  I stared at him open mouth and a little buggy-eyed. 
Shoes of choice. chucks. pumas. watersocks.
 Finally, we settled on him running ahead and me following behind in the van.  He wasn't kidding.  He wanted to run the rest of the way to the house.  A full half mile without stopping.  At one point, I pulled up beside him and he said, "Mom, I HAVE to make it all the way home."
Ok, baby boy, you do that...I'm right here.  Afterward, there was much hand clapping and high-fiving.  He did amazing.  Then, he told me we needed to do it again, but this time I had to run WITH him.  We set out on a three mile run/walk.  It was very hard, but he finished it.  A little tears and frustration but he wanted to try it again in a couple of days.
Yes, I am running and photographing.
 At one point, I let him push the stroller, and he did.  Right down a very steep embankment and into the bushes.  Roma was stunned, sitting face flush in the bush, Cylas was petrified and apologizing, kissing his baby sister and I was breathless worried that my baby girl was going to catapult headlong into that mess.  She was fine.
It took some elbow grease to get her up and out of there though.
Seconds before Cylas loses control of the stroller...into that thicket.
They say children imitate how their parents are.  If papa and mama pump iron, the little ones are more likely to gain an interest for that or for fitness, but if papa and mama are sitting, sedentary, munching chips gulping soda, and clicking on the keyboard all day long....well, hello, we all know what happens.  Too many children struggle with obesity, are pre-diabetic or have a multitude of health problems due to their weight.  A lot of parents are in denial or get too frustrated to try and change all the bad habits that have been created in the home.  
We aren't the perfect, healthy eaters but we eat very well-rounded.  We educate our children on which foods are good or bad and the effects it can have on the body.  Ask my five year old about McDonald's....he'll tell you why you shouldn't be eating it.  Seriously. 
He picked me a flower toward the last part of our run. He called it a sunflower because it was bright yellow.
This little running adventure gave me such a boost of confidence, that I AM doing the right thing and my children want to be healthy eaters and physically active like their papa and me. 

Silent cheerleaders, what are you doing with your children?  Have any cool habits or activities that you would like to share??

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sewing: Attachments

Did something a little different yesterday.  I stepped out of my comfort zone of sock monkeys and kid's clothing and sewed for a big person.  Other than myself. 
She was looking to add some fabric onto a dress and couldn't really decide whether she wanted to add a big block of bright pink or cream to the bottom.  I suggested black. Knowing how hard it is to match blacks I figured tulle would cover a multitude of sins.

My client needed eight extra inches and I wanted to make sure that the new addition wasn't too EXtremely obvious.

After painstakingly folding and cutting, I found that the tulle wasn't going to go completely around.  Working with a three or so inch gap, I had to cut an extra bit of tulle to overlap. 
It turned out pretty nice!

As bizarre as this sounds, almost as soon as the last stitch was made on this dress I got a phone call from one of my Sunday school students.  She needed a couple of her skirts fixed.  Bam.  My yesterday afternoon was full of new surprises.  I'd never done anything like that before either, but I had an idea as to how I was going to do it.  Most people use a cotton fabric, that has no stretch.  And they use fabrics that, in my opinion, are gaudy or tacky.  (how is that for my *honest* opinion?)  That wasn't going to be the case with me.  I dug around in my stash of jersey and pulled out three versatile pieces and set to work.
The first skirt.  All I did was sew it about an inch up from the bottom.  I didn't want it to be flush with the bottom of the skirt.  Basically, I started sewing at the hem, so as to leave a little extra gap.

The second skirt.  The slit was in the front and I used some of my stretchiest jersey to give her a little extra leg room when she sat down.  A pretty fuschia.  When standing, it isn't but barely visible.  And that's just how I wanted it.

The third skirt.  The slit was on the side and I figured stripes would be cute. (*sigh* me and my undying love for stripes) She was so happy about them all and I managed to make each skirt with a discreet jersey panel that was agreeably cute.  In all three skirts, I either sewed directly over the current stitch, so as to blend, or I sewed next to it creating a double stitch. (like in the skirt below).  I matched the thread colors as closely as possible so it wouldn't be too obvious there was a new addition. 


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Photography: Meet the baby

I know I haven't posted much on here concerning photography.  But I promise.  I love it.  Over the weekend, I had the privilege of shooting a wonderful gathering for a little baby boy. 
This is baby C

I got to spend three hours watching guests filter in and give a warm welcome to this 7 week old baby boy.

This shoot was merely to record these special moments.  No posing.

Just sweet seconds in time captured...

Baby C won't always be this small.

Baby's mom had a teacher there from her third grade year, a piano teacher and people who knew her from knee-high to a grasshopper.  But I have to say one of the most touching moments was when the lady pictured below was handed Baby C and started to cry softly to herself.  Enjoying the innocence of him and letting love take over.

After the food

I took them outside to catch a few, slightly organized family photos.

I'm not much for posing, but I do like to get people in the general area and position I'm looking for and then just shoot away.

You don't capture shots like this sitting on your laurels.

The K family was such a delight to shoot.  I love doing things like this.

The End

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Running: Catch the skirt

Ran a 5k yesterday.  Felt like a million bucks.  There were well over 500 racers participating.  The biggest race I've run in, yet.

I was shoved toward the back, nestled in with a good friend named Crystal.  

Like always, my stomach was in knots, trying to tell me that it didn't want to run.  "It's just another run, it's just another run".  My mantra.  As soon as the race started, I began edging through the crowd trying to find my "pace group".  A little difficult.   Finally, I pulled out and started getting a groove.  I determined that I was going to really push myself.  After all, it is only a 3 mile race.  My first 5k, I came in at a little over 26 minutes.  For this race I had already talked myself into a challenge.  BEAT YOUR LAST RACE TIME.  I did.

Official race time: 
 25 min :27 sec 158th out of 500-something runners and 5th in my age/gender group.

When I first signed up for this race, word on the street was "watch out for the killer hill".  A half mile long and totally unforgiving.  I met that hill with open arms, just like I do every hill.  
And even with "the hill", I managed to keep a fabulous per mile pace of roughly: 8min 15sec
I can live with that.

What I'm starting to enjoy more and more about these races is the fact that there are people of all shapes and sizes

builds and stature

And a lot of people with their own stories.  There was a man running who had gone blind from a hunting accident.  They acknowledged him and the team of people he would be running with.  It was very moving.  There is so much inspiration to be found in every race.  Love it.

I finished my race strong, running so hard, a smile on my face and fist pumping myself, knowing I had beat my own PR (personal record).

But what made me even more happy was a random racer congratulating me on a "great race".  I thanked him and he followed up his congratulations with, "you were fast, I couldn't catch the skirt."  I laughed and laughed.  Such a cool comment and totally made my day.  I run in a skirt.  Yes, yes, I do.

Silent Cheerleaders.  Catch The Skirt!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Running: Make it work

Sorry Tim Gunn.  But today, I *made it work* for me in my workout.  Not sewing.  I have a new running partner.  Nothing regular.  Totally part time, but she's amazing. 

She promised me a run and today we ran.  She is much, much faster than minutes.  I, on average, run an 8:20 to 8:30 mile.  Today, panting in her footsteps I ran an 8:10.  A full TEN seconds faster than I've ever run!  How do people do that?  I couldn't imagine keeping a pace that fast for miles and miles.  But people do it all the time, people much older than I, too. 

After my very successful mile I, out of breath, continued on for another two miles bringing my run and time up to 3 miles in 24 minutes.  As much as I wanted to stop, I picked up my Puma clad feet and kept a steady pace all the way to the end.  A very rewarding day.  Polished off the run with an hour of Body Pump.  Upped my squat weight to 40lbs and really struggled, but it was a great feeling. 

My day ended with me, my children and husband, in the garden weeding.  Another hour and a half spent pulling up nasty green weeds that try to suck the life out of my plants.  Losers.

Silent cheerleaders, what have you been doing to stay busy?  Working out?  Vacation plans?   Races?  Do tell.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Running: Redemption

There are so many ups and downs with running that it can mess with your head.  One day you're up and the next you're wondering if you're really insane and if all this running is worth the effort.  Saturday was one of those days.  I had geared myself up, mentally, all week for another eight mile run.  Strapped my shoes on and hit the pavement determined.  I made it to the halfway point and nearly died because it was so hot and I didn't have any water.  Luckily, my halfway point is a small church and there happened to be someone there. 
And this, my friends is where my run turned horrible.  I drank a little too much.  A half mile in, on the way back, my stomach started feeling weird.  My legs were already giving me problems, felt like I was dragging two wooden blocks, and slowly I started to fall apart.  I nearly passed out after a mile but I wouldn't stop...finally after 6.5 miles I stopped running.  I couldn't take another running step.  My hands were bloating and stiff.  
I walked up and down the hills feeling nauseous and beating myself up.  There is nothing like falling short of a goal.  A very familiar goal.  As I got closer to my house I ran up the last heartbreak hill, about .75 of a mile, and pounded it out to our driveway.  My husband was just getting in our van.  I had been gone so long he was setting out to find me.  That should give you an idea how bad my run was.

So, Monday rolls around, my legs were still feeling gross, even after a good stretching.  But I set out looking to do three to five miles.  I did 3, barely making it back.  It was so discouraging.
my baby girl helping me with my yoga moves!

But here is where my day took a turn upward.  After my run, during my stretch routine, I used a nifty little tool my sister introduced me to.  Please welcome my latest piece of workout equipment.  The foam roller.

Photo Courtesy of HERE
Talk about an insane difference in the way my legs felt after rolling them out.  No more tightness or pain.  Using the roller was quite painful, but the results were worth it.  Later that evening I went to Body Pump feeling like a brand new person.  So much so that I tacked on 5lbs to my squat weight bringing it up to 35lbs.  Finished the workout, roughly 200 squats, and felt like a champ.  My legs felt amazing and my spirits were lifted. 
Then, to top my night off, I signed up for another 5k.  Yeah, I'm just crazy.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sewing: Maxi Skirt

I know, it's literally been forever since I've posted anything to do with sewing...other than my lovely punk monkeys.  Well, get ready.

Today I got a hankering to sew something for myself.  The other night I was at the store and snatched up a pattern that I'd been staring down for at least four months.  Score.  Made me a maxi skirt today.  It was super easy and I love it. 

Very rewarding for me, too.  I have really missed sewing it has been close to impossible for me to do anything with my machine other than those rascally monkeys!
Oh, three cheers for me, $3.75 worth of fabric and a new skirt for Sunday morning.