If you have a goal to get a smidge more fit this 2014 let me share some things with you that are super helpful for me. I have a fairly lazy attitude towards fitness. I do it but I hate the time it takes. After many years of wasted gymn memberships and wasted time it has come down to this – quick intense workouts outside or at home. Here are the three routines I’ve settled into. 1) I love these workouts by Ali Kamenova and try to do at least a 30mn video every day. 2) If it’s nice out I will go for a quick run. 3) Lastly a routine I like is my made up workouts. You know how there are all those charts of ’30 day ab challenge’ and/or ‘six moves to better butt’ etc. all over the internet? Well I do my own version which consists of 3 butt/thigh moves, 3 ab moves, 3 arm, and 1 back. I try to do 50 reps total of each thing and then a little stretching after. Hopefully that will help somebody looking for some fitness direction!
By the way youtube is super awesome for finding great workouts to do at home.
P.S. my routine in case you are wondering is usually: 50 chair squats, 50 leg kick backs, 50 lunges. 50 push ups, 50 tricep dips, 50 bicep curls. 50 side to side twists, 50 boat crunches, 50 bicycle crunches. and then a butterfly against the wall 5 times for 10 seconds each time. It’s not a hard workout but it’s perfect for some of us : ) Btw That’s Ali in the picture.
For anyone wanting some books to read here is what I was reading the last bit of 2013, i will warn you it is a weird mix of genres but they are all good.
Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. If you are interested in human trafficking. Did not realize that one of the big ways to help is just through simple things like food, water, and education.
Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith. Super interesting fictional, fantastical perspective on the events surrounding Christ’ birth. Gave me a whole new appreciation for the Christmas story. Could not put it down!
The Cloister Walk by Kathlees Norris. Lovely and beautiful reflections on time spent with monks, makes you feel like you were there.
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. A super great novel about endangered books and mysteries and yeah I can’t describe it but trust me it was great. I didn’t want to put it down but I needed to get stuff done and it’s a loooong book so I ended up downloading the audio version as well that way I could work and listen :)
House Girl by Tara Conklin. A simple fun novel that bounces between past and current events and what may or may not have happened. I always like stuff like this because it makes me think about people that lived before me and all the things I never knew about them and how there is so much that future generations will not know about me.
Exodus by Leon Uris. Historical, Political fiction. Captivating read. I certainly learned sooooooo much about events I knew nothing about and it wasn’t even that long ago. We live in such a bubble of safety and security and comfort.
Snow in August by Pete Hamill. I never knew all the racism directed at Jews in the past until I read this book. Super interesting. Makes you think about stereotyping, making judgements, love and forgiveness and so much more. It’s a pretty sad book but really good at the same time.
The Liars Club by Mary Karr. Just a really good memoir, and I love a good memoir.
Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I feel like if you are someone who thinks of yourself as a Christian in any sense this should be required reading.
What about you? Anything amazing?
Yesterday was the six month anniversary of my sister and her new husband so I figured it was time I shared their wedding. There were so many beautiful little touches made for the wedding and it turned out absolutely beautiful. My sis looked stunning, if I do say so myself, and her groom was quite dashing. They were and are ever so much in love.
To see the lovely video go here: http://vimeo.com/75298109
Like all our family weddings it was a labor of love, what we lack in money we make up for in sweat, stress, and loads of love. For you curious- crafty-frugal minded readers here is a list of what we made:
- With faux flowers we made all the bouquets and boutonnieres, filled wine bottles with them for centerpieces (along with some sparkly twirly stick things we found) and had enough to place other random places.
- We used skinny dowel rods, ribbon, and little bells for guests to wave when they left the church.
- We cut out a billion triangles from metallic gold and silver cloth to make bunting for the church pews, the backdrop behind the head table and other various places. The backdrop covered an otherwise ugly wall and was made up of white lights, white curtains and then the bunting criss-crossing the front. It literally made the hall sparkle.
- We used a big old branch stuck in a bucket of sand wrapped with gold cloth and then hung about with little tags as the guest book.
Those are the major things we made but there was definitely plenty more. All together the decor and flowers etc. was only a few hundred dollars which is way cheaper than it could have been. The flowers and sparkly bits added lots of flare and color to the rustic elements of the hall and the chilliness of early April weather. Like I said before it was super beautiful!
Congrats Amy and Brandon, I love you guys.
It’s a great concept, a great company, and it is a great way to learn (or refresh) a language and did I mention it is free! It is really fun and addicting, plus you can compete with friends if you want. Check it out here.
I’ve wasted money on lots of yoga apps and this one is the best. Although the voice and animation on this one are annoying it is certainly the most useful app when you want a yoga routine in a pinch – I’ve used it at hotels and camping etc.
If you have ever gotten married you know how crazy stressful weddings can be. If you have ever tried to do everything yourself you know how much more stressful weddings can be. But when you see it all come together on the wedding day it is pretty much worth it annnnnd when you see the pictures I think every bride and her mom and her dad and her sisters are happy that the late nights and stress were well worth it. So when my sister got married, as we have with the previous three family weddings, my family did everything – my dad cooked, my family set up and tore down, we made and set up the decor, did our own flowers etc. etc. This time somehow, we got a little heavy handed with making things but it was fun!
Ribbon and Bell Streamers
To make the streamers that people waved as they left the church you will need:
skinny dowel rods, lots or ribbon in whatever color you want, tiny bells, glue sticks and glue gun.
First; cut all your sticks to the size you want – I think we did about 12 inches. Second; cut all your ribbons to the size you want- i tied a few lengths on the stick to see what length was good for what we wanted, in the end I think it came about half way down the stick after being tied in the center. Third; once all your sticks and ribbon are settled and your glue gun is heating thread about two bells onto as many pieces of ribbon as there are sticks. Ex. if you are have 20 sticks, put bells on 20 ribbons. Fourth; Take a ribbon with the bells (the bells should be pretty much in the center of the ribbon) place the stick right in the middle of the ribbon put some glue on the stick then tie the ribbon securely over the glue. The glue will just help keep the ribbon from slipping off. Now you should have a stick with two ‘streamers’ of ribbon coming off of it that makes a delicate tinkly noise when you wave it. At this point you can add as much more ribbon as you want the same way you did the first (only without bells). We did the bell ribbon plus two more so there was a total of six of those streamers.
To make the bunting that was everywhere but so pretty and sparkly…
Buy a couple yards of metallic fabric and a load of ribbon. Cut a billion triangles to the size you would like. Then take the ribbon in a manageable length and a stack of triangles (we alternated colors) and feed them into a sewing machine. That’s it. so easy!
I love making flower arrangements and fake flowers make it so so easy to do. The hardest part is picking the flowers out. My rule is to not buy any that look very fake or gaudy and then to take a handful of pictures of what we’d like it to look like for reference. For these we bought a few big flowers per bouquet, a few bright medium flowers, a filler flower in two colors and the greenery. All you do is cut them (wire snips are helpful) to the length you want, cut off all the extra leaves that come on them, then arrange them in a full and tasteful way. Once you have what you want use a florist tape to tightly wrap up the stems. After that do a layer or two of wrapping with ribbon. Done!
My sister got married and we threw her a shower and I’m gonna bore you with the details in another post!