Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Newest Blog

For those interested in our newest adventure, 
this is going to be the blog about it.
It's our newest craziness...
This is our Art/Life/Tiny Living/Bought a Trashed Trailer/Rebuild/Transition to Self-Sustainability/Gypsy Vardo Living/What In the Hell Did We Do Blog

This is going to be an Art Life Transition to Self-Sustainability Project.
If anyone would like to help, donate, give advice, just let us know!!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Day 127 ~ Tons to Say!

As you may have noticed, I didn't update last week.
That's because we were here...





Needless to say, I did not ski.
1. I suck at it miserably.
2. I was petrified if I attempted again I would break something, and I did not
want to chance it with a little over 6 weeks out.
Sam skied every day though.
I knew being here that today's body stats would not be what I wanted.
I did bring dumbbells and bands with us.
We brought some food, but my pop-in-law is adamant about eating out when on vacation.
So, I had many salads, no cheese, no croutons, grilled or seared fish, chicken or steak and vinaigrette on the side.  There were also some not so good choices during the week.
I take responsibility for it.

So here's today's body stat update.

106 pounds - down 1 pound in the past two weeks.
Body fat 17.19%, down from 17.58% two weeks ago, boooo.

Encouraging news?

One of my coach and trainer's clients won the Mrs. Colorado Pageant this weekend.
She thinks I should do that next....
Don't know about that one, lol.
Also, she's starting a new fan page/website.
She wants me to do some new pictures and to be her first client of the month.
She wants my transformations up there.
~smiles~
That made me all happy.
Plus, she said that you can totally see my abs.
I, however, cannot.
I even made Sam take a picture of my in my bra so I could try to see from a different perspective than looking in the mirror every day.
He says you can see them too.
Pfffft.




Also, this weekend, I tried on everything in my closet.
I then "fashion showed" for Sam and he told me whether clothes were workable (though still large) or a total tent and made me look like I was wearing maternity clothes.
I now have half a closet and virtually no bras.

I also picked up this because I keep hearing so much about it from other competitors.
I'm excited to try it.

 

I came across these that I bought when we were home in New Orleans in October, had forgotten about and never wore.  Score!



Crazy shoes!  Love!
I seriously have a hat and shoe addiction.
This will have to come to an end because we have another new adventure on the horizon.

I will be beginning another blog to follow that journey.
Sam made a purchase last night.
We've talked about it, dreamed about it, drooled over them on the net.
We now are owners of an old, pretty gutted FEMA trailer.
It is going to become an art lifestyle project - Petite Living - Vardo - Tiny House - similar to this.
I do believe we're going to make ours more aesthetically pleasing and possibly gypsy caravan or some craziness.  We have had many ideas over the years. 
Right now, it's just going to sit on a friend's property while I draw up plans and specs, research solar, wind and other eco-friendly power.
Then, we'll be out to purchase land.
This could be a project of an artistic journey along with some self-sustainable education (for us mainly).
I'm sure there will be many failures and hilarious happenings along the way.
We'll see how this goes.
Thinking about the perfect name for our blog.
If nothing else, we'll have a really awesome camper in the end!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Fun Tees for Fitness Love

Of course, I showed this one yesterday.
Oh how it still makes me giggle!



It can be found here at Cafe Press.

Actually, I found all of these at Cafe Press.

I think competitors of all categories can appreciate this one.








Thursday, 16 February 2012

Day 116 ~ Self-Doubt

My new goal is to make practicing my routine (and now posing), well, routine.
I have no problem getting up every morning and going to the gym to do my weights and cardio.
It's basically become a habit.
I now need to focus on making these other aspects habit.

I'm having a ton of self-doubt because I don't have my routine down.
Yet, I know it is because I have not put the time I should into practicing it.
In one part of my head, I know that I can do it.
There really is enough time for me to get it down clean and flawlessly.
IF
I devote the time to it.
I don't know why I've been procrastinating as much as I have.
It is all my own fault.
Part of it is because when I do practice, I get so frustrated with myself because I'm not hitting marks or times the way I'm supposed to.
That has to do with my wanting things to be just so and, I guess, perfect.
AND
my total lack of patience.
I really, really have to continue to work on that.


Then, this other part of my head (that pesky negative nelly) tells myself that I am just a disaster waiting to happen, and why in the hell did I decide to do fitness?
I'm no gymnast.
I have no grace or poise.
What the hell was I thinking?

Then, just by chance, I came across this interview with Adela Garcia at FitnessRX for Women this morning.

I read this question and Adela's response.

Why do you think the number of amateur and now pro Fitness competitors has dropped? What can we do to save Fitness?

Fitness is the hardest out of all the divisions. You can be depleted, tired, hungry, busted, but still have to dig deep inside your heart to run the Fitness routine. I have so much respect for Fitness athletes and their work ethic. I believe with other divisions in place, competitors don't want or don't have the time to do Fitness. Fitness requires a lot more work and also money. You are talking about choreography, costumes, suits, music. It all adds up, and when you do not have to kill yourself as much, why not choose an easier division? Also, a lot of girls believe that in order to be a good Fitness athlete they have to be a gymnast, and that is not the case. I have proved that year after year. Remember, it is not about gymnastics— it is about executing a routine that is clean, entertaining and brings your personality to the stage

Wow, right?
Here's all of my fears sort of laid to rest.
So, I'm scheduling time each day to practice my routine.
I will make it clean, entertaining and me. 

By the way, I kind of want this.
It makes me laugh!
(from Cafe Press

Monday, 13 February 2012

Day 113 ~ Body Stat Updates

Today was body fat, weigh in day!
WooHoo!
(sarcasm there)
I don't know why, but I always dread and am excited for this day.

So, what did today give us?

0.65% decrease in body fat and a 2.5 pound loss.
My newest numbers:
107.5 pounds, 17.58% body fat.

Is it sad that I'm hoping as I near 15% that my monthly visitor may quit making appearances?

Friday I had my first posing session.
I never knew just standing and flexing and walking could make one so freaking sore the next day!
Wow.
I am happy to report that my trainer/coach is very happy with where my back is, shoulders, abs and calves.
There will be tweaking to even me out though.
My booty area, thigh area though, need much more work.
Oh those problem areas, they are a thorn in my rear.
After posing, we worked on my routine more.
It's coming along. YaaY

Today was a personal training day, then I met my friend for cardio, and then she gave me a sassy new haircut.
I feel all shiny and new.
Thanks Traci!!!


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Making Valentines

Yeah, I'm a little late on it.
Since my parents and my aunt don't have a computer, I can post stuff for them here.
I decided to try and make some valentines this year.
I procrastinated, as usual.
They are still drying, and I may add a little more.
This means that they won't get in the mail until tomorrow.
Gosh only knows how long it will take them to get to their destinations in different parts of Louisiana.
If I had begun early enough, I would have sent them out to all of my friends too.
Time to begin planning ahead and more efficiently!

As you can tell, all I did was cut some construction paper with decorative shears.
I cut out various words and pictures from local papers and glued them on.

I added a few sequins and ribbon.
Not fancy, but it gave me practice and ideas for other holidays and events.

Plus, it's about time I start using all of the crafty items shoved everywhere around my house~


I'm also giving a go at making a little fire brick from some shredded paper.
Suffice it to say, that I know now that I will need to shred far more in order to fill a bread loaf pan with my drippy remnants!
More on that in the future.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Day 106 ~ Body Stats and dipping my toe in to acupuncture

This morning I met for my weekly small group training - all 2 of us, haha.
My poor trainer.
I say this because I had to give him the list of my restrictions from my doctor.
(I went to see the doctor after, so more on that later.)
It was a little funny because he'd have to stop and go, "No wait, you can't do that."
Then he'd pop out with some modified exercise.
Let me tell you that I still was winded and tired afterwards!
I then did my allowed cardio, I've been walking on the treadmill at an incline of 12% to 15% in order to get my heart rate up to my target zone.
(Maybe tomorrow I'll give the bike a go, or even the elliptical.)
Then, it was
dum, dum, dum....
body fat check and weigh in time!

I will not lie.
I had some off limits foods last week.
I think between the crazy snow and feeling bummed about my restricted workout intensity,
my psyche was affected.
So, yeah, I had some whole grain bread and a little too much wine.
Bad.
But I told her about it, confession if you will.

So, in the past week, I'm down
0.58% body fat and 1/2 a pound.

New numbers are 110 pounds and 18.23% body fat.

If I hadn't allowed myself a meltdown last week, I do believe those numbers would have been stupendously better.  Wait is "stupendously" even a word?  Oh well, I like it.

I've climbed back on my little bicycle and riding on.
I had my chiro appointment after all of this.

Side note: Did I mention that I had my first ever massage last week?
That was awesome!
And it helped tremendously!
Back to the doctor appointment.
The muscle and joint are getting better.
It's still best not to push it and allow it to heal fully.
I will be still following their advice and keeping my workouts less intensive.
I've learned that it is okay (especially if I keep my diet in check!)
I got all my treatments, plus a little acupuncture in my sacroiliac joint.
May I say that acupuncture is amazing!
I swear you can feel something going on once the pins are in.
It does feel sooo much better.
I will be getting another massage soon too.
I'm going to try and keep this body happy with all of the work that I'm making it do!
Tomorrow, I get to try on my bikini!
(That got rescheduled because of our crazy snow storm Friday.)

Friday, posing and choreography - continued!




Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sunday Sentiment ~ A little food for thought


I read this on Yahoo.
It really resonated with me.
I always say that I'm going to step away for a while, but then I always get sucked back in.

This was a great read today.
He makes some really valid points.


Could you live without daily electronic conveniences -- Twitter, Facebook, email, texting and more -- for 90 days? Jake P. Reilly, a 24-year-old copywriting student at the Chicago Portfolio School, did just that. [Related: See more of Reilly’s work at www.bodycopybyjake.com]
 
From October to December, he unplugged from social media, email, texts, and cell phones because he felt that we spend more quality time with gadgets and keyboards than we do with the people we really care about. 

During his social experiment, he found that some people he counted among his close friends really weren't that close after all. He also discovered that taking a break from his relationship with social media and really paying attention to the people around him can revive real-life romance.
I spoke with Reilly over the phone this weekend about his 90-day project, what he learned from living without electronic leashes and how it changed his life.

You say you spent three months completely cut-off from the virtual world. What steps did you take to do that?
Reilly: I called Verizon and suspended service for my cell phone. I deactivated Facebook. I deactivated Twitter, deactivated Linked-In, deactivated Spotify, and anything where there was a social component. I put up an out-of-office on both of my email accounts, like, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but I won't receive this until the end of the year." 

Did you ever cheat and check to see what messages came in?
 
Reilly: I never went back on any of the social stuff. There were a few times when the bank would send me an email verification. My roommates would see me checking something like that, and they'd see me with my hands up to shield my eyes from the bulk of the screen, like a girl would do when she's watching a horror movie that she doesn't want to see. I genuinely didn't want to see what was there, because once you look you've got an urge to read it. 

Before what you called "The Amish Project," how much time would you typically spend on social media sites, texting, and so forth every day?
 
Reilly: It was pretty bad. I was reading every single Tweet and I follow 250 people. Then, I would waste a good hour and a half on Facebook. I was sending more than 1,500 texts a month. I never really counted minutes on the phone, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was 600 to 900. 

What about now, has it changed?
 
Reilly: I mean, I struggle with that because everyone wants to know about it, and wants to know how different it is. It's hard, because I was just going to turn off my phone at first. That was the thing that bothered me most, but I realized that if I turned off the phone, people were just going to email me all the time or send me a million Facebook messages. It's kind of a hard thing, because we're getting to the point where if you're not responding to people's text messages within an hour of when they send them, or within a day for emails, it's just socially unacceptable. It's been hard for me since I've been back. I've been bad with my phone and people are, like, "What the hell? I text messaged you…" So I haven't been up to social standards in terms of responding and people don't really understand that, I guess. 

In the opening of your "Going Amish" presentation, you say that you had friends over and realized what was going on. Describe what you noticed and your feelings right at that moment.
 
Reilly: I live with three guys and we had two of our best friends in visiting from New York City. We only see these guys once a year, maybe every six months. We were at the University of Wisconsin watching a Badgers basketball game or something like that. Every single person had either a laptop or a cell phone. That's just kind of funny to begin with, then, I was like, "What are we all doing?" I asked everyone what they were doing and somebody's playing Words with Friends, somebody's playing Angry Birds, somebody's playing online trivia. Nobody's really doing anything, just sitting quiet. It's like this was what we were all looking forward to and we're just sitting here numbing our minds.
That's the thing that drives me crazy. People go out to dinner with a crowd and everyone's on their phone. I mean, what else are you looking for? 

How did you communicate with family, friends and business associates during your "Amish" period?
 
Reilly: Ha! Not well, to say the least. 

Do you have a landline?
 
Reilly: At first, we didn't, but my mom started freaking out a little bit and we got a landline. For the first three weeks, there was a hospital right next to my apartment. I went into their waiting room where there's a courtesy phone for their patients. I was using that to call people. I had written a little address book with all the important people that I needed to have their phone numbers, but, you know, most people don't answer their phones. Most people just use them to see who called. Then, they'll text you, or they'll call you back when they have time. So, I'd either sit at the hospital waiting for people to call back or I'd go home. I was in and out of this stupid hospital waiting room all the time for the first couple of weeks.
Then, we started to have more fun with it. I started to carry chalk around with me. I ride my bike a lot, so, I'd ride my bike over to people's houses and leave them messages in chalk on their sidewalk. I set up a couple of systems with people where, when they got home, they would put something in the window, like a stuffed dog, or put a pumpkin up on the ledge that meant "Hey, I'm here. Come talk." I started having fun trying to dream up different ways to get people's attention. 

Were there people who said, "I'm just not going to participate in this. If you can't answer my texts, I don't need to talk to you."
 
Reilly: Yeah, I mean, I definitely just lost complete contact with people that normally would have been part of my life. I mean it's also an interesting metric for your life to see who some of your closest friends are, you know, and who's willing to take the time. I started to feel bad for them, too, because it definitely became a nuisance, but, yeah, it definitely changed the level of, or the number of friends that I had and the level of contact that I had with them. 

So, with some people it clearly decreased your level of interaction, but were there others with whom your contact increased in either quality or quantity while you were disconnected from the virtual social society?
 
Reilly: That was my other favorite part. I had so much free time on my hands. I also wasn't watching TV, because that felt sort of counter-productive. I would go to school, and then there was really nothing for me to do at home, so I would just ride my bike to people's houses, all these people that I would usually text or just see on the weekends or whatever. I would just ride by and chat with them, face to face. So, that was really cool, reconnecting, doing things you'd never normally do like having breakfast with someone's parents. 

You posted several of the notes you received from friends during your isolation. One note read "Jake, I'm pregnant. Call me." What was that about?
 
Reilly: Ha! At the school, there's an elevator. No matter where you're going, everyone has to use the elevator on the ground floor. So, for the people that I went to school with, that was the first place we'd post projects or memes. I didn't say this is my message board, but one of the girls just started leaving messages, like, "Hey. I'm on the fourth floor. Come find me," or "Jake, where are you?" It's a very public forum, so everybody can read it. It became my message spot.
Then, people almost treated it like a Facebook wall. It evolved from leaving messages for each other, to joking around, like, "Jake, your mother called. She said she doesn't love you anymore," and "Jake, the cops are looking for you," and all this stuff. It turned into a funny thing. 

At one point there was a Christmas greeting trampled in the snow? What were the circumstances around that?
 
Reilly: Yeah, that was mine for my long-term girlfriend who I had kind of stopped seeing, but then this whole thing kind of, I think, helped us get back together because whenever we were together there was no pressure. It was, OK, we're just going to enjoy each other right now, because I don't know when I'm going to see you again. There was no drunken text messaging and jealousy from Facebook. It was just her and I.
So we started seeing each other again, and I did a lot of cheesy stuff like writing a big chalk message on the street in front of her office building and sending her a cookie with a message written in frosting and stuff like that. On the last week that she was in Colorado I went out and wrote Merry Christmas to her -- that picture was taken from the roof of the apartment we were staying at. 

Do you think that those who rely so heavily on social media to interact with others are training themselves to communicate only at the most superficial level?
 
Reilly: Yeah, for sure. I think that Facebook is the biggest waste of time, because everyone is just presenting such a filtered picture of themselves. You only put up your best pictures. People only check in when they are at the fanciest restaurant in the city. They only keep things up there that are flattering to themselves. I just think it's like keeping up with the Joneses, but for life. You're never going to get on top of it. Someone's always going to have a better job than you, go on better vacations than you, have a better looking wife than you, or whatever it is. So, it's superficiality on top of superficiality. You never get to see the real parts of people. 

Did you have to relearn skills to function without electronic communications? Writing letters, for example. I know my son has nearly illegible penmanship because he has been typing everything instead of handwriting since he was very little.
 
Reilly: I really don't have good penmanship at all. The funny thing is that I had written like 15 or 20 letters, and I just held them for two weeks until one time I dropped my pack and realized that I had lost the letters. I had taken all the time to write the letters and then lost them, because I didn't take the time to go mail them. You know, when's the last time I sent a letter? Never. So, I had to remember to stamp it right away and get it in. Then, it's going to take a week to get there. So when you need to say something to someone, you need to get it right in on time. 

You said that you had much more free time when you stayed off Facebook and social media sites. Did this extra time translate into higher productivity or better grades at school?
 
Reilly: Yeah, a hundred times over. Like I said, there wasn't really much to do at the house, so I stayed at school most nights until 10 when everyone else leaves around 6, without a doubt. I think what's so hard for people and so distracting for people is that where they work, there are social media distractions on the same machine that they are supposed to be using to do their work. I'm sure every office in the country suffers from these things. I couldn't go to these sites, and when you can't distract yourself, all you can do is work. 

How did you fill all this extra time? What's one thing you would have never accomplished if you hadn't taken this break in your relationship with social media?
 
Reilly: I did a lot of things that I don't know […] other people would say they want to do. But I think, if they actually did them, they'd be of incredible value. I started meditating. People give you a lot of books that you can take time for, like "The Power of Now."
The best part for me was just the difference between riding your bike to work and going for a bike ride just for the fun of it. I would sit in the park a lot, throw the football with my friends, go ice-skating, and all that kind of silly stuff that you take for granted. It's all around you. I think that was the best part and most people really overlook that. 

So you ended up not only with more time for work, but more time for play as well.
 
Reilly: Yes, absolutely. It was weird, because you had to think of how to play. Most people think more time for play means let's watch a whole series of video clips or tag some pictures, but when you don't have all that stuff, you expand your mind about what you want to do with your free time. 

There's a real difference in the quality of that time. If I sit and play Angry Birds for an hour a day, I don't look back and say "You know, I had a really great Angry Birds session three weeks ago. That was a really great time," but if I share a sunset walk on the beach with someone, that's a memory that I can treasure forever.
 
Reilly: Yeah, sometimes you just sit on the internet and four hours goes by, and you're, like, I really didn't do one single thing. Maybe I looked at an article, looked at pictures, watched some dumb videos and got stuck in a YouTube black hole for an hour, just looking, looking, looking. I think you'd have a hard time finding anyone who thought that was really enriching your life. 

I mentioned your story to my father-in-law the other day, he said "You want to interview somebody, talk to me. I've been doing that for 69 years!"
 
Reilly: Ha! I think that's what's so much fun about it. I've had a lot of action on Twitter for the last few days and a lot of people send me emails saying exactly that. I think adults really relate to it and think it's cool that someone from my generation is choosing to do it. They all say, "That's how we lived for 40 years. Can you imagine our whole life is like that?" That was interesting to me. I asked my grandparents, "How did you guys find each other when you wanted to go out or something?" They said stuff like throwing window pebbles and just driving by people's houses, and having a diner that you would go and turn up at where people were always there. I mean, they obviously managed just fine, and I was anxious about it and didn't like it for the first few weeks. Then, I didn't even think about my phone or miss it at all. You just find new ways. 

I understand your father, ESPN sportswriter Rick Reilly, had a suggestion about your experience?
 
Reilly: Yeah, he's tweeted it out on his account and he's gotten a lot of reaction to it, too. He's been talking about trying to do a romantic comedy about it. There were so many missed connections. I mean, at first, I would meet girls out at the bar, and they'd be, like, "Here, take my phone number." I would have to explain that I didn't have an email address or Facebook… 

…but if they'll give you their address you'll stop by sometime?
 
Reilly: Yeah, and they were, like, "Screw you. If you don't want to call me just say so." I'd say "No, no. Tell me where your office is, and I'll send you a bike courier message or whatever." I think there's a lot of funny stuff like that. I keep telling people the hardest part was having to send all of my sexts by USPS. I mean, I didn't actually send pictures… 

In the end, having finished this whole thing, is your life different now or did you fall right back into old habits?
 
Reilly: It's definitely different, but I catch myself doing exactly what I hated. Someone is talking to me and I'm half-listening and reading a text under the table. For me, it's trying to be more aware of it. It kind of evolved from being about technology to more of just living in the moment. I think that's what my biggest thing is: There's not so much chasing for me now. I'm here now, and let's just enjoy this. You can be comfortable with yourself and not have to go to the crutch of your phone. For me, that's more what I will take away from this. 

Do you have future projects planned?
 
Reilly: I keep telling everyone I should do another 90 days where I don't speak to anyone in person and only communicate by internet or through technology, but that's just a joke. It's really changed my life. Like I said, I'm back with this girl. Everything's a lot simpler. I'm more than happy that I did it. 

What else did you learn?
 
Reilly: I think the letters were the coolest part and how people were really into it. I think I wrote 75 letters and nearly, I'd say, 85 percent came back with responses. Now all these people are responding to the video online. All the appreciation, I think the coolest part is that all these people really see this in themselves and wish that there was a different way and we weren't so tied to all that stuff. 

Let me ask you one more question about the letters. What's the difference in the level of thought and feeling that you put into writing a letter compared to typing 140 characters?
 
Reilly: What we do now, on e-chat, is people just flying off with whatever comes to mind. It's so much different to have it really thought-out. I'm a writer, so it's time consuming. I think it takes 20 minutes or half an hour to write a letter and really get it the way I want it. I think it's a better, purer way to communicate. People appreciate it so much more when you send them a handwritten letter or even a thank-you note showing that you're taking the time to think about them. 

Conclusion 

With modern technology, texts and Facebook wall posts can serve as an attractive veneer making relationships seem more genuine than they really are. Conversely, social media can interfere with our most intimate real-life relationships. How many of your closest relationships would suffer if people had to invest more effort than sending a text to stay in touch? How much better could your relationship with your significant other be if you could give your partner your full attention whenever you're together? There's one way to find out, if you dare.

To see more of Reilly's work, go to BodyCopyByJake.com.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Blog Love


I love vintage.
I love pretty.
I love eccentric.

I love reading The Glamorous Housewife's blog.

She talks about all of these and more.
Her blog is also just plain pretty to look at.
I dream of the clothes and accessories that she posts about.

This week, she is doing 4 days of giveaways!
That's right.

You should go over and check out what she's giving away.

Here's today's giveaway .
But be sure to go see what else she's giving away this week!