Wednesday, December 4, 2013

40 Random Donations in 365 Days

Anyone who knows me well knows how I feel about my birthday so I won't go into that here. I will say that this "big" birthday has taken a while to come to grips with, but fortunately I have a lot of great friends who are older and have not only proven that 40 now is NOT the 40 of our parents, and really, it is just another year, another number. Granted it is not a number you will likely hear me mention again. Fortunately for me I have good genetics on my side and most people are pretty surprised when I tell them my age. I also take pretty good care of myself because good genes are only a foundation, you can't take advantage of that shit.

With that said it's my birthday, and I'm not mentioning it because I like the attention. Quite the contrary, I don't like a fuss being made, I like presents, but no fuss. Nothing new to those who know me. I have been thinking a lot about this birthday though. I mean, assuming I live till I'm 80, today means I've officially made it half way through my life. That's pretty intense. I remember being like 10 and thinking 40 was ancient, I mean my mom wasn't even 40 yet and regardless of age, at 10 everyone thinks their mom is "old" right? Shit at my age my mom had 2 children under 10 and a teenager. My grandmother was 43 when I was born. There is no way in hell I could ever picture myself as a grandmother. "Ain't no one got time for that!"

Of course a lot of friends have asked what I am planning for my "big birthday." And then of course we all hear the "you only turn ___ once." Well no shit, you only turn every age once, so really why do certain numbers/ages get special treatment?

Of course you have the ages that signify something "meaningful" (at least in my opinion); 10 because suddenly you are in the double digits, 13, because you're no longer a "kid" and now you're a teenager. At 16 you get your license, or at least you can get your license. At 18 you can vote and you are legally an adult, although I can't think of any 18 year old that I've ever known that was an "adult." At 21 you can "legally" buy alcohol and get into bars and drink. But then what? 25? Because it's a quarter of a century? After that it seems that we only really make a big deal about the decades. But why? Why not make a big deal about 17 or 24 or 33 or 42 or 57 and a half? Or not put so much pressure on certain numbers and treat them all the same? Party like its 1999 every year, or not, whatever. Where am I going with this?

Well, since I have chosen to remain 29 for the past 10 years, I've contemplated this new number. Will I accept 40 or will I be 29+11? We are not doing anything "BIG" because I'm a weirdo and don't like the attention and don't want to have a party. My husband would love to be able to throw me a party but fortunately for me, he gets me, and even though we could not be more opposite when it comes to birthday celebrations, he respects my eccentricities, and plans a great weekend for just the 2 of us. One of these years we'll go on a big trip, again just the 2 of us, because that's how I like it. I do feel like I should do something "grown-up" though, because even though age is just a # and I truly feel and live by "you are only as old as you act and feel," (and look, but that's a different post). I don't feel old, I don't act old - well no older than I ever did, I have always been an "old soul" and had viejita tendencies, and I know I don't look old, but I have lived 29+11 years and that's kind of a big deal. So what to do, that would mean something to ME that would be kind of a cool way to celebrate this new decade?

In 2010 I remember coming across a blog post about this woman who decided to celebrate her 38th birthday by doing 38 random acts of kindness in a day. Totally not something I could/would do, (too much human stranger danger interaction) but I thought it was pretty awesome that she took the time to do it. In addition to the fact that I pretty much remember everything, it is no surprise that I still remember this story 3 years later, but there was something about it that stuck with me. Could I do something cool with the number 40? Of course I could! But it would have to be something that wasn't putting too much pressure on myself, because that doesn't work with me, not with something like this. That instantly rules out anything done all in one a day. Hmmm... What to do that would be meaningful to me?
Why not make it a goal to donate 40 of my crochet/knit items before my next birthday? I know I already donate hats to little kids but so far it's been in conjunction with a sale. Like a BOGO but instead it's been a BODO. I've also donated a few hats to raffles/auctions for pet shelters, but again its kinda random. I think I've donated a total of about 10 items this year, maybe 12. So 40, in addition to what I already make for Miss FartyPants and whatever I sell, is a lot. It might not seem like a lot to some, but if you know me, then you know how anal retentive/type A/perfectionist I am when it comes to anything I do, which means I take twice as long as the "average" person to do anything. Maybe 3 times as long.

So here are my rules for myself (I LOVE rules!)
  1. Donate 40 individual items between now and my next 29th birthday to an oncology center and/or animal shelter. 
  2. Must be something I make, not monetary or bought.
That's it, just 2 rules. I'm not setting a "goal per month" or picking a specific item or even a specific organization. Instead of 40 Random Acts of Kindness, I'm calling it 40 Random Donations. It might be beanies to kidlets battling childhood cancer, it might be hats to an oncology center for teens/adults. It might be items for a raffle for an animal shelter or even pet beds. Again, no pressure. I put enough pressure on myself on a daily basis, I want this to be something fun and meaningful to ME. If I manage to donate more than 40, AWESOME, but no less than 40. And I will stay accountable by posting it here, kinda like I do with my workouts. I may even post pics of whatever I make to donate each month on FB and IG, just to add to the accountability. 

So that's it. 40 Random Donations in my 40th year.  So if you read this and know of a children's oncology center or oncology center or animal shelter then post it in the comments. I already have a list of a few but I know there are more out there. Do you make stuff too? Wanna join me? (you would do your own #/age).

Oh and I plan to continue and step up the workouts because I WILL wear a bikini next Summer dammit. Even if its just once. I don't have 40 lbs to lose or even 40 inches, but if I could lose 4 inches in my waist, that would be amazing. I think that's pretty doable, don't you? 

So that's it, my monumental birthday post. Time for me to go work out and make some shit! But before I do that...

It's time for some useless trivia...

December 4, 1973 is the 338th day of the year 1973 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 27 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Tuesday. So 40 years ago I was born yesterday. 
A person born on this day will be 40 years old today. If that same person saved a Dime every day starting at age 7, then by now that person has accumulated $1,205.30 today. (I should make my niece start saving a a dime a day, shit a quarter and then she can thank me later).

All About My Birthday is a cool site to find out random info about your birthday. In reading all the amazing things that happened on my birthday, this stuck out to me the most. 

What is the birthstone for December 4, 1973?
Turquoise is the modern birthstone for the month of December while Onyx is the mystical birth stone (based on Tibetan origin). The zodiac gemstone for Sagittarius is topaz. Lastly, the birthday stone for the day of the week ‘Tuesday’ is ruby.

I've always loved gems/semi-precious gems and believe in the properties they posses and their energy. During my teen years I wore lots of Turquoise and I still have most of it. I've always loved and been drawn to Onyx because its a beautiful stone and now it makes more sense. The most interesting part in all this though, is that according to this site the birthday stone is ruby. Well if you know me personally then you know that D and I got engaged on my birthday 9 years ago AND guess what stone is in my engagement ring? A RUBY! He chose the stone, I just said that I didn't want the typical cliche diamond. It's like he knew, even though he didn't know.
That's it.
I will sign off with a random picture of my namesake in 1973.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November Workout Wrap-Up

I started on Nov. 12, got 9 days in and took almost the entire week of Thanksgiving off minus the "day 9 Hula. Not quite half the month but considering how September and October were I say not a bad start! I can  definitely say that while squats still kill, busting out 100-200 each workout has gotten way easier. If I keep this up maybe, just maybe, I'll have some semblance of an ass by next year. We shall see.

Day 9 - Hula. I had planned on adding to it but it didn't happen. Still a good workout though so I'm not complaining.

Day 8 - Hula and the Drop 10 Workout

Day 7 - 1 set of the 100 Workout and 1 set of the "Every time You See This" plus 50 regular squats and 50 Sumo squats.

Day 6 - Another 200 squats (no split squats and no 1 leg squats). My legs were trembling during the last set of Sumo Squats. And 1 set each of the ab exercises shown. I swear that 60 sec plank is the longest minute ever! Surprisingly my arms aren't as sore as I thought, but I am definitely aware of all the muscles between my shoulder and elbow.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Contribute to LLS when shopping on CyberMonday - and throughout the holiday season

I don't know about you but I LOVE to shop on line. I'm also big on multi-tasking, so if I can shop AND donate to a wonderful cause at the same time, there really is NO EXCUSE not to do it. Starting Cyber Monday throughout the holiday season if you plan on shopping on Amazon, just go to pick the organization of your choice and that's it. It doesn't get much easier. I mean seriously, you can even bookmark it. It takes like .5 extra seconds and you are instantly donating while you shop! I chose the LLS because my sister is a non-Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer survivor! It would mean the world to us if you chose to donate to LLS as well, but really, as long as you are donating to a worthy cause, that's really all that matters. 

So what are you waiting for? Click the link, pick your organization and SHOP!!!!!

Join the Blanket Drive for CHLA and Local Women's Shelters

A fellow Etsy seller is doing a great thing by making and donating blankets for CHLA and some local women's shelters. She makes beautiful blankets with lots of love. If you want to help out and join in the giving spirit please email her at itsacircus2 @ (no spaces).  A $16 donation gets 2 blankets from her shop donated to the Children's Hospital LA and local Shelters. Check out her Etsy Store and follow her on Instagram.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November Workouts Day 5

I took Friday and Saturday off which meant I HAD to do something today.  I didn't want to, but I also didn't want to lose my new momentum. Originally I thought I'd workout in the morning before we did anything, but I enjoyed my morning grog (coffee) a little too long and ran out of time.  Fast forward to 9pm and I had to make a decision. Work out or be lazy. I wanted to be lazy because I felt the mittelschmerz starting and knew it was going to be bad, which meant no squats or jumping or even a good core workout. What to do? Flake and use the onset of pain as an excuse, or power through a quick workout before it hit full force and I was bound to the couch in excruciating pain? I opted to power though until I couldn't do anymore. Arms was about all that was safe so I did the '10 Minutes to Tone: Arm Workout' video again. My arms were still sore from Thursday but "no pain no gain" right?  I swear that is the most hellish 10 minutes! Even though my arms felt like jell-o,10 minutes seemed like a sorry ass excuse to call it a day. Attempted the 'Killer Abs' but couldn't make it past the first 10 sit-ups before cursing womanhood and the shit we deal with on a monthly basis.

I still couldn't give up though. Why not torture my arms a bit more? I mean what's 30 more reps (3 sets of each) of a few easy moves? HA! I got in 2 sets, was afraid to whop myself it the head with a 5lb weight during the the shoulder press and called it a day. By this point I could barely make it to the couch anyway so the timing was perfect.

While this was not my most impressive workout I figured it was better than not doing anything at all. It hurts like hell so it has to be doing something AND if I pop a few Ibuprofen now I should be able to do some serious leg and core exercise tomorrow. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Healthified Banana Bread makeover

For years I've been making Healthified Banana Nut Bread and it's been awesome. Everyone who has ever tasted it, loves it and never even knows that it's not regular banana bread.

After shopping and restocking the fridge today I remembered I had 3 very ripe bananas that either had to become bread or, well you know. So I decided to make some banana bread. As I was getting out all of the ingredients I thought that it would be interesting to experiment with some Gluten Free Flour that D bought a while back (when I sent him to the store for Almond Meal - don't ask). As I was getting the Gluten Free Flour I noticed I had some Almond Meal left. Hmmm, why not? Usually I mix regular white flour with wheat flour so why not mix these 2? Then I thought, why not swap the sugar with honey and while I'm at it use Coconut Oil instead of Canola oil. Worst case scenario, it tastes like crap, I throw it away and never try to fuck with a baking recipe again. Best case, I have a NEW, healthy, Banana bread recipe. 

Original Healthified Recipe 
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 egg whites
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large)
1/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted*

My New Healthified Recipe    
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

1/2 cup TJ's Just Almond Meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 
2 egg whites
3 med/large RIPE bananas
1/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1 teaspoon Bourbon Vanilla
(I didn't have any walnuts)

I had D taste the bread as soon as he got home but didn't tell him that I changed anything. He LOVED it! He couldn't even tell that I had changed anything OR that it was Gluten Free. SCORE! I now have a new Banana Bread recipe. I almost swapped out the fat-free milk for Almond Milk, but I'm still on the fence with Almond Milk. If it had more protein I'd be all over it, until then it resides in the house and has a purpose, but I'm not ready to bake with it yet. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November Workouts Days 3 & 4

Day 3 - I decided to google, and search some hashtags on IG and also search Pinterest and found more workouts to do. for Day 3 I decided to work on arms and core. I've said it before, but some of these exercises seem easy at a glance, until I start counting the reps. Adding Sumo Squats and Calf Raises on days 1 and 3 means that my legs are SORE. Not just thighs, the WHOLE leg, both legs.  So I thought focusing on arms and core (that was sore too but I can deal with that soreness easier) was going to be giving myself a bit of a break without slacking. I found this 10 minute arm video on FitSugar and it what's 10 minutes right? WRONG again! the woman does not break. It's 10 straight minutes, except when you switch from 3 to 5 pound weights. Of course I thought I would be all bad ass and just stick with my 5 pound weights, plus its all I have. By the 3rd exercise I wanted to cry and just used my own resistance. Still sore as hell during after and today, the day after. 
Here is the video. It really is only 10 minutes and since it is non stop and makes you want to cry I'm going to recommend it and hope to see results sooner rather than later.

In addition to the arm torture I did the Core Challenge. My arms hurt so bad that I could only do 1 of the planks with fully extended arms, and even then they started to shake after 10 seconds and that has never happened before. 

Day 4 - let the torture continue. Totally sore today. 

Even tough I went to hula and danced for an hour I felt that I had to keep my momentum and do a regular work out. I had intended to take easy, but once I was done I realized that I've lost my mind and am clearly punishing myself for being such a slacker the past few months. 

-I only did 1 set of arms, with 5lb weights. The full image says 3 sets,  but I just couldn't be that cruel, it already hurts just to reach in the cupboard from yesterday's 10 minute torture video.

-I also only did 1 set of the each squat pictured. There are actually 2 more variations (split squat and 1 leg squat) and that also says to repeat 3 times, but 200 squats in one night was enough for me. I can't even fathom 600 in one day at this point. I can't be that cruel yet. Maybe by January I'll have reached that level of insanity but for now 200 squats is enough. Shit, the 30 day challenge doesn't have you at 200 until the very end and I've never made it that far. I'm actually kinda scared, I hope I can get out of bed tomorrow. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November workouts - Day 2

I almost didn't do an actual workout since I went to hula practice early and danced for approximately 1.5 hours non-stop and my legs were crying, but I came home, made a quick post-dance dinner and then started searching. Our DVD player still isn't working properly and the excuse is getting OLD considering I have a laptop and iPad so really no excuse to not pull up a video or just do more of the "pic workouts." So I found a few more that looked interesting and challenging and picked 2 for last night. I found these doing various google searches. The one on the left is called the "Inner Thigh Gap Workout Routine" and the one on the right is simply "1 set." Considering I was already sore from Monday's workout and had just worked my legs in hula I was already sore so these were pretty hard, but again, TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Today I feel like this, but also my core. It's that good sore that I love to hate but also miss. I like to pretend that the soreness is converting fat to muscle so it's worth it! I find that the soreness really kicks in about 15 hours post workout, which means I may be crawling by this evening. Maybe I'll find some floor workouts for tonight. ;)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Beginning of the November Workouts - Day 1

Last year I kicked ass on the workout front. I formed a strong love/hate relationship with Jillian Michales and her DVDs. I got fit, felt great and had noticeable results. Without going through all my FB posts I believe I worked out a total of 150 days in 2012. Now that may not seem like a lot to some of you, but considering I hadn't done much in 2011, it was a HUGE accomplishment. This lead me to enter 2013 with grandiose plans to hit the 200 mark. Sadly I stopped keeping track because I lost motivation and I'd be shocked if I even made it to 85 days this year. Oh well, shit happens right? At least I haven't given up. I haven't been as dedicated to Jillian this year but I have done tried a lot of the 30 Day Challenges. I have yet to make it through an entire 30 days, but I've given it a good shot.  Since my motivation has been lacking I thought I'd start out light and chose these 2 workouts that I found on Instagram. Let me just say that they were NOT as easy as I had anticipated but they felt good! Haven't decided what I'm going to do tonight but once I do I will post it.

FB accountability has definitely worked, but since I have been lacking, I am now holding myself doubly accountable. Plus posting here will be much easier to search.

November already?

Whoa where did the past 10 months go? So much for trying all those pinterest experiments huh? Talk about a brief hiatus. Oh well here we go again. No rules this time, just going to post about whatever.

Let's start with some shameless self promotion... Have you checked out my etsy store lately? I think I only had like 1 or 2 items back in January. Well I have officially become totally addicted to yarn and crochet. Last year it was knitting - which I still love but I realized a lot of the items I wanted to make were crochet so I taught myself, with the help of YouTube of course. Now I'm a crocheting fool! I still love to knit, but I realized that I need better knitting needles so until I can get those it's all about hooking!

What about FB, have you 'liked' my FB page? Followed me on instagram? What are you waiting for? What about zazzle for some cancer awareness logo items? Yup I have my fingers in everything, which is probably why I've been such a blog slacker.

Here's a random picture of a 6-week Shiba puppy - Eisha. I got to meet her and her 4 other litter mates (3 girls , 2 boys total) back in October. Why am I posting it? Because I can, and I LOVE puppies (all dogs are puppies in my book) and she wants you to like my FB page too because I make Shiba inspired hats and donate a % of each hat purchase to a Shiba Rescue.

More to come so stay tuned!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to tell if your avocado is ripe

I don't know about you but I love avocados. Sometimes I'll eat one with a piece of toast for lunch, kinda like an open face avocado sammich. The problem though, is that I never know when they are just ripe. I usually buy at least 3 at a time and then just wait and hope for the best. Until now. After stumbling across this image on how you can tell the ripeness of an avocado, I decided to give it a shot, and in going along with my 2013 "goal" of actually using this blog, I figured why not use it as an excuse to "document my food."  Now when I grabbed this one off the counter this morning I was skeptical. It was a bit too soft, but when you're already running late there really isn't much time to contemplate lunch options, so I grabbed it along with a piece of bread and off I went. 

Fast forward to lunch time...
First I popped out the "belly button" (that's what I'm calling it) and it looked good. Then I grabbed my super sucky handy dandy potatoware knife and cut into it and sure enough my avocado was perfect! (you can thank the ecofriendly potato knife for the jagged edges). 

So there ya go, first pinterest experiment of the year was a success! Now to try that teeth whitening trick this weekend. I will report back after I've tried it. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's 2013 and I haven't posted anything in ages! I have however been busy being creative. I plan to start posting again, at least once a week with something from pinterest, although I will be posting other stuff as well.

A quick update on what I have been doing:

  • I've learned to knit and taught myself to crochet and made all sorts of things
  • I've had a few successful pinterest experiments and a few "pintrocities"
  • I've made LOTS of hair accessories for my niece that were all pinterest inspired
I'm sure there's more so in stead of listing them I'm going to just start posting stuff, so stay tuned.