Sunday, 23 February 2014

Runners Tell All: My Running Story

Amanda from The Lady Okie and Becka from Sunshine to the Square Inch are hosting a link up with a different running topic every month. I don’t post about my running very often but I think this sounds awesome and so I’m joining in. This month the topic is How and Why You Started Running in 250 Words or Less.  
Here's my story

I always liked the thought of being a runner and started running so many times that I’ve lost track of them all. I started in high school, and university, and my twenties, and, most recently, in my thirties.  While I liked the thought of running, I was never willing to consistently put in the time and effort it required to truly become a runner, until this time. This time will be my last time starting, because I don’t plan on stopping ever again.

I started (again) in August 2013 and would do a 2 km loop by my house. The first time I walked almost all of it, running only from the first tree to the post. It was embarrassing but I didn’t give up. The next day I went to the second post. Then the second tree. Each time I pushed myself a little farther until I had expanded my loop and could comfortably run 5km at a very slow pace. After being able to consistently run 5km, I started increasing my speed and I now typically run it in just under half an hour.

Now I try (sometimes more successfully than others) to run at least 3 times a week, a minimum of 5km per time. I still feel strange calling myself a runner and I don’t feel that I look like a runner but I’m working to get over that. I run. That makes me a runner.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Cozy and Warm Knit Infinity Scarf

Remember when I tried my hand at arm knitting? Even though it was a failure, I still wanted a thick, cozy infinity scarf. I went looking and found a free pattern for this Gap-tastic Cowl by Jen.  

There was one problem with the pattern – I don’t know how to knit with a circular needle and I didn’t want the scarf to have a visible join. Instead of trying to learn I asked my aunt to knit it for me. My mom picked up the beautiful wool and my aunt knit it up and sent it to me. 

Do you have a go-to person for projects you don't know how to do? Please tell me I'm not the only one! If it's a knitting project for me, my Aunt Shirley is definitely my person. She's generous with her time and always does amazing work. I think everybody should have an Aunt Shirley. 

Shared at: Natasha in Oz, Serenity You, Life on Lakeshore Drive, C.R.A.F.T., Hickory Trail, A Stroll Thru Life, Home Coming, Kathe With An E, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tiny Sidekick, Fluster Buster, Clean & Scentsible, Ginger Snap Crafts, The Happy Housie, A Creative Princess, 4 You With Love

Monday, 10 February 2014

52 Week Organizing Challenge: Weeks 3 - 6

As I shared with you before, in an attempt to get back on track and to continue working on my resolution of “focus less on the stuff”, I decided to try the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home by Home Storage Solutions 101.

I asked my dear friend Jen from Black Dog Blog if she’d be onboard and she emphatically said yes. Together, we’re tackling our houses. 

These posts will be very photo-heavy and I apologize in advance for the poor photos. I didn't worry about lighting when taking the pictures for these posts.

Week 3: Pantry, Spices, and Food Storage Area

I've spent a lot of time getting my pantry set up in a pleasing and practical way, which I shared with you here. For this week, I just had to clean it up and tackle one major problem area.

 You know how I love washi tape? I used it to make some quick labels for pantry items. The tape specifies gf, df, or both, depending on the item. That way I can quickly glance and know what's safe for me.

The only gf / df items that aren't labeled are the ones on this side of the second shelf from the top. This is my snack shelf and anything there is ok for me to eat.

Spices have always been a difficult thing for me to organize. As you can see, my before system wasn't working. I went shopping and brought home three different options for spice racks. I reminded myself that this year is about buying and owning less stuff and so while it's not the most attractive, I went with the simple shelf that allowed me to keep my spices in their original bottles.

Can you tell I went grocery shopping between the before and after photos? I took inventory and restocked my bottom shelf. I haven't been doing a monthly shop since going gluten and dairy free but I'm hoping to get back to it.

Week 4: Fridge and Freezer

I'm a little embarrassed to show you these pictures. Oh dear.

My freezer was so jammed full because I as lazy about putting things in the deep freeze. Now it's organized and the deep freeze no longer looks empty.

My fridge is also embarrassing but for a different reason - it's empty. I have this weird thing about being able to see everything without having to move things around. Combine that with most of our food being in the freezer and pantry and it makes for a sad looking refrigerator.

Just to prove we really do eat, here's the door. I don't have a before but as you can see, we love our condiments.

Week 5: Organize Recipes and Cookbooks

I have things in process for this. You'll just have to wait and see...

Week 6: Create a Home Recycling Center

I took care of my recycling when I cleaned out my cupboards so I didn't have anything new to do this week.

I can't believe it has been 6 weeks already. I'm enjoying this system because it doesn't take too much time each week but I can still see improvements and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Want to see my previous 52 week challenge posts?
Weeks 1 & 2

Shared at: Kathe With An E, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tiny Sidekick, Fluster Buster, Clean and Scentsible, Life on Lakeshore Drive

Monday, 3 February 2014

Valentine's Mantel

I decided it was time to get out my Valentine's decorations and set them up on the dresser that I like to pretend is a mantle.

I haven't made anything new this year (yet) so you may have seen these projects before.

If you want instructions you can go here for the scrapbook paper photos and go here for the heart tree. I'd only been blogging a couple months so please ignore the bad photos.

I really like these decorations. They're sweet and simple, not overwhelming, and look lovely from my place on the couch. 

Shared at: A Peek Into My Paradise, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tiny Sidekick, Fluster Buster, Clean & Scentsible