17 Nov 2011, 9:48am
giveaway Mommy Hobbies:
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  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Handmade Goodness Giveaway: Set Of Note Cards

    I’m so excited about this giveaway.  I’m a native Californian and am proud of it!
    Growing up in the valley, nestled at the bottom of the foothills in Northern California I took for granted the amazing nature and incredible getaway spots.  But goodness, the memories I have when our family did go to enjoy God’s green earth.  Yosemite, Coloma, Redwoods, the North coast, Bodega Bay, Napa Valley…oh, yes, I have fantastic memories.

    When Robin sent me these beautiful note cards I got a little nostalgic…they’re gorgeous.

    Each photo has a message and captures Northern California so well.

    A set of 11 note cards for any occasion.

    To enter::
    Please, just leave a comment here on my blog and go to The Master’s Light Photography and tell them I sent you!
    Spread the word :)   Remember, let’s support fellow crafters and creators this holiday season.  Robin and her husband are so talented and would love for you to drop them a line or book a session with them.

    And, if you don’t already, please, follow me on FaceBook!

    14 Nov 2011, 1:00pm
    Mommy Hobbies running:
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    5 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Running: How I Started Running II

    Did another long run Saturday morning.  You ever find yourself staring longingly at the roads while you’re driving and imagine yourself running them instead?  Embarrassingly enough, I do.  More often than I’d like to admit, too.
    Saturday I finally ran the roads I’d been dreaming about and they kicked my tail.  The first 4 miles were so tough, my legs felt tired and I dropped from an 8:30 pace down to a 10:10 pace.  Those durn hills!

    My mind started playing tricks on me and I felt like I needed to use the restroom.  stupid, stupid.  I talked myself out of the mental bathroom I had created and just pushed on, to mile 5, mile 6 and by that time I was feeling, like, completely amazing.  My legs loosened up and the roads got a bit easier.  How did I get to 7 miles so quickly??  I literally ran like a banshee through that last mile and was kickin’ happy to reach my destination.  Got a few bugs in my teeth for the smile on my face.  It was no matter though.  Oh, did I mention that I had no idea how long my route was to be?  I picked a spot on the map and just ran…try it.

    But on to more tips and tricks.
    Before my runs, my really long ones, I make sure I’m hydrated.  A couple days before I’m set to run I drink and drink and drink.  Water.  I make sure my diet includes very little meat and a lot of carbs.  Pasta or breads :) )   Salads are good too.  Too much meat does a number on the intestines.  No joke.  From all those carbs I get what I need for my brain and body to function.  The sugars in those carbs keep me fueled and away from feeling physically and mentally fatigued.
    If you’re planning to run more than 75 minutes, make sure you bring along some water, to sip, and maybe some shot bloks, or a protein bar to nibble.  Otherwise, it’s safe to just rely on the glycogen our body has stored up to get you through your run.  No need, really to eat before your 3 mile, 5 mile or even 6 mile run (depending on the pace you keep).

    The key to keeping your body healthy, and I’m just learning about all this myself, is proper foods, stretching, hydration, proper running form and rest.  My knees KILL me after a longer run if I haven’t a maintained proper running form.  My shoulders are low and loose, back is comfortably straight, no leaning forward or hunching.  Knees don’t lie.   I can immediately tell if I was slacking on my form as soon as I stop running.
    As far as which vitamins to take, I’m not sure there is a set rule on this.  I do know, however, that a healthy diet of whole foods can give what is needed to help maintain your body.  Find foods rich in calcium, for your bones, iron, for fatigue, and sodium and other electrolytes.  I do take fish oil, as a standard, however.

    Hope this helps!  If you’re looking for support from other mother runners, please consider hooking up with the ladies over at “Run Like a Mother: The Book” on FB.  What a wonderful group of fellow mother runners.

    14 Nov 2011, 8:33am
    Mommy Hobbies sewing:
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    leave a comment

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Sewing: The Perfect Holiday Season Shirt

    Sometimes, I feel a little pathetic sharing with you all my “sewing” projects.  I’m not a full on seamstress, so my attempts to sew are merely reflections of others’ ideas.  I see something cute and I find a way to duplicate it with my own twist or just plain copy it!  Of course, I’ll always have a link back, if it’s there, or just confess that the idea wasn’t mine, but I just HAD to try it out.

    This idea, I’m sure, has been done a million times over and a thousand times better, but I didn’t see this on someone else’s blog, I saw it HERE and it inspired me.  Just a heart.  It was so incredibly cute and simple that I dug around in my fabric stash and pilfered through Cy’s t-shirts to make this happen.

    I cut my heart from a soft, fuzzy flannel material.  I free-handed it to keep with the idea of simplicity.   If I wanted perfection, I would have asked D :)   He’s the artist in the fam.  It was much easier to manipulate than jersey, which tends to shifts and bunch under the sewing foot.  Me and flannel get on really well.

    15 minutes later I had the perfect little shirt for the holidays.  Really.  What says holidays more than a heart??  Nothing.

    In hindsight, I should have tried to taper the sides a bit, considering it’s her brother’s size 4t.  But she was diggin’ it.  I used my fancy schmancy double needle to give it more of a polished look.  The stitching is yellow.

    I paired it with some leggins I made her and red shoes.  No holiday party is complete without some cute, red flats.

    Let the holidays roll!  I’m on a mission to complete a few more simple shirts like this.  I will try to challenge myself with possibly gathering the sides, tapering the waist and arms or adding some flounce.  We’ll see where it takes me. If you have any projects you’re working on do share!

    10 Nov 2011, 12:30pm
    Mommy Hobbies:
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    3 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Sewing: How To Hem Pants

    I NEVER thought I would be posting something so easy yet so mentally challenging.  I am such a newbie at this that it’s laughable.  But, the other day I had a lady approach me with six pairs of pants to hem.  I was so nervous, but I smiled and said no problem.  I kept thinking, “well, I’ll just go really slow and if I mess up I won’t charge her”.  It’s sort of intimidating having people trust you with their clothing, especially if you’re green behind the ears!

    I’ve seen noticeably “hemmed” pants before and didn’t like how they looked.  Pants just aren’t the same, especially jeans, if they don’t have that lumpy, telltale little hem down at the bottom.  It’s a complete eyesore to see a pair of jeans lopped off and sewn up.

    A while back I found a tutorial that I was so impressed with and decided to stash it away for the future.  Bingo.  You can find the tutorial HERE.  It’s so, so easy and the pants look amazing.

    There are only three steps.

    First, find how many inches need to be taken off the pants and divide that number in half. (so if 3 inches need to be taken off, cuff the pants to 1.5 inches)(in this instance, 2 inches needed to be taken off so I pinned the cuff at 1 inch)

    Second, sew directly above the original hem.  I used my zipper foot.  It allowed me to see where I was sewing much more easily than the standard foot.( you can see where I sewed, directly above the original hem)

    Third, flip the pant hem down and press.  It honestly looks good as new and the original lumpy, standard hem is still intact. 

     

    Never thought a tutorial would make me feel like a genius, but this one did.  Hope this helps!

    9 Nov 2011, 3:44pm
    Mommy Hobbies running:
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    1 comment

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Running: How I Started Running

    *and other bits of information*

    From the time I was 16 I gravitated toward running.  Late nights spent burning calories off my 110lbs frame.  I stopped running for a while and it wasn’t until I moved back East nearly four years ago that I got back in the groove.  But this time, I was accompanied by a cross-country runner who knew what she was doing and gave me pointers on how to master this beautiful sport of running.

    My first mile back on the roads was the most grueling and stomach churning.  I nearly puked in the last three-tenths of the mile but my little buddy wouldn’t let me stop.  She said, “puke, but keep moving.”  I dry-heaved and stumbled but I didn’t stop.  I completed 1.2 miles with a huge gasp and dropped to my back on my front lawn.  It was horrible.

    But it wasn’t until a few months after I had our second child that I made the real break-through.  We were on our nightly walk as a family and I was pushing our baby girl in a huge cumbersome stroller.  For some reason I got this crazy thought in my head to start jogging.  So I did.  I ran up and down these hills with a huge stroller and didn’t quit.  That was when I knew I wanted to do more.

    My first few runs were only a mile.  I didn’t follow any type of plan or schedule but my own.  I would increase my runs by a half-mile every couple of weeks.  I can’t remember if I ran everyday, but I know that I ran a lot.

    The Couch to 5k program suggests running every other day just so the muscles get a break.  When you start putting a new kind of stress on your body, it’s better to ease into it.  I, too, would run every other day and then I would cross-train on my days off.  I would do yoga, Zumba or lift weights.  It’s important to cross-train, to strengthen the core.

    After every run, I stretch, which is PARAMOUNT, because stretching helps to remove the lactic acid build up in the muscles and reduces the soreness.  It also helps improve flexibility and prevent injury on future runs.  Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good stretch.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve neglected my stretching regimen and regretted it because my next run was horrible.  My legs usually feel like large pieces of concrete and I slog through my run…blech.

    One of the hardest things to do is to pace.  My first year and a half of running, I ran “naked”.  That simply means without any type of device telling me my pace, distance, calorie burn…nothing.  It was just me and the hills.  I soon learned that my runs were the most rewarding if I could pace myself with breathing.  In through the nose, out through the mouth and in steady intervals.  This is how I learned to find my pace.

    If I could keep a steady rhythm with my breathing without have to *suck* or *heave* my breath in, then I was good.  On the other hand, if I could carry on a girly-girl convo while running, I wasn’t pushing hard enough.  My breath needed to be just enough to keep me going.  Proper breathing is so important.  Your muscles need the oxygen to keep moving and you need it to stay standing!

    I hope this helps.  Any other questions, please ask!  I’m not a pro and am just learning about all of this myself…but I love sharing what I’ve learned.

    *next up :: foods to eat for a better running experience, and how I keep my knees from cracking off my body. hah*

    7 Nov 2011, 9:34am
    Mommy Hobbies running:
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    3 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Running: My first 10 mile run

    My mind is still in shock.  Saturday I overcame a long time fear.  Running more than 8 miles.  If you’ve been reading me for a while, you’ll know that my longest run to-date was only 8 miles.  It was something I was extremely proud of but couldn’t seem to push past, for several months.  But, that’s all changed and I have a new goal to reach.  My next run will be 13 miles.

    Yesterday was the ING NYC Marathon, a marathon I was supposed to run in.  Remember my plea for support oh so long ago?  I feel slightly embarrassed that I was unable to come through with my goal, but I didn’t realize that running in the NYC Marathon wasn’t just simply signing up.  There are guidelines.  Now, I’m aware and have recently applied for the lottery to guarantee myself a slot in the 2012 43rd running of the race.  If I don’t win the lottery, there is always spring where I can try again for a spot…I mean, over 47,000 people ran through the streets of NYC yesterday!!  Can you imagine?  This is no small thing.

    So, Saturday, as I was winding my way through the hills and back roads of Central Pa, I started chanting to myself, “if I want to run a marathon, this is is what I have to do.  I can’t give up.  I have to keep moving…”  Over and over I repeated those words, I zoned out, I breathed, I enjoyed every step and then I imagined my victory dance.  Mentally, I was doing war-whoops and screaming ecstatically, but when my Garmin finally clicked over to 10 miles, I gave out a pathetic yelp…well, a couple of weak yelps.  The sense of pride that overcame me was amazing.  I did my “impossible”.  It was MY impossible.  I ran 10 miles, non-stop.  ‘Nuff said.

    I came inside and my knees felt like they were going to burst.  There were really sore and felt swollen.  Ice packs to the rescue.  D set me up and I chilled (hahah) for about 20 minutes, I stretched, rolled out my muscles and had very little after effects.  Today, my muscles are slightly sore, but I’m ready for another run.  I feel like I can do anything right now.  Running 10 miles is just THAT good.  I wonder what 15 miles feels like?  And 26.2?  That must be runner’s heaven…

    *Dear Fairy Jog Mother, hear me out…don’t let me give out on my commitment, ya hear?  Give me bright happy running gear for Christmas and keep my nose warm during my long winter runs ahead…thanks in advance.  Oh!  One last thing, I really, REALLY don’t want to lose my pinky toe toenail.  Can you work a deal for me on that one?*

    1 Nov 2011, 8:30am
    Mommy Hobbies Of Food and Love sewing:
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    leave a comment

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Of Food And Love: Free Candy Day!

    ::Don’t forget to ENTER the Handmade Goodness Giveaway for Tata, the Punk Monkey::

    Yesterday was Free Candy Day.  That’s what we call it around our house.  The one day in the year where most everyone is out on their doorsteps passing out candy, fruit, poptarts(?) and school supplies to the neighborhood children.

    Cylas was really, really looking forward to it all.  I know that it’s a bit controversial this “holiday”, but I’d like to post this to celebrate the fact that I made their costumes!  Hah.  I couldn’t believe I did it.  I think my ideas are bigger than my hands can make sometimes, so their costumes were quite simple.

    Hey, Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are lookin’ good…

    Who’s there?  The Wolf, of course!

    I’m going to eeeaaatt youuu *big growl*

    Noooo.  Poor Little Red Ridinging Hood runs for her cute little life.

    I made her cape and pants.

    I re-fashioned his ($2 thrift store) hoodie and made his tail. 

    That’s all.  And so went our Free Candy Day :)

    31 Oct 2011, 12:30pm
    Mommy Hobbies running:
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    4 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Running: My partner

    Last year, or was it the year before, we bought an incredible stroller.  I noticed it while I was in New York, before we had kids, and I vowed that THAT stroller would be mine when the time came.  And it was!
    We bought the Phil and Ted and haven’t looked back since.  But, man, it was a long road getting there.  We bought, and I kid you not, over six different strollers found a couple we really liked, but they could only do so much.  Finally, we snagged the jogger off Craigslist.  It was so light and rode like a dream…unfortunately, we traded it out for another style which is a little more cumbersome, but it works.  Because it’s heavier and doesn’t turn as smoothly, I get a little extra workout in my arms as I’m running.

    So, with my stroller and my two year old, I’ve been going out on runs that I that call “2 for 2″.  Two miles with my two year old.  It’s a great workout.  She loves, loves going out with me and sits so quietly.  My run usually lasts between 18-20 min, which is nice.  I keep about a 9 min per mile pace.  Decent.  But, she’s going to be turning three soon!  One of my Twitter followers asked if I was going to make it a “3 for 3″.  Yipes!  I could do it, I know I could.  Jogging with a stroller takes a lot of extra work, I don’t mind it.  I need all the help I can get.

    My latest running running news::  I signed up for my FIRST half-marathon!!  It will be in D.C in March of next year.  The D.C Rock ‘n Roll.  My mind is still swimming with the fact that I actually did it, so, now, every extra step I can take to prepare myself is a must.  So, yes, quite possibly, I will soon be writing about my “3 for 3″ runs with my baby girl.  She is the cutest running partner.

    I’ve been hitting the pavement regularly.  My mileage isn’t as high as I’d like it to be, and I still haven’t ever run over 8 miles, but I can pound out 7 miles in no time and I still feel good.  Maybe it’s time to take the next step?? Why do I get so nervous about these types of things??

    *this was by no means a stroller review just sharing my experience as a running mother with kids and what I’ve found works for me.*

    17 Oct 2011, 11:39am
    giveaway Mommy Hobbies:
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    10 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Handmade Goodness Giveaway:CLOSED: Pieces Of Three Shirts

    Melissa Munn is the winner

    Ok, so, you know that feeling when you see something you like and you just “have to have it”.  That’s the sort of appeal the clothing Pieces Of Three produce.  Three cousins with such creative talents.

    Left to right:: Danielle, Rachel & Jana

    Rachel and Jana are moms who hold full time jobs. We are 4 months apart in age, 29 yrs old. We each have one son, 3 months apart, 2 years old: Preston and Paxton. Danielle is single, 20, and just started working full time. When Rachel and her family moved back from Michigan, we jumped at the chance to collaborate on a creative business. We struggled to come up with a name that would represent us, and decided on Pieces of Three, because this business represents pieces of each of us, and not any one certain thing.   We have been working at Pieces of Three for four months.  We screenprint, sew, paint, and do lots of custom designs. Rachel and Danielle sew, Jana draws, all screenprint, and all come up with ideas. We hope to do this full time one day!

    They put so much thought into each piece they make.  I’m just in love with the elbow patches.

    What a giggle bug I have!

    They graciously donated two shirts for this giveaway.  We’re spoiled :)  

    How sweet is this little fox?  It creeps around the whole bottom half of the shirt…

    *sigh* I have to admit, I’m in love with this shirt, too.

    One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is watching people actualizing a dream.  These three are doing just that.  Let’s support them!

    To Enter::

    Please go “like” them on Facebook!  Pieces Of Three

    Then tell me why you want these adorable shirts!  (the acorn is 3t.  the fox is 4t)  You can enter for one or both!  Leave a comment letting me know which one (or for both).

    Good luck, and thank you so much to Pieces Of Three for being a part of this Handmade Goodness Giveaway Project.

    Please share with your friends and make this project a success!

    Winner will be picked next Monday

    5 Oct 2011, 12:00pm
    Mommy Hobbies sewing:
    by

    4 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Sewing: The Olivia Dress — Take 2

    Don’t forget:: Enter the Handmade Goodness Giveaway!

    And I’m much less afraid to post photos this time around…the dress is not an atrocity and I somehow managed to read the pattern correctly instead of backward, or sideways or any other way. 

    It’s adorable.  Seriously.  I made the dress I wanted to make.  It is a tad too big, but I didn’t know how to make the proper adjustments so I just left it.  I already used the smallest size available, soooo… what’s a novice to do?

    However, I have decided that this dress isn’t “easy” there are a lot of details!  I had to cut the bodice out four times once for the front and back and then again for the lining for the front and back.  I was hoping for a more simplistic pattern, but the lining added a nice touch.  Also, I didn’t complete the pattern, it called for lining the skirt, too.  Instead of worry about that, I just made cute little leggings.

    This dress is supposed to be accompanied with shorts, but her birthday is in November so I went back to my old ways of make clothing withOUT a pattern and whipped up the leggings.  MUCH easier.  Sheesh.  Now, if I could just learn how to make a dress without a pattern.  I need mad ninja sewing skillz for that though.  Soon enough.

    Oh, but there is something else so exciting about this dress!  I was able to “finish” the dress nicely!  I went out and bought a double needle…it makes two very neat rows of stitching like a a REAL garment.  Oh, man, it made me feel like a pro (which I am far from. hah).  The dress and pants were so neatly finished that I can’t wait to make another outfit.

    My mind is twirling with ideas…I’m thinking a cute little caplet for Roma and a cape for Cylas.  They both love, love, love dressing up and with the bags of material (like 5 huge bags) my dear, sweet friend Ethel dropped off, I think I shall have plenty to play with!

    The "finished" hem of the leggins

     

    Roma is her own version of Olivia, ready for anything!

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