Sunday, June 26, 2011

We might be getting one of these...

... and i'm super excited! I'll post if/when I get it!

The rasberries are here!

Look what Jack got to eat with breakfast this morning! It won't be long until i'm harvesting a quart a day, and freezing some for next winter's smoothies!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Running Things on Thursday

I was pretty bad last week about pushing myself, but I got out there. On Friday or Sat morning (can't remember which), I did a short 2 mile run. It was hot & humid, and I had my son (5 1/2) in the jogging stroller, or I would have ran more. On Monday night, I went to my group Walk-2-Run at Dick Pond Athletics, and this week was alternating walking 3 minutes, and running 3 minutes. I decided to use it to build up my speed & endurance, so I ran fast (wish I had one of those GPS watches, so I know what pace I was running!) when we were running, and caught my breath when we were walking. A friend of mine (who in my mind is a weight loss expert) told me that alternating walking/running burns more fat than straight running (sounds good to me!), so yesterday I did alternates again. I walked 3 minutes, and ran like the wind for 3 minutes, alternating for 33 minutes. I mapped it out after I got home, and I went 3 miles, so that was 11 minute miles! Not bad for half of that being walking. I must have been going fast (for me) when I was running! I think my next run will be straight running for distance, and not speed.

I hate picking out songs for my Ipod. I sit in front of Itunes, and my mind goes blank. I'm lucky if I can come up with 2 songs. When I saw this, I was thrilled, and bought it.

I am quite happy with it! There's a song or 2 in there that I don't like, but for the most part, the are all great running songs! There's a lot of them that are not songs that I would normally listen too, like if I were driving in my car, but are great for running to. I also highly recommend this Ting Tings album:

All of my favorite running songs are on this album, and I love the whole thing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I've Decluttered Wednesday

My niece-in-law-to-be had a garage sale this past weekend, and I gave her a bunch of stuff to sell. I told her to keep the money she made from it... I was just happy to have less clutter. It is a freeing feeling to hand over this much stuff! It was mostly clothes, with some misc. kitchen items, videos, toys mixed in. I have been brutal with myself, and am giving up everything I don't currently fit in, or currently wear. I even ran across an entire plastic tote of winter clothes that I didn't even know was in my basement this winter. I went an entire winter without missing any of it, so out it went!

I don't know if this counts as decluttering, but I turned some fabric that I bought a few years ago into this tablecloth & napkins.

Yes, it technically didn't leave the house, but it went from plastic-tote-basement-clutter to useful things that will be used on a regular basis. I'm going to count that as decluttering!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I've Decluttered Wednesday

Since we had a new furnace put in on Monday, it made us painfully aware of our basement stuff. We are still going through it all, but I think we peeled off another layer of the onion. What did I get rid of?

These 2 huge framed cork boards have been sitting in my basement for a few years. Years ago, I wanted a chalk board to mount to the wall for my son, but the person was selling it along with 2 cork boards for one price. I bought them all thinking that they'd be useful "some day", and in my basement they sat. They left me via Freecycle.

There were a few things my son outgrew a long time ago, a step stool, and some vintage toys. I also talked my son out of 4 foam weapons that he never played with. All gone, thanks to Freecycle!

Our bedroom is very small, and the furniture was making me feel closed in. I asked my husband to put the wardrobe in the basement to save space, but he said he should just get rid of some stuff he doesn't wear & fit everything else in his dresser. Great idea! It was sold via Craigslist, and now we have a LOT more room in the bedroom.

It's been a very productive week in our decluttering movement!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"There's a pig in my strawberry patch!", mulch, & more

My niece came by to get some raspberry plants from me, and brought her pet pig Soot with. My son & I were thrilled with the unexpected visit with him :) !

Earlier in the week, we had removed all the weeds (there were a lot) from along the fence, and planted our butterfly garden, all native to Illinois flowers that attract butterflies. Doesn't look like much now, but it will be fabulous when they are all in bloom!

Today was mulch day, and luckily I have a co-gardener all summer to help me! FYI, our city, like many others, offers free mulch that they get from the brush pickups & tree trimmings. We never pay for mulch. If you want free mulch, call your city & see if they do the same!

My son started reading just before preschool let out for the summer. He has been able to sound out words for a long time, but now he can read them (short phonetic words & common sight words), and he's pretty proud of himself (we are too!), so I want to keep up with it this summer. I want to keep it fun, so when he asked if he could have cookies for a snack this afternoon, I told him he could eat them after he read them. He read them, and ate them, with a smile :) . Thank you Trader Joe's for your awesome letter cookies!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Some garage sale finds this weekend

The garage sales were few and far between this weekend, because of the overcast, and the threat of rain, but I managed to go to a few. This pin was my favorite find. It had the mark "JJ" on the back, so I Googled it (I love Google), and it turns out it's "A highly collectible brooch from the JJ Jonette Jewellery Company". I just think it's a really fun pin!

I swear I have some kind of good karma going on with garage sales, because it seems every time I need something, I find it! A couple of weeks ago, I ran out of staples for my stapler, and I found several boxes of them for a quarter. This week I was getting frustrated with my lack of bobbins for my sewing machine, and tired of running out of thread with each project. I was planning a trip to the sewing store this week for them, but for a mere 50 cents at a garage sale, I got 12 of them in a brand new package! I have already filled them all up with thread :).

My son is my favorite garage sale buddy. He gets as excited as I do, and he will keep going as long as there are sales! I love it when he finds great things for himself. His latest love is magic, so I was thrilled for him when he found this for 50 cents.

The previous owner didn't take good care of it, and all the cardboard pieces were not usable, but there were still 4 tricks that were intact. He is currently putting on a magic show for the dog :).

Saturday, June 11, 2011


My little strawberry patch has really taken off! Jack gets to eat these with his breakfast today :).

I can't wait for the raspberries! Last year, I got a quart a day, and there's more plants this year! Jack gets a bowl to eat each day, and I freeze the rest for future smoothies.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Running Things on Thursday

I started running through a local running store's Walk-2-Run program last year at this time. When I say I started, I mean that I started. I have never run in my life, not even in high school. I thought it was a funny that these people thought that I would one day run for 5 minutes straight. I have now run several 5ks, including a mud run. I have run for 4 miles. I have run for 40 minutes straight. Running is the only thing that has helped me lose weight, since my son was a baby, and it makes me feel good (after I run, not during, lol).

Yep! That's me!

Anyhow, I need to keep myself accountable, and also I want to learn more about it, so i'll be posting about running once a week. I'll start at Monday for this week, since I can't remember it all from last week (though I did do a 40 minute 4 mile run last week... my best time/longest distance!).

This week's runs (I won't run 2 days in a row):

Monday: Ran with the Walk-2-Run group, 30 minutes of running (the last day of the session). It was hot & humid.

Wednesday: I only ran 2.7 miles, but it was 90 degrees & humid, i'm still getting over a sinus infection, I have seasonal allergies, and I was pushing a 5 year old in a stroller. There was a lot of hills, and little shade. A great morning run, all things considered!

My face gets beet red after running, except for around my mouth... kind of like a reverse clown face. It's awful, but it always happens after running, even in the winter. I did some Googling & there may be a link between that & low blood pressure. I'll have to look into that more. I was also occasionally getting headaches after running (also, talked about being associated with low blood pressure, but not proven or fact). I thought it was the most likely culprit, not hydrating enough, but I weighed myself before & after running, and came back 6 oz. heavier. That means i'm taking in more than i'm sweating out, so i'm good there. I also read low sodium, from sweating, can cause that. The last week, I have been putting a little sea salt in my after run milk (can barely taste it), and I haven't had a headache. It could be coincidence, but I think i'll keep putting salt in my milk.

Any pearls of wisdom for a new runner?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I've Decluttered Wednesday!

I am on a mission to declutter my house. This will take a while. I'll post each week the items I decluttered, and that will help me stay accountable. I think I might re-read Peter Walsh's book, It's All Too Much. I read it a couple of years ago, and it really helped me change my mindset on my stuff. A couple of great blogs on decluttering, that inspire me, are 500 Things, which is a great daily read, and Cleaning Up The Clutter. I recently had a garage sale, and got rid of a lot of stuff. It felt great, but I feel like I only peeled one layer off of the onion. I want my house to flow, & be clutter free.

We live in a small 2 bedroom house, built in the 40's, so space is at a premium... no walk in closets, no coat closet, no pantry (well... sort of. We turned a tiny broom closet into a tiny pantry), no dining room, no eat in kitchen, one tiny closet-less bathroom... you get the message. I can't afford to store things that I do not use. It has got to go!

This week's gone items:

- child sized reclining armchair. This was super cute, but my son never sat in it, and stuff would accumulate on it. It took up 4 valuable square feet of floor space! Freecycle got it gone! Looked like this:

- Playmobil Pirate set. I bought it at a garage sale, but my son never played with. He relinquished it to Freecycle, and the lady who took the chair was happy to take the pirate set too. This is the set:

Next week I should have even more to report! I have gotten rid of a lot in the past 2 weeks, but that is just the beginning!