Friday, September 30, 2016

Days 24-30 of #NamasteStrong Yoga Challenge

I am going to start out with my post from Sunday. What you see there is what is left after I try to do a flying Warrior. I thought I was warmed up and now my hamstrings are very very tight and I tried a variety of ways looked up a bunch of modifications and was trying it with both black and a strap and ended up pulling a hamstring muscle in my left leg. Not what I wanted to happen ever and certainly not how I wanted to see ending this challenge.

So now I backtrack to Saturday and show you two variations of pyramid pose. The one on the right is what was on our challenge sheet. And the one on the left is what you typically see for a pyramid pose.

So this next one is from Monday. It is a standing backbend. I knew I wasn't going to be able to get very deep into the post and thought I would briefly try it out and see if it engaged my hamstrings are not. I think because of my lack of flexibility in being able to bend over it did not engage my hamstrings at all and was able to complete this one. My leg was wrapped all yesterday and will be today. I actually ordered a adjustable Velcro thigh and hamstring wrap that should be delivered soon to start wearing. I have been I seen often and taking Aleve and applying all of the RICE principles. I looked ahead at the next few poses and they might be possible but I am not sure. I am updating this post as I do them. So we'll see.

Day 27 is flying pigeon pose. I had done this one before and had an idea of how it was supposed to work and feel but there was no way I was going to be able to straighten my leg today.

The last three poses of the week. This last week especially seem to give me a lot more challenges especially considering I injured myself trying to do one of the poses. I think that injury made me more aware of my body and questioning my own strength. I know I have more work to do and we'll keep practicing these yoga moves. Tomorrow I will share a challenge I am going to do the first 10 days of October.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Happy 15th Anniversary to My Husband!

It's amazing how fast 15 years has gone by and I have had the perfect partner for me to do it with. I love him more than I would have ever imagined. I can't wait to see what life has in store for us in the future. Buy in the mean time -- enjoy these funny marriage humor memes I found on pinterest (none of them are my own creation.)

Pottery Candle Jack-o-Lanterns

I just love this set that I made. It was all made by slab rolling and hand building. I think they look even better in person. It was hard to get the lighting right for the colors to show up and also have them look how they do in real life. To start out with a slab ruled out all of my clay and head different shapes of cylinders and Cones that I molded them around. After letting them sit for a while too allow the clay to harden a bit I carved in the jack-o'-lantern features and any indentations I made.

The tray on the bottom has a texture on it that I made by pressing in texture mats. And made the leaves by using a leaf form that I bought on Amazon. The places I used on the darker orange and the wife are both a textured glaze that I put a clear coat of glaze over the top to make it a little smoother but I wanted to see how the rough look would turn out. I actually liked how those turned out better than the yellows glaze that I use which was called Fool's Gold. The tree and all of the features on the jack o'lanterns and ghost are all used in a fire brick color glaze.

Inside I talked a battery-operated tea light but you could use a regular tea light if you wanted. I love how the light shines through the jack o'lantern features.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Where Did We Go Wednesday? To The RAD Zoo

Seriously, we can't get enough of this place. It's great that it is so close to us and a family membership is affordble, but also we have been there so much that the owners recognize us and always make sure the kids get to pet, hold and/or feed something.

On this particular visit we got to watch them weigh (75 pounds) and measure (about 12 feet) a reticulated python. PLUS, they got to help hold that same pyton. It was pretty neat to watch. THey also got to hold one of the caiman's as well. This time we got a Family Plus membership so that the kids can each take turns inviting a friend to come with us so they can see how cool the RAD Zoo is.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Creeped Out Dollar Tree Halloween Goblets

I absolutely love how these Halloween goblets turned out. You can buy these goblets at the Dollar Tree for a dollar apiece. They are just fine playing but I wanted to make them seem even more creepy and fun for our Halloween party. I used acrylic paint on these. The neon yellow and pink colors are glow in the dark paint.

And I also glued into place a couple of plastic gems on the ice and some plastic rhinestones on the teeth. I thought by adding a little bit of paint I really increased their creepiness tenfold.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Slow Cooker Dill Potatoes and Sausages

This is super easy to make in the slow cooker before you go to bed or if you are having breakfast for dinner get it started before you leave the house in the morning.

All you need is 3 ingredients: potatoes, sausages, and dill dip mix.

Cut up about 4 cups of cubed potatoes. Place in a small slow cooker. I used a 1 1/2 quart slow cooker. Por 1 quarter cup of water over the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of dill dip mix over the top of your potatoes and mix to evenly coat. Stir in your skin on sausages. Cook in a slow cooker for 7 to 8 hours on low.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Days 17-23 of #NamasteStrong Yoga Challenge

This week has been full of surprises and some not so much surprises. This top post is of the first 5 days of the challenge.

Day 17 was baby crow. This I had a feeling I could do and was successful. But for this one I had fun trying out the app Prisma and made a more artistic picture on Instagram. Day 18 I took the kids up to the park and while they were playing I was trying to do flying Crow pose. I worked up quite a sweat and had to try this many times before I got to holding it up for three seconds. Need to work more on this one. Day 19 was a very humbling experience. I knew I probably would not be able to do that pose which is baby Firefly because in a previous post we had to do regular Firefly and I fell on my butt every time and was not very successful. This one I couldn't do it all. I found that my forearms would barely skim the ground and wasn't able to lift my body up into the pose mostly in part due to tight hamstrings and not strong enough for.

But on day 20 I was able to bounce back and do a tripod headstand. I have done them before and knew this one I could get in easily and hold the pose for a long time. It helps to do it outside because it doesn't hurt my head because the ground is soft.

Day 21 was the Flying splits. I had never done this post before but I followed the instructions that one of the hosts gave. She said that she gets into the pose differently than most people do. I am not sure how other people get into the post but I found these instructions relatively easy to follow and was successful. My only limitation is my tight hamstrings which prevent my legs from getting fully straight.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

FREE Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day is this Saturday!!!!

This Saturday is the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, which gets you free admission to a lot of museums across the US. You do have to pick out a museum and print off certificate in advance of going. You must have this certificate in order to get FREE ADMISSION.

There are 18 locations in Minnesota listed. In the past the Minnesota State Historic Sites had participated in this program, but it doesn't look like they are anymore (insert my sad face here). This weekend we won't be near any on the list, but if we in the Twin Cities or our home I would check out the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, The Works Museum (kids science museum) or the Steele County Historical Society Museum.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Where Did We Go Wednesday? To Canterbury Park

I have decided to change up my Wordless Wednesday and call it "Where Did We Go Wednesday?" I used to do Wordless Wednesday because I participated in WW blog hops, but I just don't have time for that anymore, but I still do want to share some of the pretty cool field trips and outings we go on, so it's time for a change, Change is good, right?!?!?!

What you will notice is that I might add some more text to these posts instead of just a link to the location and leaving the post virtually wordless.

So, here it goes. Recently we went to Canterbury Park. It was our 2nd time there ever and our first time this year. We went there specifically on this particular race day to see the weiner dog races. Can't you just imagine how adorable and hilarious that was. It really was. They also had the other family day events going on including pony rides, face painting, petting zoo and photo ops. It was a fun time and we also watched the horse races too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

DIY Cheer Pants

I made these DIY cheer pants for my daughter this year because she made a competitive cheer team. They do have both pants and a jacket that are optional for them to buy and we're over there uniform but they are just that optional. It was going to cost $40 for the pants alone and they did say cheer on them but they weren't anything really all that special and the only function they have is to keep them warm before they go out and compete. So I went to nearest Old Navy and picked up a pair of yoga pants and got some iron on transfer letters and basically just iron them on and peeled off the backing and created a pair of pants for her to wear. We plan to do something similar with a warm-up jacket. That we also have from Old Navy and will do an iron-on for that as well instead of paying $50 for a jacket that she would only wear to keep warm before competitions. Considering she only has four meet these products might not get used that much and she will probably outgrow them before the season next year.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Oven Baked Portobello Mushroom and Egg with Bacon

This is a super simple breakfast or meal if you are trying to eat clean, Paleo or low carb.

Preheat you oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
Remove stem from the mushroom and place gill side up in the dish.
Crack an egg on top.
Sprinkle with bacon crumbles, salt and pepper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes to desired egg hardness.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Days 10-16 of #NamasteStrong Yoga Challenge

Wow what a week this has been. Such a combination of poses that are relatively easy for me to do and one that I completely failed on. And one post that I had no idea that I could even do which is the flying lizard pose and is the top right picture and the top collage.

 Here we have the elevated Lotus pose which I have done before but isn't very easy for me and I can't get my legs up too high. And then the other post was something I have never tried before and will have to continue to work on but at least this is a start.

And finally here is suppose I just couldn't do it is called Firefly pose. I think there is a lot more work that I am going to have to do to get into this one. They can't all be easy and it wouldn't be called a yoga practice if you didn't have to practice some things.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Water Balloon Baseball

This is a super fun way to get wet and run around without having to feel like someone is giving up on you in a water balloon fight. Our rules were that if you hit the water balloon and broke it you were able to run the bases and score a point for yourself. Parents did the pitching and the kids competed against each other. We used an old stump as a Podium for winter pictures. It was a fun variation on playing with water balloons that allowed the kids to get wet and allow for the parents to play with their kids but not have to get wet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

#ad Review: EPAuto 12V 120Watt Portable Compressor

  I was very excited to be able to review this portable air compressor pump from EPAuto that you can plug into your cigarette lighter in your car or what used to be a cigarette lighter I guess it is just a power outlet now. It is 12 volts and 120 watts. It comes in a very nice carrying case and has three different tips you can use for it.  you do have to have your engine running in order for the compressor to fully work. I first tried it out on a hopperball or one of my kids. It filled it up quite nicely using one of the tips that were included. I have to figure out if I can use it our inflatable kayak or inflatable tubes that we pull behind the boat. They have a bigger air hole so I am not sure that this will work for that which is what I was hoping to use it for. But none the less I will like to have this available to us when we are biking as a family and when we are up at the cabin so we can quickly pump up balls and tires. Remember it is only a hundred and twenty Watts so it is not super powerful or quick compared to something with a higher wattage but it works and is relatively quiet. I received this at a deep discount in order to facilitate a review. All thoughts, opinions, and photographs are my own. No monetary compensation was received.

Wordless Wednesday: Lyric Opera of Chicago

Friday, September 9, 2016

Days 3-9 of #NamasteStrong Yoga Challenge

Another week of yoga poses as part of the #NamasteStrong yoga challenge.

Day 3 of #namastestrong  yoga challengeoutside our house is chaturanga. This one I feel I have got pretty good, but they are only getting harder from here.

Day 4 of the #namastestrong yoga challenge is a crescent lunge . I have a hard time getting the backbend in this as I lose my balance and backbends are not easy for me either.

Day 5 of #namastestrong yoga challenge is boat pose I can't get my legs very straight, it's as good as it gets rt now. On my back deck of our house.

Yoga inside on this rainy day. Feeling very humbled seeing this photo of me. Not as flexible as I thought. Day 6 of #namastestrong yoga challenge is salabhasana Gotta keep working at it.

Day 7 of #namastestrong yoga challenge was a yoga pose I have never done before and a little difficult. I did the prep stretches that @happybettyann posted in her video. Those were helpful. Then I tried the pose. Then I grabbed my yoga block and tried it a few times under my extended leg. That was helpful. Then I did it a couple of times without the block this is the result.

Day 8 of #namastestrong yoga challenge is camel pose or ustrasana. I had a chance to go to a yoga class today too! Kids are back in school, so time to get back in to an exercise routine again.

Day 9 of the #namaste yoga challenge. I like to support my back doing this pose, but you can also put your hands on the ground. I can do that, but it has been quite a while since I have done this and wanted to be careful as I am a little sore from doing a boot camp class on Wednesday night.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

10 Book Series at the 6th Grade Reading Level (AR, Accelerated Reader)

We are out of school for the summer now, so I wanted to have a list of book that are in series at the 6th grade level for my daughter to consider reading this summer. She has already started some of these series, but I know she will be looking for more ideas soon!

6th Grade Reading Level

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • All Four Stars by Tara Dairman
  • Cecelia and Kate by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
  • City Trilogy by Laurence Yep
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix
  • Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke
  • Mandie Series by Lois Leppar
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton (5.3-6.4 levels)
  • The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Build-a-Bear Workshop (Chicago)

There are Build-a-Bear Workshops all over the country, but we decided to let the kids go to one for the first time when we took out trip to Chicago. I thought it would make the experience even more special to them and then they would have a pretty awesome souvenir to take home. They really did love it and doing it on a trip was a nice way to make it special for them. We did it at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Yoga Challenge I am doing this September #namastestrong

I decided I needed to do something to get me working out more and doing yoga more, and since I had seen this yoga challenge on Betty Ann's Instagram, I thought I would follow along and participate.

I am not familiar with the other two yogis, but I am sure after a month of following them through these daily challenges, I will be. Check out their websites to learn more about them and their practice: Matr3Moni and Gina Heminover.

Below are my pictures for the 1st 2 days!

Be sure to FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM so you can see how I am doing this month and other stuff I am up to. Some of these poses look tough, so we'll see how well I can do.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cheers to Labor Day Weekend

It is our final holiday weekend of the summer. Happy Labor Day!

It's easy to make your drink look festive by throwing in some blueberries and raspberries in some white wine, or some lemon-lime soda and you'll have a fun red, white and blue effect.