Saturday, 10 February 2018

Health and Fitness

If you've been around this blog for a long time you would know I've had an interesting journey with my health over the last number of years. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, about 6 years ago now which it seems is one step away from chronic fatigue but not quite there. I am pretty much healed from that though I am constantly aware of not letting myself get too worn out. BUT one thing that I stopped doing after getting diagnosed was a lot of exercise. It all made me too tired. That habit continued and when I wasn't working for 2 years instead of getting up and doing something I generally sat on the couch each day and did not much! Not a good way to be.

The best thing that happened for me was to get a job where I could get out and do something daily. I don't think I could ever happily go back to not working. I could do with a couple of days break when the craziness of university gets too much on top of working but I love my job and the kind of work I do.

If you didn't know I am currently working as a receptionist/ trainee accountant for a small accounting firm mainly doing small business and tax work. On top of that I'm studying a Masters in Business, Professional Accounting in order to be able to get my CPA and become certified. I want to see how far I can go. BUT this doesn't leave a lot of spare time and it's generally taken up by me collapsing on the couch or in my craft room trying to eke out SOMETHING for myself!

I had already been deciding something had to change, I was putting on weight, not eating right and just feeling weaker and weaker when in November last year a special offer for a local bootcamp style gym came up in my news feed on facebook and I went yes! I started going 3 times I week (5.30am which is crazy but I'm often awake anyway.) The first day I could barely lift the 6kg kettle bell! I wasn't even able to keep holding it the whole time and had to swap to nothing. Now 3 months on I use the 8kg kettlebell without really thinking. I am realising something, it is possible to be strong as a woman. We don't have to be the weaker sex, which noone has ever really explained to me in a way that stuck. This is the first time in my life where I actually feel strong. I walk around now and feel stronger. I have energy and the ability to lift what I need to. I watch one of the other ladies working with the 16kg kettlebell and all I think is one day that will be me! I want to be strong. But it is also having an effect on other things. I can breathe better with my trumpet and actually hold notes, it's amazing how big a difference that makes.

I signed up 2 weeks ago for the 8 week challenge with my boot camp to try and boost my fitness and my weight loss. (honestly not sure how much weight I'll lose because for the first time I'm actually putting on muscle which is heavier but skinnier than fat.)

This comes to the other point of this post, I signed up for a 5 km obstacle course through mud and water. I don't know why, I must be crazy but I was so excited.

Here is me before the race started.

I was all nervous and excited at once. I was really lucky I found a group of people at the start line who saw that I was by myself and took me in and I went with them the whole time.

I surprised myself, I ended up jogging most of the 6km course, yes it was longer than the 5km they advertised. There were also 40 obstacles which does fit in the 30+ obstacles but still! I have some videos up on instagram of a couple of the obstacles but I'm not sure how to add them here soo... they're on my phone not my computer.

But I can show you a photo at the end.

We got a medal when we crossed the finish line. I went through water and up walls and stuff and through mud and tunnels. I had an absolute ball. You can see that on my face, I'm tired but happy!

I am currently comfortably sore and tired now but oh so happy with myself.

My plan going forward is to keep doing my bootcamp 2 days a week and I want to add in a park run and get better at doing this sort of thing. The bootcamp is doing Tough Mudder half in May and I'm serious about tempting it if my assignments allow. I just want to start adding more challenges, I'm taking it easy and building back up to full fitness but I am so happy to be able to move again and not be afraid of failing. I did exactly what I set out to do. I attempted all obstacles and I finished the race.

What changes have you been making with your fitness?
Have you tried an obstacle race before?

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin





Friday, 26 January 2018

Shirt dress plans

Now this post was meant to go up at the begining of the month before I kept working on my purple dress but for those following me on instagram you'll have seen a lot of these photos before. Though probably not the whole story all together.

I realised as I was looking through dresses that I like that I love a shirt style dress. The only problem being that I have always been a little afraid of them as they have buttons! Which means I need to do button holes!!! Of course the only way to get better is to do them so that is what I'm going to do.

 I have the perfect fabrics for making a couple of these dresses, so we shall see how it works out.


These three patterns were already in my collection and I keep finding myself wanting to buy more despite the fact that the kwik sew and cotton and chalk ones look almost identical from the technical drawings!! I am drawn to clothes that come in nicely at the waist as it's the smallest part of me.
                                                                              
This was also pushed along by the fact that  I was going through my fabric drawers and pulled out a bag with some purple fabric, a pattern and some other miscellaneous stuff. ( I found a pair of scissors I've been missing for 4 years!)  That project was never intended to be put away for so long!!!

 Has anyone else been around long enough and have a good enough memory to remember this fabric? I was very excited when I got started with this project....

 I did have an interesting challenge as I taught myself how to put on a collar... it's surprisingly easy though I don't think it's the neatest work ever....

And here is where I'm currently up to. I need to add the sleeves and the ruffle on the bottom. Also make the tie for the middle. Also need to add button holes and buttons. Please excuse the background and out of focus photo I had to use the kids bathroom mirror as no one was home to help with this photo.

But this was 3 weeks ago and the project has stalled again just because my craft room is so hot I really don't have the energy to go in there at the moment. Hopefully I will get this done in the next couple of weeks but we shall see.

Once this one is finished which pattern should I make? I think the chai is calling my name first.... 

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin
  

Monday, 22 January 2018

Crochet blankets update

I have shared both of these projects at one time or another last year but here is where they are currently sitting and what I've got left to do.

To start with my rainbow ripple blanket using lincraft cake yarn. This photo is not entirely accurate as to how much is left on this blanket. I want to finish the rest of the third skein but it's not the ball sitting there. There was a knot in the yarn so I cut it and restarted the yarn then had to frog a bit because I made a mistake. I have about 1/2 a skein left so I'm really trying to push through and do this. My friend is overdue so I really need to get going.


I will have one more skein left which I am thinking of using to make beanies for my friend and her baby like a mother/son set. Maybe .... it really depends on my energy!

Then this one is kinda more urgent. This friend had her baby at the beginning of the month. I never claimed to be on time! Thank goodness for summer. I love working on this blanket but it got put away in the middle of my stress of uni last semester. It's a scene from Nightmare Before Christmas that I designed. I'm just working a corner to corner crochet pattern using 12 ply marvel acrylic.

This is another one where I will eventually share the pattern with you guys but it will take a bit of time. I need to get my computer running my cross stitch program again I never put it on my new computer. I will have to do that eventually.

Anyway I wanted to show you guys where I'm currently sitting with these two blankets. They should be done sooner rather than later but we shall see what happens, this is me!

Have you noticed 2 posts in a week? What is happening? I'm slightly organised :D

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 19 January 2018

Tardis Face Cloth

I finished this face cloth when we were camping between Christmas and new year. Of course I then proceeded to not be able to get a photo of it until this morning when I decided enough is enough and I needed to show everyone.

So quickly before dashing to work today I managed to capture pictures of all my recent face cloths.


Don't they look so pretty folded there on my quilt? I will start by saying a disclaimer I haven't bothered to block any of these and because they're all for me probably won't at all. Also I'm sorry the tardis is done in purple! I found the blue yarn after I started making it in purple.

But moving on here are the face cloths I've made in the last month.

This one you've seen this pattern from me before. It's the Grandmother's Favourite and it's such a simple design I just love doing it as I don't need to think!

 The next one is a Christmas lace pattern that I fiddled a bit. I added more repeats of the pattern and a wider edge but I also made a couple of mistakes as I was learning how to read the pattern as I kept getting lost when I would put it down. Once I worked it out it looks great :D But since it's for me the mistakes make it mine.



And lastly I have the Tardis Facecloth.

I used a cross stitch pattern that I found and fiddled it and changed the proportions so that it would work as a knitting pattern. I am happy to create this as a graph if anyone is interested? I probably will create a graph but the speed with which it happens will depend on the amount of interest.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed your Christmas and New Year. I am planning to post more this year but we all know about the plans of mice.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 27 November 2017

To Be Read....

I'm a bit of a bookaholic.... actually I'm not that bad but I come from a family of readers and honestly I love sitting with a book in my hands. Yesterday morning I started the day with a book and a cup of tea on the back patio. It was heaven! This morning I barely could force myself to put the book away before dashing out the door to bootcamp. This hasn't always been the case. For the last couple of months with Uni all books have just been placed by the wayside.

But I'm finally settling back into reading and relaxing and just finished 'The Upside of Unrequited' By Becky Albertalli. Really lovely read and much more realistic than a lot of young adult books. If you want a nice enjoyable fiction this is a highly recommended book.

But after finishing that book I started going through my other books. Some I own and I MAY have visited the Library on the weekend.... actually not on my own it was at the request of Lana. She was really really really excited to look for more books. I'm not going to stop that excitement. She found some good looking books and I may have picked up some more J.D. Robb.

I'm reading all the in death series out of order and some audiobooks and some physical. I actually picked up 4 audiobooks while I was there too. Makes my drive to work more enjoyable.

But then I was also looking through the bookcase in the craft room and this is what I found in my TBR pile....

I visited a couple of fetes a couple of months ago and got a pile of books really cheap. The top two books were a dollar each. Jane Eyre I treated myself to as it's one of the fancy covered classics. I will need to read it again it's been a while.

I've read Wicked and Son of A Witch a while ago but despite owning these two for almost a year O just haven't read them yet. I will just have to bite the bullet and read them.

Actually looking through my photos and thinking about my book hauls recently I just realised I don't have any photos of my pile of about 5 new Nora Roberts and Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (birthday present). I think I will be well occupied coming up to Christmas and well beyond. We shall see how many books I actually get through. I also have a pile of craft projects that I want to do as well.

What do you enjoy reading? I love a good fantasy, romance or crime novel. But I'm not into thrillers, more the mystery style. I also don't mind a nice chic fiction/YA.

Do you have piles of books you're trying to get through? I'm hoping to go through a decent chunk of this as I just relax into books again.

What are you reading?

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


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