Category Archives: Monthly Summary

February Week 4 and Summary: Japanese Chainmail

I guess I just need to take a break from this particular hobby for a while.  I spent a lot of time looking stuff up and just not wanting to make anything I found.  I would rather not make something than to spend time on a piece that I won’t wear.  So as to not disappoint, here’s a picture of a cat asleep in a pot!

Sleepy kitty

Sleepy kitty

I like making things but I’m not one to have one of everything, maybe it’s time to start making things for others.  My aunt had me make some earrings for my cousin for Christmas, which was pretty fun.  So, who wants something made for them or someone else?

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Februry fitness update: 15-28

I keep track of all my workouts in fitocracy.  If you would like to join fitocracy and view my workouts there, here’s the link to my page.  If not, I’ve included them here.  This month was pretty weak in terms of lifting, I was focusing on running more because of the up-coming half-marathon.  My workouts for the second half of February:

2/15/2013 – Weightlifting
BB-BP: 45 lbs 1sX5r, 80 lbs 3sX4r
BB-DL: 115 lbs 1sX5r, 130 lbs 3sX5r
BB-PR: 45 lbs 1sX5r, 60 lbs 3sX5r
BB-S: 45 lbs 1sX5r, 125 lbs 3sX5r
DB-C: 20 lbs 3sX8r
DB-SB: 20 lbs 3sX15r
RT: 20 lbs 3sX5r

2/16/2013 – Running
6 mi: 1:10:24 (45F and 15 mph wind, was supposed to do 10 mi but only managed 6 mi)

2/17/2013 – Rest day

2/18/2013 – Dental Appt.

2/19/2013 – Worked late

2/20/2013 –  Running
12 mi: 2:03:34

2/21/2013 – Rest day

2/22/2013 – Running (treadmill)
3 mi: 27:56

2/23/2013: Rest/traveling

2/24/2013: Running
8.7 mi: 1:28:19

2/25/2013: Rest

2/26/2013: Running
3 mi: 29:11

2/27/2013: Running
3 mi: 31:11

2/28/2013: Rest

Total achievements for the second half of February:

BB-BP: 80 lbs (No Change)
BB-DL: 130 lbs (No Change)
BB-OHP: 60 lbs (No Change)
BB-S: 125 lbs (No Change)

Running: 35.7 miles

Progress towards 2013 fitness goals:

BB-BP: 65.6% of BW
BB-DL: 106.6% of BW
BB-S: 102.5% of BW (Goal Achieved!)

Running: 14.69% of 1000 mi goal

Fun facts:

I can bench press a male emu
I can squat and deadlift a leopard
I can overhead press a red wolf

In the weight room, you bench press the leopard!

In the weight room, you squat the leopard!

Abbreviations:

BB = Barbell
BP = Bench Press
C = Curl
DB = Dumbbell
DL = Deadlift
OHP = Overhead Press
PR = Pendlay Row
RT = Russian Twist
S = Squat
SB = Side Bend

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January Summary: Habitual Cleaning

January was supposed to get me into the habit of regular cleaning of the house.  There were no weekly goals for this one.  The chores I wanted to do every week were:

General pick up and putting stuff where it belongs
Sweeping/mopping the floors
Clean off counters and mirrors
Laundry (including changing bed sheets weekly)

So what was my “score” for the week?  I achieved about a 75% success rate. My main obstacle is that the house is rather large, so it is a time investment to sweep and mop all the floors (all are either tile or wood).  It takes about 2-3 hours to do just the floors (especially with moving furniture), then another hour or more to do the rest of the chores.  Easily my day was half over by the time I was done cleaning, so the last weekend just fell to the “I don’t wanna” excuse.  This also creates an issue when I am gone for the weekend, I don’t have time after work to run/lift, cook dinner, shower, and do the floors.

On the plus side, I got my vegetable started!  Look the tomatoes and bell peppers are coming up!

Tomatoes!

Tomatoes!

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A Review of 2012 Challenges

I set out with a specific list of goal for 2012.  Here’s a recap:

January: Cleaning and Organizing the House
February: Blog
March: Festivals
April: Exercise
May: No Sugar
June: Reading
July: No processed food (making something I would normally buy pre-made)
August: Snappy Dressed
September: Chainmail
October: Photography
November: Ethnic Dinners
December: Sewing

I also had an overall fitness goal for the year: participate in a running or cycling race every month.

My best months for sticking to my plan were: January (Cleaning), February (Blogging), May (No Sugar), June (Reading), August (Snappy Dressed), and November (Ethnic Dinners).  For the most part, I was able to complete each weekly and the overall month’s goal for those months.  My favorite months were March (Festivals), May (No Sugar), October (Photography), and November (Ethnic Dinners).

Yeah, I was surprised that I liked May’s goal.  I thought it would be hard, but once I decided to cut out sugar, it was almost easy to turn it down.  My cravings for sugar have been pretty low the last couple months and when I do crave something sweet, I can satisfy it with some fruit.

Months that I didn’t meet my goal: March (Festivals), July (No Processed Foods), and December (Sewing).  I missed a couple of festival weekends in March due to weather and a party.  I didn’t get a chance to make one of the things I wanted to try out for July and I didn’t sew ANYTHING in December due to all the holiday madness.

My overall fitness goal for the year turned out great!  I didn’t end up doing any cycling races, but I did run a race every month.  I ran five 5Ks, three Mud/Obstacle Course runs (generally 5Ks), one 8K, one 10.2K, one half-marathon (13.1 mi), and one marathon (26.2 mi)!  I’m pretty proud of myself and am looking forward to next year.

2013 goals will be a little different…

Broccoli from the garden

Broccoli from the garden

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December Challenge: Sewing Failure!

December was supposed to inspire me to get out my sewing machine and make a few things.  Well, this was a lofty goal when I was planning things out last year.  Not necessarily because I have serious sewing talent issues, but because I underestimated how busy I would be in December.

I want this goal to carry over to 2013 as I have a bit of a fabric and pattern collection and would like to finally do something with it.  I had planned to make something different each week: a shopping bag, a skirt, a dress, and a shirt.

So, what did I do this month?  I made a lot of food!  One of the best things I made this month was persimmon spice cake.

Persimmon spice cake

Persimmon spice cake

I’ve made this three times and have received several compliments on it.  I’ve made it a couple different ways, once with all-purpose flour and twice with white whole wheat flour.  The all-purpose flour produced a much fluffier, puffier cake, whereas the white whole wheat flour didn’t rise as much and was a bit denser and moister, like a banana bread.  I preferred the white whole wheat flour cake, mainly because it was moister.

In December, I also made: candied orange peels, chocolate covered pomegranate clusters, apple pie cookies, persimmon puff pastry tarts, butter, cucumber sandwiches, rosemary flatbread, feta salsa, and pears with goat cheese and prosciutto.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of any of these things!

I had a few other adventures, which I will cover in the next few posts!

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November Summary and Week 5: Middle Eastern Beef Shawarma

Beef shawarma is like a middle eastern version of a Greek gyro or a Turkish doner kebab.  Traditionally, meat is put on a vertical spit and turned while exposed to a flame.  Thin slices are then cut off the meat as it is cooked and stuff into a bread of some sort and topped with hummus or tahini and vegetables.  The recipe I found is from about.com middle eastern food and it was pretty good.  My only real complaint was that the tahini sauce turned into a paste, rather than staying thin.  Really, it was like refrigerated peanut butter.

As I was making this as part of a dinner with friends, I also made some Beef Samosas from allrecipes, which allowed me to pull out the rest of those chutneys from the other night!  I did substitute mashed cauliflower for mashed potato, which I prefer to use when I can, and baked them rather than deep-frying.  So, where are the pictures?  The problem was that I told all my guests to arrive hungry…

Beef Samosas

Beef Samosas

This was the meat for the Beef Shawarma
This was the meat for the Beef Shawarma
Tahini paste

Tahini paste, way too thick…

Yeah, I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures.  That’s a good sign, right?  I enjoyed it and there wasn’t anything left of the shawarma.  There were three samosas left and some of the filling.  Anyone hungry?

So, November turned out pretty good!  I would definitely make most of the food again and take into account the issues I had.  Crepes?  Oh, yeah!  I would use those in place of some of the more traditional bread products.  Bibimbap?  Work on my egg frying technique and try to find some authentic gochujang and I want this right now!  Beef samosas?  Spiced vegetable and beef deliciousness in baked packets are always welcome in my belly.  Tacos al pastor?  So easy and so good, I could make this any time.  Dahi batata puri?  Make the sauce/chutneys in advance and this is one of the quickest dinners.  I need to find some tamarind!

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September Week 5 and Summary: Chainmail Earrings

Just a pair of earrings to match the necklace I made earlier in the month.  I doubled the length of the increasing sizes of rings to make the earring longer.

Box Chain Ripple Earrings

I had fun working with chainmail again.  The earrings and necklace have gotten me several compliments and can be dressed up and down easily.  I really should keep up with this hobby a little better.

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