A Mix of Scrap

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Celebrating a Running Goal

So I've been running since the beginning of March or so. I think. And I have definitely come a long way. Couch to 5K is an amazing program, and I'm so glad that I stuck with it. Yesterday I had an amazing run, and I'm still kinda high off it so I'm gonna share. Cuz it's my blog, and I can share whatever I want.

So about 3 weeks ago I hit the Week 5 workouts. I did Day 1 (3 - 5 minute runs with 3 minute walks in between) and forced myself to run up this giant hill in the neighborhood next to us. TOUGH, and I almost died when I ran downwind from the gas station, but I did it, and I felt good. Weeks 1-4 had the same workout for all 3 days, so imagine my surprise when the program went to Week 5 Day 2 and the workout was different. 2 - 8 minute runs, with a 5 minute walk in between. Almost. Died. The weather had warmed up a bit, and I was STRUGGLING with the humidity. I definitely did not run for the whole running segments. Then we had Gidget's wedding, and I basically took 2 weeks off. Fail. I was also super intimidated by Week 5 Day 3 - go run for 20 minutes. Dude. I can't even run for 8 minutes, how am I supposed to run for 20?!?!

So last week, I picked things back up. I did the bike on monday since it was raining (10.5 miles in 45 minutes). I did yoga on Tuesday. I did the Week 5 Day 2 run on wednesday. I found that I did better on the longer runs than on the 3 - 5 minute run workout. Did that, felt pretty good, ran about 12 of the 16 minutes if I had to guess. Not too shabby, but nothing stellar. Thursday I did nothing because we drove up to NY for Mother's. Friday I got up and decided to run in the morning. It was nice and cool, so I took Tiger along for the first segment. I did the 2, 8 minute runs again and did a 1 mile loop around the neighborhood. I did the warm up and the workout, minus the cooldown, and went for 2 miles. I ran all the way up a big hill, and took a break for 90 seconds, and then finished out the run. I got back to my house and dropped Tiger off after 1 loop and the first run. I walked for 5 minutes, then did the same thing. I needed a break after the hill, but I forced myself to run it all the way to the top. I felt pretty good about things. I think the cooler weather was a huge help.

Yesterday, my sensor pouch for my Nike+ sensor, and my armband for my iPhone finally arrived. I was SO excited! I put the pouch on my shoe but I couldn't figure out if it would work along with my C25K application, so I didn't use the Nike+ software for the run. The armband was awesome though, it was great to just go run without having to hold anything. So I did 2 miles on the bike for a warmup, and then decided I would test myself and see where I was really at. So I did Week 5 Day 3 - a 20 minute run. And you know what? I ran for 17 out of the 20 minutes! 17!!! I was SHOCKED at myself!! I probably could have run almost 18.5 (I took a 90 second break after tackling a big hill - I hate the hills, but I know I have to do them so I force myself to make it to the top before breaking) but I was so EXCITED that I made it from our house to the end of the neighborhood nearby that I stopped to check my time. 8 straight minutes of running!! I ran for 5.5 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 3.5 minutes to finish it off. It felt SO GOOD!! I managed to pace myself really well and probably could have kept going for even longer! I was worried that I wouldn't be able to run a 5K next month, but now I know I TOTALLY can!! I really think the armband is what turned me around. It was a lot harder to see how long I had been going for, so I just kept going. I think knowing that it was "run until I tell you to stop running" helped too. Before, with the intervals, I would look at the time left, get frustrated, and walk. Whether I really needed to walk or not, I walked. Not so good. With the armband, I just went. SO COOL!! I think I even impressed Jordan a little bit. I came back and he asked how my workout was, and I was all excited and said it was awesome and that I ran 17 out of the 20 minutes. He did that eyebrow raise + head nod thing that to me, says "wow, I wasn't expecting to hear that". I'm gonna repeat the workout tomorrow, but use my Nike+ instead. I'm gonna set up a sweet workout playlist that the Nike+ software will play so I can still rock out while I run, and I'll run for time instead of distance. I'm contemplating just doing that from now on, and running for distances or times instead of going back to Couch to 5k. I think now, it might be holding me back. I can pretty much run for 2 miles straight, so I don't know that I need to run using the prompts anymore. We'll see. I might be getting a tad over zealous :P Either way, I like that the software has a few different basic options that you can choose from. Time, Distance, a calorie goal, or just an open ended workout. I'm pretty sure you can download specific workouts too, but I haven't looked into that a whole lot yet. At this point I'm just excited that I have it, lol!

Wow, I wrote a novel. I think I'll leave it at that for now. I probably won't work out tonight. I need to bake Jordan's mom's Mother's Day/Birthday present, and I have another hybrid layout that I want to finish (which I'm CRAZY excited about). Not to mention I need to clean up more of my desk since the shelving incident. Oy. Ok, til next time.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Week in the Life

Ali Edwards did her "A Week In the Life" project recently. You take a ton of photos and write down lots of stuff, and just generally record your everyday life to look back on in the future. I wanted to do it, but it was right after the PE and then would've included the day of the wedding, and I just knew I wasn't going to be in the mood to deal with it. I hardly took any pictures the weekend of the wedding, which is a bummer, but just another reason (excuse?) why I decided not to do it along with Ali.

But today? Ali posted her finished album. And I'm kind of in love with it. And now I have to do one. As I was thinking about it, this week coming up will be PERFECT. Sure, it's not a normal set of 7 days, but we'll be seeing my whole family this weekend, and most of Jordan's next weekend, and a bunch of our friends too. I think it would be really cool to incorporate both of our families within this one album/glimpse of our life. So, that's that. I'm gonna do the organizational and digital aspects of it, and worry about the album and divided page protectors and that stuff later. I'm trying to be better about my spending habits and my wants vs my needs. I want to do this project, but I need stuff to finish it (like an album and page protectors, LOL!). We'll see. Maybe I can make a homemade altered one using stuff I already have. Hmm......

Speaking of wants vs needs and my ridiculously large scrap stash, we were woken up at 1:30 this morning by what we thought was an explosion of some sort. Nope, just my shelves deciding to detach themselves from the wall and dump a whole mess of my (newly organized) craft stuff in 8903429043 directions. ::sigh:: I had to pull it all off and pile it in my craft area so we could take the shelves down. They were just wire shelves with those metal brackets, pretty cheap and I bought them ages ago. I just wasn't expecting to have that happen, let alone at 1:30 in the morning. A few weeks ago I saw this plan for an armoire on Knock Off Wood and thought it would be great for that exact space. At $200 it would still be cheaper than the Ikea one that matches the desk I have, and I can customize it to fit my needs (such as adding more shelves to hold my baskets and bins). It's going to be difficult, but Jordan has agreed to it. Of course the next 2 weekends are taken up with travel plans, so it's not happening right away. But, I'm pretty excited! I'll probably have Home Depot/Lowe's cut all my wood based on the plans and then I just have to worry about putting it together without killing myself. It'll be interesting to say the least, considering Jordan and I can barely hang a picture frame without fighting. :P

I FINALLY got some of my hybrid projects loaded into my galleries (which, are now on the side bar under "Craftyness"). Here's a better picture of that hybrid layout I did. My good friend Emily took the picture at the wedding a few weekends ago, and as everyone who has seen it has said, it's so "US". I LOVE it. :)

It makes me so very happy when I see it. We don't have a lot of pictures together, which I feel is the case for a lot of people, so I cherish these casual candid sort of photos.

And here's another, of our first dance at the wedding reception. ::swoon::

I've got another really awesome layout in the works, but I won't be able to finish it until sunday or monday probably. It's a totally different style of layout for me, but when I put it together in Photoshop it just seemed to click for me. It looked great and it's not all that much more complicated than any of the other layouts I've done. Anyway, none of that probably makes any sense, lol. Feel free to click on the links in the sidebar to see more of my crafty-ness in action :)

Just a little more time left to the work day. We're heading up to NY tonight so we can spend Mother's Day with my family. It worked out well that we'll be seeing Jordan's family next weekend, I felt a little guilty spending the day with one side of the family over the other. I'm much more aware of that sort of thing now that I've had to experience a Monster-in-law. I am so very grateful that I have such wonderful in-laws (and that my parents love Jordan and treat him wonderfully as well). I definitely count my blessings for that.

Gotta pack when we get home. Gonna bring my laptop to get my scrap stash organized and backed up, and work on editing more of the wedding and honeymoon photos too. Seeing my friends wedding pictures come in has me excited for mine all over again! I'm probably going to put together an album for them to save them some money. Might as well work on mine too right?! :)

Ok, ok, enough rambling. Have a good night!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I've been meaning to post these 2 photos for foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. But I really wanted to create a new watermark for my images to "protect" them. Then I read this article this morning on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider Blog. And now I'm posting them, because I'll never watermark another blog image again, LOL! The only thing I'll watermark in the future, will be proofs for clients (I'm talking WAY in the future, lol) so they can't take the image off the web and then print it and then get mad when it prints horribly because it's a web quality image and not meant for printing. Strangely enough, my boss was chatting about photography with me today and was trying to get me to second shoot for his neighbor, lol. He kept saying "if you're interested, I'll let her know, she's always looking for second shooters". If I thought I wanted to get into wedding photography at all, I might consider it. But I don't really see myself going that route anytime soon. I'll leave the door open, but I really just want to work with pets and their people.

Anyway. The photos. Cuz I really like this one. I wanted to play with before and afters. I've been working my eye and working on my composition a lot lately. Trying to get interesting angles, catch the details, that sort of thing. This can be difficult when it's just me and Tiger, since I'm the one holding both the ball AND the camera, lol. But I'm really happy with how this one came out.
So here's the SOOC ("straight out of camera") image:

Not too shabby right? I like the exposure and the composition. It looks a little "soft" (not super sharp), but I can give that some help in photoshop.

Now this, all nicely edited? Makes my heart happy.

The only problem? I totally forgot the steps I took to edit it. FAIL! I'm going to make a few educated guesses though. 1) I ran a high pass sharpen action on it that I created from steps I found over in the Clickin' Moms forum a while back (note to self, get back into visiting that forum). 2) I probably ran Totally Rad Actions "Oh, Snap!" on it at least once, possibly twice. It's my new favorite color popping action (I LOVE stronger colors in my photos) and it's from the first set (The Original). (Apparently I also like placing things within parenthesis. Go figure.) I vaguely remember creating a few layer masks, perhaps I messed around a bit with saturation? Possibly removing some overly yellow tones from Tigah-now but leaving them in the bright beautiful grass? The world may never know.
So yea. I really love that picture. I'm gonna print it and hang it up somewhere I think. Maybe just replace one of the older ones around the house. We'll see.

I'm working on a big new frame arrangement for the foyer. I want to get the shot of the bridal party printed up on a canvas nice and big and hung there. It'll reflect beautifully in the big mirror that's hanging in the dining room. Woot!

And, proof that I have been crafting (because I'm always saying how crafty I'm being and then never friggen posting things), a bit of a sneak peek of a hybrid layout. I made it for the iNSD Bonus Cookie Challenge over at SSD.

And, I'm taking over the SSD blog tomorrow for the Hot 4 Hybrid post. So stay tuned!

Have a great night :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Today I.......#1

Sometimes, I'm just gonna post random things. Like today. Hopefully it'll get me posting more frequently, although I've done pretty well recently.

Today I.....

.....finally bought my Nike+ sensor for running. I thought that I needed to get the kit, which has a receiver that plugs into your ipod, so I was trying to save up $30 in gift cards from Swagbucks. Turns out my iPhone is even MORE awesome, and already comes Nike+ ready. So I only had to spend $19 to get the sensor. Win. It was ordered this afternoon, along with a pouch that velcros to my sneakers (since they are Asics, not Nike's, and thus no pocket inside the shoe), and a new armband that actually fits my iphone. It will be glorious to run with nothing in my hands once again.

......MUST go for a run tonight (as long as the rain holds off). I haven't gone for a run in almost 2 weeks, and I really want to get back to it. Between the PE, and then Gidget's wedding, I just needed a break and some time to do big fat nothing (which I did VERY well, lol). But I know I need to get back to it if I want to keep progressing. I'm gonna start trying to mix in some of Jillian Michael's longer DVD workouts on my non-run days. If I don't, I don't think I'll EVER see that friggen scale move. Of course we're going to NY this weekend, which means 10 hour work days, which means not getting home until 6:30 or 7:00. I'm gonna have to suck it up though!

.......got excited over new office supplies. I posted about it on my FB, but my love for all things office supply/stationary is really ridiculous. I mean I actually got excited that there was a box of felt tipped pens in a new color (green). Seriously. Get a life Col.

........redeemed another 450 Swagbucks to get another $5 Amazon gift card. I seriously love swagbucks. (Use THIS LINK to sign up if you're interested - it IS a referral link, so I do get points from having you sign up, but only when you win from searching.) I use the toolbar, which makes it CRAZY easy to search for swagbucks. There are TONS of ways to earn points, but the easiest is to just use the toolbar to search for things instead of using google. I win 2 or 3 times a day and have been earning a $5 gift card every 2 weeks or so. That is FREE money! Just from searching! I love it. Like I said, I just got my Nike+ sensor for FREE! Everyone can use a few extra $$ now-a-days right? Right. :)

........am trying to decide when to jump back into Project 365. I've started and stopped 2 years in a row now (maybe even 3). I know I want to do this before we have kids, I just have issues sticking with it. I was gonna jump in on May 1st (and I do have photos for those days), but now I'm thinking of starting in the exact middle of the year and doing it on July 1st. Why does it matter? I have no idea. I should probably just stick with it already and get going. Good talk. I know what I'll be taking a picture of today :P

........figured out a few things that I was struggling with at work. LOVE that feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes I wonder if the design programs I use are worth the hassle. But, lesson learned and duly noted for future projects, with notes taken using new fantastical green pen no less. ;)

......hope I can finish editing some photos of hybrid goodies to get posted to the galleries. That is by FAR the part of my CT requirements that I am the absolute worst about. REALLY need to work on that. Hoping to edit some honeymoon photos in the next week or so to get started on a kick butt project for SSD next month :)

And I think that's enough.
Have a great night!