Monday, September 2, 2013

The end of summer

If I had to summarize my summer in one word it would have to be: "difficult". I don't think there has been a single season during which I have driven more miles, cried more tears, or suffered through as many stress-induced migraines. Through those miles, though, I got to know the ones I love most. Through those tears, I began to find relief through exercise and strength in myself. Through those hours of head-throbbing pain, I discovered how to let go of what I couldn't control. As difficult as this summer was, I learned more than I could ever hope for. It wasn't exactly how I would've hoped it to turn out but, now that's its all over, I can say simply that I learned a lot. There is no doubt more struggles to come as Jeremiah continues to search for a job and as I enter into my final undergraduate year. Sitting on the beach, yesterday, I thought over everything we have ahead of us. As my heart started to race from the stress, I took a deep breath and reminded myself of everything we had already conquered. While we waited for the sunset on the last day of summer, for the second year in a row, I said a little prayer. Not for thing to get easier or for some miracle to occur. Simply that, together, we continue to grow and learn through whatever life throws at us.

Today marks the first day of the fall semester so lets take a quick look at how I did on my summer goals and my new set of fall goals

My 5 summer goals:
  • To see things I had never seen <- Check: cross country road trip, stopping at spectacular sights such as the Grand Canyon at sunset and Mount Rushmore
  • Eat healthier <- Check: For example, I currently have no food that could be labeled as "junk food"
  • Exercise more <- Check: It was touch and go for a while but then I really got on track and have worked out everyday for the last 3 weeks
  • Get on track with my blogging <- Ehhh I'm still workin' on it.
  • Improve my crafting abilities <- Checkish: I made a few clothing items but I have a lot of room to improve
My fall goals:
  • Purposefully improve my healthy habits - so far I've only bought healthy food for a well planned out menu and am taking a Monday/ Wednesday step aerobics class, in addition to riding my bike to class, hiking, and running
  • Continue improving my crafting abilities - if practice makes perfect than no doubt my new work-study job as a seamstress will tone my sewing skills
  •  Make Dean's list - careful planning should make this the easiest one
  •  Smile more - first step: remind myself of all the things I have before thinking of all the things I think I need
Until next summer dear readers, study hard and prosper!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY shorts

What a glorious Oregon morning it is! As promised, here I am with the tutorial on how I made my lovely shorts for the Color Run.

  • Fabric for shorts (Remember, mine was a bed skirt)
  • scissors
  • seam ripper
  • sewing machine
  • pen/ pencil
  • elastic (at least 1" wide)
  • 1-2 safety pins
  • comfy fitting shorts to trace (just like with the DIY shirt)

1. If using a bed skirt or something similar, detach the skirt portion from the rest. You can do this by simy cutting it away or by taking a seam ripper to it. I opted for the seam ripper to save as much material as possible. It took for an entire episode of Battlestar Galactica to go around the whole sheet.

2. If you bought your material from a thrift store, I strongly suggest washing your material at this point. As always, I also suggest ironing the material to insure a straighter cut.

3. Take your comfy shorts, fold one leg into the other, and lay on top of your fabric. Folding one leg into the other will allow for easy tracing. Keep in mind that you will need 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces (front and back are not the same!)

Yeah, I used pajama shorts
4. Trace (if the waist of the shorts is elastic, remember to stretch it out/ trace straight up) and cut

Front trace
Front pieces cut
The crotch piece of the back side is longer so you may have to move your shorts around to trace the whole thing
Viola, back pieces cut
5. Take 1 front piece and 1 back piece, right sides facing, and sew along your straight side (this will be the outside of each leg). As with other clothing pieces, do the zigzag stitch, then go back and sew a straight line (I would've taken a picture but white thread on white material wasn't working so well). Repeat for other set of front/back pieces.

Sorry, not the greatest picture
6. Taking your now two pieces, with right sides facing (front piece to front piece; back piece to back piece), sew along the curve from top to point. When you're finished sewing, you should have an awkward looking skirt.

7. With your entire project inside out, with front pieces right side facing your back pieces, sew the 'V' (the crotch area of your shorts)

At this point, your shorts are complete with the exception of the elastic to hold them onto your waist. Try your creation on to make sure all is fitting right. I got lucky and had the fancy stuff at the bottom of my material. If you don't have this, go ahead and hem along the bottom of each short leg by folding the material inward and sewing 2 straight lines close to the edge as with step 8 for the DIY shirt.

8. With your project inside out, measure the width of your elastic band + 1/2", fold the top waist over (for me it was 1.5") and pin.

9. Cut a small slit straight up where you will eventually insert the elastic band. I placed mine on the side of my shorts but if you later intend to insert a draw string, the front would also work.

10. Now get to sewing! Sew all the way around your band, close to the bottom raw edge. I broke my nifty hem needle so I had to go around twice. I did this by aligning my needle to the far left, sewed all the way around, then middle aligned the needle and sewed around, following the raw edge the entire time.

11. Measuring your elastic approximately 3/4 of the waist of your shorts (or stretch around yourself for a comfy fit), place a safety pin into one of the elastic and string through the band.

12. Finally, when your elastic band it all the way through, sew the two raw ends of the elastic together. I prefer to sew a rough rectangle so I'm not sewing along the same line, breaking up the elastic.

I know, it's difficult to see  

And there you have it! Your very own customized shorts. What's great is that while I made this particular pair specifically for the Color Run, I made another for pjs and they are crazy comfy.

Shorts in action
Thanks for tuning in for another "that kinda makes sense" DIY tutorial. Check back in on Thursday for some tips on how to cut back on everyday things to stretch that penny a little further. Until then, crafty readers, live long and prosper!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pre-, during, and post Color Run

 My review of the Color Run is as follows: Totally worth it! But seriously, it was a fun run that reached out to all ages (babies to walkers) and to all abilities (walking to PRing). A great experience with a fabulous group of people!  

Warning: lots of pictures ahead!

Pre-Color Run

All set at the starting line
Conga line to the start, worried faces exchanged, and here we go!
Showing off our protective gear


Yellow = First kilometer
Pink and Orange = 2nd and 3rd Kilometer
Blue = 4th Kilometer; 1 more to go!
Crossing the finish line!
Post race party

Post race color throw

Getting the last bits of color out

Second color throw
color throw over 5 seconds

Post Color Run

An absolutely fantastic day! Until next time, dear readers, live long and prosper!

Race day preparation

Morning of the Medford Color Run 5k. Oh man, I can't wait. T-minus 1hour till the start of the "Happiest 5k on the planet". This entry will be fairly short since we will soon be leaving for the race and because everything I have to say I found via a short Google search.

Now, its a good idea to get the proper amount of sleep every night but especially the days leading up to your race. Last night I was definitely feeling that pre-race nervousness but no matter what activity I'm getting worked up about, I always remind myself that I'll be better prepared for the next day with a good night's rest, rather than worrying all night.

Stretching Warming-up
The first thing I'm always concerned about before a race is if I'm stretching properly and enough. So, sitting her, prepped to leave, I did a quick search on my phone. According to numerous articles from RunnersWorld, stretching could actually increase your chances of injury. The sports doc and other sites I followed up on actually suggest a warm-up routine 25 minutes prior to the start of the race. Something along the lines of a light jog, sprint, jog, and walk. When it comes to stretching, apparently flexibility is more of a genetic thing so attempting to push your flexibility limits could end up in some serious damage!

Now, just from personal experience, eating within an hour of a race is a bad idea. For one, I'm always pumping with adrenaline and then the act of running a little bit faster then usual makes the food sitting in my stomach want to make an appearance. Also, instead of eating a traditional breakfast (which I typically don't eat anyway), go for something light and full of energy. For this morning our hosts provided us some tasty bagels, cream cheese, and fruit. Yum!

What time should I get there?
I am always crazy stressed about missing the starting time whether that be by not finding a parking spot, not finding the starting line, or just not leaving on time. With all that stress, I usually end up getting there in the perfect time/ a little early. Depending on the size of the race, I suggest getting there 1hour-1.5hours before the start of the race. For us that would be between 6:30am-7am. This 1hour window allows time for parking, finding the starting line, picking up your packet (which we did yesterday), and getting in your warm-up jog (now on my to-do list for this morning). 

And there you have it, my suggestions for your race day preparation. For more tips from those who actually know what they're talking about here are some links for your viewing pleasure:

Now, I'm off for easily the most colorful run I have ever/ will ever participate in. Tune in tonight (hopefully; depending on my level of energy) for race day before, during, and after Color Run pictures. Until then, readers, live colorfully and prosper!

Friday, August 23, 2013

DIY Color Run Gear

Okay, since I failed to post Tuesday and Thursday, I have a twofer DIY post for you today. This Saturday (tomorrow!) I have the opportunity to participate in the Color Run 5k with a fabulous group of people. In preparation for the run, this post is entirely about the gear including DIY team Tutus for the girls, my all white outfit, and some splatter nails.

DIY Tutus

  •  Remember that to run the Color Run, you have to be dressed in primarily white clothes
  • Take into consideration what you can run in (it's easier to run in shorts than it is in, say, a evening gown)
  • If you're running with a team, is there a way you can incorporate your team name/ theme into your outfit. Ours is Team Gryffindor so we wanted to try to work in the red and yellow.
  • 2 old tutus or lots of tulle
  • scissors
  • enough elastic to fit your waist
  • safety pins

1. Taking the elastic, stretch around your waist to fit comfortably and cut, with a little extra at the end (just in case).

2. Taking your old tutus, if there are multiple layers, separate the layers but simply cutting them apart at where they connect. If not, proceed to next step.

3. If using old tutus, cut strips of the fabric into awkward looking triangles; if using tulle fabric, cut into long rectanlges.

4. Take your elastic band, and connect it together with your safety pin (or two) to make your waist band

5. Finally, tie on your individual pieces of old tutu/ tulle by folding in half and making a loop on top of the elastic. fold your fabric tail behind the elastic, up through your loop, and down to tighten onto elastic.

Make it as sparse or as full as you want it, in any order that you want it. One of my team mates, Jane, made an awesome one that is 3/4 white around then 1/4 red. My other teammate, Bryanna, had a pattern to her two colors that made it look pretty sweet too. Me? I'd like to say I had a system to it all but really, it was totally random.

We had lots left over of both elastic and old tutu. In fact, there was just enough of a left over piece of elastic and cut old tutu for a certain cross dressing bunny.

No animals were harmed in the making of these tutus As you can see, the elastic band is just resting on his back, its not actually tied around him.
And there you have your personalized Color Run tutu.

All white gear

The idea of the color run is that your completely clean clothes at the start of the race are completely covered in color by the end. That means that whatever you wear, prepare for it to be stained for the rest of its existence. With that in mind, I needed to find myself some white shorts and my boyfriend a full outfit of whiteness. Goodwill! Unfortunately, the cheapest pair of shorts we found were $10 and we were hoping for all our gear to be no more than that. Then we had the idea of transforming a bed sheet into whatever we needed. We found exactly what we needed!

A lovely looking bed skirt for $6.99
I will be posting the entire "DIY shorts" tutorial on Tuesday morning. Just know that out of a $6.99 sheet I not only made 2 pairs of shorts (1 for the run and 1 for pjs) and Jeremiah's toga, but there was plenty of fabric left over. I'm thinking that the skirt part of it would make a really cute skirt and, possibly, a fancy shirt.

The rest of my outfit is comprised of two old tank tops (a white one layered on top of a bright blue one), white socks with a yellow ring around the ankle, old shoes (I bought them at Goodwill a year ago for $5 for the Warrior Dash, which is why they're so dirty), sunglasses (to protect my eyes from the paint/ cornstarch), and an old white bandana to wear over my mouth and nose (I'd rather not inhale paint).

Splatter nails

  • Is there a color scheme for whatever you're decorating your nails for (For color run, the colors are blue, red, orange, and yellow)
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to allow your nails to dry between coats
  • Unless you are highly skilled at painting with both hands (I'm not), I suggest completing one hand, let it dry, then start on the other one to avoid any mishaps.
  • Base nail color (white)
  • splatter nail colors (blue, red, orange, and yellow)
  • paper or other item to lay down to catch mis-fired splatter
  • 1 coffee straw per splatter color (or 1 cut into however many colors you have to splatter)
  • nail polish remover
  • Q-tips


1. Make sure your nails are nice and clean, cuticles pushed back, maybe give yourself a nice hand massage.

2. Paint your base coat and allow to dry for 30minutes-1hour

3. There are two ways to do this next part: The first is by placing a small puddle of your splatter color on your paper and dipping the straw in it.

After trying this with my first color I realized that I was wasting a lot of the nail polish. I found that a better way to do this is to paint the end of the straw, instead, with approximately half a drop of polish.

4. Putting the straw in your mouth, 1-2inches above your nail, give a quick blow to spray the paint onto your nail. It took me a few tries to figure it out but once I did, I loved it! Something I didn't do for this trial run but I will do for the actual race is splatter the colors in a different order on each nail. That is, by the end, my first color (blue) was almost completely hidden. Caution: inhale before putting your mouth on the straw. Nail polish does not taste good.

5. Repeat for each nail and color until desired look is achieved.

6. Now obviously this is pretty messy looking so, with your Q-tip and polish remover, remove any polish that isn't on your nails. Some people avoid this issue by taping around their fingers and then using Q-tips to clean up the rest but I thought that would end up being a waste of tape.

I find the easiest way of doing this is filling the cap with the remover
Not all that clean but this was just the test run
 And there you have it - Splatter nails!

I'm finishing up this entry at our overnight accomadations before the run tomorrow. We've already checked in, picked up our packets, and I've started in on fixing up my nails for tomorrow so all that's left is the anxious jitters before the race.

Oh man, I can't wait! Before and after pictures to follow upon my return from the race so tune back in for that. Until then, dear readers, live long and prosper!