Category Archives: Other musings

Random thoughts not related to the sewing room or the kitchen.

PIIT28 review and my thoughts on the 28 day reset

I’m taking a little break from writing about sewing to talk about PIIT28, a new workout program that I have been using and that I love. It is also on sale this week with the coupon code THANKYOU30 you get 30 percent off. The coupon is good until September 5th.

Putting myself out there here. On the left is before I started day 1 of my PIIT28 journey and the right is after completing 1.0 round 1.

I don’t like going to a gym or working out in front of other people. I’d much rather work out in the privacy of my own home (or boat in my case). The last three years I’ve been trying different workouts.

I started with Couch to 5K and that was great and I eventually was able to run 4 miles but I was never really a fan of running. Then I got a Jillian Michaels Kickboxing Cardio DVD. I liked the fast pace of her workouts but they got repetative. So I purchased three other Jillian Michaels DVDs to mix it up.

Then I discovered Blogilates. I don’t remember how I stumbled across it but I downloaded all of the 30 day challenges from her blog and noticed a difference. I decided that I wanted to do more of her workouts so I tried a few of the free videos from YouTube. I do best with a high intensity program. I get bored easily. That is where PIIT28 sets itself apart from other programs I’ve tried.

The muscle definition in this picture…I love it!

Another big difference that sticks out to me is that Cassey actually does the workouts in the video. If you have used any of the Jillian Michaels DVD’s then you know that she spends most of the time walking around and there are 5 or 6 girls there doing the workout but Jillian isn’t. That’s just her style and that’s fine, but I love that Cassey does the workouts. She does the whole workout, not just showing a move, but doing the whole 45 seconds of tuck jumps.

You don’t need a lot of room. Most of the moves are contained to my yoga mat. That is also important to me since I have such a limited space inside the boat to exercise.

You also don’t need a whole lot of time. I use the workout timer on the Blogilates app and turn Golden Girls on the TV. The workouts are 28 minutes and 40 seconds long plus 5 minutes for warming up and 5 minutes for stretching afterward. PIIT28 1.0 Round 2 adds an additional ab focused workout and that video is 18 minutes so round 2 does take a little bit longer.

Surfing lessons in Hawaii. I don’t think I would have had the core strength needed for surfing had i not been exercising six days a week the six weeks leading up to our vacation.

I completed PIIT28 1.0 Round 1 the end of June then began the monthly calendar since we were leaving for vacation on July 15th. I have never felt more confident and strong. My core and my posture were better than they have ever been. We took surfing lessons in Hawaii and I was able to stand up on the surf board every. single. time. Then my husband rented a board a few days later and I was able to catch a wave on my own and ride it for a few seconds. I really don’t think I would have been strong enough or had the balance to be able to do that had I not completed PIIT28.

See my left ankle. That hurt. I actually missed being able to workout. I’m so glad my ankle is feeling better and I’m able to workout again. I’m taking the jumping moves a little slower since my ankle isn’t at 100% yet but I was tired of waiting.

On that same vacation, I twisted my ankle pretty badly hiking back from Maunawili falls. I wasn’t able to workout for five weeks. I finally started back this week on 1.0 Round 2 and 2.0 will be next followed by 3.0. When I purchased the program I went all in and got the Transformation pack. It includes all three PIIT28 programs and the 28 Day Reset.

We don’t follow the Reset as it is laid out but I do use it for 95 percent of our dinner meals and snack ideas now. It has also helped me with portion control. Healthy doesn’t have to be bland. There are some really delicious recipes in there!

If you aren’t ready to purchase all three rounds of PIIT28 yet, you can purchase just 1.0 and then purchase 2.0 and 3.0 from within the PIIT28 portal.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll get to them as quick as I can.

Almost forgot to mention, there is a Facebook group for support and also a Piitstagram challenge. If you complete the Piitstagram challenge you can earn yourself a completion t-shirt! Here I am sporting mine. Sorry for the grainy quality of my selfies. I’m still rocking an iPhone 5S because it still works so why not!

Rocking my completion t from the Piitstagram challenge.

 

Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission. Regardless, I only recommend patterns, designers and products that I love and hope you do too.

 

Raffle winner!

Remember how I told you about my friend Courtney taking Christmas to an orphanage in Uganda this year and anyone who sent in donations of toys was entered in to a raffle for a custom made Marvelous Auntie M item?

  
I also sent over some handmade goodies for the little ones.

  
All of these children are under the age of 5 and so grateful for everything they received.

  
The winner is Randi C!

And if you want to see the video of the kids reaction on Christmas morning, you can find that here

Congrats Randi and thank you for helping make this Christmas special for these little ones!

I don’t do resolutions…

This time of year people are always asking “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” I can honestly say that I have never made a New Year’s resolution. What I have done though is set goals.

Just because the calendar year changes doesn’t mean you have to make any major life changes. I think people should always try to be better and do better, not just the first few weeks of January.

Last January I decided that I wanted to get in shape so I started running…slowly and short distances at first but now I can run 4 miles and I’m in better shape than when I was in college. The Couch to 5K app is a great way to ease in to a running routine. Then I added a Jillian Michaels kickboxing DVD that I could do at home. And I even have enough room on the boat to continue doing that workout also.

Another goal for this year is to get better at this whole blog thing. That was a goal for last year too and I did better than I had the year before but there is plenty of room for improvement. And I think I’ve figured out how I’m going to stay motivated for that one!

Goal 1: post at least once a week

Goal 2: sew at least one new bag a month from one of the awesome bag books that I have but haven’t had time to do yet. Have you seen Julie and Julia? We watched that movie again last night and that gave me this idea to help keep me motivated. I managed to squeak out a new wallet for myself just before the new year and I am loving it! This is the Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Patterns.

   
   
Goal 3: have more fun. We are spending the next three months in the Florida Keys. Our welcoming committee was about 10 dolphins swimming alongside the boat at sunset after we crossed under the U.S. 1 bridge.

Goal 4: make more quilts! I love quilts and want to make more of them. I’ve already finished one quilt top for the year so I’d say that goal is off to a pretty good start.

  
^^^^^ proof that I’ve got goal four started already with s finished jelly roll race quilt top! This one is for me…but Oskar thinks it is for him

So Happy New Year everyone! Don’t make resolutions that are unrealistic. Just set smaller goals for yourself that are more manageable then celebrate when you accomplish them.

Three years ago today

Three years ago today I flew to Houston.

Three years ago today I sat in a hospital conference room with my family.

Three years ago today I lost my brother.

Today I will try not to cry as I remember our last phone call and the promise of a visit once he got home and the offer of a kidney if he needed it.

Today I will work on the boat because he would have been the first person to come help us with it and he would have been proud of his little sister.

Today I will do only things that I enjoy because life is too short.

Stephen and I were a lot alike despite the 11 year age difference. We are both stubborn and hard headed. We are both independent. As my mom would say, we are kindred spirits and I miss him terribly.

Don’t forget to tell someone you love them today and every day. You never know when they will be taken from you.

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Help me help a friend help a bunch of babies this Christmas

I’m going to give away a handmade item (it can be anything I make except for a quilt). Keep reading for details on how you can have a chance at getting a custom bag, twirly skirt, mechanic shirt, or anything else (except a quilt) just for doing some good.

I have a friend. She has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. This year she has decided to take Christmas to Amani Baby Cottage in Jinja, Uganda. But she needs help. There are 60 orphans ranging in ages from a few months old to 5 years old. She needs help with small toys for the children and/or donations towards her travel expenses.

Check out their website and meet some of the children they house. Including a set of quadruplets born in April!

  
I’ll be sending some handmade twirly skirts, crayon rolls and little lovies for the babies along with some bracelets and whatever else I can thing of to stick in there.

Here is how you can help me help her help these precious babies have a Christmas this year:

Read her blog post here. Then skip your fancy coffee drink one day and go buy a hot wheels car or play-doh or coloring book or other small toy and mail it to the address listed on her blog. 

You can also make a donation via a link on her blog to her PayPal account. Every $5 you donate or each toy you mail (by December 10th) will get you one entry. So if you donate $10 then that will be two entries or if you mail 4 toys then that will be 4 entries and so on.

Comment here or email me at marvelousauntiem@gmail.com once you’ve done that showing the gifts being mailed or your proof of donation through PayPal and your name will go in to the drawing. I will have the drawing on December 20th once I have verified that she has received the gifts and donations.

The best part is that she will be sharing pictures!!!!! So you will get to see the smiles on their faces when Courtney brings them Christmas. The smiles that you help put there.

So skip that red cup drama for one afternoon and help bring Christmas to these babies.

Laundromat book club

Let me start by saying I LOVE TO READ!

I’ve been spending a lot of time at laundromats the last few months and that means I’ve also been doing more reading than usual. I’m currently reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Don’t worry…no spoilers here.

  
I had seen it pop up in my iBooks recommendations before but never downloaded it.  (I prefer to have a book in my hands unless it is late night reading) I was looking for a new book on the way to the beach one day and my options were this book or Grey so I opted for The Lovely Bones.

So far it has been a very interesting read. I love the main character’s perspective on things as she looks down from “her Heaven”. I also love how Heaven is exactly what each person wants it to be.

I’m only on chapter 12 but can not wait to see how this one ends. 

When Pinterest attacks…

I don’t know about you but when I find something new to try on Pinterest I tend to go a little over board and end up with 46 bars and 8 jars of soap.

  

I’ll make one batch of soap then think “oh, I bet lemongrass and lavender would smell divine.” So I make another batch. Then I decide I want to make some with some tea tree oil because I’ve heard it makes a great medicinal soap that might be good for my husband’s athletes foot.

  

Then my stepsons will call me and ask me if I will send them some soap (they love my handmade soap and that makes me feel all warm on the inside) so I need to make another batch! Sending them each a pound of soap at a time depletes my soap stash.

Then I think that I want to give goats milk soap another try. It is very tricky and I am not patient enough when adding the lye so my goats milk soap always turns out orange and doesn’t smell as nice as the other soaps.

Then I discover that I only have enough ingredients left for one more batch. Might as well go ahead and make some lemon soap right? Right. So after I have mailed off 2.5 pounds of soap…I still have 46 bars. At least the next time the boys call, I’ll already have the soap ready to pop in the mail or send home with them.

Happy Pinteresting!

Mail!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 25 years…you’ve probably heard of Blue’s Clues and the mail song.

Here’s the mail, it never fails.
It makes me want to wag my tail.
When it comes I want to wail – Mail!

Admit it…you just sang along didn’t you?
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What little kid doesn’t like to get mail? I’m not afraid to admit that I still love to get letters and cards in the mail. I’ve decided to start a little year round Valentine club. You can sign your children, nieces, nephews or even yourself up to receive random little cards in the mail.

All you have to do is fill out this google doc and sign up!

Meanwhile I will be over here working on an awesome new product for the Etsy shop. You won’t want to miss it!

Little Blooms Tutus

Since I have short blonde hair…I am a HUGE fan of Tinkerbell. Halloween will be here before you know it. Do you have your little one’s costume yet? Check out these amazing tutu dresses by Little Blooms. They are all handmade and absolutely gorgeous.

I am in love with the Fairy Tutu Costume…doesn’t it scream Tink?

Maybe your little one is a Snow White fan? And who wouldn’t be with this cute little dress.

Little Blooms also makes awesome camo tutu gowns for the older girls (and the younger ones too) both floor length and knee length. Girls will be shopping for prom soon so get your orders in early!

She also makes fabulous newborn tutus. Perfect for those newborn photo sessions. I think this one SCREAMS “daddy’s little girl”

All of her tutus are handmade and she also has care instructions listed on the website so that the tutus will last. You can get a tutu for just about any occasion…and what little girl wouldn’t love to have a closet full of tutus?

So go and get your orders placed for Halloween, birthdays, prom, or just because 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

I survived New Jersey

I feel like there should be a t-shirt and I deserve one. I went to New Jersey for the first time this last weekend for work. I spent the first night in Newark and then the next morning learned how to navigate the streets around town.

Then we drove towards Red Bank…on a Friday at noon…six lanes of bumper to bumper traffic the whole way on the New Jersey Turnpike…all 25 mikes that we had to go. Apparently it is that way every Friday in the summer because everyone leaves the big city for the weekend.

We finally arrived in Tinton Falls and grabbed some lunch at an Italian restaurant. I swear they put a whole pan of lasagna on my plate…and that was the lunch portion. Who could eat that much in one sitting?

After the show we decided to grab dinner and there was an Italian restaurant right beside the theater. (Italian restaurants are on every corner up there) We were shown to a table in the back room of the restaurant. When we had finished our meal, we learned that this was because the front room of this very fancy restaurant turns in to a night club…typical summertime in New Jersey I was told.