Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Block Party Prep!

Today I started planning for the neighborhood block party. I'm so excited, we've all been out on our porches and lawns lately so I've let just about everyone know about the party already! And I made it a point to meet at least a few new people on the cross street and invite them because we will have MORE than enough treats. Our little dead-end street has only 8 houses on it so it will be good to meet some new neighbors and boost our number of partiers!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blogoversary Q&A

I got three very good questions from three great ladies! Ladies, please email me (beastbunny at hotmail dot com) with your mailing addresses and I'll send you your snail mail goodies.

Question #1 from CieAngel:

When you first started blogging did you think that you would have helped teach so many of us different things and that you would have all of Blogland coming to you about swaps?

Answer: This is a great questions as it will allow me to talk a little bit about when I started blogging. I started blogging in 2003 with a LiveJournal that had no purpose other than to occupy my time. My interested waxed and waned until I started posting tutorials and how-to's on groups and message boards and wanted to create something that people wanted to read. I started the SwapDex because it was something I had been searching for for about three years prior. I knew I didn't want to mix swap posts with personal posts so three days later I created CorgiPants. I can honestly say I hoped that the SwapDex would be helpful to swappers but I was a little reluctant at first because I didn't want to be putting a lot of effort into something that no one would read. Now I know, thanks to wonderful comments and emails, that a lot of people find it really helpful so that makes me really happy!

Question #2 from Krissy:

What is the best thing you've gotten out of blogging for an entire year?

Answer: I would say that writing this blog in particular, I have been pushed to try new things and stretch my skills in crafts and in the kitchen! When I set a goal of creating a tutorial or writing a how-to post, I first do my research to find out what everyone else has available.This is the easy part for me because it's basically what I do everyday at work, search for information. But the next steps, especially the photography for tutorials, is hard for me. I want to make sure my instructions and descriptions are clear but not too boring and wordy. I want to highlight the main points but I don't want to bore anyone with tiny details. I have learned so much in the past year, and still have much to learn.

Questions #3 from Clueless Mama:

Do you have any garden tips for a newbie?

Answer: Location, location, location! So many times I see people lamenting their lack of tomatoes or puny peppers, only to find out that their garden is in a terrible location and gets maybe 2 hours of sun each day. Not only does lack of sun cause slow growth, it leads to moist conditions, perfect for mildew, mold and fungus growth which cause plant decline. Veggie gardens need at LEAST 6 hours of sunlight a day and most veggies prefer direct sun all day long.

Check with your local extension office to find varieties that grow well in your area. Around here, it normally gets so hot in the summer that there are only a few lettuces that will grow well during that time. (This year, it's unseasonably cool and I'll be planting another round of lettuce and carrots next weekend but I would normally wait until later in August.)

And make sure your garden is either near a water source or your hose is long enough to reach! Nothing is more frustrating then trying to water your garden with the hose stretched out over your head ten feet from the edge of your garden. I may have some experience in this area. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Upcoming Milestone

The SwapDex is 1 year old today! And that means that in 3 days the CorgiPants blog will also have its Blogoversary. I thought I would invite any questions you might have about me, Sully, our family, house, garden, even the stinky cat and then on Sunday I will post a Q and A session. Anyone who submits a question will receive something in the mail from me (probably a card and a nice selection of stickers/stamps/paper bits). Real honest-to-goodness snail mail! So let's hear it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mid-week fitness

I know, it's not Monday. But today I had my quarterly body assessment at the gym so I wanted to post my new stats!

Body Mass Index (BMI)
March 09: 31.3
July 09: 26.9
Down 4.4% (and I'm down from Obese Class I to Overweight!)

Body Composition
March 09: 36.7% fat
July 09: 31.4% fat
Down 5.3%

Week6Day1 of Couch to 5K. It was HARD! 20 minutes on Sunday was no problem, but Jog 5 minutes, Walk 3 minutes, Jog 8 minutes, Walk 3 minutes, Jog 5 minutes kicked my butt!

On August 1, I start a new challenge. I'll be doing the Wii EA Sports Active 30-day challenge that so many bloggers have already done! Mike bought me the game a while ago but I haven't cracked it open because I was truthfully hoping to win one in one of the many giveaways online. I didn't so I'm going to go ahead and open the one I have.

In light of my new size, I HAD to have some new jeans and maybe a shirt or two. I was kindly gifted a $50 off $100 coupon to Old Navy by Lynn and I put it to good use! Not only did I get a pair of jeans, 2 cute skirts, a black knit dress, a button down shirt, a black 3/4 sleeve top and a pair of khakis, I got all of that in size LARGE (pants size 14)!! I have NEVER been smaller then XL and I've been XXL (20-22) before. It was a fun shopping trip, I tried on MUCH more than I bought just for the fun of it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday

Start Weight: 215
Current Weight: 183
% lost overall: 14.8% (no change)

So, no change this week, no biggie. Because I have BIG news in the Couch to 5K department. Sunday was Week5Day3-20 minutes nonstop jogging! And in that time (no stopping, no walking) I did nearly 2 miles! I never in my wildest dreams thought I could do that! That is 8 (EIGHT!) laps around that stupid cinder track from grade school! Back in grade/junior high/high school, I didn't even run one lap. I ran my 20 minutes on the sidewalks of our neighborhood, listening to birds and viewing people's wonderful flower gardens. (I had been running with my MP3 player so that I could listen to the C25K podcasts but I wanted to hear the birds Sunday morning.)

July has been BUSY! 4-H, my own fair projects, dog training, gardening, and more have kept me on my toes. But I've been trying to fit in each days' activity for the Summer Glow Boot Camp. Inspired by Angela, I have been whipping up green monsters (smoothies with greens like kale or spinach added). Here is the most recent one, which had blueberries, half a banana, a handful of kale, soy milk and blueberry greek yogurt.
And also inspired by Jen, here I am fresh and sweaty from a workout. Click picture for larger picture of the glistening.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gardening!

It's about time for an update about the garden! Let's start with the edibles! (Click on any picture for a larger version.)The garden is divided into four beds by woodchip paths (which are now mostly weeds but I'm cool with that). Starting from the lower left, this bed has tomatoes, peppers (sweet bell and jalepeno) and growing on the fence are Blue Moon and Rouge Detamps (cinderella's coach-esque) pumpkins. The tomato varieties are Red Russian, Gajo de Melon, Burpee's Jubilee, Brandywine and a yellow tomato that I'm not sure of the name.

The next bed up holds the pumpkins and gourds, including Jack Be Littles, some more Blue Moon and Lumina and a fun assortment of mini gourds with fins, dipper gourds, warts, etc.

Next, to the right we have the zucchini, yellow summer squash and cucumbers. The trellises in this bed are for the cucumbers. This bed also has the perennial crops of rhubarb and green onions since they can be in the corner and undisturbed when I till. And hiding over on the far right are some broccoli and brussels sprouts. I had some excesses seedlings so I went ahead and found space for them.

Under this bed, we have the rotating crops like carrots, spinach, lettuce, kale, and radishes. When one planting is finished, I yank it out and plant something different in it's spot. The carrots have included Creme de Lite (white), Purple Dragon (purple, duh!), and Nantes. Here's a better picture of this rotating bed.In another edible area of the garden, the blackberries are getting ready to turn black!And in yet another edible area, two new additions have been made to the herb garden. I bought some variegated Sage and a Winter Thyme plant. They join the Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Chives and Sweet and Globe Basil. This is the ornamental pot that sits in the middle of the herb garden on the stump. It has sweet potato vine and ice plant in it.In the courtyard, my potted Caladiums are up and doing their thing. Along with some Coleus in the same color scheme.More Coleus keeps my Lavendar company in the partial shade of the Clematis.This rock is also in the courtyard. I planted the bigger holes in it with a great variety of Sedums I bought from this Etsy Shop.
These are the pots that are on my front porch. More Caladiums, sweet potato vine, and Sedum. Can you tell I like fun colors of foliage?

Welcome Scavengers!


Food - Games - Prizes - All week long!
It's a scavenger hunt! My friend Pam & Frank are having a blog Scavenger Hunt as part of their new blog redesign blog party. And I am one of the stops! The hunt is from Tuesday July 14, 2009 to Saturday July 18, 2009. At each blog along the way, you'll have to find out something about the blogger by searching around their posts. You can win a gift certificate for the awesome Pass It On Plates shop!! See here for more info on how to enter.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Craft update

I want to thank everyone who has sent in pink scraps and fabric! I have such a great variety, I can easily make a wonderful, cheerful pink quilt for our new neighbor! thank you to Bertha, Tracy, Holly, and my mom for their gracious donations. Here are the two squares I worked up this weekend, just to see what they would look like.I also got one of my Rainbow quilts for Project Linus started. The border isn't sewn on, I just laid it out so you could get the idea. Cute! I have to give a big thank you shout out to Wanda, who after hearing that my quilt from the Rainbow Block Swap would be going to Project Linus, donated her set of blocks to me! Thank you so much, Wanda! The second rainbow quilt will be much the same but with a different white on white pattern for the sashing.And last but not least, here is the dress I made for the fair this year. I originally bought the fabric and supplies to make this to wear to a wedding last summer but then found out is was a very casual affair and wore jeans instead. :) So I just finished this from the Butterick "walk away" dress pattern. I am not in love with the way it looks, but it is sort of neat the way the underskirt shows through the very flowing overskirt. Lots of bias tape and too much hand finishing for my tastes (sewing on all the snaps/hook and eyes, whip stitching all the ends of the bias tape together).

Monday update

Start Weight: 215
Current Weight: 183
% lost overall: 14.8%

Husband has requested a Monday Fitness Update, since I've skipped a couple of weeks! So here goes.

In July, I am participating in Oh She Glows' Summer Glow Boot Camp. She's got an awesome calendar full of great articles, assignments and exercises for each day. So far I really enjoyed writing a letter to my body, trying out new ab exercises from The Beholder, and writing three goals for July.

One of my goals is to keep up with my three day a week run training. This week starts Week 5 of Couch to 5K! My friend Sasha has been awesome about running every Thursday with me, what a superstar! Week 5 will build me up to 20 minutes of non-stop jogging. I have been doing some of my workouts outdoors and some at the gym on the treadmill. I want to be well-versed in the treadmill to be prepared when the weather gets too hot to run outside. :)

Shame on me, I haven't been taking many pictures of all the delectable garden produce I've been eating. I picked up blueberries and nectarines at the farmer's market Saturday and have been chowing down on those, along with cantaloupe from the grocery store. I picked the very first zucchini of the year and made some baked zucchini with passata and it was delicious! I ate it with some steamed tri-color carrots. I took this picture before I added the polenta that I heated up in a skillet. I made a giant batch and now I have polenta rounds all cut out and ready in the fridge for quick lunches this week. Yum!

My tip for this week is to use hot tea to curb evening cravings. The other night, I wanted a sugary treat so bad but it was after 9 pm! I typically shut down the kitchen at 8 since anything I eat after that is usually junky and I'm not really hungry, just bored. But I was a little chilly and wanted to curl up with SOMEthing so I made some hot tea (my absolute favorite, Almond Sunset) and it HIT THE SPOT!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Am I famous now?

I was recognized! At the Dog Training Club the other night (after our very LAST 4-H training class for the year), one of the club's instructors and I struck up a conversation and it came up that I had a Corgi and she asked if I had a blog! Turns out she recognized my name from exhibiting at the County Fair, knew the blog from the post I wrote about exhibiting and put two and two together! Smart lady! So hi, if you're reading!

Speaking of the County Fair, it is only a few short weeks away! So far I have completed my doily, a knit capelet, a dress from this pattern, and my entry for the "craft made from recyclables" category. No, I'm not telling! Then everyone and their mom will steal my brilliant idea! Next up on the crafting list are a Halloween banner decoration, a stuffed toy and a quilt if I can get my act together!

The sad part is that I won't be able to take my items myself. My wonderful husband has volunteered to tote everything over there on Saturday morning because the dog and I need to get over to Bloomington for a Graduate Novice obedience practice session at their Show N Go that day. But I will get to go later that day, after the judging, to see if I won any ribbons. And take pictures, of course!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

5K Fourth of July

Here's a post-5K pic from Saturday. I made Mike and I matching patriotic rosette pins that turned out so cute! I wore my "FREE" t-shirt from when Mike and I were part of a huge American flag made up of people in different colored shirts. They took our picture with a plane! That was nearly ten years ago!

You may notice I'm also wearing a medal! My time was 38.29 minutes. I got 1st in my age division and second walker overall. (but they didn't give out overall awards for walkers.)
Here's a tasty meal I ate today, all fresh from the garden! Corn bread pudding make with last year's sweet corn (ok, so it was fresh from the freezer, but it was fresh from the garden before that), purple and white carrots (steamed) and kale salad! Yum! The watermelon is from the store, I never have luck growing watermelons. I'm too stingy with the water so they always end up stunted.
And in not-so-health-conscious news, we decorated cookies for the shelter again! Red, white and blue for the fourth! Want to host your own cookie decorating party? Visit Drop In & Decorate for more info!
I delivered them on Friday, in time for enjoying on the fourth.
Some of them look like Patrick from Sponge Bob Square Pants.