Monday, December 27, 2010

December = no sleep + sad news for my running shoes

Between Liam's 1st birthday and Christmas plus my normal day job and a couple freelance projects sprinkled in between, I have been getting zero to little sleep.

James and Jen

Jerry and Pennie

Paul and Shonna

Tracy and Eric

Val and Andy
This Christmas, I decided to go the handmade route for a few people to save some $ and to try out a new painting style - similar to my pet paintings I did a couple years back, but more simplified and mainly black and white. I did 10 total, but I did not get photos of 2 of them before I wrapped them and the other 3 I have not yet given to the recipients. I plan to do a couple more, I just didn't have time to do them and I also have to figure out a way to send a 20" x 16" canvas across the country! I will post the others on a later blog entry.

The freelance projects I did were for a friend's coworker's family album. He asked me to design a cover for the album and a family tree for the back cover. I really like how the family tree turned out. It's nothing visually spectacular, but if you appreciate clean/neat layouts you would like it too! I may post it in a later blog, I just haven't gotten permission to post it yet.

I also made some snowflake cupcakes for Christmas (with my high school favorite cookie - Peanut butter kiss cookies), which turned out really nice as well. I piped some snowflakes made of melted white chocolate and placed some on the cupcakes. (P.S. I LOVE my Ikea dessert platter! Thanks Sharon!)

In other, unrelated news... On the fitness side of things, I finally weighed myself when we went down to Savannah the 2nd week of December. Turns out I lose 3 lbs. since we moved back up to MD! Woohoo! 3 lbs. in 2 months may not seem like a big deal, but after being at a plateau for the longest time, it is progress. Though, there has been very little fitness associated with that loss (due to no gym access). It was mainly diet changes.

Also, last week, I decided to get my knee checked out since it had been bothering me ever since the last time I ran last month. I didn't want to run any more until I got it checked out so I could start my 1/2 marathon training. Well, the good news is that my knees are perfect. The bad news is that the pain I am feeling is due to my f'ed up cartilage rubbing against itself. The doc said that my body is trying to tell me something: that I should not be running. He said that If I want to get surgery, that I should keep running. It crushed me when he told me that, and I felt like crying. Running had been something that I liked doing; I could always run even if we didn't have a gym. It was fun entering races and trying to beat my previous time. It gave me goals to strive for. It was something that Joel and I could do together (even though we never actually ran together - side-by-side, we at least ran at the same time and location, haha). *sigh* I don't know. I wanted the doc to tell me that my knee would get better with time, then I could start my training. Looks like I have to see if I can get someone to run in my place next year. I don't know. I really want to do the 1/2 marathon and then just quit my running career there. If not, it will be a weak end to my running life. I kind of want to go out with a bang.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fall/Thanksgiving Cupcakes

I survived Midnight Madness at the Mall on Black Friday!

...should be a t-shirt. My Black Friday (BF) cherry was popped with the help of Shonna and her sister Tracy! Shonna was a BF virgin too. I'm glad it was another thing we got to experience for the first time, TOGETHER!

Pics of my cupcakes...

Turns out the frosting was too buttery. I did use one WHOLE stick of butter. In the future I might use more cream cheese and less butter. I prefer the cheese flavor over the butter, but that's just me! They were still pretty damn good though, if I say so myself. :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I've got a few things up my sleeve for Christmas gifts... I'm planning on giving personalized *******s for presents this year. Not making too many of them because I have no time to do one for every one I know, so if you get one, you are special. Or more like, you are probably close family or friends that are pretty much family. I hope to post them all on here once they are all complete. I think photos of all of them together will look pretty cool. I just hope they turn out how I have them envisioned in my head.

Also, this Thanksgiving I'm making pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with chocolate leaves. Much like the style of the cake I posted last year for my in-law's birthdays (see this post). Just in cupcake form and with REAL fallen leaves, instead of basil leaves. :) I hope the leaves I picked up are not poisonous... I made sure I washed them thoroughly, at least! Picture to be posted later.

And to add to my repertoire of craftiness/creativity... I'm planning my first birthday party! Liam's 1st birthday! It's on a budget (sorta), so I had to go cheap/lazy on a few things that, knowing me, I shouldn't have: like invitations (they were sent out via eVite...and you can't customize the templates!) and cake (no time!). I hope it all goes as planned. There's still a lot to do before then.

Pics of stuff coming soon. This is such a crappy art blog... no pictures!

P.S. On the weight loss front, I have no scale to weigh myself on, but I've been eating a LOT less in the past few weeks. Trying to maintain the "food for fuel" mentality, although I am pretty sure that tomorrow (Thanksgiving), I will break my streak! haha

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back up north

We moved back up to the DC area a couple weeks ago. The whole month prior to the move, I didn't go to the gym or run or anything. AND I had just joined a gym and was going somewhat regularly again! Now, I have to start at square one again. I don't want to join another gym until we can cancel our membership with the one in GA.

Last Saturday, Joel and I went to the Park (Ft. Washington Park) and ran the same trail route that we did the last time we were up here (July). It is a nice shady trail, but depending on the way you go, it is REALLY steep. There are stairs at the end of the 2nd mile and they are killer! There was no way I was running up the steps. Especially after not doing ANY sort of exercise (unless packing and moving counts) for a month. I'm really feeling it today as both my quads and knees are sore. :( BUT... I am looking forward to running more regularly so I won't feel so crappy!

In other news... I can fit back into my pre-preggo jeans again!!!! With my "new abs" (aka loose preggo belly skin, haha) the waist is a little tight, but they still fit fine! Woohoo! ALSO... the running pants I bought a few months ago are loose on me now too! I ran with them the other day and I kept having to pull them up every so often so that I wouldn't moon anyone! The bad news is that I really liked those pants and it was only the 2nd time I ever used them. Now I have to spend money (that is pretty tight these days) to buy new clothes that fit properly. Ugh...

I have no idea where my weight is now. Last I checked I was still hovering around 145. I'm sure I lost muscle, but probably gained fat. The last week in GA we ate horribly!!! *barf*

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quick update (supposed to be working!)

Just wanted to update on the weight loss "project"... the needle FINALLY made it under the 150 mark!!! Woohoo! It's like a few notches past it too! Woohoo! Next milestone is 145...

I JUST joined the gym again, and even started going somewhat regularly... but now life takes another turn and we find out that we are MOVING (in a month!)!! A very exciting time, indeed, but with the packing, cleaning, etc... there really is NO TIME to work out.

Being busy also means: hardly any time to eat. But I'm actually doing what I should have been doing all along and just eating for fuel. It's not bad. (unless you stick a cupcake in front of me)

But I also want to attribute some of the credit to switching up the BC pills. I'm back to what I was on pre-preggo and my body seems to like it better. Although, my skin is not agreeing --- I'm breaking out more! But that might also be due to the stress of the move. Who knows. I'd rather deal with breakouts than a weight plateau! And who knows... I just might be off of ALL birth control and be au natual (no drugs in me!!! 'cept for multi-vitamins) pretty soon!! ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


IMAGE DUMP!! So I'm actually posting a bunch of things for once! WOW!

The first image is a logo I did for my good friend Tracy who is starting her own business in the handmade baby items industry. Check out her blog: I drew the flower out on paper and was just going to scan it in and vectorize it, but my drawing skills are not up to par these days (working on it!), so I ended up just tracing my messy flower drawing in Illustrator to clean it up.

The next two are business card designs I created for 2 clients for their jewelry selling businesses. I've done these before for a few other people in this line of business and they love the "cartoon" version of themselves. Got to love word-of-mouth networking!

The last one is obviously old (as shown by the date), but it was one of the many small projects I did last year that I never posted. It is a wedding logo that was also used as a gobo light.

More to post soon...


I am still sore from the Sunday gym escapade. I got way too excited about all the machines they had. I think I feel even worse than I did yesterday. I shouldn't have jumped into it too fast! Oh well.


Oh, and regarding the project that I plan to do for myself... I COULD try to do it all with photography, but I think that may be an easy way out. It is easier, but it will be expensive since I want it to be large scale and printing photos that large can get expensive. If I did it the traditional way (the way I initially planned) by drawing everything, it would take more time (a LOT more time), but materials would be cheaper. I dunno. I want to do the traditional way, but I'm kinda scared to start drawing again, but I want it to also show the technique and style that I have. We'll see. I still haven't nailed down a concept yet, but I have ideas. I don't want to talk about it here until I narrow down my options.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hurts to cough

We joined a 24-hour gym (woohoo!) and they ave multiple locations around the region. We've already been to 3 of them. The one that is the closest to us is the crappiest and smallest. All the weight machines are butted up next to each other and the few cardio machines they have are in a little corner next to the windows... which don't even face outwards (so the public can watch your jiggly ass try to run on the treadmill).

Anyway, we tried one out that is a little bit further of a drive, and it had way more machines (and the step machines I like that the other one didn't have). We're probably going to go to that one more than the rinkydink one closer to us. Yesterday we tried the one they have at the mall... it was awesome. Lots of space, lots of machines, has my favorite assisted dip/pullup machine AND the treadmills have fans. And surprisingly it wasn't even very busy. Pretty cool. We had such a good time there yesterday that today I can't lift my arms without them hurting... and whenever I try to cough, my abs hurt. Good times.


On the art front... I've been trying to work in some time to do the small projects I've taken on. A couple logos - one for my friend's handmade baby goods boutique and another for a communications business. Also trying to come up with a concept for a more personal artwork. I've never done a piece for myself that was never a school project or something that someone asked me to do. So I'm asking myself to do something for ME! I don't know what it will be yet, but I do know that I need to brush up on my fine art skills... drawing... and I want to break out some charcoal. I need to get my hands dirty.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back in the Gym

There's a lot of work to be done before next year's 1/2 marathon. I've started using the cardio machines at the gym but was reluctant to get on the treadmill. I decided to try it out last night. I started out with a 1% incline and 6.2 mph... which is what I USED to start off with a couple years ago when I was in much better shape and a little lighter than I am now! Um... I just BARELY made it a mile. I had to stop the damn machine to breathe and drink something. I wanted to go at least a 5K, so I started it back up again, kept the incline, but decreased it to like 5.8 mph. I began feeling the burn not even half way through the second mile, so I decreased again to 5.6 mph. After this mile I had to stop and recollect my self before doing the last 1.1 mile. I took away all incline and started off at 5.6 and gradually went up to 6.1 to finish off strong! Woohoo! I did it! I think I may have OVER done it... my stomach felt crampy all morning. Got a lot of work ahead of me.

Today I'm doing bicep curls every hour... well, unless I get busy with work like I usually do. I started push ups the other day and didn't make it to 5:oo because of work.

Still weighing in the same. Can't get that damn needle to go any lower. Whatever.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thoughts on Creativity

Although I haven't posted anything that I've done creatively on this blog lately (as it was intended for), I've still been doing some freelance projects here and there, while working full-time "for the man".

Unfortunately, I had to "drop out" of my online courses because I didn't get them all completed by the time they were supposed to be done. So much for that. I did, however, manage to save all the lessons that I wasn't able to complete into PDFs so I still have access to them if I ever feel the desire to do some independent learning. Haha... not sure if that's "legal" but what the hell. I paid for them! But then again, who knows when I'll have the time. Having a baby wasn't what I expected (it was actually 100x harder thn what I thought it would be... who knew, right? haha), and I wasn't able to devote time to anything else other than my job that pays the bills and baby. I was selfish to myself for opting for relaxing (aka sleeping or just being lazy and watching TV or something), as opposed to learning in the little free time I have.

Between working as a graphic designer in a corporate situation where a lot of the time you feel like the work you produce isn't something you really put your heart into and deviating from participating in activities that would have helped me grow creatively... I've really lost my "mojo". I started this blog to HELP me get my creative juices flowing again. The last post where I actually posted something that I did was last October... and it was a cake!! haha Hey, I count that as something creative!

I now also have a lack of confidence with my work these days. Well, more so than I used to. I was asked to do a family photo shoot of a friend of mine (who is trading her personal trainer service for my service). After agreeing to it, I thought about it and became nervous and anxious. The only pics I've taken recently are of Liam! No recent practice other than point and shoot! I'm probably making a big deal of it in my head, but I'm afraid of letting them down and myself down if the photos I take aren't good enough.

I've been watching "Work of Art" on Bravo (I love that show! It reminds me of my college days!) and there's a guy on there, Abdi, who made it to the finals with this really awesome charcoal drawing he did of himself. It was a very striking self-portrait where he was peacefully laying down. He described it as a rebirth of himself as an artist (his previous works were all cartoony paintings). The challenges before this one, he was on the bottom and didn't feel like he had any connection to his work being produced.

I can very much relate to that... and I want to find my inspiration to move on and try different things and grow as an artist. I've disconnected myself from my creative roots. I can blame major life changes, work stress, whatever... but really, I shouldn't place blame on any of that. I should accept everything that life throws at me and express it somehow. I don't know what's holding me back.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Half Marathon

I just registered for my first half marathon (13.1 miles)!

The Rock and Roll marathon series is coming to Savannah next year on November 5, 2011. I figure that should be more than enough time to prepare myself and possibly get a decent time. On the registration, it asked you to put in your estimated finish time... hah! I don't know! I put in 2 hours and 30 minutes, based on previous race times. My goal is to NOT exceed that time! Hopefully I'll fall somewhere in between 2 and 2.5 hours. I've done a 10K in a little over an hour (included a bridge in it), but I'm thinking my pace will fluctuate... and I'll probably hit a wall at some point, but then ideally get a second wind near the end of it! Maybe I will surprise myself!

Now to find the time to train!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby steps, er, more like crawling to my goal

No progress so far. Still in the 150 range. Although I can't say that I have had the desire to go out and do anything because it's just so damn hot and humid. I'm probably going to join a gym again (for now) and plan to go after we put Liam to bed around 8-8:30... which is a great time for us since we eat dinner early now (we'll be digested before then) and we would rather go when no one else is in there hogging all the machines we want to use.

I started doing this "routine" inspired by a FB group I "like" which is Fleet Feet Savannah, a running shoe store that hosts a lot of the races in Savannah. They said that every hour, on the hour, their employees do 10 pushups. Their posts the other day were every hour starting at 8, telling their FB fans to join in and do the 10 pushups with them. I figured 10 every hour won't hurt and won't take long either. So I ended up doing them until 5pm... 100 pushups in one day! woohoo! I did the "fake" (aka girly) style push ups, but they still made me sore the next day!

I tried switching it up yesterday with 10 squats, instead of pushups, but my workday got hectic and I forgot to check the time after 11am. However, I have managed to keep up with them today! One more set of 10 @ 5pm and I'm done! haha

Next time I will try 100 sit ups. And maybe after that... finally get my butt to the gym!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Success - 2nd place

The Hardeeville Hog Jog 5K was yesterday. I managed to place in the Zena division! I'm so proud of myself! haha But in my last post I said I could "EASILY beat 34 minutes." OK, I just BARELY did... with a finish time of 33:40. The first place Zena did it in 32:20! And she was maybe 180lbs. (Joel thinks she was over 200, but I didn't think so) That is an amazing feat. Even in my non-Zena status it took a while for me to get to that time.

It was a nice shady trail run for the most part, then there were some parts on the road and in the blazing hot sun. It was pretty damn hot and humid. My breathing was holding me back. I was on the heels of another girl in the 3rd mile, we passed each other a few times, then I realized I veered off the course at one point (oops!) and she went ahead of me. After a while on the last straightaway, she had to walk! haha I never allow myself to walk in these races, I like to keep a steady pace and I feel more accomplished.

Anyway, I guess now, I will be back on my "elimination diet." I had been eating some white rice out of convenience, but didn't mind because I was trying to maintain weight. Now, I have to get back on track and focus on losing. No more 5Ks until the fall. This one was too damn hot. It started at 9am, which is pretty late to start running down here... it starts getting hot and gross by 8am or earlier!

Results of the race are here:

Poor Joel's time was effed up. They misdirected the faster runners (an extra .4 miles off course), so by the time they were all on the correct course, there were other runners ahead of them at that point (which they all probably passed anyway). They adjusted the times for some of them, but Joel's time wasn't one of them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Weight loss on HOLD... until after June 5!

Last weekend, Joel and I ran in the Georgia Tech (Joel's college team of choice) Run for Robotics 5K. GT has a campus down here for mainly engineering students. The race they put together benefited the team that was building some type of underwater remote controlled robot. Anyway... we signed up for it because it was pretty cheap ($25/person) and nearby. Little did we know that it was mostly a cross country race, as opposed to a road race. It was pretty challenging, but a nice change from the pounding pavement. I did the best I could. It was hot and the terrain was sandy, grassy and uneven. There was even a dead snake on the path. I ended up finishing in just under 33 minutes. I was hoping to beat my prior time - a little over 31 minutes from the Gulfstream 5K, but due to the unpredictable course, I was unable to do that! Even Joel finished a minute and a half over his Gulfstream 5K time. Oh well....

To elaborate on the subject of this post, I am hoping not to lose much weight until after June 5. "WHY?" you may ask.... well, I was looking up another race to run in the upcoming weeks and there is one on the 5th of June called the Hog Jog 5K at a park a few miles up the interstate from us. As I was reading the information on the race, I noticed that there would be awards given out for age groups, M/F, and Clydesdale and Zena divisions.... The Clydesdale and Zena divisions are pretty much heavy runners... Clydesdale is males over 200lb and Zena (more commonly known as "Athena" division) is females over 150lb ... which I can actually compete in!!! LOL! Finally something I can place in and possibly win! hahaha I know right now I am a little over 150lbs, which I have been for the past 5 months! But that is just going by my bathroom scale... which usually (in my case) reads a little lower than normal.

So that is why I am not trying to lose any weight until after this race. Silly reason? Yes. But I want to win something, dammit! Looking at the results from last year, the top Zena did the race in 31:25, the 3rd place Zena did it in 34:11. I can EASILY beat 34 minutes. The thing with this one, though, is that it is going to be another unfamiliar race and it WILL be on trails. Also, last year, someone told me it rained, so the paths were even more challenging. I'm hoping that it won't rain and that I can get some good runs in before then, so I can beat my previous race time, and possibly win something!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Still "dieting", still no weight loss

Ok, so I am still not eating bread (does not include pizza) or white rice. Oh, and I changed it to not eating WHITE bread. Because I did have some hamburgers with whole wheat buns the other week. The next thing I need to give up is fried food. I did this once before, so it shouldn't be so hard. The white bread and white rice wasn't too hard either.

Still no weight loss, as I am still hovering above 150. Ugh. I'm thinking now that I may actually NEED surgery to get rid of the extra skin. :( WTF. But then again I'm not doing any ab stuff or any other exercising other than running a few times a week. haha But you'd THINK that by going cold turkey on things that I used to eat in excess PLUS running would produce some type of results...

We have another 5K coming up this weekend. And speaking of races, the Biggest Loser just aired their "marathon" episode of the final 4 contestants running the marathon in CA. The winner was the "fat-kid-turned-runner" who 2 weeks prior, said he could do a 5K in 21 minutes. Unbelievable! Well, he finished the 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 4 minutes. Not bad for someone who was morbidly obese 5 months ago. That's just amazing. I'm jealous and inspired, but really... what else are you going to do at the biggest loser ranch than work out and eat right? That's your job! If that was my job, I'd be running marathons, too! I say that as I eat my pizza and ice cream while watching the Biggest Loser....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New referrals!

Just in this past week, I got two freelance job referrals. Woohoo! One is for an invitation logo and the other is for a logo/business card. I need to find time to do these!

Oh, and the no-bread or rice thing is going OK. I did have a slice of pizza last night for dinner, but I can't count that as bread! The reason I cut out bread was because I'd actually SNACK on bread. The bread in the pizza last night was part of a meal.

Going running again tonight, hopefully. It's going to be friggin HUMID, so I might just do 3 miles. We also need to go to the grocery store tonight too. We are planning on running another 5K on the 22nd.

Monday, May 3, 2010

a change of pace...

Since I'm not really doing much of anything creative these days (sad isn't it?), I think I'll start looking for my muse in other places... specifically, as diet and exercise.

I'm going to be very honest here and post my weight. I don't care. It's the baby that's done this to me! LOL

Pre-baby, I was probably in close to the best shape of my life. I was setting PRs in the 5Ks we ran and doing P-90X and going to the gym... I weighed between 130-135lbs at that point. Yes, that is technically overweight if you go by BMI. I am only 5'1" I should weigh like 110 lbs or something crazy like that. 130-135 was fine with me. I felt good and I ate whatever I wanted.

When I got pregnant, the first trimester was like nothing even happened. That's when I actually ran my 5K PR! I wasn't gaining any weight and staying fairly active for a preggo woman. I also had virtually no cravings for food at that point... it was more like a food aversion and I became really picky with stuff I ate.

Then 2nd trimester came and that's when I started packing on the poundage. If I started at 135lbs, I gained at least 45lbs during the pregnancy. Maybe more because my last official weigh-in was at the OB/GYN a week before giving birth. I was 180lbs.

Post delivery, I breastfed for the first month and the weight seemed to melt off. I also didn't really have time to eat much since I was so overwhelmed by the new baby! I was down to 150lbs by the end of the first month! Now I've been at a plateau since then and I am not budging. I've started running again - we've done two 5Ks in the past month. Still nothing. So I have to change my diet.

I've decided that this week I'm not going to eat any bread or white rice.

This is what I've had so far today:
1 bowl of Frosted Flakes with milk (2%) for breakfast
1 cup of coffee with sweetened creamer
1 apple
1 banana
water, as needed
a can of soup (chicken and wild rice) for lunch

I need to buy more fruit! And actual vegetables! After a week of no bread, I am going to cut out something else. Like maybe chocolate and coffee (I'll just go back to green tea).

And at some point I need to go back to the gym. Just no time or money for that right now!