Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 3 of 30 Days of Pictures

Day 3 - Picture of what you did today

I went to work...

I played with Chainsaw...

Took Jeremy to the Airport...

And now for the rest of the evening I will be knitting and watching netflix or possibly playing some video games :)
View my cute knit duck at my Etsy store here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 2 of 30 Days of Pictures

Day 2 - A picture of what you wore today.

I wore this black shirt and black sweater with black capri pants and some black heels :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

30 Days of Pictures

I succumbed to the trend of this 30 days of pictures thing. It sounds fun and will keep me blogging for the next 30 days! I noticed a few Facebook friends have been keeping up with this and it shows a lot about the type of person they are by seeing the pictures they post. Hopefully these next 30 days of pictures will give you all a good idea of the kind of person I am :)

Here are the days:

Day 01 - A picture of yourself
Day 02 - A picture of what you wore today
Day 03 - A picture of what you did today
Day 04 - A picture of where you went today
Day 05 - A picture of your morning
Day 06 - A picture that inspires you
Day 07 - A picture that makes you cry
Day 08 - A picture of yourself
Day 09 - A picture of what you had for lunch
Day 10 - A picture of what you like to do
Day 11 - A picture of your favorite drink
Day 12 - A picture of your favorite food
Day 13 - A picture of your friends
Day 14 - A picture of your favorite teacher(s)
Day 15 - A picture of yourself
Day 16 - A picture of your dream cell phone
Day 17 - A picture of your mp3 player
Day 18 - A picture of your room
Day 19 - A picture of your favorite musical instrument(s)
Day 20 - A picture of where you want to honeymoon
Day 21 - A picture that makes you think of your loved one
Day 22 - A picture of yourself
Day 23 - A picture that describes your life
Day 24 - A picture of what you did today
Day 25 - A picture that you edited
Day 26 - A picture that makes you angry
Day 27 - A picture of you more than 10 years ago
Day 28 - A picture of what you wore today
Day 29 - A picture of yourself
Day 30 - A picture of you and your best friend

DAY 01- A picture of yourself
This is me at one of my good friends' wedding nearly a year ago. I put this one up because I have dark hair again and all of my recent pictures have me with blonde hair. The wedding was so much fun and the bride looked so gorgeous!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet Me Monday #1

As I was browsing blogs for the Weeklong Blog Hop and the Tuesday Blog Hop I came across the Never Growing Old blog where the Meet Me On Monday posts/hop started. I really like the idea and am going to start doing it too :)

"Blogging  is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read  and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is  this person!?"  I know them...but yet I don't know them!  I want  to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great  way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five
get to know you  questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we  can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!"

Todays 5 questions are
1.  Crunchy or soft tacos?
2.  Do you scrapbook?
3.  Do you take any daily medications?
4.  What is your favorite sound?
5.  Where were you born?

1. Both. The Double Decker Taco from taco bell is the best of both worlds with a soft taco wrapped around a crunchy taco and stuck together with refried beans. Totally bad for you but delicious none-the-less!

2. I do scrapbook! I have recently started a scrapbook for a dear friend of mine. It's supposed to be a surprise but I'm pretty sure she knows I'm working on it considering I pester her for a certain disc containing many photos of her and her fiance :)

3. The only daily medication that I take is birth control. I'm young and want to remain childless for several more years. Once I'm financially, emotionally, and educationally ready to have a child, I will :)

4. This is a hard one! I would probably have to say music is my favorite sound. I realize that music is a combination of many sounds put together, but for this question it is my final answer. I love all kinds of music and couldn't pick a favorite genre even if I had to. My moods change so frequently that all music satisfies me at some point.

5. I was born in Fairfield California. I do not live there anymore however. It has progressively gotten more and more ghetto as the years go by and now I would be too afraid to go to the mall there by myself for fear of getting mugged, stabbed, or shot.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fixing up the house

This is a little bit late considering all this work was done back in January, but I figure, better late than never right?!

Back in January a couple of my very best friends made the journey up to Sac to help me clean the house. One of our roommates was moving out that day and our other roommate had a birthday coming up and since it's his house, we thought it would be nice to do a massive cleaning of it. My boyfriend and I also did a mini remodel of our bathroom. I've got before, middle, and after pictures to share :)

The Bathroom
When George bought the house, the bathroom was already painted with this sparkly green sponge painting thing with purple and green flowers. Completely not our style and in my opinion completely ugly! Granted, it did take some skill and I bet a ton of time to do this paint job, but the colors were just awful.

The toilet was also leaking and there was a blueish ring around the toilet that you could see in the linoleum floor. Jeremy ripped up the linoleum and put down Allure vinyl floor that looks like wood but isn't. It's very very nice and looks so much better than the linoleum!

 Here we are after doing a base coat of white throughout the entire bathroom. Already it looks much better than before :) In total I think between Kevin and I, there are 3 coats of white and in some places you can still see those pesky purple flowers showing through. I'll eventually do another coat of white for the troublesome areas but for now it is livable.

 Here is the finished bathroom! The blue comes across a little bit more blue than it is. It's got more green in it to make it more of a turquoise color. Surprisingly, the bathroom isn't as "dark" as it was before. We only painted two walls this blue color, the wall behind the shower and the wall that the mirror is hung on. It's just the right amount! The rest of the room is painted white and with the reflection in the mirror makes the room look so bright!

Now to the house. I have to warn you, it's bad. It's really bad.

House Cleaning
 This is what it looked like when Jenna and Kevin arrived. Junk and garbage EVERYWHERE! A lot of this is stuff from the roommate Rob who was moving out that day and some of it was from when Jeremy and I moved in several months before this, but it's all preventable and it's all our faults that it got this bad.

The first picture on the right is the kitchen. In that room there were 2 very stinky couches and a love seat along the walls, a table buried in there somewhere and boxes full of crap strewn about. The middle picture and the picture on the left are all the front room when you walk in the house. If you can tell, there is a pool table under all of that stuff! I don't think carpets had ever been cleaned and maybe vacuumed only a handful of times in the 5+ years that George and friends have lived here. Needless to say the carpet was very very icky when we finally found it.

This is about halfway through the cleaning phase. Jenna and Kevin went through literally every cupboard and cabinet and every nook and cranny they could reach. Luckily they didn't find anything dead hiding anywhere. But there were some very old and expired items sitting around that I don't think anyone had touched since the day they were brought home from the grocery store ><.

The garbage bags are just a portion of the amount of trash we ended up tossing out that day. I think Robert said in total they took over 1000 lbs of stuff to the dump. And we still have the garage to tackle in the next couple of weeks :)

Plus some black guy came and took/stole the ping pong table, lawn mower, and our kitchen trash can from the front porch, amongst other misc. items that were out there temporarily.

Kevin also found this amazing note that someone had written to keep other roommates from eating their food. Priceless :) **Parental warning, this note has vulgar language**

Here we are, at the end of the day, exhausted and hungry and feeling kind of icky from that whole day of cleaning, painting and working hard...

This first image isn't how the kitchen turned out in the end. We were waiting for the carpets to dry from being cleaned so that we could move some of the furniture back into the front room. 
 Jenna is about to start steam cleaning the carpets. That steam cleaner was pretty amazing. Carpets that looked like people walked in mud and then walked inside, looked nearly brand new when Jenna was finished!

 George came home and for the first time since he bought the house he felt like laying down on the carpets because they weren't so dirty that he would need to take a shower after walking barefoot on them :) If you wore white socks and walked on the carpets before they were cleaned, you would have to bleach those babies to get them white again.
In total, that was such an exhausting but rewarding day for all of us. Now I have to return the favor to Jenna and Kevin since they were such great friends to sacrifice their day to help me clean!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Knitting and Scarves!

A little off the topic of fitness and being healthy, but some change is good in life :)

I have noticed that a few of my Facebook/Twitter/Cyber friends have been knitting and I just recently picked it back up. I learned a long time ago from one of my favorite cousins who taught my sister and me how to knit when we were back in high school. My sister has excelled in knitting and I have to say, she knits some pretty awesome items! Me on the other hand, well, let's just say that the last scarf I finished, I started with 15 stitches and somehow ended up with 22 at the end. And to clarify, it was a chenille yarn, and very expensive.

I recently finished a basic knit scarf (the red one at the end) and am almost finished with the blue one that is shown above. I'll post a picture once it's all finished. So far, it's taken me about 5 hours to get as far as I have on this blue scarf. I've been watching some Lord of the Rings movies while knitting and it really makes the time pass by quickly. I'm hoping that by the end of Return of the King I am all finished and have started on the next scarf. Then it will be another Harry Potter marathon and hope I finish that scarf by the last movie :)

For my next scarf I am going to do a pattern, a difficult pattern for someone who has never done patterns before. I came across it on Babetta's website under the free patterns section located here, and is the "Sinsation Reversable Cabled Scarf". It's for George, my roommate, who said he wanted a black scarf. I've never done any kind of pattern before and can barely purl, so you can imagine how nervous I am about this scarf.

If you are thinking about learning how to knit, I have some pointers for you...

Buy some cheap yarn for your first couple of projects. If you mess up, it's no big deal. I made that mistake with some wonderfully soft yarn that cost an arm and a leg and ended up botching the scarf. I'll still wear it but it is no longer gift-able which is what I had intended to make it for.

Watch some youtube videos. Reading about how to knit only goes so far. Actually seeing someone do it is such a great tool. Here are some great videos to watch...How To Knit, How To Purl, How To Add Stitches, How to Drop Stitches, How to Weave in Loose Ends

Pick a good yarn. For your first couple of projects I would suggest getting a basic yarn. Nothing that is going to be too slippery, such as chenille, and nothing that is super fuzzy.

Practice practice practice! The more you do it, the better at it you will get!

Check out my Etsy store with my scarves...SaraMarieCreations

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Knee Injury

When I was in high school I was on the dance/drill team and routinely would be exercising and practicing on hard surfaces (concrete, tile, gymnasium floor, etc). As a result of the intense workouts I tore the ligaments in my right knee. For about a year after the initial injury I wore a knee brace whenever I did any kind of physical activity and it slowly got better. Once I graduated, I wasn't very active and didn't find the need to use the brace. Well, I have to say, I'm a big doofus. Since I've started the P90X workouts in January, I conveniently forgot that I had injured my knee (it's been 7 years) and when I did remember I figured, it's been so long that I don't need to worry about it.

If someone could have slapped me when I thought that, I would have been extremely grateful. The last time I did the plyometrics workout my knee popped so loud I thought I had broken something. At first it wasn't painful, I frequently have joints popping when I workout and get up in the mornings and have never had a problem. But once I had finished the workout (yes I finished the whole plyometrics after the loud pop) my knee started to feel a little bit more sore than usual. I popped a motrin and pushed the knee out of my mind. The next day my knee was so sore I felt like I could barely walk! I've taken about a week long break from any exercise (family emergency and knee pain combined) and am going to get back into the workout routine tonight, but with my knee brace this time :) This is the brace I used in high school ACE Neoprene Open Knee Brace, One Size Fits All and this is the brace I have currently ACE Plus Open Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers Medium, Advanced.

Had I been more cautious I wouldn't have re-injured my knee and wouldn't have had to take a break in my workout routine. I've compiled a list of some good ways to prevent injuries and to prevent flare ups from previous injuries:

1. Always warm up. I've mentioned this in previous posts, and I don't think I can stress enough how important it is to warm up before doing any physical activity. Depending on the type of activity you are doing, you may want to stretch to warm up, or do some jogging/jumping jacks. Doing a workout with cold muscles is a good way to pull one. This is especially important for people (like me) who have previous injuries to worry about.

2. Exercising on the correct surface. If you are doing yoga, you don't want to be on a super hard surface. Yoga mats or other types of cushion-y surfaces are ideal. If you are doing a high intensity workout, such as plyometrics, you don't want to be on concrete or tile. Being a surface that can absorb the shock is what you should aim for. But you don't want the surface to be too cushion-y because you can twist an ankle.

3. Don't over-do your workout. If you are feeling tired and can't get that last rep in, don't force it. Tired muscles are more susceptible to injuries to your tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage.

4. Recovery time. Make sure you are getting enough rest between workouts as possible. If you workout everyday, you may want to consider taking a 1 day break a couple times a week. If you do not give your body enough time to rest and repair, you are more prone to injuring yourself.

5. Stop if you feel pain. There is a difference between pain and "the burn" associated with a good workout. The burn can be pushed through to the end and feels good, in a weird sort of way. If you feel pain, you should not try to push through it. Pushing through any kind of pain will cause you to injure yourself.

6. Stay hydrated and energized. Make sure you are drinking enough water before, during, and after each of your workouts. During your workout you don't want to overload on the water, but drinking sips throughout is ideal. Keeping yourself energized with the appropriate foods is also important. Eating right before your workout, but not immediately before, and making sure you replenish your body after each workout will prevent you from becoming tired or even ill. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What is so great about organic fruits and veggies?

I know most people have seen or heard about organic foods, and the price tag that comes along with those foods. I only recently decided to start buying more organic fruits and veggies because where I live, organic foods have specials that reduce their price to be pretty darn close to the price of buying non-organic. I didn't understand why some people only bought organic until I started doing the same. The organic foods taste better, make me feel better, and don't come with all of those pesticides that most of the other foods have. If you need some convincing, I've listed some reasons for why you should buy organic. I've also listed some reasons for why organic may not be the best choice, just for arguments sake :)

Pros of Organic
1. Tastes better - Researchers at Washington State University have proven that organically grown berries tasted sweeter than non-organic. Also proven by new research is the fact that organically grown fruits have more antioxidants and less nitrates than non-organic, which mean that organic is going taste better and be better for you ( The difference is because organic foods are not treated with pesticides and therefore produce more antioxidants to keep away the pests naturally.

2. No Pesticides - Pesticides are used to kill off living creatures, and contain harmful chemicals.  Many health problems are caused by pesticides. Some of these effects include, irritation of skin and eyes, affects to the nervous system, reproductive problems including birth defects, and in some cases, cancer. These health risks are nearly eliminated when you eat organic fruits and veggies. Using no pesticides is also better for the environment (see next item) and better for the farmers themselves. When farmers handle pesticides they are guaranteeing that they will have exposure to the harmful components, and can get very sick.

3. Better for the environment - When farmers use fertilizers and pesticides on their crops, they are depositing those same chemicals into ground water. This can harm wildlife and if you drink from the tap, you can become sick. Using some fertilizers can also cause the soil to lose the nutrients needed to increase plant growth and reduce erosion. Farmers who grow organically are using less energy and ensuring that your drinking water (tap water) is safe.

Cons of Organic
1. FDA regulates pesticides in non-organically grown fruits and veggies - There are standards determined by the FDA that specify what levels of pesticides in the fruits and veggies is "ok" for consumers to be exposed to. The studies performed to determine the effects of ingesting pesticides are not in depth enough to definitively say that organic foods are healthier as a result of minimal pesticide use.

2. Too expensive - The average cost of organic food is nearly 50% more for fruits and veggies and nearly double for organic meat and dairy products. With the economy being as fragile as it is still, the price of organic is just too high for many people. Paying extra for food that has not scientifically been 100% proven to be more beneficial than non-organic food is not a wise decision.

The decision is yours on whether or not you want to buy organic food instead of non-organic. For me, a mixture of both has been working out. It doesn't break my bank and it makes me feel better (whether it's all mental or not is reserved for another discussion =P).