Round-Up January

Sunday, January 31, 2010

One of the things I commented on when I did my year in review posts in December was that I miss the concept, I miss documenting these things so I've decided to bring back the Round-Up posts. These started out on Katie's blog back in 2006. I joined in, then for some reason seem to have stopped mid 2008. Anyhoo I like the idea of recapping the month, and it's a good way to jot down events, moments and for me to share some photo's and information about myself and my life :)

What books and/or magazines did I read this month? 
Kickboxing manual and study guide by AFAA. Woooo interesting!!! Well it is for me I guess. I'm doing a course in February to be a certified instructor :) Other than that and more industry magazines I didn't read much this month. Must change that in February and get back to the library!

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Ooooh too many to mention, we've been watching some British movies lately and of course the TV season has started again after the holiday break. I am heavily back into watching "the biggest loser". Loved the last season and so far am enjoying the current season (4th episode so far). We watched the first couple of series then kinda lost interest. I guess my focus being back on health & fitness has had a lot to do with my interest in the program again, I love seeing people changing their lives and getting into fitness.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Well there was me getting a job!!! Hurrah! Oh and teaching my first classes in America! We went out and celebrated with Indian food and beer naturally, that's our staple celebratory dinner really :)

Our friend Chris's birthday was this month and we went out with him and his family to Red Robin. The weather was awful but the food and company were great.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
None! Tip top shape and no injuries! Yay! I had some muscle soreness from working out with new formats and equipment but that's to be expected.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
I tried  TRX suspension training, and other classes at Moorpark Athletic Club. Had a 10 day membership to try out the club and now I work there :) I try and workout there a couple of times a week, and hope to continue to do so.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
No new restaurants, recipes or foods. I did try guacamole again and have come to the conclusion that it's really not very nice at all, lol.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Yoga pants and sports tops for going to classes in as my old ones were falling to bits or too big. Lots of my clothes are too big. I really need to sort through the closet and get some sewing alterations done! Maybe a task for February?

What were this month’s disappointments?
Can't think of any really, all in all a great month!

What were my accomplishments this month?
Did I mention I got a job? Back in the fitness field and loving it! I am signed up for a kickboxing certification next month and will be teaching regularly again in February :) Good times! I also managed to get ahead in some of my design work assignments, yay! I got some work picked up for publication in Feb/March Ready Set Create too, and did some projects for the new Boxer Scrapbooks booth display.

Anything else noteworthy to record?       
I got my website changed to fitness oriented resume site instead of crafting, and put the crafting resume on, this meant lots of web programming and more to do but it's up, live and updated.

Self portrait for the month
Coming soon 



Boxer Project - New Papers & Stamps

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I am loving the new pink papers from Boxer!!! I especially love how they coordinate with some of the older papers in the Boxer store, for example the new crown paper, and new pink polka dot paper go great with the existing pink gingham paper! So cool that Boxer do this!!!

Also on this page are the new Boxer princess stamp set and new luggage tags! Loving those luggage tags!!! To finish off the page I used Boxer brads, ribbon and stickers.

More projects coming soon!



Fit Friday - cross training

Friday, January 29, 2010

As regular blog readers will know I've completed the classic round of P90X. That's exercising 6 days a week with a mix of resistance, cardio and yoga for a 90 day period of time. I personally love P90X, I think it's a great system for those that are motivated to work out on their own accord at home. Since I finished P90X I've been doing a mix of P90X, P90X plus and working out at the gym (as well as teaching classes). Basically I've been cross training more, and I am liking the results. Last week I did mostly gym classes and cardio, this week I've mixed things up even more. I've dropped a day because I didn't do yoga this week. Something I need to find time to add back in next week.

Monday - Spinning class
I decided to try Spinning again this week. Basically I last did spinning in 1996 when I did an instructor course at one of the local city council run gyms. I did the class and really didn't find it as enjoyable as step or aerobics so never did it again. I figure after almost 15 years I should give spinning another go right? So Monday I went to the gym and did spinning for 55 minutes, and I remembered my Heart Rate monitor which showed I burned 373 calories. I did enjoy the workout which kinda surprised me. I'm gonna try it again next week now that I bought a gel seat cushion cover :) Those spin bike seat are HARD! Hopefully the cushion gel in the cover makes all the difference and I can enjoy the class more without thinking about not being able to sit down later that day!

Tuesday - P90X upper body plus & home workout 
 I did P90X plus Upper Body Plus workout, then did some core/abdominals and finished off with 30 minutes of step. Upper body was ok, I don't work up much of a burn during this work out but with the added abs/core and the step cardio at the end, that ramped it up to 388 cals burned in 90 minutes.

Wednesday - Kickboxing
I've been a quest to try as many different classes as possible at the gym so I know what the format is like in case I have to cover the class. Also I want to do more kickboxing as I take my certification in February and want to be kickboxing fit and familiar with the moves. Nikki took this class and she worked us hard!!! I forgot my HRM but we kicked booty. Discovered that I'll soon be covering this class during Nikki's maternity leave.

Friday - P90X plus workout (total body plus)
After a day off Thursday (should have done yoga, but didn't get time) I was raring to go today. I had kinda planned on doing more cardio today after the resistance workout but Bob worked from home, then we had lunch plans so the morning got cut short and I only got in one 45 minute workout session burning 279 calories.

Other ways I increased my calorie burn this week:
Twitter and facebook followers will know that last week one of our dogs (River) was sick. Upon the vet visit I discovered she is 60lbs!!! Fat little.... Anyway we knew she was overweight as it was so this confirmed that operation doggy diet needed to be put into effect! On the vets request to curb her sickness I am feeding the dogs 3x a day instead of 2, and giving them less at each meal. We've also started walking further again in the morning, and they get an extra walk midday before meal #2.

Cross training is a great way to burn calories and fat because the body never knows what to expect, so you don't plateau! Plus staying with one form of fitness isn't good for anybody, always include some resistance and cardio in your workout plan. but switching up forms of cardio and resistance is good too. If you always to Turbojam or Zumba for example try kickboxing or spinnng one day a week instead. 

I know I'll be doing spinning, kickboxing, yoga and resistance training next week. Think of ways in which you can change up your routine this coming week


New Digital Scrapbooking Card Template Pack

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New in my digital scrapbooking stores this week is card DiAGRAM set #12. This set features six landscape design card templates, with both 5.5x4.25" and 6x4" sizes included. Each template comes as a layered PSD file and with individual PNG files for non-photoshop users.  Available at: Di Hickman Designs, and  My Scrapwow Store


Card Sketch January #4

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Sketch Wednesday and another week where I have been too busy to get a card done! Oh the shame! Seriously I just need a little time to get back on schedule. As such I made the decision that February I'd repost some older sketches throughout the month then recharge the creative juices and hopefully by then be back in my sketch/cardmaking groove! This weeks new sketch is below. Remember to check by my digital store for freebies available for a limited time!

"Celebrate" card by Chrys Rose
Supplies: Dream Street paper; American Crafts rub on; Bazzill cardstock; Boxer Scrapbook buttons; Karen Foster scrapper's floss

"Happy Birthday" card by Lizzy Davidson
Supplies: Sweetnothings paper by papermania, mirror card by papermill, pink jewel by paperchase

"Happy Birthday" card by Louise Connell
Supplies: Papers ~ Prima; Rub on ~ Letraset; Buttons ~ Basic Grey; Ric rac ~ from stash

"Friends Forever" card by Pearl Liu
Supplies: Bazzill Swiss Dot Cardstock, DCWV All Dressed Up 4x6 stack & self adhesive ribbon .



Published cards - Just Cards Magazine

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sharing my latest publications in Just Cards Magazine Vol 16. This mag is packed full of inspiration for cardmakers, and each card has a small how-to tutorial with it, perfect for beginners! Vol 16 is out on newsstands now!

First up is a card using one heart... one mind products. I usually send in a ton of cards each quarter that I have lying around the scraproom collecting dust and this was one I made a while back using ohom for some submissions. It didn't get picked up for publication then (they chose another card of mine) but it found it's way into print via Just Cards!

This next card was made back in 2008 I think, maybe even 2007, using a sketch of mine. Love the Basic Grey papers, and wow MM rub-on alpha's! Definitely an oldie but a goodie!

Next up this card is fairly recent, when I say that of course I mean it was made in 2009 at least. With the lead time of magazines it can be 6 months to a year before you see your work in print. So I condsider anything within the same 12 months a good timeframe. I beleive I made this card for my manufacturer Monday postings early 2009, using HOTP papers.

This card was another oldie, from 2008 I think again a manufacturer Monday project using Dreamstreet papers. Simple yet stunning. It took me three looks through the magazine before I realized it was my card! Shows you how old this one is :)

When I submit cards to Just Cards or other mail-in publications I always purposefully make some cards using Boxer products. I aim to get one card in the magazine using my Design Team products. Loving the Boxer sentiments stamps and I am so looking forward to showing you all the new Boxer products soon!!!

Ok I think that was it for this issue. If you do pick this issue up you'll see loads of stunning cards of all types, sizes, shapes, styles and mediums. There really is somethng for everyone in this mag!



Fit Friday - water wise

Friday, January 22, 2010

As I have knowledge of health/fitness and am now documenting my new lifestyle on the blog I figured I need to share the knowledge and help people on their journey towards a fitter and healthier life. One of the ways to do this is to drink more water. Sounds simple and heaven knows enough people make this a goal each time New Years rolls around, but not many get into the habit of drinking water so I thought I'd pop in today with some information, tips and tricks on drinking more water.

How much water should you be drinking each day?
We've all heard the 8 x8oz glasses of water a day rule, and this does work as a general rule, but a true amount varies person to person, depending on weight, location, and activity levels. A good rule of thumb for your daily water requirement is to take your weight in lbs and divide it by two. So for a 150lb person, their water intake should be around 75fl oz. If you live in a hot climate you'll need more as you lose water through perspiration, same if you are exercising.

Am I hydrated enough?
Our bodies will tell us when we need more water, there is no magic water figure for everyone so use your body as an indicator. Not to get into the bodily functions too intimately but when you go to the bathroom check your urine color. A good coloring to aim for is a light yellow color. There are color charts online to see if you need to hydrate more. Also remember some medications, health conditions and foods may cause urine to change color so keep that in mind also.

How to drink more water?
Personally I like water but I know some people have issues drinking water so I thought I'd touch on ways to increase your water consumption.

Drink water with meals. Ditch the soda and have a nice tall glass of water with meals. I do this with lunch and dinner and my glass is a tall 30oz glass. That's 60oz right there! Even if you have an 8oz glass with lunch and dinner alone it's a start!

Get a filter or pitcher in the fridge. We have a built in water filter/dispenser in our fridge/freezer and I definitely drink more water because of this. If this isn't an option why not get a jug filter or a pitcher of water in the fridge? Whatever works for you.

Glass it up! I find I drink water more if it's in a 'glass'. Just a personal preference. My 30oz I use at lunch and dinner is a plastic coke 'glass', that rarely if ever sees coke in it! I have two so that I have a spare when one is in the dishwasher. If you need to get a set of pretty glasses or plastic tumblers then whatever do it.

Try a water bottle? My preference for working out is my Rubbermaid Water Bottle. These type of containers are great for exercising but also good if you need something to carry about with you whilst you garden, commute etc. Often I have my water bottle with me whilst working in my office as there is less chance of spillage.

Use flavors! I really don't recommend them unless you absolutely HAVE to use something but the water flavors are a good way to get into the habit and are generally better than soda's. We like the Propel powders (Berry for Bob, and Kiwi/Strawberry for me) and these are great for putting in our camel baks whilst out dirtbike riding. Keeps us hydrated whilst out on the trails for hours at a time. In England they sell what's called orange squash, concetrated juice drink that you add water too (usually 5 water to 1 cordial), I really miss that stuff, in Summer especially! Recently we discovered is selling a lot of British foods now (including Bobs beloved HP sauce) and I did find some on Amazon so we may be saved this Summer! Previously we'd been using orange juice watered down, but though that tastes ok it's not the 'taste of British Summers' we were looking for.

For me though the main thing like I said is choosing water over soda for my mealtime drink. I enjoy the flavor of the foods more and I know it's better for me healthwise.

Try these ways to add more water into your daily routine, or share other ways in which you consume water.



working on my one little word

Thursday, January 21, 2010

As I stated in a previous post my one little word for 2010 is balance. I find I have all these design commitments, creative things I want to do, digital things to design, housework, fitness, study, dogs, husband, and now goals to get back to creating, photographing and documenting our lives, and also getting out and about more together! Plus I'd really like to get back into the garden and get the garden productive again, but how do we fit it all in when we only have so many hours in the day? Well, we become more productive in the time we do have!

One of the creative blogs I follow is Craft Leftovers. Kristin recently wrote a post about being more productive by scheduling her time more, and this really hit a point with what I was trying to do in December, making subtle changes to my day that would hopefully make me more productive. So I am going to write out the goals/steps she outlines in her post but for my own life, we apparently we have a lot in common :)

Step 1: Set your Goals

1. Work 5-6 hours a day
2. Take time to workout
3. Take time to cook healthy food

Step 2: Make a list of all the activities you have to do on a regular basis

Work - Fitness classes
Work at the office – 5 hours a day
Workout – 1 - 2 hours (including shower/change) (longer in Summer as I swim also)
Take time each day to prepare healthy meals ahead of time, whether meal prep or cooking for the week ahead

Weekly dinner with Bob (date night)
Chat with Mum Thursdays
Boxer projects weekly article monthly
walk dogs twice a day minimum
bi-monthly lunch with girls

Step 3: Analyze the things you CAN change and schedule them where they make the most sense

I tend to waste a lot of time in the morning that could be used more productively. I get up considerably earlier than Bob (he's a night owl, I'm a morning person). I have 2 1/2 hours from rising to working out that I seem to waste on an average day. I mentioned this in my newsletter but I started sitting at the dining table for breakfast last year and that seemed to help keep me active (till I got out the habit and slouched back in the lounge for breakfast), this also helps me focus on the kitchen/dining room and do dishes/laundry etc rather than sitting in the lounge.

My laptop broke (ok I broke it by dropping it on the floor, Bob is trying to fix it), since it broke I've had to find other things to do in the mornings (usually my iphone for checking Facebook etc). If I sit at the dining table for breakfast I don't use the phone or laptop in the morning and my time is more productive :)

When laptop is repaired do research online after dinner, usually have a 30 - 60 mins window before walking the dogs. Use this time to prepare blog posts, or for scheduling work ahead.

Bob and I like different foods. I'm very much a health nut and he likes all things carb based. Often for lunch I have the same thing everyday as I need good healthy carbs, and protein to refuel after working out. So instead of cooking this daily, recently I've taken to cooking ahead. On Mondays I make enough to last the whole week and simply reheat. This could work with some evening meals too! Learn to use the fridge/freezer more for cooking.

Step 3: Mapping it out

Taking all that into account, here is what I came up with:

6:30 – wake up and walk the dogs
7.00 – Breakfast, feed dogs, do daily household chores (laundry etc)
9:00 – Workout, shower, change
11:00 – Do weekly household chores/Gardening
12:00 – lunch (30 minutes)
12:30 –Work

6:00 – Dinner prep, eat and clean up
8.30 - walk dogs then feed dogs
9:30 – take the rest of the evening off, read/tv/movie etc
11:00 – go to bed

All sounds good right? I started this at the beginning of January and so far so good! I am certainly more productive, the house is a little cleaner and I feel like I definitely achieve more in a given day.

Update since writing the blog post.

I had this post scheduled already and of course though life has it's own way of throwing spanners in the works and I find myself sitting here thinking I may have to revisit the schedule as things are changing in my life now. I am gradually getting back into my fitness career and have instructed my first class this week so it's all change with the focus and now I have another little tweak to make to the schedule. Each afternoon that I work from home I plan on focusing on a specific subject, for example:
  • Monday - fitness accounting and routine planning
  • Tuesday - Digital Designing
  • Wednesday - Paper Scrapbooking
  • Thursday - Blog prep
  • Friday - General Paperwork, emails etc

By focusing on one subject a day I hope to get more achieved, hopefully this will also mean the blog doesn't become focused on one topic.

I also decided that I need to get the dogs out for another walk in the day. Found out yesterday that River is 60lbs! Fat little bugger! So yeah they were already on a diet, now they go on a fitness plan too! lol!

Looks like more balancing required as life changes around me, but I WILL get there!


Card Sketch January #3

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wow what a wet and horrible Wednesday it is here in Southern California! Sheesh rain, rain and more rain, and more to come! Heck if I wanted weather this wet I'd have stayed in England! lol! Well here is the third card sketch for January! Remember to check by my digital store for freebies available for a limited time!

I am about to admit to something I don't think has ever happened in the 3 years I've been doing the card sketches - this week there is no card from me!!! I know, I know shame on me! I've just had a really busy couple of weeks, with preparing to change careers (or restart might be more appropriate), getting the job and then teaching, then the last 48 hours River has been sick and I've had little sleep over the past 2-3 days things have been kinda CRAZY here. So nope no card from me, accept my apologies but sometimes life gets in the way huh? Thankfully the sketch girls had their creative mojo flowing and whipped up some great examples for us to look at, so eye candy ahead!

"Thinking of You" card by Chrys Rose
Supplies: Dream Street paper; Bazzill cardstock; Boxer Scrapbook stamp; Dew Drop ink; Kaiser Craft pearls; Prima flowers

"Happy Birthday" card by Lizzy Davidson
Supplies: Paper Mania Sweet nothings paper, paper dots unknown, chalk ink 

"Happy Birthday" card by Louise Connell
Supplies: Papers & die cuts ~ Fancy Pants; Gems ~ Kars

"Friend" card by Pearl Liu
Supplies: Bazzill Swiss Dot Cardstock, DCWV All Dressed Up 4x6 stack, My Little Shoebox flowers, Bella Blvd cardstock sticker

More posts coming I promise, and hopefully I get chance to be creative again soon!



Published scrapbooking layouts & cards

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hi Everyone! Today I thought I'd share some projects I had published in the Dec/Jan issue of Ready Set Create. This issue was packed full of winter and holiday projects and as always some awesome eye candy! I love getting this in my email every other month :)

When I see the calls go up for magazines or ezines I send in work I previously created to see if it's something they want, but I also create for the calls. I figure if the mags don't want them then I have great projects to use on the blog for my blog readers :) It all works out in the end see! As you'll see from the watermarks on some of these projects, I made some of these 2 years ago! Which just goes to show, never count out the older projects!

Supplies: January Freeze digital kit by Di Hickman available at: My Di Hickman Designs store, My 3 Scrapateers Store, or my Scrapwow store

Supplies: All one heart... one mind

Supplies: Paper: Cosmo Cricket; Cardstock: DCWV; Stickers: American Crafts; Pen: Sharpie; Photo Corners: 3L

Supplies: All one heart... one mind

Supplies: Paper: Colorbok; Charms: MM; Rub-on: JoAnns

Supplies: Paper: Colorbok; Charms: MM; Rub-on: JoAnns

Supplies: All one heart... one mind

Supplies: All one heart... one mind

Supplies: All Scrapworks

Supplies: All one heart... one mind

Supplies: Scrapworks

Supplies: All one heart... one mind

More crafty projects coming soon!



Sneak Peeks of New Boxer Products

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One of the greatest things about being on a manufacturer design team hands down is the new releases! Being among the first to play with the latest and greatest. I'll state here and now that this seasons releases from Boxer are by far some of my favorites, lots of black and white, pinks, greens and geometric patterns, plus new cardmaking stamps!!! BE STILL MY HEART! Seriously loving the newest stamp sets!!! Anyway here is a little sneak peek at some of the latest Boxer releases, black and white paisley, daisy print, and embossed die cut flowers, plus a princess stamp set. Basically everyone on here is Boxer aside from the pink cardstock! Awesome...

I also thought I'd share a project I made recently using the Winter Stamps set from Boxer. These are really great stamps great for any winter project. For this project I used the following supplies: Mint tin; white grosgrain, blue grosgrain, assorted tags, winter stamps, snowflakes on blue paper, blue buttons; alphabet stickers; chain; tin template;


Even though Winter is already on it's way out and the days are getting longer I am still on a kick using these Winter stamps! The snowflakes are probably my favorite in this set. Nice sizes and styles, and perfect for stamping on the Boxer metal rimmed tags! They can also be paired with the Christmas stamps for greeting cards. On the card below I used: white grosgrain, blue grosgrain, assorted tags, winter stamps, holiday words paper; Christmas stamps This card was published in Ready Set Create December/January edition.

My favorite type of card is one that is simple, and focuses on the sentiment. I like lots of open space on cards. It helps that these tend to be the quick and easy kind of cards too! On the card below I used:blue grosgrain, assorted tags, winter stamps, holiday words paper; This card was published in Scrapstreet December issue.

To round off this post