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A New Year & New Me


Remember to check out my Zeo Sleep Manager post from yesterday and see how this little gadget can help you get a better night’s sleep.  And enter to win a free one for yourself!

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I know, this is a crafting blog. And an idea blog. And a very occasional recipe blog. But sometimes I blog about our little life. And what’s currently taking up the most space in my thoughts.


So, remember how I was going to tell you a little more about some of my lifestyle changes and whipping this body of mine back into shape? (Its resolution time, remember?) Yeah, well here’s the deal. Like I mentioned yesterday, I am participating in a campaign with BlogHer for Best Buy’s “New Year, New You” program (which you can always find if you roll over the Best Buy image at the top of my blog). And thank goodness I found out about it. And thank goodness they have allowed me to participate. (Because, yeah, testing out new things and following along publicly is nice and fun and encouraging…….but I have been needing a real change. And a motivator. So, with or without this campaign, I needed a fresh start this year.)


I have tried like, oh, 75 times in the last 10 months to get on a regular exercise schedule and stick to a regular healthy eating plan. (Don’t call it a diet, got it? That word doesn’t hang around me for long. I always rebel. Ha.) And yeah, my 3rd baby is 10 months old now and directly relates to the amount of time that I have been trying to get on track. Babies are totally and completely worth it and I wouldn’t trade any of them for any one of my squishy spots………..but they sure have done a number on my body. But it just forces me to work extra hard (grrr!) to get my body healthy/fit again……and that’s good for me. But having babies is only an excuse for my body getting a little (or a lot) squishy. And so is being busy. Or having a bad day. Or getting married. Or hearing bad news. Or moving across the country a few times. Etc, etc. They’re all excuses. And I have used them all. And eventually, we have to come to the realization that taking care of our bodies is a choice. (And so is saying yes or no to a whole bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs. ) So, I’ve had to make a choice to stop letting my mind bully my body. And tell my mind that, “sorry sucker, you CAN’T buy another milkshake at 10pm like you did the night before” and “YES, you have to go to bed before 1:00 am”, and yep, “you NEED to visit the gym or do a workout video of some kind more than once a month”, etc. (Oh wow, I never knew I would publicly share my bad habits.) And I’m sure I won’t be perfect this time around either……but I’m ready to try, try again. My body recently told me that even though I have tried 2,963 times during my life, it’s time to try again.


And enjoy life. And family. And feel good all around.

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And by the way, it doesn’t matter your body shape, size, or wiggle. We could probably all do a little more for our health. I remember a few years ago when a darn skinny friend of mine (in my eyes) told me that she was unhappy with her body and that she needed to lose weight. I laughed at her (kindly). But she then told me she didn’t feel healthy, wasn’t making good choices, knew she could be doing better, and wanted to firm up and feel her best. I totally got it.  And realize now that we all struggle. Because we’re all human. And imperfect. And we all need to work at just doing our best and then looking in the mirror each day and saying, “wow, I look beautiful today!” No matter what.


Anyway, I know, lots of thoughts. But if you have been thinking about some of the same things lately (because of the traditional “goal setting” time of year) and are ready to try, try again……..join me. And decide that you don’t need to wait for the perfect situation to get back on track. (We’ll never find it. Moving to France, buying a bigger home, having a baby, marrying the perfect man, finding a better job, upgrading our kitchen, etc…….won’t make us happy. We should decide to be happy now and find joy in our current deck of cards.)


So, my “New Me” mantra all began…….when I pulled these out of the back of the closet.




I decided to join this “New Year New You” campaign and Inspiration to Fitness and was asked by BlogHer to follow the advice of Alysa Bajenaru (a personal trainer and registered dietician), who is participating as an expert in this campaign. Her focus is “Getting Your Heart Health on Track” and she will be posting her advice and words of encouragement, as well as homework assignments over at to help us begin making some changes. Her first post can be found here. So follow along with me. I would love some company. (And email me, comment, or whatever……and tell me how it’s going. Even if it means you chose to park at the furthest parking spot away at Target so you could healthy up that heart of yours. That’s a success!)


Alysa has asked that we work out 6 days a week. 3 days of cardio and 3 days of strength. She mentions picking with my favorite cardio exercise and stick with it. Well, I have exercise induced ADD (not really!) and can’t stick with one thing. Some days I like to go for a jog around the neighborhood while other days I head to the gym for a cardio class (biking, step, kickboxing, etc.). But that gets pricey so I also like to stay right in my home and workout to some DVDs.


Here are my current faves. I like movement and changing things up and following routines (which keeps my brain busy and speeds up the workout). 



Another thing that gets me going (especially while running or doing the eliptical)………is new music.  So I buy a new song here or there and add it to the WORKOUT list. 



Alysa’s assignment for this week is to track your exercise intensity. You could be exercising all day and not seeing the results you want or you can really over do it and cause injury. Neither are good. So I have starting tracking my target heart rate to be sure my body is working hard enough to burn calories. She explains 3 really great ways to track your intensity……so I have been working on all three: Target Heart Rate, Rate of Perceived Exertion, and the Talk Test. They only take a second to monitor and make my workouts more worthwhile.


Alysa wants me (and you!) to start slowly and work up to your exercise goals. We don’t have to work out for 7 hours a day. Nope, because we all know we wouldn’t do it. The exercise for this week is to do a 5 minute warm up, a 10 minute work out, and then a 5 minute cool down…….all within a certain intensity. And then she lists certain static stretches (pictures included) that work great for your cool down.


Keep me posted. Let me know how you’re doing. And if you have a bad day, try again the next.


We all need a little motivation so hopefully this will help some of you, like it’s helped me. I can’t wait to keep this discussion going for the next few weeks. And don’t worry, this won’t interfere with any of my normal posts. Plenty of those are on their way too!



Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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