DIY Equalizer and UGI Ball

Lately I’ve really been focusing my energy on exercising and eating right. I just finished Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred which was, in a word, awesome. So I decided to start BodyRock workouts (also known as DailyHiit). I’m doing the Hiitmax challenge which I started today. One thing about these workouts is they use a lot of equipment which they sell on their website for a lot of money. But their website also has a lot of DIY ideas for equipment and I used two of them.

The first one was for the equalizers. These are used for dips, elevated push ups, inverted pull-ups…and probably more things I haven’t seen yet.

Materials:

(all 1/2″ diameter PVC pipe)
2x 20″ pieces
4x 24″ pieces
8X 7″ pieces
(I did all of this out of two 10′ pieces)

8 end caps
4 T-intersections
4 90 degree elbows
PVC cement
Something to cut PVC with

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These materials cost me under $40 and will make two equalizers. They are sold on the website for $119 a piece…can you say overpriced?? yea.

So I started by having my dad cut the pipe for me. ūüôā I’m sure I could have done it myself, but he likes¬†to be the one using his power tools.

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Then, it was just a matter of using the cement to put all the pieces together. It came together really easy.I didn’t take pictures because I didn’t want to risk getting cement on my camera.

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Lastly – spray paint. Any color you want! (or have). Picture is at the end.

The next thing I did was a UGI ball. These aren’t even for sale on the BodyRock website and the only way to buy them from the UGI website is to buy some entire kit for a stupid amount of money. The materials for this one cost me $20 but it was a bit more difficult than the equalizers.

Materials:

1 yard vinyl and matching thread
1 zipper
fiber-fill
5lb bag of rice
Duct Tape

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First of all, there are two different vinyls – the kind I used for this ball which is kind of like a leathery fabric, and the kind I used for the template which is sticker-like material used for decals and such. I really don’t understand why they are both called vinyl.

I used the sticky kind of vinyl to cut out a template (I used my Silhouette Cameo for this but you could probably find another way to make a template…this was pretty damn simple though).

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I stuck the template on the green vinyl and cut around it. I repeated this to get 6 eye shapes.

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Then comes the tricky part. The tutorial I used said to back stitch them together….I started doing that but it took¬†forever. So I put it in the sewing machine instead. If the stitches don’t hold…so be it. I’ll fix it. I sewed all the pieces together (inside out) until I had a spherical shape. Then came the zipper. I really can’t explain the zipper in words so I’ll just leave these here.

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I will say I had to sew the zipper on with it open.

Okay so after I figured that part out I flipped it right-side out, wrapped a 5lb bag of rice in some duct tape and stuck it in there with a bunch of fiberfill around it.

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Note: this picture was taken before I sewed the zipper on.But I didn’t sew the zipper on with all that stuff in there…I was just testing it all out.

Lastly, I kind of had to hand stitch a little to touch up the top and bottom where all the points join together because of course they didn’t all line up nice and perfect. Hopefully I did a good enough job so the stuff won’t fall out but I’ve only used it once so I won’t know yet.

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Happy Halloween!

So this Halloween, Bryan had more of a say in the costume. Past years, I kinda picked out our costumes and then asked if he was okay with it, which he always was because he’s awesome. Last year he even agreed to be a fairy (because we were Cosmo and Wanda, the coolest fairies ever).

I gave Bryan more of a say this year..I picked out some options that I liked that I thought he would also like and let him pick his favorite. We ended up with Ash and Misty from Pokemon. Nerdy? Maybe. Awesome? Definitely. I love costumes that allow me to relive my childhood.

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So the main purpose of this post is to show how EASY it was to make our costumes for this year. I spent a total of $23 on both costumes. For the Ash costume, the vest and hat took me about an hour or two. For Misty, I just cut up a yellow tank top from Goodwill and hemmed it. The rest of the costume I bought or already had. So this is what I ended up with:

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Here’s a list of things I used:

Ash:
-Blue Tshirt – $3
-Green and Yellow felt (bought extra of this in case I messed up)- $0.90
-Yellow Ribbon (w/ 40% coupon) – $2.40
-White Collared shirt from Goodwill – $3.39
Red and White trucker Hat from Amazon – $6.50

Bryan already has:
-workout gloves
-regular jeans and sneakers

Misty:
-Yellow Tank Top from Goodwill: $3.39
Red Suspenders from Amazon: $7.64

I already have:
-Red sneakers
-Denim shorts

Other things I used that I already had:
-iron on hem stuff…i think it’s called fusible hem or fusible something or other. Not sure.
-basic sewing supplies/sewing machine
-wax paper
-Iron

I’m going to go into detail on Ash’s vest because it was the only really involved part of the whole costume.

1. First I cut the sleeves off of the blue tshirt and hemmed them.

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2. I folded the shirt in half and took a sharpie to mark where the middle was. Then cut it on that line as straight as I could. The Sharpie line is hard to see in the picture…the lighting in my craft room kinda blows.

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3. I ran out of blue thread and also figured I didn’t want a visible seam in the middle of the vest, so I used some iron on hem stuff that I already had to hem the opening in the vest.

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4. I then took wax paper and laid it over the vest and drew the general shape and size of the yellow strips that go on it to look like pockets. I measured the rectangle I drew and then cut straight lines on the wax paper with a paper-cutter (a scrapbooking tool I already had). I pinned the piece of wax paper to the felt and cut around it as straight as I could.

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5. I sewed the felt strips on. I did the same process for the circles that look like buttons but hand stitched those because it was easier than trying to use the machine on a small circle.

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6. Then I sewed yellow ribbon along the bottom of the vest.

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7. The hat I didn’t take a before picture of but if you clicked the amazon link it’s just a plain red and white hat. I used the green felt and my Silhouette Cameo (again, another scrapbooking tool I own. First time cutting felt out of it though!), to cut the logo on Ash’s hat. To be honest, there are Ash hats you can buy off amazon…but they were a few bucks more and shipping was not free or fast. I don’t think when I went to order it I would have gotten it in time for Halloween. But this was easy and cheap enough since I had the cameo to help.

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That’s it! I also had to cut up the white shirt to make it short-sleeved, but that’s another simple hem job I didn’t bother photographing.

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How to Sew Seat Cushions and Other Romantic Things

Yesterday was mine and Bryan’s 4 year anniversary. And of course I got the brilliant idea to do something adorable for it on Tuesday…which gave me 4 days to prepare. However, I managed to pull it off. I put together a cute little dining area on my balcony which was previously sans furniture. The only thing out there was my recycling. I took this photo after I bought the furniture this week, but before I did anything else to it.

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So I went to town with some simple and fast decorating ideas. It helps tremendously that I have my own craft room now or I would not have been able to do any of this. one thing I knew I wanted for my furniture was seat cushions. So guess what I was doing until 11pm Friday night? Sewing seat cushions. BUT they turned out awesome. I really like the fabric I picked out. And considering sewing isn’t my forte when it comes to crafts, and the fact that I just kind of winged this, I’d say I’m pretty damn proud of them.

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And then came the complete picture. Before I show it to you though, here’s some background info. I was cooking dinner while Bryan went to a nearby Chinese place to pick up rice, (because I burnt the rice), trying to get all dressed up, AND set up this table all at the same time…so it’s a miracle I even got a picture of it before we sat down to eat.

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A few little details:

1) I dressed up some dollar store candle holders with ribbon and lace (and cute little tags with the number 4 on them).

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2) I made little menus just for the full restaurant effect.

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That’s about it. It was a pretty calm anniversary, with the exception of the moment of panic when I burned the rice. Seriously though, if you know me, you know that SOMETHING had to go wrong with this plan. I’m just glad Bryan knew exactly what to do to fix it.

Cheers!

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Glass Etching

So I found a new really cool thing thanks to my Mom. Glass etching! It looks like it would be involved and difficult, but it’s actually the easiest thing ever. If you’re like me and already have a silhouette machine and use vinyl for various other craft projects, the only other thing you need is glass etching cream (which is expensive, but that’s what coupons or¬†Moms are good for), and a paint brush.

Here are the steps I followed (sorry I didn’t get pictures of all of them)

1. Cut your design you wish to etch out of vinyl. I don’t think it really matters what kind. You will be using it as a stencil.

2. Weed out the parts of vinyl that you DO want etched. Remember, it’s a stencil.

3. Place the vinyl on the surface you’re etching. Paint the etching cream on over it. According to my mom you have to really glob it on there.

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4. After a short period of time rinse off the etching cream (or put it back in the container with your paintbrush to be reused…supposedly you can do that). Then take off your vinyl and¬†admire your work of art.

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And now that I’ve done these bottles I’m trying to find other things I want to etch because it’s so cool.Glass Etching-09-04-2014-02

Weekend Recap

So I would have ideally wrote this last night. But I ran out of time and motivation. I am JUST about finished getting all settled into my new place. I have been unpacking/cleaning/organizing on a daily basis for the last 2 weeks. My couch and recliner are coming Thursday so once they’re here and I fix a few minor things I’ll¬†be DONE with the craziness and I can enjoy more time spent doing my favorite things.

Like¬†making pancakes and drinking wine, which is my way of saying that’s what I did this weekend. Here ya go:

Friday Night: Movie night with Bryan during which I drank a bottle of wine. (Hey the bottle said “Relax” on it! I was just following directions)

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Saturday morning: I woke up and spent an hour making these babies. Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes Рwith chocolate chips because I like chocolate. Bryan thought there were too many chocolate chips in them which there probably were.But to me they were perfect. I put some vanilla greek yogurt inbetween two and made a pancake sandwich. It was heaven in my mouth. Also eating it in bed made it 10x better.

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And just because it was rainy and gross this weekend, I made sure I practiced using my camera and attempted some pretty rain pictures. Not the greatest but they make the rain prettier to look at.

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Sunday: We were GOING to watch more movies and make a few different homemade popcorn recipes to go along with it. But we watched one movie, made one batch of popcorn (that we put garlic salt and parmesean cheese on…it was yummy), and then fell asleep at 4pm. And then we were too lame to start another movie. We shall attempt this another day and I’ll have pictures of ALL the different popcorns. (I had big plans for the popcorn, guys). Just wait for it.

Oh andsince this post has already gotten pretty random (like most of them do), I’ll throw this in here. I did my first scrapbook page in my new craft room! It felt strange not being with my mom, and I found I was lacking a few necessities but it came together pretty well!

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Adventures in Furniture Painting

So I’m finally getting around to posting my dresser-painting adventures. I have this tendency to forget to take before pictures. I already hadmost ofthe drawer hardware taken off before i remembered to and I didn’t have the time or desire to put all the drawers IN the dresser for a before picture, so this is the best I got…just a before picture of a drawer.07-30-201403-3This was a 4 day project. Thursday evening I took off all the hardware, filled the bolt holes with wood putty and drilled new ones because I switched to knobs, which only require one hole instead of two.07-30-201404-3Friday I said screw you to the weather (which had been storms all week), and started priming anyway. Lesson learned from priming: ¬†Oil-based anything is an absolute nightmare and I never want to use it again.

I was very impressed with my ability to literally cover myself with paint while doing this…to the point where I wasn’t sure what I was trying to paint, the dresser or myself. Not to mention the confidence I had when marching my paint-splattered self into Walmart on multiple occasions this weekend. I wanted to capture that detail of this project, so these photos happened.07-30-201401-2

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Here’s the dresser after priming.

07-30-201401-3The next day was spent painting the dresser itself and then helping Bryan move in. Luckily since his dad was in town helping him, I got help moving my dresser back to the bedroom so I could use my balcony space to paint the drawers the next day.

Painting the drawers was time consuming and I didn’t take many progress photos because I was messy and didn’t want paint all over my camera. I did the white first, then the red. But when I started doing the red, I kept getting red finger prints on the white. And it takes a couple coats of white to cover that shit up. Luckily the only real time consuming part was waiting for it to dry…so I still got a lot of other stuff done in between the many coats of paint I did.

And finally on Sunday night I put the new hardware on, and reassembled the thing. I was too exhausted after that to even bother putting my clothes in it so I put it off until the morning.

Here’s the finished product.07-30-20140307-30-20140207-30-201401

And I’m never painting furniture again.

Homemade Laundry and Dishwasher Detergents

So I did a lot of stuff this weekend. Mainly painting my dresser. But I can’t get finished pictures of it because the sun has started setting and there is no light. So that will be shared in a later post. Tonight I’ll share something else I accomplished this weekend. I made my own Laundry AND dishwasher detergents. I also did the calculations for how much they cost me. The laundry detergent was about half the cost of a 50oz bottle of liquid tide, but it’s a little over half a gallon of dry detergent. To me that’s a win. And the dish soap cost me about 5 bucks for a half gallon of dry detergent. I’m not sure what I usually pay for dish washing detergent, but that sounds cheap in my book. And the dish soap is super easy.

Laundry Detergent:

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I didn’t add scented crystals to mine. I thought the bar soap smelled like candy and also I didn’t want to buy another ingredient. Also the bar soap took forever to grate. I read in the comments someone said they put theirs in their blender/food processor. But I just got a brand new blender that I haven’t used yet, and didn’t want to risk it in case it didn’t work.

Dish Detergent: 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda (or baking soda will work, as well), 1/2 cup citric acid, and 1/2 cup of kosher salt as a scrubbing agent. Use vinegar as your rinsing agent.

I got the jars from Walmart and made the labels with vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo. Looking forward to using my new money-saving soap!

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