30 Minute High Intensity

This is a two round workout, may I suggest a quick lap or two around the track to get your heart rate up!

Round 1: Arms

  • Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Extensions
  • Tricep Kickbacks
  • Bench push ups

We did three sets of 10 each. (Let me tell you – your arms will feel a bit like jello after this round. Listen to your body I couldn’t complete the third set of push ups so I moved to the ground and did “girl push ups” with my knees on the ground.

Round 2: Lower Body/Cardio

  • Walking lunges
  • High knees
  • Quick jump (pick a line to follow and jump back and forth crossing it each time)
  • Side steps

We did two sets of these while walking one stretch between each exercise and walking one lap in between the sets. (Again lower body a bit like jello.) Again listen to your body I have weak ankles so I took it slow on the last lap of high knees. Remember breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth! I find it helps me push my self too.

[A little background: my gym’s track is more like a round square so each stretch is even and 12 laps = 1 mile.]

I’m a huge advocate for concentrating on total body workouts and not spot training, but I will tell you that I already feeling it in my triceps, shoulders, butt, inner thigh and outer thigh. This is sure to give you that jello feeling!

(I highly recommend stretching after every workout. I am in no way an expert this is just a suggestion, but I always feel better after stretching.)

Hope you like this workout!

Upholstered Bench Project

IT’S FINALLY COMPLETE!!

After 9 months of waiting/planning + 5 hours of hard work I have finally transformed this $10 coffee table to an upholstered bench!

For this project I used:

  • Coffee table (20″ x 40″)
  • Foam
  • Batting (I used 108″x90″)
  • Buttons and button kit
  • 2 1/4 yards of fabric
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Fishing wire
  • Spray adhesive
  • Upholstery needle
  • Nails
  • Hot glue gun

Prep:

The coffee table started out as a caramel brown so I stained the legs a deep espresso. I suggest waiting 24-48 hours after painting to allow the legs to funny dry. I also drilled holes for tufting. I planned to do four, which thankfully worked out perfectly. (I don’t have a drill so I used a fatter nail and hit it through to create a hole large enough for the upholstery needle.) I removed the legs of the table to make the stapling process easier. (I wish I had left them in place the fabric turned out so thick along with the batting that I now have to re-set the legs with longer, tougher screws. Which unfortunately I can’t do until my dad is in town to help, later this month.)

Fun Fact: I locked my self out of the house on my way out to rent a drill (long story short some of the screws were old and striped) and with my roommate in another state for a friends wedding I had to wait outside for about an hour for a locksmith. Did I mention it was the hottest day of the year (so far). My luck. [See I should have just left the stupid legs on and worked around them!]

STEP 1: Foam & Batting

I used 108″ x 80″ of batting for this project (a lot I know, but so worth it). I wanted to make sure the result didn’t  feel anything like a coffee table. I caught a great sale at Joanne’s and only paid $11.98 for all the batting. Woohoo!

I sandwiched the foam between the two layers of batting. I used spray adhesive on the top of the table to help hold the batting in place and then again on the batting to help hold the foam, while I played with the top layer of batting. The adhesive didn’t really hold, but it helped keep the foam and batting from sliding off the table while I tugged the top layer around the edge.

I added even more batting to the corners as I worked my way around the bench. I have a tendency to hit my shins on corners. :|

STEP 2: Tufting Prep

I read in a similar blog posting that the girl wished she dug out a little foam to allow a deeper tuft. So I pushed the needle up from the bottom cut out some of the foam. I marked the hole with a yellow paint pen and quickly realized there was no need :( but it did create a nice looking tuft! (below)

STEP 3: Layout the Fabric

I laid the fabric out and realized I may have over bought :\ (no worries I have plans for it) so I cut a generous amount to make sure I’d have plenty to reach around. Luckily I caught the pattern in the fabric and worked  to make sure it ran parallel to the edge of the bench (otherwise it would have turned out looking crooked thank God I thought of it before I stared stapling).

STEP 4: Buttons

I used a button making kit to make these, but the fabric was too thick to work normally so I used hot glue gun. (Thank you random google search result!) I put hot glue on the inside of the button, folded the fabric down and held it until it dried. Once it dried I put hot glue on the fabric and placed the back of the button on. I kept pressure on the back for around 30-45 seconds to make sure it dried correctly and stayed! It worked — thank goodness!

STEP 5: Tufting

Since I took off the legs I placed the table top over a basket so I could get under to push the needle up through the fabric. The thickness of the fabric made it hard to pull the fishing wire through so I had to cut a small hole in the fabric to pull it through. I tied the fishing wire to a nail to help me pull the button tighter and staple the wire to the top of the table. Hint: hammer the staples down to keep the wire from moving. (Not pretty but it did the job!) Note: I made sure to pull the fabric extra tight before working on the second set of buttons to keep the middle from looking wrinkled later.

STEP 6: The finale!

I stapled the fabric on to the table. The corners took some time, but I folded them to create a military sheet fold. The fabric was a bit thick on the edges so I used small nails to help keep the fabric in place.

And…

TA-DA! It is finished.

I skipped the re-attaching the legs step because I had a tiny issue — since I chose an upholstery fabric (thick and durable) I had trouble re-attaching the legs, so they are on there superficially. I plan to re-address this issue with my dad when he comes in town later this month. I plan to add longer screws to pull the legs in tighter – fingers crossed it works.

And that’s it!

It feels great to finish this project  (well almost) and to do it 100% on my own! I hope this gives some much-needed reference for anyone other DIY-er’s thinking about doing a similar project. I know it looks like a big job and while it was tedious and a bit time-consuming.. it was worth it!

I still feel a bit exhausted from this project so if I skipped a step or if something seems unclear please feel free to leave any questions in the comments box below or email me at lifebyemily@gmail.com.

Car Care: Clean Your Headlights

Recently, I’ve realized how dirty or shall I say foggy my headlights have become. So I found this tutorial on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Toothpaste — paste only (I think the cheaper the better)

– Steel wool (the article suggested a cloth, but I had a lot of grime)

– Gloves

– Bucket of hot water (not pictured)

– Rag

Here’s the before:

             

I just applied the toothpaste and scrubbed with the steel wool in a circular motion.

             

Once I felt like I scrubbed enough I wiped off the remaining toothpaste and poured the rest of the hot water over the headlights and…

It worked!

After:

             

Just to show the difference here they are side by side.

Left:

Right:

Worth the $2.95 for the toothpaste? Heck yes!

Inspiration: Dashing Dish

Good Morning all!

While cleaning up my inbox and checking some emails this morning I stumbled upon Dashing Dish. Its creator Katie has an amazing collection of recipes, fitness activities, meal plans, etc. to help readers achieve a healthy lifestyle. It really is a great site and I recommend signing for a premium membership!  [Note: You can give as much as you want for the membership fee – but it is definitely worth way more than $5 a month]

Go check out her site and let me know what you think! I can’t wait to start trying out her recipes and workouts!

Avocado, Egg, Mozzarella & Balsamic Sandwich

I got a little inspired today after my work out. Out of my craving came this beauty!

Ingredients:

1 small avocado

1 egg

1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese

1 tbsp of mayo

Side salad:

handful of cherry tomatoes

handful of green olives

2 fresh okra

It was a quick, easy and delicious meal! The best part I input all the ingredients into my calorie tracker and this meal (not including the wine) is only…

460 Calories!

Women’s Health

A coworker asked me to design a quick invite for her organizations Women’s Health meeting. This is what I came up with and I kind of liked it even though I created it quickly.

P.S. I’ve really been into Pilates lately and I found this great article on Pinterest! I thought it appropriate to post since we are talking about Women’s Health.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Shortcake

This last weekend while I was visiting my grandma’s we made strawberry shortcakes with the last of the Louisiana strawberries. If you’re looking for a quick, healthy, delicious dessert this summer – this is for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 c of sugar
  • package of shortcake
Whipped Cream
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream

I always cut the strawberries a couple of hours ahead of time sprinkle some sugar and stick it in the fridge. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla till smooth. Gradually add heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy. (If you’re looking to stay healthy just stick with cool whip.) Stack the shortcake, strawberries and whipped cream and enjoy!

If you’re looking for a decadent, but light dessert this is it!

Louisiana Farmer’s Market

This gallery contains 10 photos.

This Easter weekend Mom and I headed downtown for the farmer’s market – seriously my favorite thing to do on a beautiful Saturday morning. Luckily there was an art market this last week too! I took a couple of pictures … Continue reading