Couch to 5K week 1 day 3

Well I will have to repeat week 1 next week again.. I still can't finish the workout.

Today was hard for a few reasons...

1) I finally decided on my route. This means I will have a measurable distance that I go so I can compare/contrast my days in a more accurate manner. But this means I start out uphill. Right now it is Up/down, turn around, up down, home. The last few days I was running the path of least resistance, trying to find as much downhill and shads as I could. Now I am not...

2) It is an air quality alert day. I have some asthma, so bad air days do bother me. I tried to get out early to minimize the effects, but it was like breathing water almost right out of the door.

3) it his crazy humid out today... it rained hard about an hour before I left the house, and the quickly rising heat really made the air thick fast.

Good news is that I felt held back by my lungs, not my legs and that I can deal with my running at different times of the day and during drier weather. I really felt that if I was inside on a treadmill that I could have busted out the routine.

So what are my stats? I ran the first interval, 45/60 sec of the second. Three and Four I can, just giving up as the podcast called ti,e. Five, Six, and Seven were 30/60 seconds. And I powered through interval eight, finishing up strong.

I didn't get a stitch in my side as much as I got a sharp stabbing in my back between my shoulder blades. For me this is a typical sign of an asthma thing going on. But by the time I finished my cool down and returned home, I felt fine and normal. I just needed a little recuperation.

So I try again on Wednesday. Weather permitting I plan on walking my orders to the co-op and then running the routine on the way home. Lets see if that plan works :)

Monday stress and stuff

It's funny how the stress in ones life ebbs and flows in and out. It has been a really good month. Shows are doing well, life is good.

But there are always things to worry about. I am worried about next month's show at Kutztown. It is my first time there and I need to come up with proper costumes, things to demonstrate, and worrying about having proper inventory. I know I will be fine, it is all just first time jitters.

I just need to start working hard, I have soap and fizzys to make, work on the web site to do, and general things to deal with all around. I know I have about two long weeks ahead of me and then everything will be all right and I will be heading into a busy time for shows but I will be prepared.

I have been eating better and trying to exercise more. I am finding this helps with my stress levels. I can run out my anxieties and meditate as I walk.

It's been busy here. I have been worried about my old cat, she is limping a little and I think that she has been jumping from places she shouldn't be. But like all cats she is all stealth so I can't be sure.

But that is really it here, just simple plain life stuff. Nothing major, nothing worth sweating over. Just the little things and I am thankful for that.


Couch to 5K week 1 day 2

So I powered out of the house this morning. My brisk walk warm up wasn't crazy brisk, but I ran the first four intervals, not just jogged them lazily.

So of course when I got to interval five I just couldn't finish it... but close... 50 of 60 seconds.

Interval six was the same way, sooo close but I just couldn't push through. Wish my podcast had a counter that counted down the time, I think if I had a 10-9-8 countdown I could have done it.

By seven the stitch in my side started and I got through about half the interval before I had to give in. And I just walked interval eight.

I know I am tired from being on my feet all day at a craft show, and a little dehydrated right now too, so I am very proud of what I have gotten done the last few days.

Yesterday, my running day off, I walked to the post office and back- two miles, so I am moving every day so far...

I will try again on Monday, it's gonna be a scorcher, so I am gonna have to get out really early for some cool air.


Trying Again... Couch to 5K week 1

So I am trying this again.. I have been seeing a nutritionist for the past month. I am eating better, smaller meals, more often, and better for me food. But I haven't been exercising. So yesterday I got an ear full about how eating all the right food in the world won't help me loose weight and get more healthy.

So I am trying the Couch to 5K running program again. It was working for me last time before I used the excuse of the heat and Musikfest to keep me from running.

Today I was supposed to run 8- 60 second intervals with 90 seconds in between and a 5 minute warm up and cool down.

I walked the warm up, ran 5 intervals and then walked the rest of the intervals and the cool down. This is much better than I did the first time I started the program so I feel as though I have retained some of the stamina I built up last year. That is a good thing and makes me happy about starting again.

It was also my first time running in my new running shows and I love the Vibram Five Fingers. My legs don't hurt, my feet don't hurt and I have no blisters so far.

My goal for Saturday's run is to finish 6 intervals. Lets see how I do.


Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference

I think I am weird. I just don't get some things. I don't get why you need to buy tons of raffle tickets to get the opportunity to win something that you may never use. I don't get the need to go to parties where you need to act all crazy and dance through the isles. I don't get the need to tell me your life story and expect us to be best friends just because we both make soap...

That being said... I had a great time. I met some really great people (a few soapmakers from Florida and from Canada to be exact) and learned some really great things. I skipped most of the lunches and dinner events to hang out with C and his sister who graciously let me stay at her place for the week.

The first day was all about labeling laws. Boy, do I have some work to do. So as I use up some old labels and need to print new ones I will be making the needed changes. Who knew that Bug off soaps and lotion bars fell under the EPA and had different requirements than everything else, not me!

Then after lunch, I returned to take my Advanced Soapmakers Exam. The test was easy, but I worried about my soap that I submitted for review. The next day I learned that I passed!!! So I am now an advanced soapmaker... and will start my master's next month...

Day 2 started with a keynote speaker that mostly spoke about how to use the press to make yourself into an expert, and how to use what assets you have to differentiate yourself from the competition. She was funny and crude all at the same time, just proving that money doesn't buy class.

The next few hours we learned about the pending Safe Cosmetic Act legislation for 2011. The bill that dies in 2010 would have decimated the soapmaking community, but 2011 looks brighter, thanks to some serious lobbying from the guild. I won't worry about its impact on me till it is all said and done, but I know I will be contacting my local representatives and writing blog posts and newsletter articles on the facts as soon as the new bill is proposed.

Then it was onto Organic Certification, what all the certs mean (and which ones are meaningless). This is something else I will take up in a future blog post or newsletter just to try and cut through some of the crap and lies out there, both in the soap industry, and food as well.

Day three was a great talk about Essential oils and it really opened my eyes to quite a few myths that are out there. It was a compelling talk and I learned that there are now "all natural" fragrance oils on the market (not many, but some) which sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn't. But this info is changing the way I think about things and although I need a bit more research, I think it will be a new path for me in the future.

And then there was the seminar on Product Liability Insurance. Now I completely understand what my policy covers and how and when to make a claim. I also understand some riders I need on my home policy, and where I could bump up coverage to get the best bang for my buck.

Day 4 started with a talk about customer service. It was nice to hear that I mostly do it right, although no one is perfect. And then it was on to a chemistry of soapmaking lecture. I learned all about the crystalline structure and how it changes as the soap is forming, and why the way I make soap produces a harder bar. That lecture ended with me at the book table buying this big fat chemistry book to read later. I am such a geek.

That night was the Awards Dinner. The soaps I submitted did not win any awards, but I don't care. I also learned my soaps are featured in the 2012 Guild Calendar so C says I am now a pin up girl!

But now I am back and ready to apply my new found knowledge to the business and make you all new and better products. Can't wait!!!


The Day from... well you know where

I should have known it when I didn't sleep well but I thought it was just nerves....

I should have thought twice when Dad hadn't slept good either.....

But I packed the things and we headed out. The drive to Philly wasn't bad at all. The GPS got me close to where I needed to go.

But security was no help. When you don't know the city or the roads and their only assistance was to tell me to "go around"... the stress started.

I got confused as to my map location, so it took me a few minutes to get calm and situated.

We found the show. We got to our space. My neighbors van was in it. We unloaded. Yes Dad, I should have brought the roll cart. Lifting and carrying sucks, I know....

Couldn't find parking. Asked the promoter. our answer.. "yes we know parking sucks around here" just keep looking...

Parked in front of an obviously abandoned building. Yes it was a no parking zone due to the (unused) garage..(honestly I didn't see the sign) but the $51 fine wasn't a nice way to start the day.

Then we realized that our space was waaaayyyyy off the main part of the show. Oh and the church in front of us was having a wedding, so there was a limo in the road for most of the day. And a stick ball tournament behind us, and obnoxiously loud music from the stage just down the street.

Then it rained...

Then it rained harder....

Then dad got a flat tire while trying to move the car closer...

Then I was approached by the promoter. She truly was going to try to make things better the next day, get all of our tents moved closer. Closer to the main part of the show.. right in front of the obnoxiously loud music.

No thank you. Its supposed to rain harder tomorrow. I need a new tire before I drive 100 miles on the spare doughnut tire. I need to save the gas money, and the tolls. I need to take what little money I made (that by some blessing of the crafter gods actually almost covered my booth rent for the day) and go home.

And not come back...


I am not a city girl. Give me my craft show in the cow pasture. Give me my festivals in the shade of the park, down near the stream. Give me my farm markets, my farmers fairs, my folk festivals and my Christmas markets. But I will not go any farther than the suburbs for show ever again. I will not deal with city traffic, city parking, and city streets. The tall buildings make me claustrophobic. I need to see the sky...


Fiber Friday

I haven't felt like knitting. I don't know what is up with me. I mean I have been making washcloths and stuff like that, but that is business knitting. I have no desire to knit anything personal right now.

Don't know where my brain is...

My knitting area is a mess, my needles are everywhere, my yarn is all a scramble. I have about a half-dozen half finished projects that I just can't seem to get into.

I go to knit night tonight and I don't wanna go. Not because I don't want to see everyone- I want to do that, but because I don't feel like knitting today. I can go and not knit. I can go and knit washcloths. I know that.

It's not like I have been doing anything else, I haven't gotten a new crafty endeavor. I just keep busy doing other things. Maybe because it is summer soon, maybe it's the usual ebb and flow of knitting just due to its nature.

I go away next week to a conference. I am bringing knitting as something to do during the breaks. I can't decide if I should bring washcloths, or a personal project. Gonna ask the girls at knit night tonight what they think.


Workshop Wednesday

Th opening of the Steel Stacks Farmer's Market was a great success! Sales exceeded expectations and there is a air of something great happening down there. Now I can't be all positive, I do think that in a few months the hot afternoon sun on a new parking lot (where the market is located) will be crazy hot, and there is little shade to be found unless you are under a tent. But all said and done, if that is my biggest gripe, I think this may be a great event.

Some little elf from my knitting group, whose husband works at the event, spilled the beans that it was my Birthday, so I go a bunch of hugs and birthday wishes from all my ArtsQuest friends. It was a surprise but quite wonderful as well :)

Today I get going in the workshop, lots of soap to make, like 8 or 9 kinds need to be made. Along with some black cherry oatmeal salts, and a few other things to accomplish, it is going to be a busy few days. But I see Bay Rum, Black Cherry Oatmeal, and Rejuvenation on my to do list:)

This week I also teach a soapmaking class at a Montessori school, and have a booth at the Italian Market Festival in Philly. Busy, Busy, Busy....

Hope to see you all soon!


Bethlehem Fine Arts & Crafts Festival 2011

Finally.. beautiful weather!!!!

It has been terribly rainy and/or windy at this show the last few years. I have just been waiting for a nice weekend so I could experience the true potential of this show.

First, I am in love with the new spot I was given. I requested to be near the Accessories Boutique because I sell my products there, and the promoters came through, I was right out front. This also meant that I was right next to the music. And that was great too! Not too loud, lots of covers of songs I knew they lyrics to, and some jammin bluegrass!

The spot also rocks because it is easy to get in and out of, as I have no neighbors, I can use the potty in the store, and there is considerably less wind than where my previous spot was.

The only negative about this show as the sales. They ended up being great, but Saturday was scary. Typically Sunday is the slower of a two day show, this weekend was the opposite. I did twice as good on Sunday as I did on Saturday. So I left the first day really wondering where all the crowds had gone.. but then Sunday came around and all the usual friendly faces started to appear and all was well in the world. But I got up this morning feeling like I had been sucked through some kind of time vortex, I kept thinking there was another show day, that yesterday was Saturday....

But this week I have to buckle down and start making more soap, the inventory is getting depleted. But first things first--- Tuesday is the Grand Opening of the Steel Stacks Farmer's Market and I hope to see you there from 3-7pm :)


Fiber Friday

Not much to post about I have been in a knitting black hole. Tried knitting Roxanne and can't get into the pattern, I am half way through with a Honeysuckle Wrap and just find the repeat boring right now, a shawl for C's sister is languishing on the needles because it really needs to be frogged back and I can't find the mental energy to do it, and I have about 14 feet or so left to knit on a cable afghan boarder edge...can I just say...boooorrring....

So I have been knitting for work. I am running low on soap savers and face scrubbers so I have hit both of those hard. Knitting soap savers while at shows and face scrubbers while at home. I like the mindlessness of them and the fact that they work up relatively fast so I feel accomplished. I tend to make a bunch (like 20) and then do the seaming and finishing of them since they all need some sort of sewing together to get the proper shape.

So if you see me at a show knitting just know that I am working away wildly as I sit:)

Hope to see you this weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms- both to the two legged and four legged babies :)


Workshop Wednesday

Hard to believe it, but I haven't been making much of anything. Really shows rev up this week and since I am at full stock capacity I haven't needed to make anything much yet.

I did have to make bath fizzys, we got low enough on three kinds that the "make inventory" alarm sounded. I would rather make when it is slow than to loose sleep because I have to pound away at bath fizzys for hours at a time.

Dad and I took three mornings and got them made, wrapped, and labeled. I got inventory wrapped and labeled for the Bethlehem Visitors Center and I got a bunch of orders mailed out or delivered. I also go a few gift baskets made and mailed.

Not much for me to make this week, just some bath salts. Next week we start to make soap we need again, particularly Patchouli, its been popular this year, and a few special orders I have, and a few specialty soaps that I need more of, especially the facial soap since Dad brings it with him to shows and he has been selling a lot of it.

Tomorrow I need to pack for the weekend's show in Bethlehem. I forgot a few things last week that I need to remember to bring.

That's it! See ya this weekend!


What great week!

It was a very busy but very rewarding week to say the least. It was filled with sadness and excitement.

Sadness about seeing something great pass by. There is this show which I shall keep unnamed, but it was small and intimate and invitation only. To keep it fresh it hardly ever had the same vendors twice- except for the artists who ran it. Unfortunately running it has become inconvenient for them and it does not seem like any of the past participants can step up and take over. I know I can't. So this will be the end of an era for a great little show that I only had the opportunity to participate in once.

But as doors close, windows open, and I have to admit right now it's pretty drafty around here with all these open windows:) I have partnered with a local Alpaca farm. Come see Y Knot Farm at the Steel Stacks Farm Market on Tuesdays and see the wonderful way she felts my soaps. Felting provides a built in soap sack/ bubble bag for each bar. It provided enhanced lather, great exfoliation, and when the bar is gone, the fiber left over is compostable. Try out this new way to experience the soap you know and love.

The soaps I donated to the Walk4MS helped raise over $200! The soaps were sold during the lunch hour at Guardian Insurance. The team sold soaps, washcloths, and raffle tickets for a large gift basket. I am so excited to see how my donation helped so much.

Dad participated in the Peddler's Village Strawberry Festival this past weekend. The weather was wonderful, and although the wet grounds made us move our tent location, it ended up being a solid weekend. We haven't participated since 2007, so we didn't know quite how good the show was anymore. This weekend gave us a great jumping off point and I think it will only grow from here.

I participated in the Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Show. It was my best day there ever. I had many, many return customers, both from last spring and from the last fall show. I plan on being back in the fall and I think that doing both shows each year is an important way to be sure all may fans are happy. I even got to be an impromptu hostess gift, as 19 of my lotion bars were purchased to be given away at a function, later that afternoon! Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

This next week is the Bethlehem Fine Art & Craft Show. I am located near the Accessories Boutique and Visitors Center. Hope to see you there!