Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Measure Twice, Cut Once - The Beginnings of a DIY Adventure

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was younger, my mom would herd us through the fabric section of Wal-Mart to look at patterns with possible ideas and let us pick our favorites. Then she'd slave over the sewing machine, often going above and beyond what the pattern suggests she do, so that our costumes were amazing.

The do-it-yourself costumes in our household consisted of anything from the Chiquita Banana lady to the Statue of Liberty (of which I proudly won first place at the costume contest of West Elementary School's Fall Festival in the 4th grade!)

Now, as an "adult", I find it difficult to purchase a poorly made costume at a ridiculous price that barely even covers my fanny. Halloween has turned into an excuse for women to let out their inner scandalousness...and here I am just wanting to be creative and original, and have my derriere covered. 

This little diddy goes for around $45, and doesn't even include the socks!

Thus, my annual DIY Halloween costume projects began. 

Three years ago, my friend Amelia and I rocked out handmade Mario and Luigi costumes. Now you see them everywhere, but back then not so much. Maybe I started the trend?!

 Prateek and I won a costume contest with our handmade costumes - 
The One Night Stand.
Why yes, that is a lampshade on his head.

Another year, I went as Tim Tebow Crying. 
For those of you who may not remember this vision from a few years ago when the Gators lost the SEC Championship Game to Alabama, let me replay the touching moment:
One of my best friend's Kate is a Gator....Kate please shield your eyes....

It was the butt of all SEC jokes for a few years. So I went with it. 

Sadly, I live in Gator-land down here in Tampa, so people didn't think it was QUITE as funny as I did. Although I did get a few high-fives from some Florida State fans.

The sparkly blue teardrops and scriptured eye-black was my fave.

This year, I've already decided what I want to be.

Joel Zimmerman, AKA Deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse") is one of my favorite house music producers. He is characterized by wearing a giant mouse head at all of his shows. 

I saw Deadmau5 perform at Ultra Music Festival this past March, and every so often in the crowd I would see someone that had made their own Deadmau5 head.

Some were good, some were epic fails.

This one was pretty legit

My Halloween idea had been born, but needed to be taken to another level......

a GIRL Deadmau5.

So I google how to make one of these things, not expecting much to pop up - low and behold, a step by step guide appears! I swear you can find anything online these days. 

I'm frightened by what lies ahead for me and my Girl Deadmau5. All the reviews talk about how hard it is to make and how time consuming it is.

And let me also just tell you, this Deadmau5 head building is NO JOKE. When the materials list consists of a 14 inch acylic lamp post globe, jigsaw, dremel, wing nuts, and a professional grade hard hat, just to name a few, you know the project is intense.

The 14 inch globe came in the mail yesterday, so my DIY Halloween adventure of 2011 has officially begun.

Hopefully this project I'm throwing myself into won't deviate into complete disaster. I have almost 3 months to accomplish my task, but between marathon training and work I really don't have much time left at all

I'll try to post every so often on how the whole sawing/cutting/drilling thing works out. Unless I lose a finger. Then you may not hear from me for a while.

Monday, August 1, 2011

With Great Sacrifice Comes Great Achievement

If keeping up with a weekly training schedule for running weren't hard enough physically, throw in an 8-6 demanding job, a busy travel agenda, and an attempt at a social life.And of course taking care of our one and only spoiled rotten child, Jadoo. 

This looks familiar....

When I first started running, I would go a few times a week.

As long as it wasn't too hot, or too cold, or raining, or windy, or if I didn't go out the night before until 1 AM.

If the stars aligned, I would run.

Once I got more serious about my running and decided to sign up for my first half marathon, I put myself on a seemingly simple training schedule. I'd do some running and working out in my free time and then go along my merry way. No big deal, right? It looked great on paper and I convinced myself that it would be easy as pie.

Turns out that a long Sunday run, Yoga on Mondays, more running on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, cross training on Thursdays and Saturdays, and finding time for some strength and speed training somewhere in between is no walk in the park, after you've worked a 9+ hour day and/or been out of town for days at a time.

I also feel like my schedule is different every week, so I'm constantly changing around my training days to fit everything in. I also play the roll of "party pooper" when it comes to going and doing fun things.

 For example.....
 In the last year, I have:

  • Avoided cookies/cakes/ice cream like the plague, and replaced them with granola bars and protein smoothies
  • Not slept in on hardly any weekends, and up by 6am most Sundays....which leads to:
  • not going to activities/bars/parties that require me to be out past 10pm....which leads to:
  • trading Jack and Diet Coke for H20 on the rocks at said activity.
  • Run in all elements ruthlessly, with no excuses - 100 degree summers, 30 degree winters, gale force winds, and snowfall (if I'm traveling in a different state that actually HAS snow)
  • Spent the extra $25 to check-in my bag at the airport, if for any reason my running gear didn't fit into my carry on when I traveled
  • Dedicated additional spending money towards running sneakers instead of those cute heels that were on sale at Macy's 
However, luckily for me, running is one of those things that you get out what you put into it.

I have gotten back into my skinny jeans and lost a little extra cushion from around my midsection. Not only has my general health improved, but my legs and arms have some muscle definition and I think I even see an ab or two trying to pop out of my belly! (Who know there were actual muscles in there??) I've finished 3 half marathons and seen amazing parts of cities and countryside that I wouldn't ever see otherwise (minus getting attacked by a flock of hostile Pelicans...that wasn't so amazing). 

I get faster every week. I'm less stressed, my coordination has improved, and I've learned valuable lessons on determination and focus.
Not to mention I just love running in general.

The last few weeks have been crazy - my schedule just hasn't worked out and I've had to make major adjustments to fit everything in. But, fingers crossed and prayers up to Jesus/Ganesha/Allah/whoever you believe in, I'll be running my first full marathon in a little over two months. Two more months of sacrifice to achieve my goal. Only Two.

I feel like the little engine that could.

But more feminine...I would be pink.