Hanging a Shelf for Dummies

Today I finally managed to correctly hang a 4-foot floating shelf, so I thought I would provide some "For Dummies" directions in case there is anyone out there with my lack of skillz.

BTW, sorry the pictures suck. I took them with my cell phone.

First, choose a shelf. I got mine from Lowes and it wasn't very expensive - I think $30. I wanted a simple design with no visible hardware. Oh and a drill is helpful! I finally realized how easy it was to use the thing and it makes everything sooooo much easier. I don't know why I didn't think of using it when I was hanging all those curtain rods.

It's very important to get at least one screw in a stud. The first time I hung it, I missed the stud (yes even with a stud finder, because I'm an idiot). I just used drywall anchors. It ended up not having enough support and so it was tilted and looked bad. My husband pointed out it was designed in such a way that you can get 2 of the screws into studs, but that didn't work out on this particular wall because it would have been completely off center and looked dumb. So I decided to have the middle screw go into a stud and I used drywall screws for the others.

I drew a level line, used a pencil to mark where the screws would go, drilled the holes, and hammered in the drywall anchors. I also drilled through the stud with a smaller drill bit. Then I screwed in the hanging contraption thing that holds the shelf. It looked like this:

Then you just slip the shelf over the hanging contraption, and screw it in on the bottom.

Now is the fun part: what to put on the shelf! So far I have a couple photos in some clearance-section picture frames from Pottery Barn. I wanted to add a little purple in the room, so I took these photos of some flowers. I also have a big 16x20 photo I want to put on it, but I haven't yet found the right frame for it (turns out, 16x20 frames are a bit of a pain to find). I'll also start looking for some other things to put on the shelf... maybe a big piece of white coral or something along those lines.

Here are the photos:

Week 6 Day 3: Bye Bye, Intervals

According to the Couch to 5K folks, I am now such a fantastic runner that I don't need intervals. That's absolutely hilarious, yet somehow I forgot to laugh.

Today's run was 25 minutes without a walking break, and I do that for a few more days, then it'll be 28 minutes. Finally it'll be 30 minutes. Once I've "graduated" from the program I want to get a pedometer thing to keep track of how far I'm going so I can work on my speed, but I'm not going to do that until after the 9th (and final) week.

Every step of the way was a struggle. 13 minutes in I got a stitch in my side, and stopped for 15 seconds to stretch, then I kept going. A few minutes later I stopped running and walked for 30 seconds, caught my breath, then ran the rest of the time. One thing that can always get me through the last few minutes is listening to Wishing Well by The Airborne Toxic Event. The rhythm in that song is perfect for my slow running pace and can really keep me going. That and saying over and over, "I can do anything for 2 minutes, it's just 2 stupid minutes.... I can do anything for 1 minute, it's only one minute!" etc. I'll also count my breaths up to ten, then back down to 0, repeat. Weird but it gives my brain a little something to think about other than thinking how miserable I am.

I had the strangest feeling once the running was over and I was walking. It felt like my legs were moving of their own free will and I had nothing to do with it... it felt like I was just along for the ride while my legs kept moving at a brisk walking pace. Maybe that's what it feels like when you hit a stride? Like your body just knows what to do and does it? Maybe it was the endorphins? Perhaps I finally have gone insane? Whatever, it was kind of cool.

We're going to Red Rocks tomorrow night for the Depeche Mode show and book club is Friday, so I won't be running again until Saturday. It will be another 25 minute run. yay.

Week 6, Day 1

On Monday I finished Week 5 day 3. Tuesday was CrossFit, Wednesday was Back to School Night so I didn't have any time for running, and Thursday was CrossFit again, so I didn't get to run again until Friday. Going so long between runs makes it SO much harder! It was only in intervals of 5, 8, 5, but still it was awful. I was also sore from CrossFit, which didn't help matters. Also the mosquitos were out in huge, blood-crazed swarms. They were flying in my eyes, ears, etc. My mosquito spray kept them from biting though.

I'm really going to try to stick to my schedule as much as possible... running Monday, Wednesday, and either Friday or Saturday, CrossFit Tuesdays and Thursdays, and walking on Sundays. Running is never easy for me, but it's definitelty worse when I take too many days in between running days.

On a different note, tonight we're going to see Bat for Lashes and I'm so excited to see them! I haven't been to a concert in ages, but we also have tickets for Depeche Mode on Thursday. Two in one week!!

week 5 day 3

Ah, the first day of 20 minutes of continuous running. I did it, somehow. I had a cramp in my side and a pain in my shoulder/neck and the last few minutes it was uphill-ish and that really sucked. But I made it and that's pretty great, I think. I'm completely worn out now and am going to bed. I have a feeling I'm going to sleep really well tonight. :)


Hm. I guess I did it. I was still sore from Thursday but tried the run anyway, and made it through both 8 minute intervals. It was hard of course, but I don't think it would have been much easier if I hadn't been sore. I don't know if it's the movement, the endorphins, or the ibuprofin, but now I am far less sore than I was before the run. Go figure.
I'm not sure when I last updated, but I've gotten through week 4 day 3, which went quite well. On Wednesday I did week 5 day 1, which also went well! I thought that week 5 was a 20-minute straight run, and it is, but not until the third day. Day 1 was 3, 5-minute runs and day 2 is 2 8-minute runs, then day 3 will be the 20 minute run.

Thursday was crossfit, and I'm still quite sore, especially in the gluteus maximus area. Since I could hardly move on Friday, I took the day off of exercise and was going to take today off as well. But I need to ditch some of the 500 calories I ate in Junior Mints at the movies today, so I'm contemplating taking a couple ibuprofen and giving week 5 day 3 a shot. I may as well try. I seriously doubt I can run for 8 minutes at a time anyway, even if I wasn't sore, but through this blog I have resolved to attempt the impossible, have I not? Yes indeed I have. Besides, Cookie is overdue for a walk/run at the park. She's giving me "The Look."

If I die out there, at least it was in the pursuit of physical fitness.


Ugh, decisions.

I hate being involved in any sort of controversy and typically I will take the path of least resistance. But the time has come to make an important decision.... to stick with my crossfit group, lovingly called Push It Penguins, who have done so much to help me and encourage me, or join Trout's new group of guppies, or whatever they're called. Um, wait a minute, why did I think this decision was difficult again? I'm sticking with my girls!!! Besides, the king of the guppies doesn't know the definition of cardio.

I also decided that my blog posts are super boring and need more pictures and less text. Trust me you do NOT want a picture of me after a workout, so here's Cookie.

You might be wondering why I'm posting to my blog when I should be working. The answer is simple: I hate grading reading assessments!!! BLECH! 6 more to go.

After a day of eating and laziness yesterday, I am now eating my bin of vegetables for lunch and tonight is week 4 day 3... we shall see how it goes.

I DID IT!!!! YAY ME!!!!

I got through week 4 day 2! YAY!!! It was still hard, of course, but I managed to run for the all the intervals (2 3-minute intervals and 2 5-minute intervals, which sounds sooo easy but is totally NOT easy for me!) I was so happy I almost cried. Pathetic, I know, but I didn't think I'd ever be able to make it after Thursday's disastrous attempt. The first two intervals were a pretty good speed and the last 2 were incredibly slow but who cares cause I DID IT!!!!!! It was a gorgeous evening, and Jesse was walking Cookie while I ran and as much as I love having her with me, I think not holding onto her leash helped me avoid the shoulder/neck cramps I hate so much. Success!!

On an unrelated note, our anniversary is tomorrow! I've loved being married for the last 6 years and I feel like each year our marriage gets better and better. However, somehow we both totally forgot about the anniversary until a few hours ago! Oh well, we remembered in the end. It always falls during the first week of school which is quite inconvenient. We'll go out for a nice dinner and stop to think about how thankful we are to have each other. :)


Unfortunately, there really, truly are some things that I absolutely Can. Not. Do. At. All. I tried, and failed, at a few of those things this week.

First Thing This Week That I Couldn't Do: A plank. I really did try. My entire body shook and then gave up and I had to do it on my knees, totally cheating, and even then I still shook and had sweat dripping in my eyeballs. This is something I'm going to have to start practicing because at this point it just isn't possible.

Second Thing This Week That I Couldn't Do: Week 4 of CrossFit. The running intervals are for 3 minutes and 5 minutes, and I couldn't do it. I ran the first 3 minutes ok, but I had to take walking breaks throughout all the other intervals. While I am proud of myself that I tried W4D1 last night despite having a long, tiring day (not to mention the blisters) and I did go farther than ever before, I feel like a failure because I couldn't do all the intervals and I'm nowhere near being ready for week 5, which is 20 minutes nonstop of running. I'll be sticking with week 4 for a while, I think. Attempt #2 will be tomorrow.

Apparently, I can't manage to read a class roster properly either because I had no clue that I had so many 6 year olds in my class! Crazy! They are sooooo cute and pretty dang well-behaved too, but this is definitely going to be an interesting year.

On an unrelated note, I'm happy with the finale of SYTYCD. I would have put Kayla in 3rd place instead of Evan, but I like Jeanine and was happy with the results. The show was great last night too. My favorite was the Mia Michaels routine with Kayla and Kapono, but I wish they had shown the Twilight routine again too, which is one of my all-time favorites. I'm ridiculously excited about Wednesday nights starting in a few weeks - SYTYCD and Glee on the same night?? YAY!

It was a long and tiring week and I'm so looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. Aside from the torture of running, that is.

Kirsten: 1 Fear: 0

Yet another thing that scares me is talking in front of a bunch of people. I'm fine with kids, but for some reason in a room full of adults I get nervous and end up sounding like a complete idiot, then I get even more nervous and can't breathe which freaks me out even more. When someone at work asked me to talk to the staff about our school podcasts, I think I started sweating.

However, I think it went pretty well! I wasn't nearly as scared as I thought I would be and I think I sort of made sense rather than just getting nervous and talking complete gibberish. I'm really excited about taking over the school podcasts this year. It's going to be a lot of work and honestly I'm not sure how all the logistics are going to work out, but I think it's going to be a great project and I know the kids will love it. I love finding new ways to trick kids into thinking writing is fun!

School starts the day after tomorrow, which nearly makes me feel like having an anxiety attack but hopefully it'll all go well.

W3D3/ Food Update

I've had some little setbacks the last few days because of an upset tummy issue going on. Thursday I was too sick to work out, and yesterday I was too busy. This evening I felt a bit better, and did ok on week 3 day 3. I'm not sure I'm ready to move on to week 4 on Monday, I'm going to try. I'm getting scared because week 5 requires you to run for 20 minutes straight and I know I'm nowhere near ready for that. I still struggle with 3 minutes! I'll just have to focus on one day at a time, and during workouts, one minute at a time, and do the best I can. It's not time to worry about week 5 yet.

Cookie is loving our workouts! She's such a good dog and is really keeping me on track. She's gotten used to going on a run and it's obvious how much she loves it.

One of my frustrations has been that despite working my butt off all summer, I've actually gained a couple pounds. My goal is to be healthier, but it has still been frustrating not to see any weight loss. Anyway, I decided to cut the calories, go back to tracking all my food on the LoseIt app on my iphone, and not step on the scale for 2 weeks and see what happens. I've done pretty well this week and have noticed a difference in how I look and feel. Probably the hardest part is that the exercise makes me hungry, so balancing everything is a challenge.

If any of the goddesses of CrossFit are reading this, I'll attempt the Horrible Hundred or whatever it's called tomorrow, if I feel ok. I was ok running today but right now I feel awful and think I might puke so we'll see. :)

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