Fitness & Vanities

Flat Belly Made Easier πŸ˜‰

Happy Monday beautiful people! ☺️

Sometimes (because most times I use musicπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ), when I need to get myself motivated to exercise, I scour the net for nutrition or fitness infographics. A few days ago I found this and thought you’d find it interesting too – might not be new information but a little reminder can’t hurt, right? ❀️ πŸ˜€

Oh and, I’m all for the dark chocolate advice. You too?! XD XD

Have a strong start to your week, peeps!


Fitness & Vanities

Exercising Differently As A Pathway to Happiness


plank-1327256_960_720We all know by now that exercising boosts the happy chemical endorphin. But because our brain quickly adapts to routine, doing the same thing over and over can lead to exercise boredom.

The solution is simple and fun: exercise differently for the next 45 days πŸ˜€

I am currently reading Habits of A Happy Brain by Dr. Loretta Graziano Breuning, and in it Dr. Breuning says that we can end up overdoing a happy habit to the point of unhappiness. Varying our exercise routine is a good way to trigger endorphin.

To quote the book: “It takes strain to trigger endorphin, and if you keep straining the same place, you risk injury.Β  If you work new places with new exercise, moderate exertion can stimulate endorphin.”

When I read this I immediately thought to replace my usual HIIT/strength combo exercises with early morning jogs followed by Pilates.Β  I exercise indoors so early morning jogs would take me out of the house and – is there really anything more uplifting than to be under a wide open sky at the start of one’s day? πŸ’– πŸ’–


However, I will have to do this new exercise consistently for 45 days.Β  I can’t see myself jogging on a rainy day.Β  And since I can only jog in the mornings, this new exercise would prove quite tricky to navigate once my daughter goes back to school again and mornings become busy 😨 πŸ˜₯

As for Pilates, this was an easy choice since I’ve always enjoyed working on my flexibility and balance. In addition, who doesn’t want a tight core and butt? πŸ’– πŸ’– XD

But going back to what Dr. Breuning further says on the topic: “Your body has three layers of muscles. When you vary your exercise, you give the neglected, constricted layers more attention.Β  Since they’re weak, they have to work harder, so you stimulate development where it’s needed instead of going overboard on the parts you overuse.Β  Chasing an endorphin high is not worth the risk of wearing out a part and needing a parts replacement. Variety is a great alternative.”

I didn’t need any more convincing after reading that! πŸ˜€ πŸ‘

So the next 6 weeks are going to be dedicated to Pilates and some type of cardio that’s different from what I normally do.Β  I’ll be putting my free weights on standby for now 😭 😭  😭 and hopefully my appetite won’t be as high as when I do HIITs to compensate for the decrease in intensity.


How about you? When was the last time you varied your exercise routine? Any fun cardio suggestions? πŸ˜€

Fitness & Vanities

Why SAHMs Should Exercise πŸ’ƒπŸ’ͺπŸƒ

Several days ago I confessed to feeling bored and that, because I’m also a SAHM, this has triggered some sort of specific research into this notionΒ  of ‘housewife boredom’.

I’ve since discovered that housewives’ schedules run the gamut from not having enough time to even comb one’s hair to just twiddling thumbs until it’s time to prepare dinner o_O I found out as well that ‘housewife boredom’ also stems from a need to occupy time with something productive, challenging and self- nurturing ❀

Every housewife will have her own preferred solution to this predicament, but one that I (and obviously a lot of other health and wellness proponents) strongly recommend is ⭐ exercise ⭐ ❀

Exercise has given me a wealth of benefits, more so as a SAHM, and I cannot imagine life without it πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Here are my reasons:

  1. It gives you something to do ⭐

If the lack of structure and/or the abundance of idle time is the culprit, then establishing a regular exercise schedule is a life-saver.Β  This solution is furthermore scalable in terms of time, effort and interest required:Β  you can join a gym, take a walk, jump rope at home, do 15 minutes of flexibility stretches in your PJs or start with a plank for 1 minute each day if this is all you can do.

      2.  It releases feel-good endorphins ⭐

Being cooped up at home for most of the time and the lack of adult conversion can get us SAHMs into a funk o_O We therefore need a readily available source of feel-good hormones handy – exercise!Β  It’s not a secret how exercise can make you feel good.Β  Read more about this here, here and here.

      3.  It gives you confidence ⭐

While I exercise I am constantly reminded of how awesome the human body is πŸ™‚ I appreciate my body all the more when I notice it is responding to all that strength training I am doing (hello, toned midsection!), how much more flexible I have become and how much longer I can do dance fitness videos.

As you get better at your choice of physical activity, you come to appreciate your body more and more and cannot help but feel gratitude and pride for everything it is doing and can do for you.

At appearance level, exercise will make you walk taller and straighter as lethargy will no longer weigh you down. In its place will be ease of movement and vitality.Β  And that’s confidence boosting. And sexy! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

Β Β Β Β Β  4.Β  It is self-nurturing.

Exercise time is ‘your time’.Β  It turns the focus back on us, we’re doing something for ourselves that will enhance the quality of our lives and by association, our family’s too.Β  It takes away stress and anxiety and puts sparkle and energy in its place.Β  That’s exciting, isn’t it? πŸ™‚


It’s actually quite easy to establish an exercise routine once you’ve set your mind to it.Β  My tips are – find something that you enjoy doing, start small, and do it at the same time each day.

Know that in the beginning your old self will do everything it can to stop you from doing it, and it is very good at doing so! o_O o_O But just remember that a few days is all it takes to change your internal dialogue and just 3 weeks to establish the habit.Β  Before you know it, you’ll be signing up for an organized run, or a Zumba master class! πŸ™‚

Now log off and go! πŸ’ƒβ€οΈβ€πŸ’ƒ

Blogging, Fitness & Vanities

3 Day Quote Challenge: Day 2

For day 2 of this quote challenge I’ve decided to spotlight a favorite activity of mine, one I am grateful to be able to indulge in and one I intend to keep up for as long as I can: exercising to be fit ❀

As with anything, the desire to start something and commit to it – i.e. invest money, time and effort into something consistently and for the long haul – begins with the mind. Until I understood why I should exercise, that’s only when consistency happened:



Of course, there are times when life gets in the way and my exercise schedule is thrown out of whack or stops altogether. It’s usually not that easy to get back on track especially if I think about how long it will take to see results again but, this quote seems to always trump my impatience:

found on Pinterest

Then there are days I am doing a new exercise video and it doesn’t turn out as expected.Β  It might be too difficult or not enjoyable or some other reason. I can be easily discouraged by this and either stop or consider it a bad workout. I have to constantly remind myself that ~



So that’s me for today. Now it’s time for me to choose the next 3 blogger friends who will spread the quote-love πŸ™‚



Yanti/New Lives

Rules of this challenge:

  1. Thank the person who invited you to join
  2. Post 1 or 3 quotes for 3 consecutive days
  3. Choose 3 other bloggers to share the love

Visit back tomorrow for Day 3! ❀ πŸ˜€

Blogging, Fitness & Vanities

Gotta Make Up for Yesterday! πŸ˜ƒ πŸ˜„

Hello beautiful people! 😘

This post should’ve gone out yesterday, but I totes forgot that yesterday was Monday (this is a blatant lie, but you can’t blame me for trying)! 🀣

Seriously though, I owe you an update on my 3rd weekly challenge and the revelation of my 4th and final weekly challenge for the month.

So here we go …

… but before that, let’s warm-up to my favorite exercise video. I guarantee we’ll have fun 😁😁




Okay, are we warmed up now? πŸ˜€

So my 3rd weekly challenge is to eliminate mindless snacking. I picked this as a challenge because I’m trying to be vigilant about weight creep … wait, what is weight creep, I hear you ask? Well, that’s when our weight slowly creeps up, usually inadvertently on our part, due to certain repeated counterproductive behaviors that often become habits. Mindless snacking being one of them.

Snacking mindlessly has got to be one of a SAHM’s bane, because the circumstances are just so conducive for it. In my case, the fridge is always loaded because we are a family that L❀️‍VE sweets!

calorie sirens

To me mindless snacking is like weeds in your garden. They grow back, so you have to be watchful and ready to remove them so the garden remains pretty.

When I decided to take this up as a weekly challenge last week what I had in mind was to understand my natural rhythm so I could manage cravings and make better food choices without feeling deprived & miserable.

The steps I took:

1.Β  I first identified the times I felt naturally hungry.

There’s no point working against natural hunger, especially when like me, you’re exercising on most days. Trying to deny it just makes us focus on food all the more.

I was able to identify that I was naturally hungry at 9AM (breakfast), anywhere between 12N-1PM (lunchtime), then again at around 3-4PM (big snack), and around 7PM (light dinner).

2. I also took note of what I liked to eat during these times.

I don’t know about you, but denying myself something because it’s high on the Glycemic index even if it’s what I want at that particular moment leads to baaaaaad, uncontrolableΒ  cravings later on. I’ve experienced this SO many times already that I’m now schooled in honoring my tastebuds. I found out I needed simple carbs (like rice, bread, pasta) and protein in most meals or else I just wouldn’t be satisfied.

Oh and, a sweet treat from time to time is also a secret to success. (Ladies don’t be in denial, when that PMS rears its stubborn head, hell knows no fury …. Am just keeping it real!) πŸ˜„

3. Plan accordingly without sacrifice.

With information on when and what, I am able to plan my meals accordingly. Eating at designated times, even if I wasn’t really that hungry (but adjusting to my level of hunger), kept most cravings, mindless snacking & even over-eating at bay.

I noticed in the past that if I didn’t eat at regular intervals and just waited for my stomach to snap at me, I’d graze on readily available convenience food. I would end up eating too much empty calories and still over-eat at the next meal 😒

coffee and cinnamon

So that was my 3rd weekly challenge for April. How about you, do you ever take on a self-imposed weekly or monthly challenge? Tell me about it! πŸ˜ƒ

And now the 4th weekly challenge is a blogging challenge; a 3-day Quote Challenge which I shall begin tomorrow.

I hope! πŸ˜‰

But before I let you go, places everyone! All that talk about meal planning has gotten me in the mood to dance – let’s get our money now, shall we? πŸ˜„


Blogging, Fitness & Vanities

Weekly Challenge Update!


“You don’t need a New Year to make a change.

All you need is a Monday” πŸ˜€

Hey everyone! IssanotherMonday as you might have noticed already and here on OSB&V I usually dedicate Mondays to positive changes and fitness. For April I had the hilarious idea of taking on weekly challenges and so here we are, with week 3 begging for its ration XD

But first, a quick update on the 2 weekly challenges I took on for last week:

Challenge #1:

Improve my wheel pose by investing time in practicing it, preferably on a daily basis.

The pros:

I did get to improve my wheel pose in the sense that it is much easier for me to heave myself off of the mat than ever before, as well as being able to stay longer in the pose enough to make a full mental review of my form.Β  My wrists are getting on with the program as well, perhaps sensing the solemnity of my intention πŸ˜€ And, I was able to practice for 4 days, thank you very much!

The cons:

I found out my lower body is ready and willing to cooperate, but my upper body is not – in particular, my arms and upper back.

I realized I need to invest more time in exercises for opening my back and shoulders. I did this video on some days for warming up:

And it would be a HAPPY day indeed if I can do this ❀ ❀ ❀ (see video below):

Can I possibly get any crazier?! XD

BTW I hope you guys aren’t expecting a before/after picture because then I’ll have to disappoint you – I’m just not there yet LOL! XD XD

Challenge #2:

Finish an online work-from-home course.

I picked this challenge for 2 reasons.

A) It must not conflict with challenge #1 and

B) to broaden my horizons instead of working off of what I already have.

The course I took is Work From Home – 5 Ways To Work From Home and is a free and introductory course on Udemy. It provides an overview ofΒ  5 legitimate ways (or business models) to earn income from home and walks you through the personality types suited to each business model, the key elements related to each, and ends with showing the potential income range for each.

But The Mind Does Wander

During the course however, I found myself straying several times to other sites looking for crochet patterns XD XD

That is NOT to say the course is boring! As a matter of fact, I find the instructor very affable and the course easy to follow. At some points during the course a sliver of inspiration would cross my mind that I could earn enough money from home to cover my yarn-sprees πŸ˜‡ πŸ˜‡ πŸ˜‡

And There Was This Promise

But I would immediately recall the promise I made to myself that if ever I should work again it will be for fun, something that will not come with me to my home at the end of the day, cause me to put too much salt in my Bolognese sauce, nor haunt me in my sleep.

Now for those of you who don’t know it yet, I used to have a corporate job in Marketing in my previous life. Here’s why I left. And I’ve never been happier πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

I heard a loud clap of thunder and that was that πŸ™

What I learned:

Home is a sacred space I do not want to associate with ‘work’ just yet, or maybe ever.Β  As well, I’m still “detoxifying” – unwinding from the stresses of my previous life, having a ball rediscovering my crazy-playful side, enjoying each day emancipated from time and deadlines, immensely appreciative that my dreams are filled with colorful yarn, gracefully effortless backbends, and copious amounts of heavenly brewed coffee ❀ ❀ ❀

We shall thus move on …

Challenge # 3:

Eliminate mindless snacking on unhealthy food.

Join me back next Monday for updates πŸ‘ πŸ™‚

Blogging, Fitness & Vanities

April’s Weekly Challenge Update + Challenge #2

Howdy my shiny, happy people! ❀ πŸ™‚

Last week was the first week of April and I felt like shaking things up, so I gave myself the task of doing a weekly challenge for the whole month. Read about it here.

This post will be a progress update + the unveiling of the next challenge πŸ™‚ Let’s get to it!

Challenge #1: improve my wheel pose

For the record, I can’t really do a wheel pose. I can do the second one in this picture and that’s about it. But for someone who’s only done basic YouTube yoga at home, I was pleasantly surprised when I first found out I could even lift myself off the mat like that πŸ˜€ I was quite impressed and quickly fell infatuated with the pose ❀ πŸ˜€

Fast forward to last week when I picked it as my first challenge – and this is how I’ve done thus far:

Monday and Tuesday

Okay so Monday and Tuesday I lost internet (and phone and cable TV) connection so it was like … “Helloooo Universe! I’ve just declared a challenge here!! Could you be more supportive?!!” XD XD


I was finally able to get to it with this video:

As usual, I was able to heave myself off the floor with relative ease and I tried to stay in the pose for as long as I could trying to correct my form as I made a mental review of how my body parts were positioned.

There was obviously a lot of room for improvement. One problem that immediately came up was that my wrists could only hold the pose for so long before becoming sore. I could try again for a second time, but a third? My wrists would be screaming bloody murder! o_O


I was feeling really sore and stiff from my strength training on previous days and backbending was the furthest thing on my mind XD


I was feeling under the weather for some reason so I didn’t push it.

Saturday & Sunday

Rest days.


Because I don’t have much to show for it (insert cheeky grin here) I am continuing this challenge for a second week.


But the show must go on and therefor I have taken on a second weekly challenge – as declared – which will be …. dan-dan-daaaaaaan! …

~ oOo ~

Challenge #2

Finish an online course about working from home πŸ™‚

~ oOo ~

So that’s me for today and I do hope you check back next Monday for more details and updates on not one, but TWO weekly challenges! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Here’s to a strong, positive week, warriors ❀ ❀


Minions image found here.