Home & Heart

July 1: Quick-N-Easy


Good morning beautiful people! It’s bright and sunny here in my corner of Indonesia which puts me in a great mood to do mini-assignment #2.

But first, about yesterday’s which was to change the entire bed set. (Or should it be worded as “use new bed sheets”? But it included the use of new & matching pillow-covers so …. beddings?).

Moving on …

So I did change them and once my task was complete, I stood back and nodded in approval. It felt like the entire room experienced a face-lift! The change in colors/design was refreshing, the tidied up arrangement was lovely, the whole space seemed brighter and had that fresh, newly laundered smell. Even the baby jumped up and down the mattress for about 10 minutes of delighted approval ๐Ÿ˜€

Such a small & mundane thing to do but it IS a leg up the usual “making up the bed”. This isn’t the first time I changed up the bed-set, and won’t be the last. Of course, I’m not saying we should do this everyday, just that if you’re looking for a quick way to enliven the bedroom (& give you a positive mood boost each time you walk into it), this is the way to do it. The bed occupies a huge space and is usually the focal point of the room, so it makes sense to give it a lota lovin’. Additional kudos for using colors that make you dance!

Yesterday’s mini-assignment inspired today’s which is to simplify another area of mundane living [that has a very huge impact on our mood]: the closet.

More on this tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚


Note: If anyone is wondering why the heck I am writing about something so boring as making up the bed please read this post ๐Ÿ˜‚

Note note: I honestly didn’t feel like putting up a photo of the newly made-up bed for this blog post although I guess that would’ve been the right way of doing it ๐Ÿ™‚ And putting up a stock photo of someone else’s bed would’ve been downright misleading so I did the next best thing ๐Ÿ˜‰


Fitness & Vanities, Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

Woo-hoo! The First of The “~ber” Months Has Arrived

Back home we always believed that once the first of the “~ber” months comes a’ knocking, December will be upon us in a blink.

Well, I hope not ๐Ÿ™‚ I love to savor.ย  How about you?

So it’s that time of the month to do a review of previous month’s goals and here’s where I’m at:

1.ย  30 day plank challenge

Being a housewife/stay at home mom/ lady of leisure is no excuse BUT, I have become sedentary o_O

I took on the 30-day plank challenge as a last ditch effort to keep my abs in check because, here’s something you don’t know about me: I don’t care so much about the rest of my body, but having belly rolls is something my vanity just cannot allow ๐Ÿ™„

So I am somewhere around day 17-18 already where I need to hold my plank for 90 secs. The 1st 60 is okay, anything past that and I begin to shake ๐Ÿ˜€ But I’m getting there.


2. get a solid yoga foundation

I came as far as enrolling in a professionally designed online yoga class.ย  But then a nasty skin allergy on my foot derailed me.ย  I took it as the Universe telling me this wasn’t the way to go.ย  So this goal is on hold for now.

3. 6 new meals project

What 6 new meals project?! (LOL!) XD

4. finish the granny square blanket

It’s coming along nicely and should be done next week, the latest ๐Ÿ™‚

5. indoor plants

potted plants

Britney and Jeanette seem to be doing okay.ย  But Eleanor (the tiny pink one) has shed leaves in the mean time. She still looks okay though, she still has 2 big leaves and 2 baby ones and doesn’t look dry or wilting. We’ll see in the next couple of days.

I like having plants around the house ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m thinking of adding more, but I really want the flowering kind.ย  As you can see, my environment could use some color.

And yes, I already thought of making a doily for that table ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. Finish a MOOC

Good Lord, I used to not have any problems sitting still and wolfing down information.ย  I used to be in Marketing for heavens sake! But now, I just can’t do it ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The course I’m taking is called Parenting In The Digital Age offered by Canvas Network.ย  It’s a very relevant course, and no doubt very well coordinated.ย  But I just can’t sit still to read! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I get restless and I can’t even do 30 minutes without finding some excuse to stand up.

Moving on ~~~

New entrants

We have discovered a nice clubhouse with a gym and a swimming pool.ย  My daughter is now taking swimming lessons there and my husband got busy buffing himself. While accompanying my daughter I also met a nice lady who very enthusiastically invited me to join their Zumba class.ย  They also do yoga once a week.ย  Score! ๐Ÿ˜€

So I bought new swim wear and a skipping rope.ย  And because the 30 day plank challenge is proving to be really doable, I’m taking this on as well.

I will not go down the sedentary hole without a fight! ๐Ÿ˜›

And now it’s your turn!

What are you bringing into your life in sexy September? ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

Fitness & Vanities, Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

Losing Weight & Crushing Homesickness

red hibiscus tropical flower

It’s the last Monday of the month sexy people. Time for a fitness review! ๐Ÿ™‚

This month I decided to start each weekday with a power walk – how did I do on this?

Before I share my performance report, here are a few of what I have come to appreciate about this challenge:

โญ It gives me something to look forward to in the evenings. I prep my stuff the night before and I’ve gotten so efficient that I can now make it out of the house in much less time than I used to.

โญ It gives me the satisfaction of having done something for myself first thing in the day.

โญ It’s my “me & nature” time, time to just let my thoughts run free without interruption, or to just feast my senses on the beauty of nature.

โญ It’s kicked my morning cuppa caffeine, since it makes me crave only cold water.

โญ It’s steered me away from white bread to sturdier fare to better satisfy my appetite.ย  (Making healthier breakfast choices was also a challenge for June).

โญ I’ve lost some weight. Which is a relief as I discovered mid-June that I was starting to wear my homesickness around my waist & hips.

All the above have helped me immensely in overcoming my homesickness, which I’ll talk more about in a next post.

Meanwhile, I also said that I wanted to level up by trying running. Well I did give running a try, for 2 weeks to be exact, but it kinda took the fun out of it.ย  So I scaled back and just focused on brisk walking as it’s enough to get my heart rate up, gives me a good sweat and makes a tall glass of cold water taste like heaven! ๐Ÿ’ช

I am pleased to report that – save for one morning – I have been on target. ๐ŸŽ† ๐ŸŽ† ๐ŸŽ†

And the best part is that it’s worked out so well, I intend to keep this up for as long as I can. It’s no longer just a 30-day challenge for June. It has incorporated into my daily routine almost effortlessly that I feel it would be nothing short of a waste to stop ๐Ÿ™‚

So how about you? What did you bring into your life in June, and how did it turn out?

Fitness & Vanities, Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

How Are We Doing?

good morning

Hello sexy people! Apa kabar? (Indonesian: How you doin’?).

Last week I invited you to add something new to your life in June. I also shared with you my 2 goals for the month – power walking 5 mornings/week, and making healthier breakfast choices.

So how did I do? Let’s see:

Power Walking Every Weekday Morning.

I did extremely well on this one ๐Ÿ™‚ Not a day missed and not an ounce of difficulty establishing the routine. Well, I’m a morning lark to begin with and I’ve always preferred to exercise in the mornings so I guess I have a leg up on this one.

So since the 1st week went without struggle, I’m leveling up on this one as:

1. Set the alarm back 5 minutes to arrive earlier at the oval. This really isn’t necessary but I found that the earlier I get out of the house, the greater my enjoyment.

2. Follow/run along the Running Mate 5K101 podcast 3X this week. I’ve never jogged, let alone ran before, so I don’t know if I’m going to enjoy this. But their podcast intrigued me and it’s like having a coach guide you from couch to a 5K. I don’t see why not ๐Ÿ™‚

Benefits Noticed:

1. Better sleep
2. More energy
3. Increased water intake throughout the day
4. My 4-week FB Reach program is a great complementary routine

Make healthier breakfast choices.

From brewed coffee & pastries to – diluted brewed coffee & a ham and cheese sandwich on quasi whole wheat bread. Not a huge departure I admit but, it tides me well over to lunch unlike the previous fare which had me hungry & cranky mid-morning.

Because of my walking routine, I want to keep my breakfasts simple and hassle-free. I also don’t want to skimp on taste. I might alternate the sandwich with hard-boiled eggs but since there really isn’t much to choose from this will have to do for now.

Benefits Noticed:

This goal has really forced me to look at what I eat the whole day, not just for breakfast. I observed my (bad) habit of not taking lunch seriously and realizing this is fuelling my afternoon cravings and appetite for dinner. I’ve also noticed our reliance on carbs – bread, pasta, rice – and I’m worrying this has started to adversely affect my weight.

Leveling Up:

I’ve started to stock up on veggies and if needed, since the veggies here wilt within the day, we’ll do groceries twice or thrice per week. The challenge now has shifted to eating 3 decent meals per day with vegetables at lunch and dinner.

So there you have it. As you can see, I feel very positive about these goals and am keen on leveling up to keep the momentum high.

How about you, how are you doing on your June goals? ๐Ÿ™‚

Fitness & Vanities

Hula Hooping Update

My daughter told me I needed to be more graceful – she who can do 100+ rotations with relative ease. Sigh! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, between now and last Monday I did manage to do 40 rotations on good days.ย  My body is also less awkward (more graceful?) as I am slowly discovering the best way to plant my feet for best results. And then there have been days when my waist feels bruised or when I just can’t summon an iota of gracefulness no matter how hard I try ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Starting something new comes with so many questions. Thankfully, all of them are answered on YouTube, for instance:

Unfortunately, I have the wrong size hoop and apparently, that makes ALL the difference.ย  The one I bought only comes up to 3/4ths up my thighs, too small for me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I do plan on buying the right size hoop, but this will have to wait until after the move and once we’re settled.ย  Meanwhile, I do what I can with the one I have since anything that gives me a good workout and simultaneously teaches me how to sway my hips is always a win in my book ๐Ÿ˜‰

How about you – are you doing anything new in the area of fitness this month?

Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

February Wrap-Up

February Wrap-Up

Well what do you know, March is upon us – it’s also my birthday month and I have absolutely no idea yet how I’m going to celebrate.ย  Any suggestions?

Anyhow, did you get some stars under your belt in February?ย  I’m pretty sure you have! It would be such a blast if you could share some in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚ C’mmon, share!

While you’re thinking, allow me to warm this up with my own report.

For February I ~

โญ Successfully established the habit of starting each day with a tall glass of warm lemon water.

โญ Successfully established a morning routine that I am quite happy with.ย  Morning routines are very important, and because I only recently stopped working, I needed to establish a new start to my day. I’ll tell you more about this in a later post.

โญ Messaged/texted my husband ‘good night’ and ‘I love you’ every evening of the month.

My husband is based abroad and sometimes I take cordial greetings like ‘good morning’, ‘good night’ or even just a ‘hey there, handsome!’ for granted :/ Since February is the love month, I wanted to be consistent with at least 1 daily greeting. I chose an end of day greeting for this initiative.

I was consistent, and I’m happy this is continuing to date ๐Ÿ™‚ The only times I missed greeting my husband ‘good night’ was 1, when my phone went kapot and the other 2 times when I was still starting and the habit hadn’t stuck yet.ย  But this is a win fo sho!

โญ Blogged every weekday of February. (And I give myself bonus points for posting on weekends) ๐Ÿ˜€

When I set out to blog I didn’t really plan on posting every day.ย  I thought it would be difficult and must require a lot of discipline plus, I was already overwhelmed just thinking of what to blog about.ย  But I set it as a challenge for February nevertheless.ย  To help me along I came up with weeklies like “Pebbles of Wisdom” every Monday, Wordless Wednesdays, Funny Fridays and Learn Something New features.

As expected, I learned a lot in the process (some weeklies will be continued, others not, still others tweaked). And the Universe apparently was also pleased with my efforts by blessing me with:

โญ A nomination for Versatile Blogger Award on the 4th

โญ I made my 100th post on the 24thย  ๐Ÿ™‚

~~~~ THANK YOU to all who visit this blog and leave footprints and especially those who give the extra โค by following this blog.ย  I APPRECIATE YOU ALL SO MUCH! ~~~~

In addition, I have gotten much more comfortable blogging and sharing a bit of myself (this is a huge deal for me). I look forward to getting better as time goes by ๐Ÿ™‚

โญ Read 4 books – The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler, Why Do I Love These People? by Po Bronson, The Servant’s Tale (fiction) and The Witch’ Tale (fiction) both by Margaret Frazer.

โญ Exercised 19 times this month (goal is 20).ย  Moving forward though I don’t know if I should keep giving myself stars for this as this is now a part of my morning routine.ย  Or, maybe I will but only on those months where sticking to a routine is almost impossible like, December.

โญ Started the following projects –

30 day yoga with Erin Motz

Understanding the Origins of Crime (online course)


I also tried but failed to:

๐Ÿ™„ Meditate. Something about meditating just keeps eluding me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I also had this to contend with that made it all the more difficult.

๐Ÿ™„ Establish an evening routine.


ย ~~ O ~~

And there you have it, my stars for February.ย  Now it’s your turn!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚ Share! Share!

~ Paardje ๐Ÿ’‹

Fitness & Vanities

This Is For Those Of Us Who Love 30 Day Fitness Challenges

I’m excited to have come across the lovely Eunice, who blogs over at Eunicakes about fitness and cupcakes.ย  Yes, you read that right! ๐Ÿ™‚

Eunice has all these 30 day fitness challenges (and yummy recipes and motivation and more) that are just waiting to be included in our fitness routine.ย  For instance, her March challenge is a Plie V raise that hits thighs and shoulders simultaneously.ย  Pretty cool, huh? โญ

Now I know where to go when I need my next fitness challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

Why not visit her blog and have a look-see?


~ Paardje ๐Ÿ’‹โ€