Create Happy, Sane At Home Mom

July 4: Music & (Crazy-)Dance

I remember before the birth of my baby I used to have the music blaring really loud around the house. The first house we were given at the time was huge, with many spacious rooms & large common areas. I’d be all alone on weekdays but it never bothered me because music from my favorite radio station would be playing & reverberating in all that space.

I’d be dancing like nobody was watching (because nobody was!) or I’d lipsync or do a spontaneous aerobic choreography. I’d laugh myself silly sometimes.

On most days that was how I’d combat extreme homesickness and severe ennui.

Fast forward to today (we’re in a different house now, sadly) and I actually forgot about my love for upbeat music up until a couple of months ago. I realized I could still play it loud around the house even with the baby, I just needed to use headphones! (How smart am I? Yup. Genius!πŸ˜‚)

Since then, at least for several days a week & whenever the baby’s asleep, I make sure I lose myself in a fantasy world filled with upbeat music (where I dance like Kimberly Wyatt) for a few minutes. My body is stiff and heavy from the lack of exercise but I do what I can πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

For today’s mini-assignment, after crazy-dancing myself breathless, I updated my playlist to include Trap music, music for walking & for working out. I love it!

❀

Next mini-assignment: plan a weekend to look forward to.

❀

 

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Home & Heart, Potpourri

July 3: Goals

It is said countless times that what separates successful people from all the rest is that successful people have goals written down.

Allez, let us therefor join the ranks of the successful and write down our goals for July, shall we? πŸ™‚

Mine are:

Blog 6 days a week – do mini-assignments everyday

I want to blog again so I’ve given myself a ‘challenge’ to do one small ordinary act with intention everyday, and to blog about it.

I am an expat SAHM who is less-than-happy with my environment. I have found it really difficult to take root in this foreign country despite having lived here for 4 straight years already. Because there is nothing outside the house that I find worth going out for, nothing interesting ever goes on in this city, plus I have a 1-year old, I very rarely go out of the house which, definitely does not contribute to my happiness.

I have since learned that I need to exert more effort than usual not to fall into depression. Blogging gave me an outlet forΒ  my thoughts. It was like I had friends to talk to, and every time a “stranger” (yes, I’m looking at YOU dear) would care to comment, I would feelΒ heard.

So I am coming back to “friends” because I need all the friends I can get, real & virtual πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Be consistent with my exercise routine

After giving birth in October of 2017, I was only able to get some momentum going on any type of exercise last May (2019). Pre-childbirth I used to LOVE exercise and HIIT-type routines were my jam, jelly and butter combined with dance fitness & strength training.

That is why it came as a total shock and huge downer for me to observe that my body, 1 year post-natal, stillΒ loathedΒ exercise! I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything, not even a beginner 10-minute mat-Pilates routine. Heck, I couldn’t even do aΒ walk-in-place!

I tried several times and each time I would fail. Last May, after reading so many self-help books & listening to motivational podcasts, I finally got myself to walk around the block 2 evenings a week. Fortunately, the experience was enjoyable so since then I have been able to do it 3 times a week and at a much faster pace. (Yaaaaaay!!!)

Inspired by this success, by the end of last month I also started adding in some strength training routines into the mix, but only for 3 times a week.Β  I am taking itΒ veeery slowΒ because whenever I do a strength training routine, no matter how short & light, my body feels like it’s been hit by a ton of bricks for 5-6 days after! SoΒ I only do body-weight, mostly Pilates, and for max 30 minutes at a time only.

Painstakingly slow based on my previous standards, but you gotta work with your body and respect its own drum beat.

That said, I am hopeful that this schedule & intensity will work this time, and my goal therefor is to be consistent with it.

❀

Which brings me to today’s mini-assignment: listen to music & crazy-dance πŸ™‚

❀

 

Staying Sane

Go Outside

I remember having listened to a health podcast last Friday where a well-renowned MD was sharing a story about how he almost lost his young son due to Vit D deficiency. And since Vit D is something you get from sunlight, it immediately reminded me of one of the pillars of keeping sane while being a SAHM – go outside.

Fortunately for me, there’s a temporarily re-purposed (still vacant for many years now) residential area within walking distance from where we live which I’ve taken to calling “the oval”. This was our destination last Friday.

So off I take the girls for what we expected to be a pleasant & relaxing afternoon stroll.

Unfortunately, the walk to the oval was anything but pleasant & relaxing. It was basically an obstacle course 😱

back
Yes, I went back just to snap this picture of a beautiful work of art 😀😀 The dried palm frond does unmistakably call to mind the letter “L” for the loser who did all this 🀬
obstacles
You do see there is ample space for the garbage along the sides of the footpath, don’t you?
obstacle 1
Then why place all the garbage ON the footpath? Whyyyyy??? πŸ˜–

All this navigating around trash was annoying, not to mention really tiring with a stroller, and I was truly irked at the lack of common sense by whoever did this.

But we somehow made it.

the oval
Aaaaah, finally!

But we were SO tired that we needed to rest.

a space to rest
Never mind the itchy, dry grass, I was tired 😫
riri and mom
Riri and mom ❀️

All was right again in paradise until 2 rowdy boys decided to kick around a ball in the same space we were in 🀯🀯🀯 I kept looking at them in the hopes they’d get the message – I’m with a baby for goodness’ sakes! – but noooo, they remained oblivious to me and my eldest’ worried glances. It reminded me of author Elizabeth Pisani’s comment in her historical fiction about Indonesia that Indonesian children are misbehaved. Well, I certainly wasn’t going to put up an argument considering what was just happening 😀😀

My thoughts were escalating from upset to murderous so we decided to hit the asphalt and try to get a decent walk out of it before we went through the obstacle course again on our way home.

cotton candy cloud
Cotton candy on the horizon.

Holy sh*t, I was tired, sore and miffed upon arriving home. I am so out of shape that the walk and all that navigating around obstacles with a stroller really made my abdominal muscles sore. I might have gotten us some Vit D but I sure need to do something about my lack of fitness!

Okay, I had good intentions and, at least I tried. For the sake of sanity πŸ˜‰

Share Your World

Share Your World – November 27, 2017

source

Hola! πŸ™Œ

It’s the weekly SYW again which is always fun and a great reason to stay blogging ❀️ You can join anytime by goingΒ πŸ‘‰ here.

Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

Oh definitely a craft studio 😍 How wonderful to walk into an entire room and be greeted with things that represent and inspire your creative side. I mean, merely walking into the space would probably be enough to lift your mood, you don’t even have to create. Over here would be my knitting and crochet corner, over there would be my aromatherapy stuff (I’d make it look medieval because it’s kinda like mixing magic potions & such 😁).Β  And there’d be my potted plants strategically positioned here and there …

Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance for showers, etc.)

I’m partly cloudy but sunshine is breaking through.Β  I want to be completely sunny, but I’m sleep-deprived and flabby, so … Just keepin’ it real πŸ™„ Oh and there’s definitely a chance for showers because I also feel weepy, they call it post-partum blues and it just sneaks up on me out of nowhere 😭

If you could witness or physically attend any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Image result for funny baby memes

Hmmm .. I’m stumped on this one πŸ€” Sorry but right now all I can think of is a date in the (hopefully) near future when everyone is sleeping beautifully through the night and I no longer look like a cloud 😁

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Β Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.Β 

I’ve been feeling down about my shape recently. When the husband takes pictures of the baby I always want to be out of it because I look so … round 😟 I mean, I expected this of course but I’m like, dear God, will I ever get my former glory back? And when?

On the local E! channel, I saw a snippet of an interview with an Asian celebrity/model. She was talking about her life and stuff but I wasn’t really paying attention because I was noticing instead that she still looked flabby in spite of giving birth about 2 years ago. She was wearing a lot of make-up to contour her face to look slimmer, she was still very beautiful, but her face was undoubtedly plump. She wore black and hid her arms with strategically placed jackets, and throughout the interview there wasn’t a full shot of her, it was always just from the waist up.

And seeing her that way, knowing that she gave birth about 2 years ago already, put me in a better mood. I mean, she’s practically living in the spotlight and she’s still carrying excess lbs. So why be so hard on myself?

I felt so good I gobbled up 2 McDonald’s apple pies immediately, in one sitting! 🀣

😬 😬😬

I need a plan!

~ oOo ~

~ oOo ~

Fitness & Vanities

It’s Never Too Early πŸŒž

790d6893d4c2da333e28ba913c65e0a3.jpgHello all! Happy Monday! 🌞🌞

What one good thing will you do/start today?

For me the answer is: delving into a topic of interest!

One of the perks of being a SAHM is the wonderful opportunity to indulge in the pursuit of knowledge πŸ’– And if you have internet connection, you have absolutely NO excuse to remain intellectually stagnant! πŸ™ƒ

One of my areas of interest is ageing well and, although I’m still a long way off from being physically old, I believe it’s never too early to start establishing some solid habits that will help one age sexily πŸ˜‰

So the other week I received information about a free online course on Strategies For Successful Ageing.Β  It is a 5-week course given by the Trinity College Dublin and is but one of the many free online courses facilitated by Futurelearn.

Here’s an overview of the 5-week course:

  • Week 1: Being Older In this first week, we look at how perceptions of ageing can influence ageing, and explore our own understanding of what β€˜old’ is.
  • Week 2: Being Well In the second week, we investigate strategies for improving mental health, including depression, anxiety and brain ageing. We also discuss what β€˜quality of life’ means, and delve into other key areas for successful ageing including intimacy, how to talk to your doctor, and family solidarity.
  • Week 3: Being Healthy In the third week of our course, we will give strategies for better nutrition, increasing physical fitness through exercise, and improving your brain health.
  • Week 4: Being Engaged The fourth week of the course looks at another important area for successful ageing: social engagement and participation. You will have a chance to perform a life audit and learn strategies for how to plan for the future.
  • Week 5: Being Creative In the final week of the course, we will explore creative ageing, what this means, and why it is important. We will showcase individual creativity and provide you with tips to explore your own creativity.

Fascinating isn’t it? πŸ˜€ And you can be sure I immediately signed up!

I just finished week one (which is mostly introductory) and am excited to move into week 2. The course is self-paced so you can breeze through it as fast as you want or take all the time you need, the 5 week time frame is just a recommendation.

Aside from expanding my horizons, I’m definitely looking forward to learning a few practical tips on ageing well after taking this course.

I’ll keep you posted and, you keep me accountable, ok? πŸ˜‰

Fitness & Vanities

New House New Strategy

front-doorNothing like a new environment to upset the old and bring in the new! πŸ˜ƒ I’m talking about my diet-n-fitness regime here which went through some sort of upheaval last week when I decided to do intermittent fasting, quitting ALL sugar and carbs cold turkey and … hoping that the seas would part for me as it did for Moses 😡😁

Oh and, I also tried butter in my [black] coffee 😬😬😬

Now I’ve NEVER even tried black coffee before. My coffee has always had cream and enough sugar to take most of the bitterness out. But nope, I had to be the madwoman that I (sometimes) am and do everything at the same time! Including buttered coffee o_O

So OF COURSE I had almost zero energy and couldn’t even make it halfway through a Fitness Marshall dance video without feeling totally deflated 😩

(I think the absence of my bats, rats and roaches has gone to my coconut! πŸ™ƒ)

Fortunately I’ve since gathered my marbles 😁 and decided to just focus on ONE thing this week and up until that ONE thing becomes second nature. I’ve decided to focus on intermittent fasting (IF), which for me is until 11AM (the equiv of a 16h fast).

Since this week is already my second week of IF, the struggle is a bit less and black coffee (sans the butter, thank you!) is optional. I just make sure to drink plenty of water and keep myself mentally engaged.

I’m still doing my workouts but I’ve scaled down the intensity and make sure to just do about 30 mins per day.

Why am I doing this, you ask? Good question! 😁

As the title of this blog implies I’m also a vain creature. My vanity is mostly expressed through weight management, looking good in my birthday suit and enhancing the natural. (Nurturing great skin as opposed to wearing lots of make-up, for example).

IF falls into the weight management category obviously. Not that I need to lose weight – although there’s always those pesky last 5 pounds πŸ˜’πŸ˜’ Just that anything that I think will simplify weight management for me is worth the exploration.

And there you have it, my little adventure of the week (or maybe month).

Have any of you guys tried IF (intermittent fasting)? What is/has been your experience of it?

Fitness & Vanities

Lessons From A Breather

sunset

Howdy y’all! πŸ˜‰

I’m fresh back from a well-appreciated, 1 1/2 week holiday – which effectively gave me a break from everything πŸ˜€ I love it when this happens because I always come back with a handful of mini resolutions or mini challenges for better living πŸ‘πŸ» Like …

… increasing fiber intake:

Most often while on a holiday I allow myself to completely slack off on any fitness & nutrition guidelines I have set for myself. I’m not active & I eat everything I want.

I then get bloated and constipated and then become hyper-critical about my “self-consciously gigantic” midsection each time I catch a glimpse of it on any type of reflective surface. 😢 😢 (Come now, don’t tell me you haven’t done this yourself! 😊 😊)

Instead of countering this with mad eye-make up skills to bring everyone’s (imagined) focus up instead of on my midsection, of course all that’s really required (once I stop the exaggerated reaction) is to be mindful of my fiber and water intake.

Challenge #1: add more fiber to my life (interpret in more ways than one πŸ˜‰)

~

As usual, I buy a couple of books from an airport bookstore because, although I have a Kindle, nothing beats the high of burying my nose amongst the pages of an actual, physical book. (Yes, I don’t read it I just smell it!πŸ˜†Β πŸ˜†). One of these books had this reminder/challenge #2 for me:

Increase movement throughout the day.

Also to be read as: beware sitting on your bum for long, uninterrupted stretches of time. (Calling out all fellow yarnies! πŸ˜†)

Because apparently, doing so significantly decreases our lifetime. In fact, uninterrupted bum time is more lethal than an addiction to smoking. Think about that! o_O

~

coconut-1125_960_720

Coconut Oil-Will-Save-the-World

My mom is 69 years old. The last time I saw her was during the Christmas holidays, on this visit however, I was amazed. Her face was brighter, even toned with a hint of pinkish glow, and somehow less wrinkly (if that is at all possible) πŸ’

She truthfully looked younger than last I saw her, we all noticed! When I complimented her on it, she said she started using extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) on her face upon advise from her sister.

I also had coffee with a good friend who, as it happens, carries a vial of EVCO in her bag wherever she goes. She poured a tablespoon of the liquid into her coffee without batting an eyelash and, at my surprise, rattled off the billion and one uses for EVCO, and credits it for her beautiful & abundant mane and flawless complexion.

Conclusion: the coconut universe is conspiring for me! πŸ˜„ πŸ˜„ I’m reading up on the billion and one usages for EVCO right now and …

Challenge #3: … will use it to replace my 4-step nightly face cleansing ritual.

I want to see if it will work for me too πŸ˜€ I’ll let you know how it goes after a month or so.

~

And that is all for now. (Yay!)

How about you, any healthy resolutions you’ve taken up recently? Let me know! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€