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 🙂 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 🙂

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? 🙂


Volunteer Vacations and Scary BHAG’s, Can You Relate?


I just chanced upon this site and was reminded once more of my long held intrigue for volunteer vacations.  This morning, excitement stirred up once again, I texted the link to a friend.  Her lukewarm response:  “Nice!  I’ll show this to a friend”, and then a while later, “I’ll give this to my bro”.

I replied – “Wait, let’s think about it.  Let’s actually give it some thought”.

And for good measure I later on added:  “Remember what they say – if it is to be, it is up to me”.

Have you ever felt excitement for something but somehow just filed whatever that was away in your mental “maybe later” bucket list without much thought?

Well for me, this is one of those.  And I understand why.  It’s a BHAG. It’s scary.  It’s overwhelming.

But today for some reason I dared scrutinize it. I replied to my friend: “I understand why we’ve been brushing it off despite fawning over the idea.  It’s too big.  So we must slice it down into bite sized pieces.  Let’s do something in Thailand for instance (since it’s near where I am), for perhaps just a week, or 2.  Let’s just pick something manageable and see what happens from there”.

And that gave us hope 🙂 In the grander scheme of volunteer vacationing, it might just be a speck.  We might even find out that the baby step is not feasible at the moment. But it’s a start.

What’s your BHAG?  Look it in the eye and chop it down.


Practical Mind Tools: Create Box

This is such a great idea – putting your goals in a box 🙂 I’m sure most of us have tried listing goals down or creating vision boards but how about putting them in a beautiful box instead? Can you imagine what a nice feeling there is to be experienced each time you open up the box to dream some more about your goals? It’s like opening a Christmas present! I am so trying this! ❤

Please view and comment on the original here.

~ Paardje 💋

Law of Attraction - The experiment

I am a great believer in writing down your goals, whether they are career related or personal goals. By putting it in writing or representing it in other visual formats will help to clarify what you want in life and ultimately help you to achieve your goals. One of the tools I have used in recent years is a goal ‘Create Box’; a box which contains all my goals and visions for the future. I also have a gratitude stone in my box as part of my goal attainment and training my mind to practice gratitude.

So what is a create box? It’s a technique that I picked up from Susie Pearl’s ‘Instructions for Happiness and success’ book and it is a very simple idea; a bit like having a vision board in a box! Get a nice looking box (a gift box, small storage box etc.) and put your…

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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.  Any suggestions?

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

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

For February I ~

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

⭐ Successfully established a morning routine that I am quite happy with.  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.

⭐ 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 🙂 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.  But this is a win fo sho!

⭐ Blogged every weekday of February. (And I give myself bonus points for posting on weekends) 😀

When I set out to blog I didn’t really plan on posting every day.  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.  But I set it as a challenge for February nevertheless.  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:

⭐ A nomination for Versatile Blogger Award on the 4th

⭐ I made my 100th post on the 24th  🙂

~~~~ THANK YOU to all who visit this blog and leave footprints and especially those who give the extra ❤ by following this blog.  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 🙂

⭐ 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.

⭐ Exercised 19 times this month (goal is 20).  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.  Or, maybe I will but only on those months where sticking to a routine is almost impossible like, December.

⭐ Started the following projects –

30 day yoga with Erin Motz

Understanding the Origins of Crime (online course)


I also tried but failed to:

🙄 Meditate. Something about meditating just keeps eluding me 😦 I also had this to contend with that made it all the more difficult.

🙄 Establish an evening routine.


 ~~ O ~~

And there you have it, my stars for February.  Now it’s your turn!  🙂 Share! Share!

~ Paardje 💋

Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

The Wrap-Up: January

lovey dovey

The 1st month of 2015 is over too soon and I’m reminded of something I’ve always wanted to do – but never gotten around to doing, until now – which is to mark the passage of time with lists of accomplishments. Whether they be big or small, a hi-light or even a low-light, I think that the habit of looking back on your rockstar moments can be quite a rewarding and eye-opening experience.

January has always been tricky because the 1st week is still so festive and everybody’s still high on the New Year’s spirit. Things only return to normalcy for me by the 3rd week, and usually by then, I don’t feel like starting any new undertaking because I feel that 2 weeks isn’t enough time to do anything substantial. (Excuses, I know!) :-/

Still, I managed to rake up a few stars under my belt:

² I’ve gotten interested in yoga. I’ve always wanted to be more flexible but my infatuation with the wheel pose is what really cinched the deal for me 🙂 I’ve now added beginner yoga routines to my morning exercises, and regardless of whether or not I eventually get to do the wheel pose, I am already enjoying all that stretching I’m doing.

² I learned that I have hooded eyes. I’ve always just been a lipstick and eye-liner + mascara type, but then for some reason I cannot recall, I became infatuated with eye make-up. I haven’t made the investment in make-up and brushes yet and I’m still on the fence with this one since I’m already happy with my liner & mascara. But if ever I do decide to move forward with this, the process is now a lot less confusing!

² I cooked a bit. I don’t know what they were but I prepared 2 new beef recipes this month. Cooking is a big deal for me because I think I hate it. For me it just seems like such a huge production number for so little returns – they like it, then there’s nothing left to show for all your effort, or they hate it and your confidence and self-esteem is crushed.

Till present, I’ve cunningly avoided the whole deal by hiring a housekeeper/cook. But now that I’ve chosen to embark on an exciting domestic adventure, I have to face this dragon and slay it. Thankfully the housekeeper/cook’s contract will expire by April yet, so I have the luxury of vacillating – I run away from it, then I come back when I’m feeling strong again. Repeat and rinse. Lol!

² I read 3 books: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Matilda Bone (fiction) and The Housewife Blues (fiction).

² I started playing around with photo editing and the results are used to pimp up this blog.

² I found my exercise groove back. I’ll blog about this separately.

² And speaking of exercising, I managed to exercise 14 times in January 🙂 Not bad considering I started back on January 14th yet after pigging out over the holidays. It was tough getting back on the train because the first few times I’d wake up feeling run over by a bus. Thankfully, it got much better by the next week.

² I also cleaned out/organized my closet. I felt so much better after purging out about 2/3rds of it,  and got a much better grip on my personal style.

~~ O ~~

That said, I’m excited to see what fabulous things February has in store for me! 🙂

How about you? What are your stars for January?  Are you looking forward to some goals in February?


Reverse the Bucket List, Find Out What You Really Want

In the flurry of looking forward to accomplishing novel things in 2015, this reminded me to stop and appreciate the blessings of 2014 too. I think you’ll like this post a lot, just like I do.

Yoga with Morgan Webert

imagesWe’ve turned the corner on yet another year and based many of the conversations I’ve had it sounds like 2014 was a big one for a lot of you. Let’s just stop an appreciate that!

If you’re like me and get super stoked on new visions, ideas and plans, it’s easy to race into the next thing full speed ahead, heels on fire with the feelings of possibility and hope. But if we race past our chance to digest the experiences we’ve had, we can miss the whole point of racing toward them in the first place.

At a conference I went to recently I was introduced to the idea of a reverse bucket list as a way to practice greater contentment, happiness and gratitude. I love the idea!

Basically, instead of making a bucket full of things you want to accomplish, you create a bucket list of things you’ve…

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Need Help With Your New Year’s Resolutions?

woman beach prayer meditation resolutionsNo doubt about it, it’s time to think about our resolutions for the upcoming year 🙂

Have you identified yours already?  I know it’s not that easy sometimes but, fear not, I found ourselves a nifty New Year’s Resolution generator!

It’s for 2013 actually but the purpose transcends time I think so, go ahead and give it a spin.  The ideas are pretty awesome 🙂

New Year’s Resolution Generator