The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Providence Moved Already!

Hello sexy wordpressers! πŸ’—Β Rise and sparkle/smoulder! πŸ”…

I feel awesome this morning because I just finished a 30-minute HIIT and lower body strength combo workout and … it’s only 8AM πŸ˜€

So as I’m enjoying my morning cuppa, I am reflecting on the amazing fact that I am doing HIIT + strength workouts. It wasn’t too long ago when I truly thought I wouldn’t be able to do them again because … well because post baby I really had a hard time getting back into the workout zone. I tried several times, each time starting slow and having had to adjust my pace even lower … I tell you even a 20-min lower body Pilates workout would leave me sore for days. Pilates! 😭  (And my baby turns 2 this month 🀨).

β€œUntil one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

But now let’s talk about this post’s title because it really is amazing what happens when you articulate your goals. Here’s the backstoryΒ in case you guys are interested.

So after the said post/backstory I sat my lazy arse down and proceeded to crochet, unconsciously adopting the mindset that I was gonna start working on my goals in January (because I’m a perfectionist and I’m fond of clean starts).

But then I thought … but it’s only September! πŸ€”Β Why waste all that precious time? What can I do NOW to make sure I hit the ground running in January. (Because we all know there’s usually a lot of hemming and hawing at the start of something 😴).

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

Soooo …

Goal #4 is to find an outside interest that I could do regularly at least once a week. Preferably with a good chance of socializing.

Well, 2 Sundays ago I [finally] found a good Christian church that we can attend every Sunday. They even have Bible study classes for kids in all ages πŸ˜€Β Score!!!!

Goal #3Β has something to do with my crochet & knitting hobby. It’s been a goal for almost a year now and I knew “something” was preventing me from moving forward.

Well, I finally understood what was standing in the way and it’s not what you think! πŸ€—Β But it’s a long story and it’s about my chosen artforms so I’ve decided to talk about it in a separate post.

And as for goal #1? Well, I seriously & excitedly believe that my (sudden comeback) ability to do higher intensity cardio & strength training will help me achieve this in time. Maybe I’ll talk about this in another post too because getting to this place has been a real journey that I struggled both physically and mentally with.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”

In any case sexy people, my message to you is this: start now. Don’t wait for January (but you can wait until Monday because I believe Mondays are perfect for starting something 😁 😁).

The start of something can be slow, filled with additional challenges & roadblocks that are usually unexpected and can undermine your efforts. I’m beginning to think it’s good to start something at the tail-end of the current year if you want to see real results by the following year. I don’t know 😏 maybe that’s just me πŸ€ͺ.Β  But sometimes we start something in January expecting to see results in March and are frustrated that we didn’t meet our deadline. I think it’s because starts can be messy and you just have to account for it depending on your goal.

~~ oOo ~~

So okay, I’ve blabbed enough for today.

Thank you for visiting and reading and you can always give me warm fussy feelings by sharing your thoughts below πŸ‘‡

Have a sexy one! πŸ’‹

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Monthly Reviews & Blog Updates

Lessons from 2017

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A friend from home recently told me she was feeling depressed. She was doing an end-of-year review and was feeling morose about the year that wasΒ πŸ˜• Which got me thinking about my own experience of 2017 ~~ hmmm, certainly not bad and definitely with a big bang 😁❀️

The good thing about having a blog is that it makes a year-end review quite easy. Even if you didn’t blog everything, the posts will be enough to jog your memory. So here are my take-aways from 2017 (in no particular order):

1.Β  Man plans, God laughs.

2.Β  Create happiness within your own 4 walls.

This applies to everyone but is especially true for expat SAHMs.

3.Β  Happy people are good people. Good people are not always happy.

4.Β  Community (really) matters.

And I’m talking about the village of support you create for yourself in the shape of friends, neighbors, your go-to hairstylist, even your favorite book store. Let’s just say this is one thing I didn’t know I missed until it was gone. Unfortunately, I still have to find a way to fix this (if there is one!).

5.Β  Never under-estimate the power of retail therapy on not-so-busy weeknights (or wherever the malls are open till 9 or 10 PM).

Much lesser people makes the whole process unhurried and, actually pleasant.

6.Β  Schedule a real change of scenery from time to time. (As in, anywhere but on this island)

Short reason: so that problems don’t seem larger than they are.

Long reason: otherwise idyllic, the sleepy atmosphere of this place (that permeates everything) can drive me nuts at times 😏

7. Dress and make yourself up for the day, even when you’re just staying home.

This includes taking a shower before 10AM otherwise, good luck with the humidity! πŸ˜„

8. Let the breadwinner earn bread the way he wants.

Everyone is just happier that way.

9. Have fun marking the passage of time.

Set goals, take on projects, schedule stuff in your calendar to look forward to, and then blog about it.

99.9% effective against the doldrums 😁

10. Break it down into bite-sized chunks.

Absolutely golden advice.

11.Β  Never run out of Re-Mag & Re-Myte supplements.

I didn’t blog about this but this has to have a spot on this list because the difference it makes is just too obvious to ignore. I have more energy, I sleep better, I am in a pleasant mood, I have better cognitive function, I even have more breast milk. When I was pregnant, I would experience those pregnancy-related swollen feet & ankles whenever I did not take these supplements.

12. Everything looks better arranged on a tray.Β 

(I absolutely love this one!)Β  I mean, seriously! Just give it a try! πŸ‘πŸ‘

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What about you? What are some of the lessons you learned in 2017? Let me know in the comments section, bet I can learn from you too πŸ˜ƒ ❀️

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

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:

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  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™‚

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fitbodybuzz.com

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

Share Your World

Share Your World 2016 #14

nutella mania

If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?

With your answers, please remember we are in the SYW world and which may not always match our reality. –> So my first answer would be hired help for all 3 πŸ™‚

If I had to absolutely choose 1 it would be for yard work because ~

  • although I don’t like cleaning that much, it can be done a little at a time before it gets overwhelming.
  • as for cooking, before I quit the 9-5 I did hire help for cooking. Now however, I take pride in actually knowing how to cook and growing my culinary repertoire 😎
  • now for the yard .. what yard? XD XD

What makes you laugh the most?

It actually depends on my mood more than the subject. I can laugh at the most mundane of objects if my frame of mind is right (or not right, depends on how you look at it. LOL!)

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Nutella!

List at least five favorite flowers or plants.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE ALL flowers and plants. I was named after one of the goddesses of spring after all πŸ˜‰

Bonus question: Β What are you grateful for from last week ~

I am always super grateful for my husband who washes the dishes after dinner every weekday evening ❀ ❀ ❀

(On weekends, he avoids the chore by treating us all out to dinner) XD XD

~ and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?Β 

More dish-washing from my husband? LOL! XD

~ oOo ~

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Click on the badge to join the fun! πŸ™‚

~ oOo ~

Crochet

It’s a mushroom! It’s a bucket! It’s a skirt?! 😲 😲 πŸ˜²

“I don’t want a mushroom on my head!”, so cries my alarmed daughter when I asked her to try on the hat I was crocheting.

Months ago I bought a crochet book that also has projects you can test your newfound skills on. One of the projects is a slouchy hat which promised the following skill builders – an interesting cluster stitch to create both drape and style, make and shape simple crochet ribbing, shape for slouch, work hat from the bottom up and, finish the top of the hat by gathering the fabric.

I also have this strawberry colored acrylic yarn that I didn’t know what to do with because, although the color is lovely, I suspect it is low quality acrylic. It’s rough to the touch. I bought it some time ago in Singapore for several bats of my eyelashes and never worked with it because I was ambivalent about its scratchy feel.

So anyways, I combined the two (project and lo-qual yarn) and gave the slouchy hat a go.

Now go get a cuppa and enjoy a good chuckle over some photos πŸ˜€

crochet skirt
My husband actually thought I was making a skirt XD On hindsight, I wish I continued AND made it into a skirt instead XD
top view
The view from the top – the fabric is gathered at the top using a long foundation chain woven through the spaces.
crochet bucket
No, I WAS NOT going for the Strawberry Shortcake look!
crochet mushroom
She’s really not happy with it, the poor angel XD

For the life of me I just could not figure out how to balance drape and shape – I tried 4 times, adding/subtracting rows/shells. I just couldn’t get it right!

So now the yarn is even more ragged than ever. I might just have to throw the silly thing away for my peace of mind! 😲

Well at least my daughter liked the fingerless gloves I made for her ❀ These go with the hat I made for her a while back.

crochet fingerless mitts

Silver lining: I learned a new stitch, learned about ribbing, learned a little about decreasing and increasing, and am a bit smarter about yarn quality πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€