Blogging

Expanding Horizons

What one new thing (or two) are you excited to learn or explore in 2019? πŸ™‚ (We gotta keep levelling up, right?)

Howdy amazing folks! We are moving into the final month of the current year which … likely means that you’re giving a think about the year ahead, right? πŸ˜‰ And if you haven’t yet then I would love it if you used this prompt to do so πŸ˜€

So that up there is Question #4. Give it some thought and share your answer/s below so we can inspire each other with awesome ideas & positive intentions πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ And don’t worry if it’s not final yet, we’re all entitled to brainstorm! πŸ˜€

~ My answers:

  1. Β crochet earrings
  2. crochet with beads
  3. creating “floor doilies” with t-shirt yarn
  4. crocheting owls
  5. macrame
  6. sewing – if my 1 year old will allow it

Okay that’s 6 instead of just one πŸ˜‚ but, except for #6, they’re all related so I think I can squeeze them all in in 2019.

What are your answers? πŸ˜€

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Staying Sane

Q&A Friday πŸ˜€

 

It’s been a while since I’ve had some sort of Q&A fun on this blog and I miss it. I always have fun answering those simple, get-to-know-yourself questions or self-reflection prompts and I bet many of you do too.

Hmmm, might even make it a regular Friday feature. (Or every other Friday? πŸ€”) Well at the very least this I know for sure, there are 8 Fridays remaining of 2018 (including today) and we can do 8 questions, right? Let’s do that!

So lemme start with this week’s prompt — join me in the comments section, ok? πŸ˜€

Have you done anything [a bit] out of character lately? What was it and why.

My answer to this is a “yes”. And it was sharing my goals for next year with my friends. Why? Because I realized I needed “cheerleaders”.

~ oOo ~

I recently opened an Instagram account because I’m intending to sell my crochet/knitting next year. There are already a few posts of my creations on there and, of course, none of me [because it’s pure business]. I wasn’t planning on telling my friends about it because I’m afraid of what they might think (silly, right? 🀭). But when we had a group chat earlier this week I went ahead and announced it, even asked them to like every post and follow me 😁

Originally I thought I could just tell casual acquaintances about my IG and let it grow organically, and then (maybe) tell my friends about it much later. I’ve always been like this. I don’t mean to be secretive, just that I don’t want attention at the start of something, when everything is “iffy”.

But lately I had a thought where I realized perhaps thinking this way is unfair. Perhaps in doing so I was instead cheating myself out of “cheerleaders”. And perhaps what I needed to think was that if any of them should think negatively, for me to not let it deter me.

I then thought back to times in my life when I had done something without talking to friends about it, and I realized a few wrong moves could have been avoided had I just done so.

To be totally honest with you, there was a full minute-and-a-half of internal struggle going on in my head before I finally told my friends about my IG. And right after that I went “whatdidIdowhatdidIdowhatdidIdooooo???“.Β  But now, I’m relaxed and feeling emboldened. Like, okay, now to give them a grrrrreat show! 😎

~ oOo ~

And that’s me. How about you? Fire up my comments section right away! πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ I’ll be waiting πŸ™‚

Books

November Read: One Small Step Can Change Your Life

KaizenOne of the perks of being a Kindle owner is being able to download free ebooks. (I think this is where Amazon puts new and aspiring authors to test the waters, you know, before they charge for their book … But I’m just taking a wild guess here 😁).Β 

Anyhow, I’ve downloaded quite a few free ebooks in the past and find that most of them should [perhaps] just remain free. I don’t say this to be mean, I know writing takes a lot of work but, there’s something to be said for quality and talent (or real good editors & proofreaders). I just think that quality and talent deserve distinction, price be one of them.

I digress because I can’t imagine this book, authored by Clinical Psychologist Robert Maurer, would stay free for very long*. It is well-written and well-organized. I wasn’t distracted by errors in grammar and composition (which I sadly often find even in books that aren’t free), and the thought process represented by the chapters flows logically and smoothly.

But good grammar and composition is definitely not all this book has to offer. The content itself, while not something novel or ground-breaking, is gold.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Tao Te Ching

Kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement, is very familiar in the field of work.Β  Kaizen advocates using very small steps to improve a habit, a process or product using very small moments to inspire new products and inventions. Because it is so identified with efficiency at work, it just totally escaped me that Kaizen could also be applied to your personal and daily life.Β  (Yes, I’m looking at you flabby, post-baby body! 😠).

“Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.” ~ Tao Te Ching

Chances are, there’s something in your life that you want to change or improve but have been dithering on.Β  According to the author:Β  “All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear.Β  But the small steps of kaizen disarm the brain’s fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play.”

The key idea here is how fear (of change/improvement) can be conquered by something small. The book helps the reader explore how small can be very potent through chapters on asking small questions, thinking small thoughts, taking small actions, solving small problems, bestowing small rewards, and identifying small moments.

Even problems such as pessimism can be subdued by the question: What is one thing about me (or my spouse, or my place of work) that is special?

The book ends with the chapter “Kaizen for Life”Β  and encourages the reader to hold on to the essence of Kaizen, which is an optimistic belief in our potential for continuous improvement.

Like earlier mentioned this book was an easy yet stimulating read. I love books that give pragmatic and sound advice, more so this one where the recommendations do not involve drastic actions or shelling out money. I highly recommend this πŸ™‚

In ending I’d like to share with you one of the phrases that I highlighted and which is, I think, my favorite in the entire book:

If you spend a minute or two each day writing a kind note to tuck into a loved one’s briefcase or a child’s lunchbox, you may save yourself the headache that comesΒ  when relationships grow cool from a lack of nurturance and daily care”.

Now excuse me, I gotta go give my eldest a hug πŸ™‚

 

‘* as of this blogpost, the Kindle edition is now priced at $7.23 … aww, drats! 😢

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:

HumanBody
flaviliciousfitness.com
  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

Fitness & Vanities

September’s Fitness Goals Review

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My last fitness update talked about being motivated to move with a lot of exercise options being considered. It all felt like one huge flurry of activity last month. But by now the dust has settled and a rhythm is emerging.

Movement Goals:

1. Group fitness classes –

I’m really not a big believer in steady-state cardio, preferring short bouts of HIIT and strength training instead. However, exercising on your own is just no fun, I’ll admit to that πŸ™‚

My group fitness classes get me out of the house, remind me to take care of my appearance (yes, this tends to be neglected when you become sorta hermit-ish), and is a means to socialize. So for this alone, it’s still a go, 3 times a week.

2. Fitness Blender Program –

I noticed I was skipping those workouts that were nearly an hour or more long, so I’ve since switched to a program geared for busy people with workouts that stay within the 30~40 min range.

3. 14-day power yoga class –

Went down the drain. I couldn’t access the online classes – thankfully, they’re free – and the perfectionist me just felt it was no use pursuing another program mid-month o_O

4. Walking and swimming –

I wasn’t able to do as much because of this annoying and dangerous haze that’s already lasted for perhaps 3 weeks or so. I don’t know what’s being done about it but an otherwise sunny late afternoon can look like this:

haze

So I haven’t been enjoying my walks as frequently as I would’ve wanted to. I hope it clears up soon! πŸ˜₯
Diet Goals:

1. Plan for next day’s meals the day/night before.

I’m right on top of this especially where it matters most – on weekdays. I prep a lot of stuff the night before so I can just heat up a good meal after coming home from the gym. Whenever I have had a decent breakfast, my cravings throughout the day are almost completely arrested.

I think this one’s in the bag! πŸ™‚

2. Intermittent fasting. (6pm to 8am).

The 6pm cut-off is still a challenge.

Dinnertime is busy, as you can imagine, and it’s even more so if it’s also the ideal time to go for a walk o_O I’m still experimenting with earlier cooking times and mayhaps will have to move the cut-off to 6:30pm altogether. This is still a work in progress.

Breakfasts no earlier than 8am.

I’ve got this one. The only time I fail is when I forget! And this has happened only once in the past 2 weeks πŸ™‚

tw70wmht

So to wrap up, I’m still gonna focus on these same goals for October. My energy and appetite should even out as well and, here’s to coming out stronger and fitter on the other side πŸ˜‰

Fitness & Vanities

Monster Appetite and Lethargy: The Downsides of Exercising?

sleepy dog
Happy Monday peeps! I hope everyone’s off to a strong and positive start πŸ™‚

Now let’s see … where do I start giving updates on my ‘motivated to move’ initiative for September? It’s difficult to think when you’re feeling lethargic o_O

Quick Progress Report:

The combination of exercise type variety and group class obligation has served me well the past week. I’ve been able to stick to my goal of doing two exercise types on most days by being mindful of combining high impact with medium to low impact workouts.

Pitfalls:

1. Exercising in the mornings makes me feel lethargic throughout the rest of the day.I don’t know if my body will adjust in due time, but for now, I need my coffee and noontime siesta. Badly!
2. Meal schedule has been thrown out of whack. Because of my group fitness classes, I now eat brunch and then a heavy snack mid-afternoon. And if I’m not careful, a very late dinner too!
3. My appetite has definitely increased. I half-expected this to happen though, what with the sudden increase in activity o_O
4. I munch the whole time. I alternate between craving sweets to salty food. I think this has much to do with the lethargy I feel the rest of the day.
5. There’s much less time for crochet πŸ˜₯

So what’s the plan?

Moving for fitness is all well and good but if I am not mindful of what and how I eat, I am basically just shooting myself in the foot.

I am therefore going to focus on 2 things diet related this week:

❗ Prepare enough food the evenings prior so I can eat better (albeit warmed up food) the following day.

Leaving for the gym at 7:30 AM does not leave me enough time to prepare my own food. As well, I am usually too tired and hungry after a workout to even think of cooking. The result is that I reach for readily available junk food – refined carbs and heavily creamed/sugared coffee mostly – to fill my tank. This has to STOP! because it is only temporary relief from hunger and does not do me any favors, energy and weight -wise.

❗ 14 hours intermittent fasting.

This means no food after 6pm, and no food before 8am. This is just really disciplining myself to eat dinner earlier to facilitate better sleep, and so I can train my stomach to crave breakfast at around the same time each day.

 
And now comes the hard part – consistent application. Wish me luck you guys! πŸ™‚