Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Update: 31 October 2012

Halloween: several years ago with my
lovely costume gals! I miss the gals! 

Happy Halloween to all!

I hope everyone is being/ has been safe, especially for the sake of your children!

I am not doing anything for Halloween this year. I don’t think we’re giving out treats this year either. It has just been one of the last things on my mind this time around.
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For those who may have been following me here for awhile, the last few weeks have been looking like my old, rare, and inconsistent blogging-self. I apologize. You know, life happens.

I have been having kinda major assignments due, it seems, constantly. Today, I feel like I have a little bit of a breather- my next thing to focus on is to be done by Monday but it’s an early preparation thing so I don’t have to stress over it.

My sleep pattern has gone awry. As it is, I have just been awoken from a deep sleep nap a little while ago and it is… 6:30 pm as I type this. So. Yes.

I think I’m stalled on my Healthy Go journey. I have some time now and I will be thinking about the next move/ step to take to push me past this stall. The next move will probably have to be to move more!

I will be taking another Facebook break in a few days; I will be deactivating soon after the upcoming elections. There have been questions about it because I’ve still been on since I made the announcement but it was so that I could let as many people as possible know that I will be deactivated for some time to come. The last time that I needed a break, it was one of those decisions I had to act upon as soon as I had decided and people became worried for me. So for my online friends especially, I thought I would give notice this time since I was able to.

The details (who what when where why) of this coming FB break, I will probably get more into explaining at a later date.

So, I am glad that you and I will still be able to connect through my site here!

Well, hopefully. I found out that a friend of mine has been leaving comments on here and they haven’t been showing up. I am looking into this. I don’t have a safe email to openly share with you here, yet, so I suppose if you are finding problems with posting comments also, try leaving a comment here on my Google profile page [Click].  If that still doesn’t work… please be patient while I try to figure something out? Thank you!

I don’t have comment approvals on at the moment. I have it open to anyone, even to Anonymous. I’m not sure what I have to do so thank you again for your patience.

No wonder I’ve been feeling lonely here every so often! :/ I’ve been seeing the visitor stats go up and not seeing any comments most of the time. I get so happy when I see a new comment!
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Hmmm……

I think that is all the updates that I have for the moment.

I hope you are well and safe and that we can stay connected during my coming Facebook break! If you’ve been having trouble making comments on my blog here as well, please let me know on Facebook soon, before my deactivation!

Thank you, and thank you for reading and………
TREEEEEEAT!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reflecting Returns

Sunrise: If I find this so beautiful, what will Heaven be like? Beyond imagination.


Hello friends!

It has been over a month since I have posted a Bible reflection. It’s not good to halt on a Bible reading; the Bible best serves the Christian when it is taken in daily doses. However, should halts happen, God has forgiven, and one gets back to it.

I think the last day I had read was August 27. I started back-reading the Sunday before yesterday, October 7th I think; it was sometime last week. I am already up through September 23rd’s readings- that was some chunks of reading.

I should be entirely caught up, again, in about a week and a half.

Let’s keep me to it.

I have read the Old Testament through Song of Solomon chapter 5 and the New Testament through Galatians chapter 3.
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[present day]
I started this post… last week I think? And then didn’t get around to posting it. I am feeling poorly today and so I thought I might catch up on this update while I take some time at home.

So… now I am caught up through the October 12th readings which were Isaiah 41, 42, and 1 Thessalonians 1. I should be entirely caught up by the end of the week or so, definitely by the end of the month.
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Again, it’s difficult to do a good and proper reflection on such a chunk of reading. I have visited so many gems in this past week.

I’ll share one with you today that gives me great courage at times. It comes from 2 Corinthians 4:8 & 9 (NKJV):

8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed---

You ought to hear Pastor Herb Lusk speak out these words, calling the congregation at Focus on the Family to have courage that our God is with us. I have a copy of this if you would like to hear it for yourself. It was aired on an episode called “One More Round.”

[Find a transcript of Pastor Lusk’s speech here]
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Someone might look at me or read this journal and wonder what I’m whining about when I get down on things. I have my family, a roof over my head, food to eat, etc. Even I annoy myself at times.

We all have struggles. Mine happens to be internal most of the time. It does make me stronger when others need strength, and compassionate when others hurt, because I’m so close to my own pain.

Whatever struggle I may go through, I would rather go through it with Jesus than to go through it on my own, because I can’t escape myself, and yet I am not crushed, I am not destroyed.

Sometimes I forget that.  And so I:

…do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
-2 Cor. 4: 16-18 [NKJV; emphasis mine]

I dust myself off and say to God, “Give me one more round!” Thank God for that spot of a fighter’s spirit in me.

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Are there days when you wonder how you’ll make it through? Is there a situation which seems impossible?

Take it to God. He may not help you the way you want, but he’ll give you what you need to make it through. What have you got to lose to give it a try?

What verse gives you encouragement? What verse gives you comfort in times of struggle?

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Winning Season

Winnings: Starbucks GC and 2 movie passes

Hello all~

 I am going to call this my “winning season.”

First, I won a pre-conference giveaway from Hope Chapel West O‘ahu for attending the E&I Conference back in September. The prize was a Starbucks gift card.

Then I won a YouTube giveaway from Grace21, which I have already posted about here [Mailbox: Payday & Polish].  The prize was 2 Julep nail polishes and a Julep glycolic hand scrub. This was also in September.

Earlier this month, I received an email saying that I was chosen to win 2 movie tickets for a survey I had filled out last semester. I don’t remember filling out that survey, but I went to check it out anyway and it was true! I won!

Well, “small” prizes but I’ll take them. I just thought it was odd that all of a sudden I was winning giveaways all within a couple of months. I thought about counting the Monopoly wins from McDonalds’ but it was a lot of medium fries and not the $$$.

Now all I need to win is a free car, free trip, or a season of the Bachelor. On second thought, forget that last one; I don’t think it’s for me.

I don’t usually go to Starbucks but the gc will come in handy when the peppermint mocha comes back this winter! I rarely go to the movie theaters either but… I’ll just have to make a date or something.

Did you ever win a prize? Tell me about it in the comment box below!

Thank you for reading and who wants to see a free movie with me?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Healthy Go: Ups and Downs… and Stairs

Dark Chocolate: Trader Joe's Swiss Dark Chocolate,
72% cacao. I have two other d.c. types and trying to find
out which one will be my favorite.

Hello friends!

I didn’t have an HG post last week. I couldn’t think of anything of interest to write about because I felt like I was stalled, and to be honest, I have not been feeling at my best at all.

I haven’t been motivated. I gave in to old cravings a little, not in like an all-out pig-out way, but I was indulging more. I make no attempt at all to hide the fact that I have treats every so often; I post the pictures on this journal. I had one or two treats like every day lately though. I’ve been much more tired than I ought to be; I am certain that it did not have anything to do with the extra treats.

I had a few nights of a few minutes of crying. I’ve been feeling like I’ve needed a good cry, that I’ve wanted to cry, but couldn’t get it out. I had to force myself and so it didn’t last long. I don’t know if I did enough to move on. I think I was just stressed and with a lack of other cathartic exercises and needed to let it out though I have been down lately about a few specific things. I don’t know.

I do want to get drawing and painting. I hope I get to it this weekend, at least a little. It should help elevate my mood.

Oh, and I have been indulging in a little pastry, but more so in dark chocolate. I think I have made the switch from milk chocolate to dark. I don’t know if nutritionally dark is better than milk and all that, but I am enjoying the dark taste more than milk.
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Anyways, this week, I’m back to trying to keep track of my calories again. I should have done this when I upped my intake.

To be clear, I don’t count every single calorie. I do somewhat track my calories in a casual, not-exact way. I do this just so that I have an idea of what I’m eating, where my calories are coming from, what vitamins and nutrients I might want to supplement because I’m not getting enough in my diet (food intake, not program), my water intake, etc.

I use http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ as a tool; so far I have not been obsessive about it. The part that keeps me non-obsessive is that I am too lazy to go find out the exact calories of the exact brands that I am eating if it is not already in the system, so I estimate sometimes. A lot of the local foods I eat are often missing from the database so I make the best guess of the calories.

All I want to know is that I’m not eating 10,000 calories more than I ought to be eating.

My friend Janette shared the My Fitness Pal site with me (thank you Janette!).

You can even track your physical activities and be more social about your fitness goals as well.

If you are interested in connecting with me, finding more encouragement, you may find my MFP profile here [http://www.myfitnesspal.com/XanthChameleon]
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I have been trying to get in some unnecessary stair time during my days, here and there. All of my classes are ground floor, so during my break between classes (Tuesdays and Thursdays), I will visit a staircase and do unnecessary stairs. This past Thursday, I went up and down 2 flights of stairs 4 times in 4 minutes. I don’t know if that’s a good pace or not, and I was in long jeans that day, so I did get a little winded by that 8th flight and decided that was good for the day. As Mom would’ve said, it was 8 more flights of stairs than the day before.

I should’ve taken a picture of the stairs for this post; it would have gone better with the title but I don’t often think about the title until I’m about ready to post entries. Maybe I should think about better coordination of title and title picture (always looking to improve things *wink*).


And while I’m on physical topics, I am a little concerned about my junk knee. I was in bed one night and moved and thought that I had felt another but smaller pop. I still feel an odd ache but I have not noticed any swelling in my knee or the rest of my leg, so for now I’m just monitoring how it feels, as I usually do.
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I’m looking into getting a full length mirror for my room. The only time I’ve had one was when I lived in Oregon; my apartment room had one, probably left over from the previous tenant. I appreciated it, as I’m not bright in the morning and might wear something with an unmentionable static-cling-ed to my clothes; it could happen. Also, I remember it helped me be more mindful of making healthy efforts and tracking how I look from month to month.

This past week, I was washing my hands in a public restroom and I looked up into the mirror. I just noticed that I wasn’t looking too poorly in my clothes. Then I went home and looked at my hips, my… area of intention for now, and tried to see if I could detect any changes. I think I’m starting to see the improvements, maybe.

Which brings me to the current goal update of the grey shorts: I am yet getting closer to fitting those shorts! It is getting to be a more comfortable fit.

So that tells me that I might get down, I might indulge a little and get somewhat off-track, but I can trust myself a little more that I will get back on track, that I will not entirely sabotage the good improvements that I am making because I’m seeing the benefits.
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Thank you for being with me on this journey to health all this time or whenever you’ve joined me! Even though I rarely receive comments directly on this journal, I do get notices on Facebook from my friends there and I appreciate all of you, on FB or here and from wherever you are and however you know me!

What’s your Healthy Go story? Let me know in the comment box below!

Mahalo for visiting and reading!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seattle Interlude: Farmer’s Market


Previous related posts:
Seattle Day #1: Phew, I Made It!
Seattle Day #2: Julieann/ Shower/ Trader Joe's




Hello friends,
Here are my recollections from the trip I took back in August.
Thank you for visiting this journal!
-Jennifer


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On the day of the wedding, Mom and I got up early and took care of something. We got to the church really early too. We took the opportunity to walk to the Kent Farmer’s Market happening nearby.

This Farmer’s Market was pretty good- I would have loved to stay a little longer or to pick up a few things. I ended up not getting anything for myself; it just means I will have to visit again someday!

They had live music, a variety of food, lots of fresh flowers, homemade crafts- everything one needs at a good farmer's market!













Thought of getting this for Tra's yard

Wondered if Shelly would settle for a wooly hedgehog
instead of a mole



I felt awkward taking a pic of this but I meant
to show the size of that dogs- biggest dogs
I've seen in person, I think!

Thought about using something here for a costume

Face painting!

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Do you enjoy farmer’s markets? Is there a good one near you? What kinds of things to do you look for at a farmer’s market?

I like flowers and fruits and vegetables and unique items!

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Seattle Day #3: Buffet/ Rehearsal/

Previous related posts:
Hello friends,
Here are my recollections from the trip I took back in August.
Thank you for visiting this journal!
-Jennifer










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Friday started out with the rehearsal luncheon at Super Buffet. Super Buffet lived up to its name. I didn’t even get to check out every buffet line that they had. The food was really good too.

Washington: Super Buffet

Super Buffet: my plate

Mom and I sat with Dexter’s brother, Nestor Jr., Nestor’s wife Hollie, and Hollie’s mother Paula (I hope I have her name right). They were cool. Hollie had pictures and videos on her phone of her cat; now, I know that sounds boring to some people, but she had some good ones! They showed us a video of her cat on the toilet, staring into the water as it was being flushed, and someone trying to nudge the cat in!

I wore jewelry from Glint & Gleam that I had gotten earlier this year. I plan to do a full post on this jewelry later but I thought I would give a sneak peek. This guy was a hit with friends:

Glint & Gleam: Summer Laughing Skull Necklace


I’m showing a picture of the bathroom door at Super Buffet- they had really nice bathrooms. I have a thing about good public restrooms; they deserve a mention.



Super Buffet: restroom
Super Buffet: restroom

Super Buffet: Julieann with family and friends
Super Buffet: Family
Super Buffet: Gate and bridge

We had some time between the luncheon and the rehearsal, so mom and I stopped by at Target. While Mom was looking for things, I had a little fun with the sunglasses. I also picked up a new hat- I seem to like the cadet-shape in hats.

Target sunglasses
Target sunglasses
Target sunglasses





















Next up was the wedding rehearsal.

Rehearsal
Rehearsal: This is the closest I got to an
Ezra smile- I kept catching him grouchy!
Rehearsal
Rehearsal: They're so pretty
Rehearsal
Rehearsal: Julieann wearing Aunty Sue's gift
Rehearsal: She's such a good model!

After that, I convinced Mom to take me to Ulta. I hear about this store very often from watching beauty YouTube videos so I was curious and was also in the search for new, affordable makeup brushes. I wish we had an Ulta. I know someone might ask, “Isn’t Ulta like another Sephora?” but of course each store could have different things. For me, it’s that Ulta has NYX and more nail polish companies, so this is probably for the best so that I save more money!

Ulta
Ulta: NYX section
Ulta: I felt strange about taking a pic in store lol
Driving back
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And that concludes Day 3 in Seattle!

If we are also connected through Facebook, you may access more of my trip pictures on my page!

Have you been to Seattle? What is your favorite thing to eat or to do or etc. in Seattle?

Thank you for reading and see you next time!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Birthday Redemption

Birthday 2012: End of the night, me and my babe.

Hello!

Other than family celebration dinners, it has been a long time since I had last celebrated my birthday on my actual birthday day. It’s a long story as to why; basically, I had a birthday go wrong, or it was at least very un-enjoyable.

Last year, I only had a family dinner but it was late because I had gotten into a car accident the day before the actual day.

The year before, I … I had wanted to have a friend dinner but just… didn’t find a friend. And it was on a Tuesday. I later celebrated it, a month and a half later, mainly because I wanted to go indoor rock climbing. The climbing part went well. After that, the rest of the night… I’d rather not talk about it.

So, I have a history of not celebrating it on the actual day. I have been doing it after the day and so people tend to not know when it is.

At this point, I don’t really care about people knowing it or not, because I feel that if they do know when it is, then I can tell that they truly care. Otherwise, I don’t really care. I’ll just be blunt- when one’s prone to being depressed, it’s difficult to care about one’s birthday.

Haha, which reminds me, there was one year, ONE year, when my own mother forgot my birthday! They were on a trip. I don’t think I did anything that year.
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This year, it was pretty great! We celebrated it on the actual day!

I have my beloved Rachel to thank for it!

This past summer, Rachel and I got to hang out quite a bit. I don’t remember how but the subject of my birthday came up. I was surprised to find out that Rachel remembered when it was, though I tried to trick her!

Then we talked a little about how we’ve never really celebrated it. Like, since I’ve known them, I’ve always been the one to plan something for my birthday, if at all, and then it’s more so because I want an excuse to do something that I want to do, like the rock climbing one, and so it hasn’t been on the actual day, like I’ve said before.

Other than family dinners, I believe the last time someone else planned something for my birthday was in my last relationship, my boyfriend at the time took me to dinner and other stuff.

I told Rachel that I was tired of planning for my own birthday. Once in awhile, it’s nice to have other people remember it and plan something, right?

I think I would love to be surprised! I think… because I’ve never had a surprise event. Although, I don’t know how anyone would surprise me, as I tend to notice when someone is acting out of their ordinary and that I am suspicious.
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In the morning of the day, I went to the MAC store. The Marilyn Monroe Collection launched that day and so I had scheduled to have my makeup done. Alina (sp?) was the makeup artist and she did a fantastic job! I’ve never had a full-face makeup look done by a professional before and I’m so glad it went well- it felt like a real treat to me!

[I’ll write a separate post on that, with product list and more pictures]

MAC Marilyn Monroe: Me and the
makeup artist, Alina

Then I stopped by at Sephora to pick up my birthday gift! How nice of Sephora to remember and gift! This was the first time I’ve ever picked up the birthday offer. This year was the Sugar by Fresh lip balm mini duo- original and rose (pink tinted). I have only tried the original one so far and I like it. It has a fresh lemony butter scent and makes my lips kissable smooth- how I like to keep my lips. I cannot stand having dry, chapped lips!

Sephora: birthday gift- the Sugar by Fresh lip balm mini duo,
original and rose.
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I went home for a nap.

Then I met with Rachel and Zac. They drove me to dinner- sushi! Sonnie stopped by for a little bit- I was so glad to see him, it had been awhile. A few other invitees couldn’t make it because dinner was short notice, and a couple other people weren’t notified (of the local people) simply because I had Rachel do the calls and she didn’t have their info (sorry!). Otherwise, I’m very happy with whom I was sharing my birthday, the full list of which (those I truly want to share it with besides family) is very short this year, getting shorter each year.

Rachel, Zac, and I ate sushi… and ate… and ate. It was “buffet” style so we made it worth it! I was not gonna estimate calories that night!


Birthday 2012 Dinner: Me and Sonnie

Birthday 2012 Dinner: Terrible of me not to have taken a
more flattering picture of Zac and Rachel. Is this the first
and last time they take me to dinner?!

We ate so much that we went to walk it off in Barnes & Noble. Rachel bought me this guy- how did she know?! I believe I am naming him “Lysacek.” At least, that’s his name for now!

Meet the new man in my life, Lysacek!
Thank you Rachel!

Lysacek is going to be a big help as I practice my drawing skills. He is an artist’s model. He holds the pose, doesn’t move, not even a breath, doesn’t complain, is willing to work for hours on end if that’s what I want, and for less than minimum wage… perfect- haha!

After that, we called it a night. They drove me to my car and I went home and slept! I slept in the next day too.
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For post-birthday birthday treats, I used my free birthday drink card at Starbucks the following week, when it was still good. This was my first time cashing in on that offer too. I’m so glad I could use it while their Fall flavors are out! I got the Salted Caramel Frappucino (no whip)- yum!

I don’t think I have a favorite season but for some reason, I really like Fall flavors. I also like Fall and Winter to enjoy things like Starbuck’s Spiced Apple Cider- I used to have it all the time in Oregon, it was during Winter/Spring, ohhhhhh…!

Back to the recent past, I cheerfully handed over the card to get my drink, exactly as the instruction say. The barista asked if I wanted her to sing and I said “Sure!” And she did! Cheerfully! It was pretty good too. She asked the other barista why she didn’t sing and the other barista answered, “Because I didn’t want her (my) ears to bleed!” Haha!
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Thank you to Rachel, Zac, and Sonnie, my family, Alina, Darlene (who texted), and all my Facebook friends who messaged me, for making this a great birthday!

…and it’s not over yet. My family will be taking me to dinner later, I think.

Shout out to my fellow September babies!

Mahalo for reading and yay for another year of ME!