Friday, July 25, 2014

Healthy Go: Sweet Sweat?

I haven’t been taking too many pics lately, so here’s one of fruit! Kiwi fruit were on sale again, so I picked some up. I still enjoy the blackberries.

Also on the menu: almonds, cherries, raspberries, bananas, steak soup, pepper steak, a glass of moscato, white cheddar baked cheese puffs, Fage Greek yogurt (I like the honey or the strawberry one), Snapea Crisps, salmon, and baked potato. Other fare may include a Jamba Juice creation, spicy ahi donburi, or salmon skin roll, but not very often. I tried the Jamba Apples & Greens drink and I liked it; it’s healthier than what I usually order there.

I’ve been experimenting with mini bella mushrooms, so there may be a post on that soon.

I am drinking more water. I’ve gotten used to drinking filtered tap water without having to cool it in the fridge first. It has been a hot, muggy week, so I have been chilling the water lately to help keep me cool. Otherwise, more water, more often, it is!
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Since it’s been so hot, it was actually more motivating to get moving! I realize, that sounds ridiculous, but look who’s saying it. If I was going to sweat no matter what, I thought I might as well do something to earn it. Always earn the sweat! …?

The past Tuesday, I did the usual push ups, planks, added in some squats, and tested myself with pike crunches. Previously, I would avoid the pike crunches and just do regular crunches, thinking that I would do the pikes horribly. I surprised myself, I did them fairly well. Now, I didn’t do a lot of them, 3 sets of 8 reps, but I didn’t think I could do that many. I didn’t think I’d be able to get my back off the floor at all but it wasn’t much trouble at all, and still kept safely done.

Try, try, try. One might surprise oneself.
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On a previous and unreported Tuesday, I had tackled this:
cyclonefit with Sara


Plank up-down pushup
Toe taps

Side-arm balance
Russian twist

Crab toe touches
Plank toe touches

Slo-mo pushups
Side tri press

It’s been some time since my last workout, so I. Did. Poorly!

For the plank up-down/ pushup, I started on my toes but had to switch to my knees and I did much better. I had to put my knee down for the side-arm balance. I could do the crab toe touches, but not very gracefully! I cannot do the plank toe touches at all, so I worked on a straight plank on toes. Slo-mo pushups were done on knees. I cannot do the side tri press at all, but tried so that I can get stronger at it eventually.
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A space in the garage has opened up, so I think I shall take advantage of it and go a jumping rope! I have been looking at exercise mats for me to use in the garage, but I haven’t settled on one yet. Soon, soon….

I hope that you’re having a great, moving summer!

Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment in the section below :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cooing Over Aju

I am always surprised by friendships - sometimes positively and other times negatively - and so I have difficulty defining a relationship as a friendship. I generally don’t know where I stand in people’s minds.

One of the wonderful surprises of my life so far has been Rachel. When I first met her, I thought I was awkward as I could be, sounding like a Facebook stalker as I made a comment about her profile picture; she probably doesn’t remember it. As we started seeing more of each other through church and a Bible study group, I couldn’t have guessed that the girl who kept dancing with me (I don’t dance) would become one of my good friends*, and I don’t say that about just anyone.

Earlier this year, Rachel had her first child, a darling girl, Aju*. Apparently, Rachel is including me in with those whom she would like Aju to know well as she grows up, and I am honored to be included. I had visited when Aju was a month old. Recently, Rachel reminded me that I am due to visit again.

I went over a few days ago. Aju can hold her head up well. She fussed a little at first; Rachel says that she’s starting to get used to certain people. The fuss passed soon, and Aju began smiling and laughing with me. I was there to see her trick: rolling over from her tummy onto her back. Next up: sitting and walking… and then the WORLD!

Well.

I have missed out on being more a part of the lives of the children of other good friends, for various reasons. I don’t know why things are lining up for me to get to know Aju, and I don’t know why, I am excited. I usually sit back at a distance, letting the other women ooh and coo over babies. I find myself cooing over Aju, wanting to hold her too. I look forward to being a protector and friend for this girl.

No baby fever for myself - (inactively) looking for that husband first - but I am going to enjoy watching this little one grow!



*I consider her husband Zac to be a good friend as well; I really consider them a unit. I am keeping the baby’s name private.


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Monday, July 14, 2014

Rechurching: Blessings and Struggles


Let’s begin with an update on the Bible read-through: I went through and finished a 6-month reading plan well. At 6-8 chapters a day, it’s a good pace for me. I have started the same plan again.
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For the past few months, I have been participating in Google Hangouts with a particular group of people - I believe I have made a few friends in this group. Faith, religion, and church are topics that come up every now and then, and most of the conversations on such topics, I have enjoyed. I have been doing more listening than talking, no shock there.

The friends in this group know who they are. They include a few Christians and a few of other beliefs, all wonderful individuals whom have been inviting and encouraging, for me, in having practice of speaking about my own faith out loud, in discussion. They’ve been generous in sharing their beliefs as well. I enjoy hearing different perspectives and experiences.

My faith is close to me and tends to be a very private and personal matter that I don’t share with others much except in my writings. Saying things out loud is something I haven’t wanted to do in years, due to negative experiences. Finding these friends with whom to have these faith conversations has been a very good experience for me overall.

If you are reading this, I thank you. I have been blessed to have met you.
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Once again, I have been stuck in a neutral gear regarding a physical return to church. I had prepared myself to go back in June, and again when July started, … and I am wrestling with my reluctance. I want to go back yet I don’t want to go back. Do I love God? Or is attending church about me? I know the answers to those questions, at least for myself, and yet, why have I not made my move?

My prayer life has flattened out as well, as I confess my dependence on God (I am not in control of life) and sense such pressures, or being concerned about issues, etc. (please forgive me for being vague here). God is in control of the whole show, I believe He loves me and desires Good for me, so why am I back to being… afraid?

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” [Psalm 27: 1]

I’d like to think that I’m a mighty lioness, but most of the time, I am the sheep dependent on her shepherd. [Psalm 23]

I desire a vibrant relationship with Jesus.

And, I desire a relationship with Man.

I struggle with not looking to the right, nor to the left, but to walk the path ahead that God would have for me. It’s so tempting and easy to look behind or look to the sides.
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This is where I am. Relate? Encouragement?

I pray that you are well. I pray that you find strength for your day. May you be blessed.



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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Are You Being Koi?

China Glaze Sun Worshiper, Stone Cold, and Japanese Koi

 It is a China Glaze and koi inspired kind of nail day!

Last month, I went to a friend’s wedding reception at a Chinese restaurant. One of the kids at our table asked about the painting on the wall, which featured koi. There’s something peaceful, beautiful and strong about the look of koi.

China Glaze Stone Cold (with Sun Worshiper)

Fast forward to this week. I decided to finally try a China Glaze nail lacquer for the first time. I bought the color “Stone Cold” when I went to Washington a couple of years ago. It is a limited edition matte dark grey from the Hunger Games Collection. Up close, one can see silver micro-glitter particles mixed with the dark grey overall color, which gives this matte look beautiful dimension rather than looking flat. The finish texture is smooth, no roughness at all.

Okay, so matte dark grey nails are not exactly a usual Summer color. Remembering that I had two shades of vibrant orange, and thinking back to the koi painting, I thought I would break up the dark scheme a little.

On the left pointer nail, I used the yellow-orange color called “Sun Worshiper,” currently in the permanent CG line. This is my newest lacquer procurement, as I had watched a beauty video and could not take my eyes off of Heidi’s nails. She listed the lacquer details in the description box, a practice I appreciate. I did look around for other yellow-oranges but found myself wanting the exact color I had seen on the video; after a month, I went ahead and picked it up. The finish is what I would consider a satin, where it’s not exactly matte but it isn’t a high-shine finish either.

China Glaze Japanese Koi (with Stone Cold)

Bringing the color scheme full circle is a red-orange color called… wait for it… “Japanese Koi”! I have worn the color before as part of an individual-nail-design scheme, but hadn’t picked it up since; it is such a bright, attention-getting color that I thought might be too strong for me on its own, which may be true. It pairs wonderfully with the dark grey. It is a neon formula, having the same satin finish as “Sun Worshiper.”


I like the finish, formulas, and scheme produced. The colors are beautiful. The one minor criticism would be that one ought to wear a top coat with these formulas; they will chip fairly easily. I do not have a matte top coat, so that is on the list for some future purchase. “Stone Cold” is a bit stubborn in taking it off but not as stubborn as usual glitter lacquers.

Overall, I think I shall be sporting this color scheme in the future - I really enjoyed it!




===QUICK BITS===
Please feel welcomed to leave a comment in the box provided below.

I have been subscribed to Heidi for over a year and I enjoy her videos- check her out here:
[heidicupcake on YouTube]  
[heidicupcake - April Favorites (in which she’s wearing “Sun Worshiper”)]

Without my knowledge of how, a video about koi popped up in my suggestions. This was about a week after the reception, and so koi must have been on my mind and YouTube picked it up. It was a good video and so I have been slowly watching more - what am I doing?