Monthly Archives: April 2012
For some reason I was breezing through the first week like I was wonder woman only to find that this past week has been quite torturous,
which I will blame on terrible pms, but I did it anyways!
I am using the videos from Fitness Blender (their YouTube page here) which are amazing. They have a ton of options for leg thighs, your butt and abs. I’ve been sticking to the 20 minute arm workout that I posted here. For glutes and thighs, I really recommend the 5x5x5 workout which I posted here. It’s really hard and I scream through the whole thing but it feels amazing afterwards.
This past week I was thinking about the reason that I am doing this 30 day challenge. If I am going to stop working out after the 30 days then what was the point of even starting. If I am working out to build strength, then the habit and the foundation that I would have built would disappear in a matter of a couple of weeks if I don’t continue. So I will continue this after the 30 days as the larger goal is to live a life full of strength, mental and physical. This challenge is simply the necessary push I need to develop the habit (they say habits take 21 days to form).
Another thing that has been coming up this past week is my wonder about other forms of fitness. In addition to this strength building I cannot wait to get back into jogging, maybe try out some swimming, start doing yoga regularly again (France, please get Hot Yoga studios…it’s truly amazing!) and maybe try out some unique forms of fitness. But let’s not get ahead of myself
Next Monday I will tell you about how I am supplementing during this challenge.
Have a happy Monday everyone!
Remember this recipe I made when I was experimenting with different cheese products in France? I had a brilliant idea to savourize (yes, savourize) the main ingredient because who says fromage frais and other yogurt-like foods have to be served sweet?…Therefore I turned it into a delicious appetizer that I’ve had maybe 6 times in the past week.
I don’t think there is any fromage frais in North America so you can make yogurt cheese by wrapping cheesecloth around plain yogurt and hanging it for a couple of hours..or blending 1 part yogurt and 1 part cream cheese. These will definitely make an identical product. (UPDATE: Kaley from Y Mucho Mas has informed me that this is also called Greek Yogurt)
To make this recipe, do this:
P.s. I’m not putting a recipe card in here on this one because that image with the steps above is a jpeg. If you want to print this out just right click the image and save it. Then print it out…it will print with small images and the descriptions right under which is brilliant! Easier!
Happy Friday everyone!
This is embarrassing. But sometimes that fact alone is not enough to stop me from posting it anyways.
I created this video yesterday to teach my little students about manners in English. I found it slightly more amusing than them…they just looked at me like a weirdo.
It was a very rainy day when these photos were taken, so we tried to take them inside (all for the sake of capturing the blazer)…which was frustrating to me because I get super nervous when my picture is taken except when I am outside for some reason. So Max took 62 shots of me inside and they all turned out sub-par, and I was upset that they didn’t turn out and that we couldn’t go outside.
So the day went on and at around 8:30 Max asked me if I wanted wine with dinner tonight and of course I said yes. It wasn’t raining anymore and the sky was blue, so we went for a little walk to the store to buy some wine. The sun was just beginning to set and I was in a great mood at this point so I brought my camera along and we ended up getting really nice shots of the blazer (who cares if the second one is a little blurry).
The point of me telling you this story is that I always get worked up when something doesn’t happen perfectly when I want it to happen…but it did end up working perfectly in the end and even better then I could have asked for…Like come on, dusk, outside, flowers, on our way to get some wine…I could not have planned that! Isn’t this scenario always true?
As for the blazer…I love it. I used to have a thousand blazers but now this is my only one and it really brightens up all of my dark winter clothes, perfectly for spring!
Mmmm, I’ve been craving some good old-fashioned North American pie lately. There are no pies over here. Or none that I have seen as of yet. There are tarts and if you look on WordReference for the translation of pie I am sure you will find the word tarte. But let me tell you, they are not the same thing!
A good pie has a savoury, buttery, flaky crust..a juicy fruity, syrupy filling and another crust on top to seal the whole deal inside. A tart has a crust (only maybe), neatly placed fruit surrounded by something creamy and no crust on top.
I went to the market this morning with the intention of buying some raspberries or blueberries for this pie but what I came home with was much better. I came home with a massive paper bag of the most yummy looking strawberries I have ever seen, and another (smaller) bag of peaches.
I am using my usual savoury pie crust (as used for this quiche here) and for the filling, I have roughly followed The Pioneer Woman’s suggestions here. I twisted some things around to make it my own though.
Another thing about making this summery pie is that I am clearly trying to manifest some warm weather over here. It’s been cold and rainy for the entire month. I am sure my making-pie plan for manifestation sakes will be a success. Just you wait and see .
Let’s start with the crust…
Quickly knead the ingredients together to form a dough. Do not knead this until the dough is perfect because it will end up having a really chewy texture. You want to work the dough as little as possible. As soon as the ingredients come together, wrap them in some plastic and stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Now let’s work on the filling and assemble this whole thing together…
You will need:3 cups of diced peaches, 3 cups of diced strawberries, 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, butter and those egg whites that were never used from those egg yolks you needed earlier.
Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 30 minutes and another 15 minutes at 350 degrees but for that last bit, cover the crust with parchment paper or foil so that it doesn’t over-burn.
This is day 9 of my strength challenge and I feel STRONG!! Not kidding.
If you check out the videos from this post here was my schedule from the week:
- Sunday-the 20 minute arms with the Pilates legs
- Monday-the 20 minute arms with the 20 minute butt and thighs
- Wednesday-the 20 minute arms with the 20 minute butt and thighs
- Thursday-the 20 minute arms with the 20 minute butt and thighs
- Saturday-the 20 minute arms with the 5x5x5 leg and butt workout (see video below)
- Sunday-the 20 minute arms with the abdominal exercises (see video below)
I love the arm workout but I could see myself wanting a new workout come soon…I am using 2 pound weights in either hand and tried to increase it to 5 pound weights but that didn’t go over so well. I also did my first 2 real push-ups ever (from the toes) in my entire life! The last time I attempted one was on the September 11th when I fell on my chin, needed to get stitches, went home and saw the twin towers falling. So naturally, I never tried again!
As for the legs…I needed to switch them up so I added an amazing 5x5x5 workout in which you should try! It’s challenging but such a great workout.
I can easily work-out my arms two days in a row but by the end of the week my legs could only handle one day on and one day off…but that doesn’t mean I have to start working out…therefore, I added abdominal exercises in. I will switch between the abs and legs but keep the arms consistent because that’s where I am truly motivated to strengthen.
And that’s about it…
Except! No one has joined me in this challenge yet…and come on! We could all use a little more strength! You have time and now you have motivation (me!). Please join me in this challenge. I will link to your blog posts about the experience and you can grab a button to add to those blog posts…it is worth it! (the button stuff is at the bottom of this post).
Here are those other videos:
I’m finally busy!! I’ve waited a long seven months but finally I’m out visiting friends in the mornings, tutoring 4 sessions during the week, babysitting and trying to pick up the energy of the blog…oh ya, I’m also working out! I don’t know about you, but waking up early and having stuff to do all day long just feels awesome!
I’m following through with my 30 day challenge. I’ve only taken one day of rest since I began and I’m ready to increase the weights of the dumbbells for my arm exercises. And I know it’s only been a week but I am prone to upper back pain and it has really reduced.
I get to work with children. They are so energetic and I can really match their energy which I love! I also love how quickly children learn (English) and how fulfilling it is to see their progress.
I am grateful to be living in France of course. It really has been my dream for quite some time and I can’t forget this fact when I’m feeling frustrated. It’s actually quite rare that people completely follow through on their dreams so I’m quite proud about living here.
Max’s father came to Lille from Reims for the last 4 days for a course that he is taking. It’s great to have company over and it really livens up the apartment (and I have someone else to cook for!!!).
I’m always grateful for Max.
The great things that are happening to some of my best friends. I found out that one friend who moved to Canada from Italy 2 years ago with her boyfriend (who got a job in Toronto) finally landed herself a very good job and they got engaged! My best friend Maryam also got engaged!!
I’ve inconspicuously made a private little challenge to try to look really nice every single day. So I’ve been doing my hair and wearing more skirts and putting on mascara and stuff…I didn’t realize how wonderful this could make me feel!
Max will be going to Reims this weekend which really sucks but if I see it from the grateful side I am eager to get some undistracted work done on the blog and with my Buddhist study and catching up on some recipes with photos…You know what I’m saying.
And that’s that!
What are you particularly grateful for today?
I have been making my own cards for the past few years. Cards bought at the card shops always seem so plain to me and so impersonal.
I make tons of different kinds of cards, using feathers and beads, glitter and origami…but lately I’ve been into a new card-making trend and this is what I’ll show you today.
Just like you saw at Christmas, I am taking my own photos and turning them into cards to send.
I have been using my absolute best photos, photoshopping them with a pretty quote which I find online and then putting the whole thing together.
To do this yourself…
-Open a photo on photoshop and edit the heck out of it until it looks like something you would want to but on a card. (I like playing with saturation, contrast and brightness)
-Now on photoshop, set the “offset” to 0.02 so that the photo turns a little faded and the words won’t get lost.
-Add a quote in your favourite font in a colour that compliments the photo.
-Now print it at a photo store or something like that.
Here are a few I’ve made:
Yesterday I began a new 30 days challenge! I actually started last week but only completed doing the challenge for 1 day. so I didn’t count that as the start of the challenge. And so I begin again.
What is this 30 day challenge?
Source (edited with words by moi)
And by strength I mean a physical strength, as in muscle building.
I am weak and I always have been weak. I especially dislike coming home after watching youngsters to find that my back aches from picking them up. If I had more strength, I am sure I wouldn’t strain my back. I also noticed my lack of strength when skiing. I could only make two turns at a time before my legs burned beyond reason and I had to rest.
You see, I need some more strength.
Max’s maman began to show me some arm exercises I could do when we were in The Alps and I was inspired.
Now, I’ve turned this into a 30 day challenge with once a week updates for you lovelies.
Here are the videos I am currently using for the workout and I am going to them (the arm one and one of the leg ones) once a day. It equals around a 40 minute workout. I do realize that I may need to take a day off here or there to prevent injury if I’m straining a little too hard.
So, without further ado, here are the videos:
This was going to be a no sugar and strength building challenge but come on, me…no sugar? Ya right!
Join in on this challenge! Just grab a button below and let me know in the comments that you will be participating. Every Monday for the next 30 days I’ll update you and link to the participants blogs so everyone can see how you are doing to!
Our problems are catalysts with which can can reveal our unlimited potential.
Life itself has no arms or legs or a voice. The only way for the universe to communicate to us is by handing us problems at the most inconvenient times.
This is because, as humans, we have unlimited potential. There are so many people who are living their unlimited potential as I write and everyone reveals their unique potential in a different way. My mentor in life, Daiskau Ikeda, has revealed his unlimited potential. He has nearly 300 doctorate degrees focused on peace and humanity. He travels the world to speak with world leaders tirelessly. He has dialogued with Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and many more historic figures. And although I do not strive to accomplish the exact same things as he has, I really strive to also reveal my unlimited potential in the way that is unique to me while using him as a guide for what is possible.
In order to push us to reveal our potential, the universe gives us problems. It is always those areas of life that we need to focus on to reveal an even greater self.
When I learned this a few days ago, my perspective on my sometimes frustrating circumstance here in France changed. It reminded me to not give up, as I have mentioned that I will never do, and it reminded me that I simply have these challenges so that I may become a better person (stronger, more fearless, ready to take on even greater challenges that life will inevitably throw at me, stronger in faith, etc.). It’s kind of a win-win situation.
What is your perceptive on having problems and how do you deal when life hands you too many lemons at once?