Daily Challenge - April

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tough It Thursday - Edition Two

Welcome back for our second edition of "Tough It Thursday"...

How did everyone do with the at home challenge from last week? 

Click here to read it.

I personally thought I might pass out (after I was done cursing the burpee type section... Ugggh!), and am thankful for my children who cheer me on! lol.

I know I should have *probably* been doing last weeks workout at least every second day.... But that wasn't happening! lol So once in the week was good enough for me... Hey, at least I did it!

This week I thought I'd give us all something that we can use at anytime of the day... At home, at work, on break, in the park, with kids, family, friends, etc. 

I know it's called, 'Good Morning yoga sequence' but honestly... It's stretching .. And I figure stretching is good for us all, so it's probably good to do at anytime during the day! 

And if you're hunched over working all the time (as most of us use computers now), this could help with any pains you may have at the end of the day (or middle of the day!).

(without injuring yourself!)

"This is a 10-15 minute morning sequence designed to wake up the body and target all of the places that might need a little extra space and life breathed into them after a night of sleep. I designed this to be a flowing sequence, allowing one pose to flow into the next. I invite you to try it like this, or if that doesn’t work for you and you prefer to complete one pose at a time, guide yourself through it that way by returning to Downward Facing Dog in between each pose. Otherwise, just flow with it."

1. Malasana - Yogi Squat
Separate your feet a little bit further apart, maybe even as wide as your mat. Turn your toes out slightly. Bend your knees and lower your hips down towards the earth. Bring your hands to prayer in front of your heart and allow the elbows to gently guide the knees and thighs open, keeping length in the spine. Engage mula bandha to experience a greater sense of lightness.Stay here for at least five full breaths.
Repeat everything on the second side.

2. Forearm Plank
With toes tucked, lower down onto your elbows and forearms. Keeping the hips in line with the shoulders and your knees off of the ground, stack your shoulders over your elbows, which should be no wider than shoulders distance apart. Keep the back of the thighs pressing up towards the sky, while guiding the heels back and the heart forward. Maintain a strong core and hold here for 30 seconds.

3. Triangle Pose
Tuck the back toes under and spin the left heel down so that the heels are more or less in line with each other. Pressing down through the outer edge of the left foot, begin to straighten your right leg. Engage both legs and consider stacking your left hip over your right. Slide your right hand as far up your right leg as you need to so that you are not collapsing anywhere. Open the left arm up towards the sky, reaching out through the left fingertips.

4. Low Lunge Variation
With your right toes pointing straight ahead and the outer edge of the right foot parallel to the outer edge of the mat, lower your left knee down to the earth. Place your hands on top of your right thigh or reach them up to the sky. Soften the tailbone down and draw the low belly off of the thigh. Stay here for five breaths allowing the right heel to energetically draw back and the left hip to energetically move down and forward towards the right heel.

5. Easy Lunge Twist
Step your right foot to the outside of your right hand so that your right foot is closer to the right edge of the mat. Turn your toes out to a 45 degree angle (like 10:00). Keep the left knee lifted and press the thigh up towards the sky. Press down into the earth with the left hand and open the right arm up towards the sky. Stay here for at least five breaths.
6. Open Hip
From Downward Facing Dog lift your right leg all the way up to the sky behind you. Keeping the arms very strong, bend your right knee and stack your right hip over your left, opening up the hip, groin and thigh. Gently press the left heel down into the earth, being mindful to keep that heel from splaying out to the side.

7. Sundial Salutation
With feet hip-distance apart, fold forward and place your hands on your elbows. Bring your torso toward the outside of the right leg and open your chest so that your left elbow points up toward the sky. Moving like a sundial, lead with your left elbow and slowly come up the right side, reaching up at the top and then continue to lower down the left side, keeping the chest open and the shoulders down. Repeat 3 times on each side.

8. Chest to Thighs with Interlaced Hands
Stand at the back of your yoga mat with your feet together and carefully bow forward, hinging from your hips and not your low back. Reach your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers, pressing the palms together. Bend your knees and press your chest into and down your thighs, keeping your neck long. Hold for five breaths.

As with any exercise related activity, drink plenty of fluids (before, during and after), eat right and pay attention to your body (don't cause harm to it, but still challenge yourself a little bit). As well, wear the proper 'gear'!
Consult your Doctor first if you're new to this whole working out thing (or the type of working out listed above) to make sure you're ready for it!

I look forward to hearing your experiences next week! And we get to hear from Kaylin again! Yay!

Daily Challenge - Day Eleven

Today's Daily Challenge is

A talent of yours


I find it difficult to write a post about this topic... I know I write stuff everyday for you all, but that's fun and random usually. And usually about family or what's going on in our lives or the most recent adventures people we know are on.... not about myself.

And I truly am not a fan of talking about this topic for me... I always feel like I'm gloating; bragging.... showing off.... something. Nothing that I want to be. 

Anyways, I thought I'd go the opposite way with this and, of course, add some humor to it.... So here we go!

MY TALENT IS..... Overcooking. 

Now what do I mean by this? 

Dinner for four? I end up cooking enough food for at least eight. And if I try to scale back, I cook to little. lol. I haven't been able to win this never ending battle. 

I think I come by it naturally.... My Mom does the same thing... So, yeah.... No chance of me getting my act together! 

I AM getting wiser and am learning that I should cook for larger groups.... And just think that it's dinner for four (and eight show up! Whoo hoo!)...

Yeah, no. I prefer the Husband to cook. (link)
Nope, never does this happen for me... Just the right amount. Fairy tail I say....
Agreed. lol. Unless it's looking like the photo below....
Thankfully this doesn't happen very often!

I vow to put my children into cooking classes as soon as they hit the age that they're offered at... I've said this for years now. Better they learn from someone who has a clue then someone who dislikes being in the kitchen (*ahem* me)....

Trying to avoid this at all costs.... lol. 

I do have to say that my Husband is wonderful in the kitchen! He recently had the opportunity to hang with us for four months and let me tell you, those were some of the best months of my life! lol He cooked and amazed me everyday.... I don't even know how he made full meals for us all out of the leftovers that I would have stared at blankly. lol. And not just reheating it; a completely different meal! How does one do that??!!

But yes.... My name is Mista and my (random useless) talent is Overcooking. 

What's your talent??

(BTW: I may not be able to cook, but baking is a whole other deal!!)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Second Edition

Daily Challenge - Day Ten

Today's Daily Challenge is

A photo of you taken over ten years ago

Huh. Ummm..... Okay.... One sec, minute, hours..... *ahem*

All of our photo albums are packed right now... lol.... And my parents are in London, England.... So, uhh.... the next best thing I guess.... Facebook!

Searching, searching, not flattering..... searching.... was that the years ago??! (Pregnant with my first... How far along was I??!).... Uhhh.....

FOUND THEM! Okay so, I'm just going to post as many as I could find.... Why not?!! Nothing like embarrassing yourself to start the day on the right foot??! lol

Dec 1983 - Love the safety!
 Summer 1984
1984 with my Auntie Carol
 Age 3
Age 3
October 1986
Fall 1986
My 4th Birthday (Summer 1987)
 CanSwim 1988
Christmas Morning 1988
Humm.... '90's sometime... (Holding the baby)
High School (Grade 11-12/2000-2001)
February 2003
 College Graduation 2003
College Graduation 2003

So there you have it.... lol. This Summer we're celebrating out 10th Wedding Anniversary.... I've been out of College for just over 10 years.... If there was a time to start feeling old, this could be it.... But it won't be! lol

Do you care to share a photo? Leave a link to one (or even better, describe it... Did you see my chubbiness and wild hair??!!! lol)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Daily Challenge - Day Nine

Today's Daily Challenge is

A fictional book

**Sorry about this post being so late in the evening... My schedule this week and next is a bit different than usual...**

If you have not read this book, get to your nearest book store and buy it!

"A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s.  Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach.  As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson's godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death.  In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have unformed his previous, highly praised works of fiction."

I remember reading this book when I was younger (teenager) and loving it.... The story is rich with great descriptions and wonderful characters.... And the emotions it brought up within me, well... you just can't beat a book that makes you feel every emotion and then make you honestly ponder them at the end of it all. 

I don't want to give too much away, but I will say.... Read it! Take the time, work your way through it.... It's worth it!

What book would you choose to share?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Daily Challenge - Day Eight

Today's Daily Challenge is

A website

I started reading this website not so long ago.... And when I did I was hooked....

I read as many posts as I could until my children came to me stating that they were "huuuuuuuunnnngry" and needed me to cook a real meal. lol.

The journey you read in Velvet Willow will take you through every emotion you can imagine.... I'm pretty sure I learned about emotions I didn't even knew existed!

It was a roller coaster.... But one that you never want to get off so at the end of the ride you run through the line up only to get on the coaster again and again... sometimes feeling sick, others exhilarated. 

I'll be honest, I cried. A lot. To the point that when I did pry myself away from my computer screen one of my girls said "Mommy, your face is pink! And wet! What's wrong??!".... Don't get me wrong, there are many uplifting, magical parts on this blog as well (and amazing photos!).... but there's a section that will make you feel the pain that the writer, Shana Rae, goes through.... Or maybe a third of what she's feeling.

Shana's writing is real, honest.... and open. And I like that.... No, I respect that. There's nothing phony about her writing, it's raw. You feel her excitement  pain, wonder.... with her. It's amazing.

The description of Shana's Velvet Willow blog is this, "This is the story of my Friesian rescue horse, Willow, our journey towards healing, and the power of love."

Under the 'About Me' section is also states "Willow is out third horse, and after rehab at Martha's farm, she will join Paloma and Charlie at ours. This blog is about love and healing (both Willow's and mine) and our journey together. "

Please take a moment (or two.... or hours) to read Willow and Shana's journey.... It's one that I am grateful she is willing to share with us all.

*Shana is also a talented photographer who has created a business , Florabella Collection, with textures that she has created for photographers. I strongly suggest you also check out that side of her blog too!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Daily Challenge - Day Seven

Today's Daily Challenge is

A photo that makes you happy

I picked an unusual one.... Will explain afterwards, I promise.

This is my Zogglet #1.... Miss E. In October of 2009 she got a cold... and a cough that didn't understand when it wasn't welcomed anymore...

And then it happened... Her heart rate dropped (Doctor's could hardly find it), a high fever took over and she overall didn't look great....

She had H1N1.

And I had no more then 15 minutes to get her the meds she needed before something extremely awful happened. 

Why did I pick this picture? Because it reminds me of how bad things can get and how strong my little girl is.

It took a looooong time for her to recover from H1N1. She lost the hearing in one ear for months.... And we've had a lot of health issues ever since, which can only be summed up to the unknown after effects of H1N1. 

So even though looking at this photo makes my heart ache (it was honestly one of the scariest situations I have ever had to deal with.... You can read all about our journey here and here), it also makes me stupidly happy to know that if my little girl can pull through that and come out kickin' butt.... She can do anything she dreams of in her future!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Daily Challenge - Day Six

Today's Daily Challenge is

Whatever tickles your fancy

Lately I've been trying to decide how to do our upstairs bathroom (aka: the girls bathroom)....

So far I've come up with yellow, teal and white for colors.

Chevron will be somewhere in there!

If I do the walls in a teal, the chevron in a yellow then my cabinets can stay white! Yay! lol

I would like to have punches of yellow in the decor....

One day we'll rip the entire bathroom apart and change it around... But until the girls move out then, we'll try to freshen it up with some paint and decor!

Some inspiration:
(Please note, I saved these and forgot to write where they came from - most likely Pinterest- but if they're yours, let me know and I'll link to it ASAP!)
Shower Curtain.... But in a yellow chevron like below...
 LOOOOOOVE this pattern! 
I just love the designs!
'Okanagan Lake' Rona Collection Paint Color.... Or....
'Glass Bead' Rona Collection Paint Color... Or something else, who knows!
I wish I had a sitting area in there... This would be lovely!
 And this!!!
And these!!
Bought this! I placed a toilet paper roll in it!
Love these hanging up already!
This might be cute in there!
One day, claw-foot tub!


Do any of you have big (or small!) plans to redecorate this coming Summer?


I need to apologize....

I had planned on having my blogs set and ready to post before their dates this weekend, but alas something has happened and I didn't get to them....

Tomorrow I will take some time to play catch up and you will have the daily blogs!

Thank you for your understanding!

Favorite Friday!

This is a little late as what I wanted to post about wasn't happening until this (yesterday I suppose -Friday-) evening. 

I host a Book/Movie/Gather Club.... It's not necessarily monthly... But it is as often as we can!

So far we've read two books, had two gatherings and are having a blast doing so!

Tonight's event was around the book 'Ladies Coupe'... It's an amazing read if you ever get the chance to (I linked to the Goodreads page with the infor about it)....

It's based in India, so that was our theme.

Please understand that my week hasn't gone anything like it was planned to (I'll rant about that in a separate post another day) so all of my prep for this went out the window... Please, don't judge my lack of theme! lol.

Went for some height!
Yummy goodies (fruit was added after our delicious Indian cuisine!)

 I love me my Velata warmers!!
 The family room...

In the kitchen I tried to bring some height with the colorful hangings over the island... Then more color with the table items. 

We kept the snacks on the island and ordered some awesome Indian cuisine for the evening, so yummy!

When it was dessert time we started up the fondues Caramilk and Milk Chocolates) and dipped away with a variety of desserts!

Cheese was everywhere (if you're in the group, expect there to be cheese! lol)!

I tried hard to bring in as much color to the night as I could.... Hopefully it showed!

The last photo is of the lower mantle of our fire place... The items on there were actually for the goodie bags everyone took home!

The bags are re-usable (yay Earth!), the ice cube trays make neat shapes, the spoons are long ice cream spoons to reach the bottom of every milk shake cup... and the candles are a flower from India! (I was going with a 'it's hot in India and colorful' theme... lol)

My guests were wonderful, even putting on the gems to go with the evening (photos were not taken of us throughout the evening, sorry about that.... Guess we were just having too much fun!)...

All in all it was a blast! I always love having the ladies over an being able to reconnect with them!

I can't wait for our next gathering!! Off to Japan we go in our stories!

Oh! So I suppose this is on my 'Favorite Friday' post because of a few reasons...

1) I love to host a party no matter how big or small!

2) I love having my friends over.... It should happen more often but as we all know, life gets in the way sometimes!

3) Anytime I gather with friends and we laugh, chat, discuss major topics, chill and enjoy good food with good company... Becomes one of my 'favorites'!

What would be on your Favorite Friday list??!