Friday, July 31, 2015

Guam's Liberation Day 2015

Another Liberation Day has come and gone here on Guam.  This year was full of family, food, fun and festivities - just like all the years before.  If you don't know what Liberation Day is, check out my previous posts here and here.  (I didn't do a post last year, sorry).  Anyway, on to the photos from this year!


The parade lasts all day so we always make sure we have LOTS of food which I eat LOTS of, as evidenced by my tummy and vagina arms up there.

Do you have any all-day events like this where you live?  Can you see how sunburned I am?  Would you be interested in a giveaway to win a shirt like the one Joey and Trace are wearing?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tuesday Tips: Find what works for you.

I've decided it's time to change things up a bit around here as far as my posting and content go.  Some things I used to write about aren't as big a deal to me anymore, while other things have begun to hold more importance in my life than they previously did.

That being said, I'd like to incorporate more inspirational posts - sharing things that I love, mood boards, color palettes, DIY's, etc.  I've really come to love my "Monthly Mantras" and from the feedback I've received so far, it seems you all love them too so I wanted to take that concept and expand on it.  But, not too much where you get overwhelmed with inspiration like we all do on Pinterest.

I'm also changing the "Tuesday Tips" posts around a bit by making it more general and open rather than focused only on blogging tips.  I mean, I've been blogging for like 3 years, parenting for 9, been in a relationship for almost 10 years, but living for 29 (holy shit) - so that kind of makes me a life expert.  Just kidding.  In real life, I'm a great listener (actual people have said so) and I'm the kind of friend who shows support and gives advice if asked, so I'd like to be able to do the same here in blogland.  I just want to share parenting/relationship/life knowledge with you like we're hanging out at Starbucks.  Or a bar.  Whatever you like.  Sort of like an advice column, but without the "Dear Abby" and bad 80's photo.  Or, you know, we can do that too.

So that's it for now.  I just wanted to share with you the minor changes and shifts that will be happening here.  There will still be beauty/makeup posts, hopefully more fashion/outfits, and posts about Guam and my life, but my goal is for this to be a place of inspiration.  Whether it be through the words on the screen or the photos, I just want you to leave here inspired, empowered and ready to take on the world.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Sweats: Vol. 1

Okay, so my plan didn't go over so well.  I honestly didn't do what I set out to do.  Here's how my week went:

Monday:  I was supposed to do yoga and start the C25k but since Tuesday was Liberation Day, a local holiday here on Guam, I didn't have time to run at all since we didn't get home until late that night because we were setting up our canopy along the parade route.

Tuesday:  Liberation Day!  We got up early and spent all day at the parade in the hot sun.  We were there from 8am until about 4pm.  I was so tired and sunburnt that I was not in the mood to do any type of exercise at all.

Wednesday:  I did the first day of the C25k on Wednesday night.  I didn't get around to doing yoga because after running, I went to a going away bbq down the street.

Thursday:  Thursday sucked.  I was tired, grouchy, and the weather was horrible.  It was bright and sunny one minute, and then it poured.  HARD.  So hard that we found 3 leaks in our office and our designated parking area flooded.

My car was right behind that silver car.  Water was almost knee-deep.

I had to take my heels off, tie up my maxi skirt, and run barefoot in the pouring rain before the water got into my car.  Oh, and did I forget to mention that the flood water came from a backed up river that was probably full of run-off from the sewage pipe?  Yeah, fun times.

Friday:  I was feeling a bit under the weather from swimming in sewage the day before so I wasn't up for running or doing anything at all.

I know that last week was a complete fail but I'm going to try again this week so I can get into the habit of doing it so it won't seem like such a daunting task.  On another note, we cleaned a lot this weekend so now I have room to pull out my treadmill again!  Now I have no excuse not to do the C25k.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Books Lately

I must say that I'm really glad that I joined the Literary Ladies' reading challenge.  I've always been an avid reader since I was a little girl (trying to read in bed by the light in the hallway is probably the reason why my vision is poor) but after jumping on the adulthood train (can I get a refund for that ticket, by the way?), alone time is much harder to come by so books and I had to break up for a bit.  But, thanks to Kristen, Kay and , reading and I have gotten back together.

It's been a month since the challenge started and I'm halfway through my list already!  Here's a quick recap of what I've been reading and my thoughts:

1. Silvern.  This is the second book in the Gilded series.  I like it because of the Korean mythology mostly because I geek out over the history of other cultures.  The story itself is okay.  Basically the continuation of a teenage girl (Jae) who was abducted by a demon (Haemosu) who she defeated in the first book (Gilded) is now faced with another demon (Whatshisname).  Jae has to find this orb before Whatshisname finds it and give it to the good guys because Whatshisname will use it to try and take over the world.

2.  Three Daughters.  Never heard about this book or knew what it was about before the challenge, but after I got through it (all 722 pages of it) I LOVED it.  The story follows three generations of women in a Palestinian family.  The main characters (Miriam, Nadia and Nijmeh) were so real and I loved getting to know each of them.  It was a pretty long read but I really didn't want the book to end because I felt like I was a part of their lives somehow.  I laughed, cried and wanted to beat the shit out of people right along with them (I'm looking at you Delal and Paul).

3.  The Martian.  Okay this had me at the first line.  Which is "I am fucked.", by the way.  This story had me laughing out loud, gave me goosebumps at certain points and made me grip my steering wheel a bit too hard in anticipation (I audiobooked this one).  A lot of the science and math stuff went over my head, but it didn't take away from the actual story of survival.  I really enjoyed Mark's character and had it been told from the viewpoint of any of the other crew members, it wouldn't have been the same at all.  "Hell yeah, I'm a botanist.  Fear my botany powers!"

4.  The Atlantis Gene.  This one was just okay for me.  It was fast-paced and it jumped around a lot which was a bit confusing at some parts.  Also, there were a lot of characters involved which made it more confusing and hard to follow.  I had to go back a couple times and reread certain parts because I couldn't remember which character the author was talking about.  I actually did enjoy the story line and how Indiana Jones-ish it was with all the history, theories, plot twists and adventure.  Maybe if it were a movie it'd be easier to follow with all the jumping back and forth between scenes and characters.

5.  Bossypants.  I'm not much of a celebrity stalker so the only things I knew about Tina Fey before this book were (a) she was a comedienne and (b) she was good at it.  Reading about her life in her own words was actually pretty fun.  The way she writes makes it seem like she's casually sitting right next to me while we people-watch outside of Starbucks.  It was a light read and easy to get through since I laughed and nodded in agreement through the whole thing.

I'm halfway through Moloka'i and I don't want the book to end!  I also cannot wait to start on The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Goldfinch!  What have you been reading lately?  Have you joined any summer reading challenges?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

End of Summer Giveaway [Pt. 1]: Firmoo Glasses

It's been a while since I've done a giveaway (there goes my "host one giveaway each month" goal) so I wanted to end the summer with a bang by giving you 4 weeks of giveaways!  Excited?  I sure am!

I'm sure most of you have probably heard about Firmoo by now.  Their products have been popping up all over the blogosphere for a while and I've had the chance of trying out their glasses twice now (reviews can be found HERE and HERE).

Thanks to Firmoo's awesomeness, they've offered me the chance to give away a pair of glasses (yes, absolutely free) to one of my lucky readers!  Are you excited now?  It could be you!

The winner will get their pick from the Blogger Collection free of charge with free shipping to U.S.!  International residents are still welcome to apply provided you're okay with paying for international shipping.

Now I know you can't wait to get your hands on a pair so go ahead and enter below!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sunday Sweats: Start.

Alright, so I've already admitted to not being great at sticking to schedules.  Exercise schedules are probably the hardest to stick to, right above waking up on time.  Anyway.

I've been complaining a lot lately about how much weight I've gained over the past few months, how I want to work out but don't have motivation, blah blah blah.  So, now that summer is halfway over I've realized that my pity party went on a bit longer than it should have and its about damn time I get over it and do something about it.  This is part of that something.

I've decided to partake in the "Sunday Sweats" series to hold myself accountable and put it all out there for the whole internet to see what I have or haven't been keeping up with.  I tend to take my goals more seriously when they're written down and in my face for constant motivation. So, hopefully this helps.

Being that this is the beginning of my exercise accountability, and I didn't really work out at all last week, except for the impromptu "Assassin" workout that Joey pushed me into (Literally.  He literally pushed me off the couch to do it.), I figured I should just start of by setting my goals for this coming week.  My fitness plan, if you will.  And is it just me, or does anyone else think of the sloth meme when you hear the word "fitness"?  Okay, maybe it is just me.

Sundays - These are for resting and evaluating what worked, what didn't work, what I need to improve on, etc.
Mondays - Since I'm starting the C25k program this week, Mondays will be for running and yoga.

Tuesdays - I re-downloaded the Nike Training app so Tuesdays will be for HIIT workouts.

Wednesdays - Continuing on with running and yoga.

Thursdays - Another round of HIIT for the week.

Fridays - Running and yoga again.

Saturdays - Rest.  Because I already know I'll be in no mood for working out on the weekends.

Extras - I'm going to try to get back into my morning yoga routine.  I used to be able to wake up early and get a sun salutation in before starting my day, but summer has made me lazy.  I've also been doing squats regularly after starting the 30-day squat challenge with my sister last month so I'm just going to continue doing it.

Dang.  My plan looks pretty aggressive when it's down on paper, but I think I can make it work.  The C25k doesn't seem to be that bad and the yoga I can handle.  I think trying to get back into the HIIT workouts is what will make it hard for me.  I used to do HIIT workouts three times a week and they killed me but I loved the results I saw and how I felt after doing them so I'm excited to get that feeling back again.

Here's to the tiring week ahead!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Humpday Confessions: Asian Habits Die Hard

Every culture has its own customs and traditions and even though I was raised American, never spoke a lick of Korean and can't even trace my Korean bloodline past my grandfather, there are still some uniquely Asian traits and habits that I have that will probably never leave me.  Though I'm sure there are so many things that I don't realize I'm doing, here are a few that I'm aware of:

Rice is a staple.  As in all day, err'day there is a pot of cooked rice.  Fried rice, in sushi, as side, or even just by itself with some soy sauce (and butter).  It's not a true meal without rice.

Kimchee base in everything!  Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge kimchee lover because I'm very picky.  But, kim-chee base is a whole 'nother story.  I can eat that with pickles, mango, tofu, shrimp, eggs, in my soup, mixed in fried rice...the possibilities are endless.  If you like spicy, garlicky Asian foods, I highly suggest you try this out.  I'll even share one a few recipes I use it with if you want!

Shoes off at the door.  This is an Asian custom that I have been raised to follow since I could wear shoes.  We did it in Hawaii and we do it in Guam.  I had a culture shock when I was younger while on a family vacation because we stopped at a family member's house and when I proceeded to take off my shoes, I noticed that everyone else in the household still had their shoes on.  My eyes almost popped out of my head.  To me, shoes off at the door just makes sense.  You don't want to be bringing in all the shit you stepped on outside.

Go cheap or go home.  If I know I can get the same thing or something similar for cheaper, I'll definitely go with the cheapest.  I always hit the clearance section first and I have been known to coax a discount or two out of a store manager because of a slight, easily fixable flaw.  Giveaways, discounts, trades, DIY's - I am all over it.  Americans are learning the cheap Asian ways now too thanks to the couponing and DIY craze.

Do you have any habits/traits that reflect your culture?