It's all about family and home right here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October Empties

I love the feeling of finishing multiple products each month!  For October, I am pleased to present the following:


Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiance Exfoliating Wash
The Hubs got this for me last year from a breast cancer awareness event his work hosted.  I have been using it ever since with my Clarisonic Mia2.  You can use it without the Clarisonic because it has micro crystals in the product that help exfoliate and polish your skin.  But I really enjoyed it with the Clarisonic to clean out stubborn blackheads in my pores.  What I loved about this product individually and together with the Clarisonic was how soft and smooth my skin was after each cleansing.

Kate Lorraine Placenta Serum
My thoughts here.   Have you ever had an opinion about a certain product strengthen or weaken depending on the products you use after finishing it?  I just wanted to bring it up because my opinion about Kate Lorraine Placenta Serum strengthened.  The Placenta Serum really did something to bring out an inner glow around the center of my face that I'm not seeing with my current serum.

Merle Norman Luxiva Moisture Rich Facial Treatment
This is a face mask that my BFF sent me a while ago.  I liked using it only during specific seasons like autumn and winter, when the weather cools down and my skin gets less oily and more dry.  It's an okay moisture mask.  It seemed to work more effectively after exfoliation, so I kept it in the shower with me to use after cleansing my face.  How I used it was in the shower, at the beginning of the shower and rinsed it off at the end of the shower.  

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil
My thoughts here.  I credited this before with helping me not get any stretch marks.  Since finishing the last maracuja oil vial, I've had to switch to a different oil and noticed that I suddenly have stretch marks and itchy patches.  I have 1 stretch mark by my belly button, and 4 on my left hip/love handle area.  They are all shaped like Harry Potter's scar.  Now, I'm not completely sure if Tarte's maracuja oil is solely responsible for keeping my skin in great condition or if the stretch marks and itchy patches was going to happen regardless because the baby and I are just getting that much bigger.  

Cotton Rounds
Necessary tools.  ^_^


Body Shop Vineyard Peach Shower Gel
A gift from my BFF, I love love love the scent of this shower gel!  I didn't use it as a shower gel, I used it as a hand soap after putting on tinted moisturizer.  If I could, I would live in the scent.

Dove Winter Care (body wash)
I bought this last year to use for the winter.  It's taken me a while to finish this 3-pack of body wash because... well... I just don't like the way this body wash doesn't lather as much as regular soap without me dumping a bunch onto my wash rag.  

Earth Mama, Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil
This is the oil I used after the Tarte maracuja oil.  It had a nice citrus scent to it.  I felt that it helped keep my skin moisturized but I also developed stretch marks and itchy spots under this oil's watch.  Again, I'm not sure if it's because the oil wasn't effective enough or if the stretch marks and itchy spots were going to happen no matter what I used on my skin.  Either way, I'd recommend this oil to expecting moms because the scent would really help with morning sickness.

That's it for my October Empties.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 25, 2013

... And the baby is...

A GIRL!!!!

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law really outdid themselves with this baby shower.  I have never had a shower of any sort, so they vowed to rectify that as soon as they heard that.  I am so incredibly blessed to have them for my in-laws.  They did everything from planning to cooking, to setting up and cleaning up.  They hosted everyone and totally blew me out of the water with the gifts they got for the baby.  My SIL is going to be a great Auntie!!

Look at the gifts that we got!  My husband and I were expecting... I don't know, maybe 5 gifts or so...  We were not expecting this much.  When I brought all the gifts home, my husband was so overcome with gratitude for the family.  :-)

One of the gifts was a onesie that had a cute design on the front.  Behold!

I got to meet new cousins-in-law from my husband's side of the family.  It was great to see how excited they were for us, too!

This is a happy time for us but I have to point it out... look at how plump I have become!

Pregnancy Update

I'm coming up to the end of my pregnancy and I'll be honest with ya.... I CANNOT WAIT TO HAVE THIS BABY!!!!  While the physical discomforts are ever-present and I am waddling more like a duck than ever, the excitement to finally meet our daughter is eclipsing everything else.  I can't wait to see my husband hold his daughter for the first time, to see his face as he looks at her for the first time, and to watch him interact with her.  The most exciting and special moments for me are being able to witness my husband's excitement to become a father.  

We've taken a couple of classes on baby care and breastfeeding and have come away feeling less prepared than we thought.  One of the handouts said to expect going through 100 diapers a week.  What?!  A hundred diapers a week?!  I'm sure we don't even have 50 diapers in the changer right now.  I remain optimistic, though.  We can do this!  This is the time for real teamwork from now until forever.

Final thoughts:  A normal pregnancy seems to run closer to 10 months than 9.  I've already hit the 9 month mark and it seems that I have to be pregnant through the 9th month.  Where the heck did the 9 month thing come from then?  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Figure Robics by Jung Dayeon: Figure Dance UPDATE

For those who are interested in viewing the Jung Dayeon Figure Dance workout, here is the link to viewing the workout!

So, yeah, my little post on the workouts may differ a tiny bit from the real workout because I was typing out the instructions from memory.  Sorry for the confusion.  However, please do enjoy the workout.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

ZWOW 59: Core and Abs

Zuzka's Workout Of the Week 59 caught my interest because it's pretty low impact for a Zuzka Light workout.  I've been following her for a little over 3 years and I think she's so inspirational.  She maintains a positive attitude and invites her viewers to do the workout with her.  All of her workouts require good form.

I want to add this to my post-baby workout routine around week 5 or 6, or when my doctor says it will be okay to do more intense workouts.

Ready...  Set...  Let's Start!

RDL Pushups consists of 4 moves:
  • Basic pushup
  • Step one foot by your hand
  • Touch elbow to the floor
  • The stretch toward the ceiling and return to starting position.

Do 10 reps alternating each leg and arm

Cross A Round the Worlds (top row) consists of 1 move:
  • Holding a weight in your hands, draw a big circle around your torso.

Do 20 reps, alternating directions.

Weighted Reverse Lunge Twists (bottom row) consists of 3 moves:
  • Holding the same weight in your hands, take a step back
  • Lower your body in a reverse lunge
  • Twist your body so the weight is by the hip with the leg in front of your, then return to standing position

Do 20 reps, alternating feet

Cross Body Mountain Climbers has 2 moves:
  • In a plank position, raise one knee to your chest
  • Cross it across your body, then return to the starting position

Do 20 reps, alternating each leg

Side Skips has 2 basic moves:
  • Skip to the right
  • Touch left hand to the right foot, then skip to the left

Do 30 reps, skipping from side to side.  That half-ball thing Zuzka's skipping on helps intensify the workout but I think you can do this workout without it. 

Do a total of 3 rounds of the routine for the complete workout.  It might take between 20 and 30 minutes.

This workout would be good for intermediate beginners, people who have already established a regular workout routine and who are looking to add strength and stamina training to their routines.  I was saying this is one of Zuzka's lower-impact workouts, so it's good for people who don't want to impact their joints too much.

I'm posting her website and YouTube links below in case anyone is interested in adding ZWOW's and other workouts to their exercise routines.

Zuzka Light website here

Zuzka Light YouTube channel here

Let me know how you like this workout routine and if you have any other fitness inspirations.  I can't wait to do these!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Figure Robics by Jung Dayeon: Figure Dance

I am really looking forward to working out after our baby is born.  It's been difficult maintaining a healthy diet regimen when all I crave is cookies and ice cream (shameful, I know!).  It's also been difficult maintaining a fitness regimen the bigger I get.  So many aches and pains creep in and limit mobility.  I have a new appreciation and admiration for women who bear more than 1 child.

Anyways, my brother's girlfriend introduced me to this South Korean diet and fitness guru called Jung Dayeon.


Can you believe this woman is 46 years old?!  Can you believe that she's a mother of two?!?!  What I consider super inspiring is that she developed these workout routines to meet the needs of an Asian market, namely women who want to slim and trim down without building up too much muscle mass.  
The workout I want to do after having our baby is one of her Figure Robics routines called Figure Dance.  

Ready...  Set...  Let's Start!


1.  Open the lungs (top left) - 8 reps
2.  Tilt head side-to-side (top right) - 16 reps
3.  Look left and right (bottom left) - 16 reps
4.  Roll head (bottom middle) - 4 reps each direction
5.  Roll shoulders (bottom right) - 4 reps each direction

6.  Hip stretch (left) - 16 reps.  When you add a little groove to it, this move will become the Bridge.
7.  Standing crunch and release - 16 reps


1.  Biceps (top left) - 16 reps
2.  Triceps and hips (top right) - 16 reps

Bridge - 16 reps

3.  Triceps (bottom left) - 16 reps each arm, then 16 reps both arms
4.  Triceps and shoulders (bottom right) - 16 full reps, then half-way pulses 16 reps

5.  Shoulders and lats (top left) - 16 full reps, then half-way pulses 16 reps
6.  Shoulders (middle left) - 16 full reps, then half-way pulses 16 reps
7.  Shoulders and pecs (bottom left) - 16 reps each arm
8.  Shoulders and pecs (top right) - 16 reps both arms
9.  Shoulders, pecs, and hips (bottom right) - 16 reps

Bridge - 16 reps


1.  Oblique stretches (bottom left) - 16 full reps then half-way pulses 16 reps, switch arms
2.  After last rep with both arms up, bend body at hips (bottom right) - 8 reps, 4 counts going down, 4 counts going up

3.  From last move (top left), swing right (top right) - hold position for 16 counts
4.  Swing left (middle left) - hold position for 16 counts
5.  Return to center (middle right) - Hold position for 16 counts, then quarter-way pulses 16 reps
6.  Keeping hips still, swing body and arms in a large circle (bottom left) - 8 reps
7.  Switch direction (bottom right) - 8 reps

Bridge - 16 reps


1.  Ballet-style squats (top left) - 16 reps
2.  On final ballet-style squat (middle left) crunch and release - 16 reps
3.  Widen stance with body lowered (bottom left) hip stretches - 16 reps

Bridge - 16 reps

4.  Squats (top right) pulse up and down 3 counts then stand (bottom right) on 4th count - 8 reps

5.  Squat, stand, lunge (left top, middle, bottom) - 4 reps each leg
6.  Moving bridge (right top, bottom) - 32 reps total.  Alternate 4 reps moving hips lower, 4 reps moving hips higher until 32 reps are completed.

Bridge - 16 reps

7.  Top row - 16 reps each side
8. Middle row - 16 reps each direction
9.  Bottom left - 16 reps each side

Bridge - 16 reps

10.  Combo Bridge and Opening Lungs - 8 reps

Jung Dayeon repeats the exercises after each Bridge.  This routine can easily hit the 30 minute mark.  The only thing I would do differently is redo the warm up at the end for a more comprehensive cool down.

I think this could be a great workout for beginners and people who need to start with a low-impact exercise routine.  Once you've gained stamina and strength, you can increase the intensity by adding light weights to the exercises.

I can't wait to do the full routine!  For those who are just as inspired by Jung Dayeon, let me know what you think of her workouts and if you have any other fitness inspirations to share.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September Empties & Pregnancy Update

Not a lot finished in September.  What you see here is literally all that got emptied.

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil
I'm in the middle of my 8th month of pregnancy and still no stretch marks!  Let's keep up the good work!

St. Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub Blemish & Blackhead Control
St. Ives has always been my go-to exfoliator.  I alternate between it and the Clarisonic Mia2.

Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner
Love this stuff.  I seriously don't think I can go a day without it anymore.  

Pregnancy Update

I'm now in the 8th month of pregnancy.  I love feeling our baby move around every day.  It gives me peace of mind knowing that everything is ok on the inside.  Sometimes it feels like the baby got hiccups, everything on the inside bumps around rhythmically.  Sometimes it feels like a rolling sensation from one side to the other side.  And sometimes the baby stretches which feels like something inside is pushing outwards.  It doesn't hurt at all but sometimes it feels a little sharp.  I actually can't go to sleep unless the baby is moving around.

I love imagining our future as a family, especially with the holidays right around the corner, too!  Our baby will have a first Thanksgiving and a first Christmas this year!  

Now, all the stuff I don't particularly enjoy about being pregnant.

Weight gain
I'm at my heaviest at 174 pounds, nearing 80kg.  I know some of that is my own doing (cravings for sweet things), but a lot of it is baby, belly, boobs, and water retention.  The extra weight that I'm carrying makes movements very slow and a little difficult.  

Lower back pain
I have had a lot of lower back aches and pains from the strain of the weight I'm carrying in front.  The dull achiness sometimes gets punctuated by pinched nerves, which makes movement of any kind difficult and slow.  Washing dishes strains my back because my belly protrudes enough that it pushes the core of my body away from the kitchen sink, meaning I have to lean forward to do the dishes.  Luckily, I haven't had a lot of issues with losing my balance though.

Round ligament pain
This is the pain most pregnant woman feel in their pubic and groin area.  It's basically when the pelvic area begins to widen and open up to get ready for labor and birth.  Some days, this pain is manageable.  Some days, this pain dictates that I just slow things down even more, sometimes to the point where I have to take really small steps or just pause for a few seconds after I stand up.

Water retention
My feet and hands show the most obvious signs of retaining some water.  Luckily, it's not a lot, but it's enough to see the puffiness under the skin.  I gave up on shoes several weeks ago.  They were too tight, so I've only been wearing flip flops, even to work.   

Belly button pain
My belly button hasn't turned into an outie yet, and I actually don't think it will.  But there is some pain around my belly button.  At first, I thought it was the surface skin getting stretched to the breaking point.  But then it also felt bruised underneath the skin.  My doctor told me abdominal muscles are thinnest under the belly button and some women experience abdominal muscle separation from the growing uterus underneath.  She thinks that's what I'm feeling.... which she says is totally normal.

Exhaustion and fatigue
There are days when I get engulfed with my work and I forget to feel tired.  Then there are days (increasingly frequent) when I can't concentrate on doing what I have to do.  I just feel like closing my office door and going to sleep for xx hours.  The only other times I've felt this way were in the first trimester and whenever I was jet lagged.

Only a few weeks left.  Nothing to do but to wait!  I can't wait to see our baby!!!