It's all about family and home right here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Reply to Gummy Vision's Beauty Thoughts

Gummy Vision posted a "real conversation" on her blog regarding some thoughts she's been having about being beauty obsessed (read her post here).  I have definitely been there and done that.

When I first got serious about beauty and skincare (way back in 2008 or 2009 - can't remember which year anymore), I was soaking this stuff up like a sponge!  I didn't know anything about anything and I couldn't get enough.  The more I watched YouTube, the more I "needed" something "absolutely essential".  YouTube was the door to other avenues of getting my beauty fix.  So, in late 2009 when I started blogging, I had ideas about posting product reviews and maybe dabbling in YouTube videos.

1. I'm kind of tired of being beauty obsessed, and I don't know what to do about it. (Gummy Vision)
From my own personal experience, I had to let go of my beauty obsession because I just did not want to afford it.  I didn't want to shell out HUNDREDS of dollars on a skincare line for the hope that it would whiten, brighten, anti-age, whatever I wanted, only to be sorely disappointed that I had spent that much money on stuff that didn't work.

I'm no student of accounting but I believe in the FIFO principle: First In, First Out.  At the rate that I was buying makeup and moisturizers and cleansers and all that jazz, I wasn't using them up fast enough and was collecting a stash of skincare products with expiration dates!  When I realized I had moisturizer that was 5 years old, it make me stop to think if any of these skincare lines actually worked.  And if you read my old blog (here), most product claims are fluff.

As for makeup, I love looking at palettes and limited edition compacts and what not.  I was always on the lookout for the "perfect palette" that I could live out of at home or when I traveled.  And even if there was a palette that answered my desire to cover face, eyes and eyebrows, I was always intrigued by the next "perfect palette" that would be more perfect than the one I already owned.  It got to a point where I realized that I was buying up palettes with all sorts of different colors for the just-in-case-I-feel-like-it moment but I only ever used neutrals.  What good is a palette where the neutrals (colors used daily) had already hit pan and brand new exotic colors wouldn't ever get worn?

Realizing this much was enough for me to get off the wagon about 2 years ago.  Now that I'm a mother, I put it in perspective: ONE Guerlain LE eyeshadow palette upwards of $40 can buy me ONE box of 188 diapers PLUS a small tube of diaper cream.  The diapers and diaper cream will get used up within a month.  I cannot say the same about the palette.

3. General makeup rules are really starting to annoy me. (Gummy Vision)
Haha!  General makeup rules amuse and confuse me.  The thing that gets under my skin in the most annoying way is when I watch tutorials on how to put makeup on monolids.  Most videos I've seen are made by people with full out double lids, or partial monolid.  I absolutely HATE (and I will use this strong word here) when they say "tight line your eyes and line your upper lids, it will make a difference."  When I open my eyes after doing that, all that is visible is eyeliner on the lower lash line.  Seriously, you can put about a centimeter of eyeshadow on my upper lids and when I open my eyes all that is visible is 1 mm, if any at all.

Like said, I've developed my own way of doing things and I've just about stopped watching tutorials all together and I feel so much less stressed and less obsessed.  It's a great feeling!

Some techniques I've used to find my balance

If you feel like you're caught up in something that is starting to consume you alive, just remember that YOU are in CONTROL.

1.  You can turn off the devices that are enabling the behavior, such as computer, smart phone, tablet, etc.

2.  You can structure your time in ways that you can devote an hour or two to only one activity.

3.  You can find an additional interest/hobby or just something else to do.

4.  Ask yourself if you need it or if you want it?

5.  You've found a new product that you really want to buy.  Sit on it for a week and then see if you still really want to buy it on the 8th day.

6.  You are not alone!  A lot of bloggers have a New Year's Resolution to shop less and use more.  We can relate and support each other!


Monday, April 14, 2014

30-Day Abs and Squat Challenge

I was inspired by Linh (Blushology) to get a planner to organize my life. I've identified that I'm a habitual scratch paper and post-it's girl, which is odd because I was a Planner girl back in college. What happened to me??

Anyways, in addition to all the things I need to or want to remember about my family and all the things I need to remember for work, I also wanted to keep track of my fitness progress. 

I bought a cheap planner from Target to try my hand at organizing myself this year. I get lost when there is a full month calendar at the start of each month followed by the weekly schedules behind it. I wonder if I should put everything I do or need to remember in the weekly section as well as the monthly section. I paralyze myself with the process of how to organize that I just don't organize anything at all!

But then I figured the monthly calendar is the perfect size to record all my workouts!  My fitness progress at a glance!!!  *light bulb ON!*

So, I'm actually getting a little bored with the Jung Dayeon Figure Dance workouts I've been doing for the last 3 or 4 weeks. They're good but I just need to insert a little change into it. So my hubby and I are going to start a 30-day fitness challenge. 

I'm loving it because it's something my husband and I get to do together, and it's low impact so we don't injure ourselves. 

I'll be back with an update later!!

Any one else trying to keep a fitness routine fresh and exciting?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Figure Robics by Jung Dayeon: Figure Mat

My most favorite workouts are those that require minimal equipment, like this new one from S. Korean fitness guru Jung Dayeon. Her workouts are becoming my new favorites because I can do them just about anywhere and any time. I think these would be perfect for when you travel. No need for extra clothes or shoes, and especially no extra equipment!  

Ok, enough of me raving about this workout. Here it is!

Top: pictures go left to right. Of all the warm ups I've seen, the above are some really neat moves I've never seen done before. 

Above: pictures go left to right

Top row (Figure Mat 1): up and down leg lift. Do 8 full leg lifts, then pump leg up and down 16 times. Switch legs.

Bottom row (Figure Mat 2): stretch out the leg to the side 8 times. Switch legs. 

Repeat the entire sequence. 

Above: pictures go left to right. 

Top row (Figure Mat 3): these are like sit ups but you only go back as far as the starting position. Do 8 of these sit ups, then 16 half sit ups.

Bottom left (Figure Mat 4): from the starting position, lift your arms straight up. Do this 8 times. 

Not shown (Figure Mat 5): do a Mat 3 sit up followed by raising your arms like in Mat 4. This is one rep. Do this 8 times. 

Bottom right (Mat 6): keeping your body in starting position, twist torso side to side 8 times. 

Do this entire sequence 2 times. 

Above: pictures go from top to bottom

Top left (Figure Mat 7): crunches, do 8 regular crunches the 16 quick little crunches. 

Bottom left (Figure Mat 8): hold your final crunch with arms extended upwards for 8 counts. 

Top right (Figure 9): these are reverse crunches for lower abs. Start with legs out just above the floor, the lift them straight up. Keep your tummy tucked in and back on the floor. Do this 8 times. 

Middle right (Figure Mat 10): lift pelvis into shoulder bridge position 8 times, followed by 16 little lifts. 

Bottom right (Figure Mat 11): this is like Mat 10 but with one leg lifted. Lift pelvis up into a one-legged shoulder bridge 8 times, followed by 16 little lifts. Switch legs. 

Repeat this entire sequence. 

Figure Mat 12: lift leg 8 times, followed by 16 little lifts. Switch legs. 

Figure Mat 13: same as above. 

Repeat the entire sequence. 

Figure Mat 14: I guess this is kind of like waving as if your tall grass blowing in the wind. Do this 8 times, with the key being to also roll your hips. 

Figure Mat 15: a windmill stretch sitting down. Do this 8 times. 

Do the sequence twice. 

Figure Mat 16: swimming. Do this 8 times, alternating sides.

Figure Mat 17: Superman lift. Lift 8 times, then hold the lifted position for 4 counts 4 times. 

Above: pictures go left to right. 

Top row (Figure Mat 19): a classic butt exercise. Lift leg 8 times, followed by 16 little lifts. Switch legs. 

Bottom row (Figure Mat 20): this is a sideways version of Mat 19. Do this 8 times. Switch legs. 

Repeat Mat sequences 16 through 20 twice. 

Above: pictures go from top to bottom. 

So, If you want to see the video do a YouTube search on Jung Dayeon's Figure Robics. Someone in the world will upload it. If you want to buy her DVDs from Amazon, do a search on Chondayon (I don't get how the spelling of her name can be so different). 

I haven't done this particular workout yet but I am planning to incorporate them into my weekly rotation. I'm a new fan. Lol!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

March Empties

I mentioned in a previous post that I didn't finish much in March. It's true, I didn't. 

I received the Skin & Co Truffle Serum and Philosophy Daily Oil-free Moisturizer from Linh at Blushology a while ago, and the Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum as a free sample with purchase from Sephora. 

Skin & Co Truffle Serum
I think I would have liked this serum in my 20's. It was very emollient and felt very watery (which I love in a serum), but it also absorbed so well that my skin felt dry afterwards and I had to follow up with a thicker moisturizer. 

Philosophy Daily Oil-free Moisturizer SPF 30
This, I loved!!!!!  In fact, when I'm through with my current SPFer, I will be getting this in the full size!!!  It went on smooth and was non-greasy. Best of all, it didn't smell as strongly of SPF like most SPF products do. 

Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum
(Do any of you think some of these names for products are ridiculously long?)  I thought this serum would have worked to lighten some of my age spots and was really disappointed that it didn't. I was also disappointed with the goopy texture of the product. It was thick and blended into my skin like glue. Not only did I not like the product for the product, but it went bad during my use of it. It changed from a light orange to a dark orange color, developed a growth in the serum, and started to smell bad. That was the nail in the coffin. 

Jellybean finished a lot more product than her mommy!

Boudreaux's Butt Paste
We love this product so much that we bought her 3 backups!

Baby Magic Lavender & Chamomile Calming Baby Bath
We love anything that is tear free for Jellybean because she recently discovered the joys of splashing. I really like this baby bath because it had a very soothing scent that didn't come on too strong. I categorize this product as a "repurchase if nothing else new catches my eye".

Baby Magic Hair & Body Wash Soft Baby Scent
I really liked this product much less than the Calming Baby Bath. The soft baby scent was really strong and assailed my nose. However, I give props to the tear free formula. I most likely won't be getting this again. 

That's it for March!

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Weigh-in

I will get around to my monthly Empties post later. I didn't finish all that much anyways. But for now, a weigh-in! 

So last month I was lamenting that I hadn't lost the baby weight since Jellybean was born. Some mothers are blessed like that, I suppose.  At the start of my weight loss journey, I was 160 lbs. I vowed to do some form of physical activity every day. I have stuck with it for the most part. I'm not gonna lie, doing at home workouts is really hard when you work from home and care for a baby at the same time. But, hey, sometimes 7 minutes is good enough. 

One of the activities I started doing was a 7 Minute Pilates exercise. I bought the app and love it so far. Each move is broken down into 30 seconds with a 10 second break in between. It's perfect for those days when Jellybean wants more attention. I could not do Rolling Like A Ball at first. My lower back couldn't curve like it used to to roll backwards. Instead of a nice round curve, I had a flat spot like a flat tire. I kept at it though and can now execute a nice roll!

I really like this app because it has a timer for each exercise and it tells you what exercise is coming up. You can even post your workout on social media, if you like. The only 2 things I would like is if 1) it had other Pilates moves that I can exchange, and 2) if there was an option for 50-10 second workout and rest breakdowns.

The other activity I began was Jung Dayeon's Figure Dance workout. I honestly don't have enough time to do the entire workout so I selected 4 sections to do that would cover a total body workout. I'm not going to post a link to YouTube for the video because it might get taken down again. But if you keep searching for it, someone somewhere in the world will post it again. Here's my shortened version:

I warm up first then start with the 12th move.

There's a "Bridge" after the above set which is the equivalent of a 16 count break, then...

There's another "Bridge" here. 

Another "Bridge". 

The final "Bridge" here then a cool down. When I first saw this workout, I scoffed at the idea that this would burn any calories. But when I try this workout and try to make it look easy and sexy like Jung Dayeon, there is a surprising amount of burn!

My husband is also trying out a new workout challenge. I think his arms and chest are starting to look more toned. 

I think he might be doing around 65 push-ups now (at the time of this post). He was also showing me this other workout he found on Instagram, called the Batman Workout. 

This looks interesting. I don't know if I'll try it, after all, 10 sets of 10 reps of 9 exercises might take up a lot of time. But we'll see how things go in the future. 

So, at my April weigh-in I am 156.4 lbs!  I lost 3.6 lbs!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!

I think the important thing to remember is to stay positive and not beat yourself up when you fall off the wagon. Just get back on it and keep going!