Friday, February 28, 2014

March Desktop Calendar

Be in love with your life. Every minute of it. - Jack Kerouac

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Link Lovin' - Blogging Edition

The blogging community is one that thrives off of spreading the love. I have found that most people that have read my blog have their own blog. This is how I have found some amazing blogs to follow. And this is what I would like to share with you during my Link Lovin' series.

This will be a once a month series, posted on the last Wednesday of each month. I will be sharing with you, my lovely readers, some of my favorite blog posts over the last few weeks. Sometimes there will be a theme (like this week), sometimes there won't be. I just hope to introduce you to some fabulous writing and even more fabulous bloggers.

So far this year I have been making changes with my blog. My posts have been more consistent then they have ever been in the past and I have been working a lot to polish up this little corner of the web (more details coming soon). Therefore, I wanted to share with you some helpful posts I have read about blogging. How to organize ideas, get more readers, and be creative. I hope you enjoy them and find them as helpful as I have.

1. 3 things that will kill your creativity via Chasing Happy. I have succumbed to all 3 of these at some point in the past. You probably have too.

2. Time management via Living In Another Language. This post was one that inspired me to start writing blogs ahead of time. I haven't actually gotten into a steady routine of doing this but I am getting better.

3. Are you creating an experience for your readers? via Chasing Happy. After reading this post I have thought a lot more about what experience I want to create for my readers. How do I want them to feel when reading my work and what do I want to stay with them when they go about there day afterward.

4. How to create a successful blog linkup via The Nectar Collective. I'm hoping this series will turn into a linkup now ;)

5. The sponsor game via Living In Another Language. I don't have the guts to start having sponsors on my own blog but I am hoping to sponger some other blogs in the not too distant future.

6. How to kick ass at sponsorships via The Nectar Collective. Another super useful resource for hosting and being a sponsor.

7. How I grew my blog via The Nectar Collective. Some very, very helpful tips on expanding your readership.

8. Web-writing tips to improve your blog posts via Chasing Happy. I never would have thought of some of these on my own. Thankfully, Kenzie thought of them and shared them with us :)

9. Wordpress plugins via Living In Another Language. I can't wait to switch to a Wordpress platform now. There are so many useful tools that you can use when your blog is on this platform.

10.  Guest posting 101 via Chasing Happy. Who wants to guest post here? Leave a comment below and we can set it up!

Have you found any great posts about blogging? Share them below!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Domincan Republic Circa 2010

Recently I have come down with a serious condition, Wanderlust. It is something I was diagnosed with a long, long time ago but as I have not done any traveling in the last few years it has gotten worse and worse. Therefore, in an attempt to ease a bit of the symptoms, I have gone through photos I took on previous trips and have decided to share some with you.

Our eye and our style is forever changing and growing so going back to take a look at previous work can result in new gems being found. Ready for you to save, polish off and share with the world.

These are my little, rediscovered gems from my trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with my family for Christmas of 2010.

Am I the only one experiencing Wanderlust this time of year? If money wasn't a problem, where would you travel to?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Creative Collective: Anything Goes Art

 The Creative Collective is a link up in the blogging community with the intent of encouraging creativity and trying out new activities. I am in love with this link up. I have already met some pretty amazing bloggers through it and I'm excited to participate in it for the rest of the year.

This week's activity is called Anything Goes Art. Pretty much, you grab whatever you have in your house and whip it together into a piece of art. Now, I'm a very analytical, organized thinker so just whipping stuff up doesn't happen for me unless I'm in the kitchen. Therefore when I was digging through my art box and found fabric Sharpies I had bought some time ago I was reminded of this pin and decided I had to give it a go.

Then it was just trying to find out what I wanted to put on my pillow case. This is quite a large pillow case, as you can see from the above photo, so since I was feeling lazy I didn't want to cover the entire thing in words. I found this Harry Potter quote on my quotes board on pinterest and figured it suited a pillow case very well. The rest is history!

I have to say, now I'm thinking of re-reading my Harry Potter books to find more awesome quotes and maybe try to come up with a way to make art out of them in our apartment. If I come up with an interesting way of displaying them, I'll make sure to share it with you all :)

The Creative Collective

What's your favorite quote?

[edit: I unfortunately did not do this by hand. I based it off of this print I found online. I will be attempting other quotes in a similar style by hand in the near future though :) ]

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

HIIT + Tabata: The Basics of Interval Training

HIIT and Tabata. When I first asked a friend what this made her think of this was her response:
She was frantically scrambling her mind, trying to find a solution. The craving, the urge was almost overwhelming... all consuming. Tabata had never felt so on edge. Glancing around she tried to take it all in, wondering where her feet had taken her while her mind was otherwise occupied. Where would it come from? When? And from whom? The next hit would take her out. She'd never survive.
When I first read that I was shocked because [1] I did not know she was this creative! and [2] although I'm not sure what she thought HIIT and Tabata are, she kind of got it right without knowing it.

HIIT and Tabata are two of the most popular forms of interval training. Pretty much that means that you work for a predetermined amount of time and rest for a predetermined amount of time (usually rest period is shorter than working period).

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. This method is pretty simple whereas you work for longer than you rest for but it's up to you how long the work/rest periods are. A common ratio is 50s of work and 10s of rest.

Tabata was originally designed for figure skaters by Professor Izumi Tabata. Pretty much, you work as hard as you can with good form for 20s and then rest for 10s and repeat for a total of 8 rounds/4 minutes.

The great thing about interval training is that it is a very effective way of getting your heart rate up, pushing your body physically and the work out will be a lot quicker than the average workout. Some studies have even shown that switching from steady state training to interval training increases resting metabolic rate (ie. improves fat burning) and lowers insulin resistance.

So, now that you really, really want to try out interval training, what are your next steps? I recommend trying Tabata first. It's fast and very simple. There are lots of apps out there for interval timers but if you're working out at home there is a free, handy Tabata timer available online here. Once you have your timer ready, pick an exercise. You can sprint/run, do jumping jacks, burpees or big resistance movements like squats, lunges or pushups. Make sure to use proper form for whatever exercise you're doing and you're good to go!

My at-home work outs are usually done Tabata style and over the coming weeks I will be sharing some of the routines with you to help give you ideas for your own workouts.

If you've done some type of interval training in the past what did you think? And if you go try it out on your next workout make sure to come back and leave me a comment with your thoughts on it!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Lil' Sis

To my lil' sis, Jessica,

I remember one time when we were growing up, mom pulled me aside and showed me a report you had written for school. You were told by your teacher to write about your hero, and you wrote about me. I remember being so floored that you had picked me as your hero since I was a teenager at the time and having been the moody teenager I was, I remember us not getting along the best. I don't think I ever told you how much that truly touched me or how I look up to you too.

Even though you've always been the quiet one, you have always stuck to your guns when people challenged your ideas or you didn't get a long with kids in school. I've always admired that about you since I can be very head strong but my opinions can waiver so much. It always seemed like you just knew the right thing to do and you never waivered.

And it has gotten you so far in life. I'm so proud of you I don't think I could put it into words even if I tried. Congratulations on getting into your internship, they are lucky to have you.

Happy birthday lil' sis.

Love always,
Your big sis

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lately [03]

1>> I have recently decided to give the tv show the American Horror Story a shot and I'm addicted!! I'm not usually a scary movie/show kind of person but this isn't really scary, it's more of a thriller. Which is super exciting and it hooks me into watching 7 episodes in one evening! hahaha.. oh well.

2>> I got a NutriBullet for Christmas and almost every morning since I have had a smoothie for breakfast. My body is so used to it at this point that anything heavier, honestly, makes my body cringe. I love it because it satisfies any hunger I have in the morning and sustains me for at least 3 hours without feeling heavy in my stomach.

3>> Halifax has had the most bizarre weather this winter. It seems like we are stuck in a loop of super cold weather, a big snow storm and then it warms up and almost all of the snow goes away. I'm hoping to get at least one or two more big snow falls where I can go out and take photos during the day. Anyone else find the day after a big snow fall to be so beautiful it's almost magical?

4>> Matt's fro was recently cut but right before hand I took this photo. It was so long we could almost fit all of it in a ponytail!

5>> We've been really good over the past few weeks at getting fresh, healthy food for groceries. Not only is it nutritious but fresh fruits and veggies make for great props in photos!

6>> I was strolling around Chapters last week looking for the next book club book and stumbled upon this. Who knew that Nicholas Flamel was an actual person? Not me! Can't wait to read this :)

What have you been up to lately?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Creative Collective: Playlist

I am officially loving link ups. Even though I have only participated officially in one (Monthly Wishes), it was a huge success! I read through lots of other bloggers posts about their goals for the month/week, commented on their posts to help support and motivate them and even got some blogger love in return! I find this very exciting.. is that lame? I don't care even if it is, it's my blog anyways :P

The Nectar Collective is hosting a year long link up called The Creative Collective. It's 23 posts that will help to inspire creativity in the bloggers and readers and encourages us to connect in the big, ol' blogosphere. Sounds pretty awesome right? Well it is. You should go check it out if you want to participate.

The Creative Collective

This week's Creative Collective post is to create a playlist with new music. Most of the time when I listen to music I throw on a local radio station Radio 96.5. The play all different genres of music, new and old. Which is why I like this station so much. I want to start jogging again in the spring which means I am definitely going to need some new play lists. And here's the first one of the season!

It's short and sweet since I'm currently only doing interval workouts at home that are less than a half hour. Expect some longer playlists in the not too distant future ;)

Here's a little sneak peak of the playlist too:

What are you listening to??

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February Monthly Wishes


Keeping on track with my 2014 resolution of setting goals each month and melding it with the Weekly Wishes linkups over @ The Nectar Collective, we have February's installment of Monthly Wishes.

Last Month's Wishes
1. Workout 3 times/week - This went well over all. Some weeks I did more, some less. I think it averaged out for the month though.
2. Eat out only once/week - This was great until the last week of the month. Matt got a new job so we got lazy we may have celebrated a bit more than planned.
3. Post 3 times/week. This was great for the first two weeks. Then because of poor planning it fell to the wayside. 

February's Wishes
1. Rolling over #3 from last month. I have planned it a little bit better this month so here's hoping more success!
2. Practice yoga 3 times a week. This can be either at the studio or at home. Doesn't matter. I'm just a much happier person when I practice yoga regularly. Therefore I will be committing to this plus some regular work outs throughout the weeks too.
3. Spend more time reading. I tend to go through on again, off again phases with reading. I'll get addicted to books for a few months and then get bored and move on to something else. I read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and the Hollow City follow up this month for book club and I'm now craving more books. Have any recommendations?

What are you focusing on accomplishing this month? If you would like to share it with us link up to The Nectar Collective below.
The Nectar Collective

Monday, February 3, 2014

Help Us Save Tinkerbell's Legs

Hello readers,

I would like you to meet Tinkerbell. She is one of the cutest, most rambunctious, full of character, 8 month old puppies I have ever met. I have given a little piece of my heart to this puppy after having gotten to know her over the past few months.

Tinkerbell is just like any other dog. She loves her toys...

Especially when they are covered in peanut butter....

And even sometimes, she goes a little bit crazy for them...

But unlike other dogs, she doesn't have full use of her legs. Tinkerbell was recently diagnosed with Legg-Perthes disease. Pretty much, this disease.. "disrupts the blood supply to the head of the femur, which is the 'ball' portion of the hip's 'ball and socket joint.' Portions of the boney tissues, starved of their blood supply, begin to die and the overlying cartilage that lines the hip joint collapses. This leaves a painful, poorly-fitting hip joint." (source)

Although Tinkerbell is so happy and playful most of the time, she is in pain and you can even see the amount of muscle loss already because of under-use of one of her legs. Her x-rays show that this disease is present on her left and right hind hip joints. Therefore, the vet has recommended that both of them be treated via surgery. The surgery itself is pretty basic, but it isn't cheap. For both legs it will be between $2000-$2500.

And this is where we could really use your help. A website has been set up to take donations to help fund this surgery. If we can't raise enough money for the surgery, my friend will not be able to keep her beautiful puppy. Please, please, please donate HERE if you can. Anything you can give would mean the world to us.

Edit: Just found out from the surgeon that only one hip needs to be operated on which brings the cost down to $1500! Great news but we still have a way to go! Any help you can provide would be amazing :)

And here is one last photo of Tinkerbell for the road :) Isn't she the cutest?!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Desktop Calendar

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road does not mean they are lost. - Dalai Lama