My June 2014

The first half of the year is gone. Went by very fast. It was a super busy month for me with activities in Javi's school and several friends visiting Bangkok. Busy is good. 

Started June keen on living a healthy life by exercising and eating healthy. Well, I ended the month regularly exercising. The healthy eating part was a struggle. I was calorie counting, then stress and PMS came and my EQ was too low to log my calorie intake. 

This is my 27th month joining Fat Mum Slim's Photo-A-Day challenge. I am not tired of it. It's a good mental and photography exercise for me. I get to document my days this way.

And here's how my June went:

1. Joy (The smile of a four-year old who just jumped on the bed.)
2. Doing (Play time for my two boys. I love how they really play with each other. Especially when I need to do something like cook our dinner.)
3. Family (My family, in Coke can version.)
4. Ordinary (Today, we rode the train. It's a normal thing here in Bangkok. Traffic can be terrible. Train is very efficient. No rude or impatient taxi drivers.)
5. 11 o'clock (The mall just opened. Caleb and I are off to buy our monthly household supplies. I like running errands when the mall just opened. I can finish my tasks in less than an hour.)
6. Adventure (Every single day is an adventure with this little one and his big brother.) 
7. Pattern (I love polka dots!)
8. T is for... (...the Thai version of the Harry Potter series.)
9. We live here (Reflection of our apartment building on another building.) 
10. Flying (There a number of birds flying around when I took this photo. I didn't want to zoom in as it will ruin a good photo. It was a beautiul morning.) 
11. The beginning (It all begins with zero. Planning to be more active and keeping track of my movement. While I don't have Fitbit, this pedometer should work for me.) 
12. Pastel (We went to IKEA and I went gaga over these colors.)
13. Simply (Thankfully, the plastic flowers in our building lobby are now gone. A real plant is better than fake flowers.)
14. Cross ("At the cross I bow my knees. Where Your blood was shed for me. There's no greater love than this")
15. Lovely (Fresh fruits serve as great table or kitchen counter display.) 
16. In the shadows (My early morning walk to the gym) 
17. Peaceful (At this time - before sunrise - I am the only one awake. It's always a good start to a busy day when I get time alone before the boys wake up.)
18. Quirky (Our souvenir from the Siem Reap trip. Javi is scared of it but Caleb plays with it.) 
19. Habit (As much as possible I start my day with my morning cup of coffee, journal{s} and quiet time.) 
20. Yay! (It's finally the weekend)
21. Here I am (At my favorite xiao long bao place {Din Tai Fung}. Really yummy!
22. Growing (We attended a birthday party of my eldest son's classmate. These kids are growing up so fast.)
23. In this moment (My coffee times are precious. Even if I just sit in a coffee shop and think about nothing.)
24. What June looks like (Lots of early mornings for June) 
25. Sun flare (It was very cloudy the whole of yesterday. There was only a short glimpse of the sun and all I could see was clouds.) 
26. Dreaming (A trip to the Filipino store with a very low EQ resulted to this. Now, I am dreaming I can eat all these without gaining a pound. Aack!)
27. Loving (My latest shopping finds: cute gift bags and something for the nails.) 
28. Bed (It has been a busy and productive week. I look forward to good night's sleep and a relaxing Sunday.)
29. Delight (Seeing them always this close warms this momma's heart.)
30. The end  (We had a staycation of sorts. The husband was working though. Time to head home.)

How was June for you?

Butter London Love

A manicure only lasts me about a week. I usually want to have colorful nails during weekends as we always go out. 

I was introduced to Butter London nail products by a friend just this year. Though I've heard about the brand for a while. Been a loyal user of OPI and Essie products. My go-to nail salon uses OPI products so I never had the chance to explore Butter polishes. 

Why I Like It?

I was so impressed with how fast the polish dries. I usually retouch my polish on a Friday before I sleep. My experience in the past was it would take too long for the polish to dry that I would wake up with scratches or hair lines on my manicure. Butter polish do not have those. As I retouch before sleeping, it means I'd be half asleep when I do my manicure. Butter is very easy to apply that I can do it using the light on my desk lamp. It is effortless. 

I fell in love with nail lacquers of Butter that I keep several bottles now. I'm also happy that the Sephora in Bangkok carries this brand. 

My first try of Butter nail products

Tried the matte finish as top coat

My current nail color, Slapper

My Only "Complain" 

The polish only lasts me three days and my nails would be chipped. OPI lasts me a week. I hope this would change with the release of Butter's Gel Base and Top Coat. I will let how it goes. 

Gel Base and Top Coats
Do you also love Butter London products? What tips do you have for me?

Have a great week!

Run 5K App

For the life of me, I do not and cannot run. It was something I did not think I could do. Not until the then Couch to 5K and now known as Run 5K program. 

I started this program two (or maybe more) years ago. And I was a complete failure. I just couldn't. I felt like I was going to die. A minute jogging felt like an hour to me. I think I stopped at Week 3 and did not move on. Then I got pregnant so I stopped. 

I resumed the program this year. I seriously need to work out. I would say a prayer before I jogged because I wouldn't go on with it. My mindset was, "I cannot do this."

And then last week, 

I finally finished it. I jogged for 30 minutes straight. What a feat for me! 

I was disappointed with the Run 5K app, there should be a "Congratulations!" when I finished. It's all business, move to the next level 10K. That was just me. I needed the pat on the back. 

Now, I alternate jogging with Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred program. It is not strictly a 30 day thing for me. I don't want to stop jogging as I admit I am enjoying it now so I want to keep on doing it. In my ideal world, I would love to do both but reality is I can only do one workout a day. Time is a luxury for me.  

Seriously, who would have thought I'd say I want to keep on running in the morning? If someone prophesied at the beginning of the year, I would eventually say that, I would think they were nuts.

I had my inspirations. The biggest influence was my sister who said years ago because we have asthma that we cannot run. Well, she proved that wrong and is now joining marathons.

Everything is possible, my friends.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
- Philippians 4:13 NLT
If I can do it, so can YOU!

Effects of The Daniel Plan Book

My weight loss is a constant struggle. More so now after my 2nd pregnancy I need to lose so much weight. 

I haven't found an effective weight loss plan which will cater to my lifestyle. I cannot exercise like most people as I have two small children to take care of. 

I finally found the time to read and finish The Daniel Plan book. Deactivating my Facebook account is doing me a lot of good. 

And oh boy this is one of those books that opened my eye to a healthy reality. 

The Essentials 
FOOD. This book provided me with facts about the food I eat. I was terrified after finishing the book. I had no idea how bad sugar is to one's body. And all the junk food I eat. No wonder I am this big. Now, I aim to eat healthier. I think twice now before buying a processed item from the supermarket. My plan is to eat healthy during weekdays - no junk food, no rice, no soda, etc. On the weekend, I can indulge a little but not excessive. For snacks, I now stick to apple slices or hard boiled egg. I've learned to log my calorie intake upon the influence of a dear friend. 
FITNESS. My goal is to exercise five (5) times a week. I get up at 5 o'clock in the morning and I head to the gym for cardio exercises. I need to lose weight so I do cardio for now. I am finishing the program, Run 5K. I still have two weeks left. Then I will move on to Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred. 
FOCUS. My one word for the year which I am applying to my weight loss plan. 
FRIENDS. I have my husband and we encourage each other. But when our EQ are both low, we tend to crave in and eat to our hearts' desires. I found two friends who I can be accountable to. I would not know about the Lose It app, or the Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred or this Focus T25 workout if it weren't for them. 
FAITH. Getting God involved is the most important component of The Daniel Plan. I say a prayer before I jog every morning because there is no way I can run without feeling like I am going to die. But I'm getting there, I can now jog for 20 minutes straight. I even prayed to God for food to be less desirable. I think it worked as I have self-control now.  Asking God's help is effective. God even has a sense of humor. One time, I was due for my weekly bagel run (I eat bagels for breakfast). I went to the bagel store and to my surprise, they ran out. Thought God was already telling me something right there. But I am stubborn and I went back again the following week, still no bagels! I then found out that the bagel company pulled out and another concessionaire will take over the stand. "Okay God, it's all loud and clear to me now. I will now stick with oatmeal for breakfast."  Now, I mastered cooking oatmeal.

I hope I will eventually lose weight. I really feel good after every workout. It's a refreshing to eat healthier. I have more energy. I no longer feel sluggish. I want to keep doing this. 

Even if I did not follow the 40-Day Daniel Plan, I chose to apply its principles to my own weight management plan. I customized it to fit my situation now. One of the major lesson from the book is it educated me about the food I am consuming and convinced me why I need to eat healthier.

Now, I am keeping my fingers cross or the more appropriate thing to say is I am praying hard for this plan to work.  

Do you have tips or advice to share? Write it down on the Comments section.

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