fitness tip.

Just some fitness tips from my personal experience that I thought I'd share today.

1)    Define your goals.
a.     What is it you'r looking for? Toning? Strengthening? Losing weight?
2)   Do your homework.
a.     Research good ways to get to the goal you have chosen. Aka, google it.
3)   Learn your body.
a.     Learn what works for you.  If food is what makes the biggest difference (which is how it is for most people!!), change your diet FIRST, without sending it into starvation mode.  Little by little.  And be consistent!
b.     What are your limits?  Where do you max out?  How many times can you work out per week without damaging your body instead of making improvements?
c.      Does running bulk you up or slim you down?  For me, I do NOT run, because it makes my legs bigger instead of smaller.  Seeing as how they are where I need to lose the weight, I avoid running at all costs.  Instead, I do things such as Yoga and Pilates and an amazing class called Centergy.  These things keep my heart rate up and provide enough cardio while not requiring my muscles to bulk up to keep up.
d.     Weights vs. body weight.  Are you working out with weights? (i.e. lifting) or using your body weight as your main catalyst (i.e. push ups, sit ups, pull ups, balancing, stretching).  Find which one works better for you!  And remember, body weight work-outs are much better for toning.  Build then tone, but don't build too much.
4)    Make a schedule.  Print it out, and cross out your progress.  Completing lists releases endorphins. 
5)    Get an accountability partner.
a.     Do it with someone!  Makes it easier to get up in the morning.
6)   Try working out before the rest of the day starts.
a.     This will get it out of the way and give you energy for the other day’s activities! 

That's it and that's all, folks.  For today.
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day 29.

[boots: target.  tights: Kohl's.  shirt: nordstrom's.  belt: h&m. necklace: freedom fair tacoma WA.  dress: nordstrom's.  earrings and watch: nordstrom's.  headband: costa rica.]

 My lamps are done!!!!!  I'll post the full tutorial for these fun DIY burlap lamps soon!

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Bible study time!

For all of you who were paying attention at the beginning of the 30 day challenge.... I have baaassiicallyyy completely failed in the whole "don't purchase coffee" area.  I probably went out half the days and stayed home half the days.  But my excuse when Matt confronted me about it the other day?  "Hey.  I was doing my bible studies."  Fact.  I can't concentrate at home.  UGH.

Here are some thoughts from today's siftings and musings and reflecting's.... :)

Psalms 135, 134, & 133.

“Praise the Lord…” but why? “for the Lord is good…”  - Psalm 135:3

135:15-18 “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men.  They have mouths, but cannot speak eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.  Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”

I would say that the same is true even today.  We, as mankind, produce “things” (gold & silver) and trust in those things – our big homes, our boats, our kids’ awards and honors, anything earthly.  We define ourselves categorically by how much money comes into our household per year, the square footage of our homes, and the frequency of our salon trips.  My question is this: When blessed with luxuries such as these, how does one fall desperately to their knees before the Lord, in reverence and in fear?    Become a SERVANT in God’s name.  Serving where it’s uncomfortable, loving when it’s hardest, accepting your own failures and not denying our own weaknesses, dismissing pride and humbling ourselves in the presence of the Lord.  If we have been blessed in abundance externally (which, we all have been…) then it is our daily challenge to do “clean-up work” inwardly.  “Home improvement” for the soul.  Storing up our treasures in heaven.  And this doesn’t mean clean up your act, stop having sex, don’t ever do drugs, don’t sneak out of yoru house.   On the contrary, it doesn’t mean to do those things either….. but what I mean by “home improvement” is: take a look at your attitude.  Take a look at the way you THINK through decisions and situations.  Take a look at your own level of selfishness.  Start to recognize when you insist it be “all about you”, and let that stubbornness become a part of your past rather than your present.

Psalm 134 (all)
“Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord.  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.  May the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion."

When it gets particularly difficult, or particularly good, or particularly average for that matter!!  I love to go to a sanctuary, Salem house of Prayer or just a mountain top and PRAISE Him. 
Psalm 133 is strange, and I think I need a commentary bible to understand it better.  BUT.  Vs. 1 says “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”  I pictured a house of young, un-married men living together.  Perhaps it would even be a better analogy to picture a house of girls.  You can’t get along with everyone all the time, and “how great it is!...” when people do live in peace.  But then I got to thinking…. Well, it’s not just some accident when it happens for a 2 week span.  People change their attitudes.  They give instead of take.  They serve instead of expecting service.  They relax the issues they have flexed and forced for so long.  It is a conscious choice we get to make every day – how we are going to act, and how we want to affect the people around us.  That’s a great lesson even for me as a married woman with one roommate.  Matt and I get along much better when we decide to serve instead of be served, forgive instantly rather than be stubborn, never raise our voice, have enduring patience with each other.  I am so thankful for a husband who takes the time to improve, and who is so good at being a husband.  

Blessings to you TODAY!  And every day. :)
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day 28 - whimsical wednesday.

[boots: target.  skirt: h&m.  top: TJMaxx.  necklace, hate, &earrings: nordstrom's.]

Lots of remodeling going on at BOTH houses on either side of our little cottage.  While this is great because it improves the value of our own home... the house next to us was painted a terrible green much too dark for a house the size it is (which is... very small.)  Now it looks like army barracks next door.  Maybe we'll find some army men in there.

I also had a really funny story to tell earlier and I thought to myself "This will be PERFFFF for Whim Wed!"  But alas.  I forgot.
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day 27 - ruby tuesday

[shoes: TJMaxx (Guess brand), skirt and belt: h&m, undershirts: who knows; cardigan: gap, headband: hand made in costa rica.]

Today I spent about 3 hours playing with a 3 year old and her (more than 3.. many more) water balloons.  Ruby has this enormous cooking pot that her mom so graciously filled to the brim with water and put out on Ruby's play table for her to distract herself with.
It works like a charm.
Sometimes too charming.  Hence the 3 hours with water balloons "swimming", "resting", and "keeping warm" in the big pot'o'water today.

Ruby and I went downtown for some Great Harvest and a lil' Carousel action.

On the way home, due to her INSISTENCY on taking allll the water balloons in the car down town with us (I allowed for ONE to come, by the way.  A red one.  Her fav.) she was holding her lil' balloon friend in her lap.  
One second everything is fine.

The next..... PIERCING screams from the backseat and immediate hyper-ventalation-like-crying followed those screams.  I was so confused...
Until I saw that her water balloon had popped IN her lap.

Now, this wouldn't seem so bad on its own.  But directly before the balloon popping she had mentioned she needed to go potty.  No, it's not what you're thinking... she did not pee her car seat.

When she had mentioned she had to urinate, I kept saying "Well we'll be home in a few, just hold it!  Try thinking about other things..." Which, I mean, she's 3.  What was I thinking.
She asked, "Would mommy be mad if the seat was all wet?"
"Absolutely." I replied.
"Would she be a bad guy?"
I make a pouty face and nod my head yes, feeling her would-be-pain.

I felt terrible when that balloon popped.  Not only did her precious red balloon (which, I found out from her parents she hadn't even popped a balloon yet due to her protectiveness of them.  She takes them to bed.) but now she thinks her mom is going to be a bad guy.


Just to enhance the story, probably, when we arrived home, BOTH of her parents were already home.
I walked her inside, holding her hand, and presented her parents with a soaking wet just-got-done-bawling-child.  Ugh.  I felt terrible.

Lucky for me, they laughed, got her changed, and told me about her balloon weirdness.  I felt better.

All in all, a wonderful day.  A bible study on the history of Israel (which I took more notes on than I do most classes I partake in at school...) hang time with Ruby (and a two hour nap. For her.  Score.)  Centergy with my best friend and awesome woman of God, Natalie Z! and then a great bible study with my ladies.  

And 3 days of the challenge to go!  Woot woot!

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day 26.

Monday.  76 and cloudy.  What is a girl to do with this kind of weather?

After a wonderful bible this study - all about the reality of Jesus Christ being GOD, divine and human fused into one (beautiful...) - and a kick butt workout at the Courthouse Athletic Club (thank you Jen and group power), I made myself a delicious strawberry, pineapple, strawberry activia, papaya, and apple juice smoothie. YUM.

[flips: AE.  pants: j.crew.  top, necklace, earrings: nordstrom's.  hat: h&m. ]

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day 25.

Matt is on a fruit-and-veggie cleansing process for this week or so.  Salad:  Spinach, strawberries, chopped almonds, blueberries (if desired), chopped onions, sunflower seeds.  Dressing:  Light Raspberry Walnut or Light Balsamic Vinagerette.  White wine and water on the side.

[shoes: urban outfitters.  skirt: h&m.  top:  j.crew.  vest & bag: nordstrom's.]  
I do feel a little guilty about this outfit.  The vest wasn't included in my original 30 items!!  Terrible person I am.  But, live and learn.  I should have included a vest.

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day 24.

Husband's photo skills.

[flips: AE.  jeans: zumiez.  belt: mom's.  top: christmas gift.  bag, toenail polish, watch, and earrings: nordstrom's. hat: ?]

A casual look, and warm for an evening down at the world beat festival! :)

My love.

DIY Burlap Lamps
Purchase lamp shades.

I saved the plastic wrap from the lamp and trace-cut-out the burlap so I'd know exactly how to curve it, etc.

Here are my two burlap cut-outs.

Matt exacto-knifed out our stencil that we printed from the Mighty Google world.

ALMOST done, but we need a hot glue gone to fold the tops and bottoms over the edges.  pretty easy!

Bee was spray painted on;
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day 22. and 23.

Yesterday.  Man.  Husband comes home and I lose track of everything!!

[shoes: h&m.  capris: j.crew.  tank: j.crew.  clutch: nordstrom's.  toenail polish: nordstrom's.  sunglasses: nordstrom's.  watch: nordstrom's.]

Matt and I discovered that not one but TWO of the trees in our back yard are cherry trees!!  Scoreee.  So, we got me up on the roof for some pickin'....

Unfortunately, it was sooooper steep, and I ended up scared for my life and took about 15 minutes trying to get down.

We are heading back to the World Beat Festival tonight, and outfit 23 for our evening excursion will be posted later!  :)
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