A Reason.

People come into your life for a reason.
They might not know it themselves, why.
You might not know it. But there's a reason.

Just like my Instagram profile says: I am constantly "intrigued" by the world around me, mainly by the people. I am the epitome of being a people person. I genuinely love meeting and interacting people, well people who fascinate me. Which, for a person that moves around as many times as I've had, would easily shun myself to the world. But I've found a way to use these experiences to my advantage and make the most of any situation.

It could be as subtle as our common interest in a particular movie. Or the way we both inadvertently do the same things or think similarly. I particularly do not go out and seek people to interact with, it just happens one comes along my way and I say to myself "Oh, hey there fellow human, you are interesting, I will keep talking to you..." That is kind of the way I think of it. But once in awhile I will come across another human being and say to myself, "I want to be just like him/her..." I literally look at him/her and just feel overwhelmed with the vast intelligence, an aura of passion that seems to fuel this person, and radiates out of his/her very existence. Sounds pretty intense, huh? I've only met a few handful of people who live a life with passion, more importantly doing what they absolutely love. And it's these very people that make me turn my head twice and makes my heart smile.

From the moment I stepped into my professor's class, I knew... that everything that had to happen for me to be in this very classroom, was for a reason. I like to believe that people come into your life for a reason... Looking back, I see things happen for a reason.

On the last day of my favorite class, I waited to talk to my professor. I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe some "yoda type advice" where I would leave that class with all his wisdom and his magical creative powers embedded in a sword or in my case in my external hard drive. 

As he called me, I walked towards him with my head held somewhat high, but with an almost bow-like posture wanting to pay some sort of homage for being graced by his wisdom twice a week for the past 16 weeks. That's what he was to me, someone I looked up to, someone I wanted to be around all day just so I wouldn't miss anything.  I wanted so much to ask him to be my mentor, to be my personal guide in this journey of mine. 

As I sat next to him, he looked over my last project. He paused and smiled. I never know what to expect whenever he does that, it keeps me on edge and eager at the same time. Throughout the years, I've learned to develop a thick skin for this field, I've learned that any critique is never a personal jab at you, and most importantly I've learned to listen, to not react to quickly with the urge to be defensive and to argue my reason for doing what I did. He taught me that, to just listen. 

His pause felt like hours, as I tried to decipher what his pause meant. Finally he said, as he turned my project around looking at every crease, every word, and every corner. "There are two kinds of people in this field, there are people that work hard to become a graphic artist, they read every book, they create, fail, create again, fail again, but they never give up. Then there are people who possess an innate ability for this craft, being creative is almost effortless, their craft is flawless because they knew this is what they were meant to do, so they do it well, every single time. They are almost obsessed about it, but these people call it their passion. You are the latter. You possess a gift that makes it so clear to me that this is what you were born to do...."

I was speechless. The only response I could give him was "Thank You, hearing this meant a lot to me.."

Little did he know that this meant EVERYTHING to me. If he only what it took for me to get here. If he only knew how badly I wanted this. If he only knew what he just told me will forever stick with me and fuel my passion even more and when that day comes where I'm finally where I aim to be, I will pick up that phone, call him and say "Thank you professor for believing me."


Growing Into 2015.

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It is officially 2015. 
One year, 365 days, gone, in what seems to be a blink of an eye. 
This blog has seen better days. In fact, at night when I can't sleep, I find myself scrolling through my own posts from years ago and I always think to myself, "Gosh, I really love to write..." Yet, I've spent many days sitting in front of my computer, completely blank. Or I find other things to do and tell myself, I'll do it "later". Well, later never comes. 

Lately, I've been inspired by a dear friend living in AK who writes beautifully and I'll randomly text her giving her a thumbs up for writing. Still, with distance and life getting in the way, we always retreat to one another's blog and find some sort of solitude and that "connection" and it's like sitting down having a cup of coffee with a great conversation all over again. 

So thank you my "Pork Cold Noodle" companion (probably the only other person reading my blog) for always inspiring me.

 

This inspired my One Little Word for 2015. 

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"I just want to go on more ADVENTURES"

Yes! All kinds of adventures! Not just the kind that requires you to fly in order to get there, but anything daring and exciting, something that will take me out of my comfort zone and question my capabilities. The kind that makes your heart flutter with both excitement, anxiety, with a tinge of fear. Those kinds of adventures are the best kind. I look forward to them and I will embrace them as they come.

"Be around good ENERGY, CONNECT with people"

This is vital! Surround yourself with positivity, always. 

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I have been so fortunate to have met so many amazing people in my life with whom I've had instant connections with. But moving around puts a damper on the ability to create long lasting friendships (that are not long distance). But I continue to put myself out there, always welcoming people with a smile. I have always had a deep desire to connect with people, to listen, to know more about them, to share stories, to be a part of their life as much as they are becoming a part of mine. Being back in school has opened doors to some amazing connections and some fabulous souls. Not only do we share the same desires of becoming great artists, we can laugh at the "graphic arts lingo" or critique one another's work all the while walking the same road. These connections are important because we constantly push one another and no one else understands the hurdles of the CA program than the very students in there with you. I'm welcoming each beautiful soul that crosses my path.. 


LEARN new things.
As much as we think we know everything.. we don't! Open up your mind and your heart to new things, new opportunities, new skills, new recipes, new workout regime...  Feed your mind, feed your spirit, feed your soul, feed your heart. Invest in yourself to further our knowledge, it truly is an investment in our future! You are never too old to learn. Life is meant to be lived, to explore, to learn and to share. Sharing your knowledge is one of the greatest gifts a person can give. And, as you teach, you will find yourself learning. 

 

GROW.
That's my word for 2015.

This year it will be about

growing
cultivating
harnessing
developing
becoming

-- who I want to be in every facet of my life. 

 

As with every New Year, I welcome it with open arms. I'm excited to see what's ahead. There are a lot of uncertainties, but I know I will get through them with the love and support of my husband and my family. 

 


Resurfacing.

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(yes bad photo... straight out of the iPhone, but love this girl)

Last week my daughter came home and told me her teacher told her that her journal entries were well written and when her teacher asked where she learned to write so vividly, she replied, "My mom, she likes to write a lot on her blog..." 

My heart just melted.

I've always loved to write. Wheter it's a bullet list, a dream sheet, or my life's stories. I enjoy expressing myself through words. As a young girl, I looked forward to diaries as chronicles of my life.  And in the coming age, this Typepad blog has been a part of my life for nearly 8 years. That's a lot of writing if you ask me.


But as of lately.. call it pure laziness or lack of effort. My blog days seem long gone. Many reasons why, "life" in general. But these days, my life in detail seems recorded on my Instagram feed or "tweeted" on my Twitter. With these short burst of cyber connections to the world on the information freeway called Social Media, it's hard to sit down and type a few sentences to save my life. But I miss it.. I miss "cyber-venting" or just "sharing" the latest in the Barut Household or what's on my mind. I look back on my writings and I literally astound myself of how much real and raw, emotions were put in writing some of these passages into this thing called life. Sure there were "filler" segments that seem to highlight the weekend. But with all the intention of expressing myself and staying connected.

I'm literally still amazed at how many people will say "Well you haven't blogged in a while.." Then I'm like "Wow, someone is still reading this?" But I want to resurface, and come up for air once again. My daughter has insipred me to "Keep Calm, and Keep Writing..."

And with school for me just around the corner, you can bet this laptop will be attached to me and I'll be trying to find ways to steer clear from the massive amounts of homework.. so I may need that gateway to free myself from the stress of school for sure.

Till then, I can safely say.. I will try to write more than a constructively written "tweet" of more than 140 characters (including spaces).  Twitter is a fun way to "talk to yourself" though. Although in my head I feel like I have 2.1 million followers, who laugh at the silly little tweets I "shout out". In reality.. I don't and I laugh "with myself." Still it's the amusement I get that matters.

 


Thirty Six.

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While my 34th year was a roller coaster of emotions, my 35th year was a time of healing, renewal, and self discovery. Most of my days as a 35 year old was spent making the most of each day. My word for the new year was "renew" with this quote in mind:

“Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!”

By God, if you told me a year ago, I would be doing half the things I've done that made my stomach tremble with fear and ending with a smile so big, my heart could feel it. I would call you "crazy". But that's exactly how I spent most of my days as a Thirty-Five year old woman. I took chances, took that leap of faith, looked fear in it's eyes, and literally smashed it to the ground. I took pride in myself, I took time to "fall in love" with myself, to educate myself, to train myself, to strengthen myself. All of which, healed my soul, one moment at a time.

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Most importantly, I allowed myself to "feel" to get in touch with what hurt the most to what brought me sheer joy. I refused to shield my heart from people or moments simply because I was afraid. I learn to trust, and with, that I was able to peel off layers so I could be transparent to the one person that I kept hiding from.

 

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On my actual birthday, our family along with the Sheehans did the Run or Dye. It was the perfect kind of birthday, doing what I love, running my family, AND in color!IMG_2838

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And lately, the beach has been my refuge. My place to just "relax" and take a breather. I'm finding comfort in the sound of the waves crashing, salt water in my hair, and being in the water. Which is all new to me, as I have been afraid of this vast ocean most of my childhood/teenage/and adult years.. But once I got over that, I find the beach somewhat of a retreat for me. (Still odd to hear me say).

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Year 35, you were good to me. I learned a lot about myself, one of which is that I tend to be my biggest obstacle. I doubt myself to much, I don't give myself enough credit, I sulk in my mistakes, I let negativity in more than I should. But I also grew stronger, I believed I could and I did. I don't give up. When fear settles in, it's a good sign, that I press on and just do it.

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So this is for you, Year 36.. Bring it on!


Spartan Race Hawaii 2013 | Recap

As I'm sitting here next to my stack of tissues, remnants of DayQuill, glass of water, and my bottle of Zicam.. it's hard to believe that I was this "warrior" just a few days ago:
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Although I'm bogged down with a nasty cold... I'm still strong enough to smile whenever I past my Spartan Medal dangling in my computer room.

What can I say about my first ever Spartan experience?
"Powerful"
"Life-Changing"
"Confidence Builder"
"Invincible"
"Alive"

Some adjectives that should describe ones way to live a life, right?

I'm so "proud" of myself, that I can't even deflate my head from the clouds that it's floating on right now. This race challenged every aspect of my life, not only physically, but mentally as well. To understand where I'm coming from, you need to understand where I've been.

(I've mentioned my lack of enthusiasm for anything that required much physical strength growing up). In fact, I was that "fat" kid that hurt to run because my T-Shirt was too tight and my inner thighs would rub together so bad that my shorts would bunch up that the kids would laugh at me every time I took a step. From early on, I detested the word "P.E." I did not join any sports, couldn't stand jumping jacks, picking up pineapples, or running. But a few years ago, I found running and the rest is history.

I joined this event thinking, well, at least I got the running part down. But little did I know, it was more obstacles (over 20 of them) than running. I'm not gonna lie, the night before, my nerves were at an all time high, I could not sleep, restless, worried that I would suck at every single obstacle. On the drive over, I was so quiet, expecting nothing but the worst. I imagined doing burpees the entire time. I didn't even think I would "try" to do the obstacles. But when that horn went off, I ran those fears to the ground or dirt or mud.

The Obstacles.

Those damn walls. I've read about them, I've seen the video recaps on these Spartan races, and I know for a fact, that a 5ft wall is a bit to high for me to "hop" over.

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In this race, they staggered their walls starting from 4ft till the ultimate 8ft.
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But every competitor that day, had one thing in common, and that was to see that everyone accomplished their obstacle. There were so many "helpful" people, the spirit of "Aloha" was definitely apparent.

WATER.
You can bet they were not gonna keep you dry. We dredged through a lot that day.10

RUNNING.
There was a lot of running, lots of uphills and downhills.
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We got into this muddy pitt early on in th race. That way we would conviently be drenched in mud while running through the course.

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Not my favorite obstacle, but you gotta admit, this was kind of fun to get, literally down and dirty. You had to stay low or else that barbwire will get you. This was the first barbwire course, the second one was much harder and much lower. 

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This side wall climbing thingy.. was the first obstacle that I "fell" off. I was doing well, hanging on and moving through, but realized that I started too quickly following the other competitor to closely so when she stalled, it stopped my rhythym, and I fell. Then it was off to do my 30 burpees!

But this obstacle, The Monkey Bars.

 

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I honestly didn't think I could do it. I could never do one before (not in elementary school, middle school, or any school..) But the adrenaline kicked in, and I did it! I'm still so proud of myself on that one. Glad to capture the last bit of it on video.

In between running. There was the sandbag carry, the tire pull, the cement blocks... all of which I didn't really have a video or pic of. I can't wait to see the official Spartan photos! But the one photo or vid that we didn't have that I wish we did was the slippery wall. The GoPro died just as it was my turn.

(So I nabbed a photo online):
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This course created a mini debate in my head for the next 10 minutes. I saw Erick get in line for it, but Rudy stepped aside to do burpees cause his leg cramped real bad on that rope climb that a bunch of guys had to carry him out. So I knew he wasn't going to do this challenge. But as I stood in line, debating wheter I should just go ahead and start on my 30 burpees, I watched the people before me climb over. Some with ease, some slipping away barely hanging on. Then the guy behind me was telling his wife, to wrap the rope around her wrist and use her upper body strength to get her up. I thought, that's what I'll do. So as I looked over at my brother who made it over he kept yelling "I got you Ronalyn!" It was finally my turn. I wrapped that muddy rope over my wrist. I hoisted myself up, at an angle and pulled. I pulled as if my life depended on it. I felt like I was getting closer to Erick, then I felt like I was slipping so I pulled harder till he grabbed my arms and pulled me over! I can't even begin to tell you the feeling of accomplishment I had. I was so proud of myself, I didn't care that there was dry mud in my eyes. I was a freakin warrior that day!

The one obstacle that I did not do was the rope climb... We were in line for it when Rudy had a really bad leg cramp that a bunch of nice guys helped me carry him out. But my brother in law did it and he kicked ass doing so.

We got a lot of goPro footage that day, some were just covered in mud so you could barely see anything :) Hoping to make a cool video of it. Still waiitng on the official Spartan Photos... Till then, you can bet I'll be wearing my medal to the grocery store, to put gas, or even for a walk with Kai. I am not taking that thing off, I deserved it :)

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The Day She Met Strawburry17

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So my girl loves getting on YouTube and watching various "Vlogs" (video blogs) about all things anime, anything creative (artsy-fartsy), and her favorite game, Minecraft. Strawburry17 was just one of the many innovative gals she has been following for a while. She was also in Season 22 of The Amazing Race where they made it to the final two. So when we heard she was going to Hawaii, we got into full-force-stalker-mode to find out what island. I logged back into my Twitter account (which has been dormant for over 4 years) so I could "follow" her. We found out she was on Oahu and that she was indeed doing a "meet-up".  The look on her face when we told her we would take her, was beyond priceless.

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I decided to bring the Polaroid camera (which is big here on the island, they have a really cool shop in town, devoted to all things film, and here Film is Not Dead at all... I can't wait to get some more film cams!).

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She was so excited for her autographed Polaroid, that we had take a picture of the picture that they signed.

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Meghan was such a sweetheart to Izzy, she called her over to sit and have a chat with her. It meant so much to my girl, she was on cloud 9. She told her she wanted to "play" with her on Minecraft one day and add her to her "twitter". I told her that I had the "twitter" account instead and an hour after we left she "followed" me on twitter and "thanked us" for coming.
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Today meant a lot to my girl. I remember her trying to get me to watch some of her vLogs and after being persistent, I took a peek and soon enough became quite a fan of her myself. (Not to mention, Whole Foods is her favorite place to be and she drinks some Vega One like me). But I think more than anything, it meant a lot to her that I was involved in what she liked.

More to come on some thoughts on my little girl "growing-up." For now, we are all on cloud 9 alongside her.


Overcoming My Fears.

Next thing I know, I found myself standing at the edge of cliff that was about a 20 ft drop to --- the freaking OCEAN!

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How did this happen? How the heck did I get up here? Said the girl who CANNOT SWIM. That's right you read that right.. I CANNOT SWIM. I'm not talking like I can't do laps very well. I'm seriously saying, if I get to anything pass my... neck (if that) I FREAK out. In my head, I'm already halfway to drowning.

So as you sit back and try to recollect what I just wrote. I'll reaffirm your thoughts in saying that "Yes, I realize I grew up on an island surrounded by water.. and I NEVER learned how to SWIM."

Before you gawk at me..

There is a legitimate reason to this phobia. When I was just a wee little girl (okay maybe 9) my mom took us out to a water park they had here called Castle Park. Well compared to what we have now, you may as well just compare it to a glorified swimming pool. But I remember going down slide without knowing what to expect when I got to the bottom... and literally falling into the water with no way of knowing how to get back up. The life guard had to jump in and save me. That little incident is enough to drive me steer clear from the water for the years to come.

So now you're wondering.. what exactly do I do at the beach or pool when I'm with the family? Well, I sunbathe! I may dip into the water (mainly to cool off) but I always carry a floatie or steal the kids floaties!

So I've heard all the jokes.. "Here mom, take Audrey's floaties!" Or, "What are you gonna do when the tsunami comes?" Or the classic move is when everyone is in the water and they are all waving at me to join them, in a mocking matter of course.

So how did I end up here:
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I mean look at how high we are: (I'm in the far left corner)
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Well come to think of it.. I still don't even know what I was thinking.

Moments before I ended up the rock, I was watching everyone jumping off the cliff, even the kids, over and over again and I honestly felt left out. As I stood below the cliff taking pictures, I realized the water was not very deep. Then I looked over at Rudy and he already knew what I was thinking before I'd even say it. He immediately said, "You can do it!" Then there's Erica reassuring me that she would go with me to the top and raving about what an excellent swimmer Logan is. Now I admit, if Logan was not at the bottom waiting for me, I really would have NOT gone. The fact that I knew he was a trained lifeguard was reassuring. But moments before I went, Logan looked me straight in the eye and asked "What is it that you are afraid of? The Height or The Water? Because if it's the water, you have nothing to worry about I'll be down there!" And the height had nothing to do with it, I don't have a fear of heights, it's the water that scared the "bejesus" out of me.

I can't even begin to explain my fear of water, it is real, and I have never even jumped into a pool of water that's 4 feet! (Well there is that one time I saved my niece from drowning, but that's another story). So jumping off this cliff was big for me.

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"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

I still have a long way to go with this whole fear of water thing.. like actually taking swimming classes. But something about jumping off that cliff and into the ocean that made me feel "alive". In the last few months I have noticed a shift in perspective in my life. I am challenging myself more and more. I used to think I could not do any sort of "Strength Training" especially when I tried to lift a 25lb barbell and all I could think of "This is too hard and it hurts.." Now I crave the weight training! Then there's this Spartan Race we signed up for next month. (You need to google Spartan Race) It is "hard-core!" I'm still leery of the 10ft wall climbs and that rope climb, but I'm gonna try. And that's all you can do in life, is try. Sometimes I need to be reminded of how to live fearlessly and to just go for it.


When was the last time you saw the sunrise? And not, on your way to work or for your early morning run.. but on the highest peak, surrounded by nature and all it's serenity? 

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On the 4th of July, we had the crazy idea of going for a crack of dawn hike to watch the sunrise. Thanks to my son, who continues to teach me that there is more to life than taking care of the house or kids, the week before he went to watch the sunrise with his friends and after seeing his Polaroid pics, I was envious.  I asked myself, when was the last time I said, “Screw it, let’s just go!” When was the last time I felt truly spontaneous? I have to say it’s been a while. For someone with a wild streak in her, I stayed pretty safe for way to long. Our spontaneity came after only 2 hours of sleep, more like a nap, (went to bed at 2am only to wake up at 4am) but we still decided to “Just Do It”.

Okay more like… I woke up before my alarm at 4am getting ready to text my sister in law and brother in law, so I could let them know I was indeed “awake” but if they were asleep I’d understand. Well, that didn’t happen, cause my brother in law was pretty quick to text to say “Let’s Go!” Of course, I never want to turn down a challenge (the challenge of actually getting my butt out of bed). And we headed out.

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We hiked up to the “Pillbox”. This was my first time there. It was a fairly easy hike, but but going uphill on those rocks to the top of some cliffs, is pretty challenging early in the morning with 2 hours of sleep. Apparently when we got to the top, we weren’t the only ones with this crazy idea. It was packed with other thrill seekers.

Watching that sun rise was invigorating, almost a little reminder that it’s a new day, your alive, you have your health, and you have people that love you. New beginnings lay ahead and you have this opportunity to make the most of them. 

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The sunrise was beyond perfect that day, I was thankful for the gift of sight… to be able to witness it. How do I even begin to explain the sunrise to someone who can’t see? I was thankful to be surrounded by people I love who share the same adventurous streak. I need to this more often.. get out of my element, my comfort zone and just go for it!  Too much of my life is sheltered around routine, it was indeed a great idea!

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“A new day: Be open enough to see opportunities. Be wise enough to be grateful. Be courageous enough to be happy.” 


On Repeat.

H Currently Music

I made this little 4x6 insert to place in my Project Life, which I'm up to Week 16.. Not bad for being on Week 19. Even though I'm a few weeks behind, pictures are organized and printed, it's just a matter of putting them in the album and journaling. Why is journaling the thing that takes up more time. But I've been failing at taking photos for the past few weeks. I tried to bring out the "Big" camera, but with no luck, I only took a few photos. I think I need to play with some Polaroids to boost up my creativity.

So.. Emeli Sande has been forever on repeat for the past couple months! In fact I'm listening to it right now. And it's not one song, it's all of it! I have to say her album is up there with Adele. I remember when I could not, would not, stop listening to Adele. I bought ALL her albums and every LIVE album she had. I mean for a few months, I thought I was Adele walking around with my British Accent.  But as with every album, I do have a few faves that make me turn it all the way up and use my wooden mixing spoon as a mic. Besides the obvious, that's hitting the charts now, "Next To Me.." You'll discover a few that hasn't been released yet.

  • "Daddy"
    Put it in your pocket don't tell anyone I gave ya
    It can be the one you run to, the one that saves ya
    It can be your daddy daddy if you take it gladly gladly
    Daddy daddy...

  • "Suitcase"
    What changed so quickly?
    Answer me! If you must kill me then please,please tell me why.
    My baby's got a suitcase
    He's telling me its too late
    But don't nobody, please don't ask me why
    'Cause all I did was love him
    But I can't stop him walking
  • "Breaking The Law" (prob one of my faves!)
    When you need to smile
    But you can't afford it
    Go on point it out
    I'm gonna steal it
    When the floor is more familiar than the ceiling
    I will break in late at night
    Shake up how you're feeling
    I'll never stop
    Breaking the law for you
    I'll never stop
    Helping to pull you through
    Whatever it takes it get what you need
    Ignore the alarm
    Ignore the police
    I'll never stop
    Breaking the law for you

  • "Tiger"
    Hey there honey,
    You came along and stopped me running,
    I’m feeling like me, back on my feet,
    I’m a tiger again.
    Tattoos on our arms so everybody can see,
    If they’re messing with you then they’re messing with me,
    They think we’re crazy, crazy and blind,
    But if I can see you then the rest I don’t mind,
    If you’re sticking around.
    Oh, are you sticking around?

And JT..
Well did you see him perform this song on Ellen? Nuff said! When I first heard this song back in February.. It sent chills down my body.. and today, 3 months later, it still gives me chills... even more so, live.
 

 And not to mention the video was pure genius! I love when I see videos that are portrayed like how I would envision them in my head.

 

Just know that I’m always
Parallel on the other side

Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul
I can tell you there’s no place we couldn’t go
Just put your hand on the past
I’m here tryin’ to pull you through
You just gotta be strong

Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you, baby, it was easy
Comin’ back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside me
And now it’s clear as this promise
That we’re making
Two reflections into one
Cause it’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me


It's not a diet, It's Common Sense.

BLOG COLLAGE

 

It makes perfect sense doesn't it?

More Fruits + Veggies = Healthy/Happy/Weight Loss

I was hesistant to share much of our new outlook on eating and lifestyle because I didn't want it to be just a phase or fad, or even a temporary fix. I wanted to make sure that I tried really hard to adjust to this change and as the weeks went by, I have to say my body took a while to adjust. Little things took it's toll while adjusting to such changes, for instance coffee was my number one form of substance to get me going in the morning, through afternoon, and even evening. Going without it was a big difficult in the beginning. But soon enough Green Tea replaced my cravings and it sufficed. I haven't had a craving for coffee yet, but when the time comes, moderation is the key. Again, nothing bad about coffee, just that I love my "sweets" to go with the coffee (brownies, apple turnovers, cheesecake.. ) I'm also staying away from white rice, pasta, breads.. That in itself has it's own challenges. I grew up as rice being a staple in my meals, so this was a tough departure. I associate many meals with rice, but last night we had Kalua Pork and intead of rice, I ate it on a bed of cabagges topped with lomi-lomi salmon (fresh tomato and salmon salad).

It's been several weeks since I've introduced my body (and hubby's too) to this change of habits. The kids try the variations of fruits and veggies that I make, but they are still eating what they consider the norm. They've got excellent metabolism and all are fairly active, they are not getting old like us. But they do "see" the subtle changes and they are interested, granted they may not order a "veggie burrito" at Whole Foods but they will try it at least.

I've noticed while eating more "raw" than processed foods, I feel more energetic. I am up and ready to go at 6 am as oppose to dragging my butt out of bed. My days seem to follow a routine and I've been eating at least 6 times throughout the day. I keep fruits & veggies handy so that I'm never to hungry to turn to other things. Again, it's all about prepping when you want to eat right. I do most of it the night before and dinner meals are always planned ahead of time so that I know what to expect througout the week.

I have to say so far it's been "fun" and exciting what I can incorporate in my foods and most of all shedding the weight is always a plus. The way I feel througout the day and how my body feels is all I need to keep me going. Reading up more and following people inspire me everyday.