Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Epidemic

What epidemic?

Well, I don't want commit to a name right now, because something better might come along. So, for now we'll just stick with "The Epidemic".

In the last 2 years, I've really noticed this problem among the expats living in Korea. But if I'm going to be honest, "The Epidemic" was present in my life in America as well.

You see, I would invite people to a party and only half the people who RSVP'd "yes" would actually show up.

"I was sick."

"I got lost."

"I forgot it was the same day as my niece's birthday."

"I fell asleep watching Netflix."

Or, I'd let someone know I'd be in their city for a few days and would love to get together. The reply? Something along the lines of "Text me when you get here and we'll make a plan.". I'd do as requested only to get one of the above responses a few days after I was back home again.

Why does no one make plans in advance anymore? Why are we afraid that if we commit to something we will miss out on something else? Why do we respect the people we call our friends so little?

Our fear of "missing out" on something "better" is causing us to do just that. We are missing out on relationships, on memories.

A friendship is more than just a string of text messages and "we should"s. It's a collection of "we did"s and "remember when"s and time spent together.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Frey Saga Series Book Review

These books tell the story of a young Elvin woman who, while struggling with her clumsiness and magic lessons, slowly starts to discover that is she is, in fact, a powerful ruler whose magic has been bound. The series tracks her from her initial frustration in her lessons to her eventual reclamation of  the her kingdom, power and memory.

I enjoyed the first book in the series immensely. However, I felt each successive book decreased in quality. I feel that if all three books (not including the novella) had been combined to make one book, they would have been stronger. I actually think  some of the books themselves might be considered novellas and then the novella considered a short story. But, I'm no expert on those matters.

 I read the novella out of curiosity and while the extra details were exciting, I didn't think the novella added enough to the over-arching story to be worth paying an additional price to read it.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and I think this series is worth a read but I would suggest against purchasing the novella unless you can get it in bundled pricing. Also, I would definitely try for an e-book or library copy as the paperback prices seem kinda steep. I see one goes up to $23 on Amazon.

You can click on the pictures to be taken to the Amazon page.


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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Get Healthy: Mid-way Through Week 6

During week 5 I struggled with my eating habits. I half expected I would but that didn't make it any easier. I kept up with the exercise and managed to maintain my weight loss. I allowed myself a big chocolate bar on Saturday and immediately after eating it I felt like crap. My stomach was nauseous, my teeth hurt and my head was spacey. I'll have to remember to have a smaller treat next time. 

I bought some cucumbers to snack on this week. I'm trying to go potato-chip free this week. I usually have a handful with my sandwich for dinner and am hoping the crunchy vegetables will replace them easily. I forgot about the cucumbers on Monday but I ate them yesterday. 

This week I want to work really hard to get 45+ minutes of exercise 5-6 days this week. I want to drop 2 pounds this week. 

What are your best tips for staying fit?

Other challenge posts:



Smoky Salmon Penne

I love pesto.
I love pasta.
I love bacon.
I love summertime.

How do all these things go together you ask? Well, in this recipe the first three combine to make the perfect summertime pasta. It is delicious eaten hot or cold. I had it hot for lunch one day and then cold a few days later. I ate it as my main dish but, in a smaller portion, I could see it as a side. Maybe for a turkey burger with red onions. Yummy.

It's a little salty from the bacon, smoky from the charred peppers and bacon, cheesy and creamy from the pesto. And the tomatoes and salmon each add a nice pop of flavor.

What are you favorite summertime dishes?



Ingredients: 

1/2 white onion, chopped fine
2 jalapenos, chopped
2 garlic stems, chopped fine
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
15 halved cherry tomatoes
4 strips bacon, crumbled (reserve grease)
1 can salmon, drained
4 servings cooked penne pasta
2 tablespoons pesto
a liberal sprinkling of McCormick's Italian Seasoning

Procedure:

1. Stir pesto into cooked and drained noodles. Set aside.
2. Using the  reserved bacon grease sautee jalapenos, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sprinkle liberally, or to taste, with Italian Seasoning.  Onion should soften and the peppers should char slightly. Add cherry tomatoes.
3. Drain salmon and add it to the vegetables. Stir until warmed through.
4. Add crumbled bacon and penne to the mixture. Heat through. Serve hot or refrigerate and serve cold.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Tomato Steaks

I've always been a tomato loving girl. My parents and grandparents always grow big gardens and I loved eating whatever they grew! When my husband and I loved in PA I had a few cherry tomato plants and I've missed being able to eat fresh fresh fresh tomatoes.

Well, last week was Teacher's Day and one of my (few) sweet students brought me some tomatoes! Yummy! Time to get cooking:


Tomato Steaks


Tomato steaks pictured with duck and carrots in gravy. 



Ingredients:

one large ripe tomato, sliced
Italian seasoning
black pepper
a few thin slices sharp cheddar cheese
about 1 green onion, chopped

1. Liberally sprinkle both each slice with Italian seasoning and black pepper on both sides. 
2. Place slices in a heated pan over medium heat.
3. Cook until the underside is warm to the touch, about two minutes.
4. Flip the tomatoes. Top with thinly sliced sharp cheddar.
5. Cover with finely chopped green onions. 
6. Remove from the heat when tomato is warm throughout and cheese is melty.

Enjoy!

*I used McCormick's Italian Seasoning Grinder. I was so happy to find it on the discount rack at a Korean grocery. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Get Healthy: Week 4

I've been in a stalemate with myself the last two weeks. I've lost motivation to consistently exercise- and exercise hard- 45+ minutes five days a week,


My weight, fortunately and unfortunately I suppose, remained stagnant. To be fair, I consumed sweets three times during the last week instead of the 1 time per week I'm aiming for during this challenge. If I considered my "ideal life", I would like to enjoy 2 treats each week- one on the weekend and one during the work week.

Regardless, I need to be more strict with myself and push  myself harder during this challenge if I want to strengthen  my willpower and lost the remaining 4-9 pounds I need to reach my goal weight.

This week, I'm determined to consume a treat only once this week and to push myself harder during my exercise sessions.

You can check out my first post on the challenge HERE. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Get Healthy Challenge:Week 1

A few of my friends and I decided to start the 8 Week Get Healthy Challenge from Six Sisters Stuff.

Prior to starting the challenge I was getting about 30 minutes of exercise an average of 4 days a week. My husband and I both have no problems consuming 3+ servings of veggies a day as most of our meals resemble stir-frys. In fact, he recently told me that when we go home in the Fall he doesn't want to see a stir-fry for a long time! However, I was probably only eating one serving of fruit a day. My biggest problem was the massive amount of sweets I was consuming- candy, cookies, ice cream etc.

To me, the sad part is I was eating these things 90% of the time to fuel my sugar addiction, not because they tasted good.  Typically, I'm huge on flavor and quality. To be honest, the sweets, here in Korea. are garbage. But they contained sugar so I was eating them anyway. My goal with this challenge is three-fold.

1. I want to get rid of my sugar addiction and make treats a treat.

2. I want to push myself physically and make my body strong. 

3. I want to reach my goal weight.

After Week 1 I've noticed myself becoming more mindful of what I'm putting into my body and the effect it will have on me and my goals. Prior to the challenge, I would mindlessly accept cookies and candy from my students and stuff it in my mouth,

 I'm noticing that I'm becoming more engaged with and interested in physical activity. For a few weeks now, I've been jogging with my husband in the mornings and it makes for refreshing quality time. It's also nice to have someone by my side to push my further or encourage me.

If you're interested in starting your own challenge group go HERE.

If you're looking for some workout ideas, I really like these  videos:


 Cheers to progress!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Chocolate Beach: Book Review

I downloaded this book because the title alone contains two of my favorite things: "chocolate" and "beach". As a recovering chocoholic and life long beach bum-ette , I really couldn't pass it up. And I'm glad I didn't. If you have a kindle, check it out on Amazon, it is currently free.


Chocolate Beach is the humorous story of Brianna's attempts to change her life circumstances instead of letting God change her.

I really enjoyed reading a Christian novel that wasn't overbearing. This isn't your formulaic Christian romance.  I liked the book so much that I immediately downloaded (and paid for) the next in the series.




Also, I was thrilled to discover that the recipes mentioned throughout the book can be found in the back. I can't wait to try them out, especially the one for chocolate chili! 

*linked up with Mama Kat