Mid-Week Workout

I am not a fitness guru, or fanatic, or even avid participant. I like to run, do yoga, and I enjoy rock climbing when my schedule allows but you won’t find me in the gym 5 days a week, or posting selfies with pre workout and protein bars (although there is nothing wrong with that, it’s just not my jam).

Sooo I was feeling particularly lazy and frustrated that I haven’t done really anything active in a long time, like a month. The shame I felt was real. So I headed over to one of my favorite workout inspiration blog Pumps and Iron and found a great 45 minute treadmill workout that is too good not to share. She posts a ton of other fantastic workouts if running isn’t your thing, so check her out!

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Now I know this looks a little crazy, but I swear it isn’t that complicated and having to keep up with the time, incline, and speed makes this go by a lot faster! Now I won’t kid you, I HATE incline running. Maybe its because I don’t do enough of it, or maybe my body just straight up hates it but I can feel a headache coming on just thinking about doing it. That said, this kicked my ass. My legs (and somehow shoulders?!) are sore today. I think it was a good boost for my motivation and maybe, probably, did some good.

Let me know if your try it out, and if you survived!

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Liebster Award

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First an foremost a thank you to Zaynah’s Life for nominating me.

For those of you that don’t know (like myself until I looked it up) a Liebster Award is something akin to a chain letter that bloggers tag other bloggers in to learn a little bit more about them, and also give their readers a chance to see what blogs they follow and go check them out too! This is normally a thing for newer blogs or blogs without very many followers, which I think makes it all the better. Bloggers helping other bloggers is amazing to see, and for me it means a lot that anyone reads the stupidity I write to begin with, so again thank you Zaynah!

Now on to the questions!

1. What is your most fond childhood memory? My step father’s band playing in the back yard of my childhood house, while my mother’s friends jammed along and tall colored candles dripped onto themselves and the ground. I would then entertain myself by breaking the dripped wax off and putting it in the freezer to eventually have my mom melt back down into new candles.

2. Top 5 favourite movies! God, I hate questions like this. I hate choosing. In no particular order… Clockwork Orange, Pulp Fiction, Devils Rejects/House of 1000 Corpses (I know I cheated), Goodfellas, Alive Inside.

3. Have you ever dyed your hair? If not, would you? I haven’t had my natural hair color since I was 12-13. With my first bit of allowance I bought a bleach kit and manic panic “fishbowl green” dye and looked like an anime character for a few weeks (the uniform school I was attending in Alabama at the time threatened to suspend me if I didn’t dye it back to a natural color, and I didn’t really give a shit so I caved) Then its been brown, black, dark blue, dark red, almost pink, but mostly blonde.

4. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I was a daydreamer. In my spare time I was always up a tree, or reading a book, or listening to music. I didn’t have any “adult” type dreams or aspirations. More like “I wonder if mom will take me to the pool tomorrow” or “I bet school next year will be fun”. I was, what I would call, a hippie nerd. I loved school and had to have my 8 hours before class, especially if there was test the next day. If not I got mad at my parents for keeping me out too late. But since I was smart homework was done quickly and then I was back outside staring at the clouds or looking for rolly-polleys.

5. What is the most precious item you own? I don’t own either of the things I automatically think of anymore. The one that I will talk about is a necklace my grandfather on my dad’s side gave to me shortly after I got to meet him around my 16th birthday. It was expensive, and I don’t know how he afforded it, but most of all it came with a letter, which was thrown away as well, that I remember was so well worded and so full of love for me even though he didn’t know me, and sadness for not being in my life sooner. He died shortly after I received it, and I was told my letter back to him made him the happiest anyone close to him had seen in years. So although I don’t have the necklace anymore, I’ll always know I made his last days better.

6. Do you have a favourite book or author? Yay a lighter topic lol. I was a huuuuge fan of Ender’s Game! Totally sucked into it. And I was handed down Stephen King, Anne Rice, and John Grisham novels from my mommy so they have a special place in my heart too.

7. Bit of a weird one but do you think aliens exist? The universe is so big that anyone that thinks we are the only intelligent life form in it is ignorant and needs to read more.

8. Which subject do/did you enjoy studying most? I enjoyed English until I decided to take the AP version in high school haha. Other than that I liked French (even though I don’t remember any of it, and I took 4 years of it), and Science.

9.Which city would you most like to visit? Every single one of them! But if I had to pick, Freiburg, Germany since my mother’s family is originally from that area.

10. Have you got a signature recipe? No, and I don’t know if I ever will. I like to change it up, and I don’t consider myself a master of any dish or cuisine.

11. Who is the person you admire most? God, getting deep again. I’m going to have to be unoriginal and say my Mother. I know more about her and her life than I do any one else’s so I feel like I truly know what she’s been though, and fuck was it a lot. We haven’t always been close, and had long stretches of time where we didn’t speak, but she has been through shit and come out on top. She is a survivor and no matter what knows she can count on herself and her ability to overcome to get her though anything. She may be crazy, but she’s my crazy. Love yah mom.

Alrighty, now my turn to ask some questions.

What artist or song sums up your childhood?

What is your most embarrassing moment?

What country is on your bucket list to visit?

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Favorite book that you think everyone should read?

Bill Nye the Science Guy or Neil DeGrasse Tyson?

What would your life motto be and why?

Do you snooze your alarms or immediately get up?

Favorite Disney movie?

Candles or Air Freshener?

If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would spend the money on?

And I nominate Zaynah’s Life, Zoë’s Clothes, Bumascloset, My Adventures in Dinner Time and Ali Chat to answer them!

I would like everyone that wants to answer them to do so in the comments too!

Current Favorite Female Artists

I have been finding a lot of new female artists that I am quite enjoying lately, so I thought why not share?

Banks

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First off, love her classic monochrome style and bold brows. Points already. I was lured in by her sultry but light voice with electronic and R&B back beats. Her album Goddess offers everything from power ballads to girl anthems, heart break to new love butterflies and old love reminiscing. My power song is the title track Goddess. I like to play it when I get ready for a night out. For some reason it’s a confidence booster for me. I also enjoy Bedroom Wall. Sweet, lovey, mushy kind of song. Good stuff.

FKA Twigs

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Her songs and style are one in the same. Quirky. And I absolutely love it. Formerly a backup dancer she finally showed the world an even bigger talent. Funk electronic hip-hop is the way I would describe her sound. Her voice is etherial. Angel like even. Fantastic music to drive, chill, or in my case hoop to (yep, I’m one of those people). With her background as a dancer I don’t think it’s any coincidence that some of the songs make me want to break out into interpretive dance. Two Weeks is a feel good jam for me. Instantly puts me in a better mood. Kicks is sentimental and takes me back to an earlier time in my life. Very melodic and soothing in a way. The first song I heard by her was Papi Pacify, which if I’m honest is a very “sexy time” ish song (and the video shows this off beautifully). It comes off as a warm, longing song to a lover. Very nice. All of her music videos are visually sunning and well thought out. Check um out.

Tove Lo

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You’ve probably heard her music already even if you don’t know it. Her beautiful song Habits was remixed by Hippie Sabotage (who I’m a fan of also) and is now in clubs, and on the radio everywhere (even in Wal-mart?!). Unlike most songs that become heavily remixed I love the original and the remix equally. Her lyrics are raunchy and rough, but her supremely feminine voice smoothes them over and takes it to another level. I love a girl with a sailor’s mouth, so she is a winner for sure. I do have to say one of my favorites is Habits. I love the original which showcases her beautiful voice and coarse lyrics, and I’ll put on the remix to lift my sprits or jam out. Scream My Name is a light reflective song that dives into a great heavy breakdown with strong vocals to hit you hard. Run On Love is another dance your ass song with a nice “Tiesto” era beat to it. Out Of Mind is a bittersweet and tender break up song that I think anyone can relate to. Like FKA Twigs she’s got some well put together videos that showcase her amazing hair and badass attitude.

Let me know if you check them out, or if you have any favorites you think I need to check out!

Travel Bucket List!

I am a nomad at heart and have been from an early age. Having a hippy mother with the same tendency helped to intensify that. I have lusted over pictures of different countries for as long as I can remember and my goal in life is to visit as many different ones as I can. Until recently I hadn’t actually made a LIST on paper of where exactly I wanted to go the most, but I sat down and made my “bucket list” and thought I would share it!

Also, if you feel so inclined, I have created a Go Fund Me page to help me get to my first planned destination, #5! Any little bit counts and would greatly help me raise the funds to get out there by my goal date. And of course by helping me get out there you are helping me create what I’m sure will be a photo filled breakdown blog of my trip!

Onto the list!

In no particular order:

1. Holi in India.

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Holi is the festival of colors for one of the Hindu religion’s biggest holidays, so I couldn’t think of a better time to go and visit india to really experience it at its more jubilant.

2. Oktoberfest in Germany.

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This is the picture that started it all! It is the Oktoberfest Main Hall in Munich. I saw this in a National Geographic mag in school when I was around 10-11 and fell in love. What a beautiful idea and gathering! My mother’s side of the family is fully German so naturally I want to visit my “motherland” and why not (again) go during a time when the culture is at its most prevalent and joyous?

3. Summer Solstice @ Stonehenge in England.

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I’ve heard tell this is the only time of the year that people are allowed into the center of the stone circle. Thousands of people from all over the world gather at the Henge before sunrise on the eve of the summer solstice to play music, converse, and celebrate the occasion. Many people say they got a sense of belonging, peace and connection to the earth like they have never felt before as the sun comes over the horizon. Don’t know if there is truth to that, but why not go and find out?!

4. The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spring in Iceland.

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I do not like the cold. At all. I am cold natured, and anything below 70 is cold to me, but I would be more that willing to deal with it to visit this beautiful place. It’s basically a HUGE shallow lake that is filled by geothermally heated ground water from under the earth’s crust (so like a huge bath or hot tub, which I am ALL about). The water is said to have healing properties, but I’m more about the views of the mountain vistas all around and the relaxation part.

5. St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

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This continues my thought process of going to a country when its people are at their most celebratory and raucous. Not only will this afford me what is sure to be a festive time in downtown for the parade and general debauchery but Ireland has beautiful countryside and amazing abbys and castles to go see.

6. Sunset in  Montebuoni Italy.

Now I couldn’t find I picture to do this justice, so I’ll just like a video of one here. (skip to 8:12 is to see.) The sunsets here are like paintings. Almost unbelievable. Definitely a must see in my book.

7. Burning Man in Nevada

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If you haven’t heard of Burning Man, get your life together and go watch one of the hundreds of documentaries on it. Why do I want to go? Because I am a hippy and I want to experience everything this amazing festival has to offer me and my soul.

8. Tomorrowland in Belgium.

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A beautifully put together and visually stunning music festival in another country? Why not?! They also have sister festivals in Brazil and Atlanta Georgia but I feel like the real thing is the way to go.

9. The Northern Lights in Norway/Sweden/Finland

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I put three places because you can see the northern lights best in these countries, and I would love to visit all of them!

10. Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami in Istanbul.

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Not last and not least this beautiful Hamam. It is a traditional Turkish Bath house where they give you a full body massage followed by an intense body scrub. Istanbul is a beautiful place as well and I want to try their very talked about tea as well!

These aren’t the only places on my list, but you have to start somewhere! Let me know which places are on your bucket list in the comments! And if you can head over to my Go Fund Me page and help me get to Ireland!

 

 

The Body Shop Haul/Review

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I recently stumbled upon a Groupon for The Body Shop, showing that once again if you check Groupon once a month you may randomly find something amazing.

The deal was $25 for $50 worth of products (you choose the products obviously), which I think is an absolute steal because most of their products (other than travel sizes) are over $20. Now this Groupon is only good in store, so no online purchases, and can’t be used in combination with any other offers.

I have been wanting to get a body butter and shower gel from them for forever so I knew that was happening. And I had heard great reviews for their Vitamin E Serum in Oil (even from people with oily skin) and wanted to check that out as well.

I originally went in with the intention of buying the body butter and shower gel in the Argan oil “scent” but after lengthy sniffs of almost everything they had, I fell for the Almond instead.

It is a light sent with an underlying sweet note. Not too nutty, and simple enough to go with whatever perfume I want to layer on top without fighting or changing the scent of it.

The body butter is thick and luxurious but sinks in without too much effort, especially if you use it right when you get out of the shower. The scent sticks around but isn’t over powering.

The shower gel lathers well with only a small amount of product. I feel like the best results are achieved with the use of a poof. The scent is light just like the body butter, but I don’t think it sticks around on the skin, which is fine with me. Felt clean afterward, so it gets the job done.

The serum  is unscented (at least to my nose). It sinks in quickly and lays nicely underneath my moisturizer. Added benefit, it adds more slip to my undereye area and makes putting on my Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin Eye Balm SUPER easy! Now I’ve only used it for two nights, but I swear my skins looks brighter and less dull when I wake up. I have oily skin and this hasn’t made me break out or become an oil slick. When I wake up my skin is dewey but not “oily”. I wouldn’t use this during the day, just because I’m sure I would eventually get oily with this over my 12 hour shifts.

The body butter was $22 the shower gel was $8 and the serum was $22 so with tax and minus the $50 groupon I spent $5 and some change for everything that day, and only $25 on the groupon ($30 total) Overall win in my book! Love the products and look forward to trying more from the company!

Now The Body Shop itself is cruelty free, but its parent company is not. I’m not one to punish the child for the sins of the father, so I will buy from and support them as long as they remain true to their roots and cruelty free. They are also very active in supporting fair trade ingredients, promoting sustainability, and defending human rights, along with other charitable endeavors, which is even more of a reason to buy from them in my mind.

Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite products from The Body Shop that you think I should check out.

I’m Childfree not Childless

Let me preface this whole thing by saying that what you are about to read is entirely made up of my opinions, which may not be the same as yours. Also, these are my thoughts about my body, and I would never assume to tell someone else what to do with their body (nor should anyone feel the right to tell me what to do with mine). So let’s get on with it!

I don’t ever want to have kids. Yep you read that right. Ever. I have known this since I was little, and I have never wavered in my resolve.

The society we live in perpetuates that “baby fever” that most females feel in their twenties. TV shows that glamorize or sensationalize having children, and the standard that if you are married, or even in a committed long-term relationship, that you should be considering or at least be thinking about when you want to start a “family”.

Now, let me say that I do not hate children. I don’t think you are a bad person for having children, or planning to have children. Like I said before, it is YOUR body and no one but you should have any say so in what you do with it. Ever. Children are just not something I want for myself.

It isn’t solely the TV or our culture’s fault for this “OMG your 25 and don’t have/want a baby what’s wrong with you?!” standard. It is our closest friend’s and family’s fault (and many MANY stranger’s fault) I am constantly asked/told the following when someone finds out I don’t want children.

  1. You’re young, you’ll change your mind.
  2. You just haven’t met the right man yet.
  3. But if you had one you would think differently. Everything changes after you have a baby.
  4. But you would be such a good mother!
  5. They add so much to your life. You’d be missing out on that!
  6. When are you and Luke going to have a kid?

My Responses : 1. I am plenty old enough to decided what I want out of life. I know deep down in the depths of my soul and heart that I don’t ever want a child. You should take my word for it. 2. Believe me, I have met the right man. And because he is the perfect man for me, he doesn’t want children either. 3. So I should go against everything I believe in, in the hopes that I would miraculously want it once I had it? What? And also, yes, I know everything changes after you have children. And I simply do not want any of that. 4. Barf. I get this from strangers more than anyone. Thank you kind madam for telling me that you know me well enough to advise me to have children since you are so certain of my character that you know I would never hurt it, or leave it in the back seat of a car on a hot day, or trade it for drugs. I would never do any of those things, but how the hell do you know I’m not a terrible person? And I personally believe to be a good mother, or father, you have to WANT to have the child. 5. I’m sure that this is true for a lot of people, but it just isn’t for me. I don’t believe I would be missing out on anything that I don’t want to begin with. And 6. which is pretty much answered in 2. Neither one of us want children. We have both known that for a long time and we knew that going into the relationship.

I know many, many good women who have had children and it made their life complete. I am just not one of those women. I am not “missing out” because of this decision. I will be living a live of my dreams by choosing not to have children. And for anyone who has the crazy idea that I am contributing to the extinction of the human race by not fostering offspring, there are hundreds of thousands of babies, toddlers, and young adults waiting to be adopted across the globe. Women will continue to have children despite my views on the matter. So rest your weary head. The world will go on.

To sum it all up, please stop asking when I’ll have a child or telling me why my choice not to is so very wrong. It is my life, and my body to do with as I choose. Not wanting to have a baby does not make me weird, or less of a woman. It does not make me a bad or selfish person either. It simply makes me a person with her own opinion.

If you do want kids, good for you! This little blog shouldn’t be enough to change your mind. If it is, please take the time to think about what you really want. If you don’t want to have children, I hope this gave you some talking points to be able to explain your decision to others.

My Favorite Winter Stew!

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I am a soup/stew/goulash lover and am always on the hunt for a new one to warm my bones. I stumbled upon a Black Eyed Pea and Kale version about a month ago and finally got around to making it the other day.

The recipe is from Superfood Kitchen: Cooking with Nature’s most Amazing Foods by Julie Morris and you can find it online here.

You will need:

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 cups diced white onions (about 1 medium onion)
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
1 head kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

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(original recipe called for 2 Tbsp. ground wakame flakes as well but I didn’t have any on hand so I left those out)

  • Melt the coconut oil over medium high heat in a large pot
  • Add Onion and Garlic and cook for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally
  • Add Celery and Bell Pepper and cook for 3 more minutes
  • Stir in Oregano, Thyme, Chipotle, and Paprika and cook for about 30 seconds
  • Add Vegetable Broth, Water, and Black Eyed Peas and bring to a simmer then cook uncovered for 30 minutes. (you can add more water if you need while cooking if it gets too dry, but I didn’t need any additional liquid)
  • When the soup is cooked, stir in Kale and keep on heat for a minute longer, just to wilt it.
  • Remove from heat and add Lemon and Parsley and EAT!

I have taken this to work and reheated it for the past two days and it is just as good out of the microwave as it is fresh off the stove. It packs two sources of protein and is filling without being heavy at all. I will be making this again very soon!

Let me know if you try it, and what your favorite winter warming recipes are!