Posted in awareness, exercise, fiction, Food/Recipes, poetry

#FOWC – Microbiome Aid

Image from Pixabay

There’s an intestinal microscopic war people face
Which affects their digestive bodies’ precious space.
Can your complex ecosystem experience years of grace?

The gut microbiome is home to good and bad bacteria
In the digestive tract, there’s certain health criteria
That makes one think twice about choices in the cafeteria

Be the hero as your gut flora will need some aid
From a cavalry of probiotics that are unafraid
To force the pesky inflammation and anxiety to fade

Probiotics thrive on the prebiotic dietary fibers
Onion, apple, carrot, legume, and wheat subscribers
That gives them the strength of many Excaliburs

Maintaining equilibrium with sleep and exercise
Avoiding fad diets that affect metabolic balance is also wise
The effect of gut microbes on stress & mood should be no surprise

Posted in Crafts, Dance, Dreams, Events, exercise, Nature, Photography, Quotes

Gratitude During a Chaotic Time – Daily Quarantine Questions📌

He transformed into a tough security guard, and wherever I went, he was there….

Image by fsHH from Pixabay

Last night, I had an disturbing dream where a coworker’s omnipresence at a building’s every entrance unsettled me. With his steely gaze, he said firmly, “Sa, you can’t leave. You have been QUARANTINED.” I look behind me to find a packed auditorium surrendering to the shadows.

This morning, the city mayor and important officials imposed a shelter-in-place order on the residents for at least three weeks to help “flatten the curve“. Those who choose not to follow the rules can face a fine of $2000.

In the midst of the fearful masses, courageous people throughout the community have displayed admirable, selfless acts of service. A small alteration business has been donating their fabric to help make more masks for the medical professionals in the hospital. There has been an increase in volunteers at the homeless shelters and food banks helping those that are most vulnerable.

Fear and faith can’t occupy the same space.

A friend shared a post-it note and the above declaration with me. I thought to share this post-it with you and invite you to reflect on these questions in your own lives.

Friend checks up on me and sends me a thoughtful post-it🗿 💌👆💡

1. What are you GRATEFUL for today?

Good morning from my end! 🌻🌅

  • Emojis! Regardless of how Rory Gilmore feels about them!
  • Stress-relief balls of all shapes and sizes!
  • Yarn for crocheting Harry Potter House scarves for everyone!
  • Adult coloring books, comic books, and magazines to create collages!
  • Business and work that allows me to work from home!

But seriously…. Most of all… Dare I say it? 😆 YOU’RE da bomb! 💣💥

Today, I celebrate having 600 followers on my blog! 🍹💝 THANK YOU! You guys are all rock stars in my eyes! 🙌 Shining bright like diamonds in the sky creating beautiful constellations.

Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy
You and I, you and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky
You’re a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy
….
At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays
I saw the life inside your eyes

Rihanna

Each of you has impacted my world one way or another. Words cannot express how deeply appreciative I am for your presence. You have brought a full spectrum of emotions from jubilation, sadness, humor, and companionship into my life by sharing pockets of your life through a variety of mediums: film, poetry, story, & photos.

Truly, you’ve made my life richer. You’ve even inspired me to take my first virtual poetry workshop (Sharpened Visions) hosted by California Institute of the Arts on Coursera which I never thought I would do.

2. Who am I CHECKING IN or CONNECTING WITH today?

Unable to visit anyone due to new laws enacted in my city, I’ve checked in family, friends, coworkers, former coworkers, and other acquaintance-friends in my phone book. A friend who worked on the front lines as a medical worker passed away recently.

Today I’m checking in with you! How are you? Are you relishing the homebody lifestyle? Or…are you itching go somewhere?

3. What expectations of “NORMAL” am I LETTING GO OF today?

Such a timely question considering how the purpose of my blog explores just that! Lately, I’ve noticed that there is a deeper spiritual hunger which wants to be quenched perhaps not just in myself but around the world. I came across this story below.

Image Credit: Radhanath Swami Quotes

Finally, after over an hour, a beautiful sight rose before my eyes. The Yamuna River, descended from the Himalayas, having flowed through the plains of North India, was embracing Mother Ganges—Yamuna with her complexion of deep blue, Ganges with hers of white, and the transparent Saraswati joined them from below.Sitting on the sandy bank, I gazed into the cloudless blue sky.

Image by avalok sastri from Pixabay

There, a hawk, wings extended, soared the airways. His reddish-brown feathers shone in the sun as he hovered lower and lower, till he was just a few yards above my head, his glistening yellow eyes intently scanning the river. Suddenly he plunged headlong into the Ganges.

Image by VIT DUCKEN from Pixabay

There, a frantic underwater skirmish ensued until he emerged with a flapping fish, about a foot long, pierced in the grip of his talons. Squirming desperately, the fish was carried overhead and into a nearby forest. Looking on I reflected:

The unsuspecting fish, who knew nothing but a life in the river, went about its routine like any other day, but in an instant was ripped out of its reality to meet with death.

Like that fish, we routinely live our lives hardly aware that, at the least expected moment, the yellow-eyed hawk of fate in the form of crises, tragedy, or even death, may wrench us out of our comfortable environment.

We regularly hear of it in the news or see it around us but rarely take seriously that it could happen to us. Perhaps the lesson here is to guard against complacency and give higher priority to our spiritual needs.

If the fish swam deeper, the hawk would not be able reach it. Similarly, if we go deeper into our connection to God, we will find an inner reality so deep and so satisfying that it lifts the consciousness to a place where we could deal with the effects of unforeseeable fate with a stable, detached mind.

– Radhanath Swami (Excerpt from The Journey Home Book)
Dwarf Gourami Fish

4. How am I GETTING OUTSIDE today?

There’s a grassy field behind my place that’s absolutely deserted now. I’ll just sneak out there for a few minutes and enjoy the sunshine!

5. How am I MOVING MY BODY today?

Today I’m finding inspiration in these absolutely adorable dancers! I will attempt to dance many styles along with them! They make it look like so much fun! 😀

Also, I need a rhythmic cardio-in-place workout like jump roping. Inspired by this talented Hungarian jumper, Adrienn Banhegyi.

6. What BEAUTY am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?

CREATING a beautiful desk work space!

CULTIVATING zucchini indoors!

INVITING a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers!

Posted in Events, exercise, flashback

#SoCS- Figure Skating

Linda’s #SoCS prompt – Figure
Badge Photo Credit – Shelley

Figure skating has been a joy for me to watch over the years. Seeing these athletes gracefully landing loops and pirouettes to the rhythm of their chosen music is lovely.

Image Credit: Pixabay

I love their elegance, choice in outfits, reflecting what they want to express to their audience. Balancing on ice while keeping the rest in mind!

I figure that’s what inspired me to skate. Mom bought me my first set of rollerblades from the Toys R’ Us for my birthday. Cute set too – Magenta buckles/wheels and white boots! My neighborhood friends and I would create little routines.

The fun one to practice was what we called the Figure 8. We used the indented cracks in the driveway to guide our paths. Dramatically, we held each other as we intersected paths on the infinity.

There were friendships in that neighborhood that I wanted to last for infinity. People grow and change, go off in their own directions though.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Little ducklings growing into beautiful swans. I’m reminded of a glass figurine of a swan my aunt gave me. I turn the dial and it plays a tune. Spinning around. Not knowing what direction it will face once the melody fades away.

Will the swans be united again after swimming in such different directions for so long? ⛸

Image Credit: Pixabay

Whoosh! Feeling a blast of cold air as I’m ice skating wakes me up and makes me feel alive while skating with friends. Then comes the inevitable….

*CRASH* Ahh!

My skate gets caught in someone else’s deep indentation in the ice, and I flip over and slide, stomach-flat, across the arena at an incredible speed. I’m disoriented, and everything looks like a blinding set of stars.

Yes, sometimes the cracks in life can make you more than stumble. All I can do is get up, and try again once I get my bearings straight! 😀

Word of the Day Challenge: everything

Posted in Awards, awareness, Books, Concepts, Crafts, Culture, Dance, Dreams, Events, exercise, fiction, flashback, Food/Recipes, Freedom of Expression, Makeup, Music, Nature, Photography, poetry, Quotes, Social Justice, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

Twenty-Four Seven | Daily Inkling #7

Daily Inkling

Just when I think I’m going to be doing haikus for the rest of the year due to my tight schedule…

Blogger “Normal Happenings” has tagged me in an interesting challenge that seems to coincide with a random daily horoscope I received a few days ago from a free Vedic astrology app called Yodha. (By the way, I like your new branding! It’s bold and glowing like a neon sign. 🙂 )

Happy new year! For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! Thank you so much for following my blog, and I will be swinging by to read yours as well. I see a lot of new faces out there, and I just want to say hi! This is my fun, personal blog where I typically write about all sorts of subjects in a variety of formats: poetry, story, photo-story, music. I’m about to start another blog for school related stuff, but that’ll be shared on another post!

Image from Shivashakti

You may wonder how did I encounter Vedic astrology? Well! One day, I was chatting with a young lady about the staggering synchronicity in both our lives, and she told me about how she regularly talks to her Vedic astrologist for all sorts of decisions. She said that she made some of the best business decisions of her life with his guidance and that it is a lot more accurate than western astrology. I was skeptical because there are a lot of quacks out there as you well know, but intrigued nevertheless.

So, I downloaded the free Yodha Daily Horoscope app where authentic Vedic astrologists from Nepal share with you their insights. I started learning more about it. Apparently there are Indian universities that offer advanced courses in Vedic astrology despite scientists protesting about it being a pseudoscience. Jyotisha is the traditional system of Hindu astrology. Its etymology is from the Sanskrit term, “jyoti” meaning “light heavenly body”. The term Vedic astrology came about later around the 70s.

Below are the sort of messages I get. This is one I received this morning:

“Due to your nature, you are a rather positive person. You are someone who can find a silver lining in most of the situations. Perhaps you are aware of this gift and know how to implement it. At times, you can put a smile on your face even when the circumstances don’t naturally warrant it and in doing so you can spread good vibrations to others. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that not everyone has that gift and you may be dealing with someone who doesn’t. The planets are encouraging you to show how it’s done.”

Astrologer P. Bhattarai

Anyway, back to the horoscope that inspired this post! She mentioned how when time and money permits, I enjoy traveling to an exotic locale and experiencing new things. However, lately, I may be seeking a more spiritual experience which may not be a physical location: a journey to understand myself better, gain a deeper understanding of myself, be more conscious and aware. I thought Daily Inkling’s prompt might help me explore this arena!

Write 24 talking points between current you and you from seven years ago. Consider teaching yourself something you’ve picked up since then.

Twenty-four Seven

Seven years ago was the year 2013. A pivotal point in my life: the beginning of a lot of new things, drastic changes to my lifestyle. This is a rare occasion when all of my category boxes on my blog have been checked! I’ve chosen 24 random topics to discuss in no particular order: then vs. now!

1) Career

2013: Grocery store cashier – Served a lot of people from all walks of life! I love to meet new people and listening to their stories.

Image by Charles Thompson from Pixabay

2020: Technical writer for a cybersecurity firm & vacation business manager – nice balance between the two!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2) Books

I read a lot of books during both years, but I’ll just mention two for now:

2013: Shantaram, an epic, philosophical tale of an Australian convict opening up clinics in the slums of India

“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.”

― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
Image by billy cedeno from Pixabay 

2020: The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to be Happy – People worldwide share unique testimonials of what made them happy

Optimism isn’t frivolous: it’s necessary. If we feel hopeless all the time, if we’re always in crisis, the natural response is to give up and stop trying altogether. But we can’t let snark win. Problems are there to be solved. Challenges, to be met. We can be aware of the bad while also being mindful of how we can make it better. … Empathy is essential, and learning what matters to people on the other side of the world helps us all. Understanding how different nations view happiness can impact how we interact with one another going forward.

Helen Russell
Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay 

3) Friendships

2013: Friends were there to lift my spirits, give me warm cup of tea when going through a new challenge, have fun in the cosplay contests at school. Really enjoyed checking out the Ghostbusters!

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

2020: All of the above still applies, but my friendships seem to have more depth and honesty. Also, true friendship has a way of helping me see things in myself that I didn’t think was capable.

5) Nature

2013: I took my family and friends to check out the Arboretum gardens in Dallas, TX during special holidays like Mother’s Day

Image by: Dallas Arboretum

2020: I hope to visit Vanderpool, TX sometime and bask in the warm glow of the “lost maple trees” during autumn

4) Love

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

2013: Infatuated by a gentle young man I met one beautiful autumn day while feeding the birds at the pier down by the lake. A rather electrifying meeting, though the relationship never developed due to my fear of commitment.

Image by philpace from Pixabay

2020: Enjoying a long term relationship of 4 years. Its been a dream come true filled fun adventures, humor, and passion with the normal ups and downs of life.

6) School

2013: Attended community college on a digital forensics academic track. The most memorable project was where I developed a website for a hypothetical geologist living in Colorado. He was studying various types of gemstones he found during his excavations. I researched stories of legends surrounding their origin.

Image by Robert Ramsay from Pixabay

2020: Currently working on an online masters program for technology and innovation management track. The most memorable project so far involved a hypothetical four million dollars granted to me to develop a civil engineering software application from start to finish.

Image by dewikinanthi from Pixabay

7) Volunteer Cause

2013: I worked with a group of friends with Habitat for Humanity. Learned a lot about house building and painting!

Glendale

2020: Currently helping a school teacher collect cans and plastics with the Rotary Club for a contest with Pepsi Co.

Novyy Urengoy, Russia – June 17, 2018: Bunch of different empty soda aluminium cans.

8) Music

2013
2020
2020

9) Recreation

2013: Had a thing for barre workouts!

Image from Haute Living

2020: About to do Hot Yoga with my cowokers!

Image by Sofie Zbořilová from Pixabay

10) Sustainability

2013: Back when Google+ was around, I heavily got involved with a sustainability discussion group for many hours. The discussions intrigued me. I wanted to learn how to be eco-friendly and be up to date with all of it.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2020: I’m itching to get plugged into community initiatives regarding sustainability issues. They’re looking for ideas, and I hope to contribute in someway!

Image by 95C from Pixabay

11) Blogging

2013: I fancied the idea of being a student blogger on campus. I applied, but was turned down for the position. It may have been because the writing sample I sent was about the sound of a lovely bell ringing off in the distance as I was walking around the campus lake to class. Maybe they want more samples about student life? 🙂

Below is the walkway of the lovely campus I used to walk by often.

2020: Didn’t matter! Here I am blogging my heart out on my own without anyone else’s approval! I don’t know why I thought of it sooner! 😉

Blogging my thoughts has been a freeing, exciting experience. Thank you to my readers for making the experience so worthwhile!

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

12) Fashion Interests

2013: Bold floral-print Sunday dresses

Image from Popsugar

2020: Bandage skirts, Currently love them! Sorry no picture of me in them, but I love to wear them with leggings

Wheretogetit.com

13) Television

2013: 30 Rock, CSI Miami, Supernatural, Glee

Image by CW

2020: Meteor Garden, Witcher, Miraculous Lady Bug

Image by Otakucart

14) Movies

2013: Frozen, Iron Man III, Man of Steel, The Croods, Monsters University

Image by PixarPost

2020: Star Wars (2019), want to see Mulan, Artemis Fowl, Sonic

15) News

There were a lot of news stories that deeply affected me and my path trajectory.

2013: Nelson Mandela’s death, Boston Marathon bombing, Edward Snowden

Nelson Mandela was a leader whom I was captivated by. Boston Marathon and Edward Snowden prompted my interests in security.

2020: Hospital Janitor Forges Lasting Friendship Between Two Boys in Isolation After Noticing a Love of LEGOS

The news story above impacts me because it deals with one of my favorite childhood pastimes. My first major Lego project was a pirate ship. Always fascinated by adventure even then! Will be going to a Lego Brick Fiesta event with some friends this year to indulge in this interest!

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

16) Sports

2013: Followed Maria Sharapova tennis matches quite a bit since I practiced developing my forearm swing at the tennis courts!

The Guardian

2020: I might go check out some Spurs basketball players play! Matt Bonner signed my basketball. He was so down-to-earth and friendly!

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 25: Matt Bonner #15 of the San Antonio Spurs drives the ball against Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at the Staples Center on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 99-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

17) Technology

2013: I was really curious about consumer drones. Always felt tempted to buy one to take awesome aerial photos and videos from the sky!

Phantom Quadcoptor

2020: Right now, I’m super curious about the Click and Grow smart garden!

Image from Click and Grow

18) Favorite Hang-out spots

2013: White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX

I enjoyed walking sections around this park almost every day. Seeing the scenery change with the seasons is a great beauty. I once walked around the whole park which took four hours! There are some incredibly beautiful views, expansive hiking trails, fishing spots. There’s also a well known ghost story as well about the Lady of White Rock Lake! One of my favorite memories is sitting on a wooden bench on top of a hill and seeing the sunset as the breeze is blowing the tall grasses.

Image from Applespice

2020: Riverwalk & Pearsall Park in San Antonio, TX

I enjoy walking downtown and checking out the riverboats with curious spectators gliding by in this river. At night, it’s bustling with tourist activity. Families and couples are dining in the restaurants. Some of my favorite memories here was when my brother visited me and we got to listen to a beautiful mariachi band singing a lovely serenade and when my boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas slow dancing in the island platform.

Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX
Image by: Thrillist

I love to go jogging here with my exercise buddy early mornings! The fields and the hills are incredible. Breathing in the fresh cold air is refreshing.

Pearsall Park, San Antonio, TX

19) Languages

2013: I was trying to continue my Spanish studies on Babbel

Image by Babbel

2020: Duolingo’s mascot, a little owl, has been guiding me in learning Spanish and Vietnamese basics. It’s been fun learning from their podcasts too!

Image by Duolingo

20) Theatre

2013: For an English literature assignment, I had the opportunity to watch a live Shakespearean comedic play, Taming of the Shrew.

2020: Curious about the Miss Saigon musical in town!

21) Environment

2013: Fascinated by Google’s chart that compiled deforestation rates by country

2020: Currently checking out Mongobay’s environmental snippet summary

Image by Mongobay – Lemurs!

22) Health

2013: Learned about Healthcare.gov’s crashing website as millions of Americans tried to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Stress is relative though!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

2020: Everyone around me is getting the flu! Got my flu shot. Learning about personalized AI medical care innovations

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

23) Games

2013: Played Juice Cubes a bit!

2020: Curious about Smash Hit and Megaman Zero!

24) Quote I lived by

2013: Eleanor Roosevelt impacted me from an early age.

Do the thing you think you cannot do. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

2020: Right now, these below! More to come later!

Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction

Germany Kent

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Socrates
Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

 That was fun! See you soon everyone! Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

Posted in Events, exercise, Photography

Friday Follies – 10.4.19

Friday Follies – Season 5 Primier

Sneaking in a giggle before I get started for the day. When I was a kid, I enjoyed playing baseball with some friends. They taught me baseball lingo. I came across this sign before jogging for a 5K run last weekend:

Imagining raining profanities!🤣

Here are some other photos of the baseball park where many of us were resting in the bleachers before the start of the “race”. It was such a gorgeous day! It’s funny I used to think I couldn’t stand watching the sport for 9 whole innings, but when you’re out in the field, it’s a fabulous experience! Aiming your bat, focusing on the incoming ball, running from base to base… it’s helped me improve my hand-eye coordination. 😉

There’s my shadow
Faded washed out look
Posted in Events, exercise, Quotes

A-to-Z Challenge: Undauntable

My alma mater has a well-loved saying: BE AUDACIOUS!

My journey towards becoming undauntable has started with something small. Though it’s a minor change in my lifestyle, it’s something that will definitely test my will power and determination…

COLD SHOWERS!

Imagining what it’d be like to find a sense of respite sitting underneath the waterfall

So you may ask me why in the world would I do that to myself? I want to try an experiment for a few months and see what happens. I was curious after reading a few articles and watching some first hand accounts. I’ve learned about a few benefits to cold showers:

  • Stimulates weight loss
  • Improves immunity
  • Relieves depression
  • Improve skin and shine to lacklustre hair
  • Increase alertness and energy levels
  • Lower stress
  • Better sleep
  • Strengthened exhausted nerves
  • Increase in testosterone
  • Boost recovery after exercise

Has anyone or anyone you’ve known tried this already? What were the results?

Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

In response to:

Posted in Awards, Books, Crafts, Culture, exercise, Quotes

Sunshine Blogger Award #2 from Baldy Blog

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

J.M. Barrie
Alright, Toto! Let’s head towards the horizon!

After hanging out in the time traveling fog, the sun has come out again! Whip out your shades because I’m going to be answering roughly 60 questions from the WP community for Sunshine Blogger Awards for the next few days. Thank you! It’s always an honor and an encouragement to receive such an award. I’m learning a lot from this blogging journey and looking forward to the new year.

First up, I’ve been nominated by Sean at Baldy.Blog. Thank you Sean! I’ve enjoyed the poetry that he has shared from some classic poets such as Robert Frost, Stevenson, and Tennyson. He also shares fun facts, trivia, scattered quotes, and some wonderful photos.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
“The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.”

Once nominated, if you choose to accept, write a post where you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate other blogs and give them questions to answer
  • Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
  • List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post

If you had to choose to be on a reality show, which one would it be?

Though I’m aware that reality shows aren’t reality, I enjoy watching a variety of reality shows from time to time! I enjoy watching The Voice, Master Chef, Survivor, The Mole, and Disruptive Pitch. However, there’s a handful that I’d think I personally would enjoy being on and realistically see myself on. If level of skills didn’t matter, there’s four shows that come to mind:

The Amazing Race

Photo credit https://www.ibtimes.com
CBS: “The Amazing Race is a multi-Emmy Award-winning reality series hosted by Emmy Award-nominated host Phil Keoghan. This season, 11 teams will embark on a trek around the world. At every destination, each team must compete in a series of challenges, some mental and some physical, and only when the tasks are completed will they learn of their next location. Teams who are the farthest behind will gradually be eliminated as the contest progresses, with the first team to arrive at the final destination winning The Amazing Race and the $1 million prize. “

Ellen’s Design Challenge: “From Trash to Treasure”

HGTV: “The designers are given one hour to race through a salvage yard to find items to make their furniture. Back at the shop, some of the designers discover that the material they have collected is not up to par, while one of the designers carpenter teams is not on the same page. At judging, everything is on the line as the final three discover which two will go on to the finale. ”

Slow TV: National Knitting Evening

Photo Credit-Netflix: “Knitting enthusiasts in Norway discuss the pastime and try to break the speed record for shearing, spinning and knitting wool into a men’s sweater.”

Project Runway

Photo Credit: Pinterest “Heidi Klum hosts a reality series where aspiring fashion designers compete for a chance to break into the industry. Each week, a designer is eliminated from the competition after exhibiting their work in front of a judges’ panel”

If you could change your name, what would it be?

I really like my name: Sa! It’s short, simple, and sweet! Hm…I’ve always wondered what it’ll be like if I was named Magnolia like the flower. My nickname would be Maggie like Baby Maggie from the Simpsons. 🙂 My aunts were all named after flowers. My sister is named after a flower. Maybe I just want to join the flower garden!

Also, I have contemplated what it’ll be like if I was named Star after I read this fun young adult novel called “Stargirl“. It’s about a free-spirited girl celebrating non-conformity.

How long have you been blogging?

Roughly 6 months and a few days! I’m still in the early stages of organizing my content and format, but I enjoy it immensely.

How frequently do you blog?

Depends on the season, but generally once or twice a week. I spend the rest of the time checking out your posts and reading your thoughts. I write in my journals everyday though!

Share the link to a favourite post of yours, why is this your favourite?

#Poetic Short Story- Grand Performance

I loved the lovely image that Helene @ Willow Poetry picked out for her weekly prompt “What do you see?”. It combined a variety of my interests: the beauty of nature, drama, love, poetry. This poem makes me feel alive and grateful for simple pleasures like a sunrise and a breeze.

Do you check your stats for the countries that have ‘visited’ your blog?

Yes, it’s just fascinating to me that what I write is seen from others from different locations around the globe! I’m amazed by these bloggers who inspire me and am curious to see what regions they live and experience life.

Which countries are you missing from your WordPress globe and would really like to see filled in on your map?

So what’s generally missing from my WP globe map are countries from South America, Africa, Russia, Asia. I think it’ll be helpful if I can add a plugin to translate my page into their language of choice. If I keep blogging, I can update to the premium version to do that!

Are you a ‘crafty’ person? (Knit, sew, paint, macrame … ?)

YES! I’ve done all of the above ever since I was a young girl. (This is why I would be on the knitting reality show!) A childhood friend taught me how to knit one afternoon while watching Sailor Moon. My mom was a seamstress and taught me how to sew. Learned how to paint and macrame at school! Crafty activities make me feel really happy. I lose track of time because it’s so fun for me.

There’s a lot of health benefits to these sort of activities as well. Repetitive needlework can induce a relaxed state like the association with meditation or yoga. For some, it redirects their focus and reduces the awareness of pain or rumination on problems. It replaces anxiety and stress with the satisfaction of creating something tangible.

Assuming that you celebrate, do you shop in advance for Christmas or do you leave everything to the last minute?

I shop in advance and online when possible. I also try hard to hit the clearance sales throughout the year. There are many times that I hand-make items. I like to make origami crafts 🙂

Photo Credit: Etsy

Do you participate in sports?

I enjoy many sports recreationally not competitively: martial arts, basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball. I enjoy playing with friends in the courts at the schools and parks. I join in some athletic camps from time to time. I have a lot of fun stories from all the sports I’ve played.

Are you a sweet or savoury person?

Split between the two! I love both!

Sweet
Photo Credit: Pixabay – Macaroons!
Savory
Photo Credit: My Kitchen Snippets

Nominees

Questions to Nominees

  • What are some of your goals for 2019? (blog/personal/career/spiritual…)
  • If you invited me to a party, what can I expect? (food/decorations/theme/music/games…)
  • What kind of gift would you bring to a friend’s house-warming party?
  • What has been an inspiring book that you have read lately?
  • What is your go-to comfort food?
  • What is an accessory or outfit you wear that makes you happy?
  • What is a place you visit that brings you joy?
  • What fantasy or fictional world would you like to be a part of?
Posted in Culture, Events, exercise, Food/Recipes, Quotes

Conversation with El Lobo, MMA fighter

jiu jitsu
Hello all!

As you guys may have learn, my roving interests are due to my character. I love to experience new things! Fun fact about me: I practice various forms of martial arts for recreation throughout my life: Brazilian JiuJitsu, Japanese Ninjitsu, Karate, Thai boxing, Tai Chi, and others to learn techniques in self defense and the art of focus and breathing. Once in a while, I would encounter opponents who throw a series of tantrums, but I have to stay calm. Otherwise, it could get more dangerous and unpredictable.

High contact sports requires a lot of concentration and discipline. Even drunken boxing, which imitates a drunk person, requires technique and deceptive moves. I took a break to give myself time to rest, but hope to reinstate practice again later. It’s taught me a lot of lessons.

Legend of Drunken Master
Jackie Chan in Legend of Drunken Master (1994)

I was catching up with a friend one morning and we casually chatted about his MMA training. Among many other things, he is a serious mixed martial artist fighter. He has a high tolerance for pain and goes with the flow. He is honest and a loyal friend. Whenever he sees trouble, he tries to help out.

I told him he looked like he was possessed by demons in this photo. He objected and said the app was supposed to make him look like a wolf! Maybe needs white or yellow eyes…What do you think? 🙂

hugo
Meet Hugo Groth, El Lobo

Curious to learn more about what it’s like behind the scenes of an MMA fighter? His opponents know him by his fighter name, El Lobo, which translates to The Wolf. He recently fought and tied in California against a Russian opponent named The Dragon. He will be headed to China on December 18th to fight against some of their top fighters in his division.

I’ve jumped into and paraphrased our short conversation down below:

Me: Are there any books that you read that motivate you?
Hugo: I don’t read much, but I have a series of quotes that I like.
“It’s not how hard you can hit. It’s about how you take the hit. ” – Mohammad Ali
mohammaed.png
“You need me. I don’t need them.” – Conor McGregor
conor
“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill
churchill

Me: Simple quotes, yet impactful! It seems to focus on how you react to various situations. Even though it’s a competition among your opponents, your biggest competition is within yourself.
Hugo: Yes! These quotes keep me motivated and leave me thinking. My dream is to someday fight with Conor McGregor. Even if I lost, at least I can say that I was good enough to be in the same ring with him.

Me: What’s your spirit animal?
Hugo: It’s the wolf which symbolizes protectiveness of family and friends, courageousness, fearlessness. Even when my opponent is bigger than me, I don’t show fear. It’s what inspired my fighter name, “El Lobo”.
wolves-1400819_1920

Me: How did you find a mentor to help you train?
Hugo: Funny story. He’s actually my next door neighbor!
Me: What?! What are the odds of that happening?
Hugo: Yeah, I knew this guy because he was a friend of my dad’s for 15 years. Only recently did I find out that he was a former MMA fighter. I asked him if he could be my Sensei and he said he could train me. He takes me out to Olive Garden after matches and we look online for local tournaments to participate in. He is always there for me and supports my endeavors

Me: What’s your favorite movie?
Hugo: The Grey with Liam Neesen. Even though both alpha males die, the epic fight scene between them motivates me.
liam neesen
Me: What’s your daily routine look like?
Hugo:
4 am: Wake up and get ready to go to the gym
4am – 6am: Practice and train
9am: Eat breakfast. It could consist of 5-10 scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, beans, 2 pancakes, 2 avocados and cereal
9am – 4pm: Go to school & study
1:30pm : Eat lunch. 2 servings of chicken, white rice, vegetables, 2 fish (salmon/tuna)
Throughout the day, I eat a variety of snacks if I’m hungry: protein bars, granola with almond milk, half a jar of creamy peanut butter.
4pm – 5pm: Eat dinner. 2 servings of chicken, white rice, vegetables. Chicken Alfredo. Sometimes steak at least twice a week.
4pm – 8pm: Sleep
8pm – 11pm: Practice and train at the gym
11pm – 4am: Rest and sleep

I have some cheat days where I would eat a bacon cheeseburger or pizza and drink soda. I hang out with friends every 2 to 3 weeks and sleep during most of my free time.

Me: What’s your ideal date look like?
Hugo: A lot of girls get concerned when they see me fight which is understandable. Long distance is tough. My ideal date would be down to earth. I would take her to a museum, go for a walk in the park, take her to dinner and see a movie. Later, I would like to learn something together: cooking, painting, guitar lessons, dancing, yoga.

Anyway, this wraps up my conversation. He puts on one heck of a light saber show! Maybe he would be in the next Star Wars movie!

star wars

In response to:

Posted in Books, Concepts, Dance, exercise, Music, Quotes

The Art of Feeling Good

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci

So I saw this post on Crushed Caramel and she responded to a Q&A created by “A Guy Called Bloke and K-9 Doodlepip!” called “Game On- Series 2- The Art of Feeling Good“. It’s been a while since I’ve done the last Q&A with Bonneywood Manor’s Friday Night Clam Bake. These are a lot of fun for me to think about.

Daily Topic Subject – The art of Feeling Good

Q1] How do you define ‘feeling good?’
Being able to create and express yourself in response to whatever circumstances you’re in. It ignites the flames of my passions. Feeling happy and inspired. Something that I feel after accomplishing a difficult task or goal. Addressing a problem in a community and tackling the challenges head on to create a positive result.

Q2] Do you have someone human or animal that is always there for you, and how do you feel about them?
I’m grateful for my family and my roommates. They always have a kind word and a delicious meal waiting for me after a difficult day.

Q3] What is something you have done recently that is thoughtful for someone else?
I just became a reading buddy volunteer for two second graders with a local youth literacy group. When I first moved to town, some kids told me they really didn’t like reading, and that they only read in class to become teacher’s pet. I wanted to help them enjoy reading more.

Q4] What’s the best thing that has happened to you today?
I’m really enjoying a bowl of Raisin Bran with almond milk right now.

PQ5] If you want to feel good, what type of music do you listen to? [Please provide link]
I listen to a lot of instrumental music in which the melodies inspire me to go places. I once listened to Alexis Ffrench’s song “Hope” on loop for three hours to soothe me. Alexis Ffrench | Reborn & Ludovico Eunaudi | Nuvole Bianche

Q6] What has inspired you recently?
I enjoyed an inspiring commencement address given by a navy seal. His experiences are valuable no matter what walk of life you come from. University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven

PQ7] Have you seen a feel good film recently, and if not recently please provide a link to a film that has inspired you?
The Greatest Showman. Here is a trailer! This musical made me laugh and cry. Stellar soundtrack. Dream inspiring. 

Q8] When you are feeling down and you wish to treat yourself to motivate and encourage you, what do you do?
I work on some sort of creative activity and listen to inspirational music. I paint, garden, bake, journal, read, or watch a movie.

Q9] List five feel good things in your life right now?
friends & family, flowers, dancing, music, comic books

Q10] Has anyone done anything for you really special in the last month or so, that they did just for you and no expectation of anything back?
I received a graduation card from my coworkers which brought tears of joy to my eyes. I felt so loved and supported.

Q11] What made you laugh or smile today?
Ellen DeGeneres “Clumsy 🙂 Thumbsy” Youtube videos. Hilarious auto-correct scenarios! 

PQ12] If you wanted to read something to make you feel good, where would you go to find it, and what would it be?
I go to The Good News Network where there are so many inspiring news articles of all the good in the world. Media generally likes to report negative events to help us stay informed, and I like to balance what I read to give me hope.

Q13]  What’s your weather like today, and what is one good thing about it?
It’s sunny and bright. The skies are clear. I love how the rays of the sun warm my skin after being inside with air conditioning.

Q14] Of all the seasons which one makes you feel totally great and why?
Summer, without a doubt. I may go through several bottles of sunscreen, but I love swimming, going hiking in the parks, checking out the ice cream store, checking out fruit in season and making desserts, checking out summer reading clubs and new fashion trends. 

PQ15] What choices in the last twelve months have you made to improve your life and how’s that going for you?
I’ve been making an effort to stay fit by staying really active. A variety of jogging, yoga, strengths training, jump roping, ballet exercises. It’s been well! I feel more energetic.

Q16] Who in your life has survived something difficult, and how do you feel when you think about the fact that they’re still here?
My family lives are a testimony to survival. My uncle was stabbed by a guy who stalked and mugged him with a broken wine bottle in the garage of his own home. He survived the ordeal and was able to move on with his life. I feel a sense of awe that he is still the life of the party at family events he hosts and can still dance the night away. My father and mother were Vietnamese refugee boat people who survived grueling circumstances. I’m just amazed at what they were able to accomplish in their adopted homeland. You can overcome a lot of things with the right people at your side no matter what kind of chaos is out there.

Q17] Have you recently imagined a worst-case scenario that didn’t actually happen?
Last night I saw one of my coworkers juggling a pair of scissors. I stopped breathing afraid that he was going to hurt himself, but he didn’t! He smiled at me and told me he was formally in the color guard tossing flags. STILL, it’s DANGEROUS!!!

Q18] What is your sweetest memory?
I was an unpaid volunteer for teaching children language studies one year. At the end of the year, my students gave me so many flowers and cards. They gave me loads of hugs, and told me I was a second parent to them. The other teachers and parents hosted a seafood party where I got to eat as many craw fish as I wanted. I felt so appreciated and loved. 

Q19] If you could only keep five of your possessions which ones would you keep to ensure that you always felt good?
Piano, Laptop, Camera, Golden Pathos plant, Panda figurine from the Nature’s Endangered Fraser collection

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?
none

Q21] What do you wish for the epitaph on your gravestone to read?
It’s not really something I think about a lot, but it would probably be something along the lines of  “Enjoyed the Beauty of Life and Cared for Many.”