Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Exercise Goals Review

1. Meet heart rate monitor fitness goals every week - nope :(. My heart rate monitor watch ran out of battery. Also, my ankle injury has come back and is getting worse, so I'm not really exercising.
2. Run 5K in 27 minutes - didn't really make much progress on this one. I'm just going to accept that I'm not going to meet this goal, and thats ok.
3. 20 consecutive good form push ups - I'm up to 18! Yay!
4. Lose the tummy! (I feel like I should have some goal measurements) - I can't find my measuring tape :(
5. Lose 10 lbs (get down to 127lbs). - 132.8! Yay! Not going to get to my eventual goal here, but I'm getting increasingly happy with my figure :).

I mentioned that I hurt my ankle. I originally hurt my ankle around October of last year. I got an x-ray done in December, and the conclusion was that there was no bone damage. (Or rather that there was no visible damage, although they did tell me that even if there had been it probably would have healed by the time I got the X-ray). I avoided running and anything else that might aggravate it until about a month ago, when I thought it was fully healed. Unfortunately, the injury has come back, and its worse than it was before :(. Anyway, I've set up an appointment with the physio. The earliest they could see me was a week Wednesday at 7am. They then called me back and let me know that I could come in at 6am tomorrow (argh! So early). Anyway, I took the appointment (I'm that decided that I want to get it fixed asap!). Fingers crossed that it goes well and that I like the physio etc!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Birthday Weekend!

My birthday was this Sunday. It was...okay. To be honest I really missed my family and boyfriend. I talked to all of them but it just wasn't the same. Still exciting to have my birthday! I was trying to think of what goals I should make for this year. The big one is that I decided that I'm going to make it my goal to do the absolute best to fully follow through with any goals I make this year. I want the next year of my life to be the best one ever! (22 is my lucky number, so this should be a good year!).

This is also a very exciting year for me as I'm starting law school and I'll be getting closer to being a "real adult"! I'm going to take full advantage of law school. Over the next week or two I'm going to think about exactly how I'm going to do that. I also want to make sure that I continue to work towards my "personality goals". Its important to me that I am a compassionate, caring individual who is able to form strong friendships with others, especially my family and boyfriend. 

This weekend was pretty fun. On Saturday I went to downtown and finally went to the Experience Music Project Museum, which I really enjoyed. Its basically an interactive museum on aspects of music and music history, which I really enjoyed. 

It also had this really cool guitar sculpture!

I also went shopping and bought an awesome pair of burnt orange trousers (I'd been looking for a pair like this!). Lastly, I went to Pike Place Market which was a lto of fun. I wandered around for a while and bought a few things including culinary lavender. (I'd been wanting to try it since I read about it on some other blogs!). So far I haven't done much with it other than making some tea, which was good. I also (finally!) went to the first ever Starbucks! I bought a cold drink mug there, which I'm looking forward to using!

I've also been reading two books this weekend - The Four Hour Body (I think this is a sort of stupid book, but it is making me think about things, which I'm enjoying!). The big thing that I've come up with is to wait 5 minutes before eating candy/chips/dessert etc. I'm also making sure that I put everything on a plate, which is helping with portion control. (I'm trying to think back about new habits that I've been successful in creating. I do better with small easy to implement changes, baby steps).

Today (Sunday) was quiet day. I talked to my family and boyfriend, watched a bunch of Bones and went on a walk around the lake. It was a pretty wonderful day! 

I also decided that I am going to fight to make this year the best one so far!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend/Food/Monday Exercise Review

This weekend was a quiet one. I needed a break, so I was glad I got one. I also spent a lot of time focusing on getting things ready for starting law school (eg deciding what kitchen stuff I need). I also spent a lot of time watching Bones (I love that show! Reminds me of the boyfriend though, so I also spent a lot of time missing him!).

I also spent some time thinking about my dietary habits. I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that maybe counting calories isn't a good solution for me. When I do, I find myself obsessing over food and thinking about it all the time makes me hungry. Plus, if I end up going even a tiny bit over, its pretty much game over and I just eat whatever. So, instead I've decided that I'm going to aim for 3 400-500 cal meals a day and 2 100-150 cal snacks a day, for a total of 1400-1800 cals a day. I'm also going to make sure that I really like the food I'm eating. I wonder if maybe in the past I've felt "deprived" and compensated by eating junk. For dinner last night I made tuna-zucchini casserole, which looked a bit gross, but tasted delicious! I (roughly) followed a recipe, but made a few changes. I used:

3/4 zucchini
2/3 large carrot
6 pieces of garlic
1 can tuna
1.5 tbsp light sour cream
A few tbsp chicken stock
Cheese to sprinkle on top

I cut up the veggies into very small strips and then sauteed them. I let them cool a little and then added the tuna, sour cream chicken stock and pepper. I mixed everything (except the cheese) together and then put it in a pyrex dish and cooked it at 350oF for 45ish mins. I added the cheese about 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Delicious!

Monday Exercise Goals Review

1. Meet heart rate monitor fitness goals every week - haha no. Pretty epic fail on this one!
2. Run 5K in 27 minutes - didn't make much progress on this one either
3. 20 consecutive good form push ups - my goal is to do two more push ups every week and I met my goal for this week (14 push ups)
4. Lose the tummy! (I feel like I should have some goal measurements) - oops, forgot to measure! Will have to do that tomorrow
5. Lose 10 lbs (get down to 127lbs). - ditto #4 for this one

So... all in all not a great week for exercise. That's okay though - I can't do everything right all the time. This week I'm going to be trying to do my exercise first thing in the morning (before work). Fingers crossed for that working out!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Book reviews!

I've been promising to post an update on the books I've been reading as part of my short (and long) term goals:

From the Telegraph List of (mostly fiction) books, I've recently read:

Gulliver's Travels

The Catcher in the Rye

 The Handmaids Tale
This was a fantastic book, I really liked it. I would definitely recommend it. It's set in the future in a society where there aren't enough children being born and wealthy men get extra women with whom they try to procreate. It was well written and was a pretty quick read. I'm going to rate it 10/10.

From the Marc and Angel List of (mostly self improvement) books, I've recently read:


This was an interesting read. It wasn't a brilliant book, but I enjoyed it. It didn't really hold my attention, but it did bring up some interesting questions about what makes people happy. I'm rating it 7/10.

The Power of Full Engagement

This was a brilliant book. I really really enjoyed it. It was basically about how people think too much about managing time, but how managing energy can be a more effective way of enhancing productivity. A lot of the book focussed on putting effective routines into place to help improve productivity. I've tried to implement some of them into my day to day life. The one I'm focussing on now is to take a proper lunch break (not just eat at my desk like the rest of my co-workers). I'm also trying to take a short break or walk around 10:30 am and 3 pm, and I'm finding its really working well. I'm definitely going to give this on 10/10.


I definitely enjoyed this book, and I'm glad I read it. I like books set in the futuristic societies and this definitely fits the bill for that! It was a pretty quick read which was nice. I'd rate this one 9/10.
4 hour workweek

This book had some good ideas, but mostly I hated it. To me, the author came off as selfish and self centered and way too full of himself (he suggested calling leaders in the field you're interested in, but also made it pretty clear that he wouldn't talk to someone like that who called him). He was also in favour of basically outsourcing your life to a virtual assistant, which seems a bit iffy to me. However, I did think there were some good ideas in the book...

C er agree that there is a tendency in the world today to focus on making stacks of money and then retiring. I do think that it is good to make sure that you don't just focus on making money to the exclusion of making the most of life.

I thought that the idea that 20% of the work gives you 80% of the result was pretty interesting and often true. That's definitely an idea that I want to keep in the back of my mind.

He talks a lot about how often the "worst case" isn't actually that bad or completely irreversible.

Overall I'd rate this book 5/10, some good ideas, but a lot of very annoying drivel.

PS all images from google

I realized that my post from last weekend never got posted....

I had a really good weekend!

On Saturday I went for a run around the lake, talked to my family and went to a friend's Bastille Day Cookout. To be honest, I was a little nervous about going because I didn't know anyone else who was going, and wasn't sure quite what it was going to be like. I'm glad I did end up going though because it was pretty fun.

On Sunday I had a lazy morning, skyped with the boyfriend and then had a crazy afternoon! I've been meaning to go to the islands off the coast for quite a while and just haven't for various reasons. I decided that I should just go (even though the weather was a bit grey) and I'm really glad I did. There wasn't really much to do on the island, so my fear that I'd need a full day there was pretty unfounded. I ended up going to a little museum on the history of the island (with a super nice curator, who showed me around and explained everything to me) and then just wandered up and down the main street (and bought more thread to make a bracelet for the boyfriend, which I've been looking for for a while).

After I got back to mainland Seattle I popped over to Chinatown to pick up some things I needed for my attempts to make ginger chews (they're still a work in progress! If/when I find a recipe that works I'll post it :).

After that it was back home, a quick dinner (chilli) and a run around the lake (it got quite dark during the run, which wasn't too good) and then bed!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The rest of the boyfriends visit

The rest of the boyfriends visit was amazing! We had so much fun together and cooked three very delicious dinners. My boss was super chill about giving me some time off, so that the boyfriend and I could spend some time together (and my other boss gave us a mini tour of Seattle, which was awesome!).

We didn't actually do that all much exciting stuff (the boyfriend really isn't one for sight seeing), but it was amazing to spend some time together. We did go for a walk around Greenlake (a lake near where I live), which was gorgeous and a lot of fun.

So, onto the yummy dinners:

Sunday - homemade bolognese sauce on pasta (this is the boyfriends go-to dinner. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics :( )

Monday - pea and mint "soup" with teriakyi chicken. Both of these were absolutely delicious and will certainly be added to my repetoire!

Peas (we used about 0.5lbs for two really big servings)
Chicken stock
Chopped fresh mint leaves

We first cooked the peas in boiling water (we didn't cook them enough, would have been better to cook them until they were starting to get really mushy). We then dumped out the boiling water and added chicken stock (diluted with water so it wasn't too salty, I imagine any kind of stock would work) and the chopped mint. We then just let it simmer away while we mushed up the peas fully. It ended up being a very thick soup!

In the making

The final product

Teriakyi Chicken

Chicken breasts
Soy Vey Teriakyi sauce (or any kind of sauce, I just like this one).

I'm not too great at cooking (especially meat/poultry), but I really liked how the boyfriend did these. They turned out really moist. He...marinated the raw chicken for about 30 mins, cooked it on a fairly high heat to get the outside of each breast cooked for a few mins and then added the rest of the marinade and let it simmer away in that (and then obviously checked that it was cooked!).

In the making
The final product


The boyfriend is part asian and has been promising to make me asian food for a very long time, so he made chicken spring roll-esque things and chicken/pea leaves soup.

Cooked chicken
Pea leaves (spinach or other greens work too)
Chicken stock
Chopped ginger root (I used a piece about the size of a pingpong ball for the two of us)
2 stems of lemongrass (chopped)

We let the stock, ginger and lemongrass simmer together for about 15 mins. We then added the chicken and pea leaves. In retrospect we should have strained out the ginger and lemongrass (especially the lemongrass) before we added the greens and chicken, as lemongrass has a really woody texture.

Spring-roll-y things

These weren't really spring rolls at all (they had much softer shells), but they were still really good. I'm not quite sure how the boyfriend made the filling, but you could put anything in them. To get the "shells" to cooperate you need to stick them (one at a time) into boiling/hot water (I liked using fairly hot but not boiling water). After about 30 seconds (depending on how hot the water is) they'll start to curl at the edges, and that means they're "done". Fish them out, flatten them out on a plate, add some filling and roll!

I also had these for lunch two days later and they were pretty good!

That was a long post (we ate a lot!). 

Spring roll esque things!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


My boyfriend has been visiting me for the last 5 days (and I'm now in my least favourite part of everything where I'm just missing him more than ever). Anyway, we spent Saturday and Sunday in Portland and then came back to Seattle for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I had work (technically), but my bosses were super understanding and gave me a bunch of time off (I basically just worked half days).

Anyway....Portland (I didn't get to take as many photos as I would have wanted because of the whole broken camera situation):

We got upgraded to a suite (for free) in the hotel, which was awesome!
We went to the test rose garden, which was amazing (they test roses there before they sell them to the general public, so there were loads of different types of roses).

We had dinner at a really cool restaurant, which was in the middle of a hotel.

We went to Powell's books, which is an absolutely huge bookstore. I bought two cookbooks - the boyfriend bought the same ones and each week we're going to each choose a recipe from it that we'll both make.

This is just one of the many rooms! Image from google

All in all a very fun trip!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Greyhound trip to Portland

I wrote this on the bus down to Portland, on Saturday. Somehow it never got posted...

I'm on the Greyhound bus going down to Portland, where I'm spending the weekend with the boyfriend (which I'm insanely excited about!). I was a bit apprehensive about traveling on the Greyhound, but so far its been a fairly decent experience. I had a bit of drama getting to the station (I was meant to be there at 7am, which meant leaving home at 630ish, but I couldn't find the right bus stop :( ). Anyway, once I got there things went a lot more smoothly. The station was clean and felt pretty safe. I had to wait in a bit of a queue to pick up my ticket, but got it about 20 minutes before I was due to leave.

The bus itself is packed (remanant July 4 traffic!) but the guy I sat next to was nice enough. The seats are decently comfortable and it wasn't boiling hot or freezing cold or anything like that.

We made stops in Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia and Kelso. It was kinda cool to get a glimpse of the cities. The scenery between them was also gorgeous - lots of green! I was surprised by how unbuiltup the areas between the cities are, and how close to the cities the greenery starts!

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy my 24 hours in Portland!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


My July 4th was wonderful! I got the day off work and spent most of it in a Park reading. I finished Gulliver's travels and read the whole of nineteen eighty four, which I really enjoyed! A review of the two books will happen at some point!

At night there was an amazing fireworks display, which I took lots of photos of that I'll post.

Yesterday (Thursday) was a day that made me think. It started off badly, very badly. I accidentally hit my camera with my foot and broke it. Like, its pretty much unusable in its current state. I was really upset about it, because I love taking pictures, it'll be a pain to replace and my boyfriend is coming to see more for a few days and we're taking a trip down to Portland, which I'd love to document. I tried to calm myself all morning, as did my boyfriend, which helped, but not too much. Help came in an unexpected form - a walk in client at my job. This guy had an illness, which had eventually ruined his kidneys (he was maybe 50 or 60). He'd (apparently) never really drunk alcohol, smoked or done drugs. Anyway, he was extremely fortunate in that a donor had been found for him, and the operation had been fairly successful. He was unfortunate in that his housing plans had fallen through at the last minute and he had no more money to stay in a hotel. So, basically, this guy, who'd just (like 5 days ago) had a kidney transplant, was going to have to sleep on the streets unless we were able to sort something out. (In the end he was able to get a voucher for a hotel for a few nights.)

Anyway, it really put my problems in perspective. Yes, its annoying that the camera is broken. But everyone that I love is fairly healthy, everyone knows where they're spending tonight and we all have an incredible support system in each other. The camera is a luxury item that I don't even really need, yes I having one, but I don't need one. The camera was expensive ($350) but not thaaat expensive (I get paid $450 a week). I'd like to put my salary towards other things (law school!), but at least I have the money to do something with!

The whole experience made me reflect on what's really important in life, and next time something "bad" happens to me, I'm going to think back to this experience and remind myself that its probably not as terrible as it seems.

Monday, July 2, 2012


My Sunday was interesting. I've been feeling a bit down recently (unmotivated and tired)  and I spent some time reflecting on why that is. I've been thinking about why that is and I've come to a few conclusions:

1.  I using the nuvaring (my birth control) and I imagine that that's affected things
2. I'm haven't been taking my vitamins which is a really bad idea
3. My sleep schedule has been seriously bad. I've been getting up later and later :(
4. Getting up later and later means that I'm getting to work stressed
5. I don't think I'm eating enough during the day

My July goals are basically to fix these things.

Anyway...onto my Sunday:

I went to the gym

I went on a tour of the Theo chocolate factory

Our tour guide explaining the process

They mix in the "extras" by hand!

I bought two of sounds like a really odd flavour, but believe me its soooo good!

I wandered around the Fremont Sunday Market - so much fun


It was a great market - lots of fun to just wander around

I had a massage/reflexology session, which was very relaxing

My fitness goals:

1. Meet heart rate monitor fitness goals every week - done
2. Run 5K in 27 minutes - made absolutely no progress on this
3. 20 consecutive good form push ups - my goal is to do two more push ups every week and I met my goal for this week (9 push ups)
4. Lose the tummy! (I feel like I should have some goal measurements) - haven't measured this week
5. Lose 10 lbs (get down to 127lbs. This ones a bit difficult as I don't have a scale in Seattle) - not sure, but I do feel slimmer!

Saturday, June 30, 2012


I went on a hiking trip with the YMCA  today and it was amazing! It was wonderful to get out of the city and get to see some of the wonderful scenery.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book review: American Wife and Crash

American Wife

From google
I started off really enjoying this book. It jumped around a bit and it was a bit difficult at times, but overall  it was good. My main complaint was that it ended very abruptly and didn't really explain what I thought was the central point of the story. Anyway, overall I'd give it 7/10. (Sorry for the not so thorough review, I don't want to give away the ending!)

From google

This was a really weird book that I did not really enjoy. It was meant to be about a commentary on technology in today's society, which sounds good in theory. It ended up being really sexual, in what I thought was a bit of a creepy way. The book was basically about a guy who gets off from car accidents. It was an interesting idea and an interesting way to talk about technology in society, but not really my cup of tea! Anyway, overall I'd give it about 2/10.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gym plans

I went to spinning class today, which was a lot of fun! I'm still working on my technique, so I don't think I'm getting the most out of it yet. The teacher recommended a different bike, which has finer gradations, and will hopefully let me work out more effectively.

Anyway, onto the goals:
1. Meet heart rate monitor fitness goals every week - done
2. Run 5K in 27 minutes - didn't make much progress on it this last week, but I did run 1.7 miles (2.7 km)
3. 20 consecutive good form push ups - my goal is to do two more push ups every week and I met my goal for this week (7 push ups)
4. Lose the tummy! (I feel like I should have some goal measurements) - down 1 inch at my waist (down to 29 inches), no change on the chubby part!
5. Lose 10 lbs (get down to 127lbs. This ones a bit difficult as I don't have a scale in Seattle) - not sure, but I do feel slimmer!

My tentative exercise plan for this week:

Monday: Spinning
Tuesday: Gym - cross trainer and weights
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Gym - cross trainer and weights or Spinning
Friday: Gym - cross trainer, weights, running
Saturday: Hike with the YMCA
Sunday: Gym - cross trainer and weights

Fingers crossed it all goes well!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Busy weekend

Sorry for not blogging earlier. My weekdays are all a little same-y, so perhaps not so interesting to read about?

Friday was an interesting and fun day - I'm still really enjoying it and I think I'm getting a lot out of it. I'm having a lot of fun interacting with clients and I'm learning a lot. I'm already starting to feel more confident, which was one of my goals for this summer. I'm also getting some relevant legal experience - I'm getting lots of time interacting with clients and interviewing them to determine their exact legal problem, I've gone to court and I've been able to write letters to clients.

I also listened to a meditation podcast before bed, which was great and very relaxing - I've done it every night since and really enjoyed it.

Saturday was super busy. I got my hair cut early first thing in the morning. It hadn't had it cut in forever, so it was good to finally get it done! I found out that the posture supporter I ordered was being returned to the sender because my name wasn't on the mailbox. Urgh! I ended up having to walk to the post office (45 mins away) to pick it up, but I guess on the bright side it didn't actually get returned! Anyway, I'll be doing a review on it after I've had it for a bit longer!

I also got a library card (finally!) and borrowed a tonne of books (all from my short term goals list).

New library card and the first batch of books I borrowed!

In the afternoon I went for a walk around Greenlake with one of my housemates. The lake was beautiful and I'm definitely going to spend more time there! We also saw the cutest the cutest ducklings!
The lake is beautiful!

Pear tree on the walk to the lake

Pretty flowers!

Pretty flowers again!


So cute!!

In the evening I drunk too much...not a good life choice. And...I actually didn't enjoy it that much. I wonder if I'm getting too old for it!

I had a bit of a rough start to the day (a bit of a headache), but I did finally get motivated and go out to the Pride Parade, which was fun! It was the first Pride Parade I've been to and it was an interesting experience! There was a lot more nudity than I thought there'd be. One thing that I "liked" was seeing all the different shapes and sizes and how comfortable people were with their bodies.

I also got a peach mango candle on my way back -  other people in my house smoke, and I've been looking for something to cover up the smell.


Anyway off to bed now. I'm tired and next week is going to be a busy one!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Slooooow typing!

I've noticed that as soon as one thing in my "regime" gets off, everything goes to pot. For example, on days when I don't go to the gym I also eat way more junk. Anyway, unfortunately the last two days have been a bit like that. Today was much better though, and I got a good workout in!

I've also taken the plunge and switched my work and home computers to Dvorak. At the moment its pretty annoying (I'm typing SO slowly), but I've realised that this "cold turkey" approach is the only way I'm going to get good at Dvorak.

Dvorak keyboard...its meant to be hugely more efficient than the traditional QWERTY keyboard

Anyway, I've been really tired recently so I want to get an early night tonight, but I promise a proper post tomorrow!