Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Cool Toe Sox

As part of my Pure Barre ensemble, I finally decided that I needed toe socks with grips on the bottom of them.  For the past few weeks i've been wearing my normal socks and didn't think I really needed to spend $16 for a pair of socks just because of sticky grips.  I actually just couldn't bring myself to pay that much for a pair of socks.  But, as I've continued with the classes, certain positions are really hard to do when you're feet keep slipping, in particular bridges and planks.  So, the hubby got me 2 pairs of toe sox with grips (as I still couldn't bring myself to buy them).  One black and one purple (of course!)

I wore them today for the first time and they were great!! I should have gotten them sooner!

Pure Barre Studio

 The lovely bridges they make you hold for 3 minutes.  Oh...the burn...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Friday

What a week and what a day.  I have been really good about going to my Pure Barre classes everyday, but today, I messed up the class time and drove all the way over to the class (20 minutes away) only to realize there are no classes at that time.  I WAS PISSED.  I didn't go to lab in the morning so I could exercise and I didn't even get to do that. So as I write this on a Friday night, I am still in lab...feeling blubbery from not working out and frustrated that I got into lab so late.

But, on a good note, my brother is visiting this weekend (he's driving down the 5 as I write this), so I'm excited to see him.  He's coming to visit for my birthday and I'm actually really happy he is.  We used to celebrate our birthdays together when we were younger and then as I got older, I started to have all girls party's and we pretty much haven't celebrated one together at all, so I think maybe this Sunday, we can celebrate both of ours together (not sure how I'm going to do that but I really want to).  I'm also stressed to make sure he has a good time while he's here especially since I have to squeeze in a few stupid experiments this weekend and try to make time to exercise.  Why do I do this to myself.

Anyways...hope everyone had/has a great Friday and an even better weekend to come!

I thought this was too cute.  Makes me miss my kitty...even though she probably doesn't even notice I'm gone as long as she gets fed.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pure Barre Update

Today was day 12 of pure barre.  It has been very challenging both physically and emotionally.  I have never exercised so hard in my life.  I have been fighting with myself to continue this exercise regimen, not so much because its so hard but because I haven't been seeing any changes and everyone in the class is so toned and fit it's depressing.  According to what the teachers tell me, you should see a difference after just 8 visits.  I have yet to see a difference.  Okay, maybe my love handles look a bit smaller (or maybe its all in my head), but not the change I was expecting.  I know it takes time, but its so hard to keep my motivation when the class is so challenging and I'm always so sore. I do have to say though, my back feels stronger and hasn't been bothering me so much (well I haven't really tried to lift anything heavy which was what would trigger the pain, so maybe it's really not stronger).    

It has also been really hard to stick with exercising 5 days a week with all the work I have to do with school and research.  I sometimes feel so focused on my exercise that I get so tired and unmotivated to do anything else and it takes over all of my thoughts and it's all I can think about.  Pure Barre really wipes me out and I am always so tired and hungry.  Maybe it will take a while to build up the stamina, but this is killing me.  I feel as though I prioritize exercising over my research and that scares me too.  Maybe that's not a good thing, maybe I shouldn't be so focused on exercising so much and instead should be spending the time on reading, studying and working harder.  Maybe I shouldn't care so much about being fit, maybe I should focus on more important things in life.  All these thoughts keep racing through my head and it's killing me.

It didn't seem so hard to lose weight years ago, but I think as one gets older, it gets harder.  As I get closer to 30 (a very scary thought) I want to try to improve my health...but why is it so hard? What's worse is all the fit, skinny women (in their 30s and 40s) that prance around the room, doing the splits, making it look so easy.  It's so hard to focus on your pain and body when the person next to you makes it all look so painless and she's so fit it makes you sick.  The teachers are really helpful though and their motivational smiles really help when you are fighting with your mind to continue through the burn and shaking.

My mother is also on the path to losing weight.  In some ways her struggle with exercising and eating well motivates me.  I am hoping to lose 10-15 pounds and finally have the body that I really want.  Toned, fit and something that makes me smile when I look at myself in the mirror.  I want to get back to the weight I was before I got married.  Most of my friends don't notice that I've packed on the weight, I guess I carry it well, but I am uncomfortable in my own body and that's enough for me. I'm going to stick with this and I can only hope that it pays off.  I know it takes a while, and I have to keep reminding myself of that, but it's really hard.  It sucks and I hate it!  Here's to another 2 weeks (for my next update) of soreness and mental exhaustion.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DIY No Slip Hangers

I am always on the look out for those ugly yellow or white foam covered hangers at the store to bring home.  Whenever I buy something with a foam hanger, I beg them to let me take it home (quite pathetic let me tell you).  The foam eventually rips though and I'm left with a normal hanger and a stretched out sweater.  I don't want to spend $10 bucks for 4 felt covered hangers and I hate the little hanging straps they put in dresses because they always start to pop out when you're wearing them, so of course I have to cut them off.  But then I came across this.  What a brilliant idea.  I am definitely trying it when I go home!

Some cute colored pipe cleaners wrapped around hangers...perfect! Why didn't I ever think of this myself. Of course I will be buying pink and purple pipe cleaners and maybe a few manlier colors for the hubby's hangers.  Of course he has probably never noticed that his shirts could use these...but that's why he has me! :D

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beach Day

One of my friends is visiting from her very short break from med school and we decided to go to the beach for a picnic on Sunday to celebrate her return and for making it through her first semester.  Although it was her special day, her sister surprised me by bringing a birthday cake and flowers (it's my birthday this coming weekend).  I didn't expect anything and it was very sweet of her. She is always so thoughtful.

Although I was really excited for this day out and had taken the time off weeks in advance, I really wasn't all there mentally.  I think I've just had a lot going on this week with life, school and this new exercise routine, that I really couldn't relax.  I was also so stressed about ruining my diet with pizza (2 nights in a row) that I really didn't enjoy the cake either. This whole "diet" and exercise thing is killing me.  10 days of pure barre classes and I see no improvement (although they guaranteed a change in 10 days).  I know, I takes time...whatever...blaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Laguna Beach was cloudy and cool (not too cold thankfully) unlike the rest of Socal which was in the mid 80's.  Weird weather I tell you!

 My very handy and super cute/cool beach bag! I finally got to use it!

 It was actually very good pizza!

 I brought a healthy choice, pineapple slices, so I wouldn't eat the cookies (which I did!)

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  It was so good.  Why??? 

 Beach homes are always so beautiful!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Work Friend

There was a little friend sitting outside my lab window late this afternoon.  She was snuggled up against some grass staring out into the sky.  It was just precious.

Can you find her?  Yes, I know, the window could use some cleaning.

What We're Really Like

I think this captures the truth nicely. 

Except, I am more of a ballet, pilates, horse riding type of girl...just saying...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring/Summer Inspired Handbags

Summer is here this week (spring has been skipped this year, thank you socal) and there is an abundance of uber cute handbags out there.  Although, I am trying to steer away from larger bags and go smaller, more so for my back than anything else, I just love these colors and styles.  These bags are just too cute, but I can't bring myself to buy them.  Not just because I have too many handbags and a major lack of closet space (major major) at the moment, but I also don't get out much (I live in the lab) and have no where to really where these cute things.  Well, the major problem is the space and I really don't need another handbag...I really don't...sigh...


Yellow!! I love yellow! I think yellow is slowly becoming my new favorite color.  Uh oh!

Big Buddha

Olivia + Joy


This is such a pretty coral color.  I'm just not really that excited about crossbody bags.  I don't know why.  I know they are "in" this season, but I just can't seem to bring myself to get one.  They are practical, for when you are walking around sightseeing or what not, as it does take a load off your shoulders, but it reminds me of older lady purses (no offence to any older ladies out there).  I have thought about getting just one to have, for when I need one, but what if it goes out of style again and I don't use it...lack of closet space...arg! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Creative Knits

I am working on my fourth shawl at the moment. It is a black shawl with a lace-like pattern.  Why black you may ask (you and everyone else I've told)?  Black because I wanted something to match my black coat (in particular when I go to the mosque and need something black for an occasion that requires black) and I couldn't find a nice black shawl that I liked.  But, unfortunately, I can't seem to make the time to sit and knit.

Knitting was supposed to be a hobby and really more for stress-relief, something to pass the time away while watching TV (I can't just sit and watch TV, I get bored really fast) but every time I sit to knit, it is one of the most stressful experiences I have ever had!  I get so frustrated when the stitches don't look just right and of course (being a newby) I add a stich, or lose a stich (I am forever losing stitches) or just lose my place in the pattern and 10 rows later realize it.  So, I pull it all out and start again or if I can for the life of me figure out how many stitches too pull off to return to a place I can manage to start from, I will be very lucky and not have to start from scratch. So alas, knitting is not for me what it is for most people.  I start something and force myself to finish it just because I get tired of looking at my knitting bag sitting in the corner with a half finished project.  Once I finish I get so excited that I made something nice that I start a new project and the cycle of frustration and annoyance continues.    

So, whenever I see knitted items, I get all excited and make a list of items I am eventually going to make (like I am now) and then I realize the above.  Arg!

I totally want something like this! It's the perfect bag for my knitting stuff! :)

 Apples get cold too you know!!

For the men, desperate to grow facial hair!  Look no further!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Out of Boredom Does Talent Flourish

Some people really make the BEST of their time when they are on a looooong flight.  This is just one example! HAHA.

Nina Katchadourian, an artist from Stanford, California (I didn't know stanford university had its own city??) spent time in an airplane to recreate portraits from 15th century Flemish renaissance painters using none other than toilet paper and seat covers. In some ways I find this a bit disturbing, but also quite hilarious.

I know my mom will get a kick out of this! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Book Review: Shatter Me

** Spoiler Alert **

It's been hard to make time to read anything other than school related papers, but I just finished reading a newly published book called Shatter Me.  It is a dystopian novel written by a friend of mine, Tahereh Mafi.  I was really excited to find out she had published her book.  She had told me she was writing a novel a few years back and it was science fiction, but that was all the details I got, so when I found out she was a published author, I of course had to read it.  It is always great to have muslim, hijabi women make something of themselves.

The book is written for young adults (aka teenagers) and is about a young girl (Juliette) who is incarcerated for a murder caused by her fatal touch. The book is set during a time of great turmoil on earth and is a mix of action, sci-fi and romance.

I was initially excited about the book, especially because someone I knew wrote it.  It took me a while to make time to start reading it, but once I did, I really couldn't put it down.  There were so many questions and I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen.

The book is written as though you are reading Juliette's thoughts.  The style is a bit different than any other book I've ever read (with strike-outs and lack of commas) and it started to get really annoying by the end (maybe i'm just not used to this style).  Juliette is a mixed up girl with lots of suffering and lack of human interaction, making her very vulnerable.  She starts up a romantic relationship with a young boy (Adam) who tries to help her.  The story line is very interesting and the use of descriptive words and thoughts were really great to read.

The ending of the book reminded me a lot of X-men and unfortunately I could't help but get annoyed with all the mushy romance that the book had.  I thought the romance happened way too fast and the innuendoes a bit inappropriate for a teenage novel (just like the Twilight trilogy).  It was disappointing to read as I expected it to be a bit more mature of a novel, but kept reminding myself it was written for teenagers.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against romance, just don't think certain types of details have a place in teenage novels.  We have enough problems in our society because of the idealization of sexuality.  I guess I expected more from a hijabi, but then I guess it would never have been published if it didn't have all of that.

I will definitely read the next set of novels, Shatter Me is the first in a trilogy.  The next book, Unravel Me, is set to be released February 5, 2013.  Film rights have also been bought by 20th Century Fox for a movie, but I'm not sure when we will be seeing that.

Tahereh's Blog for those interested: Stir Your Tea 

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Rain

It has been pouring rain here in Socal all day.  It has been cold and stormy and just lovely (well, not to drive in).  Rain is so rare here, people don't know what to do when it rains.  A few people I talked to today didn't even own an umbrella and some were walking around in shorts and flip flops.  Pathetic.  Me, being the Norcal girl that I am, always have an umbrella handy in my car.  Boy did it come to use today!

Leaving my apartment, I have to take care not to step on any snails as I walk to my car.  When it rains, they all come out of their little hiding spots for a walk in the rain. Why is that?

It wasn't raining when I got to campus for my TA class, but when I got out, it was pouring (good thing I thought to bring my umbrella just in case).

 Stylishly, in my hot pink umbrella (some would beg to differ) treading across campus back to my car.

I got soaked by the time I reached my car.  My suede shoes and jeans were soaked.  And they said light showers. Ok, maybe they didn't, I just didn't take them seriously because they are usually really off when it comes to the weather.

Finally in the safety of my car.  Did I mention I got soaked?

View of the rain from my desk at lab :)

 I love makes me so happy! :) Too bad its supposed to warm up on Sunday. God Socal, why can't you be normal!

Here's is a great photo taken last night of lightning striking the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.
Photo was taken by photographer Phil Mcgrew.  What a rare and great picture!

Happy Friday Everyone!


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