Challenge Accepted Day 32

Well, hello Thursday and what an interesting day it has been. I started off my day with a bit of a sore throat and feeling really kind of blah. Hubby was gone for the day by the time I got up, yes, late nights and early mornings are a part of the Army life sometimes, so I got the kiddos ready for the day and remembered that Hunter and I were due to check out a Korean school with my neighbour (yes, the same lady I was planning on going with last time until our plans got confused). I could have easily not worked out, a sore throat, I was tired, I lacked motivation, I almost called my neighbour and said no because I wasn’t feeling well. I would have then sat on the couch doing nothing all day, feeling sorry for myself because my throat hurt and I would have missed out on all I did today! Sometimes, the worst thing we can listen to is that inner voice that wants to not do anything. Motivation is simply a mind game and sometimes it’s a tough mind game, but if you want something badly enough, you have to go for it. As Nike says ‘Just Do It!’ So, I ‘just did it’ today! Thank god it was cardio and not Total Body Circuit or my inner voice may have won that battle. But I realized as I was actually doing the cardio workout that tomorrow is my final Total Body Circuit workout (alpha round is coming to a close) and the last 7 minutes of the workout doesn’t actually work nor does the cool down portion, at all. The DVD also stops and starts a number of times throughout the other 18 minutes, so I may just substitute it with another cardio session and add some push-ups, spider ups, squats, you know, all those hellish moves that Shawn T makes you do in TBC! Yuck! Anyway, it’s another double, so who am I kidding, I probably won’t add any extra stuff on because I’ll be exhausted. The running has had to take a side step because I started feeling shinsplints and I just couldn’t take the chance of over exerting myself. Not when I really want to complete this T25 challenge and when I am accountable to all of you who read this.
As far as the skincare goes, my skin is feeling fabulous today! So much better and not tender at all. I didn’t use the AMP MD last night. I really just felt that I should perhaps give my skin another night to feel relaxed before I use it tonight (toNIGHT being the operative word)! I did however have some other fun with my face today, but more on that in a minute.
So, I finished the cardio and suddenly felt exhilarated! It was like all that negative energy disappeared, and, I kid you not, it literally went away and I felt great. Yesterday things didn’t quite work that way. Yesterday I was exhausted and the workout didn’t help! I lay on the floor like a seal that had had its fill of fish and decided that laziness was literally the only option. Not today, and I am so thankful I didn’t give in to my inner lazy voice, had I done that, today wouldn’t have worked out like it did.
I hurried to have a shower and get dressed, 5 minutes later my neighbour was knocking on the door ready to take us to the kindergarten. It’s a Korean school and it’s free for Koreans because it is a public school but foreigners have to pay. I don’t mind though, outsiders should have to pay to support the economy and education. It’s not expensive either, the only thing is, no one speaks English. Yes, just a wee hurdle, but hey, how can one submerse a child into the local culture more than sending them to a school where they only speak the local language? I’m kidding. I am a tad nervous, my neighbour seems very calm about it but I’m not so sure. What I do know is my son turns 4 in May and he hasn’t been to any formal daycare/kindergarten yet. There is a waiting list here (on post) and it’s expensive. This Korean school is 200,000 won (less than US$200 p/month) and is for 5/days a week, 9-3 and includes lunch. I am not sending him for 5 days a week and they were all in a bit of shock about that, but this is his first time being away from me, I think 3 days will suffice. And he’s my last little one, I’m in no hurry to be rid of him every day, but he needs his social time and I need mine. So three days a week will work for us. Next thing you know, I’m signing all the paperwork and getting him registered when I thought oh bugger, I haven’t even confirmed this with hubby. Oh well, if he had major issues, I would have canceled, but we had discussed it, so hopefully all is ok, and luckily, he was good with it, obviously noting that the first month or so will be a trial period, thereafter we shall see. It’ll be Summer holidays thereafter so he’ll have just gotten used to the place then have to go on Summer break, so I guess we shall just take each and every day as it comes. The plan is to make a chart with common ailments that Hunter can just refer to, that way if he really needs something, he can communicate with the teacher and we can go from there. 
So we get back to the house, I send hubby a message letting him know everything and he’s fine with it, just as I knew he would be and I’m scrolling through Facebook (there are dishes and all sorts of things waiting for me to tackle them) when I see all these makeup tutorials about contouring and using a spoon to put your eyeshadow on and I think, “Why not?” Dear son is playing Lego beside me, involved in his own world, why shouldn’t I go and have some grown up fun and play with some make up. Now here’s what you need to know about me; I care about my appearance, yes. I rarely wear makeup and when I do, it is very light. My hair is always up in a ponytail or hidden under a hat because it’s easier that way (and I love hats). Today, I sat down and attempted to contour my face. It was pretty funny. At first I looked very much like a weirdo and I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out, but it came out ok. There was some dredging up of old makeup that was too dark for me and makeup that was too light for me and I used both of them to come up with the best possible contouring I could for me given I have no knowledge of this prior to today. Btw, if you don’t know what contouring is, it’s where makeup artists and home makeup lovers alike use both light and dark to give the face glamour and shape and other stuff that it doesn’t have naturally. I even wore my contouring makeup to the bus stop, though I did grab a cotton makeup pad and give my entire face a wipe down prior to going, it was just way too much makeup for daytime anything! Anyway, the results were ok. It felt caked on and I felt like a fraud, but that’s me in the first photo with my pretty frock (aka dress) and my hair and ‘contoured’ makeup and here’s some more showing where I even attempted using a plastic spoon to outline the eyeshadow: 

 I took a couple of selfies not long before the bus was due and even put on a pretty dress and sort of did my hair (the dress came off and the hair was downgraded prior to child bus stop pick up also). It was fun and different and maybe I’ll do this for the ‘gala’ in May. We’ll see. It took way too much time for my liking and I don’t often have an hour to spare to do nothing but makeup. And I’m not sure how people can do that sort of stuff daily or even weekly, it took a lot from me. Nonetheless, it kept me entertained today. And I know what I’m going to do with my hair for the gala. I’m telling you, I need to have a lot of advanced notice to do anything fancy with my hair as I can’t stand doing it. My sister is a hair stylist too and I got none of those genes. But this is easy, should take about 10 minutes and really can’t go wrong, just the way I like it. As for the makeup, a lot could go wrong there. I’ll think on that. 
My afternoon was spent entertaining a new friend for Hunter. He doesn’t really have any friends his age and this little boy (4) came knocking on the door (with his father in tow) asking to play with Hunter. Dear son was out the front in our minute yard playing and welcomed the company, so the two of them played for a good hour and a half. It was funny though because all this little boy wanted to do was come inside and I just didn’t want anyone inside, so it was a tug of war between him asking and me saying to just stay outside and play. I even brought lots of toys back outside, but he just really wanted to investigate the inside of the house. Eventually he had a screaming fit when he wanted to use the toilet and I called out to his Dad to come and get him and he didn’t want to go. Kids. Life is so tough! 
On the food side, well today was a terrible failure as far as calories were concerned. I made crepes for breakfast and gave them to dear son with strawberry cream cheese, and for myself, made a béchamel cheese sauce that I poured over ham. Lovely! I had it again for lunch and dear son had the same strawberry cream cheese and we both sat there exclaiming just how wonderful our crepes were. Then for dinner, I popped some chicken into a marinade consisting of lemon, soy sauce, honey, garlic and tahini sauce, it was a bit too thick so I added a cup of Pinot Grigio white wine to it and let it all marinate in a zip lock bag for an hour. Wow! Talk about yummy. We had the chicken inside of pita bread with cheese, lettuce, onion and tomato with a tad more tahini on top and just yum. No regrets from moi. 

Well, I think I shall say adieu for now and wish you all a marvelous day and/or night. Tonight I shall attempt the AMP MD once again and I’m fairly confident all will be ok but I shall definitely let you know in the morning. Here’s cheers to Friday and the beginning of Spring break for those of us here……..

Challenge Accepted Day 31

Well what a lushful day! I have been nothing but a big lush all afternoon! I started off my morning in the right frame of mind; making my bed, cleaning, unpacking/packing the dishwasher etc, etc. I even did Total Body Circuit on T25, ok almost did it, the DVD cut out with 7 minutes to go and I’m not going to lie, this body was lying on the ground like a beached whale with Shawn T asking me to give a little more and do wide in/out abs with a squat and I pretty much wanted to tell him where he could shove those when the DVD cut out! What a shame! Oh well, sometimes one just has to go with it and listen to the body (& mind) & tell everything else where to go. Today was that day. I cleaned ferociously afterwards, so it’s not like I just sat around like a beached whale all day, it was only the one time with Shawn T watching…..
My friend Tawni came for lunch and lunch was wonderful, if I do say so myself. She too loves haloumi, so my balsamic vinegar chicken, avocado & haloumi salad went down really well. If I hadn’t been so hungry I would have taken a photo of just how awesome lunch looked, and tasted! I also introduced Tawni to ‘Le Card Bordeaux de Franzia rouge chillable’ or Franzia box wine Chillable Red’ it sounds so much nicer in French. I love red wine and white wine, in bottle form, in expensive bottle form, but this US box wine is scarily drinkable. They need to start paying me commission for the people I introduce to this very drinkable, very mild, very light, very refreshing, very summer, box wine. Seriously. Add new person today! And if any of you taste it just because of this blog then we need to start a new hashtag, possibly #Sheryn’sFranziaDrinkableRed ? Let me know what you think! 
So lunch was amazing. Don’t you just love it when you connect with someone immediately and it turns out all instincts are correct and you can connect with them immediately again and again? In military life, we need to speed up relationships because we’re always coming and going and so are other people, so we need to get right in there with people we connect with and enjoy their company whilst we can. That’s just how it is and any Mil Spouse who’s been doing this for long enough, understands those credentials. If they don’t, then they’re either new or have been lucky enough to be stationed in one place for so long they forgot what it’s like to move every two to three years or they’re just not worth being friends with. I sound harsh, but I’m telling the truth. This life is very unpredictable. We need to know what we want, know what we need, have our priorities in place (family first always) and get on with doing what we do and being completely and honestly ‘real’. It’s all about being real. No one wants to bullshit and most of us don’t have time for it. We like good old fashioned real people. Most of us don’t care about where you fit in to the military rank ‘spectrum’. We like you because we like you and nothing else matters. It’s our soldier spouses who have to worry about rank, not us. So today was once again refreshing because my gut instincts were correct (no that’s not why it was refreshing) and I met someone who was/is consistently real, consistently herself. 

My afternoon was almost over by the time Tawni left but what a lovely way to spend my day. I decided to go on strike as far as dinner was concerned, I guess hubby is just popping in to see us anyway before continuing his night at work, so leftover tacos will suffice for him and cheese pizza will do for the kiddos, as for me, well, perhaps, a taco also. I’ll go with the flow. 

Onto the Rodan + Fields side of things, well, my friend Sue enlightened me today by suggesting that my tenderness from using the AMP MD has stemmed from switching to the morning and following it with the ‘liquid velvet’ Night Renewing Serum. It’s called Night for a reason; You need the entire night to recover from using the AMP MD and the serum provides that overnight renewal, not necessarily your daytime benefits. She thinks my skin has become more sensitive because of this reason and that once I switch back to the night time regime, things will go back to normal. I should trust Doctors Rodan and Fields. Probably a good idea. Sometimes I try to make things fit in with me and it ‘ain’t necessarily so’. I need to be stricter with following directions and listen to the experts! 
Today’s blog is short and sweet. It was a wonderful day that ended with the not-so-great side of military life where hubby has to work into the wee hours of the morning. Kids are in bed. I am tired. Looking forward to the AMP MD tonight (with very light pressure of course) and to chilling by the tv with no interruption. I must say though, my kids all crack me up with their little stories/isms during the day and Hunter is obviously here with me the most, so I get to hear his more than anyone else’s. This morning he had his Avengers pjs on. I told him if he wanted to come to the bus stop, he would have to change, so he went upstairs and grabbed his Captain America track pants and gap sweatshirt, came down and took off his pjs and put those items on. I asked where his shirt was and he said he didn’t need one. I told him he would need a shirt as it was cold and he said and I quote, “Mummy, if I wear that pajama shirt underneath, I’m going to look like a weirdo!” Seriously! 😊
Have great day and or night! See you on the upside! Don’t forget you’ll never be as young as you are today, so make the most of it! 

Challenge Accepted Day 30

No run today but I did do abs, and that actually went really well. This was followed by a mad dash for the shower so I could drive hubby to work and have the car today. I picked up my friend Sara and we headed off to grocery shop (very exciting, I know) at both a local Korean store as well as at the commissary (the armed forces grocery store where you can get a lot of US staples). It was interesting. 
We started out the adventure at a place called Home Plus. Sara is of Korean heritage so even though she doesn’t speak the language fluently, she has a fairly good grasp of a lot of things, including foods. I ended up buying lots of amazing sweet Korean chips and a few other food items that I never would have tried had she not been with me, and having just opened a packet for Hunter to eat, I can rest assured they were really good. Honey chips. Yum. I bought a couple of bottles of Korean wine too, and something I guess is considered to be a whisky type drink but is very smooth going down. One day I’ll work up the courage to drink it all. Apparently that one sneaks up on you so we’ll see how it goes. 

We wandered around looking at cooking supplies and various other things, I even bought a set of chopsticks that are called learning chopsticks, so my kids can learn to use them and won’t look like crazy weirdo foreigners attempting (& failing) to use chopsticks. I’m excited for them to have a go. The only thing I didn’t think through was that I only bought one set, meaning fights are going to break out now whenever the chopsticks come out. Oh well, it was more for fun rather than serious learning so I didn’t want to spend another 5000 won on a second set. They’ll just have to take turns on different nights. 

We followed our sojourn to Home Plus with a visit to the Air Force Base, it was midweek lunchtime and the place was fairly busy but we got a carpark and were able to eat our lunch without much of a wait too, our only incident occurred when Hunter was in the little indoor play area and a little boy just pushed his head straight into a bar going across. I about lost my mind. I went and got Hunter, who was crying and said to this little boy, “That wasn’t very nice, in fact that was very mean!” I looked around trying to see a parent and couldn’t until eventually, the mother came over and told him to come and say sorry, he didn’t, but he did ask if Hunter was alright, so I let it go. I’m on kid number three, not too much is going to get me riled up, but I don’t like kids who are mean just for the sake of it and this kid was just that. 
Onto grocery shopping we went. My whole day has gone fairly smoothly and I think, I want to buy hubby a nice plant for his office. It’ll keep the air clean and give the place a little bit of life and just be nice. So I did. I picked out this really cute fern type thing. I put it in the trolley (cart) and went about shopping for fresh produce, next thing you know I can hear this really weird noise, I’m wondering what on earth it could be (Hunter has a miniature trolley so I’m looking to see if he has crashed into something) but no, it’s my newly picked out plant, it has fallen over and these large gravel bits are literally pouring out all over the floor. Crap! I go and try to pick up as many as I can but these things have gone everywhere! Hunter and I are down on the floor trying our best to put them back in the pot plant, when eventually I call it and say that’ll do. I should have known then that the plant was possibly jinxed as then they charged me twice for the thing and I didn’t even notice until I got all the way home! Bugger. Hubby had better appreciate it, that’s all I’m going to say. Honestly though, given the number of times Koreans tried to take us (or themselves) out on this trip, I’m going to thank my lucky stars! These people are wonderful, sweet, lovely, normal people, until you put them behind the wheel of a car, then they turn into these crazy, drag racer, speed demon, hellions, looking to risk life and limb to get down the road! Insane! 

 So what’s all this talk about Dolly Parton? Last night (as televised here in South Korea) Dolly performed with Katy Perry at the Country Music Awards. Dolly Parton and Katy Perry, and it wasn’t that bad. I love Dolly Parton. Coat of Many Colors has been a favourite of mine for many, many years and last year, the kids and I sat down and watched Dolly’s movie, they too now love the song because they saw new meaning behind it rather than just having Mummy playing it and singing in her best Dolly imitation! I sound amazing! Well, I do when no one else is in the car with me anyway! Actually even Hunter tells me how wonderful I sound, not anyone else, but at least I have one fan! 😜 So Dolly coming on last night and singing on a show I normally wouldn’t have watched (I’m not into singers, actors, etc awarding themselves for doing their jobs and getting a shit ton of money on top of that)! Anyway, I was looking for the show ‘The Good Wife’ and this was on instead and there were no other interesting options on our hugely diverse AFN (American Forces Network) with its 5 channel range, so I left it on whilst I finished my blog. Hearing in the meantime this crazy notion that Dolly & Katy were singing together. It wasn’t half bad either. I thought Katy Perry (though looking like she was taking the Mickey out of every Country fan but at the same time giving her own twist on traditional country garb) performed very well. When you’re up there on stage beside Dolly Parton, there’s some big boots to fill (figuratively of course). I wish I could see Dolly Parton perform live. My sister and my niece went and saw her and I was so envious! My friend in NZ went and saw her, again, feeling like I should have been there, but no. I guess Dolly and I are never destined to meet, even with me in the audience and Dolly on the stage! Each time I sing in my loud Dolly voice, I shall pretend I’m hearing the real deal! 😆 


My skincare regime wasn’t quite as normal after I finished watching them perform, I looked at my neck and it was very red and a bit sore to touch. I think I may have pressed too hard on the AMP MD or I may even have to face the fact that the AMP MD and I aren’t going to work well together anymore. I would have thought any tenderness would have shown it’s face in the early days, but I am no dermatologist and what I can tell you is that I could see marks on my neck from it and they were stinging. I know that doesn’t do much for the sales side of it, but I have really sensitive skin so I’m a little surprised I have been able to use it this long without incident. I also promised to be honest with you in this blog, always, even when things don’t necessarily go the way I want them to. I shall give the AMP MD a miss today and possibly tomorrow and use it very lightly on Thursday and see how I go and let you know then how it worked out. Today marks my halfway period with Rodan + Fields and I think my skin is looking and feeling better. I’m just trying to establish the reason behind this sudden tenderness. It may even be that diet is playing a role. Who knows. 


Some exciting news for the night is that we are heading to a place called Anmyeondo, it looks beautiful and it’s a beach! A real life beach! And it’s warming up! I may even be able to just sit down and enjoy it (ok that’s highly unlikely given I have a three year old but I can dream right). At least I will be able to go to this place and see if it’s somewhere we can go as a family one weekend. It looks amazing. One of the ladies in the ‘ville’ (what the little estate areas are called here where everyone lives and/or shops) is going and put it out there to see if anyone else wants to come and I saw the post and jumped at the chance. I have been so desperate for warm weather and water and beauty! To say I’m excited is a little bit of an understatement! Hubby can’t come but the kids and I are on Spring break, so we shall go and enjoy ourselves! I have even given him the heads up to not expect us home early and he’ll either have to find a ride or get a taxi home! 
Came to also find out upon hubby’s arrival home that we have a ‘Spring Gala’ to go to on May 6th. Here’s the crazy thing about the Military life, we may go through a lot of stuff and deal with hardships and adventures like very few other people but we also get to dress up and go to Cinderella type balls on a fairly frequent occasion. I couldn’t do it every day, but I do love dressing up every now and again like a princess. This one is a couple of hours away from us so we shall have to figure out some logistics but I think we’ve got most of it sorted out already. My goal to look fabulous before my next birthday just got real. Now I have a ball to dress for on the night before! The bison steak I just ate for dinner tonight along with the garlic bread and mashed potatoes and gravy had better come to a fast and firm end! 

As for everything else, well, it’s all good! I hope it’s all good in your neck of the woods too!