Challenge Accepted Day 40

Another day in beautiful South Korea. I’m not going to call it a good day or a bad day just another day. It was interesting. I had hoped to meet my girlfriend in a city called Daegu today. We travelled here (to South Korea) together and the story of our travel is pretty funny. Another day though. Anyway, we became fast friends during our respective journeys and I am so glad we did but we are just far enough away from each other that things keep popping in the way, yet close enough that we should be able to sort it out! I thought today might have been the day. Missed communication, combined with a planned dinner date tonight with hubby and his ‘work-wife’ and her husband (it’s an Army thing) – that didn’t even work out because she ended up having to go to Daegu (of all places!!!) and my hubby went to Seoul, meant it just didn’t happen. But it needs to. I feel like we need to ensure our friendship endures. We have both had some adjusting to do whilst here and neither of us are ‘loving’ it here yet, but we’re getting there and I know we’d do better if we each made a bigger effort! Also goes back to the one car thing. I have to be here in time to pick my hubby up if I want the car then there’s the school bus pick up when the kids are in school and it’s a 2 hour journey on a good day! So many variables get in the way of our social lives! I’m not sure how other Mums/Moms do it! For me, it was enough just trying to get to a farewell lunch for a lady today after our original plans didn’t really work out. Up and out of the house at 0430 to drop hubby off just so I could have the car, it almost wasn’t worth it to get up at that hour, then I remembered that today was the last day of Spring break so it was worth it to get out and do stuff. Though, nothing went as planned….
It’s a pot luck. I’m up at literally ‘sparrow-fart’, I start thinking about what I could make with what’s in the fridge/freezer. Stromboli. Yum! My one-coffee mind thinks yes, defrost it and get it happening, my one-coffee mind doesn’t take into account size of microwave versus size of glass container holding the frozen bread and that it won’t turn around in said microwave. I put it in there anyway. Low and behold, however many minutes later, one side of the bread has started to cook and is now ruined. Shit! What now? Spaghetti and pasta. Everyone loves spaghetti. Oh dear, no spaghetti sauce! I’m going to have to make it and double time it to get all the ingredients loving each other (as they should in spaghetti sauce). That’s what I do. It’s a little bit of crushed tomatoes, meets a little bit of tomato paste, meets a little bit of tomato sauce. Onions and garlic join forces, as do pepperoni (I know, I never thought I would be putting pepperoni in spaghetti but it’s a winner with kids) and ham. Mince (aka ground beef) with red wine and lots of seasonings including basil pesto, all top it off. For the next 2 hours, all of the above mentioned ingredients happily meet and intertwine to create a yummy, kid-friendly spaghetti sauce. 
There is no workout today! I know, disappointing. There is something going on with my T25 Beta selection and I’m not sure about what to do. They used to work, now they don’t. I may have to axe the T25 workout and move on to Insanity! After ensuring all DVDs are in good working order that is. I have done lots of running and walking and lifting and stretching, but none of it is in conjunction with any DVD. I haven’t figured all of this out just yet as it was all a bit of a surprise. I was going to give it more thought and further fiddling this afternoon but my afternoon disappeared in a flash. 
So we went to this luncheon/potluck/farewell. It was a bit weird because I didn’t know anyone and felt like a bit of an outsider, but all of the ladies were so friendly and inviting though not at first, even if any of them read this I have to share with you what happened when I first walked in; so we get there about 15 minutes late because I take a wrong turn. It’s all ok, I’m not too worried. We walk in the door and our host has to immediately go and deal with her two screaming children so I just stand there, crockpot in hand thinking “umm, ok…” No one turns to say hello, no says anything. I tend to my kids and put the crockpot in the kitchen and still no one acknowledges my arrival. It’s a small place. I’m thinking ok, I guess I need to take a leap out of my comfort zone and greet all of you, so I do. Finally, the 7 or 8 women who are there, start speaking to me. I don’t know about you, but for me, I was ready to haul my butt out of there very shortly after arriving! I don’t think any of them were purposefully being rude, most just didn’t know me and those couple who did were in conversation with their backs to the door and there were noisy kids everywhere. Anyway, not the most welcoming greeting I’ve been given but I did enjoy myself afterwards nonetheless. In fact, I really enjoyed myself and was able to connect with a couple of women and thought we could become firm friends. All good things must come to an end and I had to pick up some stuff at the grocery store and Mail off the package to my Mum (that I forgot to take with me on post). So 2.5 hours later, we finally left the party. 
Ally had decided to stay home, so Maddy, Hunter and I went to the commissary without a list, but using Mummy’s incredible baby-deranged memory. Yes, we forgot half the stuff! Oh well. Here’s the deal with the commissary, there are packers/baggers who pack/bag your groceries but only for tips. There are big signs in every commissary specifying this. As I explained to my daughter today, I think it’s a great service but A; I hate other people bagging my groceries. B; I hate being told to pay other people to bag my groceries. C; these people use more plastic than a small country would (the commissary has the worst plastic bags I’ve ever seen and, if given the chance, most of the baggers would triple bag your groceries) I have my own grocery bags that I use most of the time but sometimes I forget them and it drives me almost to the point of insanity with the number of bags these people think should be used for a couple of heavy items. On top of that, things are never put together or where I need them to be. I once watched as 2 baggers packed my groceries and used my frozen ‘freezer’ bags to put canned goods in because they were the sturdiest. Seriously, it really gets under my skin. I’m a pretty efficient bagger and I normally won’t do it unless I’ve got someone there to help me, like my 7yo old daughter today, but today really pissed me off. I was determined not to get stressed, I didn’t have very many items. I had brought in my own bags and had to tell them 3 times that I would bag it myself. Madison and Hunter unpacked it, I bagged it. We had one of those half trolleys/carts – that wasn’t even full. It wasn’t a long or difficult process yet, they started getting cranky because I was still bagging and the woman was asking me to pay. I paid then moved back to bagging the 7 or so items I had remaining. This man came over and started yelling at these women and I knew it was about me doing my own groceries. The cashier starts telling him (I think) that I wanted to do it myself and he is getting crankier and crankier. The door to the commissary decides at that point to close/open (hard to explain as I didn’t really see it) on my son’s head, so he starts screaming. I think to myself, I’m going to be very calm and I’m going to finish my groceries, my son isn’t bleeding, he’s not in tremendous danger or pain, he’s just gotten a fright) so I shall do what I’m doing then deal with him as we go to the car. Well, they all start freaking out (not about my son but the fact that now it is taking me too long to pack my groceries) and this man starts yelling some more and the ladies start pushing me out of the way. The whole thing turned into an ordeal. Yet there was only one person waiting in line and 3 checkouts open. I told them all they need to calm down and I calmly grabbed my son’s elbow as we walked out and asked him and Madison what exactly happened. This all took place in a matter of 30 – 60 seconds. It was weird and really pissed me off. Again, no one needs to dictate to me who packs my groceries, especially in a store the size of a 7-11. 
I got home a little cranky, grabbed the eldest child and the package and headed back to park almost exactly where I had been not 20 minutes before. We went to the post office, she grabbed me some butter (yes, I thought it best I not go back to the commissary today) and we came home. Our little garden was looking a tad worse for wear and we were starting to compete in the white trash competition, so I decided to clean it up with the help of the children. We cleaned, we prettied, we organized and all looked great. The girls then asked if they could go and ride their bikes and after all their hard work, it was a well-deserved reprieve. Hunter and I played in the new yard until Daddy called asking for us to come and get him. I grabbed Maddy, leaving Ally with her neighbourhood friends, and off we went. We came back to find Ally with a fresh bandage on her knee and a bloodied wound underneath. She did well though, she came home, grabbed her Girl Scout first aid kit, cleaned and wrapped the wound and was riding back to join her friends when we came along. We left Maddy with her and headed back to the house. Hubby was exhausted but ready for an ice cold beer, he and I sat out on our porch with Hunter discussing our days. Our neighbour’s came over to talk/meet, (their girls will be in Hunter’s class on Monday) and it was nice to finally meet the husband, but all of a sudden our dear, clumsy, crazy son, crashes behind me and I see Rebecca’s face and think “What has he done now?” Well, let’s just say he came damn close to doing permanent damage to his eye and the kid has a very fresh graze and scrape all the way down the left side of his face. He had already started to get a black eye when I picked him up off the ground! How, I don’t know. Only our Hunter could do it though. Our neighbours left when he started screaming and our eldest came back from bike riding crying and the entire house was filled with drama for the next 30 minutes. Luckily nothing is permanent. Ally and her sister had a fight and Madison embarrassed Ally in front of all the kids, and Hunter, well Hunter is truly a drama King and I’m sure he has a not-so-secret desire to do some permanent damage to his face! One day I’ll tell you about all the stuff our 3yo has done to his face! There was no emergency room trip today, but the sting is very real and he must have had a bit of a headache tonight as I gave him ibuprofen for his pain and he was out. No, he didn’t damage himself so badly he had a concussion, yes, sometimes it can just hurt like hell. Yes, I just went and checked on him after writing that to make sure he is ok! 

  
  

 
So, basically today was a failure as far as T25 was concerned, though I did do both my day and night regimen of the Rodan and Fields Redefine. No AMP MD though. It was a failure as far as Stromboli was concerned but a winner when we talk spaghetti. A failure when it comes to entrances but it evened out when it came to staying the course. Both hit and miss in the commissary. Definitely some parenting wins and fails as well. Hence the reason why today was neither good nor bad, we shall call today and equilibrium of days. A day where  everything met to give an average of ok. 
I hope though that for you, your day and or night is amazing! 
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Challenge Accepted Day 36

Well what a lovely day! I awoke feeling like rubbish still, but it was time to put the big girl panties on and get out and about. And out and about we got. My girls are on Spring break this week and today was a great start to it (other than my rubbish cold that is)! Our neighbor and newfound friend, Rachel put out last week that she wanted to go and check out this place called Anmyeondo island. I love the beach, I love water, I love the peaceful feeling I get when I’m near it and I needed to feel some of that. So I jumped at the chance to join in and travel there. We cancelled our dentist appointments and changed some other stuff around just so we could go. That’s how important it was to me. 
  
This past year has felt like a very long winter. We moved from Hawaii to Colorado in July, 2013 and although Colorado was in Summer at the time, it doesn’t really ever get over 80F in the Springs and that doesn’t qualify as Summer for me, just like Hawaii never got over 80 nor did it ever really get under 70F. So the weather suited me just fine because it was always semi-warm, whereas when it gets cold, I need it to get hot, just to balance me out. My friend Trine (Norwegian) doesn’t think it gets really cold in Colorado and perhaps compared to Norway it doesn’t, but it got down to -32C once (That’s -25.6F) aka bloody cold, too bloody cold for my liking! No one told me hair can freeze when it gets that cold, my hair was damp when I left the house and it froze almost immediately and a giant chunk snapped off, literally snapped. Goodbye hair, it was nice knowing you. No, thank you very much. I like my hair and I like my warmth and though she is one of my dearest friends, we shall always agree to disagree when it comes to Winter. It just doesn’t work for me. Off point, I know. 2015 was a year that seemed to me like perpetual cold. No, it wasn’t the coldest winter on record in Colorado, in fact it was a fairly warm winter, but it was still winter, then we went to Australia in July, my first time home in 5 years, almost to the day, and it’s winter, again. Yay (sarcasm) It hadn’t even gotten up to 80 in Colorado yet! The Sunshine Coast was ok, though I still desperately missed Summer, but Melbourne was absolutely freezing. By the time I get back to Colorado at the end of August, they have pretty much had 5 weeks straight of 80+F temps that all came to an end the week we arrived back, no I’m not kidding! We booked a cruise in January to try and locate some warmth, but even that only gave us one day of nice, warm, laying in the sun, weather and that was on our second last day.
  
We get to South Korea and it’s bleak and miserable and cold and we arrive in Seoul to -30C weather where we have to go and take our dog to play every day, at least twice a day and where the son does nothing but cry as soon as we head outside. It was truly miserable. The one thing about Colorado’s winter is that it is truly beautiful, picturesque probably better describes it. It may be cold and snowing but at least the sun comes out a lot and there’s beautiful mountains and scenery to look at, even on the coldest days. Not South Korea. The trees seem to all be deciduous, so everything looks dead in Winter. It’s cold and bleak with high rises and buildings and junk everywhere. The Koreans are extremely technologically advanced but they still don’t care about litter. I drove back from the beach today and watched car after car roll down their windows and throw stuff out. The beach was covered in trash in parts, just like the streets here. I hate it. I want to stop people in the street and say “what are you doing?” There are also no public rubbish bins (garbage bins) so what are people supposed to do with their garbage? I had two bags of garbage just after our picnic today, the first I left in the restrooms inside the garbage bin in there because I didn’t want to leave a bag of garbage in my car, the second, I took with us. 
Back to today; I would have liked to crawl back into bed, but my need for beach and fresh air was more important, even with an almost 2 hour drive each way! I get out of bed and get cracking early enough to get an esky (cooler) packed as well as our picnic, but not early enough to work out. I do my Rodan and Fields regimen and lavish my face with Reverse #4 sunscreen (my fave sunscreen ever) then have to get breakfast for all children whilst also getting the youngest two ready. I take lots of vitamin C and some medicine that will stop my nose from running. Then it’s time to drop hubby off at work before feeding the cats we are looking after and picking up hubby’s colleague’s teenage daughter whom I have asked to join us, then meeting with Rachel at 9am (0900 in military speak). Crazy start to the day, yes. 
We are off. It was a fairly easy drive given the Korean driving skills, no great drama on the roads, a couple of weird GPS turns, but I expect nothing less, and all goes smoothly. Rachel is leading the minivan convoy and does a great job. I’m a terrible driver/leader, I don’t know why but I always sit there and think the person behind me wants me to go faster or something, and here, all I want to do is go faster but apparently, the Korean speeding ticket is an absolute fortune and there are speed cameras everywhere, so I don’t take any chances. I actually led on the way back and my phone and my car GPS were going crazy with camera locations so it was really a matter of using my cruise control, but I probably also braked a lot and poor Rachel was probably like, “What are you doing?” But I’m not sure how anal they are with speeding tickets and I don’t want to take a chance, so if I thought there was a speed camera, I slowed down to the exact speed limit if not less. And it helped that my GPS lady shuts up when I slow down too!
There are 9 of us hitting the beach including 2 adults, two teens, one tween, and 4 kids all under 8. In our car, we are excited. I can tell you that we all looked at the scenery as we were driving through these regions and finally saw ‘beautiful’ South Korea. It was wonderful to see only green for a change, or green intermingled with flowering cherry blossoms. I wish I could share a photo of it with you, but unfortunately as the driver, there were no good photos. It didn’t help that I didn’t take my camera either! We crossed a number of large bridges to get to the island and it was truly magnificent. I go excited the minute I saw water! We had no idea which beach we should have chosen though, so it was a matter of guess work and between us, we ended up at a bit of a rocky cove, but it meant we found amazing shells! I have never seen so many shells in my life! It was truly amazing. And we collected a lot. Thank goodness Rachel had a spare ziplock bag for us to throw some cool shells in. 
Leaving my eldest on the beach with her teenage friend (because neither of them really felt like going for a walk) the rest of us did a short hike over to the next beach where we discovered some cool shells, tide pools and a big rock stack. A gorgeous scenic viewing area claimed some space at the top of a fairly steep (for my 3 yo) staircase, there were also bunkers (we think) in between. That was my guess anyway, perhaps dating back to the Korean War where sentries kept an eye out for invasion? If anyone can enlighten me further, I would appreciate it.

  
It was a very easy hike even with young kids and well worth it for what awaited us at beach number 3, Sambong. A real life beach, with sand, and few rocks but lots of shells and tide pools. My phone decided a good time to die was right before I got a great photo of the entire beach! What I did get a photo of and what excited me the most was when Rachel’s kids found starfish! Starfish! They were beautiful and they were everywhere. It was so exciting, possibly even more so for me than for the kids, I love starfish! I grew up next to the wate but starfish were something I remember from a kid in New Guinea, I saw some in Tahiti, I think, and some in Malaysia or Thailand (or both) and a couple snorkeling in Hawaii, but that was it. This was literally hundreds of starfish hanging out on the beach in tide pools. We spent a long time just rescuing some who were looking like they had been beached, were starting to curl up, that sort of stuff. I have tried to do some research on starfish rescue (or ‘sea stars’ as they are now known – Ally kept saying this all afternoon but I didn’t give her credit and yet she was 100% correct) but no one seems to know too much about them. Apparently many are committing suicide on the west coast of the United States??? Seriously! Who knew? But no one knows why! Maybe real estate prices? Very strange though considering they have no brain according to scientists. Anyway, the kids and I thought it better safe than sorry given sometimes starfish just have to roll with the surf and have no control over where they end up, better to end up in small tidal pools with access to mussels than not, I say. So that’s what we did. Between us, we must have rescued 50 starfish. And yes, we are sticking with rescued! My kids are heroes! Even Hunter who hates anything stick or gooey on his hands, was very happy to pick these babies up and deliver them to the nearest tidal pool – Hero! 😊
  
These following two photos are credited to Rachel White:

   
 We eventually decided, given the next beach was 10km away, to end the hike there and return to our original location, find my eldest, and let the kids just play for a while before making our way back. On the way back, it seemed like what was an empty path became filled with Korean tourists from a bus tour, all on the steep steps. After many ‘hello’s’ though we go to the lookout to see the last group trying to take a photo. I asked if I could help by taking a photo for them and they were very happy. Having no idea, I mean none whatsoever, what Koreans use to say smile in a photo, I used the go-to for any English speaking person, “Cheese!” But this one dude in the back row cracked me up when his response was: “Kim Cheeeeeese!” Kimchee, or kimchi is a well known Korean dish and this seriously made me laugh, just because I guess I was expecting something like it, but I wasn’t. Brilliant! Next time, that shall be my go-to line, not Kimchee, but kimcheeeese! 
Back to the beach we go where the kids get to play for a while and the weather has warmed up enough for us to remove sweaters for a short while. It was fun. Needing to use the toilet wasn’t mind you, given the barnacle/rock extravaganza that awaited us, but it was fun nonetheless. I took the lead as I previously mentioned, to drive home when Rachel’s app didn’t want to cooperate, and it was all good except for my speeding up/slowing down maneuvers of course. We got home at a more decent hour than I expected and hubby was actually in between (meaning he came home to change before going out again) so it all worked out as the kids got to tell him all about their awesome, amazing, wonderful day at the beach. 
Unfortunately, the minute I got home, it was like all the congestion that spent most of the day leaving my body, came back in full force, perhaps the ocean air was a big contributor, anyway, rubbish was how I felt! It was time to check on the kitties again and I was supposed to start T25 beta round but at 7pm (the time we were back in the house) all this body wanted to do was relax, instead, I had to get my kids the extremely gourmet meal of ramen (2minute) noodles – thank you noodle Monday and for the fact that sometimes I don’t have to be elaborate! I had leftover pasta, got everyone in respective showers, including myself. Did the night regimen, no AMP MD tonight either, and sat down to write this. There may have been some trashy Korean TV in between, a first for our family as we searched for something suitable for the kids to watch with us, and it may have involved ‘little people’, a video of my dog intently watching the show ‘Little People, Big World’ and I may have also let my girls watch that crazy show ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ just to give them an idea about how I am a very normal mummy! But otherwise, a relatively quiet night! 
I hope your day and or night are magnificent, no matter where you are. For me, I just want to wake up without a sore, runny nose in the morning and be able to do a double Tuesday workout, given I didn’t do this one today! 
Happy trails! 😊

Challenge Accepted Day 33

Hello and happy Friday! First things first, today was supposed to be a sleep in day but instead I awoke before hubby’s alarm, needing to go to the toilet but not wanting to get up! Isn’t it crazy how we do that? You lay there thinking it might pass because you don’t want to get out of your warm, cozy bed, never fully comprehending (no matter how many years you’ve been on earth) that the urge isn’t going anywhere and eventually you will have to give in to it. Today I held out for over an hour! Unfortunately meaning I didn’t ever go back to sleep, but somehow won the battle with my bladder because I did stay in bed! So, got up to the pitter patter of little feet at about 7 and got on with our day, me in desperate need of coffee before being the nice Mummy I can be sometimes. Madison unfortunately tested me before coffee intake and lost that battle! I gave her two chocolate doughnuts, she wanted the last three, I told her she could have two, she went on about how unfair it was, I sent her to her room and told her to come back downstairs when she had lost the attitude and to start again, this time without any doughnuts! So she did. Seriously, pick your battles with Mummy! And don’t even begin them when Mummy hasn’t had coffee, on top of holding her bladder for forever! 😜

We breakfasted without further incident and I finally willed myself to go upstairs and work out leaving the children playing on their tablets. Again, I could have used any excuse under the sun not to workout and I was thinking of them all. Even when I pressed play on ‘Cardio’ (no TBC today) I was thinking of excuses as to why I couldn’t do a second workout today, but I ignored them and I did lower focus. I did have a little half-chuckle to myself at my very brief notion last night of doing some extra squats and lunges. Bwahaha! After lower focus, there was no way in hell this body was capable of any extra lunges or squats! But it was good, and I was thankful to have not listened to my inner voice and to have done both workouts today and, given I am now about halfway through the T25 challenge, I wanted to show you my results:

  
Well, what do you think? I’d love some feedback! Madison told me I look a lot more muscular in the after shots. So I’ll take that as a win. I know the scales are only saying about a one pound difference (that’s about half a kilo) but the body is actually speaking (minor changes, I know) in these pictures. Thank god! As far as my face is concerned, I know you really want to see some photos of me without makeup as a halfway point for the R+F challenge, but I’m just not sure the photos are capturing the differences so I’m going to keep you in suspense until the due date for those results. If you look closely on the body photos, I’m not wearing any makeup and there is definitely a difference, you may just have to trust me on that one for right now. 
I followed my workout with my morning regime with Rodan and Fields and guess what? No irritation after using the AMP MD last night! Please ignore everything I said about using the AMP MD in the morning, the ‘night’ renewing serum is meant for just that and my skin felt amazing again this morning when I awoke and amazing after my morning regime. Back on track, I am. Yes, please call me Yoda. 😆 
I walked out of the bathroom with fresh skin, knowing what I wanted to do today; I wanted to paint and I wanted to be inspired by nature and by beauty. I dragged the kids and the dog down to the rice paddies and snapped some photos and collected some small branches and got a little inspired. I really like the ‘Southwest’ (USA) painting style and I am ok at it, whereas water inspired stuff, doesn’t work for me, as much as I love it. Now, please understand, I am on painting number 5 in my life. I’ve never had any training, not even art in school after grade 8, so this is a reasonably new hobby. I’m practicing my painting of water scenes but I did one painting of a Southwest scene and gave it to a friend and their daughter-in-law wanted to commission me to paint something similar for her family once they bought a new house, unfortunately (or fortunately depending upon how one looks at it) we moved over here and they moved into their house at about the same time. Anyway, back to the painting today, I wanted to try something different. When we were in Australia, I saw a lot of 3D art and thought today I would attempt to make my own. It didn’t quite come out like I had pictured it, well no, let me rephrase, I had no idea what I was planning on so I guess it came out as it was meant to….

  
(This was my second painting ever (well aside from finger painting I guess).

  
My abstract 3D painting from today…..

The afternoon was followed with drawing another ‘Southwest’ picture, I may just start painting it shortly. We’ll see. I have to go with the vibe when it hits me and I know I’m accountable to all of you each and every day as far as my blog is concerned, so that takes priority, well, after my family of course. Our dinner was a wonderful roast beef, I’ve finally mastered the 110 voltage converters here we live out in town rather than on the base/post and there are 110v and 220v plugs with a built in converter somewhere), they aren’t very good and for whatever reason, the 110v are very slow, even the toaster spits out bread rather than toast. So the 110V slow cooker has to have a couple of hours added on to the time, today’s meal took 10 hours whereas stateside it would have taken 8 on low cook. At least I know and can be prepared from now on. Anyway, the dinner was wonderful, a very lean, tender roast beef, with a gravy made from tomatoes, onions, celery, carrot, organic chicken and beef stock as well as vegetable stock and a light red wine, actually ‘Le card Bordeaux’, Alessandra couldn’t stop saying how wonderful the gravy was! We had Costco bread rolls, broccoli, mashed potato and homemade oven chips (fries) with chicken salt. Wonderful. All five plates clean. So, it’s Friday night, and I am going to say adieu because I haven’t really seen my hubby for a few days and finally he is here and doesn’t have his nose buried in paperwork, have a great day or night depending upon where you are and I’ll see you on Saturday! I’ll leave you with some more photos from our walk today:

  
  
  
  
  

Challenge Accepted Day 33

Hello and happy Friday! First things first, today was supposed to be a sleep in day but instead I awoke before hubby’s alarm, needing to go to the toilet but not wanting to get up! Isn’t it crazy how we do that? You lay there thinking it might pass because you don’t want to get out of your warm, cozy bed, never fully comprehending (no matter how many years you’ve been on earth) that the urge isn’t going anywhere and eventually you will have to give in to it. Today I held out for over an hour! Unfortunately meaning I didn’t ever go back to sleep, but somehow won the battle with my bladder because I did stay in bed! So, got up to the pitter patter of little feet at about 7 and got on with our day, me in desperate need of coffee before being the nice Mummy I can be sometimes. Madison unfortunately tested me before coffee intake and lost that battle! I gave her two chocolate doughnuts, she wanted the last three, I told her she could have two, she went on about how unfair it was, I sent her to her room and told her to come back downstairs when she had lost the attitude and to start again, this time without any doughnuts! So she did. Seriously, pick your battles with Mummy! And don’t even begin them when Mummy hasn’t had coffee, on top of holding her bladder for forever! 😜

We breakfasted without further incident and I finally willed myself to go upstairs and work out leaving the children playing on their tablets. Again, I could have used any excuse under the sun not to workout and I was thinking of them all. Even when I pressed play on ‘Cardio’ (no TBC today) I was thinking of excuses as to why I couldn’t do a second workout today, but I ignored them and I did lower focus. I did have a little half-chuckle to myself at my very brief notion last night of doing some extra squats and lunges. Bwahaha! After lower focus, there was no way in hell this body was capable of any extra lunges or squats! But it was good, and I was thankful to have not listened to my inner voice and to have done both workouts today and, given I am now about halfway through the T25 challenge, I wanted to show you my results:

  
Well, what do you think? I’d love some feedback! Madison told me I look a lot more muscular in the after shots. So I’ll take that as a win. I know the scales are only saying about a one pound difference (that’s about half a kilo) but the body is actually speaking (minor changes, I know) in these pictures. Thank god! As far as my face is concerned, I know you really want to see some photos of me without makeup as a halfway point for the R+F challenge, but I’m just not sure the photos are capturing the differences so I’m going to keep you in suspense until the due date for those results. If you look closely on the body photos, I’m not wearing any makeup and there is definitely a difference, you may just have to trust me on that one for right now. 
I followed my workout with my morning regime with Rodan and Fields and guess what? No irritation after using the AMP MD last night! Please ignore everything I said about using the AMP MD in the morning, the ‘night’ renewing serum is meant for just that and my skin felt amazing again this morning when I awoke and amazing after my morning regime. Back on track, I am. Yes, please call me Yoda. 😆 
I walked out of the bathroom with fresh skin, knowing what I wanted to do today; I wanted to paint and I wanted to be inspired by nature and by beauty. I dragged the kids and the dog down to the rice paddies and snapped some photos and collected some small branches and got a little inspired. I really like the ‘Southwest’ (USA) painting style and I am ok at it, whereas water inspired stuff, doesn’t work for me, as much as I love it. Now, please understand, I am on painting number 5 in my life. I’ve never had any training, not even art in school after grade 8, so this is a reasonably new hobby. I’m practicing my painting of water scenes but I did one painting of a Southwest scene and gave it to a friend and their daughter-in-law wanted to commission me to paint something similar for her family once they bought a new house, unfortunately (or fortunately depending upon how one looks at it) we moved over here and they moved into their house at about the same time. Anyway, back to the painting today, I wanted to try something different. When we were in Australia, I saw a lot of 3D art and thought today I would attempt to make my own. It didn’t quite come out like I had pictured it, well no, let me rephrase, I had no idea what I was planning on so I guess it came out as it was meant to….

  
(This was my second painting ever (well aside from finger painting I guess).

  
My abstract 3D painting from today…..

The afternoon was followed with drawing another ‘Southwest’ picture, I may just start painting it shortly. We’ll see. I have to go with the vibe when it hits me and I know I’m accountable to all of you each and every day as far as my blog is concerned, so that takes priority, well, after my family of course. Our dinner was a wonderful roast beef, I’ve finally mastered the 110 voltage converters here we live out in town rather than on the base/post and there are 110v and 220v plugs with a built in converter somewhere), they aren’t very good and for whatever reason, the 110v are very slow, even the toaster spits out bread rather than toast. So the 110V slow cooker has to have a couple of hours added on to the time, today’s meal took 10 hours whereas stateside it would have taken 8 on low cook. At least I know and can be prepared from now on. Anyway, the dinner was wonderful, a very lean, tender roast beef, with a gravy made from tomatoes, onions, celery, carrot, organic chicken and beef stock as well as vegetable stock and a light red wine, actually ‘Le card Bordeaux’, Alessandra couldn’t stop saying how wonderful the gravy was! We had Costco bread rolls, broccoli, mashed potato and homemade oven chips (fries) with chicken salt. Wonderful. All five plates clean. So, it’s Friday night, and I am going to say adieu because I haven’t really seen my hubby for a few days and finally he is here and doesn’t have his nose buried in paperwork, have a great day or night depending upon where you are and I’ll see you on Saturday! I’ll leave you with some more photos from our walk today:

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!

Challenge Accepted Day 28

Day 28 also known as four weeks into this challenge. Is that all? Feels like I’ve been doing this for much longer. We had a fairly quiet morning and a bit of a sleep in after a few glasses of wine last night. Love having kids old enough to do their own thing for a little while until we get up. 
Hubby and I stretched (T25 style) preparing ourselves for the week ahead. I’ve only got one more week on Alpha round and I’ve only really ‘nailed’ one workout! Not sure what that means, and I realized that I forgot to take any actual measurements of my various body bits before I started this challenge, I followed up with a shower and the Redefine regimen, I’m about at the halfway mark through my products so I must have been using the right amounts every time 😊. Tonight, I shall use the Redefine regimen and follow it with the MACRO Exfoliator it’s also an ACUTE Care night, so my skin will be thanking me immensely tomorrow. 
We picked eldest daughter up from her sleepover then took youngest daughter to a birthday party at a bowling alley. We thought it a great opportunity for the rest of us to bowl as well so that’s what we did. Then it was off to do some shopping. Nothing too exciting, but we did pick up a nice hat/coat stand that is literally a tree branch. Very cool, not what we were planning on buying but we have been looking for something unique and good quality to use as a hat stand, so it was perfect.

  
When we got home, it was definitely time for a nice long walk with our lovely, crazy puppy, so whilst hubby stayed back to help Ally with some math homework, Maddy and I walked through the rice paddies. It was a really nice walk. Unfortunately, we ran into the lady that doesn’t like me, of course, because that’s just going to be how it works, of all the nice people in the neighbourhood, she and I are destined to meet regularly. I’m not even sure why she has taken such a distinctive disliking to me. Oh well, her loss, cause I’m fun! 😜 

We watched the super train go by, it’s far enough away from our house that we can’t hear it but when we wander through the rice paddies we can see them go by regularly. We also saw a really pretty burial site (I’m assuming anyway). The rice paddies are also starting to pretty up. The farmers are always out working, I understand though having grown up on a farm and knowing my Mum and Dad spent every minute of their spare time working on said farm. It’s nice though to see it greening up and the cherry blossoms are coming into bloom as well as these other beautiful white flowers (not sure what they are called but they look so pretty). The day has been quietly satisfying though, sometimes one just needs some family time and a low key day, and that was our Sunday.
   
   
Have a great day or night wherever you are and as always, please like my Facebook page: aussiemumsadventures and if you’re interested in doing your own Rodan + Fields challenge then please go to my website: http://www.slongmorescott.myrandf.com 

Challenge Accepted Day 27 

Today has been fun, but not overly eventful. I didn’t work out. The idea of doing Total Body Circuit on what should have been my day off wasn’t overly appealing and we had to get to the bank before it closed, unfortunately, we didn’t make it because the last time they were open was yesterday! Oh hubby, check the times of the bank and don’t assume just because one bank is open, the other will be. We had to go on to the base anyway. Hubby had a lot of stuff that needed to go into his office and I couldn’t wait to get it out of the house. The amount of crap they have to carry with them just with their Army life, then the awards and other cool stuff they get down the line, all adds up. Needless to say, in this little tiny house, we needed the stuff gone ASAP. 

Off to his office we went and wow! Just wow. I took some basic cleaning stuff thinking it would be like his last office and need a bit of a clean but nothing major; I was wrong. Very wrong. It was pretty disgusting. I’m sure it hadn’t been cleaned in a couple of years and the layer of dust covering everything was somewhat overwhelming. The walls were dusty, the chairs were filthy, the whole place was just dirty. South Korea is amazingly bad for the amount of dust that seems to appear. I think I mentioned it the other day in my blog that it was just the worst I had ever seen. And this office was bad. I even had to clean the vacuum cleaner before I could use it. I wished I had another vacuum cleaner and could pull a Monica (Friends reference there), instead I got damp paper towel and cleaned the vacuum cleaner. Even after doing that, when I went to use the hand piece on it, I made a big mistake, dust went all over both myself and the carpet. Three hours later though, between hubby and I cleaning it together, we got it all looking nice, his stuff hung on the walls, the chairs all clean, the floor as clean as it would get given the vacuum cleaner situation, all in all, a successful afternoon.
It was a beautiful day here in SoKo too and we were stuck indoors for most of it. But on Monday when hubby goes into his office and it’s clean and his stuff is hung on the walls, it will be worth it. And tonight we went for our first dinner at someone else’s house. Someone who has nothing to do with my hubby, (I have to say that I love it when meals are shared and they’re not career related) and we had an amazing night! It was so much fun. We both had an amazing night. Hubby called it before we outstayed our welcome and with kids, and a wife who loves to have a good time (aka me) it was the perfect time to depart. We really did have a wonderful night and I think we could be couple friends, that’s always a nice thing particularly when you’re in the military because half the time that doesn’t happen. Seriously. I’m not sure how it works in the civilian world but in the military world it works like this; “I met this amazing woman, I really like her, her name is….” “I can’t be friends with them her husband is one of my soldiers.” Or…… “I met this amazing woman, she is awesome, her husband seems really nice…..” I’m not going to meet her husband sweety, that’s just weird….” Or “no!” 
So my husband met tonight with an open mind and I am so glad he did. I was a tad surprised when he met it with such an open mind, but he did. This all started with an ad about looking after cats, I’m a big cat person, my husband is not. My daughter’s are too. Son is not. I saw this ad and thought, you’re within walking distance, I’ve been there and needed someone to help me with my cat and had no one, so I want to help this woman with her cats. I responded to the ad and said yes we would help. It also added to bonus ad points that she said “will pay in wine.” What a fabulous woman to put that on a Facebook advertisement (just in our local village mind you). So we went and met her and she was frigging awesome, she’d also lived in Townsville, Australia for 6 years. Here I am in South Korea, understanding that I’m going to associate and live with both Americans and South Koreans but the chances of encountering an Australian or someone who has lived in Australia are minimal. First there was my cable guy (Aussie/Korean), who had never met another Aussie in the 8 years he had worked in Pyeongtaek (until me of course) and now this American who had live in Australia for so long! It was a sign. On top of that, I instantly liked her, so did my kids. Then she invited us for dinner and it just all seemed natural. And my husband went along with it. Definitely a sign. And what a wonderful night we had. I made pavlova because she had had it before and because my hubby is looking for any excuse to have it again. The kids had a great night, all in all, can’t imagine a better Saturday night, we really enjoyed ourselves and it makes for a better place when you find people you can relate to and enjoy their company and rank, place, position, whatever, doesn’t come into play. We also let our eldest sleep over at her friend’s house and this time I felt terrible for judging her dad when he can to my house as they both seemed like awesome people too. He’s just an extrovert, and the Mum/mom seems very cool and very nice, they just have that one car struggle too. All in all, a great day. The only thing that would make it better would be if my French friend answered her bloody phone, she asked me to call…. I want to speak to her 😊
Not too much to report on any front other than the night regimen went well. I used Redefine and all is good, having given AMP MD a miss today. Looking forward to stretching tomorrow with T 25, but otherwise all quiet on the front and as always, please like me on Facebook: aussiemumsadventures, and share my posts if you enjoy them. Also, if you want to try your own Rodan + Fields 60 day challenge, then go to slongmorescott.myrandf.com have a great night and/or Saturday! 

Challenge Accepted Day 26

April fool’s. I’m not very good at practical jokes. Never really have been. I always felt bad for lying. I tried to tell my kids this morning that we were going on holiday to Thailand and to pack their bags and neither of them believed me! “I don’t think you’re telling the truth Mummy.” “You’re being weird.” That’s how good I am at lying. I couldn’t even fool my kids. Last year I declared that I would get black garbage bags and wrap them up making it look like there was a dead body in them and put them out by the garbage bin. That was before we knew we were coming here of course. I thought about doing it last night, but somehow I don’t think the Koreans would find it funny. I’d probably end up in jail (did I mention there’s over 40,000 cctv cameras in South Korea, so you are always being watched). It’s a strange place this one. Very different to how I had imagined it. 
I wasn’t really thinking last night when I said I would make up for the lack of workout yesterday, today. It’s Friday! That means I already have two workouts to do today. I couldn’t possibly add a third. I don’t even think I can run today. I wore high heels yesterday, something I don’t do very often, and my calves, shins and feet are all sore. Not sure I’ve ever had that before! Does that come with age or am I just that out of practice? So today’s workouts are Speed 1.0 (that’s my favourite because you do intense stuff then stretch) and abs. Those damn abs are trying to kill me! Yuck! That’s my least favourite from Alpha round. I’ve never been one for ab exercises. But I want that nice belly that will look good in a bikini even after having three kids! So a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right! I told hubby today that I think we should actually go on a proper diet, just to lose 10lbs. I can maintain, especially when I’m back on my exercise bandwagon, but this losing weight isn’t working out so far. Oh how I’m regretting doing nothing but eating and drinking over the Christmas and New Year season! Now I’m going to have to really call upon some willpower and get my arse into gear! Do you know what else is weird, and let me know if this has happened to you too, I am now craving sweet stuff! I’ve always been one for a cheese platter over dessert, yet here I am looking longingly at dessert. All these amazing sweet dishes go through my newsfeed on Facebook and I want to make them and eat them! What has changed in me so much that I have gone from savoury to sweet? Anyway, back to the diet suggestion; I pretty much got this sort of death stare in response. I’m not really sure it’s going to happen but I do all the cooking so he may not have a choice. I may just make my tacos with lettuce wraps instead of tortillas (oh I can only imagine the hell I would get from all of them)! I guess I’ll just have to incorporate something. I find with so many ‘set’ diets that I don’t like a lot of the food. Every diet seems to have lots of zucchini, cucumber, egg plant, sweet potato and capsicum (what Americans call peppers), I don’t like any of them. The other thing is getting what’s available here, I love asparagus but I’m not paying US$6 for a small bunch, which is what I saw them for yesterday. I’m not into the whole shake thing either. I don’t mind adding a smuice (remember that mix between smoothie and juice) but I’m not all about living on drinks. I had actually made a smuice this morning. It was wonderful! I finally got cashew milk too, I really like that in my smuice. I also made scrambled eggs. They don’t look too appealing in the photo because I added home made salsa to 2 eggs prior to cooking it. It just gives them a really nice flavour, especially when you throw some avocado on top. On the side is a piece of grilled haloumi, it gave the whole dish the saltiness that it needed. Great breakfast and I was starving. 

   
 I did the ab workout and survived (barely) there was no way TBC could follow unfortunately, even with my little helper doing it with me! Then I procrastinated and played on Facebook for a while before showering and doing my morning regimen. I went back to the Redefine AMP MD regimen this morning, but found that tonight I needed to use the Smoothe regimen again as my skin was tingling a little bit. I’m wondering what it is I’m doing, perhaps I need to slow down on the AMP MD daily. Maybe it’s a little too much for my skin and I need to slow the pace. Everyone’s skin is different and different things effect different people in different ways. Perhaps my skin is saying that it just needs to slow down. I’ve all of a sudden been the most hard core with my skin regimen than I’ve ever been in my life and I think there might be a shock factor going on, even at day 26. I’ll take it down a notch and we’ll go from there. It’s not going to happen overnight and that’s what I need to keep remembering, a bit tough for someone with very little patience. 
Dear son and I hung out for a while today, how could I resist when he walked up to me and said, “Mummy, I want to snuggle with you.” Best words ever! He is my little snuggle bunny. So we snuggled, watched some tv, talked and laughed and before we knew it, it was time to pick up Madison from the bus stop. Well there was some drama there too. I guess there’s one lady who has a daughter but is always complaining about all the kids hanging out near her apartment (which is right at the bus stop). Unfortunately there is no playground here, something we are hoping to change, and there is no central ground for everyone to hang out, other than these lawns which back on to where the bus comes. She went on to the central page and whinged about everyone playing near her house (it’s not fenced and you can get it fenced if you want to). She had this tree outside with this weird buoy egg thing decorating it. I honestly just thought it was a junk thing so wasn’t too concerned about it in fact never gave it any thought. Well today the kids were all playing and I guess one or all of them knocked it down. And the other mums freaked out a little bit. Madison and two other girls then spent about 10 minutes trying to pick it up and put it back together, to no avail. Well above mentioned lady came out and was about to yell at them when I said “girls thank you so much for trying to put it back together, you are all trying really hard and doing the right thing.” She didn’t really know what to say then, but just told them to leave it alone and bring it to her, then her little dog came out, you know one of those little dogs with little dog syndrome, and started trying to bite my dog. I asked her to please take her dog inside or to put it on a leash. Well I guess that was pushing it because I got the death stare. Needless to say, I’m pretty sure we won’t be friends any time in the near future. Oh well. Luckily I’ll survive. There’s another woman in the block that has obviously taken an immense dislike to me, though I’m not sure why, I’m honestly not that bad. I guess I just rubbed her the wrong way the first time I met her when her dog tried to attack mine (again, not on a leash) & I was concerned for both the safety of my kids and my dog. Not sure that I said anything other than to tell my kids to back away, but I’m pretty sure I gave her a bit of a death stare, I don’t have a good poker face at all and I have a pet peeve for dogs who can turn vicious, to not be on a leash. Needless to say, she was downright rude to me today when I walked right past her and said hello, she looked up then purposely looked down at some other dogs in the neighbourhood. I mean, are we in kindergarten? Where did common courtesy go? Weird. 
That wasn’t the day over yet. We got to go to the dentist! Yay! It was actually a real yay. I had to get that tooth taken care of and so started the long journey to rectifying problems stemming from what was thought to be the right move when I was a young teenager. Anyway, there we were sitting at the dentist and my darling Madison had joined me tonight & she is certainly entertaining. She also happened to be with me the first time we came in and I had what I’m now calling ‘the bidet fiasco’. What is a bidet fiasco? I hear you ask. Well, having used bidets before, I thought I was a reasonably bidet-savvy woman. That wasn’t necessarily the case. I went in to use the toilet and wasn’t really paying very much attention to anything and flushed the toilet after being done, or so I thought. What happened next was water started spraying up in the air! I quickly jumped out of the way of the massive spray that shot up out of nowhere and started pressing every button in there trying to both stop the spray and flush the toilet. Surely logic would prevail and the button that jumped out at you the most was the flush button right? No, that wasn’t the case my friend. Now let me just say that we are inside a very busy dental clinic. Not too far from the eyes and ears of the busy waiting room and water is now everywhere inside the stall and pouring outside of the stall in the smallest bathroom I have ever been in to in my life. Dearest Madison is outside the stall yelling for me to stop the water from running whilst chaos is ensuing inside! Omg! I finally put the lid down and there it was, looking like the light at the end of the tunnel, the flush button! Thank god! The spraying, steaming, cleaning session, that erupted without a bottom in sight, came to an end. I opened the stall to find Madison standing there asking me what happened. I explained to her and we both started giggling hysterically. I cleaned up as best I could, not being able to do a whole lot with the water that had made its way outside of the bathroom. Luckily every Korean bathroom has a sloping floor leading to a drain. I may have then strongly encouraged my child not to speak of this incident again, particularly in the waiting room, held my head high and walked out. The receptionist has a direct line to the bathroom and gave a questioning look, but nothing further was said in English and I behaved like it was all very normal and that’s how we foreigners use our bidets. Since then, I have used the bidet without incident. 

    

After taking care of one tooth and setting up the appointment to take care of the next, (months long process unfortunately) we went to Outback – an American chain restaurant they happen to have here in SoKo (what we locals call South Korea 😉). It was very disappointing, hubby asked for a medium-well steak, it came out rare! And there wasn’t anything too appealing on the menu. We are both ok to never go back there, so that sums up just how good dinner was. We did wander through the streets and this one lady asked me if she could take Hunter’s photo (this actually happens more often than you think, yesterday this old Korean man was trying to hold Alessandra’s hand and she flipped out) it’s hard to know where to draw the line between the cultural differences, but I said no to this lady tonight. I don’t know where that photo of my 3yo son could end up, so no. And I’ll let Ally handle the situation with people wanting to hold her hand – obviously stepping in if necessary – but she can handle her own and isn’t a fan of strangers touching her, can’t say I blame her. It’s always interesting here. And definitely always an adventure! 
Happy Friday! 

Challenge Accepted Day 25

Happy Thursday one and all! It’s been a big one for us over here with hubby taking up his new position today and all going reasonably well! Yay. We all got to doll up as well, unfortunately for me that meant wearing these crazy curlers to bed that literally tortured me all night! Men just don’t appreciate all we do as women. And please don’t take that out of context. I’m talking about accomplished women, ordinary women, in fact, most women I know! Not necessarily women who are only there to make men happy, I’m talking about women who are confidant, sometimes they, we, even, just want to look really nice, for ourselves, for our husbands, for whomever. It’s ok to want to look nice too. As I write this I’m trying to address age-old feminist issues that I shouldn’t even be concerned about. I’m very much about equal rights for both women and men but I don’t think a woman’s femininity should come into question just because she wants to look nice. It really irks me that this even comes into play. It’s ok to appreciate your femininity. You don’t have to feel guilty for wanting to be a woman, which is what I feel half the time. For me, being a woman is great, even if torturous at times. Like last night. These curlers almost killed me! I ripped three out in the middle of the night just so I could find one spot to lay my head without curlers interfering in my sleep. The removal of these three allowed a small semblance of peace, but not nearly enough! I awoke when the good old Vonage phone rang at 0400 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep thereafter. Not necessarily the sort of night’s sleep you want when you’re supposed to look lovely and be ready to talk, mingle, mix, represent your husband etcetera, etcetera. But that was as good as it got last night. 

  

We let the children stay home from school today too, I’m at that point in life where I care about our children being involved in momentous happenings in our life. School, schmool. It’s important yes, but not important enough to prevent them missing out on important family moments, especially because we move all over the world for Daddy’s job, therefore they should be a part of all the big moments, they should have a role in all the big moments. They are extremely important in everything that happens in our lives and they too should be recognized for all they sacrifice. April is the month of the military child, but the general public just have no idea how much military kids give. They move, normally without a say, sometimes they have to move at crazy times (like our kids did in December) and they roll with it. They say goodbye to their friends and hello to new ones, they try to get good grades even though they have been shoved midway through the year from an elementary (primary) school, straight into the line of fire at a high school. They do the best they can do in circumstances they can’t control. And sometimes, they rebel. With just cause. Imagine if you had to say good bye to your Mum or Dad who knows how many times and they were going off to war and you had no idea if they would come back in one piece or even alive! Then there’s all the training and what not, where mum or dad disappear for who knows how long, there’s long nights at work, yes you all know that, but there’s just this difference, because once you get to a certain age, you also understand that there is no permanence, any friends you make may or may not remain lifelong friends because who knows when you’re going to have to say goodbye and move to the other side of the world. It’s tough. It’s tough for me as an adult so I can only imagine just how tough it is on my kids and other military kids. 
So we got to go on a tour of a jail today which was really interesting and we even ate in the dining facility. All in all it was a really big twist on reality. We were all dressed up, doing a tour of a jail. It was nothing like I thought it would be. And I am really thankful I am not in there permanently. We also got to eat at the same dining facility where both prisoners and their guardians eat. The food was actually excellent. But the plastic trays didn’t really work for me, I much prefer plates. Again interesting and our kids were fascinated and asked questions during the tour too. I am so glad we got to do it. 
The rest of our day was really rather nonchalant, I asked my girls if they would like to return to school for an hour and a half and they graciously declined so we went grocery shopping instead. Not my idea of fun with all three kids with me, but when you need supplies, you need supplies. My girls almost had an all out brawl afterwards so that was a big dampener on the day, but they paid for it afterwards with no playtime after school and their only focus was on cleaning their rooms and homework. And Mummy may have quietly yelled at them for a while too. It was just such an amazing day, they were so great during the ceremony, we were so proud, then they leave marks on each other’s arms and I can hear them from inside the toilet! No, not ok! The only thing that made me laugh on our way out was dearest Hunter exclaiming very loudly, very proudly, “Mummy, look at me, I’m like the president because of my shirt!” Again, three years old! 

  
So, I didn’t even mention anything about Rodan + Fields or my workout today, probably because the day has been overwhelmingly about other things. Unfortunately, there was not time for a workout so I’m going to have to make up for that tomorrow. I did however use my regular Redefine regimen this morning although I’m not quite ready to use the AMP MD yet given my face is still red in the one spot, though not anywhere near as tender as it was yesterday. The plan is to put some more Smoothe #2 on it tonight and move back into the AMP MD on the morrow. Here’s cheers to all the wonderful things in our lives! 
Have a wonderful night! 

Challenge Accepted Day 24

Well hello Wednesday and hello to feeling sooooo much better! I had a good night’s sleep and everything just feels good today! The T25 program today was Lower Focus but I ran an 81/2 minute mile prior to that on the ‘dreadmill’ and it felt great! I’m starting to recover so much better now which means my fitness level is finally on the increase. This is going to sound weird but the other thing I felt when I was running was like my bottom was becoming firmer. Do you know what I mean? You know, you can feel it shake, rattle & roll as a female, particularly when you’re running and you’ve got a little bit extra there, but today it felt like it was shaking and rolling, with no rattling! 😉 it felt good! The lower focus portion of it sucked, but Shawn T likes to take you to hell and back with lunges and squats in these workouts and I ‘hate’ lunges and squats! Yuck. Talk about making for some torturous moves. If anyone ever wanted to seriously torture me, they could just make me squat then lunge then squat and so on and so forth and I would probably give away my first born! (I’m just kidding child 😜) 

I had a shower and did my usual regimen with Redefine and AMP MD, I know I had mentioned to you that I had started using the AMP MD in the morning routine because it works out better for me than at night but today I learnt that you shouldn’t use it in the morning if you’re going to be wearing makeup (shows how often I wear makeup doesn’t it?) It stings a little. I shan’t be doing the AMP MD tomorrow morning given it is a big day and I will be wearing makeup once again. I also put the Rodan + Fields Essentials Foaming Sunless Tanner on and it is looking good. I would show you a picture but honestly, I was so white beforehand and it gives you such a natural looking tan, that you wouldn’t be able to tell I even had it on. I did however, go from zombie to healthy in one swoop! And there’s no streaking and no funky fake tan smell. All prejudice aside, this is the best fake tan I’ve ever used. Let me know if you’re interested in ordering some. It sells out quickly! 
So, I had to also get in and clean today given my slack-arsery yesterday. This place is crazy when it comes to dust bunnies! Our dog doesn’t even shed and yet we end up with dust bunnies every day! I’ve never seen anything like it, even in Bahrain (where the sand comes in off the desert plains and causes a fine dust to settle on everything) it was never this bad. I have a roomba (a robot vacuum cleaner) dear son is obsessed with Robbie (yes, the vacuum cleaner has a name). We got Robbie when Hunter was about 3 months old and here we are (he turns 4 at the end of May) and he is still obsessed. I am talking like crazy, obsessive! We arrived here and got our house and moved in but our household goods hadn’t yet arrived and rather than asking for his toys and his bed, every day he would instead ask me when Robbie and Roberta were getting here. I didn’t mention Roberta, but she’s our robotic mop. Not quite as good as Robbie as far as accomplishments go, but she’ll do. Hunter doesn’t love Roberta quite as much as Robbie, but it’s close. Going back to the dust, I run Robbie daily and hand vacuum twice a week in all the nooks and crannies and still I find so much dust. That’s one of the reasons why I ordered an air purifier, well that and the impending yellow dust and the smog and the pollution and the fact that I am mildly asthmatic and dear son may well be too. You know, all those lovely things that come with living in South Korea. I’m understanding the masks so much better now! 

 
   
Last night my air purifier arrived. Yippee. I had bought one already from the Post Exchange (PX) our almost department store on the base, but I wanted another one for upstairs. Honestly, in an ideal world I would have one in every room, but that’s not going to happen, so this was the compromise. So hubby came home last night with all sorts of goodies for me including the air purifier, 4 extra carbon filters, a diffuser as per the recommendation of one of my Aussie friends, Sarah, who owns a health food store. You see not only does South Korea have some pretty serious pollution problems, it also has some weird, funky smells. Smells that I cannot really describe. Smells located somewhere between a rotting corpse, excrement, fire and soil/manure/fertilizer. So as you can imagine, it’s pretty pungent at times, hence the need for a diffuser. I didn’t realize it when I ordered it, thinking I had just bought a plain one, but I guess I got a retro diffuser that changes colour. Everyone else in the house loves it and I’m loving the essential oils, so it’s a win/win situation. So today I cleaned, vacuumed and set everything up ensuring the house smells lovely and has some fresh air. And it is as good as it can be right now. In fact, after yesterday, today has been really lovely; hubby came home early because tomorrow he actually starts work in his proper role, our eldest stayed at school and will meet us later when we go and see her perform at the school’s concert tonight. She has a solo, so we are really excited for her. She has a great voice, it could do with a little bit of training should she want to pursue a career, but it’s good nonetheless. That’s where we are off to. I made chicken tortilla soup, it was very nice too, and now we shall be off. I’ll finish the blog upon our return and be able to let you know how it all went then. 

  
Ok so concert was a bit of a bust, not because of a lack of talent but because we couldn’t hear. The band sounded great but the choir and all of the speakers needed microphones and there weren’t any to be found, bar the one in the centre of the stage (that you can see in the photo)  

 focused only on hearing the instruments. Oh well. The people in the front row cheered so they must have sounded good, right? There wasn’t really a solo either. From then on it was just the band and normally I would have been all about the music, but middle school/high school kids aren’t all necessarily super talented and when the program is a couple of hours long and your child’s only role is for 5 minutes at the beginning, and you have a 3yo and a 7yo along with you and a big day tomorrow, well sometimes you just have to call it and we did just that. In fact hubby made his way out super early leaving Madison and I to try to finagle our way out of this and get Ally along the way who was at the complete opposite side of the theatre to us. Sometimes being a parent is rough! And Madison is a very special child (& I mean that in a 100% caring, lovable way that only a parent can talk about their own child), she’s sweet and different. I explained to her that I wanted her to go over to the other side of the auditorium to get her sister and tell her that we were going and to come over to me. She runs (& I mean runs, full pelt) and can’t find her, so she runs back – this all while the band players are changing – I say to her that she’s definitely there and to go back and find her. So she runs back, full pelt, finds her and runs back to me saying she found her. I stop her and say, “Madison, what was it I asked you to do once you found Ally?” “I don’t know!” “I asked you to tell Ally we were leaving and to come here.” She runs back once again and finally gets Ally who comes over and tells me she needs to go back to a room and get her stuff., I tell her to go and get it and that we are leaving (the next band members are now walking up on stage and finding their seats) and to meet me in the front of the auditorium. She moves it and finally I feel like we are able to leave. 
I see hubby out front with dear son and he’s looking concerned; “I forgot to pick up the roses!” He exclaims. Oh crap! The Army is all about ritual and ceremony and the roses play a part in tomorrow’s ceremony, he’s already paid for them and we’re not sure what time the flower shop opens in the morning. We ‘book’ it over there (meaning go with haste) and he runs in to find the lovely lady has been waiting for him to come in and collect them for the past hour! You wouldn’t find that in either Australia or the USA! We may be limited for shopping venues for roses here in South Korea and they may be super expensive but they take care of you once you’ve ordered them. To say I’m impressed is to say the least. I pictured myself leaving the house at O dark thirty searching for yellow roses! 
Ok, now for the other bad news. I have this little mark on my face and last night I had this not so bright idea to put some of the ‘Reverse Skin Lightening treatment (from the accelerator pack) on this mark, hoping it would go away quickly. Don’t ask me why I did it, sometimes, we just don’t think, sometimes, I just don’t think. Anyway, I put it on there underneath a silicone scar bandage (again not sure what the hell I was thinking, just hoping for a quick fix because I wanted to look really nice for tomorrow) and now I’ve got a big red mark on my face – not sure if I’ve burnt it, or exacerbated it by using the AMP MD roller this morning, or what I’ve done, it’s sore and tender and I’ve had to give the Redefine regimen a miss tonight and use the Rodan + Fields Soothe regimen instead. I promised I would be honest with you, so I’m trying to be honest, even when I make mistakes. Now I’m feeling not only like an idiot, but also pretty upset at this mark that is now lingering underneath my left eye. Just in time to make an appearance for tomorrow when I’m still feeling overweight and yucky and we have this thing, this important thing that I wanted to look beautiful for. Shallow and egotistical, I know, but I have so few opportunities to look really nice, so when I do I want to make the most of it. 
That’s it for me today. Another crazy day in my life. I’ll update you on how the red mark looks tomorrow and how everything else goes. Have a great day or night, wherever you are!