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 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 22

Good Easter Monday to you! I have something to confess: I did not use my MACRO Exfoliator last night. I fell asleep watching a movie and was too tired when I got up to do it. 😦 I know, I know. Nor did I use the ACUTE Care. So I am doing both tonight and will use ACUTE Care both tonight and tomorrow night as I am supposed to use them on Day 1, Day 4 & Day 7. I missed Day 7 so will use it instead this week on Day 1, Day 2, Day 4 & Day 7, returning back to the program next week. I think it will be ok. Anyway, tonight, as soon as dinner was finished, I used the Macro and shall return back to Sunday night on Sunday night. I’m sure that a 6 day interval this week won’t make too much of a difference either, it felt great! 
Hubby had today off so he let me sleep in this morning! Yay. It was so nice as I was really tired. I forgot to have my thyroid medication over the weekend and it’s amazing how fast you feel it! He got both girls ready for school, got their lunch, did their hair, it was great. The only thing was I didn’t get to say goodbye to them, but he told them not to disturb me, thinking that’s what I wanted, but I like saying goodbye to them in the morning. I’m grateful to have slept in though, so I’ll take it as a win. 
Hubby and I worked out together afterwards. It was a cardio day today and for the first time, here we are on Day 22, I can honestly say that I nailed it!! Yes I did! The only thing I can’t do is the jumping and slapping your thighs at the same time. For some reason this really hurts my knees, but I do Tania’s modification for it and today I was quick, going faster than even she! It felt fabulous! 

  
We showered and dressed and headed off to the local market as hubby hadn’t been yet. It wasn’t quite as good today as far as fresh produce is concerned but there were more little stores open today than before because it’s slowly warming up and it wasn’t raining. We had fun, we went in to the little pet store and my heart broke at seeing all those little puppies in there! It makes you wonder what happens to them all if they don’t sell. There were so many and they were soooo cute! We looked at the fresh fish, the plants, the produce, the clothes. And just wandered. Hubby has been craving a kebab so we found a kebab shop and got one to share. It was ok but they used the tzatziki sauce (the one with cucumbers in it) and I much prefer tahini sauce or even a garlic aioli. Like I said, it was ok & the owner/servers were very nice, so no regrets. Except cheese. Cheddar cheese. That would have been a good addition!

  
  
We still had some free time before Madison came home on the bus so we drove to, and wandered around a ‘hypermarket’ (the commerce definition of a mix between a supermarket and a department store) called EMart. It’s always interesting to wander around a store in a foreign country, I find it even more fascinating when you can’t read what anything is. I almost grabbed a bag of what I thought was dried coconut pieces because it had a picture of a coconut on it, thankfully it had written in English (in minute writing mind you) that it was actually dried fish! Why would you put a picture of a coconut on a packet of dried fish? There was not a fish in sight on the packaging! Something else we found was that there was nothing in the store that would fit my husband. He’s 6ft with fairly broad shoulders. Not a small guy by any means. He found a really nice dress shirt & we asked about a bigger size but the girl just looked at him like he was crazy. It was actually quite funny. She started looking through the box like she was hoping one was going to appear out of thin air, all the while knowing no such shirt existed! Then he looked at a pair of shoes and found a pair he really liked but this sales assistant just started shaking her head like he was dreaming. She did however write the style number down in case we won the Korean Hush Puppy lottery and could find a pair in his size. Needless to say, we walked away from the menswear section empty handed.

Our day didn’t end there though. We collected dear Madison from the bus stop and it was a glorious day so I suggested we go down to the rice paddies and the two kiddos we had home could ride their bikes. Now Madison, though 7, has never really had the opportunity to learn to ride without her training wheels. In Colorado, we lived in a fairly hilly area and the only flat space was on a half size basketball court where she had to turn every 5 seconds, so it just didn’t work out, but today it did. She was amazing! Hubby spent some quality time with her teaching her to ride (he has so much more patience than I do), whilst I took Hunter and Luna along a different path. Honestly it took about 15minutes and she was going for it! She even greeted Ally when she got home on her bus by riding her bike!

  
After she had mastered it and hubby was concerned about her safety because of the 3-5ft drop beside the paths on the rice paddies, they along with Hunter headed back to the house and I used the opportunity to go for a mile run. It felt great and Luna was very happy too. It’s just so nice with the weather warming up and being able to get outside. My only concern now is the air quality; apparently today it was borderline and will continue to get worse as the yellow dust comes in over Spring? According to the website http://www.korea4expats.com the definition of yellow sand/dust is this:

Known more commonly as yellow dust by most of the foreign community, it is basically inhalable particles that originate from the dry desert regions of China and Mongolia. There has been yellow dust coming from these regions to Korea for many generations. However, due to the deforestation that has occurred in Mongolia and China, along with the increased industrialization and resulting pollution in China, the yellow dust storms have been occurring with increasing frequency and with greater and greater negative effects. For the past few years, the dust storms often carry oxides (aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and silicon) and toxic waste thus increasing the risks of respiratory and skin reactions.”

OMG! What have we gotten in to? Yellow dust? Monsoons? Typhoons? Why did we agree to come here? No, I’m sure it’s not so bad. Right? I’ll keep you posted on the yellow dust situation, I just wish my dog could use a treadmill! 
Well, I’m sitting here finishing my blog knowing I have the end of a movie to finish because I fell asleep through it last night. My skin feels fresh and lovely, I am showered and about to have a cup of herbal tea and about to see the end of Spectre (I’m a James Bond fan) and hubby has to go to bed so I shall once again say adieu! Have a wonderful day or night!