This week I took it easy and did Beachbody PiYo every couple of days. Because of the jetlag I was off balance and exhausted so I didn’t do as much as I have in prior weeks. I will be jumping back into the routine this week and restarting at Week 4. Here is a look at the plan:
15 minutes cardio + Sweat
15 minutes cardio + Drench
In addition to working out I am trying to drink more water. I have purchased a HydroJug to help me track my water intake and to make sure I am doing better. Naturally, I am not someone who drinks water regularly so my hope is that I get serious on this health journey and my HydroJug is a tool to help me reach my hydration goals. I will post more about my HydroJug and progress in the future!
This morning I am joining writers from all over the globe in the Five Minute Friday link-up. Every week bloggers and social media writers gather to share a post on a common theme. This week our prompt is: Order.
If you have been following my family and I you know that we spent a month in England. Last Friday we made it home and we have spent the week resettling into our American lives. Jet lag hit us pretty hard. Those first few days we woke up with the sun at 4:45am, but then crashed by 5pm or 6pm. Each day we tried to sleep a little later and stay up a little longer to help get us regulated.
The one thing we did on Monday that helped bring order to our lives was a deep clean of our home. We needed to reconnect with our house and so we lifted the month’s worth of dust, cat hair, mess from the surfaces of the home and worked on bringing the house back to life.
Things that we take for granted while here are things we missed while away. I missed sitting in my writing spot looking out into the morning and the sunshine. I missed the way my cat rubs up against me as I write just to let me know that he’s there. I missed my slow cup of coffee in the morning.
Life in England was amazing. We always do so much and pack a year worth of memories into one month and it is such a blessing. Check out my recent posts about the trip and see that while we were gone we didn’t long for home–we were too busy and surrounded by loved ones for that. But once we arrived home I noticed how much I missed my routines.
Life is starting to fall back in place. There is an order to the home and our schedule is beginning to feel like normal. We are sleeping a normal 8 hour stretch and eating at times acceptable to society. Jet lag shook up the order in our lives a bit, but it seems that it has finally worn off.
After the most embarrassing event of her life becomes a viral video and the death of her reputation, Ellie Nichols puts an ocean between herself and her school in DC by enrolling in a prestigious study abroad program in ENGLAND. Throwing herself into her studies at Emberton Manor helps Ellie to forget about the humiliating party where she threw herself at her crush only to find out that he was into her friend. Instead of parties and dating, the students of Emberton are focused on scholarships and early admissions to Ivy League colleges. It’s the perfect place for Ellie to spend half of her senior year–far from the American boy who broke her heart and the classmates who shattered her self esteem.
Academics were never Ellie’s passion though. She would rather be crafting her fairy gardens, watching British sitcoms with her mom, or wearing unicorn tees, but those are parts of herself that she knows can never be shared with anyone else.
One weekend, Ellie and some of her new friends from the program venture off the campus to visit an English market. While there, Ellie meets an older local boy and the two click immediately. His charm and sophistication make Ellie forget all about the boys back home and she finds herself forgetting about her academic studies and instead worried about becoming the perfect girl for her hot British boyfriend, Will.
Together, Ellie and Will take in the sights of England and they begin to fall in love. The problem is that Ellie hasn’t been honest with Will about many facets of herself. Guarded by her experience in America, Ellie decides to reinvent herself with Will. She enlists the help of one of her newest friends, Dev, to teach her about things like cricket to help win over Will.
Throughout her semester in England, Ellie dates Will, makes new friends, travels to Italy, improves her GPA, escapes the viral video, and secretly helps a groundskeeper implement some of her fairy gardening skills. She learns about herself in ways she never would have back home and the time away begins to heal the wounds inflicted by the classmates who hurt her most. Everything seems to be going well, until Ellie is caught up in Will so much that she forgets who she truly is.
This teen romance book is a special one to me. Not only is it about a young British romance, but it is also written by a woman that I have met and follow on social media. Kristy Boyce is a member of the same SCBWI as I am in Columbus, Ohio. I remember going to a meeting where she shared that she was going to get published. I remember hearing her “elevator pitch” and the story of how this book began as a contest entry. This book to me symbolized the fact that anything is possible for those who pursue their dreams. I followed Kristy’s journey and her social media has chronicled the process of her debut novel. Hot British Boyfriend was also well-written and engaging. Being married to an Englishman there are parts that I could really envision and that were even true to early parts of my relationship with my husband (sans all the lies and deceit.) This is a quick, light read and one that I enjoyed while on trains and planes traveling in England this summer. I highly recommend Hot British Boyfriend to any lovers of YA or YA Romance. It was so nice to take a rest from all the literature assigned through my masters program to enjoy a light-hearted, fun, nostalgic read like this one.
Check out my Goodreads account if you want to see what’s up next in my reading.
It was hard to say goodbye to our English family. To my squishy nephew. To afternoon tea. To comfortable weather. To streetside cafes. To Americano black from Costa. To endless Covid tests and Track and Trace calls–okay, maybe that last part is a lie. Nonetheless, to journey home always means many heartbreaking goodbyes.
We arrived back in Ohio on Thursday night after eighteen hours of travel.
The airports and flights were not crowded so the time we spent in terminals and on air crafts looked much different than our past experiences. If you are healthy and vaccinated now is the time to travel! On both of our international flights this summer we had entire rows on the plane to ourselves. Traveling economy class is a lot more enjoyable with the ability to spread out and relax.
Adjusting back to Eastern Standard Time back home has been difficult on all of us. We have been up with the sun at 4:30am and off to bed by 9pm at the latest. Coming home is always so much harder than our initial adjustments in England. All four of us are still experiencing jet lag, but will hopefully be fully charged in the next couple of days.
I have missed my friends, routines, coffee spots, and protein shakes. If you are looking for me this week I will likely be enjoying those things…or napping.
I’m a little late this week, but I’m tagging in for this week’s Five Minute Friday link-up. Every week writers from all over the globe gather to write on a common theme. This week our prompt is Summer.
British summers are very different to back home in Ohio.
The temperatures are cool and the air is damp. Winds here are constant and each day we are teased by the chance of a shower or two. Most days I grab a cardigan or hat before heading out. I would compare a British summer to April/May in Ohio.
Don’t misunderstand–there are warmer days. There have been a couple of sunblock-worthy days here, but they are not consistent. Also, it’s no use planning your days according to the reports from local weathermen. No one has a clue how to predict rain on an island surrounded by sea. As my daughter would say, “You just go for it and hope for the best!”
We are headed to New Forest today, to the quaint British town of Lyndhurst. This is one of my favorite spots for a Cream Tea and so rain or shine, we will be venturing out to the horse meadows of the village and the cobbled streets of the town. I wouldn’t have to pack on the layers of warmer clothes back home, but while in England–best to be prepared.
Because of Covid, my daughters had not met their 18 month-old English cousin yet. One of the highlights of this trip to England is giving them plenty of opportunities to make memories together. They are so in love–you can see it in the way they play together and smile. Here are some of the precious moments they have shared together so far this trip:
(This is a non affiliate post and based solely on my personal experience using the Beachbody PiYo program developed by Chalene Johnson. Results may vary.)
Things stepped up this week in my PiYo program. I started a few new workouts that were brand new to me and pushed me to new limits. I really noticed changes in my strength, flexibility and the way clothes fit especially in my core and thighs.
I’m still in England and trying to fit workouts around our very busy schedule during the trip. I missed ONE day of PiYo this week and am proud of that accomplishment. Each day has been packed full and so even on the day I missed I logged 18,000 steps. The pedestrian lifestyle of England is really enhancing my workouts which is great because I’m not able to perfect the PiYo diet while abroad (although I am really trying!)
I started this program with very little flexibility. I was a distance runner in my younger days which is horrible for flexibility training. It takes me a little longer to work up to some of the poses because of that, but this week I was able to do more and see some payoff because of my consistency. Part of the appeal of PiYo for me is the low impact movements and the ability to customize poses based on your needs. Earlier in the program I was more apt to modify the poses, but I can complete and entire regiment without modifications now which proves that things are going well.
Here’s a look at a flexibility feat from this week:
Some observations from Week 4:
-Some of the poses that were originally really difficult are easier than before.
-I am getting better at holding tension poses for longer and keeping my feet flexed whenever my legs are in the air.
-I did a set of 10 regular push-ups for the first time EVER!
-Downward Dog can be a resting pose.
-I need to honor my RIGHT NOW and not worry so much about missing a workout…and then GO HARD on the days when I’m able to work out.
You can check out posts from previous weeks below:
This week things continue to step-up and poses and tension get more intense. I’ve previewed the days that lie ahead and I anticipate some sore buns and legs coupled with sculpted muscles and core. I can’t wait to continue to share my progress with you!
(This is a non affiliate post and based solely on my personally curated Youtube subscriptions.)
Since 2016, I have been a part of the bullet journal community.
This system has worked so well for me because I’ve been able to integrate my inner Ennegram 6 personality with my creative passions like doodling, word art, and painting. Each month, I plan to continue sharing my bullet journal spreads with you, but I must confess that I rarely approach a new spread without inspiration from one of my favorite bullet journal queens. Today, I want to share with you my FIVE FAVORITE BULLET JOURNAL YOUTUBERS. I recommend subscribing to each of these channels whether you are new to the hobby or well-practiced. It is always a breath of fresh air to watch how others are utilizing their creativity in functional ways.
I know that I said that these are in no particular order, but I must confess that Amanda Rach Lee is really my favorite. She is one of the first bullet journal artists to inspire me to get creative on the pages of my bullet journal. From her cute doodles, relaxing voice, and positive vibes, I am addicted to her channel. I think I’ve viewed every video on her channel and every time I get a notification that she has a new upload I get so excited. During the pandemic, Amanda’s channel has really helped me to keep my head up and to focus on the things I can control rather than the things that I cannot. Amanda also has an online shop and my newest bullet journal (which I will share with you soon) comes from her recent product launch.
I’ve only been watching Elizabeth of Plant Based Bride for a few months, but I really enjoy her channel. Not only does Elizabeth create beautifully functional pages, but she also is an avid reader like me. Her channel includes monthly bullet journal setups, art tutorials, life updates, and book reviews. Elizabeth is also a minimalist which has been a passion of mine over the past couple of years. I can’t believe I’ve only found her recently because her channel aligns with so many of my niches.
I think I am drawn most to Caitlin’s Corner because she is so authentic. Each video just feels like a chat with an old friend. Caitlin likes to use a lot of different mediums in her bullet journal and she inspires me to play around with supplies and layouts. Not only is she a creative journaler, but Caitlin also shares videos about life in general. This helps her followers feel like a friend–because we have glimpsed many different aspects of her life beyond just bullet journaling.
Julianne’s channel is unique because she creates stickers for each month’s spread which you can purchase. Her illustrations and doodles are always unique and her personality is very bubbly and easy to relate to. Like all the women above, Julianne is a doodler from Canada (Why are all the greats Canadian? Is there something I don’t know about Canada?)
Shayda’s channel is unique because her content goes beyond bullet journal videos and also includes art tutorials. Her expertise is floral painting but she also provides tutorials in hand lettering, drawing, water colors and many other illustrating techniques. Her voice is very tranquil and her overall vibe is very “chill” and perfect for an atmosphere of creativity.
I am always looking for new inspirations so please drop a comment if you have another favorite that I can add to my subscription list. Also, go show some love to these ladies and subscribe to their channels…you won’t be disappointed!
Today, I am joining writers from all over the world for a Five Minute Friday link-up. For today’s link-up we are all writing on the common theme: Deserve.
We are still in England today and finally out of our required quarantine!
Since we were locked down on Father’s Day, we decided to treat my husband to a day out today because he deserves more than a day locked indoors to celebrate his paternal skills and dedication.
I took the girls into town early this morning and we purchased my husband a nice Parker pen (the quintessential writing utensil for all posh Englishmen). Next, we caught a train all together to Southampton. While in the city, we treated my husband to a cream tea lunch at a very nice tea room.
Lastly, we walked around West Quay, the city center and shopping area for Southampton. Overall, it was a fun day out as a family celebrating a man who deserves the world for all of the love and sacrifices he makes for us!
It’s been many months since I made a post showcasing my bullet journal, but I have been keeping it updated during the time I didn’t post. With the July pages filled I have now finished my Volume 1 of 2021. I look forward to sharing my new notebook with you starting next month as well as some new ideas and supplies I’ve acquired while on my annual trip to England.
Cover Page: Popsicle/Lollipop Themes
My supplies for this month’s spread were:
Stabilo Highlighters in pastel colors and Tombow Fudenosuke in black as well as a black Paper Mate Flair pen.
Let me know what you think of these simple, summery pages.