Monday Motivation: The Mind is Furnished with Ideas by Experience Alone

Monday, inspiration, motivation, quote, John Locke

So get out there and experience the world this week! Happy Monday, everybody! :)

Week in Training: (September 15th to 21st)

Kayla Itsines, Bikini Body Guide, Review, Week 12, Progress

This week marks the final week of the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Workout! Wohoo!

So how did I find the entire program? Here’s a recap of what I love about the program, what I didn’t enjoy so much, what to watch out for and how I found my results. READ MORE

Three Ways to Cultivate True Grit

Grit, determination, destination, deliberation, success, Harry Potter, Angela Lee Duckworth, motivation

Have any of you measured yourself on the Grit Scale? It’s a test to help determine just how gritty you are because, according to research conducted by University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth (who also developed the Grit Scale), the number one characteristic that most accurately predicts how successful you are is grit. Not intelligence or talent or personality. Just grit.

But just what is grit?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, grit is defined as ‘courage and resolve; strength of character.’ In her 2013 Ted Talk, Duckworth expands further on just what grit is: 

Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

But what if you don’t possess a lot of grit? READ MORE

The Appreciation of Reading, Writing and Other Creative Pursuits

The Philosophy of Creativity

Image via The Philosophy of Creativity

Last week, I came across this article in the Conversation on Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catto’s plan to use her winnings from the NZ Post Best Fiction and People’s Choice’s prizes to set up a new grant for writings dedicated to giving them time to read.

This struck a particular chord with me. Writers are always told to read widely and research their subjects thoroughly so as to assimilate and cultivate ideas, to mature and develop our thoughts and broaden our perspectives. Reading, even surfing the Internet, jumping from one linked site to another, grabbing ideas, even just sitting and observing the world about us, absorbing knowledge and customs and behaviours and styles and genres, it’s all part of the writing process even when we’re not writing a single word. And yet one always feels terribly guilty while doing so. It just seems so much like… well, leisure time. Fun time. (And let’s not beat around the bush here – it is fun.) But if I’m not actually using the time to write, if I’m not actually producing something, I can’t help but feel I’m actually just being idle and fooling around. (Coincidentally, this particular subject of constant guilt tripping whenever we take time out to engage in creative pursuits was something that was covered at the How to Be Creative workshop I took at this month’s School of Life Pop-Up in Perth, a temporary offshoot from the School of Life in Melbourne, but more on that workshop in another post!) READ MORE

Writing Inspiration: “There is nothing to writing.”

Ernest Hemingway, writing, quote, inspiration, typewriter

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review: Equipment

Kayla Itsines, Bikini Body Guide, Equipment, Substitutions, dumbbells, mat, weights

Today I wanted to talk about the Kayla Itsines 12-week Bikini Body Guide program – or more to the point, what equipment you need for the Kayla Itsines BBG program. I thought I’d do a full post on this because when I first looked at starting this program, I was a little worried about shelling out so much money, not just for the training guide but also for the equipment required to actually do the moves. So as I’m in the final week of the 12-week program, I thought I’d share my experience on this as well as what equipment I did and didn’t use!

All up, I think I paid a little over $100 for the program – first, $69.97 for the actual guide and about $45-ish for the equipment I needed. To be honest, I really could have done all my workouts at my gym which had all the equipment required… buuut I knew I was going to be waaay sweaty and falling apart midway through my workouts and dying all over the place and really I’d rather do that in the privacy of my own home than right next to the weights section in the gym where all the muscle men are working out and most likely judging me! Also, on the days where I’m feeling extra lazy, it made it just that bit easier to start working out when I knew all I had to do was throw on some workout clothes and stumble into my living room rather than make the drive to the gym!

All right – now on to the equipment! First, I’m going to list the equipment that Kayla recommends you use for her Weeks 1-12 Bikini Body Guide program. Then I’ll follow up with what I actually used as well as what substitutions I made. READ MORE

Recipe: Breakfast Parfait (Variation)

Breakfast, parfait, fruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, honey, healthy eating, clean eating, nutritious, delicious

Today I thought I’d post a variation of the breakfast parfait I blogged about earlier. It just involves a bit of tweaking with what fruits I had on hand. Peaches, as usual, is the golden fruit that makes this parfait! So good!

You too can make your own variations based on what fruits you have on hand. I always start with a base of muesli, honey and yogurt, then add whatever fruits I have or feel like having. Just slice and load them all up and you’re good to go! READ MORE

Inspiration: Collect Experiences, Not Possessions

motivation, inspiration, quote, experiences, possessions, inspo, monday

Week in Training (September 8th to 14th)

Fitbit, colours, bands, fitness, Fitbit Flex

Fitbit, colours, bands, fitness, Fitbit FlexFitbit, colours, bands, fitness, Fitbit Flex

How cool are my new Fitbit coloured bands? I can’t decide which ones I wanna wear!

I’ve been going a little off Fitbit lately because a) my old band was breaking apart, especially at the part where you take your tracker in and out of the band to recharge it (and this seems to be a problem Fitbit needs to fix because everyone I know who has one has the same issue – Fitbit, take note!!!) and b) my tracker seems to be acting up and it hasn’t even been one year so I might need to take this up with the company.

But it was a really good thing to have when I was trying to get out of a lazy rut and when my workmate asked me if I wanted these new bands – he had bought a smaller size by mistake but they fit me perfectly! – I immediately said, “yes!”

So far I’m really loving the turquoise band. But I also have my eye on the Tory Burch bracelet that goes over the Fitbit Flex but I might wait to see if I can resolve these issues with my tracker lights before I think about getting any additional accessories.

Now on to this week’s workouts! READ MORE

Recipe: Rainbow Salad

salad, rainbow, raw, vegan, vegetarian, healthy, clean, fitness, delicious

This week started off with a massive storm but as we hit the weekend, things are starting to warm up and it’s feeling almost like summer again! In celebration of the warm weather and just so I can start using my brand new IKEA bamboo bowl, I decided to make a great big rainbow salad!

This salad was really easy to make and oh so good. Perfect for a warm weather day! Feel free to add other ingredient as well – I’m already thinking peach slices, mushrooms, red cabbage, tofu, crumbed feta or chopped up mozzarella, strawberries and even some soba noodles… it’s all about what you’re craving at the moment!

I was originally going to make a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning and a lee-tle garlic powder but that plan was nixed when I realised I had run out of olive oil! Oh, no! I had some really ripe avocados though so instead of adding avocado chunks to the salad, I decided to mash it through completely as a creamy dressing and it worked! So basically this salad has no dressing at all except for the avocado and it still tasted really good! READ MORE