Monthly Archives: April 2015

Lady and the Tramp party!

Recently some friends and I have started what I hope will be a long-lasting monthly tradition… Disney nights! We’re all big kids at heart who can really appreciate quality kids’ movies, and we enjoy reminiscing on the Disney movies we grew up with. But these aren’t just evenings where we get together and watch a movie. We’re taking it a step further and making it a potluck dinner party, while sprinkling some creative themed fun in there 🙂

While I’m not really into huge parties or anything, I absolutely love getting together with friends and finding an excuse to celebrate in a light-hearted, casual fashion (such as the Nintendo party we had a little while back). There are tons of ideas out there on Disney-themed KIDS parties, but very few ideas for adult gatherings. I’m hoping to change that – I’m sure I’m not the only big kid at heart here!! (Although many of the ideas we use are definitely kid-friendly and would be perfect for a family night or birthday party).

I’ve mentioned this before, but another thing I’ve noticed is that so many ideas out there involve a lot of junk food (sooo many kids parties revolve around pizza, cake and candy after all!). This may not be bad in moderation, and I’m sure this will happen plenty of times during our Disney nights, but I find it a really fun challenge to insert healthier meal and snack ideas into my parties whenever possible. Less guilt after the party, and that also means we can party more often without feeling bad too!

Let’s get started! For our first Disney night, we decided to go with Lady and the Tramp.

We’d decided to watch the movie after we had dinner, so while that was being finished up we hung out and chatted and enjoyed a little salty appetizer: a cheese and meat plate.

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At the center was a cheese ball – I mean cheese paw print! – surrounded by sliced summer sausage and crackers. The cheese ball was soft so that you could use it as a spread or make little cracker sandwiches, and it tasted amaaaazing (click here for the recipe we found). You could use almost any food you like for this one, the important thing was the paw print shape to match the theme. Hummus or peanut butter in the center, surrounded by various raw veggies would have been a lighter option for this starter snack.

The choice for dinner was obvious: spaghetti and meatballs of course!!

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A classic meal that can be as simple or extravagant as you’d like – and if you really want to go for a lighter dish, you could always make zucchini noodles or use veggie meat balls or whatever you like. My friend and our host made an absolutely delicious plate, it was definitely the star of the show.

After finishing our meal, we then moved into the living room to start the movie… and enjoy our desert.

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Again, having fun with the theme, we went with puppy chow! What better way to watch a Disney movie than with crunchy, sweet, chocolatey peanut butter goodness? The (new and unused!) dog bowl added another element of fun, and if you use that you can put whatever dessert or snack you’d like in it. A dog bowl of grapes or other fruit would be a healthier way to have fun with dessert.

And the last thing we had that I probably had a little too much fun with was drinks!

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I wanted to incorporate the Siamese cats somewhere, so I got a pack of dry-erase markers and decorated a few mugs with their faces. This was a little trickier than it had sounded, but I’m happy with how they turned out! For the drink itself, I simply had some milk, which both fit the theme and paired well with the puppy chow. You could use soy milk or whatever you prefer – and if you’d like something a bit more grown up, try having almond milk with a splash of vanilla cinnamon Bailey’s.

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I had so much fun planning and executing all the fun ideas we had for this party, and I really enjoyed revisiting my childhood! If we continue to do this every month you can bet I will blog about it 🙂 Hope these ideas help!

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Meeting Cassey from Blogilates!!

About a week ago, I had an awesome, AWESOME experience. I got to meet Cassey from Blogilates!!!!!

I actually made a post about her and her site quite recently, and it was totally a coincidence, I had no idea this would follow. I genuinely really love her stuff and was so excited to hear that she was going to go on tour and do book signing for her book that just came out — and that one of the locations would be in Dallas. I got tickets right away and was super pumped!!

And then, they morning before the event, I get another email… I’d gotten VIP access to a POP pilates class that happened before the book signing and would be led to Cassey herself. My friend Brooke, who was planning to go with me, got the same invite for the class and we were SO SO excited.

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Arriving at the event!

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So many people were there to see Cassey!

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We were so excited to be there~

The evening was amazing. It was so cool to see so many other POPsters who had the same passion for Blogilates that I did. Cassey was adorable and energized, and even though it was a huge class and it was oftentimes difficult to see/hear her, she did a great job leading everyone. I’m usually not a big fan of doing exercises in a big group class like that as I get embarrassed if I feel like I can’t keep up, but I surprised myself with how far I was able to push myself, and it ended up being a blast. A good workout, a fun atmosphere, and one of my internet idols being at the front of the room the entire time!

After the class came the book signing. We stood in line for quite a while, but I didn’t mind because it meant that Cassey wasn’t just sitting there rushing people through. She was hugging people, taking pictures, taking the time to chat. I’m sure she was absolutely exhausted by the end of it, I don’t know how she managed to keep up her enthusiasm and just be so nice to everyone and make that effort to connect with each individual.

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Waiting in line… closer and closer…

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So happy to meet her!

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And Brooke was clearly excited too~

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Awww yeah!

I was pretty nervous, but it honestly was such a pleasure to meet her and I will treasure these memories forever. (Not to mention I am loving her book!! Take a peek here if you’re curious)

 

As a bonus to the story… the next morning, feeling sore from the night before but very motivated, I participated in my first charity walk! It was a Walk for MS and it was a really great experience.

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So many people had come out early

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One of the best parts were all the cute doggies everywhere :3

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The walkers are ready to go!

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This was seriously cool

There were so many people, and even though it was just a walk, it was a decently-sized 5k for a good cause. I walked away from it feeling great, it was definitely worth getting up a little earlier.

Not only were all of these moments special and fun… we got some exercise out of it too! I strongly recommend finding some great active adventures like this, it makes fitness so much more enjoyable 🙂

Fun Fitness #2: Zombies, Run!

The topic for today just EMBODIES the “fun” in Fun Fitness for me 🙂 There are a few different exercise-related apps that I’ve used and would like to write about, but the ones I’m especially excited about are the ones that employ gamification! When it comes to exercise, I will use all the motivation I can find.

Let me introduce you tooooo… Zombies, Run!zombiesrun

This is probably the most popular of the apps from the creator company, Six to Start. I’ll be going into more of their apps at a different time, I just love them. Zombies, Run! is an audio adventure that is rather self-explanatory… it’s a running app that involves zombies.

The basic premise is that you play as a character that lives in a post-apocalyptic world teeming with zombies. You come across a team of “Runners” that have a home base and go out on missions to gather supplies and whatnot, and thus the tale begins. Just pop in your headphones and get ready to go on a run and listen as the story unfolds!

The app is very interactive, and that’s where all of the fun lies. Your virtual teammates guide you through the adventure, so that you feel like you’re traversing an abandoned warehouse, grab some medical supplies, and then zombies show up and you have to outrun them! The game has many audio clips scattered throughout the run, and then the rest of the time you can have your own music playing, all within the app. So the game just adds a bit of excitement to your run, and makes you excited to start the next run (and the next chapter of the story!)

You also pick up virtual items throughout your runs, and you use these to level up your base (upgrading buildings and fortifications and whatnot) in the app, so the game remains engaging even outside of the run itself. Overall, it’s a lot of fun and a great way to find the motivation to exercise!

Here’s the trailer for the game – it helps to see a visual of how it works, so check it out!

Have fun! 🙂

Monthly Goals 2015: April

March was a huge month for me! Transitioning from one job to another is a pretty big deal, but I’d say it’s going super well. Now let’s see, how did I do on my goals?

March Goals Recap

  1. Fitness – 30-day ab workout challenge plus the 30-day butt lift challenge from Blogilates, at the same time. This one went splendidly!! I had a couple of days sprinkled throughout where I needed to skip a workout and then double up the next day, but they were fairly rare and not very disruptive. I’d originally planned to do these every morning when I get up, before I go to work… That rarely happened. I think I’ll need a little more time getting used to the new job/schedule before I start adding exercises to my morning routine. But it didn’t matter in the end, because I got them done regardless and that’s what matters~! I feel stronger and am excited to start the next challenge!
  2. Japanese – Do something Japanese-related every day and participate in Tadoku. I did… ok I guess? I may have missed a day or two, but when that happened, I tried to make up for it and do some extra reading/listening the next day. I wish I’d done better with Tadoku – not so much with the reading, but with the tracking! I was partly through a couple of different manga by the end that I completely forgot to submit before the end of the contest! Ah well, I’ll try not to be too hard on myself. After all, the whole point was doing just a little something every day, and I did fairly well on that point. I’ve also splurged and ordered some new Japanese manga – it’s still in the mail but I’m really excited and will have some new stuff to read for a future Tadoku!
  3. Blog – Four posts in the month. Not very complicated, and I did it! Yay 🙂 It’s been fun, I enjoy having this space as my little playground. But even if I’m writing these as a personal outlet, I super appreciate all those who read about my adventures and ideas! It’s been good getting into a better blogging habit this month, and even if I don’t make it an official “goal” next month, I still plan on keeping up with it as much as I can.

So overall, I’ve had a great month. With all the stuff on my plate – new job, birthdays, bridesmaid duties, etc – I’m pretty happy that I got a lot done and was also able to work on these goals. I’ve got a lot of things planned for April too, with busy weekends ahead! But I won’t let that stop me!! Let’s head right into next month’s goals.

April Goals

  1. Fitness – The Blogilates challenges went really well for me last time, I’m happy to repeat it with the new challenges! I’m still a little behind as I did the January and February challenge calendars last month, so now I have both March and April to do and I’ll be caught up. First is the Thigh Slimming challenge, and the other one is the Sleek Arms challenge. Bring it on!
  2. Cleaning – I’ve made this a goal before and want to bring it back! I’ve been a little too busy lately, leaving some of the cleaning by the wayside… Time to pick it back up! I think I’ll try a similar take to last time – focus on one room every week and clean thoroughly, and make sure dishes are all cleaned up daily. But I’d also like to add something new… I have a filing system for all of my important documents, but I’d like to take some time to re-organize what I already have and combine it with Ross’ documents so that we have it all in one organized space. Not sure how and when it will all come together, but it’s definitely something I want to at least *start* tackling this month!
  3. Gardening – This is new and exciting! 🙂 With the seasons changing and warmer weather arriving, I really want to take a stab at gardening again. Our balcony is very tiny, so we won’t be able to do much, but I’d like to grow some herbs and maybe even some tomatoes! First steps is buying the materials, which I’d like to do by this weekend, and then it’ll just be some daily tending/watering. There’s something so awesome about growing your own food, and one day when I have a house with a yard, I definitely want to try growing more things. This’ll be some nice practice!
  4. Japanese – I know I already have three goals during a busy month… but I don’t want to drop Japanese off altogether! So I’ll keep it nice and easy and do just two little things. One is keeping up with my Anki flashcards daily. Just a little bit of vocab practice, should only take about 5-10 minutes a day if I do it right. The other is to watch a Japanese Youtube video every day. Of course, an episode of a drama or anime would definitely count, but even if I don’t do that, at least a 5-10 minute video every day would still count. Should be feasible methinks!

April is my birthday month too so it’s time to OWN it!! Let’s do this!