I Challenge You to be Brave…

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So, if you have been following our Facebook and Instagram pages you would know that Mystic Moon Emporium has officially signed up for our first vendor show. My mom and I have been wanting to do a craft show for as  long as I can remember and it occurred to me that I probably have no idea what I am doing – but I’m excited to learn. Part of me is probably a bit scared, but of what? Failing or just of the unknown? If I’m being honest, its probably a bit of both… but that is part of what makes this new experience exciting! As an artist I can’t be afraid to take chances and putting myself out of my comfort zone.  People who don’t take chances…people who don’t take advantage of the opportunities presented to them, deny themselves the ability to grow.

I know the more vendor shows I do, the more comfortable I will become… Thankfully I will have my husband there to help..aha. At the vendor show in May,  we will have some pieces of jewelry, candles and some other homemade trinkets –  there will also be more of a sneak peak into Pens by Thierry. With the way the weather has been lately (freezing rain in April? Really?) I am hoping that it will be a successful weekend!

Until next time,

Ashley ❤

 

 

 

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Staying Motivated : Overcoming that Stubborn Stalemate

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When it comes to sticking with a fitness regime and/or new diet, there is a lot more of a psychological aspect to it than most would think. Your head has to be in it to win it! People who have a goal, or something to work towards are far more likely to succeed. However, when you have been working towards that same goal for a long period of time without seeing any sort of progress, it can get discouraging.

When I was in school, we learned a lot about setting up workout plans and making goals. Switching things up every once in a while, or evaluating what you are doing currently, can really help gain a new perspective. Our bodies are really good at adapting to changes and if you keep things the same for too long, it’s going to adapt. Take a step back and see what is working and what needs to be changed.

404329_10151332277480647_1617047419_nNo one is perfect and even I admit my motivation has been shot a few times during this current weight loss journey. I have struggled with the same 5 lbs over the last few weeks on my way to my first milestone goal. I know what I need to do or should do to get there, but how do you overcome the stalemate blues?

 

  1. One method I liked using when I was in university training for the half marathon was posting motivational quotes all over my walls. I would look at it every single day and on days when I didn’t feel like going to the gym those words made me feel good. Also, there is a reason why most of my workout playlist contains strictly motivational songs. Working out can be fun, but for the most part it can be pretty hard. Motivational music, I find helps me push a little farther… plus confidence guys… confidence.. 🙂 [You can find my workout playlist here: –>here  <–]
  2. Have a goal, whether it be to lose weight, be healthy…It doesn’t have to be a huge goal, just something small. Make small goals or milestones on your way to a bigger goal or destination.
  3. Be realistic and patient with yourself; please don’t compare your progress with someone else’s – you are on a different journey. As I mentioned in my last post, everyone wants a quick fix but very few are willing to put the work into it. Know that it is not going to be instant! Also know that everyone’s bodies are different and are not going to change at the same speed.  I have known a few couples who have gone through weight loss journey’s and one gets upset when the other loses more than them. Focus on you but also celebrate each others’ victories! There are going to be f-ups, learn from them and move on.CIMG0579
  4. Do it for yourself – there should always be some sort of self aspect. Similar to rehabilitation for addictive habits, if a person doesn’t want to change for themselves, as much as people try, nothing is going to change.
  5. Switch things up (this ties into number 2). With fitness planning, you should be changing up your workout routine every month or so and making it more difficult. Challenge yourself! You are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for! Our bodies are amazing and have the ability to do so much – don’t limit yourself just because of fear.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! No one has all the answers 100% of the time. There are people out there that may specialize or have knowledge about certain things. Reach out and keep an open mind – other people’s knowledge is your learning opportunity. Also, this works in some cases (not all), working towards goals in a group – whether it be as a couple, in a running group…be each other’s cheerleaders, as I mentioned in number 3 – celebrate your victories and learn from failure.
  7. Keep yourself surrounded by a supportive and influential bunch – Nothing hits your motivational psyche harder than being surrounded by a bunch of Negative Nancy’s or Downer Daves. Surround yourself with people who are good influences and associate yourself with those that will be supportive to your goals. Friends and family who are truly supportive, will support your best interests and cheer you on; they should want you to be your best and truest self. Don’t get bogged down by toxic relationships and as I said in my last post, don’t ever feel bad for putting yourself first once in a while – especially when it involves your health!

This post turned into more of a rant and a bit of self-reflective activity, but this is how I have been feeling lately. I doubt I am the only one…I know most fitness bloggers/lifestyle bloggers will only post about the good.. the victories – journey’s are not all about sunshine and butterflies..there is no journey without the bad and the struggles.

Thanks for reading this far and I hope this post has helped you!

Until next time,

Ashley<3

[**As a side note, if you would like to keep up to date about what’s going on with the shop, etc, please check out the Mystic Moon Emporium Facebook and Instagram pages for frequent updates/posts.]

 

The Pen Turner’s Wife

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When I tell people that my husband makes pens, I get a lot of surprised looks. It’s not a hobby that most people get into. Then again, Thierry has never been one to follow the crowd. His interests are unique and he likes to take on tasks that most people would find difficult or time-consuming. He’s stubborn and when he sets his mind to something, its pretty hard to get him to back down (a couple of the things I admire about him). Let me tell you about how he got into wood-turning and you’ll see what I mean.

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The wood, or acrylic in this case starts off as a block.

Back in December,  Thierry and I were walking around the farmers market in an attempt to find Christmas presents for our families. His brother is a lawyer so Thierry wanted to find something that he would like and was meaningful. We came to a booth where an older man was selling wooden pens. When Thierry asked the gentleman how much the pens were, both of us were taken aback when we heard one pen was going for as much as a couple hundred dollars. That was way too much money, so we didn’t end up buying any of them – Thierry decided he wanted to make his own instead.

Thierry and my dad drove out-of-town to get supplies (from a store he found online) and eventually got to work, just using a hand drill and other hand tools ( let me just point out that this was three days before we were to be driving out to see said brother for a family Christmas thing). The first day, while everyone told him to give up and accept defeat,  Thierry was determined to make it work. That night, Thierry tossed and turned – admitting that all he could think about was making that pen.

The next day after tirelessly working on this thing while I was at work, he managed to make a gorgeous looking wooden pen that his brother would surely love – even a few of our other family members have made requests. Of course his first attempt was using hand tools which was hard to accomplish in itself. Since then, he has purchased proper tools.

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All the inner parts that go into the pen

After purchasing a lathe and other equipment, Thierry has been having fun since this whole ordeal, improving his wood-turning skills and even taking on acrylic projects as seen below (this would have been impossible with just hand tools).

Other things that he has been able to create since getting the lathe has included: French and regular styled rolling pins.

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The acrylic pen Thierry made for me a few months ago

 

 

Thierry plans to include his creations in Mystic Moon Emporium  sometime soon. **As a side note, if you are interested in seeing more posts about Pens by Thierry please check out the Mystic Moon Emporium Facebook and Instagram pages for frequent updates/posts. 

Until next time,

Ashley<3

 

 

 

 

Fitness 2018: Almost 10 lbs Down

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Me running the Scotia Bank Half Marathon back in 2012

Hello all! I know it’s been a while since my last entry! I hope you all had a lovely Easter! A lot has happened since February and I have been working hard towards my goals! This whole blogging thing is new to me so in truth, it took me a while to figure out what to write for this next fitness update.

The human body is an amazing thing! It can store energy, it holds life, gives life and you can sculpt it however you like! Research in science have made so many break thru’s when it comes to human anatomy and how the body works. When undergoing some sort of change to my body, I like to refer to it as my own little science experiment…strange I know.

Rule number 1 to self-care: Never let anyone tell you it’s selfish to put yourself first once in a while, especially when it involves your health. I fully acknowledge that gaining weight like I did was entirely my fault. I lost my motivation after the wedding and though I already made so much progress at that point, I stopped caring about myself. When you stop caring about yourself, it goes downhill from there. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

409503_10151332285210647_1246205432_nEveryone wants a quick fix but the reality is, it is going to be a slow, steady process. Knowing what my body is capable of if I put the work into it (running 20-40 km’s in one bout) and not being there physically right at this moment, is frustrating. I want to do so much but I am limited to what my body can do now. I have a life rule I like to tell myself often and I like to think I can incorporate it into my fitness journey : if you are unhappy about something, do something about it. Be patient and consistent with yourself! I know even I struggle with not beating myself up over small failures; this is something I battle with daily. If I have a day when I go over my calorie count or don’t make it to the gym when I know I had no excuse not to, I get guilty and it becomes a downward spiral of negative thoughts. If you have a bad eating day, or a day when you can’t make it to the gym, pick yourself back up and move on. Fitness journeys are equally about the mental as they are about the physical.

I have managed to lose about an average of a pound a week since February, but not without a bit of resistance (no eating plan, no personal trainer, and no diet gimmicks). Some may view this as very little progress, but as I have learned from my schooling, a small bit of progress is still progress. Also, the faster one loses the weight, it’s typically harder to maintain the weight afterwords.  Maintenance can prove to be a harder challenge than burning off the weight, I remember this from my weight loss journey over 6 years ago…

In my current journey, another one of my biggest struggles have been recovering from days of overeating or overindulgence. I’m not sure about any of you, but when I eat certain foods I bloat up like a balloon, experience water retention, and overall I feel terrible for days after. It usually takes me a few days to recover. I have found that on days like this, to get rid of the bloating it helps to drink lots of water (hot herbal teas throughout the day can help too), avoid trigger foods to give your gut a rest (for me its staying away from dairy, and heavy carbs), make sure you are taking your fish or omega supplements to help with inflammation, and exercise.

Back when Thierry and I were living out-of-town for Thierry’s schooling, one of his teachers recommended something called intermittent fasting. I know what you’re thinking, fasting can’t be healthy ; you’re essentially starving yourself! Actually, when done properly this can be pretty beneficial as it gives your gut a rest and acts almost like a reset button to your digestion tract. Thierry actually lost close to 40 lbs by doing this method a while back. I may make a post about this in future days.

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Believe it or not, this was 16 year old me

Since my last post, I joined back up with my old soccer team as motivation and a way to get out of the house. When I was a kid, I played soccer and it was all I ever wanted to do. Eventually, I ended up playing competitively for a number of years. I had to give it up to concentrate on University and my studies. Despite rejoining a team afterword’s, I had to give it up again when Thierry and I moved – my work schedule always ended up getting in the way.  Athletically, I’m nowhere near where I was in my prime years, but I still look forward to getting back into it. I have been training to be successful  and my fit bit has kept me active (best investment by the way) and tracking calories on My Fitness Pal has kept me accountable.

The thing I like about my Fit bit is it also tracks activity done during the day when I am not necessarily at the gym doing an intense workout. Most people don’t realize their bodies actually burn calories when they are not doing anything.  The challenges for the Fit Bit are pretty awesome and fuels my competitive side. I have been able to sync it up with the My Fitness Pal application to keep track of my food and exercise/sleep and water habits. Despite the Fit Bit app already having an option to track food directly on it, I have found the My Fitness Pal app to have a larger database for foods for scanning bar codes.

One goal I made with myself was for example, to stop buying my lunches and to eat more whole and natural foods. People don’t realize how many preservatives and extra ingredients that are put in foods you get from eating out. Staying wholesome, at least I know what is going in my body and that it will be nutrient rich foods.

In my last post I introduced my workout playlist – I have over a hundred motivational songs on my iPod at the moment which I have added a few to the YouTube link (I will link to it here again). I will be adding more over the next while as I get a chance. I find it hard to workout without a good playlist – when I am at the gym and I get into that zone, everything around me just fades away and it’s just me and that moment.  I hope you all enjoy the songs on the playlist and that it helps you as much as it has helped me.

Until next time,

– Ashley ❤