The Beginning

Gosh, it’s been too long!

In April, I got married!

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In May, we moved back to Maine and the waiting was killing us…

But we’ve finally started!

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The cabin is in the process! It’s amazing what we got done in a weekend.

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On Saturday, we received the lumber, squared the corners, set the blocks, constructed the base beams, set the joists ready for sunday and leveled the whole thing.

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On Sunday, after buying nails and liquid nails, we squared and cut the joists, screwed them and the facing on then started caulking and nailing the boards in place for the floor! We secured the center joists (where the 12 ft boards meet in the middle) and kept going. We got more than halfway done on the floor- made excellent time and we almost have a whole floor (will be completed by Wednesday!)

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That was the most work I think I’ve ever done. Despite covering up with a sun hat and long sleeves, I still have bad sunburn on my neck and hands. I have blisters from hammering the boards all day yesterday. I must say, I am exhausted! But after a rough May, it is wonderful to start off June with hard work and well… a floor!

Four walls and a roof… coming soon 🙂

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Gung Hey Fat Choi!

Happy Chinese New Year!

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I started the new year off right- with a 20 minute meditation. My intention is to live today fully with happiness, kindness and gratitude. I hope to bring this with me for the year to come.

This is the year of the horse: the year I was born. I have a feeling this is going to be my year.

Happy New Year to everyone! May the horse be wonderful and prosperous for you. 🙂

Namaste.

Checking In

Life has been hectic these past few weeks!

It’s almost the end of January and I’ve been flip flopping with my resolutions. I spent the second week of the year not really doing much, so my workouts and my business suffered. But the important lesson I’ve gained from that little break is that persistence and patience is key. I didn’t fail on my resolutions! I only would have failed if I gave up completely and decided that because I missed a week, I should just give up.

I’m definitely not giving up. How about you?

Namaste!

I Sit Too Much

This morning, I was emailed an article about sitting from a friend who’s a Postural Realignment Specialist- guess what? It’s not too good for you. When I had him analyze my posture, he found that one of my shoulders is pinched, I’m slightly knock kneed and I slouch a bit. And that’s unfortunately when I think I’m standing up straight. This mornings email about sitting really reminded me of how much I’ve been sitting compared to before I moved- and how much I need to keep up with my posture exercises.

I’m still adjusting to Maine weather, and I’ve certainly spent more time indoors than I’d like to admit. I’m definitely planning on spending lots of time outdoors come Springtime- especially with working the land, getting the garden and greenhouse set up and getting the cabin built.

Some suggestions he has include watching television while standing or doing some exercises, mainly doing standing exercises as opposed to stationary cycling (unless you’re wheelchair bound), going for walks, or getting a standing desk. He even says that standing 20 minutes for every hour sitting at a desk working would make a difference.

It’s noon and I’ve been testing this theory since I woke up around 8am. I’ve taken it farther, by only sitting 20 minutes before getting up to do something. So far, my apartment is tidier, I’ve done squats, lunges and wall push ups and I’ve been drinking a lot of water. I did watch a movie while exercising, so I don’t know how well I’ll do when trying to read. Overall, in order to improve my health, I think I’m gonna get up and move around more.

Here’s the article:
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12218/5-easy-ways-to-sit-less-feel-better-live-longer.html

The Benefits of Chicken Soup

It’s a warm day in Northern Maine- almost 40 degrees! A nice break from the -30 degree lows we had two days ago.

How do we survive such cold weather? Lots and lots of homemade soup. My favorite is chicken- but I have been leaning towards more vegetarian options these days. (Mainly due to the cruelty involved and the unhygienic methods of processing meat in general- I am really looking forward to getting the homestead up and running so I can produce my own food!)

Anyhow, hot soup hydrates you, offers loads of vitamins and minerals, aids in digestion and offers warmth on a cold cold day.

Basic Chicken Broth Recipe:
1 chicken carcass or whole chicken, depending on if you wanted to boil or roast the meat.
1 bulb of garlic or lots of garlic powder (fresh is preferred)
Fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary, etc
Salt (himalayan or sea)
Fresh ground black pepper

Bring to a boil with enough water to cover the chicken. Add herbs and spices and simmer for as long as you like. To serve, add some cut up carrots, potatoes and onion (let simmer to soften).

A couple of excellent vegetarian variations:

Ginger-garlic broth (served with scallions)

Vegetable broth (onion, celery, carrot, potato, etc… use your imagination!)

The addition of different herbs and spices really boost the nutrition of these soups- which adds to their immune enhancing properties. Garlic and ginger are both antibiotic and open up the sinuses; black pepper and ginger stimulate digestive juices and aid stomach ailments. If you eat meat, the boiling and simmering dissolves the calcium and minerals from the bones into the broth. Overall, soup is a great nutritious asset to one’s diet!

Happy soup making! I hope you take the time to enjoy a warm mug of medicinal broth.

Welcome 2014!

While I did not have a great night last night (every new year’s eve ends up being kind of crappy, at least for me) I am determined to make today and this year the best it can be.

I don’t like formal resolutions. At least, not for New Years. As I said before, too much celebrating usually results in a sick and unmotivated Bonnie for the first day of the year. So I’m doing an unofficial “more” and “less” list. It’s too much for me right now to say “I’m going to lose twenty pounds this year” or “I’m going to give up sugar” – so I feel like it’s simpler to strive to do more healthy things and less unhealthy things.

More of… in 2014:
1. Writing
2. Fruits
3. Veggies
4. Exercise
5. Crafting
6. Yoga
7. Breathing
8. Smiling
9. Love
10. Peace

Less of… in 2014:
1. Movies
2. Sugar
3. Alcohol
4. Doing nothing
5. Feeling inadequate
6. Slouching
7. Procrastinating
8. Worrying
9. Hate
10. Fighting

I think these small goals will be easier to complete than big, scary goals. Plus, if I do enough of them, maybe they’ll add up to my achieving those big, scary goals without even trying. 🙂

Happy 2014 to everyone! I wish you all peace and prosperity in the New Year.

My Year in Books – Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge

If you don’t know about Goodreads, check it out! Anyone can post reviews of any books, like quotes, join forums, and more. But my favorite is the yearly reading challenge!

In 2012, I only read 17 books.
But this year, I managed to read over ten more, and beating last years goal was a motivator.

The books I read this year were:

“The Hippocrates Diet” by Ann Wigmore

“DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner” by Betsy Matheson

“Essential Soil Science” by Mark Ashman

“The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe” by Lynne McTaggart

“Visualizing Geology” by Barbara W. Murck

“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

“Natural Resource Economics” by Barry C. Field

“State of Fear” by Michael Crichton

“Off On Our Own” by Ted Carns

“Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“Self- Reliance and Other Essays” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig

“Looking for Alaska” by John Green

“The Fault in our Stars” by John Green

“Rocket Mass Heaters” by Ianto Evans

“Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Systems” by National Research Council

“Introduction to Botany” by Murray Nabors

“The Fifty Dollar and Up Underground House Book” by Mike Oehler

“Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt

“Nancy Clark’s Sport Nutrition Guidebook” by Nancy Clark

“Compact Cabins” by Gerald Rowan

“Introduction to Forestry Science” by Lawrence DeVere Burton

“The Believing Brain” by Michael Shermer

“The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book” by Mike Oehler

“Mini-Farming: Self- Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre” by Brett L. Markham

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

“Handmade Houses” by Richard Olsen

“Yoga Sequencing” by Mark Stephens

“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle

“Divergent” by Veronica Roth

“Insurgent” by Veronica Roth

“Allegiant” by Veronica Roth

“Farmacology” by Daphne Miller

I read a total of 34 books this year. Based on this, I’m going to go for 40 books next year! 🙂

How many books have you read?

& Happy New Year to all!

25 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the End of 2013

As I’m sure you figured from my last “end of the year” post, I’m a big fan of self reflection at the end of the year. I saw this posting from the same website as the other one and I had to post. I hope this adds some insight into your life. 🙂

25 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the End of 2013

1. What am I most proud of this year?
2. How can I become a better _____________?
3. Where am I feeling stuck?
4. Where do I need to allow myself grace?
5. Am I passionate about my career?
6. What lessons have I learned?
7. What did I my finances look like?
8. How did I spend my free time?
9. How well did I take care of my body, mind, and soul?
10. How have I been open-minded?
11. When did I feel most creatively inspired?
12. What projects have I completed?
13. How have I procrastinated?
14. In what ways can I re-structure my time?
15. How have I allowed fear of failure hold me back?
16. Where has self-doubt taken over?
17. When have I felt the most alive?
18. How have I taught others to respect me?
19. How can I improve my relationships?
20. Have I been unfair to anyone?
21. Who do I need to forgive?
22. Where is it time to let go?
23. What old habits would I like to release?
24. What new habits would I like to cultivate?
25. How can I be kind to myself?

Reposted from Mind, Body, Green

Motivation to Exercise in the Winter

I hope everyone is having a wonderful winter holiday, if you celebrate, and enjoying the end of the year. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I went overboard on the celebrations for the past couple of days. Craig and I spent our first holiday alone this year- while I definitely missed my family, especially my nieces first Christmas, it was nice to spend time with just Craig. I made a lasagna and some french bread for Christmas Eve; and a big plate of grilled bananas and homemade french toast for Christmas morning. I bought us some little treats for our stockings- organic chocolate bars, nuts, chapstick, and clif bars- so needless to say, I’ve been feasting (worst of all, on the Christmas cookies sent to us in the mail!) And I am feeling the extra sugar and fat sinking in…

So I’ve been thinking a lot about holding myself accountable and really motivating myself to exercise. I have shaky motivation to begin with, so this move to Northern Maine has really taken away all of my willpower. When it’s three below zero in the morning, it’s pretty hard to tear myself out of my warm sheets or out from behind my space heater to go exercise.

I came across this great article that really hit home- and it got me to go on a long walk in the snow after reading it (perhaps I should read it more often).

“10 Tips to Shut Up and Run in the Cold
As we creep into winter, here are some tips to keep motivated despite the plunging temperatures:

1. Be grateful: Stop your whining and remember that you can run. You get to run. There are many people too sick, disabled or injured to do what you are complaining about. Some people would kill to go just one mile in your frozen shoes. So, adjust your attitude fool!

2. Know that cold is easier than hot: Running in the cold can actually be less taxing on your body than running in the heat. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to cool down and this can increase performance and energy.

3. Sleep in your clothes: If you are really desperate, sleep in your running tights and base layer. That way you don’t have to go through the extra step of getting undressed and dressed in the morning. You might get up easier, but I’m not promising this will do wonders for your sex life.

4. Get the right gear: Not only should you make sure you’ve got the correct cold weather gear for your climate (see HERE for some guidelines), but treat yourself to a new, fun, sassy running item (thongs might be inadvisable). Maybe this will make getting dressed and hitting the road a bit easier.

5. Have someone waiting on you: I’ve said it before, but there is almost no better motivation than to know someone or a group is waiting for you to show up for a run. Do you really want to be the pussy of the group?

6. Have a warm reward: Know that after your cold run, you will treat yourself to something toasty and warm like a latte, a hot bath or a cup of tea by the fire.

7. Remember the bad-ass effect: Not everyone runs when it’s cold outside. It takes stamina, balls and determination. Tell yourself that every car that passes you is impressed by your fortitude. You may be lying to yourself, but at least it can provide temporary motivation.

8. Know you’ll be less SAD: Research has shown that running in the cold can actually reduce symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Running can release feel good hormones that stave off depression, decrease anxiety and promote a general feeling of contentment.

9. Let your goal stare you in the face: If you are training for something, want to lose weight, or are simply just trying to stay in shape, write your goal down on a sticky note and put it on your alarm clock or bathroom mirror. Sometimes these little powers of suggestion can be the extra push you need.

10. Sign up: There are all kinds of short races throughout the winter time –Peppermint Schnapps 10Ks and Freeze Your Ass Off 5 Milers. Sign up for one just to keep your head in the game.”

Source: shutupandrun.net

While a lot of these, I have not tried- rewards always work well for me. A sweet, creamy, warm hazelnut coffee and a hot shower are heaven after an hour long trek ( I say trek because I only jog periodically- I’m afraid of breaking my neck on some ice) in the snow.

Also, some other good motivators-

1. Weight training: Any indoor exercise can be a lifesaver in the winter. Plus, building up muscles will keep you warmer. I like Jillian Michaels DVDs, especially 30 Day Shred and No More Trouble Zones.

2. Yoga: If I had a better humidifier, I’d do a hot yoga. There are plenty of great DVDs out there and Erin Motz on youtube is an excellent instructor. “Yoga Sequencing” has a number of sequences for all levels, if you’re interested in individualizing your practice.

3. Start a challenge! I’ve always wanted to complete a 30 day challenge, for something like Insanity or P90X. I have both programs and it may be something I begin for the new year.

4. Get a gym membership: I had a gym membership back in Maryland, but it was through my job and much, much cheaper. I would have to save up for it here and there’s still the chance that I won’t go because it’s too cold out. It’s better for me to exercise outside or at my apartment for now… but it could be the motivation you need to get movin’!

This post was an attempt at motivating myself to get excited to get in shape! I hope it inspired you. 🙂

Do you have any suggestions for motivation to work out when it’s cold?