Friday, April 22, 2011

Blog via mobile phone app?

If anyone knows of a blogger-linked app for the android (or even iPhone...I'll search for the android version), please let me know. I am linked to my phone at the hip, but me and my home computer are mere acquaintances right now. Can't blog from school. Not without guilt or fear, anyway. :) (Support your local teachers!) Moving on....

Spark Yoga is helping me to:
-de-clutter my living space and my self-criticism/negativity/emotional issues
-gain clarity in why I'm not reaching goals I've set
-commit to yoga practice/exercise 5 times per week and eating good foods
-make and keep other commitments in my life
-focus on myself

I commit to blogging about the above topics in the next week. :)

Ok, today is exciting because I have the day off. No school! Woohoo!

Here is what I've done so far:

Up at 7:30 (without an alarm clock! Possibly due to my 3 hour nap yesterday from 5-8...oh yes. It was nice. I was exhausted, henceforth I slept. If only I listened to my body more often.)

Checked school email and wrote replies, whilst adorning an Origins face mask for 15 minutes :)
Today only 4/22! Bring your cosmetic empties to a store for a FREE regular size cleanser!
Origins Earth Day Deal
image from

(The LOUDEST airplane is flying over my condo...please hold)

Finished face process

Downstairs for breakfast (Special K granola and a tidbit of Special K Red Berries with light vanilla soy milk - I think I've mentioned that I'm *sniffle* lactose intolerant)

And yummy coffee in my "R" coffee mug (what is it about a cup with your monogram on it? OK, I can tell you. My first name was never on the fun Six Flags keychains growing up, and it probably still isn't...that was a big bummer when in 7th grade, my friend, Leslie could pick up her named keychain and vibrantly exclaim, "Here's MY name! Cool!" for her. "Rita" was the closest to "Rina"- oh sad, 7th grade me. Rita is a wonderful just isn't my name.)

While finishing coffee:
1) looked out the window at our garden (strawberries are ripening!, shooed away 2 squirrels (Todd would go after them with a garden tool turned weapon),
2) checked Facebook on my phone,
3) sent text messages to
    -my family about Good Friday service tonight,
    -my husband about said squirrels,
    -my friend Breah about her address,
    -my friend, Erick about his birthday,
4) wrote thank you cards and baby cards and wedding cards (continuing process online with TinyPrints in the near future)

Put dishes away

Completed Chick Fil A online survey for my FREE CHICKEN SANDWICH code (! - Um, yeah! look twice at those receipts, my friends! So worth it!)

The rest of the day will go like this:

Order bday cards and mail them through Tiny Prints ($2.44 each for a personalized, beautiful card with a stamp, addressed and mailed for you - see below.)

Get ready for noon yoga and errands (Container Store, Central Market, Target)
Good Friday Service in Arlington with my family

It's Easter weekend, everyone! I hope you enjoy it with loved ones! Todd "helps" the Easter bunny on Sunday. Yes, kids! I know the  Easter Bunny, personally! :)
Easter Bunny, 2007

Friday, April 8, 2011

Back on the Blog!


I'm back! I realize it's been a long time, but after starting my current yoga program, called Spark!, I just can't help but share my experience. I hope you enjoy!

Angela Wagner, owner of Yogasport, created "Spark! The Ultimate Empowerment Program." She is a Certified Yoga Life Coach, and a few YS members asked for a program related to her certification. Henceforth Spark! was born. And lucky for me!

Here's what I liked about the Spark flier:
" the Spark! that makes the difference between going through the motions and being in action and creation in your life."
"By focusing on the six principles of Spark! (community, yoga, meditation, detox, discipline, and love), you will emerge with a clear and energized life vision."

Why did I sign up?
I was in a FUNK. An exercise funk. A nutrition funk. A work too much and play to little funk. I was procrastinating more than ever before, which says a lot. I was ready for a pick me up. And I had already tried wine and margaritas. All joking aside, I needed some time for me. My to do lists (yes, I have several - go technology) were piling up and I felt busy. All. The. Time.

So I signed up early. It started on March 29, and I signed up before the 15th! At least I started the program by not procrastinating on that task!

I committed myself to Spark which means:
Journaling daily
Yoga practice 5 times per week in the studio (read: no cheating with short at-home "practices")
Food journaling (online! It's been so fun!)
A 3-hour detox yoga class
A weekly discussion meeting with the other Spark! members
A weekly meditation session with the Spark! members
Daily meditation on my own

So far, this is the MOST committed I've stayed with a program. I have done 7 yoga sessions in 11 days. And the great thing is that I want to do it every day! I can already see definition in my arms. Cool. I feel more energized through the day. Yes! I am consciously trying to be more focused so that I can work smart, not hard. Hooray!

Ok, gotta go, but I'll fill you in soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday workout

I went to Saturday morning's 9am Core Yoga, is that hard! Good! But not easy, oh no.

Today I did a quick jog on Katy Trail because I forgot to dry my YogiToes towel (stays in place on your yoga mat- a necessity in my yoga book).

I went 2.28 miles in 25 min 33 sec at a 11:09 min/mile pace and burned 235 calories.
And I'm wheezing.
That's a good workout!

I ran to the pace of Pump It by the Black Eyed Peas, otherwise, it would have taken me longer. That song is a doozey! :)

My playlist today (and most Katy Trail days) was:
Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson
Can't Get Enough of You Baby by Smashmouth
Paper Planes by M.I.A.
Pump It by BEP
Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson (this is my "I'm awesome!" song when jogging)
(part of) Womanizer by Britney Spears (you love her music too, admit it)
Lucky by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat, once I got back to Cole Ave

Yoga tomorrow at 6am!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Origins - Freebies with purchase!

Origins is giving away a trio of mini-facial freebies ($22.50 value or more if you opt for Dr.Weil's products) with a purchase of any skincare item. Perfect for your travel skincare stash. Plus they always add one little bitty freebie when you buy online! By little bitty, it's about a week's worth.

I bought Night-a-mins lotion (love this stuff) and went for the Brighteners set (see below) and the bitty freebie Blade Runner (shave lotion) just to try it. I also have a whole bag of recyclable containers to bring to the store. Yet another free sample!

Offer ends 10/2

And did I mention free shipping right now?! That means you get the same price as the store, plus all of the free goods!

                                image from

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hello, Day!

I made it to the 6am yoga class!

You're welcome, body, for waking you up early. 2 for 2. Next one's on Thursday morning.
I also got to put a little frog sticker on the RC21's the small things. Who doesn't like stickers?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Re-Commit 21

So Yogasport has begun a Re-Commit 21 Challenge. We are making a committment to ourselves to do yoga for 21 days in the next month.

I think it's really a committment to myself to show up. Not to yoga, but to LIFE. I am realllllly good at being too busy to go to yoga, which turns into being too busy to do something good for myself. One example is that I've been meaning to stop by the salon for a pedicure. I have a gift certificate and want a little "me time" so that I can unwind and relax a bit. Have I been yet? Nope. I've had plenty of time to stay late at school and work on "stuff" though. And who could pass up a free pedicure? It's little things like that...not showing up for a pedicure, not showing up to yoga, not going to weekday mass, being late for something, or forgetting something else...that cause me to participate in this self-neglect. No one is making me stay late at school but myself. No one is keeping me from yoga or the me time but myself.

So when Angela sent an email to YS members about the 21 day challenge, I was like, yes, I need to be challenged to re-commit to myself. We are all busy. We all have excuses. But what do we really need?
I need some of that goodness that comes with yoga. The physical benefits of a cardio workout, the mental benefits of restoring my body after life kicks my rear.

In fact, today is day 1!
And where was I at 6:30? Arriving at home. I can't make a 6:30 class if I get home at 6:30. They lock the door after practice begins, and I know I can get there 5 or so minutes late and still make it. But I can't get there 10 or 15 minutes late. And it's best to get there about 10 minutes early to get into the mindset of yoga and to acclimate to the temperature (not too hot, about 90 degrees). I almost declared myself a failure, when I decided that it would be the opposite of committment to do THAT. Let's not get carried away, Rina. So I did yoga in my living room. It wasn't a full committment, but I have tomorrow to get better! 6 AM, here I come! (hey, I did it last Thursday, so I am GOING tomorrow morning - I sort of told myself that I would go in the morning the next 6 times it was available. I have in my head that it takes 6 times to learn a habit?? Where is that from? And then 21 days to form the new habit. Something like that? Or maybe it's "tell kids something 6 times before they hear you...." ANYway. 6 am. It's on.)

Your re-committment can be to yourself, your family, your spiritual life, your kids, your job (hopefully it's something besides your job though), your healthy diet, your brain-- whatever it is, your heart will thank you for it! 21 days to form a good habit!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sun Love and Eye Cream by Origins

Had a good dermatology appointment this morning. Just freckles and regular moles. Yea! (+ sigh of relief)

I grew up not using sunscreen much. It was more like you used a little if you were pale-skinned. My friends would put some on their shoulders, face, and tops of their legs if they were pale and we were at a pool or Wet-N-Wild. Six Flags didn't call for sunscreen. Maybe because sunscreen was for swimsuit activities? I'd just jump on my bike and ride it all day long every summer, in between jumping into our above-ground pool or our neighbors' in-ground pool (we called it the "real pool," although they came over equally to play in our 4-footer, so it was cool enough).

Then in high school we'd go out for marching band. A week in July for the July 4th parade in downtown Arlington, and three weeks in August to get ready for marching season. Did we ever wear sunscreen? We certainly did not all reapply when we bought our gatorades from the Band Moms. And we'd all have a smokin' hot farmer tan...longer shorts were in style and keds without laces...those were the days. It was like my Filipino genes gave me an exemption from sunscreen. And marching band gave us an excuse to have a farmer tan? Yes, but along with that was a work out that made us all look amazing in those band banquet dresses! (This should give you insight as to why GLEE is my favorite TV show right now. Best. Show. Ever.)

In college, I'd put on SPF 4, 6, or 8, and rarely 15 to achieve my summer tan. SPF 4 Tanning Oil. Ew, it's so gross to think about it. The grease. And if you wanted hilights, add lemon to your hair. I didn't know what "brassy" meant inrelation to hair. I just thought it was a musical term relating to the trumpet section.

Isn't it so different now? Todd and I went to a friend's pool the other weekend, and we all were slathering on the SPF 30, 55, and 70. We found a table in the shade, we all had sunglasses on, and we wore our flops to the edge of the pool before getting in. Ha! It's comical, actually. This was an Uptown apartment pool, and the young and hot were out in droves. It seemed we were the only ones putting on sunscreen, but maybe they all applied 30 minutes prior to sun exposure as the directions dictate. Yeah, right. Maybe it's not so different after all.

In Las Vegas, I wore sunglasses and a hat! BOTH! Pretty much all day! I definitely wore the sunglasses all day. The hat came off so I could go under the waterfall in the lazy river and play in the wave pool. Yet, I still have a hard time venturing beyond SPF 30. I still crave the tan potential. I read in SHAPE magazine that some of us have a small addiction to tanning or to the sun. Yikes. That's kind of why I donned the hat/glasses combo. Really, this is the first summer, ever, for me to wear sunglasses any time I'm in the sun, even in the car. Why? Because of the inevitable eye wrinkle occurrence.

When I was about 12 or 13, my mom took me to the Clinique counter and the lady taught me about facial care. We bought the 3-step pack - cleansing bar, toner, and moisturizer - and this was my daily routine through college. We loved the Clinique gift with purchase. Oh, those were special shopping days! We would go to Dillard's and pick out an item for $13.50 (this has since increased, obviously), and we would go home with a cute Clinique makeup package that included a case of some sort, lipstick, moisturizer, an eye color or blush color, and possibly eye cream. You would think that my mom and I would trade - my eye cream for one of her makeup items. But we didn't. I'd use the eye cream from my gift and so would she. I have been "sampling" eye cream since I remember wearing makeup. Now, when I ran out of the gift size, I wouldn't buy more. I'd only use it when there was some available. Looking back, I'm so glad I did this! Now that I'm looking 35 in the face, I feel the eye wrinkle fight has begun!

NOW I always have eye cream. I have since made the switch to Origins (which I think is related to Clinique in some way. It is also related to MAC Makeup - whatever...they are all related. Toyota --> Lexus, right? Old Navy --> Gap --> Banana Republic. Etc.) Here are eye creams that I have enjoyed using from Origins. (all images from

Eye Doctor 
Eye Doctor was one of the first for me to try. It's moisturizer for your eye area. If you think of your skin as paper, your knees and elbows = cardboard, your face = notebook paper, your eye area = tissue paper. Thus the different cream is needed for your eyes. I may gravitate toward this one again. The website says it de-puffs, fights crows feet and fades dark shadows!

No Puffery 
No Puffery is still one of my favorites, especially for the mornings. The light gel goes on to de-pouf your eye area. I just think it's a fresh wake up for my under-eye area! It feels cool and easy and is inexpensive at $21.00. The website says it lightens dark areas too!

A Perfect World for Eyes
Here is what is on my shelf now, and I like it a lot for nighttime. I think I really like a cooler eye cream in the morning, and this one glides on for ultra-moisturization. It's very light as well, and leaves your eyes feeling relaxed. The website says it lessens wrinkles and firms. Oh-la-la!

This one is good too. It fights against stress and aging with an herb called Rhodiola. It's been a while since trying this product, so you'll have to try it yourself! It's more expensive, so if you can score a free sample, that's the way to go! The website says you will achieve visibly firmer skin around your eyes.

GinZing is my new, personal favorite! It feels good - great for the mornings, and it has these light reflectors that make your under eye area brighter. It's magical, and I can't get enough of it. I wandered upon a free sample when I brought my cosmetic containers to Origins for recycling. It's a winner!
So, there's my Origins overview of eye cream. I have yet to meet an Origins skin care product I didn't love. AND, they are doing free mini-facials next week! Book yours at your nearest store! They are fun! They take about 30 minutes, and they do it in a sectioned-off area of the store. Remember that it's FREE. Just enjoy the products and don't feel obligated to make a purchase. :)

If you don't recycle your cosmetic plastics yet, please collect them and take them to your Origins store! They will take ANY BRAND, and they will reward your good deed with a free sample of your choice. (hint, hint: eye cream!)

Finally, if your Origins store has closed (ex: Parks Mall in Arlington - how sad were my mom, sister, and I!), you can buy online. They ALWAYS give you 2 or 3 free samples with your online purchase. Just consider where you'll have it's pretty hot out here in Texas...maybe it would be ok to ship to your office? I like to buy online because of the freebies and because I LOVE opening shipped boxes!

ps- I am not getting anything from Origins for this blog post. I just love their products, and that's where my experience lies. I have no doubt that there are others in all price points that would serve you just as well! Good luck!