Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's all in the list.

When I was back in Australia I longed for the weekend, it was both a break from school but also chance to catch-up on work and chill with my family. Now that I'm in America and school isn't as strenuous and my host family situation isn't working out so well the weekends haven't been so great for me. Until this weekend that is. I conned my mum into letting me order a to-do list off BoyGirlParty's etsy store as an 'easter' present(as I don't eat chocolate or lollies). I had a lovely to-do list notepad back in Aus but I didn't end up taking it with me to the US and I had been missing it so. And no matter what anyone says it is not nearly as efficient, practical or satisfying to write a checklist on a scrap piece of paper- it will just not do. I absolutely adore my current to-do list; it has just the right amount of lines and has a 'do later' column which is actually really practical because you still get to cross something off(so you can achieve that feeling of to-do-list-completion satisfaction) and it acts as a reminder to complete the task the next day. One of the things Miranda Kerr discusses in her Treasure Yourself book(this post) is that productivity is key and I'm quite sure there is a to-do list mention in her book somewhere.

Without my list for the weekend I know I wouldn't have been anywhere near as productive nor happy for that matter. I did a bunch of exercising( when I say a bunch I mean about 45 mins worth which is probably peanuts for other fitness junkies out there) as I need to keep be trim and slim for my upcoming cruise to Mexico with my exchange group this coming weekend. I contacted one of my exchange student friends' host sisters about possibly staying with her family in the summer holidays as they live up in the mountains by a huge canyon, have horses and do water sports so I thought that would entertain me over the ridiculously long break. I was somewhat nervous about asking but having it down on the list made me just go for it. I also did a truckload of cleaning(again, my truckload is probably the equivalent of a toy sandpit truck in comparison to some cleaning crazies out there) and made VEGAN banana bread! We didn't have any eggs so I decided to make the recipe from this vegan cookbook my hostmom had as she's on a vegan spree at the moment. It uses Veganaise as the fat instead of eggs! I was kind of worried as I don't like mayonnaise anyway but luckily you couldn't taste it at all and the loaf turned out fantastic! So delicious that my exchange sister, Hannah said that we have to make another loaf tomorrow because she knows we'll finish it so fast!

So how was your weekend?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still poor.

You know how I posted a while back before I left for my NY trip(a short update on that will be up in the coming weeks) about trying to really save money and how I had planned to continue my scrimping and saving in the big apple? Well that idea failed somewhat dismally. I ate my cup of noodles there and crackers and fruit roll-ups that I had brought but I still pigged out and bought lots of other food like a large cup of Pinkberry fro-yo, ben and jerry's vanilla ice-cream, spring rolls, subway, etc, etc. So now as my punishment I can't fit into some of my clothes and I don't even dare attempt to try on my prom dress my mum sent me over from Australia. I tried I really did but my boiled eggs did not look appealing and they went off very quickly(as I was in an April fools mischief-y mood I dropped one of them out the window of the hostel). I did spend a lot of money on food but I don't regret it too much as I still remember how those foods tasted because they were all so good and they were associated with a lot of fun times plus I kind of thought to myself "This is New York. When am I ever going to get a chance like this again?". But since I have arrived home I've gone back to my stingy-ness and hopefully today or tomorrow I'll be going around handing out babysitting flyers so I can earn some extra cash.

Frozen yoghurt at its finest.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Treasuring Myself

I'm the kind of person who is selfish. Not in a nasty sort of way but I tend to focus on myself a whole lot in terms of my mental state(I wish I was one of those Italian mothers who cooks masses of food for her family and runs around making sure their every need is taken care of and doesn't even worry about her needs in the slightest). But I believe that the best way to help others is to firstly help yourself and frankly I don't believe I can start forming relationships with others if I don't have a good relationship with myself. Anywho, this brings me to my favourite book as of now: Treasure Yourself by supermodel superwoman, Miranda Kerr. A book written for young women(although I see no real age boundary) about how to make the most of what you've got, which Miranda believes is a whole lot. I guess it's about realising your potential. To me it's almost a bible for life but of a non-religious kind as it's basically about how to be a good person and contribute to this place we all like to call home; Planet Earth. One of the analogies Miranda uses is the book is that every lady on the planet is a flower, each slightly different than the next but all still equally beautiful in their own unique way. A rose is just as beautiful as a daffodil. This, along with a day's worth of free time at school due to statewide testing that I was not allowed to participate in, led me to doodling in a journal about what sort of flower I was. This is what I came up with:

I really wish I had a vase of tulips in my room right now, they are simply the symbol for me, Shivi. I think this was a really powerful exercise and I think I'm going to google tulips a little further. Miranda uses so many other analogies and self evaluation question exercises in her book but most powefully she uses powerthoughts or affirmations which are simply statements you repeat to yourself about life/positivity/happiness/etc which are like exercise routines for your brain. Go check out the book and the other beauty products Miranda is selling here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Track and Field

I really knew I wanted to take advantage of all the school sports available at American high schools for my exchange year in the US plus I have a little bucket list for the year and one item to accomplish was 'win something' so I had hoped doing a sport would help me achieve that. One of the sports available in the 2nd school semester was track and field. I had done running in PE classes when I was younger and had never come last in the sprints(nor had I come first or second either...) so I thought it would be something I could have a go at plus it seemed such a 'cool' sport as you get to hang out with both guys and girls, go to big track meets and it is frequently mentioned in movies. Plus it's not really a team sport and I am not a fan of team sports for fear of letting others down. I don't think I realised that instead of having to worry about letting others down, in track and field you just have to worry about embarrassment whilst everyone stares at you when you come in last or 'scratch' at the long jump. Unfortunately, since I'm not the fittest person in the world I got injured very quickly during the season. First it was my left foot. Then I had shin splints. And lastly I injured my back during spring break(on a trampoline!) and probably made the injury worse by going to a themepark the next day and riding on the rollercoasters. So this whole season I have only ran 2 races and participated in the long jump for a record....2 times at the meets! I didn't even bother going to the last meet as I knew I wouldn't have been able to run at all with both my back and shins hurting and I watched as the track team walked past my class to go on the yellow school bus to their meet. It was really sad. I'd hoped that I would actually improve by the end of this season but I've always been last and now in two days in the final meet of the season and I don't even know if they'll let me run in it anyway since I've missed so many meets. I really wish I would have gone to an American highschool all through my teen years then I would have had the opportunity to start track in my freshman year or even in junior high and would really have improved. I'm still ever so greatful for the experience and participating in track allowed me to meet some really great people that I'm closer to than almost anyone else at school. I was thinking about perhaps doing track at an american college as part of another study abroad program but I'm assuming by that stage the students would be really elite but I can always do running and weight training in the mean time and build up my fitnest level. At the moment I'm trying to decide what sport I should do for the next season in the new school year which I've realised will only be about four months(time is flying....). I'd really like to do cheerleading but that's a whole other kettle of fish....

My exchange sister from Austria.