Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why I Run.

One foot in front of the other, pounding the floor or more like the sidewalk. 

"You can do this!"

"You got this!"

"Just 5 more minutes, pace yourself".

"Breathe in, breathe out... slowly".

...And you're done. You just ran for 45 minutes non-stop. You did it! You really did it. 

Remember how running fast for 2 minutes was all you could do? Remember, when you reached 7 minutes but nearly passed out after it? Yes, I do remember that. I was working on my time, but was really not doing it right. How do I know this? Last month while visiting family in Baja, my mother hired a family friend who happens to be called "Iron Woman" by all who know her to train me. She is a triathlete, she runs, she swims and she cycles. Her body is strong, confident and she is so inspiring. We began doing sprints, bodyweight lifting, TRX exercises and then we gave running a try. 

She saw me run and gave me great advice, not only that but she noticed how hard it is for me to walk fast. To run -for me at least, it takes a lot because my thighs rub against each other. My thighs in all honesty is where I carry most of my weight and it really isn't that easy. Lose skin plus fat plus movement not the best combination. However, I want to run. I truly do, I've been dreaming about it and attempting it since 2012 on and off. I will not give up, I have not given up on the idea because I know persistence all to well.

Two weeks ago my family and I decided we needed an outing at sunset, the kids and my husband geared up for a bike ride and me? I decided I was going to run, because I could. So I did. While they rode their bikes a few feet from me, I was struggling and hurting all over but I kept pushing. All I could hear was my mind telling me "you got this!" and so I did, one foot in front of the other. Others passed by us along the trail and some would smile at me, one man stopped and stared at me; I'm sure I know what he thought, but I don't like to assume so I continued to pace myself and when I felt I couldn't go any longer I set my timer so I would not keep thinking about how much I had until it ended and played some music, took a deep breath 1, 2 and 3 times. 

Suddenly the timer went off and 45 minutes had gone by, I did it! I got this!

55 minutes is the amount of minutes I can now run non-stop. Oh yes I am there. Today as I ran around the park I kept looking over at the benches in the shade, seemed tempting considering it was hot and I had forgotten my water bottle. I kept going, I promised myself I would go for a run and I did. I do not pay attention to what others say, yes I hear their comments but their comments just make me think how far I've come. They're just reminders of what I can do and where I want to be. I'm not the poster child for a runner, but then again I thought all you needed to run were legs and a will to do it. So here I am, yet again with my two legs and my will to run. 

Let's go! 

You got this! 

You really got this, because you are running 30, 45, 55 minutes and you are doing it with a smile, with pride, with joy!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Succulent Terrarium DIY

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all opinions and images are my own. We received a gift card from Orchard Supply Hardware which facilitated our review of their products and services, however we are loyal customers of our local store.* 

Back in 1974, after my parents got married they began a small business. Four years after, when I was born began the popularity of gardening and landscaping in the city of Los Angeles and both my parents had their own staff to keep up with business. Their love for landscaping was passed onto us, we grew up visiting local plant nurseries and learning to appreciate the beauty of a well landscaped back and front yard.

While in Costa Rica, I took our almost non-existent garden to a lush tropical garden full of herbs, succulents, colorful flowers and palm trees. I love to garden, so when the time came to move back to the Bay Area we knew we wanted  our new home to have a garden for us to care for. 

Since we moved into our new home last Spring, I've been slowly working to getting our garden to where we'd like it to be. One of the major changes for us is the weather, in Costa Rica it rains 6 months out of the year and I mean rain, rain like I'd never seen before. Here, in California we are experiencing one of the worst droughts ever. Which is why it is important to chose plants that are drought tolerant. 

Just a couple of weeks ago, Orchard Supply Hardware {OSH} mailed us a gift card to visit our local store, shop and work on a project of our choice to add to our new home. When we asked for suggestions we were given the following ideas:

-Terrariums Succulent Garden 
-Lanterns Succulent Garden 
-Letters Succulent Garden 

They know me well enough to know how much I love succulents, they're so easy to care for (just water once a week) and they have so many varieties that are simple yet beautiful.

We decided to work on a terrarium. When we arrived at OSH we immediately headed to the succulent area of their gardening department and began looking at all the options they had, between the kids and I we had a lot of ideas going on. Lucky for us Ash and Tina were there to help us from choosing our materials to working on our project with us. 

One of the many perks of shopping and buying your planter and plants at OSH is that their staff can help you plant your purchased plants for you at no additional cost plus they'll include the dirt and help make it look exactly what you had envisioned for it. 

Ash was amazing with our project and explained each step of it as he worked on it. Here are the instructions so that you too can make your own terranium.

Succulent Terrarium Garden:

1.- Choose the container in which you'll have your terranium, may I suggest a glass container so you can enjoy seeing your succulent garden to the fullest. OSH has many sizes and shapes to chose from, we chose a large fish bowl.

2.- Select the decorative rocks you'll be using, OSH has a wide variety of rocks from blue to gray to white to clear ones. It's completely up to you what color you'll be using.

3.- Chose your succulents according to the size of your container  -I should warn you that OSH has so many types of succulents you will take a while to narrow it down to a few-, for example in ours we were able to fit 4 different plants comfortably. If your container is small think one or two small plants.

4.- Clean your container, place some small stones at the bottom to help with watering. On our container it was about 1-2" deep in rocks, about 1/4 of the container's size. Place cactus dirt inside container roughly 3-4" deep, you want to cover roughly 1/2 of the container with the dirt.

5.- Plant each succulent gently, inside the dirt. You can make space for each succulent with your fingers, as gardening tools are too big to use inside the container. 

6.- top off the plants with small river rocks or small stones in your color of choice.

This is what our terrarium looks like inside:

Easy, right? Best part is kids can help make a terranium and care for it. You can use the terranium to decorate inside your home. We use ours as our dining table's centerpiece, it's like having a little piece of nature inside our home. 

We had part of a gift card with a positive balance on it, so we decided to purchase more plants for our garden. 

The house we moved into has a long rectangle shape in-ground planter, that had dirt in it and along the back wall were scattered trees and plants that in all honesty looked like they needed some TLC.  During our visit to OSH we also purchased plants that would add color to our garden as well as seeds of herbs to plant, as I love cooking with fresh cut herbs such as dill, rosemary and basil. 

Would you believe that these plants come in 4 or 6 packs? That made it easier to get more plants and more budget friendly. As you can see our garden is still a work in progress, we would also love to add mulch or river stones around our new flowers and plants. We hope to have our garden ready in a few weeks. For more ideas on how to refresh your garden and home visit your local OSH, I'm sure you will find experts as friendly as Tina and Ash there to help you. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Home of the Circus Trees: Gilroy Gardens

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. *

We are happy to announce our partnership with US Family Guide a site dedicated to family fun  and to kick off our partnership we will soon be visiting a local theme park: Gilroy Gardens and sharing our experience there with you. 

Nestled in the mountains of Gilroy you will find Gilroy Gardens Home of the Circus Trees. It is California's only horticulture-themed amusement park. Ideal for families and garden lovers. It features over 40 rides, beautiful gardens and of course circus trees. There are coasters, carousels, a monarch butterfly garden, paddleboat and hot-air balloon simulated ride. There is also an amphitheater where you can see Super WHY live and they also have a water oasis for you to cool down.

Would you like to save $20 OFF Weekday (Monday-Friday) General Admission to Gilroy Gardens? Simply use this exclusive coupon:

Can't wait to have a day full of fun at Gilroy Gardens, I hope you visit it too!