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Monday, May 15, 2017

Beijing

Hey guys hope you are having a great start to your week! I thought I would share some of our pictures from our trip to Beijing. We really lucked out on this trip. Just days before we arrived Beijing had a bad wind storm and horrible pollution. I didn't have high hopes for our trip at all. The storm ended and blew out all of the pollution so we ended up with a gorgeous blue skied days. The picture below is us on the wall and zero filter on it at all. The great wall was something I knew I had to see especially since I lived in China for more than a couple of years. Jay had to push me a little to book this trip because it was a lot of sight seeing and I am much more into beach trips. I am SO glad we did. Seeing the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Great Wall was so interesting both rich with so much history and so many awesome truly unbelievable stories. I still can not understand how they even built this wall. It took them 250 YEARS to complete. Our guide told us it is the longest tomb in the world because so many people died while building it and bodies were built into the wall. CRAZY. 
















Nothing says The Great Wall of China like good ole Burger King afterwards



Here we are in the Forbidden City. This place was huge and so interesting loved hearing about all the emperors and they rules and scandal that went on inside these city walls. 













A little tired at this point lol



 people taking pictures of the kids just par for the course...




Here is a picture of the Terracota Warriors in Xian. After staying in Beijing we jumped on a plane to go and see them. It was awesome such a wild story. A farmer was searching for water in the 70's and FOUND these warrior and the signt of a emperors tomb. Truly insane.




After seeing the warriors we tried their local soup it was delicious! 




Amazing sky on our flight home





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Year of Me.

Hi guys!! We are back from a fun long weekend exploring China and are getting back into the swing of day to day life here in Shanghai. I have tons of fun pictures to share with you from our trip that I will hopefully get posted sometime this week. Today I am talking about the goal that I set for myself at the start of this year which was to make it the year that I focused on my health and getting back into shape also spending more time doing things just for myself. I felt selfish making this my yearly goal but at then end of the day I have been giving all of myself to Motherhood since I became pregnant at 25 . I have nursed all of my children past a year only to then find myself pregnant again. Mama is TIRED. I have no plans of changing my devotion to my children at all but somehow in it all I need to make sure I carve out some time for myself.

Little did I know that 2017 was going to start out by throwing me curve ball after curve ball. First with some stuff with my beautiful nephew then with the loss of a family friend. Finally it seems the storm is settling and I am now feeling emotionally ready to invest this time in myself. SO with that being said it seems that the stars are lining up because one of my old childhood friends who is a personal trainer ( @bodybybriana on instagram if you want to follow her )  messaged me asking if I would like for her to set me up with a workout plan. ummmm YESSS. So I am really going to go all out with this and post my before picture to track my progress. I was going to post my weight but then at the end of the day that doesn't really matter my goal is to feel my best not weight my least. Also I will post some of her workouts if you guys are interested in doing them with me. I will update you in a month and let you know my progress. Fingers crossed I will be Beach ready! Remember to follow @bodybybriana on instagram for daily workout inspo.


Here is my before picture. Not bad but no where were I want to be in terms of being comfortable and happy with MYSELF. My goals are not other goals I just want to be in a place where I feel good in my clothes and in my own skin. My problem areas are my lower stomach ( after 3 sections ) and my saddle bag area on my legs. I would love to tone up my arms are well so I feel better in sleeveless tops.

Todays Leg Workout by @bodybybriana

1. Start with a warmup such as
- Stairs 10x
- Frog Jumps up and back in Hallway
-3 sprints outside
-10 minute jog

Legs -
Circut 1:
1. Single leg step up with a kick back - two dumbbells 8-10 pounds and a sturdy chair/bench/ottonman Do 15 reps each leg
2.Split lunge jumps, no weight 20 reps
3. Plank with single leg raise. The leg raise is more of a pulse, 30 seconds each leg

Circuit 2 :
1. Single leg Lunge off bench, use 8-10 pound dumbbell 12-15 reps per leg. Squeeze butt at the top
2. Over the bench tap backs - Hold one 10lb dumbbell under your chin. 15 reps then repeat with other leg
3. " Frog Booty Raise" . ( on floor or hips hanging off ottoman )

Circuit3:
1. Plie squat wwith 25lb dumbbell ( 15-20 reps )
2. Standing Side leg raises against weight 15 reps each leg
3 Single leg booty lift. Lay on your back ( on the ground ) one heel on the bench, the other leg straight up in the air and lift butt off the ground 20 reps each leg.


You guys Im not asking for much..just you know to KILL IT like Kourtney Kardashian hahaha JK. I will check back with you guys next week to give you an arm workout and let you know how sore I am. Hope you have a great Wednesday!!






Saturday, April 29, 2017

Easy Margarita plus a few things

Its that time again my most favorite season of the year when the days are long and the sun is warm and shining which puts me right in the mood for a nice cool cocktail. Since I now have three kids and attending out door happy hours are not anywhere near relaxing me and Jay have been making drinks at home. A friend of ours here working as a alcohol distributor from Dublin taught us a super simple delicious Margarita recipe that has become our go to.



 picture above is of our finished result ( bowing down to food bloggers it took forever for me to get this photo ) 


Ingredients:

Agave Syrup - 1 part
Four Limes - 2 parts
Tequila - 4 parts

Instructions :

First we cut the limes in half and take all the seeds out of the limes
Next squeeze the lime Juice out of the limes ( We have found that it is easier to use a lime squeezer that you can pick up the next time you are aimlessly strolling the aisles at Home Goods )

Then add the agave syrup to the lime juice

Then lastly we add the tequila and add any garnish that you like ( I enjoy adding a little grapefruit to mine )

And there you have it a perfect cocktail for any occasion.

A couple of things I was to discuss that I saw this week that really caught my eye..




Can we please take a second and give Kourtney K a round of applause. One for not falling into the fake butt trap two for having three kids and looking like this and three for FLAUNTING IT on her 38th Birthday.  I am in between wanting to work super hard and attempt to look like this and throwing in the towel and just have another kid to round out the troops. Kael is begging me for a little brother not sure I am sold. I have always loved the idea of another little boy named " Penn " in our lives..we shall see where life takes us

image via Phillip Van

We are headed to see the Great Wall of China next week. We have been putting this trip off we usually like to leave China when we take trips but we really cant leave China without actually seeing the great wall so off we go. Crossing fingers for clean air and nice temperatures.







Thursday, April 20, 2017

ahhh sweet Visitors

We are just coming off the high of having visitors in town so this week is a little blah without the house being full with the people that we love from home. I have thrown myself into spring cleaning and switching out the kids closets to keep myself busy. Last week was filled with so much fun. My brother and his girlfriend arrived just in time to celebrate my Birthday with me. We decided the only appropriate thing to do was take them down to the bund so they can take in some of Shanghais amazing views.  I quickly realized they both wanted to experience authentic China which was awesome. Being a expat here I am often trying to escape China and find as many western options as possible. So it was fun being a tourist in my own city for the week. We all particularly enjoyed an awesome Art District with some really great graffiti walls  little places to eat and unique art spaces. Another highlight of the trip was a night bike ride through Shanghai and all of its back alleys. I have done this once before and still is my favorite thing I have done since becoming a expat. On this tour the guide takes you down roads you didnt even know existed. You get to see how the Chinese really live their night life and how they relax after a hard days work. Overall we biked 14 miles and all of our butts hurt so bad at the end but it was exhiliarating and something I know none of us will ever forget. The day before they left we celebrated Easter together one great thing Shanghai does is offer really fun brunches around the city always offered are endless cocktails and wayyy too much sugar so a win win for the adults and kids. I LOVED having my brother in town it is so great to be able to show our family how we are living over here and get some actual face to face time instead of just talking over the phone. I am going to dump a bunch of photos on here to try to give you a vision of our week together. Hope you enjoy! 


 Out on The Bund for my Birthday dinner.






We took the kids out of school early this day ( which thrilled them ) and checked out a local watertown.







This was a awesome hipster art district left the kids at home this day and tried some great local food. 

Fun Fact my brother got his blazer custom made here in China just days before Easter #chinaperk



Kaels blazer was made here also 







Easter Sunday Flowers 






here is my brother trying out our scooter and of course little P had to go along for a ride too..


Getting fitted for his custom blazer..


Highlight of the trip the night bike ride...







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