Monday, September 29, 2014

Tiger Balm and how Epsom salt soaks work

Well, there's not a lot going on lately. I pulled two muscles: a lat. during my belt test, and then the hamstring on my other leg during a workout on Tuesday as it tried to compensate for the other pulled muscle. The human body is so complicated. I've been using a foam roller, a tennis ball, stretching, and Tiger Balm.
I've missed almost a week of Kung Fu and haven't been running either. I've gone on some long walks with the dogs, but even that hurts. I hate not being able to exercise. It makes me feel out of sorts and sluggish. I guess I have to do it though, or I'll make things worse. Tonight, hopefully a bath in Epsom salts will help. Do you know how an Epsom salt soak works?

According to the Livestrong website (, Epsom salts contain magnesium, and magnesium can be absorbed through the skin. As you soak, the magnesium enters the body helping to relax your muscles and flush lactic acid.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thinking about a steam mop?

I have recently bought a steam mop. I bought one because:
  • No chemicals (This is better for me and for my dogs, who are always on the floor.)
  • No more buying soaps, so I'm using less resources even with the electricity (I think). 
  • The steam kills most bacteria.
After only one use, I really like it, and I only spent £21.
What I like:
  • No chemicals (as I said)
  • Makes the floor really shiny with very few or no streaks (see below).
  • I can mop almost my entire house on just one tank of water.
  • The water heats in only 60 seconds.
  • It picks up lots of dirt (see below)
  • The pads are machine washable

This area was covered in muddy paw prints.
What I don't like:
  • It takes longer than a traditional mop (but I can live with that)
  • The cord limits use as you have to unplug and change outlets while you move.
  • You have to vacuum/sweep the floors very well because the mop wil just push around hair and large dust particles. This didn't bother me so much either. I just pushed everything to one area and used a tissue to "mop" it up. No biggie. A traditional mop can do the same.

So far so good. Do you have one?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall is here!

First, I passed my Kung Fu belt test! Yay!! Second, I can't believe the number of leaves on the ground already. Some trees are even completely naked already! Temperatures are dropping...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kung Fu Belt Test and Seminar This Weekend

I've been really busy the past several months training for my Yee Cup Jr. belt test in Hung Ga. The test was yesterday, followed by a really good seminar by our SiGung. I don't know if I passed yet, but I feel good about my performance. As with any test, I do feel like it could have been better (I still have lots to learn!), but I also feel like it was one of my best. I hope to get the results soon!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scottish Referendum - Opinions Around the City - In Pictures

As many of you know, today voting polls across Scotland have opened to decide the future of Scotland and the UK. Will Scotland become an independent country? We'll know tomorrow. However, I'm not here to discuss my opinions. I did not grow up in Scotland, and I don't feel like living here for 2 years really qualifies me to have an in-depth discussion about the topic. What I would like to do is to provide a look around the city for those who don't live in Scotland. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well enough to walk downtown where some of the tents and more vocal advocators are set up. I took pictures as I encountered things and kept the ones that were decent (not blurry, easy to read, not loads of people in them, not crooked..etc.), so any pattern you may think you see... does not exist. :o)   Enjoy.

In windows

We always get stuff in the mail.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why me?


My belt test is in less than a week, and I have managed to get sore hips (got kicked), a sliced finger tip (stupid knife won't slice an onion but will slice a finger), and a COLD. I think I hit the bone with the sliced finger. I suppose that was better than slicing the skin right off (Too much? Sorry.). I've been keeping it clean, sterilized, and closed with butterfly strips. I need to use my fingers during my test. I also need to breathe, but it's not looking good. I get more and more stopped up each day. I've been taking Echinicea. It's supposed to be a natural way to fight colds.

I can't exactly go to training doped up on Sudafed! Cross your fingers, and send prayers and positive thoughts my way please! I'll need it for my test on Sunday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Greece! - Heraklion, Crete - Resort, Horseback Riding, and Food Tour

I know. I've been MIA for a while. Steve and I went on holiday in Crete, and then I had some serious training in Kung Fu and several AWA start-of-the-year activities when we got back. 

We went to Heraklion, Crete, Greece to soak up some sun for a week!

We stayed at Agapi Beach. For the most part, I enjoyed the resort. We stayed in a bungalow, but I would recommend a deluxe room with a sea view (We showered there on the last day because we had to check out of our room but had a late flight.), because the room seemed nicer. Our room had a bed that was equivalent to sleeping on the floor. Even Steve couldn't sleep, and he can usually sleep anywhere! Also, it was really hot in the room. We could only control the fan speed of the air-con, but not the temperature. The sea view room in the main hotel allowed for control of both, and it was supposedly a step down from our bungalow! Oh, and the toilet NEVER stopped running. Anyway, let's talk about good things.

The beach was really nice. Take a look!

There were olive trees everywhere!

But unfortunately, this (below) was right outside of our room. From our balcony, we stared at the bright, red, lighted sign. I told Steve that I felt like I was sleeping in the red light district. Right, right! No more complaining!
This was the poolside bar and snack area. We spent some time here because we didn't want to sunburn.

But every day after lunch, our favorite thing to do was to have coffee at the beach bar where we could relax while watching the waves... and the people. :o)

This is what I saw while drinking my coffee. So nice. :)

Steve was so sweet. He took me down to the beach before dinner because I wanted to watch the sunset one evening.
It was beautiful! You should always take time to appreciate everyday things. I feel like it's in the normal, that the greatest beauty is often overlooked.

The resort had shows at night. We enjoy the shows, even if it's lip syncing! Steve and I are easily amused and appreciate the efforts of others. One night was traditional dancing. That was fun. I even got up and danced!

Horseback Riding 

For Steve's birthday, we decided to go horseback riding. He's never been on a horse, and he was really looking forward to it. We went to Hersonissos Horseback riding (link). We went with the evening tour that included a ride up and down the mountain, and then a BBQ after.

Steve and I with my horse.

Steve and one of the horses he rode. They had him switch a few times.

I had to wear my pink trainers because I didn't have room to pack many shoes. We didn't check any luggage.
This was the view from the top of the hill where we took a break.
At the BBQ, where we had really good food prepared by the owner and his sister, they brought a cake out for Steve. They sang "Happy Birthday" to him in English, and then they sang in Russian because many of the guests were Russian. It was so fun!

Steve was a good sport!
And I tried to make him feel better. hehe. :o)

Saying goodnight to the horses!

Cretan Paths - Food and City Tour of Heraklion

We took another day to tour Heraklion. We went with a company called Cretan Paths (link). They picked us up at Agapi (just us), and George explained the history of the island on the way to the city. We started with coffee tasting. They heated the espresso in sand, which evenly distributes the temperature.

Then, we went to a bakery. The owner showed us around, explained the different baking processes, and gave us a few things to taste. I didn't get any pictures there because we were busy chatting and enjoying the food! After that, we headed to a small shop for cheese and olive tasting. Everything was SO GOOD.
We walked around the city to see some of the churches.
Below is Lion Square in Heraklion, and it's packed with tourists. The fountain was the first structure to pipe water into the city. They've restored it.

Our last stop before lunch was to the harbor. The street you see below is the 25th of August Street. It was named after the date in 1898 when Turkish fanatics burned homes and massacred many people.

At the end of the 25th of August street is the old harbor.
You can see parts of the wall that was built around Heraklion to protect them from invasions (below), and the arches you see to the left are where the ships were built.
We also visited a nut shop and an herb shop! Both were really neat and informative. Then, we had lunch at a small place where the head chef explained each of the dishes to us. The food was very, very good! To conclude a great trip, here are the goodies I came home with from our tour!