WW: 5 Places to Visit

List 5 places you want to visit.

  1. This may seem a little strange, but I want to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, the concentration camp in Poland that Anne Frank was a prisoner at, Bergen-Belsen in Germany where she died, as well as her home in Amsterdam. Back story as to how this got on the list … I first read Diary of a Young Girl in high school. At the same time, I read Jesus Freak and read about the persecution of Christians around the globe. I know it isn’t a happy place, but her story and the history of the Jewish people during World War 2 is something I enjoy reading about, specifically about Jews in hiding during the Holocaust.
  2. England – I know we can trace my family somehow to England, plus with all the rich history there, who wouldn’t want to visit it at some point in their life? Plus, its the home of Doctor Who and Harry Potter – just another plus.
  3. I’m a Disney fan so I can’t have a proper list without having the various Disney parks on it. The only ones I’ve visited are Disneyland and California Adventure, so Disneyworld will probably come first, but I’d like to be able to visit at least one park outside the US as well.
  4. China – going back to that story in #1. A missionary spoke at my church one time about a trip she had taken where they smuggled bibles into communist China. In high school, one of the jobs I saw myself doing in the future was being a missionary to China specifically. I was kind of bummed that I wasn’t able to join my friends in college when they had the opportunity to go, but visiting a country that has been on my mind since high school seems appropriate.
  5. I toss around this 5 spot to a few different places. Right now its a toss-up between Italy (think of all the wine and spaghetti!) and Australia (my parents live there right now). Another toss-up idea is actually visiting all 50 states, especially Florida, Hawaii, Washington DC, and New York, as well as places I’ve previously lived when I was like 1 years old (Washington and Idaho).

What about you? If you could go anywhere, where would you most want to visit?


Sunday Update: 2/21

Last week: 192.6
This week: 191.2
Difference: – 1.4

So my current program is SparkPeople’s 5K Your Way Walk/Jog Challenge. I will admit I am not quite following it complete, or at least not last week, but I am following their walk/jog days. I’ll share my walk/jog combo each day I complete it, along with cross-train or cardio I do on other days.

Sunday: rest

Monday: Walk 4 minutes, jog 1 minute, repeat 4 times (total 25 minutes)
~ I ended up doing 28 minutes with a cooldown after for a distance of 1.7 miles

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: Walk for minutes, jog 1 minute, repeat 4 times (total 25 minutes)
~ I ended up doing 28 minutes with a cooldown after for a distance of 1.75 miles

Friday: rest

Saturday: Walk 4 minutes, jog 1 minute, repeat 5 times (total 30 minutes)
~ I ended up doing 25 minutes with a cooldown after for a distance of 2.16 miles

Photo a Day:

The photo with the most overwhelming likes (taking first place for the year across all platforms and Facebook alone) is the Yellow & Blue shot in the middle.

Friday 5: Desktop Pictures

As I’m sure none of you are aware (unless you are in my house, then that’s creepy), my desktop walpaper is actually a cycle of different photos I have taken that I was really drawn to for one reason or another and I try to add to it each year.

Anyways, since I can’t think of anything else to share this week, you get to see my 5 favorite photos currently in the que …

The first two are of roses, which makes since as flowers are one of my favorite things to photograph. The one with the bee was taken from the flower garden by the state capital in Sacramento, CA. The red one was taken from my backayrd (when my in-laws still occupied the house).

The third one is also from the backyard, of a dragonfly who was visiting the pond.

The fourth one is of a sunset looking downstream of the camp I have worked at for the past 5 summers. Sunsets on the lake are always so beautiful!

And it wouldn’t be a proper desktop slideshow without seeing at least one of my kitties. Sarabi seems to be the one I photograph the most. I mean, how can you resist her cuteness?

WW: My inspiration

Today’s prompt: Write about someone who inspires you.

This is a hard one. I am inspired by multiple people for different reasons.

There are fictional characters like Belle in Beauty and the Beast who is able to look past the outward shell of the beast and learn to love him regardless. Or there’s Cinderella who, like myself, tries to find a way to keep dreaming and living no matter how hard live seems with the hope that one day it will get better.

There are also famous people I will never meet such as Helen Keller who overcame all odds and learned to communicate in a strange room, or Anne Frank who was trying to live a ‘normal’ life while in hiding and wrote about her time without knowledge of how famous her life would become after her death. I mean, all she did was what would seem normal to us now – she kept a diary about what she was experiencing as life unfolded. So many of us do a journal, be it in a book like Anne, or online like this blog. The environment may be different from the US, but it’d similar if we were in the Middle East. I think the reason her life became so famous is that it is (I think) one of the few remnents of Jews in hiding during WWII and what their life was like, so it opens the eyes of those of us who have never experienced that type of environment to show us life goes on.

There are also family members that inspire me. Both my maternal grandfathers would be on the list – my mom’s dad, SFC Charles Alexander Jones, died in Vietnam during the war, fighting for something he believed in – my mom’s step-dad, SGM Donald “Roy” Sampley, died about a year ago after battling stage 4 prostate cancer for many years. As his obituary says:

“He refused to take the doctors’ suggestion to “go home, buy a recliner, and wait to die.” Instead he fought valiantly, never complaining, refusing to give in or let cancer get the best of him. He believed you had to think positively and trust in God. It was this positive and spirited attitude that the doctors attributed to keeping him alive through all the years of treatments, sicknesses, and spread of the disease…Roy continued to share his smile and positivity until his last day on this earth…His heart was bigger than his body could contain. Sarge Sampley was the biggest little man we knew; a true giant among men.”

There are other family and friends who inspire me through their stories of struggle and love – even my husband inspires me despite his struggle with his mental issues. Every day I find another source of inspiration, be a story someone shares or a picture or song that touches me. I think if we were to look at the definition of the word inspiration, then it’d be hard to go through life without finding something that had inspired us that day to keep living. I mean, think about it – is there someone or something that inspired you today? Chances are your answer would be yes. It may be  hard to find some days, but its there. I think when we stop seeing those moments of inspiration is when we take our own life, cause that is when it seems as though life will never get better.

What about you? What insipration have you found today?

Sunday Update: A Day Late

My apologies to you – it seems my mind is elsewhere as I have missed two blog posts this past week. Never fear, it is only a temporary setback.

Last week: 192
This week: 192.6Difference: +0.6

So, do to financial reasons, I am without my gym this month. This means all workouts are done at home or outside, not inside where there are machines, lots of weights, and a pool. As a result, I don’t do as much exercise. I’m not sure why, but without the ability to access a gym, my exercise plans go out the window. Well, that will have to change, as I have found a local race I haven’t entered yet –Capital City Classic.

The race offers three distances – 5K, 10K, and 10-mile, along with a kids race. The race takes place in May, but there is an early discount deadline of April 5th.

In the past (as is evident by this month), I have great ambitions, but then get side-tracked and fall off the wagon. Well, there’s incentive to stay on somehow this race. Due to past tendencies, hubby will not allow me to pay for the race unless I show I can stop this spiral I’m in.

So, this is my commitment to you, the reader, and my husband – starting this week (Feb 14) I pledge to do 3 days of exercise a week, be it weights or cardio. I think if I can do that for the next 6 weeks or so, then I will have earned the race. Wish me luck!

In regards to last week – I only had one day in which hubby and I did some casual biking around the neighborhood.

Not posting daily (obviously) for two reasons – 1) I’m lazy and have no inspiration for the prompt; 2) I’m trying to make sure my photos are somewhat creative and have thought into them.

The one with the most likes on Facebook and overall is “I ate here” while the one with the most likes on Instagram is “A pet”. Which was your favorite this week?

Friday 5: Food I Eat

For this weeks Friday 5, I’m going to share my 5 most eaten foods in 5 categories. And no, not all of it will be healthy

Breakfast – at home or on the go if its a work day

1. When I’m not working, cereal is what will most likely be consumed. The type of cereal varies from Special K chocolate to Lucky Charms, Raisin Bran to Golden Grahams. I do have a mix of healthy and sugary, that way I can satisfy any craving I have that morning.
2. Muffins are nice and quick on the run food when I work. Chocolate chip or banana nut w/ chocolate chips are my two top flavors.

3. Another fast on-the-go food for work days is a breakfast sandwich, either frozen from Jimmy Dean’s or Special K, or bought from Starbucks if I have extra money to spend on my card. My go to flavor for this is bacon/ham with egg and cheese.

4. Cinnamon raisin bagel w/ butter or whole wheat English Muffin w/ grape jelly is another option for breakfast.

5. My last breakfast consumed doesn’t actually contain food, and its those rare days where I am so busy once I get to work, I just drink my chosen source of caffeine and am thankful when lunch comes around. My most common source of caffeine on any given day is coffee, but an occasional Mtn Dew kickstart is thrown in.

Lunch – this is assuming I’m not too busy at work and forget to eat

1. Frozen entrees – go-to flavors include chicken teriyaki, pasta w/ tomato sauce or meatloaf.

2. Pasta salad – this is something I hand-make and lasts for at least a week. Rotini pasta, black olives, mushrooms, red onions, celery, broccoli, carrots, diced ham, sweet baby pickles, peas, maybe beans, bell pepper, finished with grated parmesean/asiago cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

3. Sandwich or wrap – sandwich uses whole wheat bread, wrap uses garden veggie – the inside is the same. Mayo, honey mustard, pesto (if I’m eating it at home and feeling adventurous), swiss cheese, honey ham or turkey, bacon (another adventurous undertaking for home consumption), onion, cucumber, pepper. Other occasional additions include olives, mushrooms, lettuce, and carrots.

4. Lunchables – usually pizza or cheese/meat/crackers. Takes me back to childhood and having this in my lunch.

5. At home, I also add quesadillas to the list (cheese and salsa in a tortilla).

Dinner – most often cooked meals, not including frozen dishes like pizza

1. Burritos – fajita mix of onion, pepper, mushroom – veggie refried beans – spanish rice – salsa and cheese. Hubby usually makes his own carne asada meat as well.

2. Stir-fry – broccoli, pepper, onion, mushroom, maybe carrot with stir-fry sauce, served over rice.

3. Veggie burgers – as my brother-in-law is vegetarian, we usually use a veggie patty, topped with cheese and  your choice of fixings (tomato, lettuce, pickle, condiments). If hubby is in a cooking mood, mushroom and onion have also been cooked to top the burgers.

4. Soup – hubby most often makes a minestrone/tortilla or cheesy potato.

5. Cheesesteak – your standard sandwich of meat, onion, pepper, and mushroom served with cheese.

Snack – cause you have to have something between meals to tie you over.

1. Double-stuff oreo cookies – my weakness, consumed with a glass of milk.

2. Sliced tomatoes & mozzarella, topped with grated parmesean cheese and balsamic vinegar/olive oil – this could also be a lunch if I’m at home. Not something I have often as tomatoes aren’t always the best in the store, but when I do get it, mmmm…

3. Chocolate – who doesn’t like chocolate? Be it a candy bar or just mini-size candy around the house.

4. Pop-tart – strawberry frosted. Not a breakfast treat in my tummy.

5. Granola bar – this also doubles as a snack after workouts sometimes.

Dessert – something to finish off  your day

1. Ice cream w/ chocolate syrup – flavor doesn’t matter, but its usually sherbet or chocolate-based.

2. Milkshakes – vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup added in.

3. Chocolate cake – if I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll buy a slice of cake from the grocery’s bakery.

4. Strawberry shortcake – sliced strawberries, sweetened, with whip cream, and sometimes angel food cake underneath (though the cake part is optional). If  I’m just having the strawberries and cream, I’ll sometimes drizzle chocolate syrup on top, then use a spoon to eat through the bowl. Not a treat I have often, but still incredibly  yummy when I do.

5. Strawberry/banana smoothie – I’ll sometimes make a smoothie for the next day, and as there’s always extra (cause I make too much), I’ll have some that evening. My smoothies have frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, sherbet, greek yogurt, apple juice, orange juice, and chocolate syrup.

What about you? What favorite foods are on your list?

Sunday Update: Feb 7

First Sunday of the month means there’s a progress picture for you.

Last week: 191.2This week: 192.0
Difference: up 8 lbs


Unfortunately, my gym isn’t available for the month (financial issues). However, the weather is getting warmer, so maybe some more time spent outdoors jogging and biking.

Last week I only did one workout on the treadmill.

I promise – I’ll do more!

Photo a Day
Here’s the collage for last week … Me … So Colorful … Car … Texture

The most liked was Texture (the one of the pizza).


The most liked on Facebook by one was “Landscape” while the one with the most overwhelming likes on Instagram was “Close-up”.