Luxury – A to Z challenge

A to Z challenge letter: L

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Luxury

Luxury to me is not about materialism, but about the jewels of the heart. Even though, I have experienced many heartbreaks. I still hold on to my good memories and I am happy to say I do live a luxurious life. thanks to my upbringing. I did not find out what I’m about to share with you, until I was older. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer when I was little and the doctors only gave him a 2% (if I remember the number correctly) chance of survival. Back then, my family owned a few properties, meaning we were financial stable. not rich I may add. My mum and grandma had a choice to make, which took them less than a second to agree on a decision; they were going to sell it all and fight the cancer battle alongside my grandpa. Sure enough, he made a miraculous recovery and went on to live a fruitful life. Had they chose not to selfless give up their material possessions, I would not have had the chance to get to know the wonderful man my grandpa was. He was a father figure to me and for that I am extremely grateful. I often wonder how I would’ve turned out had he not lived so long. Would I have been spoiled? Well, not that I wasn’t, after all grandparents will always be grandparents, it is their duty to spoil their grandchildren :p. But, would my soul be capable of being so thankful today? I don’t know how the death of my grandpa would’ve affected us then. My mum had a very Faithful upbringing, so I don’t think I would’ve turned out bad, but I do wonder sometimes. Their love for my grandpa and the selfness to come to his aid when they needed him most, are the acts of love in my life that have left a luxurious impact in my heart. They loved him, they saved him, they saved me. Sadly, my grandpa passed away last year, on May 27th, after losing a battle with cancer. He was 85. But he fulfilled his destiny and left an amazing legacy for me to continue.

Luxury isn’t always material possessions, but memories preserved as jewels in your heart.

<3<3<3 Love, Ellie <3<3<3

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Gym class unpreparedness

While I’m home for a visit, I still find time to hit the gym (all the calories found in all the great food here, aren’t going be vanquished on its own). There a lot of classes I like doing, but I had not tried an intense class, until the other day.

My regular class was canceled, because the instructor was ill, so they decided to replace it with a newly introduced class, called Body Shred by Jillian Michaels. If you know Jillian Michaels, you know you’re in for the workout of your life —or death, depends how you want to look at it. As the instructor explained what the class was about, I thought to myself I had at least a few minutes to make a run for it — but, I didn’t, I pay for this gym membership, and I like to get my money’s worth. It is a 30-minute interval workout, that incorporates cardio, strength, and abs. It is very fast and intense. I decided to give it a try and challenge myself.

When I say “intense,” I mean INTENSE. We’re talking about a non-stop workout (you can grab water anytime, but you don’t have much time, so keep this in mind). Obviously, the instructor encourages you to take this at your own pace, and do ‘squats’ if you can’t follow a move, which is good. But as the first 5 minutes went by (they felt like 1 minute), I asked myself what possessed me to stay in the class. I still stayed, I was curious. It felt like it was going faster and faster, and I started to hear grunting (that’s when you know it’s tough). I looked in the mirror in front of me, and somehow everyone was able to keep smiling — I like to think it was because they were in so much pain, their smiles were paralyzed.

It was by the middle of the class, during an abs workout, that my muscles wanted to call it quits. I was so exhausted, I literally crawled to grab a sip of water (more like 20 sips). My body was determined to finish the class (even if it meant losing my courage), but my soul became a prize to be won between the heavens and hell.

I managed to survive, but I lied on the floor like a recently squashed tarantula. My soul was gone, its crying probably open the gates of Hell. But, once the angels saved me and made me snap out of it, I felt like I accomplished one of the most challenging workouts I’ve ever done. I felt really good afterwards, and told myself I would do it again. I do recommend it, you basically do a year worth of workouts in 30 minutes. The first workout will feel like you’d rather throw yourself into a pack of wolves, but I’m telling you, it will feel worthy in the end. I do recommend it!

Oh, and make sure you go to the bathroom before this class. Those tacos you had a few hours before, might make you charge and shoot your classmate behind you.

Of course! The world sort of rules me today!

 

 

© Ellie and My name is Ellie and this is who I am, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Ellie and My name is Ellie and this is who I am, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. In addition, ‘Shares’ on social media may be used, providing full and clear link/credit is added.

Some of my favourite apps

“What? Just ‘some’? You’re a tease.” Yup, I am :D. Here are SOME of my favourite apps. Feel free (they’re literally free) to give them a try! But do so at your own risk. If you end up regretting it, it’s not my fault ;). You can download them on the App Store (Apple) by doing a search and installing.

Social Media:

1) Facebook (now it’s easier to stalk your friends): You can choose to save your password if you want. It’s simple to use and navigate. It’s also convenient if you don’t want to bring your laptop to your bed. I’ve had it for months now and have only experienced minor problems. For example, there have been times when the News Feed wouldn’t load, but a restart of the app would fix it.

2) Pinterest (a.k.a the app you forget you have): I recently created an account on Pinterest and I like it. I’m not sure I’m in love with it,because I forget I have an account all the time. I can see myself using it a lot, whenever I get in a fight with my laptop, though. I’m going to say one thing, it is awesome to have when you need your quick daily dose of Robert Downey Jr and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Language:

1) Duolingo (learning a new language is hard, and so is remembering this name!): I LOVE this app. It is a FREE tool where you can learn a new language. It is a lot of fun, you basically get so into it, you forget you’re learning. I’m learning French now, because I’d like to buy their amazing wine while speaking french, and its grammar is similar to Spanish (I’m fluent). You can also use your built-in microphone for some of the exercises. It’s great practice before you take your skills out in the real world, so you don’t make a fool of myself with the pronunciation. It won’t let you pass if you mispronounce. Hopefully, I will learn fast, or else my French ancestors will come to haunt me.

Games:

1) The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth: Wait, you thought I was going to say ‘Angry Birds’? Yes, I play the game, but it’s not a game I love (this is a list of MY favourite apps, after all). The Hobbit, however, is so amazing, it’s going to be my Valentine’s Day date! That’s how much I love it. It’s a world where you create your own cities, battle orcs (basically retail customers, but more stinky), and gain virtual rewards. I only have one city, but I’m building my own army! It’s great to pass the time, and very addicting. It is free, but if you want to speed things up, you can purchase ‘Mithril’ with REAL money. I don’t buy Mithril, I need to buy real food to live.

Health:

1) 7-minute workout (when it’s too cold to go to the gym): Snowstorm hits! Oh my goodness, how am I going to get to the gym?  Well, you won’t. You’ll use this app to replace your time at the gym (don’t fully replace it, remember you paid for your gym membership). It’s an awesome way to keep active inside your home, when the ice apocalypse prevents you from leaving it. You can do 1 or up to 5 circuits. It’s only 7 minutes! Anyone can do it. I even use it while I watch movies!

2) Nike Training and Running (when 7 minutes is too easy): They’re 2 separate apps, but it is great when you want to challenge yourself. You can download awesome 30-minute workouts. They also have videos linked to it, explaining the different moves. No more excuses! And this is coming from me, the queen of “how am I supposed to workout if I can’t even get to the gym?”

3) Sleep Cycle (a slow way to interrupt your dream with Leo DiCaprio): It’s a smart alarm that stalks you during the night, and determines (by your movements) when it’s a good time to wake up. It is an awesome app. I feel well rested after I wake up. You can even use nature sounds to fall asleep, and your own music to wake up to (pick Enya!). You can change the time phases, too. The most recommended one is 30 minutes. It means, the app will pick the best time to wake you up, within the time to set the alarm. Ever since I’ve used it, I’ve been able to say goodbye to Iron Man during our battle to save the world (he knows now when I’m about to wake up). It’s like Inception, but with your own cliffhanger.

4) Lumosity (your brain wants to be fit, don’t ignore it): This is also one of the apps I’ve recently added. It basically trains your brain using different mind games. You can play on your computer, as well. It is free, but if you want more features, you can buy a membership. I’m getting so much better at the games, it’s incredible! Whether it will work in the long run, I’m not sure, but I’ll let you know!

Movies:

1) Netflix (because TV sucks): No commercials, lots of shows and movies, you can pause and resume whenever you want. That’s it.

Writing:

1) Dictionary.com app (for brain farts/tantrums): Easy access to thousands of words. For an extra charge, you can upgrade to more dictionaries (they gotta make a profit somewhere)

2) WordPress: he he he

 

250744_10150928604318480_677399575_n^^^ Here’s a picture of a penguin trying to hypnotize you.

Of course! The world doesn’t rule me today!