Thursday, July 25, 2013

You might remember this face if you've been reading my blog for a while. Well, he's coming to Berlin again!

Excuse my sneeze. ;) Let the good times roll!

In a few days . . .

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hey guys, what's up?

Today is gonna be a bit more eventful than the other days I've had (or shall I say social). I'm meeting up with my friend Cristina and then heading over to a drawing class later in the evening with my friend David. A bit nervous because he's an amazing artist and because I haven't had practice in a while. I'm pretty sure the last thing I drew was an agitated ice cream cone . . . [nervous laughter]

Anyway, today I share with you a quick breakfast idea/recipe!

It's red berry season here in Germany. I love me some berries and I thought I would take full advantage of the fact that they are growing in the garden.

Johannis Berries and Raspberries

There were only a few raspberries so I ate them pretty quickly, but the Johannis berries (do they have a different name in English?) were a bit tart so I decided to mix them in something instead.

Behold, my bowl of oats!

Quick and Healthy Red Oats
Time: ~8 minutes (including cutting and pitting cherries)

1/3 - 1/2 cup dry oats
3/4 cup soy milk (or milk of choice)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
1 Tsp Cinnamon
Johannis Berries
Honey (optional and to taste)

Cook the oats in the milk, either on the stove (5 minutes to heat - stir occasionally) or by microwave (1 min 45 sec - 2 min). Stir and let sit while you cut/pit.
Put all ingredients in the bowl, fruits on top. Mix and enjoy!

You can do an overnight oats version which is what I did for Oli today. Just let your oats sit in the milk in a covered container overnight. I also added half a banana and protein powder so it'd hold him over longer. If you let it sit overnight, it'll absorb the liquid, and you'll have breakfast waiting for you in the morning!

Super simple, super quick, and super healthy! I did this two days in a row. It's also really great to change up the ingredients as well (maybe throw in a few chopped nuts?)

Anyway, happy Tuesday!

Quickie Breakfast!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A lot of you guys know that I am a true city girl. I realized this at a young age when I was playing with a soccer ball in Japan. I was waiting for my relatives to finish talking when I kicked the ball on what I thought was a patch of grass. I went to get it. Naturally it ended up being a rice field, and because I had never seen one in my life nor did I think there would be one next to my aunt's house, I fell right in and came out covered in mud.

Let's face it: I know tall buildings, public transportation, and I am very comfortable in crowds and the sound of the car alarm going off in the morning (super not fun, but it happens).

Well I decided to dip my feet into the pool of the unknown. This my friends, is what I call, "The Country Bike Ride to the Lake a Few Villages Over". Some of you may or may not know, I learned how to ride a bike for the first time last year, and I relearned again this Spring. So going 40 km for me is quite a big deal!

Bike Trip to the Lake

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hey guys, I wanted to talk about emotions today. I know, it sounds like the intro to some kids show on the Disney Channel, but hear me out.

In order to live a healthy life, I think we all need to find balance and peace in our mind. That means not letting our thoughts affect us negatively, and not letting those thoughts turn into action. It happens sometimes. I admit it, the reason why I felt I needed to write this now is because it happened this morning. It was not very early but I was coughing in my sleep for half of the morning and just felt powerless and weak. I had to get up and go somewhere with Oli, but it just seemed like there was no time, and we always end up rushing for the bus (buses are infrequent in the area we live, and trains as well). At that point, I snapped. It wasn't even about the buses or rushing to get somewhere, it was a trigger for some problems I've been experiencing as of late, mainly with my visa, financial situations, etc.

Now as I sit here writing this with a level head, I notice that I do this often. When there are problems buried inside of me, they come out, all at once, in a very frustrated manner. And I tend to push people away despite them wanting to help, because I hate admitting the fact that I'm not perfect, and I am obsessed with not letting that show. At the end of it all, I say things I don't mean and I feel even worse about myself.

If this sounds familiar to you, or if you have dealt with similar situations where you let negativity get the best of you, then you know this feeling of stupidity and utter remorse that comes after letting it out.

It sucks.

But it's okay because it happens to everyone and it's part of being human. Also, feel better because at least it means you care. If you didn't care, if these problems weren't bothering you, if you didn't want to change something about it, then you're not living. So thank god you're living.

I'm constantly trying to improve myself, and that means trying not to think every bad thing will lead to something worse. It's unhealthy to think this way, and it really shows. People can sense when someone is not at their best. The color in their skin is dull, their laughter is sparse, and overall their enthusiasm to do things is gone. I know when I'm feeling down, I don't even want to cook sometimes! That's horrible, because it's actually one of the things that would make me feel better.

The best thing to do is understand the issue and try to work on it, but not dwell. Always think that if you're down, you can go up. There's probably more options than you think you have. I know these are just nice words and sometimes it all sounds like you've heard it before. Trust me, you have. You've probably told yourself many times what I'm telling you right now and it hasn't worked. But why hasn't it worked?

Because you didn't allow yourself to think that it could.

Negativity is not an instant fix and when it's gone, it doesn't mean it's gone forever. Feeling bad happens because bad things happen, and sometimes all at once. But it doesn't mean it will always be that way, and the way you cope with it changes how you will feel when it's all over.

I want change for myself. I want to feel good about myself and what I have because I have these things for a reason. I'm worth feeling good about myself and my life, and I think everyone is worthy of it too.

Now next time you're feeling down, ask yourself: would you rather assume the worst or believe that you can only become your best?

Negative to Positive

Thursday, July 18, 2013

There is a phrase in Japan that basically goes, "Only stupid people get sick in the Summer." Well then, I must be the definition of stupid, because I get sick EVERY Summer without fail. And the problem is, there are always signs, and I ignore them. I had a weird throat thing (it didn't hurt but I was coughing in a strange harsh way periodically) for 3 days before I actually got sick. Now I know I need to stop ignoring what my body is telling me, and just take it easy.

On that note, I am lying in bed doing absolutely nothing but drinking tea and watching Youtube and I thought, "Oh Gee, what a perfect excuse to blog about my favorite Youtubers!"

So let's just say that because my blog is on the topic of all things that incorporate health and food and exercise and not-so-sneaky-indulgences, I'd keep the youtube channels on that track.

My favorite, absolute FAVORITE, channel for exercise is BeFit.

When I really started to get into exercise a couple of years ago, I was basically saved by two things: ExerciseTV (an on-demand channel with exercise videos that does not exist anymore unfortunately) and exercise videos on Youtube. I mean, when you're in school, it can be hard to go to a gym because of time and money restraints. BeFit is amazing because they have categories for all different kinds of workouts, whether it be strength training, pilates, yoga, dance, cardio, etc., and you can access it anywhere/anytime as long as you have internet connection!
I'm quite partial to the Jillian Michaels, Scott Herman, or occasional Denise Austin videos on this channel, but I recommend any of them.

I also maybe a month or so ago discovered Blogilates.

Cassey Ho is the instructor in all the blogilates videos and she's amazing! I don't know how she manages to talk through everything, she's a wonderment. She does both pilates as well as some cardio videos.
Pilates I think is one of the best ways to tone your body. I usually incorporate shorter pilates exercises into my routine of cardio and strength training. The movements are really focused on form (which is great because sometimes when you do cardio, you're so focused on keeping up, form can be neglected) and strengthening the different parts of your body. Cassey also does a segment called Cheap Clean Eats and the food always looks healthy, easy to do, and delicious! I recommend her highly!

As for food, I am obsessed with Ochikeron!

She cooks Japanese food that is both traditional and modern. In every video, she shows the steps so there's no way you mess up because you know exactly what it should look like. I love Japanese food but I never actually learned how it make it at home, so she is my savior!! She also has a really nice kitchen that I would love to have some day. *0*

And of course, Tastemade!

Why you need to check out Tastemade:
-Laura Miller has a raw vegan category. I wasn't big on her at first, but somehow now I adore her.
-The guys at Sorted Food have a section there as well, and okay, I hate to admit it but they cook, they're cute, and they're British so . . . do I really need to convince you on that one?
-They have a drinks section. Not alcoholic drinks, but specialty-drinks-from-countries-around-the-world category. Uh-amazing.

Finally, my favorite beauty guru is Clothesencounters.

I've included beauty because what is life if you can't make something beautiful out of yourself and it? Anyway, the reason why I love Jenn is because she doesn't talk to you in a materialistic, you-have-to-have-these-things kind of way, and her personality is very likeable. Also, her aesthetic fits with mine. I really think her videos are great for people who need inspiration or just want to stare at cool clothes (p.s. she is a fellow thrifter)!

Those are generally my top favorites on Youtube. I have many more (especially for beauty), but thought I'd keep it short and simple. Just as a note, I'm not paid to write any of this, I genuinely think these people/channels are great.

Until next time! Tottles!

Getting Sick in the Summer

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle! It's just about evening over here guys . . . I forgot the sun is still up around 9. Crazy sauce!

Anyway, last Saturday was my friend Cherry's birthday! Kids grow up so fast these days . . . =w=

They came up to visit me in Brandenburg, and then what did we do? We picked cherries and made a cherry cake!

The Theme is Cherry

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hey guys, it's me Aya.

I know a lot of you (okay, a few of you) have been wondering where I've been in the blogging world. Well to tell you all the truth, I've had a crazy last few months and I'm just now starting to feel relaxed and settled again.

A few of you may know, I've been having some ups and downs in Berlin. Being foreign and living somewhere is hard (both from a legal point of view and the whole idea of starting over). I've definitely had my fair share of depressing moments, but it's time to get my head out of those rain clouds and live a little! It's SUMMER for cryin' out loud!

I decided to make up for the past few months, I'm just going to photo bomb you guys.

Long time no post! & NY Pics