Sharing My Workout Playlist

I’m often asked what I do to keep in shape.  I jog quite a bit but the elliptical has sort of become my new obsession.

The younger me was more into team sports. I was an avid netball player and played for the Cayman Islands national team as a teenager and adult (I’ve played as recently as last July (on home turf in a tri-series against Canada).  However, in the last five years or so I’ve gained a liking for solo sporting activities like the gym and jogging outdoors.  With my hectic work schedule I find it more convenient to work out on my own because I can’t be as committed with group activities.  At this stage in my career my job comes first so sporting activities are secondary.  Of course, maintaining good health and fitness levels are very important to me so in no way would I jeopardise my health for a paycheck.  Working out solo provides a better opportunity to stay fit without letting down anyone (except maybe myself occasionally, and I know I can handle it).

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Since moving to Hong Kong I haven’t jogged outdoors because frankly I don’t know the running/jogging paths in my area.  So I workout at one of the multitude of gyms on offer in HK.  To help pass the time I often listen to music or catch up on my favourite Netflix shows or watch YouTube.  When I do listen to music it is highly likely that the below 15 songs are on high rotation.  Several of the songs are not new but they still know how to move me.  I am a practicing Christian so I will always listen to something wholesome.  Not everyone will like or agree with my list but this is what I like.

  1. Tell the Devil No Not Today – Hillsong UNITED

  2. So Won’t He Do It – Koryn Hawthorne

  3. Tell The World – Lecrae ft. Mali Music

  4. I’ll Find You – Lecrae ft. Tori Kelly

  5. My Life – The Walls Group

  6. I Luh God – Erica Campbell

  7. You Say – Lauren Daigle

  8. Fill Me Up – Tasha Cobb Leonard

  9. GEI – Hang On ft. Kiera Sheard

  10. Trust in You – Lauren Daigle

  11. Hills and Valleys – Tauren Wells

  12. My Prayer (Yahweh) – CalledOut Musicills and Valleys – Tauren Wells

  13. The Way You Love Me – Eris Ford

  14. Control – Tenth Avenue North

  15. I just need U. – TobyMac

What’s on your workout playlist? Are any of these songs on it?

My Wash Day Routine

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The above photos are of my freshly washed hair after applying Ecostyler gel. Below is a video about my current wash day hair routine. In it I mention all of the products I use on wash day. My wash and go in the photos above was achieved after completing my entire wash day process of shampooing, applying a protein treatment and moisturising treatment (rinsing where necessary of course), then completing the cleansing process with a conditioner. I would then style with a leave-in treatment, argan oil and ecostyler gel. The entire process usually takes between 1.5 to 2 hours (depending on how ambitious/distracted I’m feeling that day).

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

A few years ago whilst doing a self check exam at home I discovered a small lump in one of my breasts. Thankfully it was tender to the touch so that was a sign that there was likely no reason to worry (my doc says worrisome lumps are usually painless). I immediately had both a mammogram and a scan done. Both confirmed that the lump is a cyst and in fact I have a couple smaller ones in both breasts. Thankfully cysts are harmless (or so I’m advised) but as a precautionary measure I have my breasts checked every year or 18 months. I’m never complacent about my health and you shouldn’t be either. Early detection of breast cancer (and probably most other cancers) have saved lives. So what are you waiting for? Go get those tatas checked. There’re 9 days remaining for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a lot of clinics are offering free or discounted mammograms, so there’s really no excuse to not have one done.

Review: Picada – a taste of Latin America in HK

I stumbled upon Picada whilst taking a leisurely walk around Central with my other half one Sunday afternoon.  I was enticed by the pork-belly one of several main course listed on the sample menu on the street corner outside of the restaurant.  I vowed to return for dinner later once I’d worked up an appetite after sightseeing.

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This pan-Latin restaurant has brought the flavours of South and Central America to Hong Kong.  Picado is being touted Hong Kong’s first pan-Latin restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace.  I didn’t get the chance to sit on the terrace but inside of the restaurant is beautiful and welcoming.  I especially loved the colourful decor.  The service was excellent.  Our waitress was warm and friendly and even recommended a main course that we enjoyed.

For starters we ordered the Colombian shrimp ceviche and the pork belly (which is actually a side dish but we chose to have it as a starter), the 3 duck rice as our main and a chocolate smoothie and cranberry juice to wash it all down.  Unfortunately we couldn’t test the other drinks because both of us are just getting over a cold.

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The shrimp ceviche was served in a tall wine glass.  It was filled with blanched shrimp  in salsa ‘rosada dressing’ onions , coriander, lime juice and plantain chips.

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My only complaint is that the pork belly was a little bland.  It was not as flavoured as I had expected but everything else was scrumptious.  I would definitely visit again, for food or just to try the drinks.

How I Apply Liquid Lipstick

I love bold lipsticks.  I used to shy away from bold lip colours but I was only being cautious because bold lipsticks tended to bleed and get all over my teeth and I couldn’t be bothered with the constant reapplying and having to be careful when I eat and drink.  Lip primers and lip liners are a must when applying bold lip colours.

In this video I share how I apply my lipstick in three easy steps.  I’m getting the hang of it so, I’ll update you in a few months or so.

My Summer reading list

I’ve always been an avid reader. As a child I would visit the library weekly and leave with 10 books at times and I often read all of them within a week or two.

Fast forward to adulthood and I struggle to complete one book within a quarter.  I often feel like I’m missing out on so many great books but have so little time to read any.  Also given that I have a career that requires me to do a lot of reading on a daily basis I find that outside of work it’s rather difficult to muster up the interest to read anything I don’t have to read.  I’m working on reading more.  

Thankfully travelling provides me an opportunity to do so. When I travel I try to take at least one book with me.  I’m heading to Thailand soon and will be there for a week so I’ve decided to pack a few options, some of which have been recommended by friends or other bloggers.  I’ve listed them below and will let you know how it goes.

 

1. Slay in your lane

2. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

3. The Family Lawyer by James Patterson

4. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel, PhD

I Seoul U

My first trip outside of Hong Kong (besides Macau) was to South Korea.  I wanted to go somewhere in Asia that most Westerners don’t seem to frequent.  South Korea was an obvious and easy choice.  It is a four hour direct flight from Hong Kong International Airport.

So I hopped onto the red eye early one Saturday morning and arrived in Seoul just in time for breakfast.  My hotel didn’t allow check in until 2pm and it was full to occupancy so early check-in wasn’t possible.  Instead of hanging around the hotel until I could check in I left my carry-on suitcase in the hotel’s storage room and went on a jaunt around the city.

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Its easy to get around Seoul by metro (or underground/tube/subway/MTR – whatever you know it as).  Being familiar with the Tube in London, England, the Subway in New York and the MTR in Hong Kong, made it very easy to navigate the metro in Seoul.  In fact, that was my transportation to and from my hotel.

Below are the top 5 things I did in Seoul.

1. Take the DMZ Tour

DMZ stands for the De-Militarized Zone.

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The tour included a stop at the Third Infiltration Tunnel where you learn about the history between North and South Korea, a stop at the Gyeongui Railway Transit Office (located in the DMZ area) to see where athletes who competed in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongyang took the train to Pyeongyang.

2. Visit the castles

If you would like to tour the castles don’t go on a Monday.  I stopped by the Changdeokgung Palace but they were all closed because it was Monday.  I was leaving the following day so I didn’t have time to go back.  I did manage to take some photos on the common grounds at the entrances to the castles.

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3. Trek  up the to the N Seoul Tower

You can take a bus up the hill to N Seoul Tower but if you’re feeling adventurous then get there by trekking through Namsan Park.  After about 30 minutes of walking you might question your life choices but the views across Seoul are so breathtaking that you will quickly forget how many steps it took to get to the top.

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By the way, I wouldn’t suggest buying a tour.  I bought one but missed the memo that I needed to confirm it at least three days before the tour otherwise I would forfeit my spot and money.  Thankfully its a nominal amount.  I still wanted to visit the tower so, I found my way there.

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4. Visit the markets

Like most major Asian cities Seoul has its share or markets which sell everything you can think of.  From clothing to footwear, accessories and food.  The markets I visited were Namdaemun Market and Kwangjang Market.

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5. Take in the sights and smells of street food market on Myeongdong Street 

Myeondong Street Market is on a pedestrian only street with dozens of food vendors lined along it.  There’s everything on offer, lots of meet for the meat lover and sweet treats for the sweet tooth.  There are also conventional restaurants littered throughout the area if like me, you have an unadventurous palette.

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I would love to visit South Korea again but a different city, just to experience somewhere new.  The people in Seoul were warm and no one seemed intrigued or took any sneaky photos (of course they might have and I just didn’t notice).  I would definitely visit South Korea again.  There’s so much to see and a weekend trip is only a taster.

Have you ever visited Seoul or would you like to visit?

 

Big Chop No. 2

I first big chopped in March 2012 whilst living in London, England.  For months I had been contemplating taking the plunge back to my natural hair texture when suddenly on 12 March 2012 I woke up around 6 AM and began to trim every relaxed strand on my head, which was almost the entire length of my hair save for the 1 to 1.5 inches of new growth I had that had not yet met its death at the hand of a hair relaxer.

Most people whom I’ve told that story to often ask if I had a Britney Spears moment, you know, Britney’s 2012 meltdown which, is by the way, not a laughing matter (and in no way would I make light of of the singer’s unfortunate moment in the spotlight).  No, I wouldn’t compare my first big chop to that particular moment. I didn’t have a meltdown or breakdown.  I simply wanted to be freed of my thin, frail, damaged relaxed hair.

The moment all of my relaxed hair was gone was I felt liberated, exhilarated yet frightened all at once.  I was anxious to see what my hair texture was like and whether it would turn out like the YouTubers whose natural hair videos I had become fixated on.

534100_10150588484242134_639334589_nFor the next six years I would loyally continue to wear my natural hair.  However, in my profession as a corporate commercial litigation lawyer afros and kinky-curls are not highly accepted.  The drawback throughout this time is that I would wear my hair in a stretched state and almost always in a bun (high or low) or as my hair grew, a ponytail.  With a busy schedule, the hair dryer and flat iron became my best friends on ‘wash day’ but soon I started to notice the harsh side effects – dry damaged ends that won’t revert to its natural kinky-curly state.

So around February 2018 I cut about 1 inch off.  I wore kinky twist extensions for about six weeks and when I took that style down I cut another inch or two off.  I then wore rope twist extensions for another six weeks and trimmed another two inches or so after the take down.

A few weeks after that I wanted to feel that liberating feeling I experienced in 2012 so one evening I took a razor and cut the remaining straight/heat-damaged ends.  A razor was easier than a scissors and didn’t leave the cut blunt like a scissor would.

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Have you ever cut your hair in a spur of the moment?