Fitness Week! – Fundamentals

I call this Fundamentals because what I’ve learned during my long 24 years of life thus far, is that fitness is not about all the gimmicks, quick-losing-but-not-healthy diets, or the soon-they’ll-say-it’s-bad-for-you fads, but it IS about changing up your lifestyle, attitude, and doing the little things to keep you movin’ and groovin‘!

You DON’T need all the fuss and buss of heavy machinery or contraption. My advice is to just go and get out there! God created this wonderful earth, let’s go and enjoy it!

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Here are my list of 5 small ways to be a little healthier:

1. Drink water. Period. (coffee is an exception 😉 )
2. Devote at least 20 minutes everyday devoted to movement at a speed that gets your heart racing.
3. Reach for the fruit.
4. Find an active activity that you like. (ex. hiking, rollerblading, sports, speed-walk-shopping….)
5. Lose the discouraging talk.

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In addition to those 5 ways, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Kenny — the super trainer. I first met him in Bible Study earlier this year and he has truly been such an inspiration — not only about fitness, but about faith as well. He is so energetic and encouraging that even though you’re sweating, groaning, hurting, and tired he will make you laugh and forget it all. Check out his YouTube Channel for encouraging words and that Kenny Smile.

So remember that Half-Dome trip I did this past summer? Well, little did you know, after a grueling 16-mile hike, my friend Kenny decided to make a work-out video on top of the mountain. Just proof that you can work out for 10 minutes, any time and anywhere. And yes, you may see a cameo of me. Just maybe.

Oh, and if you want to get tips on how to “Bring Sexy Back”….

 

Thanks for joining me during Fitness Week! 🙂

1. Fashion
2. Food
3. Fundamentals

P.S. I would love some feedback from you! Would you like to see more series or themed weeks on SWA?

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Half Dome, Yosemite


Have you ever said that you were something, such as a runner, artist, saxophone player, etc. when in actuality the most you’ve you get tired after 2 miles, the most you’ve drawn was a stick figure self portrait, or the most you’ve played was “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the saxophone back in grade school? Yea, been there, done that. You’re more in love with the idea and are continuously striving to be that person, but when it comes down to it, you don’t have a lot of experience. But It’s ok! We all do that!

Yes, this is my relationship with camping and hiking. I actually hike a lot, but since I’ve moved back to the Bay Area, my hikes consist of the same trail because, like most human beings, I am a creature of habit so you can decide whether hiking the same trail over and over again justifies calling myself a hiker.  And as for my camping experience, I would say it starts and stops at my 8th grade Outdoor Ed trip (which was actually intense — backpacking, rock climbing, the whole sha-bang). But I do love the outdoors and I would camp more if I had the opportunity to.

And this past weekend the opportunity came! I finally found a group of wonderful people to actually exercise my love of camping. We were able to snag enough permits for all of us to climb Half Dome!

Half Dome is about a 16 mile hike with a 4800 ft elevation. Yea, you read it. The hike was definitely intense and grueling, but oh so fun! My pictures definitely don’t do it justice since I didn’t want to lug around my nice camera, but hopefully these pics will inspire you to go on this adventure!

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Half Dome Tips:
1. Hiking BootsDON’T buy the cheap ones. You will be grateful for the extra grip. I was really happy with these.
2. Water / Hydration tablets – Average person needs 4 L of water during this hike. It’s helpful if you add to your water Hydration tablets (I used Nuun).
3. When climbing down the cables, go down backwards (like climbing down a ladder).
4. Bring good gloves.
5. Bring lots of snacks to munch and replenish your energy.
6. Train – Make sure you train on the stair master or go on other hikes. Strengthen your legs!
7. Backpack: Make sure your backpack has straps to support your shoulders and back to distribute the weight. I really liked the daypack that I bought from Mountain Hardwear.

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Initially this post was titled “Glamping without the Glam” and focusing more on what to wear while camping, but seeing that my photographer wasn’t with me and I didn’t want to be that weird new girl taking pictures of herself, I decided to veer away from the outfit posts. I hope you don’t mind.

And this is a real question…
How do single unmarried fashion bloggers get awesome pictures during vacation trips?

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Summer Pics – Boden Giveaway winner!

Hello from San Bernadino! I just thought I’d give you a peek into my week away. Yea, I know, it’s basically food….

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photo 2{ Tupelo Junction Cafe, Santa Barbara }

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photo 4{The Lucky Penny, Santa Barbara}

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{The Shop, Santa Barbara}

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{Enjoy Cupcakes, Santa Barbara}

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Have you ever wondered what happens when you get three teachers together? 

Thanks for all who entered the Boden giveaway! The winner is…

Calli Welsch!

I will be contacting you shortly!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m off for more fun in the sun!

Happy Thursday!

How to: Vacation the RIGHT way

I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m on vacation this week in SB and L.A. so there will be a scarcity in blog posts, but do follow me on Instagram (@snippetswithalex) to keep up with my adventures 🙂

You know those vacations when you’re so preoccupied with getting through all the must-do attractions that you end up needing a vacation from your vacation? Well, I know all about that. I used to make a list of all the things I want to do on vacation and end up hopping from one thing to another without any down time. Now I know better. Vacations are supposed to be when you get away from the busyness of life and let your body, mind, and soul rest. It was hard for me to come to terms with the idea that it is OK to just be still and it is OK to not do anything for a change. I used to feel guilty for not being productive. Have you felt that way too?

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I don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to give yourself that time of rest and rejuvenation, so here are my five tidbits on how to have a restful vacation.

1. Sleep in
Yes, the early bird does get the worm, but in this case the rested bird will get the energizer bunny.

2. Do what you want
I am the type of person who likes to do things by myself at times. Did I go see a movie by myself already? Yes. Did I go out to  breakfast with nothing but myself and a good book? Yes. Do I feel good about it? YES.

3. All about the people
Yes, I do like to do things by myself, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want community. This specific trip was for me to visit my good friends and catch up with them — no need to go on any adventures or extravagant activities. Some friends were worried about not being able to keep me “entertained” during my visit. But you know what, heart to heart conversations over coffee does wonder to the soul.

4. Walk to places
If it is reasonable, take the time to walk to your destinations! Sometimes it is hard to slow yourself down because of habit, so force yourself to by walking. Trust me, it definitely helps.

5. It’s okay to splurge a bit within reason.
I’m not saying to blow hundreds of dollars doing who knows what, but I’m saying it’s OK to get the steak if that’s what you’re feeling.

Thanks for reading and hopefully you will have at least one restful vacation this summer. 🙂

Happy Monday!

Oh and the giveay ends TONIGHT at MIDNIGHT.

Don’t forget to enter the $50 to Boden Giveaway!

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Let’s go on a Hike! – Alamere Falls (CA)

 

I’d like to think I live an active lifestyle when I’m not cooped up in my classroom or a coffee shop working. So I would like to use this blog not just to document my outfits, but also my adventures and travel as I continue to explore. 🙂

I’ve lived in the Bay Area for most of my life, yet I am pretty oblivious to the wide variety of adventures that the bay has to offer. It’s kind of a sad thing when a newbie Californian has out-adventured you, a native to the land.

Last weekend, a couple of friends invited me on a hike to Alamere Falls which is a little north of SF. The weather was absolutely glorious — full of sunshine and bright blue skies. I wish you all could have been there with me to see it!

Hike Details:
1. It’s 7.5 mile round trip

2. Slope – The inclination of the hike is very gradual and not very steep at all. It’s a relatively easy hike.

3. TWO DIFFICULT PARTS – Once you reach the end of the trail, you have to climb down some rocks to get to the top of the falls which can be a little tricky. If you want to get down to the beach, you have to conquer another rocky area. It’s not too bad, just be very careful and make sure you’re holding on to solid rock and not slate-like rock that can easily break apart. Going back up may be a challenge, and so bring a male companion who can give you a hand if you have short legs like me. 😛

4. Plants – There is poison oak on the trail so I suggest you wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt if you can.

5. Time: 5 hours (We spent a lot of time eating lunch and exploring the beach, so it could be shorter)

6. The View – (Look for yourself 😛 )

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It’s a beautiful world out there. 🙂

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Some Kona, Hawaii Lovin’ Tips

It has definitely been such a great week being able to spend it in Kona, Hawaii full of rain, sun, ocean, volcanoes, and horses.

Now, if you didn’t already know (but I hope you do), Hawaii is made up of several different islands. The island that people usually hear about the most is Maui. But you know what? I say, you should take a go at the Big Island. It’s absolutely amazing because you get a little bit of everything: the serene life, the night life, the country life, the ocean life, and the forest life.

If you are planning on going to the Big Island, here are the tours/activities that I did, and maybe that will give you some direction. 🙂

Water Activities
1. Surfing w/ Kona Mike’s
Speaking as a person who has never really swam in the ocean for long periods of time…YOU NEED TO TRY SURFING, especially in Hawaii! The waters are beautiful, warm, and crystal clear. Kona Mike’s is an awesome surf school. Their team of instructors have been surfing for at least 10-15 years so they know what they’re doing! You will feel safe no matter what. Basically, the lesson consists of them timing the waves right and giving you a push for a jump start (because paddling fast is hard for a first timer!). They will give you pointers along the way. SUPER fun! They also have a professional photographer out there to take pictures of you that you can purchase afterwards (prices are not outrageous). My little cousin and I decided that we wanted it to be just us so we signed up for a semi-private lesson.

My instructor: Logan
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2. Kayaking and Snorkling with the Kona Boys (in the Kealekua Bay)
This is a MUST DO. The Kealekua Bay is one of the best spots to go snorkeling with tons of colorful fish and coral. There are a lot of tours out there that will take you out there via a cruise boat, but why do that when you can go KAYAKING?!! Kayaking is hands down the best way (besides hiking) to get there.

I suggest going with the Kona Boys. I did a lot of research and these guys got awesome reviews. They are all well knowledgeable of the history of Hawaii and are super fun and chill. The tour I decided to do was the Morning Magic Kealekua Bay Kayak and Snorkel Tour.

My uncle and I were lucky enough to be the only ones going out that day and so we had a private tour! Our guide, Jared, was awesome! You could tell that he was passionate about what he does and he loved talking about the unique history of Hawaii. As we paddled out there we were lucky enough to be surrounded by several pods of spinner dolphins playing in the bay. I wish I had my camera to take a picture of it! (My uncle has most of the pictures, so hopefully I will be able to post some soon). We took our time to paddle across the bay (so for those worried about not having the strength, don’t worry!). We got a tour of Captian Cook’s monument, snorkeled for about 2 hours, had lunch, then paddle back. Such a memorable adventure! I would say to ask for Jared, but he’s leaving in May for Australia! 😦

Tour guide: Jared

20140222-102803My uncle and I

Land Activities
1. Hilo – Farmer’s Market / Big Island Candies
If you’re into fresh fruits, there’s a great farmer’s market (certified locally grown, not Costco lol) in the city of Hilo (It’s a small city, so you’ll be able to find it) that you should check out. Also, the factory of Big Island Candies is located in Hilo as well! BIC has the most amazing shortbread cookies around! And if you get the dipped ones, you can be reassured that they are hand dipped to perfection! Once you walk through the doors, they give you a free sample and you can find a bunch of other samples hidden in the shelves too! And here’s a tip: If you want to try a specific flavor, feel free to ask the front desk for some. They would be happy to let you try any flavor you’d like!

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2. Volcano National Park
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Usually when you picture beauty in nature, you think of lush green trees or colorful flowers, but the Volcano National Park will definitely change your mind on that. We only had 2 hours there so we just saw one of the craters, the lava tube, and the crazy landscape. We wanted to see where the lava was going into the ocean, but it was dark and it was quite a hike over lava rock. With a 9-year-old, we didn’t want to risk it.

My use of words won’t do justice to the beauty of this place, so let me just show you.

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3. Horseback Riding w/ Waipio Ridge Stables
When my uncle said we should go horseback riding in Waipio, my first reaction was “Why would we go horseback riding in Hawaii?” Well, let me tell you, it’s a must as well. I only took the 2.5 hour tour which only led us to the cliff overlooking the waterfall and valley, but if you take the 5 hour tour, you would be able to go to the waterfall and swim (which is what I’m going to do when I return). It’s absolutely gorgeous! You will ride through lush green trees and you can just hear the peacefulness in the air.

Sorry, no pictures yet.

4. Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation
Kona is known for it’s amazing coffee, so you must stop by a plantation! We chose Mountain Thunder and decided to take advantage of their free tour. They took us through what it takes to make a quality bean as well as the different types of plants on the island. A great informative tour about quality coffee making. And it’s absolutely gorgeous up there as well.

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I hope that gives you a jumpstart to your Hawaii trip!

Aloha!

How to: Pack for Hawaii

Aloha! 🙂

Try not to be jealous, but I am currently in Hawaii soaking up the cloudy-sunless sky for a week long vacation! Be prepared for pictures of my adventures later on, and reviews of the tours I signed up for.

But before any adventures happen, you have to start with your luggage! As a person who is a last minute packer and with bad memory, an exhaustive list would have been nice to have. Well lucky you, I’m going to share my complete list just in case you decide on taking a trip to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. BTW, I’m writing this after I realized that I completely forgot a number things. So hopefully you won’t make that same mistake.

Packing List for Hawaii for 6 days:
1. Tops:
– 3 Tees/Tanks
– 2 Shirts/Blouses (a little nicer to go into town or out to dinner
-Undergarments

2. Bottoms
– 1 pair of long pants (linen or light fabric would be best)
– 2 pairs of shorts
– 1 maxi skirt
-1 dress

3. Water/Activity Wear
-2 sets of swimwear (another to wear as the other one is drying)
– 1 cover up
-Small backpack (if hiking)
-2 running/water safe shorts
– 1-2 workout tops
-Water bottle

4. Toiletries
– Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Floss
-Razer
-Sunscreen
-Hair Straigtener
-Light natural makeup (plus WATERproof mascara)
-Makeup Remover / Cotton Swabs / Q-tips
-Body Lotion
-Facewash
-Deodorant

5. Accessories
-Hat (only if you’re a hat person)
-Sunglasses
-Headphones
-Small beach bag/tote
-Book for the plane ride and beach
-Phone chargers
-Camera chargers

6. Shoes
– 1 pair of close-toed sneakers/hiking shoes/ etc
– 1 pair of “I don’t care about” flip-flops
– 1 nice pair of sandals

7. Other
-Bandaids (Bring them! I already have a cut on my foot. Ha)

My suggestion is to try to fit everything into a carry-on which is super possible. Then carry a backpack and put all your “Entertainment” stuff in it. My problem during this trip was that I had my big camera bag and so unfortunately they made me check a bag. Oh well!

Here are some snapshots of my trip thus far!

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset3 hour layover in Maui. It was either Burger King or California Pizza Kitchen. Lol

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetLotus Flower

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetPanko Crusted Ahi Roll

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetFried Kapalua Belly

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My roommate for the week. 🙂

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetThere was a Luau going on a few feet away from us.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBeach Fun!

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetHawaiian Chicken Sandwich

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Follow my trip on Instagram! 🙂