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Everything posted by Chanda

  1. Danke! Still not 100%… but at least now I am on holiday. About to leave on a road trip. But before I do here are a few more Advent days.
  2. I've been hit by a nasty virus… so have been offline. Apologies for the interrupted Advent calendar. It will resume tomorrow!
  3. Day TWELVE: Inspiration for the New Year With the end of the year fast approaching, you may want to sit back with a nice cup of your favorite beverage and let yourself be inspired for 2014 by the following list of tips: http://zenhabits.net/handbook-for-life-52-tips-for-happiness-and-productivity/
  4. When I've done it, I'll share it. In this case, a 20 slide ppt would be called Christmas Boot Camp!
  5. Day ELEVEN: Christmas Card Workout Another great idea is the Christmas Card Workout. For each card you receive with one of the following motifs… you get to do the allocated exercise (feel free to adapt it to your own ability level/preferences): Santa card: 5 burpeesReindeer card: walk up and down 5 flights of stairsChristmas Tree card: 30 second tree pose on each legSnowman card: 30-60 second plankReligious inspired art card: 3 sun salutations Star card: 30 star jumpsCute Cat or Puppie card: 10 squats Since the number of Christmas cards we get these days are a lot less, I suggest you do this workout based on posts on Facebook and emails received… just don't over do it! *evil laugh*
  6. Day TEN: Snowflakes One of the best activities this time of the year is doing crafts. While the world goes crazy commercial all around you… you can be home getting creative with the simplest of materials. We've been cutting snowflakes and sticking them to our windows. Its a lot of fun to come up with new shapes and looks rather pretty! What you'll need: scissors and plain white paper. Instructions here: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-6-Pointed-Paper-Snowflakes/step1/Replicating-a-Real-Snowflake/
  7. Day NINE: Exceptions are dangerous For today your advent gift is a little piece of wisdom: exceptions are dangerous! Those following this advent calendar may have noticed I am a couple of days behind. The simple truth is that I was too tired on Saturday to post for that day… so I told myself I would do it first thing on Sunday morning. And you know what happened? I didn't… not only didn't I do it but I ended up not posting at all on Sunday either. Which leads to a very important piece of advise. Quoted directly from Leo at zenhabits.net: Leo is talking about a ban, but this same principle applies when you decide to do something regularly. At this time of the year, it is particularly easy to make exceptions… and lets face it, we all do it. This festive season lets all be very careful about how and when we choose to make exceptions… and if we do, lets avoid making it a trend!
  8. Day EIGHT: Doctor Who: The Feast of Steven I am not a fan of the Doctor myself, never having watched an episode of the show. Don't worry, I plan to rectify the situation: "watch all available episodes of Doctor Who" is on my todo list for 2014. Anyway, it has not escaped my attention that the Doctor Who Christmas Special episodes have become a bit of a regular tradition for fans of The Doctor. In my research for this advent calendar I learned that the very first Christmas Special actually aired on 25.Dec.1965! Long before the time of the new fancy Doctor Who series. "The Feast of Steven" was part of the "The Dalek's Master Plan" (the third serial of the third season). This episode has actually been lost (along with many other episodes that were wiped out in the 1960s/70s) but thanks to fans who recorded the sound you can listen to it while looking at still pictures. Or even better you can watch an animated version. So get yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back, relax and enjoy... Audio with stills: part 1 and part 2. OR The animated version:
  9. Thats a great idea. I have some really boring meetings that do have some repetitive themes… I might make one of these myself.
  10. Day SEVEN: Office Christmas Roulette Getting tired of all the Christmas stuff? Turn it into a game… Below is an example. Depending on your own fitness level and what you are likely to encounter you can make your own list. https://tribesports.com/blog/office-christmas-workout-roulette
  11. Day SIX: Whats life without some bad jokes? http://www.whychristmas.com/fun/cracker_jokes.shtml
  12. Day FIVE: Santa Yoga Santa is always jolly despite his extremely long to-do list at this time of year. What is his secret? The answer is simple: Yoga! http://www.sangayoga.org/yoga-with-santa/ (follow the link and keep clicking to turn the pages and read the short Santa Yoga story)
  13. Day FOUR: Reduce Holiday Stress At this time of the year many of us get stressed out… the todo list just keeps getting longer. Here are some tips to help reduce holiday stress. Maybe you find something in there that is helpful to you. http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/timemanagement/a/holidaystress.htm http://www.yorkregion.com/community-story/1469643-relax-during-holiday-season-stress-expert-says/ Remember to take a few moments to relax an enjoy yourself!
  14. Day THREE: Christmas Star Wars style! Putting up the tree: And caroling: For those not familiar with the song itself: Looking out for Santa's Sleigh: And finally:
  15. Its early days in December… However I think if you keep following those guidelines you will do great! Having a mother who is right on board with being healthy is awesome! Yes, shoveling snow is a great workout. My husband loves shoveling snow… he does it every chance he gets (which is rarely for us, which could be why he enjoys it… that and the quiet time to himself!). Can you listen to some music while shoveling snow? I would imagine that would make it less boring. If you do make a fort it would be awesome to see some pics!
  16. Day TWO: Many of us worry about the over consumption of food during the holiday time. These tips are an interesting take on the topic: Top 5 Fitness Tips for Christmas. For those of us that are put under pressure by our loving family and friends to eat more, our fearless leader posted something a few days ago that has some helpful tips: How to avoid holiday confrontation while living healthy. The best thing is that they don't just apply to Christmas, they work for all the big celebrations involving large consumption of food and drink! Personally when I want to reduce my consumption during a party I do the following: 1. Never ever finish the alcoholic drink on my glass or people will re-fill it! Plus I always get myself a glass of water to quench my thirst. 2. I arrange food on the plate so it looks like its more than what it is and ALWAYS ask for seconds of whatever the best food was (yet my 2 plates usually have less in them than most peoples single plate). I never feel deprived at parties and people around don't feel the need to continuously offer food and drink because they see I am eating and drinking! Do you have any tips?
  17. Thats a wonderful way to celebrate. Not only do you give your coworkers the opportunity to celebrate with their families, you also get to celebrate with your family in a relaxed way! New Thanksmas sounds like an awesome celebration!
  18. My husband and I come from opposite sides of the world (Australia and Portugal) and now live in Germany. We are a secular family and our festive season is a blend of the best of all 3 countries and whatever else we pull in from other cultures. It keeps evolving but some things are always a must. Some of our favorite "must" activities are: Baking St Lucia Bun's which is a Swedish tradition. Baking gingerbread cookies.Baking traditional english christmas cake and pudding (which my husband does in October so it will be ready to eat at Christmas).One advent calendar with small gifts for the whole family. Neither my husband or I knew about this until we came to Germany but its now firmly adopted into our festive season. Ours is a home made one with specially selected items for each family member, usually small items that we would need to get anyway (ranging from school supplies to toiletries) with some nice small surprises thrown in (we alternate who opens a gift each day… starting with my husband on the 1st, me on the 2nd, then eldest daughter on the 3rd, youngest daughter on the 4th… and repeat until the 24th). Since our daughters are young, I initially choose this method as a teaching opportunity for them to learn to wait their turn and also for them to take joy in seeing other peoples happiness (if they are busy with their own gift they never notice what is going on around them). On a more practical level, taking turns means that I only have to find 24 small gifts. Its worked great so far!Christmas morning we have a special home made hot chocolate made with real chocolate, milk, cream, spices and topped with marshmallows. I make it myself and I am pretty certain 1 cup contains the recommended calorie intake for the day!Presents are opened on either Chrismas eve or Christmas morning depending on which country we are celebrating Christmas in and our own mood… Its explained to our daughters that Santa can't come to every house all over the world at the same time which is why sometimes the presents are there Christmas eve and other times we have to wait until the morning.A personal tradition for me is that I get myself one of those round 3D puzzles in the shape of a Christmas ball every year (onto the 4th year with this tradition… the puzzle is one of my Advent calendar gifts). I like puzzles!Presents for the grown ups are things that we "really really want" but can not quite justify a "need" for (often things for the home). This started informally but now has become a firm tradition between my husband and I, usually by August we know what its going to be. For example, some years ago we got ourselves a baking stone base for the oven and we are still thrilled about it.Its not all about presents and food… although it is the biggest component for us. There are also other activities which are not festive traditions but take place during this season: Since we live away from our extended families this is also a time of increased communication. Its made easier these days with things like Skype… but we still take the time to send real Christmas Cards.This time of the year is also a time of reflection on how the past year went and plans for the following year.Crafts with my daughters, we usually cut paper decorations for the windows and do other small seasonal projects together.Donating still useful items which we no longer use.
  19. DAY ONE: Embracing the festive season World Wide. Learn about a few different festive season traditions from all over the world. I love to learn about how different cultures celebrate! 10 Different Traditions from across the world. Christmas Worldwide. Christmas Traditions Around the World. Do you have any special family traditions you follow or would like to start up? Feel free to share!
  20. Thanks! I should have expected that question posting a text based Christmas Tree on NF! Sorry to disappoint, its not a puzzle… the colored letters just represent ornaments. Would have been an awesome idea though… maybe something for next year.
  21. This challenge we are doing something a little different. Instead of a series of mini-quests for you to do… we have an Advent Calendar. While many of us follow different traditions or have a secular lifestyle, it is impossible to make it through the festive season without being exposed to Christmas traditions in some way or another. This season, lets enjoy one of the most fun traditions and make it our own. Come back everyday to find out what is revealed each day. Click on the number to be taken to a post with a link to the day's small surprise. The Great Druid Advent Calendar Tree! O NE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT NINE TEN ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN FOURTEEN FIFTEEN SIXTEEN SEVENTEEN EIGHTEEN NINETEEN TWENTY TW EN TY -O NE TWENTY-TWO TWENTY-THREE TWENTY-FOUR
  22. I've come a long way in my journey to becoming a fit and organized person. I now know that I have a good chance of being successful when I am done... but there is still a long road ahead of me! With the end of the year fast approaching my quest for this challenge is to make 2013 count. I have a list of things I need to get done and/or would like to get done before the year ends and I also want to adjust to a new weekly/daily schedule. From a fitness point of view I need to cut back a little on the calories consumption and move a little more to get my body feeling the way its meant to feel. Basically live like the fit and organized person I am becoming. If I do this for the next 6 weeks, I will be quite happy with 2013. Main Quest: Find Peace in Routine. Follow my new weekly/daily schedule. I had the feeling that I can't fit in everything that needs to get done into the time I have. To combat that feeling, I made a schedule to prove that it is possible. The schedule covers everything: exercise/sleep/work/time with my children/time for myself/activities outside the home. There is some flexibility to it and I accept that it won't be possible to follow it everyday (particularly when I am traveling). I've set specific days and times for exercise and if I stick with it I will be exercising more than usual. I will also be getting enough sleep and the girls will get the attention they deserve. Scoring: A: more than 30 good days, B: > 25, C: > 20, D: > 15, E: > 10, F: <=9. Life Quest: Conquer my Make 2013 Count to-do list. I made a list of everything that needs to be done and/or that I want to get done before the end of 2013. Prioritize and do as many items on the list as I can. Also add to the list any extra things that get done that were not on originally on the list… Celebrate all progress! Scoring: A: more than 55 things done, B: > 40, C: >30, D: >20 E: >10 F: <=9. Side Quest: Slay the snack dragon. Only snacking allowed will be on days when I do strength training and in that case it will be healthy protein rich snacks. On other occasions snacks will be replaced by teas. Scoring: A: more than 35 good days, B: > 28, C: > 21, D: > 15, E: > 10, F: <=9. Lets do this!!!!
  23. Nice! You got me moving Eve! Thanks!
  24. Chanda

    Druid Lodge!

    No problem. FYI. I am not posting the next mini-quest until I have at least 3 participating druids on the current one! The reaction to this mini-quest clearly shows we Druids need to loosen up a bit...
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