STARLIGHTSHADOW's SparkPeople Blog STARLIGHTSHADOW's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Getting dressed, glam style. HOW long does it take? O.o Back to our regularly scheduled upbeat programming! <BR> <BR> My phone broke, so unfortunately I've lost all the pictures I've taken, but I hope the verbal account will be enough. <BR> <BR> So, I was invited to a very ritzy 4th of July party, and being as it was sprung on me quickly and unexpectedly I had no reason to refuse going. <BR> <BR> Two days before the party, it turned into a double whammy: Not only was it going to be a ritzy party, but a VERY ritzy party with mandatory upscale a... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 10:12:20 EST One step forward, three steps back So, I've been MIA. Sorry guys, it's not you, it's my job. <BR> <BR> Well, the job and the knee. I've had persistent swelling and soreness to the point of pain for weeks now and have been pretty much banned from all my favorite exercises. As of today, volleyball isn't allowed anymore, so I'm stuck with boring stupid strength training and walking. Nothing exciting, nothing thrilling, nothing challenging. <BR> <BR> I have to go in for exploratory surgery on Friday, and will probably need anoth... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 07:12:19 EST Happy and proud Hey everyone! <BR> <BR> It's great to be back after a chaotic two weeks- I finally stepped through the door of my apartment tonight and just collapsed on the couch right away. I will definitely go out again in a little while to take care of the portals the evil Resistance took over in my absence, but until then I'm going to have some take-out from my favorite Asian hole-in-the-wall and celebrate the fall of DOMA by re-watching the NZ parliament/population do it too: <link> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 16:04:02 EST Soon...! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm obsessed with strawberries. They're my favorite fruit, hands down (some years, they have a little competition from raspberries, but usually the strawberries win every face-off). My own little strawberry plantation will have fruit ready to eat soon, I hope- I've planted strawberries around all my herbs, they adapt well to different e... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 13:14:32 EST The SAD truth I truly, honestly, deeply HATE SAD. There's been sunshine for a while now, I've been to light therapy and got the sunburn to prove it, I'm eating as much calcium and vitamin D as my daily calorie allowance will permit, and I'm STILL not over this seasonal affective disorder thing. <BR> <BR> It feels like I should be. I know I shouldn't put this pressure on myself, but I've DECIDED I don't want to feel that weak and weepy anymore, so normally my body and brain should DO what I want. <BR> <BR... Sun, 9 Jun 2013 14:37:01 EST Prejudice I'm a classically trained pianist and violinist. I love classical music most among all genres I've encountered so far, and if I had to choose just one genre to listen to for the rest of my life, classical would be it. <BR> <BR> There is a pretty good music university/college where I live, and I've been to quite a few master class exams now. I even got to attend a class with a very famous pianist once! I just sat in the back row and made fingering notes, but it was still incredibly inspiring ... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 17:16:33 EST Recipe time: Summer rolls and bread There are things I do that seem to puzzle my equally feminist, atheist, humanist, progressive and liberal female friends. I love to bake, for example, the more complicated the process the happier I am if it comes out great (don't ask about the disastrous "Weeks of the Chocolate Souffle"). I love making my own bread. I don't quite love to cook, but I like it well enough and I prefer the fresh taste of home-made food prepared from flavorful ingredients to restaurant meals and take-out. I like h... Tue, 4 Jun 2013 12:55:02 EST Feelin' S.A.D. It's still (or again) freezing here, the one day I wasn't cold was a fluke and we're back to the 40-degree grind. The sun is a distant memory... <BR> <BR> I started seriously playing Ingress, a fun GPS-based game in which you and your faction try to gain control over portals via something called "exotic matter", which is collected and used in both offensive, defensive and neutral capabilities. Generally speaking, you run around collecting glowing dots on your phone, then fire "XMP" at the ot... Sat, 25 May 2013 08:50:08 EST [SPOILERS!]Iron Man 3, revisited. (aka the real review) SPOILERS, obviously! I know it may be a little pathetic, or weird, or freaky, but I've spent quite some time trying to put a finger on what was nagging me about the latest Iron Man movie. <BR> <BR> I'm a fangirl. I read as much of the comics as my allowance would let me buy (while my parents kept up the endless stream of books to feed us voracious readers, comics were always a thing we had to buy ourselves), and when the first movie came out, I was pretty much in fangirl heaven (even though it re-invented the b... Fri, 3 May 2013 08:46:36 EST SPOILERS!!! For Iron Man 3! Read at your own risk! So, obviously, I loved the movie. It was a laugh a lot of the time, but very sentimental. Loved the Mandarin reveal (contrary to most of my teammates). LOVED IT! <BR> <BR> Think Jon Favreau did a better job at balancing the action with the schmoop (this was a little too much of the latter and too little of the former for me, especially since the movie was so obviously split into two discrete parts), and his comedic timing was a little less intrusive and more naturally going with the flow (fe... Thu, 2 May 2013 07:57:41 EST Recipe time: Comfort food (lemongrass beef) Being bullied for years has left me with serious touch aversion/exaggerated startle response. There are precisely four people in the world that can touch me unannounced and not have me jump through the roof or try to punch them, and they are my siblings and parents. It's been the death of many a prospective relationship (and contributed to the demise of the last). <BR> <BR> Half a world away from those four people, I sometimes feel a little touch-starved. Positive tactile contact is just so ... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 11:51:53 EST TMI! But I just had to kind of rant this one out here... TMI warning! If you're easily shocked or offended, or don't like someone talking about changes their body is going through, hit your back button right now! Last warning! <BR> <BR> <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> . <BR> Still here? Alright, today's mini rant is on the subject of.... BOOBS! As in, I used to have at least a semblance of them, and now they're off... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 09:26:38 EST Great motivation! Stumbled upon this great list on tumblr today. It's lynz0125's on flickr, so not mine, but I thought it had some good ideas: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Link to readable size: <link><BR>026932057/sizes/l/in/photostream/ </link> <BR> <BR> Can you relate? I can! Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:22:23 EST Project PT: Follow-up A new personal trainer decided to give me a test run on Tuesday- well, we mutually decided to give each other a chance. Let's just call him M. <BR> <BR> M was great! First of all, he actually came to my home, at 10:30 pm. He's also a night owl and primarily works with people in leadership positions. We had a cup of herbal tea and a talk, about my goals and wishes, and then he put me through my paces testing my physical condition. <BR> <BR> He set me a task of running up the eight flights of... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 18:29:44 EST Where would you have been in the Middle Ages? I'm trying to calm my nerves before I start my PT session soon, and somehow flashed back to that weird discussion we had in World History. <BR> <BR> Where would you have been in the Middle Ages? <BR> <BR> My classmates spun tales ranging from being of noble blood to being a simple peasant. When my turn came up, I said "Dead". Cue enraged teacher, wondering why the problem kid wasn't cooperating yet again. <BR> <BR> I had my reasons. A skeptic from a family of skeptics, and a woman at that... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 17:03:01 EST Project PT update I wrote about wanting to get a personal trainer a couple months back. Thank you ever so much everyone who gave me pointers! <BR> <BR> I've been on the lookout, but so far, it's been a little difficult finding someone who would be willing to work with my unpredictable and insane work hours. <BR> <BR> For one, I'm an absolute night owl. To everyone who says you can adapt to being a morning person, maybe YOU can, but I can't. I was forced to live as a lark for most of my life, and it was abso... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 10:23:51 EST First time: Working out in front of the TV I'm an adrenaline junkie, someone who loves working out in a competitive team setting or challenging my best time when running (not that I'm up to running just yet, it's more of a staggered limp-hop walk). Using workout videos, in front of my TV, at home, just never struck me as enough of a challenge, or enough of a fun setting. <BR> <BR> I've changed my mind, I think. I did a few workout videos today, amounting to a total of 30 minutes, and I included both cardio and strength elements. It w... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 16:25:37 EST Cooking on a diet Thank you, lovely commenters, for giving me the inspiration for writing this post with your questions about how I can cook the way I do and still stick to my diet. <BR> <BR> The real answer is: How couldn't I? <BR> <BR> The more elaborate answer also goes into both my history with food and cooking and my understanding of what I feel makes a good meal. <BR> <BR> My first secret is very simple: Except in the rarest of circumstances, I only eat once a day. One meal, in the evening, is usuall... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 11:37:30 EST Picture time: Super Bowl Feast buffet Not as late as last time, at least! <BR> <BR> I host a Super Bowl party every single year. This year's the first time I've ever done it in Germany- plus the first time I had hot dogs on the menu. They aren't pictured, though. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This burger is a foot in diameter. We had three of them in total. The bowls contain different dips (guacamole, pico de gallo, a French vinaigrette, herbed Quark [sort of like Greek yog... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 18:45:51 EST Picture time: Japanese cooking I promised you pictures of my Japanese cooking party (yes, the one pre-Christmas), and I finally got around to posting them. <BR> <BR> Before Christmas, I invited my Japanese class (I'm a student) and a few of my friends for a nice little pre-Christmas party. A few of them are expats and didn't have the time or means to fly home over the end of the year, so I wanted to have a little get-together to spread the spirit a bit. <BR> <BR> I was responsible for the appetizers, my teacher made oko... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 17:40:39 EST I watched Les Misérables and here's what I think (WARNING: SPOILERS!) This blog entry contains spoilers for the 2012 musical movie Les Misérables. You've been warned! <BR> <BR> <BR> SPOILERS AHEAD!!! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> LAST SPOILER WARNING BEFORE YOU'LL GET SPOILERED!!! <BR> <BR> SPOILERING COMMENCING AFTER THIS POINT! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Ok, that's enough with the warnings now. <BR> <BR> <BR> I was lucky enough to have been invited to an advance screening of Les Misérables- the movie won't be out here until late February (oh, the ... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 19:07:50 EST Recipe time: Raspberry, pineapple and coconut smoothie Felt like something sweet for dinner, so here's what I made: <BR> <BR> about 3 cups fresh frozen raspberries (almost wrote FFP) <BR> one whole fresh frozen pineapple, in cubes <BR> 1/2 cup coconut water <BR> 1/2 cup coconut milk <BR> 1 cup skim milk <BR> 1/4-1/2 cup fat-free yogurt of choice <BR> however many Stevia or Equal packets you feel like ripping open (not so many for me, I'm out of the bulk stuff) <BR> <BR> Stuff in blender and try to blend until the blender croaks. Attempt to scra... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 19:01:29 EST The General has lost his chicken, repeat: The General has lost his chicken! I was in the mood for Chinese take-out yesterday. Well, no, I was really in the mood for General Tso's chicken and didn't feel at all like cooking for myself. <BR> <BR> I walked into the Asian take-out place close to my subway station (did I ever mention that I walk, on average, five miles a day just because it's so much faster and more convenient to get anywhere than with a car?). <BR> <BR> "I'd like a small General Tso's to go, please." <BR> "Who?" <BR> <BR> Taking the time to study th... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 13:21:49 EST Rest... what? I've really been prescribed REST. No, really. <BR> <BR> I can't even... rest? That's IT? <BR> <BR> Well, a few other things too. My eye is paralyzed to let the inflammation of the optic nerve that's behind the eyeball in the brain heal, I have no pupil reflex and am currently wearing an eyepatch and getting a blackout contact lens tomorrow (basically an opaque black soft contact lens), which will stay in for two weeks whenever I'm not wearing the eyepatch. All in all, I got off easy- it's... Wed, 16 Jan 2013 20:07:15 EST Perspective Sometimes knowing what something isn't is just as valuable as knowing what it is, and sometimes it just drives you more mad. News, whether good or bad or neutral, have a way of shifting your perspective and opening up new avenues of thought, ones you've never thought you'd go down otherwise. It's like when you put in a new pair of contacts, and the world has suddenly shifted to this bright and clear vision you've forgotten about. <BR> <BR> So I've learned that I don't have any of the really ... Tue, 15 Jan 2013 16:12:07 EST Scared I was working today, consulting my laptop screen as usual while talking to a client when I suddenly realized I couldn't read my file, at all. I turned my head further to the left, and voila, no problem. <BR> <BR> Minutes later, same situation. I was scared to death- I was wearing my contacts and suddenly it was as though I had lost my left contact lens, but surreptitious checking in a reflective surface revealed it was still there. <BR> <BR> I have suddenly lost visual acuity in one eye, t... Mon, 14 Jan 2013 17:33:15 EST Personal trainer? Watching The Biggest Loser, I could never work with any of the trainers apart from, maybe, Bob Harper. Leadership, to me, is leading by example. I never push anyone harder than I push myself, and I never shout if I can in any way help it. If I have to scream, I usually try to make it to the fire escape and just let go. <BR> <BR> I get obstinate when shouted at. I've plopped down in the middle of a gym, on a planche, and refused to move on account of a trainer being shouty and, in my eyes, d... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 15:10:13 EST Detritus Tomorrow is the last full day I get to spend at home with all my loved ones around me. Tomorrow is the day my ex will be sent off to the airport (one of my cousins is driving him, thankfully), more likely than not never to cross my path again (we work in different areas of law in different cities). <BR> <BR> I didn't miss him a single moment during these past two days. My family rallied around me like rabid cats and bit at anything trying to disturb our harmony. We invited some old classmate... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 19:51:25 EST Apart, not a part of it Warning! angry rant! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I warned you.... <BR> <BR> <BR> You ready? <BR> <BR> I don't believe so... <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Last chance at turning back... <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> You didn't want it any other way. Here's it: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I broke up with my BF today. <BR> <BR> He's perfectly nice. He treats me perfectly gentle. He's (mostly) listened to what I tell him (and vice versa, of course). <BR> <BR> ... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 14:19:17 EST Family ties, sun, sand, and tennis Home. The smell of Tide and Coppertone. The waves making their little slurping sounds as they lap against our dock, the whooshing of their ocean counterparts farther away. <BR> <BR> Kitchen time with Mom and Nonna. Library time with Dad and Granpa. Running, laughing, fighting, talking with the brothers. All my family, in one house, at one time. <BR> <BR> I'm a family person. There's nothing that will ever supplant my family as No.1 on my list of priorities, not even my job. I'd leave any an... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:08:49 EST Thank you, and cookies Thank you, everyone who commented on my blog. You've made my day and given me the strength to get through this last workday. <BR> <BR> Thank you, love, for trying to make soup even though it ruined one of my pots and I'm going to do it myself right after writing this. I don't think I'm worth skipping out on the fun part of your day (the after-court drinks with the colleagues) just for me, but I love you for it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You're going to be on seasoning duty! *hug... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 11:24:53 EST Confusion and miscommunication I'll be the first to admit I'm not thinking clearly at the moment- lack of quality sleep and persistent dehydration coupled with some pretty serious medication has impacted my judgment probably more than I can even imagine. <BR> <BR> I'm so glad I have a rule about not going to bed without communicating about what has irked me that day with my BF if we've had a falling out. I sniped at him pretty badly, and I was feeling worse, two hours ago. The anti-nausea meds have finally kicked in now a... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 18:06:08 EST In sickness Poor BF doesn't get that I don't like to be touched AT ALL when I'm sick. I'll come to you if I want my head petted, thank you very much. He compares me to a cat often enough, he really should get this. <BR> <BR> Everything just hurts, from my chest to my joints to my ears, and let's not even talk about my head. Trying to kiss me- it makes me nauseous because I'll have to move my head. <BR> <BR> Hope the poor guy's still around once I get over this bug- this must have been the hundredth ti... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 15:14:44 EST Who do you need me to be tonight? My parents used to do this, whenever an official engagement came up. My Mom is extremely smart, and assertive, and she's a scientist, but she's female and pretty delicate in stature (she used to dance ballet). She's also just 5'5". <BR> <BR> So, whenever she and my Dad put on their war outfits and she was putting on war paint (it's what she's always called make-up, made it a lot more palatable to first-time working me), she'd ask this question: "Who do you need me to be tonight?" <BR> <BR>... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 09:17:16 EST Dork and the city I was the dorkiest teen you can imagine. No, really. <BR> <BR> I grew up surrounded by books, and I read voraciously, but they were "good" books (I think there are very few bad books out there today, but that's another topic for another day), so they basically taught me nothing about basic social interaction. <BR> <BR> I have no social intuition- I take my cues from everyone around me, I watch people like a hawk, and have a database of what reaction is appropriate to which situation. Yes, t... Sat, 1 Dec 2012 15:12:29 EST Holding on to... When it's cold, and everything hurts, and especially with the virus, I wished I could just beam home. <BR> <BR> I miss my family so much- most days it's just a dull ache, but when I'm ill and hurting it's an open wound throbbing with the lack of arms to offer shelter. <BR> <BR> Yes, my very much caring and loving boyfriend tries to fill the gap, but there are certain things, a certain sense of safety and security, that only family can offer. <BR> <BR> He can't really cook, either. <BR> ... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 18:17:20 EST Chuckles with the Europeans Oldie but goodie- it got me again today because I had to try and reason with a French company (I'm sure there are just as many lovely and reasonable people in France as there are elsewhere, I just haven't met them yet!): <BR> <BR> In heaven - The British are the police. The Germans are the engineers. The Italians are the cooks. The French are the lovers. And it's all&#65279; organized by the Swiss. <BR> <BR> In hell - The Germans are the police. The British are cooks. The Swiss are the love... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 07:30:20 EST Fun and games ... are coming to town on the weekend and are staying for a month. And I have to go on a business trip. Meh. To Munich of all places! And on crutches. And not able to nip out and sightsee on a whim. MEH! Did I mention the crutches? They're here to stay for another week because I'm not healing as fast as my doctors would like. The incisions are closed and the stitches out, but internally, my shattered, stapled kneecap is acting up and inflaming the cartilage and tendons and the muscle that was... Thu, 8 Nov 2012 13:08:04 EST Feeling safer As an educated, working, independent woman I definitely feel a lot safer now. My ability to choose and self-determinate is safer than it was a few hours ago. <BR> <BR> I'll get a few hours of sleep after all. *phew* <BR> <BR> I'll gladly pay higher taxes once I move back to the States for that privilege. Tue, 6 Nov 2012 23:33:17 EST The downside of being a competitive athlete My RehabNazi, who is overseeing my pt with iron fists and even more iron weights managed to look up at me struggling with lifting my leg a few inches off the floor with just a 1lb weight attached to the ankle and saw that I was in enough physical pain to have started involuntary emission of tears. <BR> <BR> "Why didn't you tell me to stop?" she snarled. (this woman has two settings: Snarling and shouting, neither of which really works with me) <BR> <BR> "You said I had to do as many reps as... Tue, 6 Nov 2012 18:49:25 EST Injuries suck. My bionic leg doesn't work with the protectors we wear at volleyball, and I can't move fast enough or jump high enough or extend my body enough for the sport with it on. I can't wear it and be the best I can be for my team, so I'm not wearing it at practice and games most of the times unless we're doing conditioning (I've got my doctor's approval for it, too). <BR> <BR> I'm aware of the risks that come with doing something high-impact without the brace. I can deal with the swelling, the wei... Wed, 31 Oct 2012 22:48:24 EST Banging against the glass ceiling There is a glass ceiling- people like to pretend it's otherwise, but it's there, especially in a profession that's basically an extension of the Old Boys' Club. No matter how good you are, no matter where you come from or how far you've come, if you're lacking the equipment you're not in. <BR> <BR> I know exactly why I was transferred overseas. I'm grateful for the opportunity, I am, and I've learned and continue to learn so much that I'll never, ever be able to regret to take that offer. <B... Wed, 24 Oct 2012 20:47:00 EST Deceptively difficult I don't know, this is the third time I'm doing C25K and I'm still amazed how, at the end of every week, the program that seemed undoable at the beginning is easy and fun. <BR> <BR> Next week's going to be the hardest, I remember. Going from 3 to 5 min of running is somehow messing with me, maybe because I'll be running for an ENTIRE SONG on my mp3 player. <BR> <BR> I know next week is going to be difficult from a personal standpoint too- I have a lot of social obligations planned in, there'... Sat, 20 Oct 2012 16:51:51 EST 44:47 That's my new personal best for C25K. So glad I went running today- it re-confirmed my suspicion that I just can't have anything at all to eat before training/doing sports or I'll get nauseous. Don't know why, just remember that's the way it's always been (even as a teenager with a higher energy level). <BR> <BR> 30secs off my last best time, yay! <BR> <BR> So, tomorrow's going to be an easy run, no pushing, because on Sunday... I'm going to play in a volleyball tournament! I'm going to be... Fri, 19 Oct 2012 16:01:29 EST Privacy, a rant I'm not up to date on who's who in... well, anything except classical music I guess. Still, people mention names as though they expect me to see faces with them (I'm really bad at recognizing and remembering people I personally see, I'm worse at remembering photos and associating ANYTHING with them). My closest friends have learned to refer to actors by the role I first saw them in, because that's pretty much the only thing that will stick with me. They laugh, but they've come to accept that ... Thu, 18 Oct 2012 21:12:03 EST Exercising while hypothyroid The ugly truth: It's mostly like exercising while NOT hypothyroid, but from time to time, this happens... <BR> <BR> About half a mile into my run/walk tonight, my pulse-meter started beeping at me like crazy. I'm wearing one on concession to the team physician of the volleyball club I'm playing at after he found my BP to be on the very low end of being conscious while exercising (my BP drops when I exercise). Checking the readings, they were at 80/50, not too unusual for me but a sign that I... Tue, 16 Oct 2012 17:07:25 EST Bunny invasion A sure sign it's getting close to winter? All these bunnies out and about at night, fluffy and chubby and nibbling on everything. <BR> <BR> I almost stepped on one today. Poor thing was just about as shocked as I was, we looked at each other and just sprinted off in opposite directions. Why do these things always happen to ME??? Mon, 15 Oct 2012 17:54:06 EST This is me, flying When you're severely hypothyroid, days without any pain are rare. At any moment, muscle soreness, headaches, joint aches, general malaise or similar ailments are our constant companions. It can be pretty well managed with the meds, but since the body isn't a machine and doesn't work the same all the time, the same dose might at times send your heart jittering like a bug and make you feel sluggish and under the weather the next. <BR> <BR> Today was a perfect day. NO pain! Even though I traine... Sun, 14 Oct 2012 17:26:23 EST Fall's bounty I usually hunt for stuff to decorate my home with in nature. Today, I found the most amazing bright red rose hip covered branches and some maple leaves as well as tons of horse chestnuts and some unopened chestnuts. <BR> <BR> Wound the rose hips into a loose wreath, sprinkled the leaves and unopened chestnuts inbetween, put a candle in the middle and filled it up with the horse chestnuts. Results? Well, pics are going to come soon but it's a 0$ decoration that's going to last weeks and looks... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 11:31:16 EST Running in the rain Coming in, you're covered in mud. Your shoes are wet, your socks are wet, your clothes are wet... and you're smiling. <BR> <BR> Nobody out there but you, jumping in puddles like a child, chasing leaves on the wind... and running, running, running. <BR> <BR> I love the rain. <BR> <BR> Now if only it were warmer... Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:08:50 EST