Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grad School!

In September I'll start my Masters in Adult Education. I have purchased the first book for my first class which is something about Adults and Learning yada yada!


I'm hoping to read this 500+ page book BEFORE the class starts, but if my previous procrastination proves correct, I'll be reading it the night before my final paper.


AHHHHHHHH!

Breakfast for lunch!


I woke up at 7:30 on a Sunday morning because I went to bed at 9:00 on Saturday night. This was the first breakfast I had and you've got to TRY IT now!

In the mix:
* egg whites with hot sauce
* beans
* onions, mushrooms, shredded sweet potato and red peppers (yum!)
* ice coffee

Then at noon I decided it was time for round #2. Strawberries, whole wheat french toast and some agave syrup.

Tonight we are going out for supper and I'm not going to order breakfast ;)

Sunday weigh-in #5


Loving the Sunday weigh-in project. It keeps me accountable and motivated. I encourage those who have blogs to do the same. No better time then NOW.


Week 5 and I'm down 4.4 in total.
I'm thinking that when I hit the 10 pound mark I'll post some updated pictures.

This week my biggest challenge was eating. I worked an insane amount of hours. On Monday and Tuesday I taught for 10 hours straight, which made for a 12 hour work day. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were also busy averaging about 9 teaching hours. I picked up a couple sub shifts and added a couple more private classes which left me pretty exhausted at the end of the week. I keep telling myself that I'm being trained for GRAD school, which I'll start in the fall.

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD.

Friday night I celebrated with backyard beers (I had 3). Because I was working hard this week I was starving so I went to a few places on campus to eat. I always chose the healthy options where I could. Last night was killer though. We were invited over to a Korean's house for dinner and it was a full on Korean feast. I couldn't help but eat a little bit of everything. Sung Hyun and I left stuffed to the max. We were both so happy to be eating Korean food that we forgot to slow down and listen to our bodies.

Whole wheat pancakes with 1 strip of bacon for Sunday brunch last week

I did try to incorporate veggies this week

Sunday dinner (last week) was killer. Greek salad, with bacon wrapped fillet minot with roasted veggies, beans and naan bread. YUM YUM!

Since I was wasn't eating very clean this week I decided that I needed to add in exercise. I started personal training at the gym on Monday night and went for a run (jog) 2 times this week. Training will be every Monday for about 1 hour and if I can add in a few more days that will be bonus. YAY for exercise.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life, Love and you guessed it.....Money (PART 1)

A little dose of truth........

I've been so damn unhappy in my relationship with Sung Hyun for the past (well......) long time.

Reverse culture shock coupled with living in my parents (water logged) basement (don't read this wrong: we really do appreciate the support from my parents) with an added heaping tablespoon of varying cultural expectations equals one unhappy Jennifer.

Sung Hyun and I worked so damn hard to get to Canada. We (read: I) prepared all the immigration paperwork ourselves. Then, while Sung Hyun went to work during the day and attended welding school in Korea at night I loaded myself up with work. Working 1 full time job wasn't enough for me so when everyone else was calling it a day, I was out gallivanting around Seoul going from one job to the next. Most nights I was happy to be home by 11pm. I purposely made myself busy so that I wouldn't have to go home to an empty house.

This distance apart from my husband was toxic to our relationship. We were newly married and the 'honeymoon phase' that couples experience was non existent. This was a far cry from the fairy tale start to our relationship.

I was angry. I was upset. I was confused. I couldn't understand how Korean women could deal with having their husbands gone for so many freakin' hours in the day. I wanted my relationship with Sung Hyun back.

We decided to come to Canada -- so he could have a life, so WE could have a life.

In the mean time I got all wrapped up in the preparation. I thought the best way that I could contribute to our successful future in Canada was financially. And although I was probably right in thinking this, it soon dominated my way of life. It didn't take long for my addictive personality to take over and make work the most important thing in my life. But I know now that this was the start to my unhealthy relationship with money. I put so much value on money as playing such a critical role in our successful transition back to Canada that I forgot about the small important things. To me, at the time, making money was my contribution to the relationship. And in doing so, I made a lot of sacrifices in the process.

I should have known better.

And then I became bitter. I was upset that I was perceived as the wealthy foreigner from within my Korean family. Sung Hyun boasted to his family about me making as much as $120 an hour. I was outraged. I thought they didn't have any right to know my personal finances, especially since they came at such a high cost (the highest being my relationship with Sung Hyun). I was pissed that more financial expectations were placed on me to be the breadwinner in a highly male dominated society, where the man's job was to earn the money. And then there was the added pressure of being the only one responsible for paying my MIL's rent/ pocket money -- a duty (bestowed upon my husband since he was the only male) that I took over so that my husband could stay afloat. Working full time for his BIL didn't even cover the part time welding classes he was taking at night. The real blow came when my husband left Korea without the full amount of his pension --to be paid out by his employer. The reasons for not receiving this money remain unknown but are quite obvious -- the funds are not available; he simply couldn't pay. What remains unsettling and less obvious to me however, is the way that this situation was handled. A simple apology and I'm so sorry but we don't have the money would have sufficed, but in a culture that is so heavily dosed with 'saving face', instead we got a lot of broken promises and lies. And betrayal from a family member has been the hardest pill to swallow.

To be continued.........

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My husband is HOT!

Just sayin'

Happy Father's Day DAD!

I bet you're glad we are back in Canada.
I bet you'll be even more glad when we move out of your house!

Around the World in 3 Days!


Finally something to do in my city!

Every year the Regina Multicultural Association organizes Mosaic -- A Festival of Cultures. People from 22 different countries set up pavilions around the city which showcase the traditional dance, music and food from their country. It's a little lesson in history and it demonstrates the diversity in Canada. Each pavilion has a secret 4 letter code. Collecting the codes by attending the different pavilions and doing various tasks (learning a dance from their culture, answering a question about their country or partaking in a performance on stage) is like an around the city scavenger hunt. It's fun!

To attend this event you have to purchase a $14 passport which is your ticket to each country. Upon entry to the pavilion you show your passport and they stamp you in with their boarding pass. Like this:


In 3 days I traveled to 18 of the 22 pavilions. I saw a little dance, drank a little alcohol and consumed a lota (amazing) food from around the world! If only we could have Mosaic every weekend I told Sung Hyun. Here is some of the pictures that we managed to snap amongst all the fun:

Scottish!
Irish!
Greek!
Caribbean!
Romania!
German!
Aboriginal!
Korean!

A fantastic weekend was had by all. I can't wait to do it all over again next year ;)

Sunday weigh-in #4


Now on to week 4:

Sunday eats
I'm a little bit obsessed with this creation I threw together. Anyone interested in a recipe?
Whole wheat pancakes with peanut butter and berries (a yummy combination)
down from last week (slow and stead like I said before)

Things I did this week:
* exercised Sunday night -- went for a 40 min. roller blade ride
* ate fruit for dessert Sunday night
* took my lunch to work everyday! (YAH!)
* didn't eat any sweets after donating blood this time (small glass of OJ instead)

Things I still did this week:
* my student bought me an iced cappuccino from Tim Horton's so I couldn't turn it down
* ate a packaged cookie (but not 2)
* had a late dinner 2 nights this week (albeit, a healthy one)
* went to an all you can eat pizza night Saturday (and ate 3 1/2 pieces of pizza - hey, that's a win for me since pizza is my favourite food!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WORK WORK WORK!

Not much to say when I'm putting in 12 hour days at work. Lesson planning, school preping, midterm marking, attendance recording, email writing, lunch meetings, game making, stats recording, curriculum developing, oh yah and TEACHING are what is consuming ALL my time. I get up at 7 am, leave the house by 7:30ish and get home at 9:30pm. I eat breakfast in the car on the way to work, I eat lunch in between classes and dinner at my private class.

I can handle the physical exhaustion, that's not the problem. I've pushed my body hard before. I'm struggling with the mental exhaustion. I'm productive, efficient and keen when I'm busy. But I'm learning that when I'm too busy I'm sloppy, forgetful and snappy.

I should have married rich! *






* ha, joking!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Time to REdefine my goals!

What an interesting day!

I met with a couple who are 'DREAM BUILDERS' and they want to inspire me to achieve my dreams. Cool, hey! And then they wanted me to do this by selling AMWAY! HUH? I'm all for people following their dreams except that when I told them this wasn't for me and that I didn't believe in the concept the guy replied with "you don't believe in people following their dreams?" GAHHHHH -- defensive and combative! Anyways I escaped without feeling obligated to buy $47.76 on a bottle of water!

Maybe it's time to sit down and look at that massive list of resolutions and really define my goals!

YOU ask, I answer!

Mrs. Kim asked:

Jen,
Do you eat your meals with your parents or do you and SH mostly do your own thing? Are your parents pretty hands-off, giving you guys your own headspace even though you share living quarters?
________________________________________

YES AND NO! Sung Hyun practices welding from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. My dad usually picks him up and drives him home because we only own 1 car now. He goes home and eats supper with my parents and then drives himself to English school. He's gone from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm. He comes home and makes supper #2 by himself. We sit and talk with each other about our day. I drive him to his welding practice in the morning at 8:00 am and then I arrive home the same time as him. I eat lunch and dinner at work. Then on the weekend we cook for ourselves or go out to eat, with the exception of Sunday family supper night.

My parents give us our own freedom and don't expect us to eat with them. But I'm a people person so I enjoy surrounding myself with others. I have always been that way so I actually like sharing my life with others (if you couldn't already tell from my blog). When I was little the biggest form of punishment was sending me up to my room to be alone. My brother, on the other hand, loved playing by himself. The biggest form of punishment for him was sending him outside to play with others. We are polar opposites!

We rely a lot on our parents. They help us out a lot. We pay rent and pay them for their gas and time but we also get a lot of things as an added bonus. We don't have to make our own lunch for example. I'm so thankful to be able to be living with them. Although I dream of my own space and the freedom of being a newly married couple, I appreciate the opportunity to get ahead financially.

Sunday weigh-in

HAPPY SUNDAY y'all!!

Back for another Sunday weigh-in. Part I here. Part II here.

Slow and steady is my motto. Small little changes adding up to something big.

Changes I made this week:

Sunday supper: skipped the dessert
Weekday lunch: packed my lunch everyday (good on the waistline and the budget)
Thursday night: ate an orange at night when I was hungry instead of junk food
Friday night: had Korean BBQ and added mixed grains to the white rice
Saturday lunch: went out for Indian buffet and didn't go up for seconds (left satisfied, not stuffed)
Saturday night: invited to a backyard BBQ and brought my own turkey burger which I sandwiched between lettuce instead of a bun.

Another successful happy week!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

An update of sorts!

1. WORK AND HAPPINESS:

I've been feeling so HAPPY lately. Everyone at work is commenting that I always looks so happy and that is because I am (ask my husband and he'll probably tell you a different story). I'm always so damn happy at work and I've decided it's because I love my job. I happily go above and beyond what is required of me. I no longer work for the paycheck -- I almost didn't even open my last pay stub. And THAT alone is huge for me. I'm lucky to be doing something I really really enjoy!

2. NEW JOB:

My new job is nothing short of AWESOME! The students are wonderful and it's totally different than teaching at the university. I like the balance of university acedemics during the day and nightime casual English 'play' at Open Door. The students also enjoy having me as their fun (yet wild) English teacher. Some of them have only been in Canada for 3 weeks. I'm so happy to be their first connection to English.

3. SUNG HYUN:

I haven't updated about my lover lately. He quit his manual labour job at the end of March. Since then he's been practicing welding at a local college here in the city. He pays a weekly rental fee so he can prepare for his "B Pressure" welding ticket. If he passes his exam then he will be highly employable. Combine that with his awesome work ethic and he'll have a job in no time. The exam failure rate is 70%

4. LIVING WITH THE FOLKS:

As it stands we are STILL living with mom and dad. It's been great overall and we both know how lucky we are to have parents that support us. The basement renos are underway and we will be paiting this weekend, getting new carpet on Monday and moving our stuff back in the following week. YAY to finally having our own space again. Although I'm used to living with my Korean mother in law in a 1 room apartment so lack of space here certainly isn't a big issue.

5. MONEY:

It will be nice once Sung Hyun gets a job so that we have a steady income which will allow us to budget and set up some financial goals together. We are NEVER on the same page when it comes to money. Right now, because of Sung Hyun's school fees, our expenses are more than my (our) income. BOOOOO!

6. EATING HEALTHY:

I've done a lot of healthy eating this week. I want to jump on the scale and weigh myself, but I keep telling myself to wait until Sunday. I haven't done any exercise in over 2 weeks but starting next Monday I'll be back at the gym with a personal trainer. I can't wait!

It wasn't until I returned from Korea that I realized how unhealthy our family eats (and Canadians in general). I've grown up with 2 working parents so meals were always fast and easy, which usually meant artificial or frozen. I'm making an effort to introduce healthy REAL food into my diet. And slowly but surely it's working!

Happy (almost) weekend everyone!

The Korean Paul Potts!

HOLY SNAP! This made me get all goose bumpy and emotional. How SWEET!


Monday, June 06, 2011

Groupon Coupon!

Remember my first GROUPON buy?

It was love at first site and I've been buying ever since. And here's what I've got presently:

1. Lunch groupon to the Fainting Goat
2. Dinner groupon to the Fainting Goat
3. The Green Ranch Groupon: A basket of free fruits and veggies from a local farm
4. Groupon for 13th Ave. Coffee House
5. McGavin's Bread Basket
6. Groupon for Eat Healthy Foods
7. Tumblers Pizza
8. Body Shop
9. Michi Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar for dinner (x 2), plus one for lunch
10. Mediterranean Bistro
11. Pita Pit
_____________________________________

Does this make me look like a compulsive over spender?

Sunday eats, Monday treats!

Sunday dinner was AWESOME!

Breakfast is my fav. meal of the day. I HAVE TO EAT BREAKFAST. Last night I prepared overnight oats.

I combined about 1 c. raw oatmeal, 1/2 c. almond milk, sprinkle of chia seeds, holy crap cereal, flax seed and coconut and topped it off with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt. Then, I mixed it all up and put it in the refrigerator for the night.

It makes for a yummy lazy man's breakfast the next morning. It's soooo good! Go try it!

This little procrastinator has got to get back to lesson planning and exam writing.

HAPPY MONDAY!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sunday weigh-in

I think I'm going to do a weekly weight-in and post it on here every Sunday. I like the idea of being accountable to more than just myself. And I'm so proud of myself for posting these pictures. I feel good about it even though I was forewarned by my husband who said "if you show those pictures somebody is going to call you fat".

And I'm okay with that!

Anyone else need the extra push? Then, please join me!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Update #5

One of the biggest struggles Sung Hyun and I deal as a couple is MONEY! Surprise, surprise! Most of the contention comes from having 2 very different ideas about money, how it should be spent and the value it plays in our day to day life. Different upbringings, personal views and pride are all contributing factors to our dilemma. Then when you throw in a little bit of cultural difference you've got a recipe for disaster. Well, welcome to my disaster. More on that later!

With the help of my brother (the financial genius), I have opened my own online trading account through questrade. Within the first day I made $100. YAY! Then I lost $100. Then I gained some, lost some.........you get the picture. In this process I've learned to stop checking questrade everyday, which is what my brother told me from the beginning.

I never thought that investing could be so easy. All my life I've been giving my money to someone else to manage. I've invested in mutual funds and although that certainly wasn't a bad idea, it's nice to have control over a tiny bit -- because I wouldn't trust myself with much more than that!