Age of Pandora Workout Begins! Day 1

About a month and a half ago, I began a journey to introduce exercise into my life on a daily basis. I was stuck in a rut of sitting on the couch and getting mostly nothing accomplished everyday. It has been affecting my relationship with my family and myself. So I grudgingly took on the challenge of doing exercise daily. I have never been an enthusiastic exerciser. Sweating and breathing heavy, never really did it for me, they still don’t. But I needed to get inside my brain and rewire it somehow to move on from the excuses and maybe, quite possibly enjoy exercising and hopefully my life again.

It took a few minutes of rooting around on Darebee to find the right program (from their totally free website of exercise workout cards!! I love free!) to begin. I knew I needed something challenging, yet not overwhelming and difficult, else I wouldn’t stick to it. I found the foundation program to be the perfect starting point for me. Then I started it, that day and somehow made it to the end. I would like to say everyday I succeeded in doing my exercises, but that would be a lie. I skipped a day or two at the most after working out continuously for 4-5 days in a row. This is why it took a month and a half instead of the 30 days it should’ve taken me. But the important thing was that I was doing it! I did it! I achieved my goal.

Now instead of turning back to the life of the couch, I decided on my next course of action a week ago, so I could have all my materials and mind ready to begin Today! I downloaded the pdf for the program I’m following during this 30 days, Age of Pandora, so I can’t use the excuse of crappy internet to skip days. Because this time, I’m challenging myself to not only exercise daily, but to not skip days.

So here I go! Will you join me?


Move My Body March!

My friend K and I have been exercising everyday,  in some fashion for over a month! It’s been exactly 38 days for me and around 34 for her,  she started a few days after me.  Both of us have  noticed a difference in our bodies, in a good way, and today I decided to share with you what we’ve been doing!  So here is what our week generally looks like.  We just started using workout cards last week.  They are really fun and a great way to change it up without having to think too much about it.  On Saturday or Sunday one of us will pick the Playlist for each day and get the videos we use that week organised. 

We work out EVERY day. Even our rest days are active. This was the easiest way to get on board with the habit of exersing. I work out before I eat anything, I find for losing fat,  this works the best for me.  K generally works out with me via our text messenging service, but sometimes life happens and she gets hers in during the afternoon nap time (she also has young kiddos). Our active rest days are Tuesday and Saturday. These are the days that work best for us.  Sometimes if we’re feeling extra energy one day,  we’ll do a quick cardio boost video in the afternoon.

A regular day looks like this:
  5 minute Warmup
  5-10 minute Fitness Blender Cardio or  Jessica Smith
  5 minute Cool Down
Level 1 Workout Card
2 minute Abs
10 minutes Stretching (yoga/app or vid)

This routine generally takes about 45 minutes.

An active rest day looks like this:
20- 30 minutes All in one Cardio – Low Impact (warmup/cardio /cooldown)
10 minutes Stretching (yoga or something similar video or app)

This generally takes about 40 minutes.

We aim to do the same amount of conscious exercise even on rest days,  though the intensity is lower on those days.

Like I said this is what works for us.  We use Fitness Blender and Jessica Smith vidoes on YouTube. The workout cards I mentioned can be found here at The NR Project website. They have a lot of great information about eating,  working out and how to use their website. I have a daily yoga app that can be found here. All of the stuff we use is free.

The best advice I can offer if you have difficulty getting started on doing exercise regularly, find a friend and bully them into doing it too! That’s what worked for us! Just kidding about the bullying. But seriously finding a friend you can message with daily and who can hold you accountable is the best tool for staying motivated. Even on my slugish days, I know K is doing the same as me and has the same stresses in her life as I do and she’s doing this journey with me. So pick someone on a similar life path,  has kids around your kids ages( we both have at least two under 5’s at home) or has similar work (we’re both SAHM’s)  and most importantly you can talk to daily (thanks whatsapp for closing the distance gap!)

Remember, believe you can and you will!

DIY Makeup Item #3, 4 & 5 Lipgloss, Cream Blush & Eyeshadow All-in-One!!

Today as I was purusing the internet for DIY “lip stain” recipes.  I came across this easy and quick idea, using two ingredients!!  How fab is that??  I’m such a sucker for 2 ingredient DIY ideas.  This will go lovely with my 2 ingredient DIY mascara!!

I used the recipe here, DIY Crayon Lipgloss Tutorial, and tweaked it a bit, because I didn’t have coconut oil and I didn’t want to use an entire crayon, since I was planning on making a few different colours.

Now I also needed to figure out what I could use for the container.  I don’t have any lip gloss pots laying around and am not able to aquire some at last minute notice. I’m also a big fan of using what I have around the house already. I decided to use milk caps!!

For the past 8 months we’ve been saving all the caps from the shelf milk we drink.  We go through about a case a month (12 per case).  Needless to say we have a pile of milk caps.

Here in Panama fresh milk is hard to come by, another post for another day. 


I collected the necessary ingredients and got to work!  We used the same process over at
Mom Dot and in about 30 minutes had 7 milk caps filled with brightly coloured homemade lip stain. 

A.J. discovered it could be used as cheek stain, nail polish and arm tattoos…
B.A. discovered it could also be used as eyeshadow, above and below…

What a hoot! 
Even I joined in the fun!

We had a great time and now are able to play “dress up” without worrying about all the chemicals.

Have you tried any DIY makeups?  We’re really having a blast discovering all the things we can make ourselves.

Have a beatiful day!

DIY Makeup Item #2 – Mascara!!

The second item on my list of “Can I make that from scratch easily?”..


I’ve chosen mascara second because it seemed like the next step from eyeliner.  Purusing around the internet for recipes began to make me feel like it might be the trickiest of all the things on my list. It turned out, it’s not that tricky, doesn’t require complex chemistry equations or specific measuring devices.

In fact, for the recipe I chose, I didn’t measure anything at all, thank you very much. 

A few recipes on the internet in hand, I glanced through my cabinets and it turns out, for most of the recipes, I was missing a few key ingredients; Basically all of the items that mattered!! 

Most of the recipes called for a black charcoal or cocoa powder (for brown) or a blend of the two, an oil and aloe vera gel.  Seeing as I wanted to make the mascara now, not in a month, when we get to the mainland to shop again, I started looking for substitution ideas.  I already had the solution to the charcoal powder.  I would just use the black powder from my kajal eyeliner experiment.  I figured out the oil could really be any solid at room temperature oil, so perhaps vegetable shortening would work??

Sweet. Two solutions down, one to go… 

What could I use for aloe? 

It is really necessary??

Low an behold I stumbled upon two separate bloggers who did reviews of all the mascara recipes they could find and they ended up not liking ANY of them, except one!! 


All it took for them was 1 egg yolk and 3-4 activated charcoal tablets, blend well in a glass bowl and pack it into a sterilized tube, viola!

So I got to work, since I would have to make my charcoal powder from scratch. Twenty minutes later and a decent pile of powdery blackness. I collected it into a little cleaned out 2oz plastic makeup pot. ( A reclaimed eye cream container I found in my stash of expired makeup stuff!)

I pulled my egg yolk out of the fridge (I had seperated it from the breakfast eggs that morning, so yep the white was not wasted, in fact it was delicious.) and dropped it into my little jar, perfect fit!

I then began mashing it around with my “ultra super cleaned” finger tip until the powder and yolk were well blend together.  This took about 3 minutes of mixing. Kind of a pain in the bum, honestly.

Once my concoction had reached acceptable darkness colouring, I slathered some onto my cleaned and disenfected reclaimed mascara wand.  Turns out this stuff is globby, slippery and a little goes a LONG way.  I basically put too much on the wand and ended up with a gloppy mess on my lashes.  Since this stuff doesn’t dry super fast, I used the remaining glob on my other eye and rinsed the brush.  I then used the clean brush to even, seperate and touch up the globs and they looked fantastic!!

Yep, that’s what I’m wearing in the photo collage!

I only wear mascara on my upper lashes.

Because I’m a weirdo and that’s how I roll thank you very much.

I think for the next batch, I’m going to add more powdered charcoal and less yolk. Especially since it doesn’t take that much even if you wear it everyday.

If you want more information on how to make your own, google “egg yolk mascara” there are many excellent tutorials on the internet that can speed walk you through the process.

Have a beautiful day. 🙂

DIY Makeup Item #1 – Eyeliner


Let me start by saying… I am not a black eyeliner kinda girl.

For me it has always turned into an over done hooded eye effect that on me, with my big blue eyes, is not really that appealing.  By the end of the day it generally has degenerated to a look that could pass for really bad hangover and a bar fight that led to two black eyes. 


Not really my cup of tea. 

But after doing a lot of “research” on the internet, I felt like it would be a good starting point.  Create a good black eyeliner and I’d be opening doors of possibilities to other eye makeup extravaganza.  Worst case I’d end up with black fingers and nails for a week and no worse for wear.  So with undaunted determination I dove into the world of “homemade kajal” tutorials and never looked back.

Folks, let me tell you, there are many, MANY kajal/kohl tutorials out there. 

Some are in perfect English, others in broken English, some not even in English (but they have lots of photos so you get the point of the operation going down).  Essentially to make this deeply exotic concoction of blackness you need approximately 8 items. 

A metal plate (preferably one you are not sentimentally attached to, as it’s going to be coated in the stuff on the bottom)
Two metal flat bottom bowls…to place said plate on top of (think bridge over water and you get the idea)
A small metal bowl …you are going to turn into a “stove” (don’t worry it won’t be permanent and is completely cleanable…heh heh heh.)
A burnable item …preferrably non-toxic (this will either be an unwound cotton ball or piece of cotton cloth diped in castor oil, or in my case an almond or a walnut, yep you read that right)
A flame creator…no not like hugging up to your significant other or an x-rated movie (i.e. lighter, match, gas stove lit, etc.)
A scraping item (blunt knife, spoon, metal letter opener.)
An empty makeup pot with lid (suggested type is metal with a well fitted lid, think metal lipgloss container)
Some ghee oil (What?!?!? In leue of ghee you can use coconut oil, shea butter, vegetable shortening, lard, basically any kind of oil that will solidify at room temperature. Yeah internet research intern (Google), good find!! Don’t worry you only need a little)

Once you’ve collected and placed your items in the directed organised fashion, the fun begins.  In a draft-free room, you can now light that burnable item, place it in the “stove” (ensuring flame is touching plate, if not adjust stove height so it is) and walk away!!

Okay just kidding about walking away.

Well at least I couldn’t walk away, seeing as I have two delightfully curious kiddos under 5. (other ladies apparently let their cotton/oil creations burn overnight)

Once you’ve accumulated a nice thick undercoating of soot (please check the plate is cool first) pick the plate up and scrape all that glorious powdery blackness onto a paper.  Word to the wise, do this in a DRAFT-FREE room. Oh I mentioned that already? Imagine how I have forgotten. Since doing this near the window that looks out at that beautiful view of the carribean sounded like such a good idea at first. I must have forgotten that little gem of advice during my experimentation. Didn’t want you to make the same mistake, because it is slightly disasterious if you do.

Gently pick up the paper and fold it lengthwise to get the powder to fall into the center and pour it into your clean dry, airtight pot. Did I mention doing this in a draft-free room?


Just checking.

Drop a 1/16 of a teaspoon of chosen oil into pot containing your soot. No it doesn’t have to be exact. You may use more, you may use less. See a tutorial for more specifics.

Now go to town blending with your chosen sacrificial finger tip. Yep. You can say bye to that beautifully cleaned finger for a while.  



As an aside….You will need an eyeliner brush or stick to apply…a q-tip will do in a pinch.

Yes the mixing process will blacken your fingertip, nail and possibly anything else in the vicinity of your speedy attempt at mixing this faster, whilst powdery blackness rains on the countertop of your kitchen.

I may be speaking from experience folks…maybe.

No there is really no other solution I could find, especially NOT those clear plastic disposable glove you happened upon in the storage room…because let’s face it, holes don’t keep stuff out.

Don’t worry though! You will not be left blackened finger forever. It comes off with soap…and time.

It’s only a week of ONE blackened finger tip!!

Geez people where’s your inner drive to succeed at all cost??

Hey whats a little sacrifice in the name of beauty??  Heh heh heh.

And that’s it folks!

It looks quite marvelous actually.  Has me rethinking the whole no black eyeliner thing….maybe…

Have a beautiful day!

Adventures in DIY Makeup


I’ve started a new quest!

Yep that’s right, it’s a quest!

Because it is and that’s that.

This quest is to figure out if it’s possible to make all makeup at home with ingredients I ACTUALLY HAVE at home.  I don’t want to buy all kinds of fancy clays and special oils, gels or activated capsules of something.  I want to use stuff I could actually buy at the local stores here and potentially grow myself.

I know it must be possible.


Personally, I don’t wear makeup often.

There are TONS of questionable chemicals in those sparkly little packages of colour and I have no idea how they will affect my body or health, so yeah, no thanks.

If I do use it, I’ll typcially only partake in a smidgen of mascara and light glazing of tinted lipgloss.  I have an organic mascara and tinted lipgloss that I feel safe enough wearing. But they are expensive and I feel like I should be able to make them myself dangit!!

There are also times where I’d love to slap on a little foundation, add a little colour to my cheeks and eyes.  You know, get prettyfied. 🙂

Just for the heck of it.

Because I can. 😉

Let the quest begin!

Now what can I make first??

Have a beautiful day!

Getting in the Groove of Working Out

Today is Day 4 of my personal 21 day challenge and it is now going well. My long time friend Amanda and J are the two people who inspired me to start doing this exercise, vitamin, eating better thing in the first place.  I just wanted to tell ya’ll thanks! 🙂

First I didn’t get much sleep last night because B woke up at just before 3am and didn’t want to go back to sleep for an hour and a half!! Then at 7:30 am, I was woken up to the entire truck shaking (J doing special pushups) and that woke B up too.  Needless to say my day didn’t start out so super.  I was exhausted, dehydrated (it’s been really warm every night), with dry eyes (because to keep the heat down we have a fan blasting all night, but it helps! Yay!) and mildly disoriented (probably lack of sleep).  But I was determined to stick with my challenge.  So I gathered up my clothes and vitamins and electronics in need of charging and headed over to the Dollhouse (the guest house where we are parked) to try and get my day going in a better direction.  I quickly scrambled up some eggs for the family, taxied it back to the truck and went back to the Dhouse.  After scanning through a few ideas for what to do with my workout today, I finally stumbled upon Spark People. It looked like something that might work for me, so I signed up for free using my facebook account and got started.  I haven’t had a chance to look really indepth yet, but it looks like a promising site.  I did the 12 minute Low Impact Cardio Workout to get warmed up and then started their Day 2 Boot Camp Video.  The printable version is really great too if you don’t have streaming video capabilities or just want to reference it later.  After watching the Day 2 video, I got an idea!  I thought, it would be cool to incorporate this into a AMRAP 10 minute workout for myself today.  So that’s what I did!  I stopped the video just before the stretches and made a few adjustments to one of the exercises and added 2 more exercises and Viola!  My very first workout was created.  Here’s the breakdown for those of you who would like to try it.  Maybe I’ll get gutsy and have J video me doing the actual workout later this week.  It was really fun, easy enough for a beginner and made me sweat like crazy!

Dashaina’s Workout #1
AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)
10 minutes

One Round Included the Following 6 exercises, 10 reps each:
Wide Leg Squats – 10
Wide Leg Squats w/ Heel Pop and Drop – 10
Pushups – 10
R/L Hip Extension Holding Chair – 10 each side
Knee Huggers – 10
Seated Double Knee Extention with Abduction – 10

I was able to complete 4 rounds and 3 exercises.  It was fun and simple enough for me, a beginner.  I’m now inspired to make my workout for tomorrow!.

Opening your mind and Embracing our Potential as Human Beings

It’s Day 2 of this 21 day Challenge I’ve presented to myself and those of you who wanted to join me.   This challenge is not meant for you to have to do the same things as I’m doing, it’s about challenging yourself to start something you’ve been putting aside for the longest time, but something that you really need to start doing.  Like that art project you’ve been meaning to spend time working on.  Or that room you’ve been meaning to reorganise and clean up, so you can have a real craft room.  This challenge is meant to get you to start creating a habit and sticking to it.  But a habit that will help you get to your goal of having a super amazing life!  It’s about creating a habit and keeping that habit and then getting through those things that always seem to be put off till tomorrow.

I challenge you to find 3 things in your life that you’ve been meaning to start doing on a daily basis that can benefit you in 3 fundamental ways.  They should help improve your mind, body and spirit.  Those are the things J is always talking about in his ABC club.  If you are having trouble thinking of what that could be as I did, let’s brainstorm some ideas.

For example we know what my 3 things are:
Consciously exercising on a daily basis (body /spirit)
Taking my B vitamins on a daily basis (mind/spirit)
*Making better food choices (body/spirit/mind)

You’re 3 things may be the same, but may be completely different as I mentioned before.  Perhaps you want to start meditating for 2 minutes everyday for a week and then increase it by 2 minutes ever week until you are consciously meditating for 15 minutes.  Or however you want to increase, could be daily you add a minute until you reach your goal.  Perhaps your goal is to start walking/running for 30 consecutive minutes. These ideas would help your body and spirit.

The subject I want to talk about today will help improve your spirit and mind. Let’s talk about opening your mind and how this plays into the challenge.  Maybe there is someone in your life you are close to who doesn’t believe in the same things you do. What do you do when this happens?  Most people I’ve seen or spoken to do one of three things.

  • They get really upset and start trying to figure out ways to get that person to change their opinions in a violent manner.  (not necessarily a physical violence, this could be emotional or mental too!!)
  • They stop talking to the person all together and cut them out of their lives.  
  • They embrace the person for who they are and try to see things from this new unknown and unfamiliar perspective.  

More often than not, it’s one of the first two things.  But I want to challenge you to start actively practising the third.  This is hard for most people, because we are raised in a culture that embraces similiarity and conformity.  If you’re different you’re not accepted and pushed out of the herd, so to speak.  If you disagree you are cast out of the family and cut off from all those who were supposed to love you.

Imagine for a moment if we were all exactly the same. How would that look?  Where would inspiration and new ideas come from?  How would we challenge each other to be better?  
The beauty of being human beings is that we are not all exactly the same.  We have free will, creative imaginations and the ability to learn a variety of different skills.  
What if you knew someone who was really into collecting stamps and you were really into collecting shells.  You really don’t like stamps and they really don’t like shells.  How on earth could you continue to interact with each other?  Would you stop speaking to them because you didn’t like stamps like they did? Would you try and force them to like shells the way you do?  Probably not, I mean it’s just stamps and shells right?  Big deal.  Sounds silly huh? I mean why on earth would you stop speaking to someone because they collected stamps?  But this kind of thing happens all the time in your daily life.  Stop and think about all the things that happen throughout the day that cause you to get angry?  Is it your spouse disagreeing with your choice of wardrobe?  Is it your children choosing to do something other than what you’ve asked them to do?  Is it your friend believing in a different religion or no religion at all?  Is it your loved one having different tastes in friends?  ALL of these things fall into this stamp vs. shells conflict.
In the stamp vs. shells example, maybe you could decorate a frame in shells and make a collage of stamps, creating a beautiful object for all to see?  How could you make their differences improve the happiness in your life?  Instead of creating discomfort and anger?  Do you think you could you see from their perspective why they may feel the way they do? Could you embrace their differences and learn to exist in harmony with them?  
Trying to see the opposite perspective without getting upset internally, is a really hard thing to do.  Especially when you are firm in your belief that your way is absolutely the perfect way. J and I were talking about this the other day and how I have difficulty embracing my imperfections.  I have a tendency to think I am perfect and therefore refuse to acknowledge my mistakes or learn from them.  This is a bit of a problem, because it doesn’t allow for growth as a person.  It keeps me in the same angry place I’ve been “struggling” to get out of for years.  Let’s think for a moment about what would happen if  I stopped thinking of myself as perfect and started considering and embracing all my mistakes?  What if I started taking those mistakes and learning from them? I could probably become a happier person, because I would stop making the same mistakes.  This in turn would make those around me happier and it would create a ripple effect of happy’s.  To be really open minded we have to stop thinking our way is the perfect way and start embracing that others may be right too and then letting them coexist within our circle. Thus eliminating the conflict around us and causing harmony and peace.
  Now that I thought about this one, it’s a big one for all of us I think, I’m going to add it to my list too.  It’s really hard to see life through someone else’s eyes.  So often we miss opportunities to become inspired by people, because they don’t believe as we do.  
Could you imagine how much better the world around you would be if we could accept the beliefs and ideas of those who disagreed with us?  
I challenge you to have a discussion with someone you’ve been avoiding because it angers you that they don’t follow the same beliefs as you do.  Go talk to them, with an open mind, and try to understand their perspective.  We are all trying to be happy in some way.  Big deal if it’s not the same way as you.  Be happy that they are finding their own way too.  We are all going to make mistakes in life, but that’s the point. 
Experience life.  
Make mistakes.  
Embrace who you are and acknowledge our potential as human beings to do anything that we dream. 
You are your own happiness.  
Don’t create conflict, embrace the differences of those around you and revel in their company.