Your Body is Not a Temple

September 25, 2015

Exercise and I haven't always seen eye to eye. Ex-er-cise. The very word would send shivers down my spine while unleashing a roar worthy of any lioness. A daily 30-60-minute lung torturing, body aching sweat session? No, thank you. I much rather partake in some Net-flix instead. Where at least the only pain is the emotional kind.

Alas, adolescence hit along with all the insecurities and other unnecessary tumultuous baggage that comes with it. As the homework load picked up, I began to play sports less frequently. I found myself trying to turn to exercise to fix the problems that I believed only it could mask. Boy was I wrong.

When you do things from a place of love (self-love), it's a lot easier than a place of dislike. I saw working out as the bane of my existence. A cruel tactic to make ordinary people suffer and make the extremely nimble and quick look like gods. I tried to burpee and calorie count my woes away, in the hopes of making a change, all the while reminding myself that my body is a temple.

My body is not a temple. Sacred? Yes. Important, beautiful and strong? Yes, yes and yes, but still not a temple. You are constantly changing as the years rush by, and while a temple somewhat stands the test of time, it is a fixture that doesn't adapt and evolve with its surroundings. So at one point, as the pollution and the calamities of the outside world begin to take their toll, slowly it crumbles into a pile of ancient rubble. Your body is not a temple, you will not collapse into a pile of ruins. Like a vast forest, you will continue to thrive, adapting to the change of seasons and giving birth to new ideas and dreams. Like a beacon of hope, you are are a testament to the world, as you continue to grow and reach for the sky.

Although mighty, it can take a while to see your body in this positive way. But I promise you that it is well worth the effort. Changing my mantra, helped my to see exercise under a new light. Now I actually look forward to going out and doing something that helps improve my health. Whether it's cooking up a healthy meal or working out. Personally, the gym and calisthenics weren't really for me. I prefer sports (rugby, basketball, and taekwondo), dancing (YouTube has tons of great routines to learn) and running (with friends).

I realize now that as long as your body is moving and that you are having fun, that it's truly a great tool to boost your mood and your heart rate. Ultimately, you define what healthy looks like for you, and you decide under what form you want to achieve this model of health.

“Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest—thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.”
― Beau Taplin

~Alexandra XO 

What do you do to show your body some love?

DIY Chalk Message Boards

September 11, 2015
DIY Chalk Message Boards

 I love chalkboards. I adore how the board can be easily reused, like a never ending canvas that allows for continuous creativity and self expression. I also love making lists, and so I find that these boards are a great way to reduce the amount of papers I have lying on my desk. This alleviates some of the guilt I have from wasting so much paper on my daily to-do lists, and makes my tasks more easier to see and ultimately accomplish. Not to mention, using chalkboard markers are much more fun then using a regular pencil. So, I made this simple DIY to keep you calm, cool and collected through the roller coaster that is life. Drum roll please. Cute, simple to make and even easier to use, I present to you DIY Chalk Message Boards.

Firstly, you will need the following tools:

Tools for the DIY Chalk Message Boards

I wanted to make this craft extremely quick and bought some spray-on chalkboard that dries in a day or two (please ensure to read the instructions on your own can). Following the directions, I searched around the house for flat objects that were dying to be up-cycled. My chosen victims were my old taekwondo boards, and my even older desk place-mat. After sanding the boards to perfect smoothness and wiping down the mat, I gave each board a quick spray or two (outdoors), let them dry (outdoors) and voila! Once completely dried, I rubbed the surface with chalk and wiped it clean.

Click here for more DIYs

I recommend using chalkboard markers or pencils instead of regular chalk--especially if the board is constantly in use--to reduce dust and preserve the writing. After purchasing a brightly colored pack, I decided to turn these planks into motivational message boards, and so I rounded up a few of my favorites from my Pinterest and hung them on my wall.


Alexandra XO

Keep in Touch : Twitter / Bloglovin' / Pinterest

Movies: My Back-to-School Favorites

September 04, 2015

If back-to-school shopping and preparations haven't been keeping you busy all week, then you are probably already in school. The big day for me is next week. And as I prepare myself physically for school with new clothes, accessories and supplies, I still can't shake the feeling of nervous excitement for my final year of high school to begin. At this point some people turn to food, others turn to working out and I turn to books (I mentioned my back-to-school faves last week), music and most importantly, movies. Other than a good read, there's nothing like a movie marathon to help you forget your woes and give you the motivation to start the new year off on a good note. So here are a few of my favourite films that I turn to when the going gets tough. They each serve a different purpose, but all manage to make me (and hopefully you as well) feel better.

For the Team Spirit: Remember the Titans

Based on a actual events that took place in 1971, the journey of a newly integrated football team is a one filled with obstacles and eventually, triumph. As the players learn to put their differences aside and work as a team, so does their hometown. Soon the high school team serves as a unifying symbol, as prejudices and hate are pushed aside. Coach Boone steers his team and the whole community towards a place of heart, mutual respect, a sense of family and "perfection" as the boys dominate the year's football season. We watch as every tackle, touchdown and successful play is more than a few points for the Titans, but a win for race relations in Virginia. An inspiring story that I have watched countless times in class and at home, it serves as a good reminder to take pride in whatever you do and to be a little friendlier to my classmates.  

Favourite Line:

Alice, are you blind? Don't you see the family resemblance? That's my brother.

For the Friendships and Music: High School Musical 1-3

A staple of my childhood and a Disney classic, I present to you High School Musical 1-3. While the trilogy did give me unnaturally high hopes for high school, it did teach valuable life lessons through the power of song, team spirit and dance. While my friends and I have yet to master the gravity defying "High School Musical jump"and I have yet to meet my own singing, dancing, basketball dunking Troy Bolton, the nostalgia brought on from seeing the movie magic unfold is priceless. While my own school may not be as cool as East High, the film taught me to not "stick to the status quo" and that sometimes all you need is a little music, a few good friends and an open mind to have the time of your life.

Favourite Line (and the best line to chant before a big game, just insert your team for Wildcats):

Chad Danforth: WHAT TEAM?
The Basketball team: WILDCATS.
Chad Danforth: WHAT TEAM?
The Basketball team: WILDCATS.
Chad Danforth: WHAT TEAM?
The Basketball team: WILDCATS.
Chad Danforth: WILDCATS?
The Basketball team: GETCHA' HEAD IN THE GAME.

For the Globetrotter: Funny Face

Starring the beloved Fred Astaire and the always elegant (and my all-time favourite) Audrey Hepburn, Funny Face is a true Cinderella story. Starting as a "funny-faced" bookstore salesgirl, Jo Stockton's intriguing appearance earns her a modelling gig , after a chance encounter with the photographer Dick Avery. The dynamic duo (plus one) head to the City of Lights for a photo shoot. Funny Face not only provided a few excellent gowns (the red Givenchy number is divine) and songs, but a fantastic dance number, serving as inspiration for everything from commercials (Gap's 2007 "Gap in Black"ad) and music videos (Countdown by Beyoncé ). It's an excellent movie when you want a change of scenery, or a reminder to take everything in stride and to never let an opportunity pass you by, whether it's running for class prez or joining the soccer team.

Favourite Quote:

Every girl on every page of Quality has grace, elegance, and pizazz. Now, what's wrong with bringing out a girl who has character, spirit, and intelligence?

For the Drama and Group Dynamic : Mean Girls

Three words: high school classic. I have been watching this movie way before I could properly understand any of its content. It has been the entertainment on numerous school road trips and on sleepovers. The comic one-liners and scenes has shaped the way numerous students imagine high school to be, a jungle filled with popular girls clothed in pink, outrageous school-wide fights and of course, a burn book. While most of what is depicted will probably never occur in ones high school career, the film reminds us that school--especially high school-- isn't half bad. Or at least it makes us grateful that "fetch" hasn't caught on, and that Regina George isn't real.

Favourite Line:

One time, she punched me in the face. It was awesome.

For the Future Ms. Career Gal: 13 Going on 30

I have yet to watch a movie with a dance scene to Michael Jackson's Thriller of this calibre. Not to mention the whole concept of the film itself. A 13-year-old miraculously turning into a 30-year-old, earning her a glimpse into her future as a self-made woman. Yes, please! If the dance scene doesn't cheer you up, Jenna's mistakes and mishaps as she tries to connect the dots, correct her past mistakes, while managing her career, makes next week's slew of assignments seem a little more manageable.

Favourite Line:

Thirty, Flirty and Thriving

For the Peppy Prepster: Bring It On

This high-flying-hip-hopping-spirit-finger-wielding movie is bound to put you in a better mood. It's like Mean Girls,  full of sass and attitude, mixed with lots of pep, spirit sticks and team curses. As the new cheer captain Torrance tries to steer her team to victory, she faces a few obstacles in the form of their school rivals, the Clovers. Old squad secrets are brought to light, serving as a true lesson on plagiarism. Torrance's championship Toros must start from scratch, and are forced to search for inspiration in the most unlikely of places in order to redeem their title and have what it takes to "bring it" against Isis' Clovers.

Favourite Line:

Follow me, or perish, sweater monkeys. 

Here's to great year everyone!

Alexandra XO

Keep in Touch : Twitter / Bloglovin' / Pinterest