Tag Archives: Kitten

Movie Monday: Captain Phillips

My apologies for a much-delayed post, everyone! We have been gearing towards moving to a different host and spazzing up the website! You will see it soon. However, I wanted to share with everyone a review of the recently released Captain Phillips. We saw a late-night showing Friday night, stocked with popcorn, vitamin water, and Raisinets! Before I start, let me say that we both enjoyed the movie.

This movie is based on real events which happened in 2009. I remember them on the news. Somalian pirates had attacked and taken over a cargo ship near their coast. It was a scary few days, but in the end it was resolved. The problem was, by the time I saw this movie, I had forgotten if Capt. Phillips made it out alive or not (oops). Anyhow, it was surreal watching something from the inside that you had watched on from the “outside” via news sources. I’m not sure how accurate the movie is to the actual event, but still a movie worth watching.

captain-phillips-poster

Instead of painting the Somalians as evil pirates, the audience was given a real-world look on their lives. How they saw piracy as the only choice to survive. It gave a human element to the pirates and made the movie more gripping and complex. People do things for a reason, not because they have black hearts. Still, it was a frightening, hold-your-breath type of movie. The crew of Captain Phillips’ were just average everyday people, as was the captain himself. That brought more tension and anxiety for the audience, as you imagine yourself in the same situation.

The movie was smoothly played out, and it didn’t jump too quickly. However, the tension built the entire time because you knew what was going to happen. I can’t think of a part I would’ve taken out, it all seemed to help paint the picture of reality. It’s easy to see how many people in Captain Phillips’ situation would have buckled under the enormous pressure and gotten either the crew or themselves killed. It added to the strength of the character and pulled the audience to have a closer relationship with the protagonist. The tensions only get raised when the Navy comes in and has a time limit on how long they can let this situation last before they have to terminate it. Capt. Phillips is racing against time and the stability of his captors, and it’s unnerving to think about how it all may play out.

captain-phillips-01

The stand-out factor for me in this movie was the acting. Tom Hanks did a brilliant job, especially in the last few scenes. He was extraordinarily connected to his character which made it an emotional end. The Somalians, too, did a great job and they weren’t even real actors–just Somalian-Americans from Minnesota. Overall, I give this movie a big thumbs up. Take time to see it! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria trying to escape the bath

Nymeria trying to escape the bath

Our Weekend in Pictures

Sorry for the no-Monday post, but I was busy studying and Chris was busy scuba-diving. I thought I would share the weekend in pictures…enjoy!

Chris getting his scuba certification

Chris getting his scuba certification

Great start to a Saturday...

Great start to a Saturday…

Visited tons of farms and went pumpkin picking

Visited tons of farms and went pumpkin picking

photo (14)

Little Salvation Army visit...

Little Salvation Army visit…

Obviously visited the Humane Society...

Obviously visited the Humane Society…

Chris almost took this guy home

Chris almost took this guy home

Awwwwwwwww

Awwwwwwwww

Video games

Video games

Castle marathons

Castle marathons

Going to the Flatirons Mall and enjoying some Sarku

Going to the Flatirons Mall and enjoying some Sarku

Grocery shopping

Grocery shopping

Some home-cooked meals

Some home-cooked meals

Study snacks (totally stole this from Chocolate Covered Race Medals)

Study snacks (totally stole this from Chocolate Covered Race Medals)

Not to mention WORKOUTS

Not to mention WORKOUTS

Chris surprised me with a 3-course meal from one of our favorite restaurants, Dagabi Cucina

Chris surprised me with a 3-course meal from one of our favorite restaurants, Dagabi Cucina

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BONUS KITTY PIC

^.^

^.^

Workout Smart: Speed vs. Contraction and Form

Working as a trainer in a gym, I see all kinds of people working out. Some are experts, some are beginners, and some are just plain doing it wrong. I never like to judge: people workout and train for all kinds of purposes and goals, which means they workout differently. However, there are still ways you can workout the wrong way, despite training differently for various goals. It’s not just annoying to see this, it worries me. Working out the improper way doesn’t just make you look silly, but you could seriously hurt yourself too.

This is where the topic of today comes in: speed versus contraction and proper form. Some guys and girls, usually teenage boys (but sometimes 60+ men which is the most worrisome), will try to do reps of exercises–whether it be curls, rows, pull-downs, you name it–as fast as they can. I’m not sure if it’s because they can’t properly handle the weight so they try to get it done as fast as possible or they are trying to show off their abilities. They are wrong in both reasonings. They might even think that doing it as fast as possible is the right way to do it–WRONG. 

Proper form

Proper form

Don’t get me wrong, I will give an exception where fast training is okay. Plyometrics. Athletes. Competition trainees. These are the few exceptions. Athletes need to use plyometrics (training muscles to exert maximum force in the smallest amount of time possible with the most power possible) to get better at their sport. They improve their speed and power this way. You will see athletes doing plyometric jumps or lifts as well as other agility drills. This is okay! People who are training for certain competitions also need to do power-lifting, in which you will see a lot of jerks and snaps for getting their weight up. This is also okay!

I’m talking about the people who aren’t training for competitions, but just working out to achieve certain goals. The average gym-goer. Form is my #1 priority with my clients and they know it! They learn so well that they are able to point out others’ bad form in the gym while we are training. And because I love good form so much, I hate bad form even more. Attention weight lifters: you do not look cooler, sexier, or fitter when you yank that bar down so fast you pull a muscle.

Us in the weight room

Us in the weight room

Weight-lifting is all about control. Control is power. It’s not even all about not injuring yourself (although working out in jerky, fast motions without proper muscle control is a quick road to injury), it’s about maximizing gains and muscle strength. We could get very detailed about how fast repetitions should be based on what you’re looking for (muscle endurance, hypertrophy, strength, power, etc.), but that’s for another post.

Let’s just go to the basics. You will “feel” the reps more when you slow down. You will feel your muscle working, breaking down, and getting stronger. If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself. Try a set of bicycles (lay on your back, knees up, elbow to opposite knee, repeat). Do 30 seconds of it fast, and then try 30 seconds slow. I’ll bet your abs will feel it a lot more when you go slower. I always have my clients slow down, for example, doing rear delt flyes, even on machines like leg extension, you will get such a better workout if you just slow down. 

Just think about it. When you slow down, and thus get the full repetition, you are allowing your muscle to go all the way through the motions, feeling it at each range of motion. Also, another quick note: don’t skimp out on the “negative” motion of a muscle action (aka the release, the elongation, the extensionof a biceps curl, not the actual curl). Many are tempted to quickly let go of the muscle tension and let it “fall down” to the starting place rather than controlling it. Again, we control it, we gain strength, we show power. If we cut it short, then we don’t get to strengthen the muscle at the most important part: the elongation of the muscle where it feels it the most.

Gunz from lifting with CONTROL

Gunz from lifting with CONTROL (haha jokes)

Next time you hit the weights or the machines, remember about good form and slowing down. Don’t hunch, keep your shoulders back, and your heart strong. Use these tips to stay hungry and fit! Cheers!

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BONUS KITTY PIC 

Sajah hiding

Sajah hiding

Tony’s Italian Kitchen: Our Favorite Pizza

Watch out, it’s another stop on our New Jersey Easter Vacation! And of course, yes, it’s another food stop… And this time, it’s PIZZA! Who doesn’t love pizza? (Awkward for lactose intolerants…) So if you read our About section, you know I hail from California. Before I went to New York, I thought we Californians had pretty good pizza. Boy, was I wrong! Not that Californian pizza is horrible, but it just doesn’t compare to New York or New Jersey pizza. Especially, Tony’s Italian Kitchen.

Us driving around Chris' hometown

Us driving around Chris’ hometown

It’s easy to pass up Tony’s, it’s in a tiny strip mall along with some other offices like Chris’ chiropractor and other little places. But once you discover it, it’s a gem! Luckily, Chris and his family had been getting Tony’s pizza for years, so all I had to do was tag along. The first bite I had, I was able to declare this the best pizza I’ve ever had, and trust me, I’ve had a lot of pizza. More specifically, it has the best cheese pizza. His family very often gets it to bring it home. And then I always eat too much.

So during this New Jersey Easter trip, it was our second food stop after having bagels for breakfast. We had two of our friends with us and split a large cheese pie between us. The wait was tantalizing. And then it came out to us, sizzling and hot. We always let it cool a little so the cheese can settle. And you should always have a Peach Snapple with it too. That first bite into that pizza was awesome. We hadn’t had it for six months or so, so it was that much better!

Drool-worthy

Drool-worthy

What really makes Tony’s the best is the amazing sauce. I don’t know what they do to it, but it is so fresh. It was really difficult not to scarf it down way completely fast. The crust is scrumptious and dusted to perfection. If you think you’ve had good pizza, come to Tony’s Italian Kitchen and see if you’ve really had the BEST. Cheers!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Cute Sajah

Cute Sajah

Kitty Spotlight: Sajah

We’ve mentioned Sajah, our new kitten, a few times here. Sajah means “lion” in Korean and he is quite the lion cub. He is 3.5 months old, and a little stocky fluff ball. We originally got him to give a companion to Nymeria when Misty passed away just over a month ago, since Nymeria is still a kitten too and needs companionship while we are at work. So, please meet Sajah:

Sajah with mama The second day after we got him, Sajah ran away. We had the door open for a split second and he took off with his short stocky legs. We were up all night searching, and it was cold. We were worried about him. This was stress atop grief from losing Misty…wasn’t a good few weeks. Every night we searched, and every night we gave up a little hope. We put flyers up everywhere, calling his name, shaking his toys he loved so much. But we just didn’t find him. And then about five days later, we got a call. Turns out he was across the street, literally across the street from us. A woman heard a crying in the night and then in the morning and found him hiding in an undercarriage of a car. He was okay, just hungry, tired, and dirty. He knew he was close to home but couldn’t quite find it. Phew. What a little punk. 

First day we got him

First day we got him

Sajah is very mischievous, almost without meaning to. He doesn’t quite get how to cover the evidence and sneak away from the scene of the crime. He has recently gotten into the habit of jumping on the counter (undoubtedly from Nymeria) and sneaking around for food. He loves food. In fact, he also tried to get Nymeria’s food every time after he finished (faster), but he’s stopped for fear of us and punishment. One time we were eating popcorn on the couch and he basically dive-bombed into the bowl. It was pretty funny, but not when he tipped it all over the floor.

Found them like this

Found them like this

Scrounging for honey

Scrounging for honey

Sajah is also skiddish when we aren’t lying down or sitting or have food in our hands. It probably comes from the fact that, like Misty, Sajah was born feral (simply meaning in the “wild,” outdoors, not with humans). The few days outside probably didn’t help either. Even if we had been feeding him just minutes before, if we walk towards him he will run under the couch as fast as possible.

Enjoying the sun

Enjoying the sun

However…if we are lying down or sitting on the couch, you can be sure Sajah will find his way there. He may be skiddish when we’re standing, but he will snuggle into you and Nymeria when you’re sitting. He particularly loves lying on our necks and faces while we sleep (thanks, Sajah). And he has the loudest purr, and you can feel it vibrating too! We are very happy that he has fit into our family of big cuddlers.

Stretched out

Snuggle bunny

Wake up!Nymeria and Sajah have been getting along more so now than when we first got him. At first, he was constantly annoying Nymeria, pouncing on her and biting her–playfully of course. Now, Nymeria is used to being the younger, annoying sibling. It’s good she’s getting a dose of her own medicine, but she was getting very tired of constantly getting bowled over and would seek us for refuge. He’s calmed down and now they play when they both want to. And we have caught them cuddling lots.

Lion and Panther

Lion and Panther

More napping

Reluctant to get up

Too cute Stacked on mommy Sajah has the most scratchy meow when he’s hungry (which is all the time) and will not cease if we are preparing food. Gets pretty annoying but would rather him be vocal than quiet. He does have cute meows when he’s cuddling or wanting to go on our laps. Although I wasn’t really ready for another kitty, Sajah has found a place in our home and our hearts and has certainly become part of our family. We look forward to future with him and Nymeria.

Daddy + Sajah

Ultimate lion cub pic...my favorite

Ultimate lion cub pic…my favorite

Cheers and Meow

Work Those Push Muscles: Chest and Triceps Workout

So there are some workout match-ups that tend to be our favorites. One of those favorites is the sweet chest and triceps pair. It’s a great combination and leaves you exhausted afterwards (my arms are very upset with me now that I am typing). So Alana, you’re probably saying, why is it a good combination? Lemme spit some reasons at ya (not literally, come on).

Triceps brachii, large arm model - Muscles of ...

Triceps brachii

1. Convenience: being able to do your chest and triceps at once can really open your workout schedule. This is especially for the people who tend to try to workout every day or every other day. It gives you a few days to work on other muscle groups without worrying about overworking those muscles. Because ultimately, that will lead to injury. And that’s a no-no.

2. Effective: you’re going to get a much better chest and triceps workout if you work them together. If you’re doing it properly, every chest exercise you do will work your triceps a bit and every triceps exercise will work your chest. That’s just how our body works.

3. Power: it makes you feel huge. Think about the strength, effort, and power that goes into benching.

Anyhow, there’s a few reasons for you. Now let’s get to our actual workout. We have a few pictures for you of yours truly.

1. We started out with a super-set (one exercise after the other, no rest) of push-ups and triangle push-ups, working our chest in the first and triceps in the latter. You don’t need any equipment for this, so no excuses! Go until failure.

2. Our next super-set was incline chest press and incline pec fly. This really requires good strength and power (especially chest press). Unforunately, no pictures of us doing this. For chest press, you sit on the inclined bench, and push your arms straight up.

For pec fly, get in the same seated position. But start your arms out, like you’re going to give a tree a hug, and bring inwards (you tree-hugger!).

3. For this we didn’t do a super-set, because we wanted to spot each other for bench press. Personally, I’ve lost a lot of my strength, and can’t bench nearly what I used to (you’ll see low weight in the picture, the bar = 45 lbs). It’s just good to be there and spot for each other to get the weight up and getting help getting it down. We did decline bench press. Go for a good weight and, as usual, go til failure.

4. For our last super-set we combined triceps cable press and double-hand triceps extension. This really killed our triceps (in a good way!). For anyone uncomfortable with triceps exercises, I find that the cable press is an easy pathway to get comfy with working those triceps. You position yourself with the feet shoulder-width apart, facing the cable, and press down the steel triangle or horse rope down and bring your arms back to 90 degrees.

For triceps extension, grab a good weight and place behind your head and do vertical raises.

5. And lastly, to end our muscle workout, we did a cable cross-press. This will get a good pinching burn in your chest and triceps. We juiced out the rest of our strength through these. Always go to the end of your workout. Never stop pushing. Unless you feel sharp pains, THEN STOP. Stand away from the cables, grab each cable in each hand and cross over your hands.

For this entire workout, we did four sets of everything and pushed to failure. It could range from 8 to 100, it’s up to your body and your strength. We ended it with some excellent twenty-minute bouldering where Chris finished a new route that had been challenging him for weeks!

Please let us know if you have any questions! Cheers!

Kitty Spotlight: Misty

Nymeria was featured in the last kitty spotlight, so I thought I’d do a general one for Misty too. Our kittens couldn’t be more different. Misty is the elder (4 months, making her a month older) and certainly acts it, except when it’s food time. She came to us feral, under-socialized, and she’s come so far. Sure she’s still a princess brat selfish food-craving mess, but she’s found a home here. And that’s most important.

First day we got her

Okay so when we first got her, she was terrified. She wouldn’t go near Nymeria, Chris, or I. She would hide wherever she could at all times. She didn’t trust us, she would constantly hiss, she didn’t know how to play, how to cuddle…she had a lot to learn. One day, we thought she escaped and we freaked out, tearing the apartment apart, looking for her, looking outside, and so forth. And eventually we decided to look under the dishwasher. And guess what we found.

However, with a lot of coaxing, time, patience, and living 24/7 with Nymeria, she improved drastically. It took a lot of work and patience, but now she’s one of the family. Nymeria, the constant huntress, taught her how to play, hunt, and pounce. Which Misty now does on a regular basis. She hunts and pounces on the toys, and Nymeria and Misty usually play all the time. I say usually because they haven’t for the past week.

Nymeria, the fierce cuddler, taught Misty how to cuddle. Whenever we come home from work, from being out, wherever, we find them sleepily waking up side by side on the top of the cat tree. Always cuddling. They never like to sleep too far apart from each other. Sometimes, we’ll find them sleeping together under the desk which is a tiny space.

Before, she used to run away from us, now she can’t get close enough. She loves cuddling with us on the couch. In fact, she slept with us all last night, sleeping on my tummy or next to my hip, keeping each other warm. She’s an excellent cuddler, and doesn’t do the kneading thing Nymeria is so famous for (which can hurt if she has long nails). If she finds Nymeria on us, you can be sure she will be on us too.

She has a serious obsession with food. Like yeah, I get it, I had a dog, they love food. Animals love food. But no, she has like a chemical imbalance or something, because she goes bananas. Nymeria doesn’t. She will give the occasional cry for some food, but Misty, when she hears the closet door open (where the food is) or the food bowls, she goes crazy. She will run up and jump up on the closet, mewing constantly as if she’s going to die in the next 3 minutes if you don’t hurry up and give her food. As if she’s never been fed in her life. She eats within 15 seconds (no exaggeration) while Nymeria is the opposite and takes a few years (slight exaggeration). She sometimes eats so fast she throws up and then eats it again (gross, I know). And then she will go on the prowl, learning tactics from Nymeria, to use on her very own sister–to steal her food! Until we scold her and put her in the bathtub.

Misty has a very strong lower body. During food time, she will go on her hind legs and walk around on them in order to be closer to the food

Misty also has some funny and cute sleeping positions. Like the on-my-back-paw-over-face (you can see these below) or the sink nap. Before, when they were limited to only the bathroom when we were away from the house, Misty would decide on her sleeping spot–the sink. Wet? Sometimes. Comfy? I guess…? Anyhow, when she’s not sleeping with Nymeria, you can be sure to find her in some of those positions.

 

Misty can also be a very naughty girl (like stealing Nymeria’s food). We constantly find her jumping onto the counter where we eat and prepare food. Several times, we’ve come in and found  her sleeping atop the fridge, which is yes, adorable, but still not allowed. Sometimes we find her in the kitchen sink, scrounging for food due to her serious addiction. We either spray her with a water bottle, grab her scruff and say “No!”, or put her in the bathtub, depending on the severity of the crime.

Well regardless of everything, she’s really grown into the family, cut out 90% of the hissing and is a great cuddler. Sure, we wish she’d play a little more, but everything comes with time. I can hear her mewing now because apparently it’s food time. There were just too many pictures, I wish I could show you all of them.

Cheers!

KITTIES!

So we don’t exactly have full-time jobs yet…but we went ahead and did the right thing. Which was adopting two kittens (2 month old and a 3 month old) from the Boulder Humane Society. It was a tough decision and up to this point, I was wary about having cats (let alone kittens) in the apartment.

I thought…Maybe they’ll cost too much money! We don’t have the apartment set up yet! We should have jobs! Blah blah blah

Chris wanted cats badly. He was never allowed to have pets growing up and now was his shining chance of glory to snuggle big time with some kitties. So, he set to work whenever I had an obstacle that made me uncomfortable about getting cats.

I’d like to get all of our furniture first. He went on Craigslist and we ended up with a lot of great free furniture (some were prizes from the dumpster). We know how to play it cheap 😉

I want everything scrubbed down first. So Friday morning, we went to town, cleaning all the floors, vacuuming, making sure everything looked great! 

And jobs… Hey, we’ve both almost got ’em. And we have lots of savings from smart living.

So Friday, after a long morning of cleaning and chores, we head to the Boulder Humane Society. Even Chris had some doubts about whether it was really time. So we went just to take a look. Now, I’m normally a dog lover, but in our apartment, we can only have cats. But hey, I like ’em too. All animals = love.

Oops. They have a kitten room. WITH SEVEN KITTENS ALL ROLLING AROUND AND PLAYING! It was too much. We were shown in after drooling all over the viewing window. We first fell in love with a small black kitten named Sizzle who was a rambunctious little thing playing with whoever would have her. And she ended up jumping in my lap. Then there were a few others that we were debating…some were on hold…and some we just couldn’t decide.

I, however, quickly decided on Sizzle (who would later be changed to Nymeria–a little Song of Ice and Fire lore for you–and yes, nerd alert). Chris was debating between three others…one playful grey and white, another playful one (ginger), and a calm, sleepy one who was a mix of Siamese and lynx. After thirty minutes of debating, he decided on the Siamese-Lynx mix named Misty and we kept the name.

Nymeria — 2 months old

Nymeria came home with roundworm–a parasite that makes her (unfortunately) poop a lot. She’s freaking adorable and a crazy-awesome snuggler who likes to go right under your neck and nuzzle. But she needs a diaper and I don’t know how many times we’ve had to clean the floor already. But she’s trying.

Misty — 3 months old

This one came under-socialized, meaning she was born feral. The first day, she escaped to any hiding space possible. However, just the second day she warmed up a great deal, didn’t hide, played with toys, and cuddled with her adopted sister. She did, however, give us a horrible scare and–as you can see in the picture above–hid under the dishwasher and we thought she ran away. Phew.

So, as you can probably tell, we’re completely in love. Sometimes I feel like a newborn’s parent and it’s exhausting. Even though it’s a lot of work, it’s worth it when Misty snuggles into your arm, or when you can feel Nymeria’s baby paws on your skin.

Meow.

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