Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Semi-Kind-of-Ish Work Out Routine

Your first thought should be, "What? Beth works out? As if..."

Because, before a few months ago, I hate hate hate hate hated anything to do with the phrase "work out." (okay I still kind of do but that's beside the point)

Well, except horse back riding and ice skating but those are too much fun to be put in "that" category. ;) The sad thing about those, though, is the cost... SOOO I can't ride horses and skate as often as I'd like (which would be everyday if I was in control... xD).

But, I realized this was not going to happen, so I needed to come up with some other sort of enjoyable exercise (that I could do with just my laptop and my bedroom space) -- because, no, I'm not going to just "go for a jog." No. Jogging is not fun and I do not jog and that is that.

yet another reason not to jog.
So... about a year ago I discovered Blogilates. Run by a really sweet and fun girl named Cassey, she makes pilates workout videos on Youtube... and she runs a blog... hence the name: Blogilates. ;)

(Also -- it's pronounced "blog. ih. lat. ees." Not "blogh-ih-lats" like I called it for a few weeks before being corrected. xD)

Anyway, she makes these 5 to 15 minute workout videos (and she's got a bajillion of them now) of medium-difficulty pilates. Some are harder than others. But -- here's the thing. They're pretty fun. And they don't require any weights, and barely any space. AND they work your muscles so hard.

Here's the kicker: each month, Cassey releases a workout calendar that tells you exactly what videos to do each day, which simplifies everything. There's also a beginner's workout calendar, which she just updated! (hint: if you want to check out February's calendar, the password is lovebug , and just sign up for the newsletter to get next month's password!)

SO...Blogilates is great, but I still lacked that bit of "fun" aspect that I was after, for the days when I just did *not* want to work out.

Enter REFIT, who make zumba-like dance video workouts. I can't say I condone their whole channel, as some of their song choices aren't the best. BUT they have quite a few videos done to Christian and/or clean songs, which are so. stinkin'. fun. you will not even believe it. I'm currently looking around for some more dance video workouts. Or maybe I'll just make my own choreography...? Always an option. ;) Here's my youtube playlist of le favorite videos.

So, what about you guys??? Ever heard of Blogilates, or Refit? Let meh know if you like them, want to try them, or if you know of some other kind of fun exercise -- because, I'm all about the fun work outs, ya know. ;)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Journey to New Zealand: There and Back Again

Bonjour, my lovelies!

Okay that sounded a little creepy... o.O Anyway, here is, finally, the final section of the recap of my journey to New Zealand. It's been a month and a half since I returned home, and it feels like ages since I was in that beautiful country - and yes, I started planning a return trip the day I got back. xD

Oh, and the title of this post: I just couldn't resist. I can't help feeling the similarities between Bilbo's journey in Middle-earth and my own to Middle-earth - though I didn't meet a live dragon nor did I lose 3 of my travelling companions. *sobs*

But we must move on before I go through all that pain again. #lifeofafangirl ;)

Before the pictures though, here's a compilation of all the video clips I took on our trip. They're all very random, and I did barely any editing to it, aaaand they're all out of order somehow, but it's fun to see my travels in a different medium. Plus I have a few of going through Hobbiton... :D

Now for those pictures!

"Our" gas station. We literally only stopped at BPs while in NZ. xD
There was just no way to capture the glorious weather and beauty on our drive to Raupehu from Welly.
Gorgeous view of Mt. Raupehu.
Adorable little sheep on the way. ^_^
Second day on our drive back to Auckland, we drove by Mount Ngauruhoe (don't even try to pronounce that), WHICH was one of the mountains used for portraying Mount Doom (Orodruin) in LOTR!!
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves!!! Very very VERY sadly, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the caves, but let me tell you -- it was gorgeous. Probably one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Go look up pictures -- they don't do justice, but you'll get an idea.
Our last day in NZ we visited Hahei beach, and what gorgeous weather we had for it!
My sis Alissa enjoying le views.
I believe this is the back view of Cathedral Cove. I could be wrong. We didn't have time to walk down, sadly, but it was still gorgeous from the look out.
Panorama of the overlook near Cathedral Cove.
Views on the drive.

Random, rocky beach along the way...
Gorgeous sunset as we drive to the airport, the ending of my Middle-earth journey. ^_^
P.S. A little offering just for the peeps who read all the way to the end, here's the link to le photo album on my personal facebook account, featuring all 918 of those pictures I took on my NZ trip. :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

I Need Your Help For the #HobbitChallenge!!

"The beacons are lit. Beth calls for aid."

I need your help. You saw the previous post where I told you about the #HobbitChallenge, and now the fan voting period has arrived and you can help me and my friends win it!!! It will only take a minute, and you have no idea how much it would mean to me. Like, literally. You'd completely make my day.

The short version: click on this link here and click the "vote" box below our video. Yes, that's literally all you have to do! No signup or anything required. :D It should come up with a "Thanks for voting!" screen -- if it doesn't, try searching for AnElvenPrincess and voting from that video. :) You can vote every day for the next five days, so if you really want to be amazing you can bookmark the page and vote every day!!

Now, the long version. ;)

The video at the bottom of this post is my and a few of my friends' recreation of the "Good Morning" scene from An Unexpected Journey for the contest that The Hobbit is hosting, the Hobbit Challenge.

The gist of the Hobbit Challenge: fans had the opportunity to make a video recreating one of 3 scenes from AUJ, DOS, and BOTFA (we chose this one because of how fun it is -- and I wasn't really up for taming a dragon or dealing with ringwraiths), and then upload it to Youtube with the hashtag #HobbitChallenge and submit it on the Hobbit website. Then the videos will go through a long judging process: the first round is fan voted, which will determine the top 30 videos in each eligible country. In the 2nd round, judges will select the top 10 of those videos. The 3rd round will narrow it down to 20 finalists, one from each country. And then, of course, one winner will be chosen from those 20. And the prizes??? Ooooohhhh boy. Each of the 20 finalists will win $1,500 worth of various Hobbit memorabilia, and the grand prize winner gets a 5 day trip to New Zealand. (I can't believe I can say "been there, done that" xD) So, yeah. Pretty amazingly awesome.
Of course, our odds of winning are pretty slim. But you better believe I'm not going to give up hope until we're eliminated from the contest! I love the Holman Christian Standard translation of Colossians 3:23 - "Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men..." Ya'll, that's what I'm doing, or at least trying to do. God's going to get whatever glory I/we gain from this, whether that's just from people seeing our video on Youtube, or winning first place.

Whatever happens, I'm so glad we made this little vid because we had the absolute best time with it, and I hope you like the finished product. Now, go to this link and vote for us in the challenge and DON'T FORGET let me know that you did in the comments below so I can personally thank you!!! :D

A few last minute troubleshooting tips:

When you click "vote" a screen should come up saying "Thanks for voting!" If it doesn't, try searching for AnElvenPrincess and voting on the video that comes up there.

Also, I believe only U.S. residents will be able to vote on our video, so if the link doesn't work and searching AnElvenPrincess in the search box doesn't bring it up either, I'm thinking that would be the reason. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

[Battle] Tauriel Cosplay - The Photoshoot

177 days ago I wrote a post entitled BOTFA Cosplay Announcement. This was the beginning of a wonderful journey leading to the creation of my favorite costume that I've made yet.

It was bittersweet, though, as this costume was created for our final visit to Middle-earth -- the premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

That premiere happened a month and a half ago now, and is an amazing memory that I will never forget. Friends, costumes, and The Hobbit -- there's no way that couldn't be awesome. ;)

And now, I share with you the culmination of this journey. A collection of my favorite photos from a photoshoot of this costume. I had so much fun doing it, and the pictures are better than I even imagined.

But I must give credit where credit is due:

To Amber, Crystal, and Karis, for these pictures. The photoshoot could never have happened without you guys, and I so appreciate your insane talent. So thanks again, girls, for taking all of these!!!

And above all, to God. He gave me the talent for creating costumes. He gave me the body that I get to cosplay in. And lastly, He gave up His life, so that I can live and enjoy the life that He gives to me. I would be absolutely no where without Him. I would have no hope, no desire to live life if I didn't know that it is God who is in control of it all. And I hope, I pray that my costumes, my blog, my life gives glory to Him. Because He is the only thing that truly matters in this life on earth.

Weeping over Kili. Note: I was laughing. xD

Tell me this does not remind you of this.

Battle Tauriel: Finished.