Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in Photos

This blog... has been so... so neglected.  I think I was going through a period of writer's block and didn't feel like anything I was thinking was significant enough to say.. haha!  But the year draws to a close and I feel that a wrap up post is necessary :)

Each year seems to go by faster and faster.  It's so cliche to say this... but people tell you life's short and it's absolutely true; it's crazy how quickly time goes by when you get into a routine. 2012 was crazily eventful for me.

Early in the year my obsession with gemstones began.  I was making steady income from my day job and I was using that to get my first gemstones.

And my Macaron obsession continued..

I've had the crappiest luck making macarons all year, this year. They come out looking fricken gorgeous but are hollow and chewy ARRRRRRGGGGGHH. I still haven't solved this problem yet and I've tried so many different things. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.... And it's SO SAD, because they look GREAT. DECEPTIVE.

Lots of baking was done this year. Madeleines were a consistent favorite..

And the only thing better than Madeleines are Madeleines dipped in chocolate..

I started becoming eco conscious and began exploring biodegradable/recycled packaging for pretty much ALL of my handmade jewelry and beauty goods.
I'm proud to say that today, all the zip lock bags I use are BioZip (biodegradable), and boxes are made in the USA with 100% post consumer recycled material.  A worthy cost to pay, for business owner who is doubtful due to the extra $$.

Valentine cookies!

We also discovered that our Loki could potentially be a lap cat one day...

We went to Japan with bf and awesome friends:

One photo sums this trip up..


Shortly after our return to the US I made a GIF of Kratos doing his not-so-attractive grooming routine..

Poor Achilles -- got himself injured and needed to get a cut stapled so he had to wear a cone for much longer than he had ever expected.

(Yea guys, we love our cats... haha)

Sometime in June, we caught the fitness bug.  We were all working and sitting 8 + hours a day and it felt (feels) like crap.  One of our roomates had the crazy idea that we would do a Tough Mudder in September and... I was like... erm. no. haha, we need more time.... But we signed up anyway. Lesson learned here is that when you want to do something, just do it.  Even if you suck, you did it, and know that it won't be so hard to find the initiative next time.

As a part of our training supplements I made raw bars up the wazoo.

In September we did our Tough Mudder.
It sucked, but was awesome. We weren't in bad shape but nowhere near good. This event pushed us and made us want more... to be able to do more.

After photos are not pretty :P  Been up since 4:30 AM that day.

A brief interlude as Halloween came around and I made a bunch of mini pumpkin spice cupcakes for the coworkers which were devoured way too quickly.

I think from now on for the holidays I will make mini cupcakes. Good size, easy, cute.

Oh, and after TM we caught the obstacle race bug. We did the Spartan Race in November..
I love our group. We are awesome.

I didn't have a chance to finish writing my detailed post about the Spartan Beast yet (14 mi)-- it was dreadful weather (HA, the lighting in the photos are super deceptive... because it was storming).  To sum it up, it took us 7 grueling hours to finish the race-- the ground was wet, full of muddy cow hoof holes and I had a 40lb cement block dropped on my ankle in mile 2 which resulted in my literally hobbling to the finish line.  My gash from that hasn't healed yet, and I have a hematoma at the site of impact. Needless to say these last 6 weeks have NOT been filled with any hard workouts... but starting to get back into the grind.

It's cool that Spartan Race photos are all free--- sweeeeeet.

And honestly I have no idea why I'm smiling in this photo. This was on pretty much the last mile and my ankle was pretty much not working anymore at this point. The obstacle was to carry this pancake weight thing up and down a darn muddy as hell hill. Exhausting.  Honestly I'm not sure how I did it; guess I did learn that adrenaline does wonders.

THAT BEING SAID, we have signed up for 4 more races in 2013. I am stoked!!!!!!

Finally, December has been a month where I was able to catch a breather.
Our roomies moved out in October, so we have the house to ourselves.... and about the same time Brian and I ended up buying a brand new home, which is being built and will be complete by next March. Holy goodness we are so excited to be moving to a our own house!!!

For He Qi, 2012 was pretty quiet.  I love creating but the time dedicated to this has been extremely limited-- no complaints though!  I opened a webstore on ShopLately and will continue to host exclusive sales through that site for as long as I am able.

Lastly, a quick glance at my favorite piece of 2012:

And some NEW creations!
I have fallen in love with chain maille... it's classy, medieval (but totally wearable) and gosh darn I do admire those who are patient and skillful enough to weave patterns out of hundreds of jump rings. It's such a tedious task; and for those who are not familiar, this is a skill that is easily overlooked.
This is a new Chain Maille necklace that you can customize with SWAROVKSI Crystal colors of your heart's desire! Super classy, so versatile and honestly look good with anything.

Also new is the Wee lil' Moon necklace in Silver or Gold:

This year, I am going to:
- Blog at least twice a month, I think that's realistic.
- Visit more of ya'lls blogs-- I need to get back in the loop!
- Continue working out, eating well
- Do at least 4 long races (Spartan, Tough Mudder, signed up already) and all shorter ones for funz.
- Spend more time with family and loved ones.
- After we get into our new house, I want to invite a bunch of people over and feed them.
- Kick my day job's ass.

What are some of your forward looking thoughts for 2013? What were your best moments and lessons learned in 2012?

I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Many thanks to you all! + Black Friday for He Qi

I am lucky and was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family and the bf's family. Yesterday was a day of relaxing, delicious food, and great company.

Giving thanks and being appreciative is a part of our daily lives, but Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to say those things out loud.

I am super grateful for:
- my amazing family and friends & SO; pillars of endless support
- my lifestyle; having a day job I enjoy and feel fulfilled
- creativity; He Qi allows me to show my creative side, and share those results with you

Of course there are so many other things, but these are a the top few that are always in my mind.

I am thankful for all of your, who have supported and loved He Qi over the years to allow me to continue creating.

Please enjoy the following deals this weekend:

- $20 off your $50 order on our ShopLately storefront
- 20% off everything in my online store

Please pass on these deals to your friends and family; thank you all for your continued love. It brings me happiness to be able to create things that bring smiles to your faces.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just a few new creations :)

We received some new sterling silver fleur-de-lis leverbacks today and utilized them for a series of versatile wire-wrapped earrings.

This pair features SWAROVSKI briolettes in a new color.

Here are ones with little Sapphire Quartz gemstones:

Some with Champagne Quarts gemstone:

The following are a series of simple SWAROVSKI roundelle dangles. Small, sparkly. Really excellent for giving your lobes that extra shine for the Holidays :)

One featuring purple velvet:

A pair in denim blue:

A last one featuring light rose AB roundelles:


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

He Qi on ShopLately - EXCLUSIVE sale!

Hi All,

Just wanted to share an awesome deal that He Qi will be running on ShopLately.

Use the following codes to get their respective discounts/promotions!

Starting 8am Mon, Oct. 22- Sat, Oct. 27 8am
Use PROMO CODE:  "SLBDAY" for $10 off $30 or more on
any purchase from He Qi!

Thursday, October 25: First 200 customers that purchase over $50 from one merchant will receive a FREE ShopLately Tote Bag! I will notify you via email if you qualify for a free tote!

It's a HUGE opportunity to save BIG on selected He Qi Handmade goodies. This sale is only up for TWO DAYS, so please take advantage and share this with your friends/family.

He Qi accessories are long-lasting, so feel free to shop for the Holidays!

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you all for the continued love and support. Where would I be without you? :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Tough Mudder -- Detailed Recap!

For those of you who have been following the blog for a while, you are aware that a few months ago the bf, some good friends and I decided to commit to the Tough Mudder.

What is the Tough Mudder?
Per the website: "Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. As the leading company in the booming obstacle course industry, Tough Mudder has already challenged half a million inspiring participants worldwide and raised more than $3 million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project. But Tough Mudder is more than an event, it’s a way of thinking. By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time, and discover a camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days."

Our team of 8 decided to try our hand at the Tough Mudder.

To get ready for our event:
• BF and I had been doing interval training, lots of HIIT and body weight exercises. We did not run. We did the Mudderling workout on the TM website.
• BF's brother does boxing and swimming, along with other cardio-intense workout. He would join doing interval training on the weekends.
• Other members did cross fit, and variety of gym-related exercises.

I'm not sure if any of us were 100% on point with diet. I know we certainly weren't.

Our even took place on Sat. Sept. 29 at Diablo Grande gold course in Patterson, CA. Our start time was 8:40, and we were out of the house by 5 to get there by 6:40. This is a much earlier start to the day than what we're used to....

All booths (registration, bag check, etc) were extremely organized. There wasn't much guesswork. Parking was a breeze. Only "complaint" is we had to park on dirt areas and the dust was just... ridiculous, getting everywhere, into our eyes, etc. Wetting the path MAY have helped but not much.

At around 8:10, we headed to the start line-- before reaching the start you had to go over a 8 foot wall-- this is the beginning!

These photos are from the Tough Mudder website!

We had a team of 8!

Right past the start line, you can see orange smoke-- this stuff was awful and it was wafting with us as we jogged the first quarter mile or so.

The first little bit was a nice, easy job. Very little variation in terrain, everything was relatively flat. Then came the 12 foot Berlin Walls.

I did get a boost over every wall; couldn't have done it without my team.

Then came the Arctic Enema-- we somehow lucked out and didn't have to jump into the ice water-- seemed like our timing was off-- got there before they refilled the ice cubes.

So... this was more refreshing and fun than anything else :)

Down and through some barbed wire...

And then it was time for the first hill.

And my god. It doesn't look like much right now, but honestly the incline was like 60 degrees. I was completely winded by 1/3 of the way up. This was such a shockingly deceptive hill. It took me the longest time to get up; mind you this was less than a mile into the course. By the time I reached the top, I thought I was either going to barf, pass out, or some combination of both. I don't know. I could only think... oh god... what the heck did I get myself into? After about 5 minutes of taking it easy... I never felt so awful the rest of the course. So... maybe just took it to be the max too quickly? I don't know.

After another mile or so of grueling, and I mean GRUELING terrain, we came to the two by twos, and one by ones.

... really tough.
I was pressing down as hard as I could and there was no way I could have made it without proper footing, which I just wasn't getting.... so I went swimming :)

After more jogging and walking, we did some over, under and through logs:

More jogging, then the mud pits:

We had been relatively clean, up to this point. After getting out of this, we were all easily walking around with 5 lbs or more of mud caked onto clothing, gravel in our shoes. It was dirty and.... really fun.

There was no shortage of camaraderie throughout; strangers helped each other and I definitely got a helping hand more than a few times :)

At this point, we were faced with another wall. Except this was much more slippery and we were starting to feel slightly tired.

I do love this sign. TM has a good sense of humor, so take it or leave it :P

More terrain navigation, and then there's the Boa Constrictor. Our version of this obstacle wasn't half flood as were some of the other sites...

The rings.. THE RINGS. MY GOD.

There were spaced out quite a bit- I was not able to reach... so.. went for another dip :)

And Funky Monkeys, notorious monkey bars!

I couldn't even reach the first bar on this one, lol. So I did the flying squirrel, made a leap for it, missed, ate it in the water below.

I just like this shot.

You had to climb up the back (15 foot wall) before jumping off the ledge. It looks way higher from above than from below. This was the one that I knew I was going to have the most trouble with. Height + water = freaked out Lisa. There were Marines at the top doing crowd control and occasionally pushing hesitant mudders in.. My legs locked and I backed up, but eventually sucked it up and just walked off. Terrifying, but very fun and rewarding once done.

Electric eel was so fun. Shocked by 10K Volts. (Felt like a pinch that also makes you unable to control your muscles momentarily, not painful really but .. shocking... haha)


This was the second to last obstacle and my legs were pretty shot after 10+ miles of trudging up and down crazy hills. I tried 3 times before grabbing hold of a friend who beastly bicep curled me up the ledge, lol.

Last one, electric shock again:

We were all spent. I didn't cover all the obstacles; there weren't photos of all of them online so I did not link, but this does give a good idea of what we were doing throughout the 10+ miles!

Finish, and you get your Tough Mudder headband!

The toughest part about all this: the fricken terrain.
The hills were KILLER. It was never ending up, down, up, down, up down.. etc. Those with knee problems-- going downhill is tough because you have to take it slow or else feel extreme knee pain. Luckily I have good knees but 3 members of our team were not as lucky.

We were doing these, the whole time:

The little dots are people; us! :) Love this shot because it really gives some perspective. Distance covered by this shot is maybe half a mile? Maybe...

All in all, this was an AWESOME experience. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to get out, have some fun with good company. It's not a competition (unless if you really want it to be)... but you can make it what you want. The people are friendly. The event was VERY well organized. The Tough Mudder staff takes good care of you; water, bananas, little snacks along the way and first aid stations and medics on call.

Most importantly, you feel accomplished. All around just... so positive and happy that you conquered this beast.

Excellent team building exercise, for those of you looking to build camaraderie amongst coworkers or what not.

I was deathly sore the next day. I would say everyone on our team was above average shape, but I know that I personally have a lot of room for development. We are signed up for the Spartan Race in November so harder training is in order! For those of you who do cross-fit; I think you guys are in good shape to tackle this! We are going to add in more hill/trail running to our workout regime to get better prepped.

Please leave me any questions/comments below and I will get back to you!

Thanks for coming by and reading about our adventure :)


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NEW Strawberry Pomegranate Dry Clay Mask!! (and a chance to score a sample!)

I am super, super, SUPER excited to be presenting a NEW He Qi Naturals product..

... the Strawberry Pomegranate Dry Clay Mask!!

This mask has been in the work for months-- I've been tweaking and tweaking and I am very happy with the results. My face is so soft and smooth after use, I want to keep touching my face, knowing that the oils from my hands are probably not too awesome for my face...

Here's a shot of me... mid treatment :)

One teaspoon full per application

I am offering samples of this as well, for those who would prefer to try it on a small scale first :)

I am giving away 2 samples to lucky blog readers!
Enter between now and Oct 1!! ENJOY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you prefer to not enter using Rafflecopter, please leave a comment below with your name, location, and a note that you'd like to enter the giveaway :)

Thank you very much for dropping by today!