Happy (Belated) World Book Day!

Happy (Belated) World Book Day! Even though every day should be book day, I didn’t realize there was an official day dedicated to celebrating books and reading! To me this is very exciting, and I would like to celebrate by celebrating what I’ve read, what I am reading, and what I hope to read soon!

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One of my favorite books of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird. I didn’t read it until I was in high school, but I have read it multiple times since and have also purchased a copy in Spanish to help me learn the language! There are so many things to love about this book. I love Scout’s spunk and every time I read the book I relate to her character in a new way. I relate to her growing pains the most: figuring out right from wrong, what kindness is, what unfairness is. It’s all these lessons that make this story so easy to come back to again and again.

I also read Hidden Figures earlier this year, and it was such an amazing story! I had the chance to meet the author and understand how she was inspired to write her book. She grew up in the town where the story takes place, and also grew up knowing the women she wrote about! She also takes a very holistic approach to the history in the book. It is not only black history. It is not only women’s history. It is not only the history of aerospace engineering. It is all three, and much much more.

The next book I am excited to read is A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I would have never imagined reading this book if it weren’t for the fact that I had the chance to visit the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. There I had the chance to learn about Hemingway’s life, and specifically what influenced him to write A Farewell To Arms. As a young man he served the Red Cross in World War I, and eventually was seriously injured. During his time in a hospital he fell in love with, and had his heart broken, by a nurse that took care of him. One of the many stories loosely based on his life, the book is a dramatic story of love and war that I am excited to dive into.

What are your favorite books? Have you read anything interesting lately? Now? Is there anything you want to read or recommend?  As we explore the world of books, I want to share on of my favorite book quotes with you…

“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one which makes you think.” – Harper Lee

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I Like [Firm] Butts!

As Sir Mix-a-Lot once said, “I like big butts and I can not lie,” but when it comes to my own self confidence and health I like to say that I like firm butts! I can not lie!

This is especially hard to come to in an age when having a tush the size of Kim K’s is all any girl wants. But after just recently getting into exercise and continually working on accepting my body, I have decided that all I want is a nice, firm bum.

But what is a firm behind? To me it is a behind with minimal cellulite and sag, and the muscular strength to… well, do what butts do! So how do you achieve a firm gluteus maximus?

A long lunge is a great way to engage your glutes! According to shape.com, the best way to complete a lunge is to keep your shoulders back and chin up while bending both of your legs to about a 90o angle. One of the most important things to keep in mind while doing lunges is to make sure your front knee does not bend past your toes, or else you may be at risk of injuring yourself.

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Squats are one of the most effective exercises for a firm bottom! Women’s Health suggests spreading feet shoulder width apart, then lowering your hips and bending your knees. Again, make sure your knees do not bend past your toes, or you may injure yourself and may not get the most out of this exercise. There are are also many variations of squats. This is awesome because you not only get to focus on your bottom, but you can also strengthen your legs and arms at the same time!

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If you don’t enjoy going up and down or bending and unbending your knees, bridges are the way to go! According to livestrong.com, bridges tone your buttocks while toning the rest of your core, hamstring, and inner thigh. In order to accomplish a bridge, you squeeze your buttocks as you raise your hips to create a straight line with your body. And voila! You have completed a bridge! There are also variations of bridges, such as extending one leg, that activate more muscles and increase intensity.

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Do you like to use these butt exercises? What are your favorite ones? And do you know any other word for “butt”? Please comment and share your stories, to help us explore and strengthen our bodies!

Santiago, Chile

“I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.” – Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda, one of Chile’s literary treasures, spent some of his life in the vibrant city of Santiago, Chile. While I have not been to this city, I chose to write about since I will soon be spending six weeks living and working in the city! So, let’s explore the fantastic city of Santiago!

Santiago was founded in 1541, and since that time it has grown into a thriving metropolis with a deep history surrounded by the quiet and elegance of the Andes and Pacific ocean. So which places are the best to experience all parts of this culture?

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In the Parque Metropolitano de Santiago, you not only get to experience the being in the mountains surrounding the city, but the gorgeous view of the city below. The Parque has many many thing to do: El Zoologico Nacional, Parques Urbanos, and el Jardin Botanico. The Parque Metropolitano allows visitors to be with nature without ever leaving the city’s energy or the city limits.

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El Mercado Central was opened in 1872, and sells fresh seafood from the Pacific coast, ripe fruits and vegetables from the countryside, and restaurants serving the food with a local flavor! The Locos and Crab Pie are a must, and there is always something to see from the people watching, beautiful architecture of the market, and the vivid colors of the food.

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Finally, El Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos honors a darker chapter of Chile’s past. In 1973, Chile underwent a military coup oppressing much of the country. Although Chile has overcome the coup, it is still fresh on the hearts and minds of the country.

While there is more to Santiago than what I have explored, these are the places I am most excited to experience during my time there this summer. Hopefully I will have a chance to see these places and share stories about more local places as well!

Have you been to Santiago? Is there anything you have seen there or want to see? Please comment and share your stories, to help us explore the world!

Welcome to Exploring My World!

Exploring My World is a blog that aims to do one thing: explore the world that surrounds us!

Exploring My World will be looking at what makes up our world: people, places, food, the environment, economics, health, hopes and dreams,  and so much more! Not only will we discuss these things, we will question and explore further than we have before.

I hope you join me on this journey to not only explore our world, but discover how we can make it a better place!

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