Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween 2011 with Michelle

Saturday night Michelle invited me to a Halloween Party in Waterloo.  When she told me she was dressing up as Wednesday Addams, I immediately thought of my long black maxi dress that I wore to Robbie's Rehearsal Dinner and how I felt like I was channeling Morticia Addams that night anyways.

May I present to you, Morticia and Wednesday Addams!

Isn't Michelle's face just awesome in this photo?

All I needed to buy to complete the outfit was the black wig and a black rose.  Apparently the wig looked pretty genuine on the night and people found it hard to believe I am really a Ginger!

Both Michelle and I remembered how we used to dye our hair so much darker when we were younger.  I even went black at one point.  It must have looked awful as it makes me look deathly pale!

I swear, this is why I call Michelle Bambi (among other things) - her legs go on for MILES!

One of the family (with Michelle's flatmate Anik featuring as Uncle Fester)

Bestie, I love you and this photo of us.  I think we should play dress ups every weekend!

What did you do for Halloween?  Is it something you celebrate where you are?

Set Fire Workout - BodyRock.Tv

This morning I set my alarm to get out of bed at 6am to complete a workout.  I knew it would be a tricky thing to do since it is so cold and dark these days at 6am - but I would rather be working out in my lounge room than going out for a run outside.  I kinda of saw it as the lesser of two evils.  Right? ;)

The workout today was the Set Fire Workout.  My scores are below:

1. Mountain Jump Lunge (2 jump lunges and 2 mountain climbers counts as 1 set) - 5-5-5-5
2. Sliding Push Ups – 11-9-9-10
3. Mountain Jump Lunges – 5-5.5-5-5
4. Crunch Scissors – 9-11-9-10
5. Mountain Jump Lunges – 5-5-5-5
6. Reverse Push Up & Knee Tuck – 10.5-13-14-12
Note:  I don't have a dip station so I completed regular pushups with a knee tuck instead of reverse push ups

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Frantic Friday

At work I am lucky enough to finish 1 hour early on a Friday.  Which, usually would be a blessing however for some reason every (Friday since I started this new job) has been the busiest day of the week.

I started the day off with my usual breakfast of  Quakers oats, unsweetened soy milk, PHD protein powder in vanilla, peanut butter, agave nectar, ground milled flax seeds with some natural yogurt.  Honestly, if I could eat this every day for the rest of my life, I would be one happy camper!

It just makes me so happy listening to my breakfast going round in the microwave because mixing all the warm ingredients around is my second favorite thing to do!

Eating is of course my favorite thing to do!

This picture was taken out of my kitchen window.  It looks beautiful (and cold).  It reminded me a little of the great Australian sun rises that I am used to.  Man, I miss home sometimes.  Especially when the weather sits around 13degrees every day!

15mins on the treadmill, jogging around level 9-10 and putting the incline up to around 6-7 at times.  It felt like a really good workout, even though I didn't plan to do the hills.  I might research some treadmill workouts for the days where I feel I need to get more cardio in.

20mins of interval training (2mins on 30sec off) with the punching bag.
I completed rounds of set combos:
Jab + right kick / Cross + left kick
Jab, cross + left kick / Cross, Jab + right kick
20kicks each side + repeat
Punching combos etc

This was AMAZING.  It's been a few years since I stopped training in Muay Thai but the fire always burns inside me. I am going to search for a gym where I can resume training again.  I am in even better shape than I was at my "peak" so I really look forward to picking it up again.  I felt so strong in all my combos - even 20kicks each side repeats!

I took this picture while walking out of work for lunch with one of my lovely workmates.  London, you might annoy me sometimes however I can't deny.  You are beautiful right now.

What is your favorite season?  Are you living somewhere abroad?  Do certain things make you miss home?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

My favorite tips for starting running...

If this is your first time out running EVER or at least for a long time, be prepared to walk as well.  Do not be ashamed, we all have to start somewhere.  Go slow if you need to.  Right now, this is not a race.  If you are out of breath or sore, take it easy!  If you are worried about people seeing you, trust me, they do not care that they saw you jiggling along or red faced.  People in cars see you for about 10seconds before they are past you and people walking past you or overtaking you, they are all on the same journey!
    This is a post of the first time I ever tried to jog home from work.  Camden to Shoreditch is around 3.7miles and I was nervous (to say the least). Dated March 7th 2011

    Walk briskly for 5mins or so until you feel like you are warm.  Then try jogging at a comfortable pace for a while.  Whether that may be from one landmark to another or for the length of song on your iPod - set yourself a goal and try your best to stick with it.  Remember to allow yourself walking recovery time.
       Click here to see how I felt the next day and how I took my own advice of jogging, then walking, then jogging.  Dated March 8th 2011

        Keep a log of your progress.  I highly recommend buying a notebook or using a piece of paper to write down exactly what you did on your first venture so then you can compare and try to improve on it the next time you head out.  
        I set myself a goal of jogging the whole way up the hill from Kings Cross to Angel and when I finally completed this goal - nothing could wipe the smile off my face!   Dated March 21st 2011

        Once you have run a few times, you will quickly realise that you need to invest in a new pair of shoes.  Go to a specialist store and get tested / fitted for a pair that suits your running style and gait.  I went to Runners Need in London and the difference I felt in my running afterwards was amazing.  I was on my way to getting shin splints and luckily enough, I bought some new shoes just in time.  Please, if you think you can't afford it - running is free.  It is worth it.  Beg and borrow to get some new shoes. 

        Here are the new shoes I bought on 28th April 2011 and this is how I felt about them after their maiden voyage. Dated 30th April 2011.

        Set yourself a challenge or goal.  I entered a 10K Race for Life and that is how I got motivated to get my ass moving.  Not only was I raising money for a great cause but I was getting fit and healthy at the same time.  Winning! Once you have a goal, find a running program or guide that suits you.  There are loads of free plans and apps out there - so get to it and have fun.
        You can see the post from my Race for Life here.  Dated 31st May 2011

        Stick with it.  There is really only one way to get better!
          Stop making excuses.  Its too cold. It's too rainy.  I don't have time.  Honestly, wear a hoodie, tie your hair back and GET OUT THERE!  If you think you don't have time, how long did you want to jog for?  60mins?  Trust me, if this is your first time out, you will probably feel like you are done after 10mins :)
          I man up and run in the rain - even in my glasses! Dated 18th May 2011

            If you are someone who likes to work out with a partner, or if you feel like you need that added motivation to help you - find someone who lives near you that you can jog with. Running with a partner can be amazing, but don't forget, their motivation might lag as well which will cause you to not feel like you want to run.  You still need to be strong enough to run alone.  Remember, the hardest step a runner will take is out the front door.
            I had the luxury of running with my sister while she was in London a little while ago.  It was a nice change from pounding the pavement on my own :)

            Try and drink more water in the day.  Of course, only drink when you are thirsty.  But you need to stay rehydrated especially since you are now a runner.

            Make sure you stretch long and hard after your runs.  You will be a bit sore in the legs while you are getting started, but there is no point possibly walking around in pain the days after.  That is not going to make you want to go out again.  Trust me.  Stretch as much as you can - whenever you can. 
            I used to stretch even at work, when possible.  Lunge here.  Quads while waiting for coffee.  Who cares if someone asks why you are stretching.  Um, I am a runner and I need to!

              Don't worry about gadgets and apps and running websites just yet.  Use a watch or your iPod song lengths to measure the amount of time you spend running and that is all you need for now.  Then, once you make it a regular occurrence - by all means sign up to Daily Mile, Nike +, Map My Run, Runners World etc.  You will love it and quite possibly join a community that will inspire you to run more.
              I use Nike + to log my miles and I write about my running here

              Now, what are you waiting for? Are you in?

                Thursday, 27 October 2011

                Wedding of the year in Chelsea!

                Saturday 22nd October 2011 I was lucky enough to be invited to the Wedding of the Year in Chealsea.

                The ceremony was held in Chealsea Town Hall at 4pm which meant we left the house at around 2-2.30pm.  I started to get ready around 1pm.  Fortunately, my hair was already fairly straight from the rehearsal dinner on Friday night and didn’t need too much attention.

                It was just the makeup and getting dressed that took over!

                I bought this beautiful dress from a website called Light In The Box around 1 month or so ago.  The website was recommended by a friend of my sisters who was looking at purchasing her bridesmaid dresses from there.  You can see the dress I picked here J
                • Dress from Light in a Box
                • Shoes from Asos
                 We arrived at Chelsea Town hall with 10mins to spare and were shown to a lovely room where I was witnessed my best friend Robbie, marry the man of his dreams.  I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry, but there is something about seeing a close friend do something so grown up and romantic that pulls on my heart strings. 

                When Robbie stood up in front of his close friends and family to declare that “Ryan made him want to be a better man” – I couldn’t hold back the tears.  It was such a beautiful moment that I will never forget.

                After all the paperwork was signed and everything was official, we moved outside for some photographs on the steps of the Town Hall.  The weather was suburb and the atmosphere was fantastic.  Everyone was on such a high we could barely contain ourselves.

                The drinks and canap├ęs were flowing at the reception, which was held at Beaufort House (just down the road from Chelsea Town Hall). 

                We ate, drank and danced the night away. 

                Robbie and Ryan, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a special day.  May your lives continue to be filled with love, laughter and happiness as your create history together as Husband and Husband.


                Wednesday, 26 October 2011

                Winter Denial

                This is what it looks like.  The temperature yesterday was around 13degrees c in London and I just refuse to put my legs away!

                • Studded biker boots from Dorothy Perkins
                • Black opaque tights
                • Purple tie front shorts from Asos
                • Gold light sweater from Forever 21
                • Leather jacket from Religion
                • Blue wooly scarf from New Look
                • Fingerless gloves from Forever 21
                • Silly face? My own

                It is 7:30am and still dark.  I walk 25mins to work and am usually quite warm by the time I get there, however, its really really cold when I set off!

                Are you in winter denial as well?  What's your favorite winter outfit?

                Tuesday, 25 October 2011

                One of the most intense rainbows I have ever seen!

                Tuesday was yet another tough day at the office.  I am still catching up on some work that needed to be done from when I was off on  Friday.  The joys of growing up and having jobs that hold you responsible for things hey? ;)

                10mins on cross trainer, random setting, level 13 warm up

                2 x 15 reps of narrow squats with 15kg (warm up)
                2 x 10 reps of narrow squats with 35kg
                4 x 8 reps of narrow stance leg press with 79kg
                3 x 8 reps of single leg DB squat + plie DB squat with 10kg
                2 x 20 reps of seated calf raise at 124kg and 1 x 30 reps at 124kg
                3 x 10 reps of leg extensions at 49kg
                3 x 10 reps of lying leg curls at 25kg

                When I got back to my desk I ate my lunch and got stuck back into work.  It started to cloud over outside and before we knew it, there was one of the most intense rainbows I have ever seen outside! It was just beautiful and I really wish that I had taken a photo that did it some justice.

                I love rainbows.... especially since I love Katy Perry's Firework right now and in the lyrics she sings "after a hurricane, comes a rainbow".  Makes me smile!

                Is there a song that is making you smile right now?  To be honest, I need all the smiles I can get at the moment and Katy Perry is helping me through with Firework :)

                Lunches for the next 4 days.. What are you having?

                This week is let over chicken with Chow Mein sauce.

                • Chicken
                • Peas
                • Mixed Peppers
                • Broccoli
                • Carrots
                • Onion
                • Garlic
                • Gluten Free Pasta
                • Chow Mein Sauce
                I didn't have time to make my lunches on Sunday afternoon so I made them Monday night.  Honestly, I can not recommend to you enough, how important it is to plan ahead and be prepared.  You save time, effort and money during the week.

                I am a creature of habit and love routine.  Can you eat the same thing for lunch or dinner 5 days in a week?

                Monday, 24 October 2011

                Manic Monday..but it ended well

                Monday was a pretty tough day at the office.  It is always busy when you have had time off and even a long weekend like mine is enough to throw things out of whack!  Thankfully I made use of the gym at lunch time and managed to get through the day feeling energised and not nearly as wiped out/tired from the weekend as I should have been.

                10mins on treadmill - 1.75K warm up

                4 reps of 10 Tricep press with 10kg
                3 reps of 8 Tricep push down with 21kg
                3 reps of 10 Skull crushers with 10kg
                1 rep of 10 Close grip DB bench press with 8kg + 2 reps of 10 with 9kg
                4 reps of 10 Incline DB curl with 7kg
                1 rep of 8 Alternating bicep curl with 7kg + 3 reps of 8 with 8kg

                I was supposed to do Abs today but had a little catch up chat with the lovely trainer at my gym and to be honest, I needed that more than I needed 200 crunches.

                Dinner tonight was Caesar salad.  Yummo!  I am not really a fan of this salad when dining out, but for some reason, being made at home just improves the taste and overall enjoyment of it... is that weird or is it just me?  Perhaps it is also because I love/hate cooking chicken and I need it to be just right.

                The chicken was seasoned and left overnight in the fridge to make sure there was flavour everywhere.

                The dressing we used was Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself Light Dressing.

                Homemade croutons as well along with red peppers, lettuce, green onion, beetroot and some feta cheese.

                A drink of Vitamin C and Jersey shore = great dinner and entertainment.  I used to hate Jersey Shore, now I feel like I am related to them somehow and I literally spend half the episodes laughing out loud.

                Have you ever hated a TV show and refused to watch it?  Then, did it grow on you and now you love it?

                Sunday, 23 October 2011

                Rehearsal Dinner Outfit - Friday night

                You may remember from yesterday's post that the wedding celebrations and events, were to start on Friday night.  The rehearsal dinner.  Now, I knew about the dinner but thought it was only for the bridal party and family.  Well, according to both Robbie and I, we are related so I was lucky enough to score an invite to the evening.

                I have to say, I am glad that I was not at work yesterday so I could at least wash my hair and get my nails done!  Thanks to my beautiful sister of course (who bought me a manicure voucher on her last visit to London).

                 I decided on wearing this lovely maxi dress from Top Shop.  I haven't worn it in a while (its pretty glam when you pair it with heels) so figured this would be the best opportunity for it to come out of hiding.  You can see it has 3/4 sleeves and a very low cut back.  Just beautiful.

                My nails were painted a dark blue-ish colour and I went with classic black eye liner, red lippie and black studded wedges.  Simple jewellery and straight hair.

                The dinner was lovely and I enjoyed a sweet potato salad as an appetiser with baked salmon,  cucumber salad as a main and a few glasses of wine of course;)

                Friday, 21 October 2011

                Taking it easy today...

                Today I booked a day off from work to prepare for one of my best friends wedding tomorrow.  I managed to convince myself to stay in bed until 8am (which was a struggle as you know I am usually up at the crack of dawn!) and take things a bit easier.

                I put some washing on (2 loads already done), had my usual breakfast, let that settle and then got ready to go for a jog.  I am totally in love with my Nike running shirt and jump at the chance to wear it now the weather is getting a bit colder.

                I didn't aim for a quick run, I went exploring up the high street in North London and then just turned around and came home again when I felt like it.  I could have run for a bit longer but I do have quite a lot to squeeze into this afternoon as it turns out!

                When I got home I completed these two ab workouts (which can be downloaded from the iTunes store HERE).  I really felt the burn today as I have kind of been neglecting my abs lately.  Never again I tell myself :)

                The app is pretty cool in the way that it has a lady showing you how to complete each exercise and a timer so you know how much longer you have to go.  There are 3 workouts in the app and I completed these two today.

                I loaded another lot of washing and then did a BodyRock (for the first time in a few weeks).  Zuzana hasn't been updating the workouts much (you know, she has a live to lead as well!) so I have been finding other ways to busy myself with workouts.  She seems to be back now, so I am thinking, BRING IT ON!  

                Ok, now I am off to get ready for my eye test (need new contact lenses), hopefully get my nails done, come home, wash my hair and pamper myself a little before the rehearsal dinner tonight.  Very exciting stuff.  But, what on earth am I going to wear?  Robbie only just told me I was going to the dinner tonight! Man I love that guy.. ;)

                What is your favorite thing about weddings? The romance? The love?

                Do it! Exercise Challenge - BodyRock.Tv

                This morning I completed THIS BodyRock.Tv workout challenge.

                The workout was introduced by the following notes - written by Zuzana:

                Hi BodyRockers,
                I did this challenge as a first thing in the morning just to get some energy going for the day – it works like a miracle. Whenever you feel down, you can always turn to these workouts to help you overcome any emotional stress that you are going through. During an intensive physical exercise like this challenge is impossible to think of all those things that currently bother you and that’s exactly what you need. Your mind will automatically let go of any negative thoughts and your heart will let go of any negative emotions. I felt amazing right after the workout and was able to see things with a clear mind and open heart again. This is the way to start a new week!

                I thought this was pretty appropriate for myself right now.  Funny how some things just seem to touch a nerve at the right time hey?  Makes you realise that you are not alone, no matter what troubles or emotional conflicts you may be struggling with.
                My scores were 150 squats with my 7.5kg/16.5lb dumbbell and 150 regular pushups (as I do not have a dip station yet)

                Thursday, 20 October 2011

                Comfort Plus!

                Dressing for the weather and a few drinks after work with a friend :)
                • Green maxi sweater with elbow patches from Zara
                • Insight blue jeans
                • Wittner boots (around 10 years old?)
                • Religion leather biker jacket (not pictured)

                Wednesday, 19 October 2011

                Lil & Legs Day

                Ok so legs day at the gym is usually something that I really look forward to.  Don't get me wrong, I was looking forward to today - but I just felt a little tired (probably from the weekend!) and once I started with my weight, I lost interest easily.

                Very strange - but I guess there are those days where it happens to everyone, right?

                10min on cross trainer - Random - Level 12

                2 x 15 reps of narrow stance BB squats with 15kg
                1 x 8 reps of narrow stance leg press with 70kg
                3 x 8 reps of narrow stance leg press at 79kg
                3 x 8 reps of single leg DB squats with foot on bench and plie DB squat (super set)
                2 x 10 reps of leg extensions with 49kg
                1 x 5 reps of leg extensions with 56kg
                1 x 20 reps of seated calf raise with 115kg
                1 x 20 reps of seated calf raise with 124kg
                1 x 30 reps of seated calf raise with 124kg
                (I will get more defined calf muscles, I swear!)

                After work I rushed to catch up with my good mate Lil, who I hadn't seen in quite a few months.  We don't live very close to each other, but I realised last night that I should really make the effort to go and see her more often.  Especially while living in London - I should be making the most of being able to travel and see people :)

                We had a drink in Camden and then went to the local Wetherspoon's for a cheap dinner.  I ate pretty well all day, knowing that I wouldn't have the best pick of the food bunch when out and about. 

                I went for the veggie burger with chips (first time in a looong time) and a pint of Carling for around 5 pounds.  Bargain!

                It was freezing, being out and about by the way.  I think at one point my phone said it was 13degrees?  Lovely! Thanks London :)

                Is this change in the weather your big excuse to start wearing your cute leather jackets or big Winter coats? I hate being cold, so I am rugging up in anything and everything :)

                Tuesday, 18 October 2011

                A painful blessing

                Saturday morning I went for a quick run before coming home to get ready for Robbie's pre-wedding do.  I fueled up on my usual breakfast of oats and set out for a quick canter.


                As you can see, the run was neither long or fast - but I still felt like I needed to get something in before starting such a long day (that I knew would be full of party food and drinks etc).
                There was frost everywhere in the park - London is about to work us all over with Winter.  I can feel it in my bones!

                Chatting to my Sister the other night, we agreed that the little glimpse of summer that we have each year is what sucks people into London for longer than they want to be here.  It is just long enough for you to forget the hell, that is Winter.  Then.  Before you know it.  It is upon you again.  Sounds dramatic.  But that is how it is!  (From a totally unbiased Aussie, of course)

                P.s While I was out running, I felt an eye lash in my eye.  I know you are all thinking, yeah ouch that happens to me all the time.  But you need to understand. I have been blessed with the longest eye lashes ever. This sucker is a SMALL lash (thank goodness) - so you can imagine my pain when a big one makes it way into my eye!  agghhh...

                Are you blessed with something similar?  Do you save money on mascara and false lashes, only to endure pain for your blessing, every once in a while? :)