Sunday, April 29, 2007

How to have a fun weekend

If you really want to have a blast of a weekend, try cleaning out 20 years worth of crap from your carport and back yard because your house is going to be on the market IN 4 WEEKS' TIME. Oh, and to make it even more fun, spend Sunday doing it with a hangover.


My back aches, my neck aches, I've inhaled so much dust I can barely breath, but...... ta-dah!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Filex summary - FINALLY!

Yes, I've been slack, but here are the highlights (or possibly lowlights) of my FILEX weekend:

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I booked into a lecture or workshop for every single session, which was a total of 14 in 3 days. Last year, I went for mostly hands-on practical workshops. This year, I completely lost my mind and chose mostly *yawn* lectures. And mostly BUSINESS lectures, at that. *lapses into a coma*

SO, I was a totally bad influence on Selina, who of course is a dedicated, never-puts-a-foot-wrong ANGEL, and we wagged a few of the more nerdy sessions. Including the keynote address - Starbucks seemed like a hell of a lot more fun. Besides, how can you catch up with your friends and get some serious shopping in if you're stuck in lectures the whole time?

I did learn some stuff - some good business ideas (although, if I never hear the word "marketing" again, I'll be quite happy, thanks), plus a little bit of interesting training stuff. Next time, I'm going to strike more of a balance in my choices.

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The shopping was fabulous. Lorna Jane had heaps of great stuff, so I bought up on the Friday. I know from past experience that they sell out pretty fast and they don't bring in any extra stock, so you gotta get in quick. I also picked up a couple of pieces from Rockwear on the Sunday, when they were discounting heavily. I'm now all set to look fabulous in the gym - especially with my new LJ crop tops with the asset-enhancing padding.

I added to my supplement collection too - there were some real bargains! I grabbed some Ladybird Women's Whey in cookies 'n cream flavour to try. It's good. I didn't chase free samples as aggressively as last year, but I managed to pick up quite a few anyway. Some gels, some protein, some bars.

And I got a spiky butt ball. :-D

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Selina and I pimped for UltraFit magazine, wearing a promotional t-shirt around the expo, and got a free box of protein bars for our efforts. No, we have no shame. Besides, it's a great mag. And how can I say no to the editor, when he says to me every year at the expo: "Hey, I know you - you've been in the magazine!" What a memory - that was way back in 2005. Or 2004. See, even I can't remember!

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On the Sunday, I sat down to have lunch at the expo and a HUGE guy sat at the other end of the table. Every time a young bloke walked past, they'd be checking him out - his arms were massive, so he really stood out. Anyway, I noticed him eating chicken, sweet potato and broccoli out of a Tupperware container, so I put two and two together and figured he was competing soon.... Turns out he was only a week off competing and he was completely OVER chicken. I ended up having a long chat with him about bodybuilding and nutrition. He looked really scary, but he was actually a really nice guy.

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Sunday night I got stuck at Sydney airport for about 4 hours. They closed the airport to all traffic, due to thunderstorms. Do you have any idea how boring airports are when you don't have your laptop, you've spent most of your money, and you're alone? So I paid an extravagant price for a glass of wine, picked up a trash magazine to pass the time and tried not to think about the box of Krispy Kremes sitting at my feet - I bought them for the kids, it's a family tradition when a parent flies home from Sydney.... anyway, I did NOT eat a single one, but not because of ny strength of character, just because I actually hate donuts.

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I had an amusing experience on the flight home - I'll write about it later though, gotta get to my first client for the day.

Friday, April 27, 2007

One thing leads to another


I'm tackling the giant cleanup job by the one job per day method. Which, obviously, is where you complete one job each day. That way I can still get some work done, and the big jobs can be left for the weekend, when I have more time and also some assistance from my family.

So I decided that this afternoon's job would be to clean the front windows - our agent is threatening to come by and photograph the outside of the house on Monday (EEEK!), so I thought I probably should wash off the several years' worth of grime first. That seemed like a nice simple job. Not so.

To wash the windows, you need to remove the flyscreens. To do that, you have to remove the sliding window panes first. Then you put back the windows to wash them. Then you realise that the curtains are looking dingey(sp?), so you wash the sheers and vacuum the drapes. Next, squeegee the outside of the windows (no hoses, we're on water restrictions!), then Windex the inside. Decide that the frames and brick sills need a good wash too, so do those. Clean the flyscreens. Remove the windows again to put back the flyscreens and replace windows. Take dry curtains off the line, drag out sewing machine for some quick repairs where you ripped the damn things getting them down. Re-hang the heavy drapes. Realise you missed a hook at the other end, and start again.Vacuum the floor where you made a mess with all the dust and cobwebs.

There, all done. And it only took 3 hours.

Oh yeah.....

As LizN has already pointed out on her blog, she and I got our 2 cents worth published in this month's Women's Health & Fitness mag. The article's all about the modelling industry's predilection for super-skinny models.

You never know who might pop up in there next month.....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Random stuff

I've spent a good part of this week doing clean-up stuff around the house. Today one of my jobs was to de-cobweb the pergola, and in a stroke of brilliance.... I used the vacuum cleaner. The neighbours probably think I'm suffering some peculiar form of OCD or something - I mean, who VACUUMS outdoors? It worked a treat though. I am a genius.

Tomorrow I may vacuum under the eaves at the front of the house. And perhaps inside the letterbox. - I'm kidding about the letterbox.

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Our house goes on the market in 4 weeks. That's FOUR, count 'em: 1-2-3-4. We only have about a million things to do in those 4 weeks to get the place presentable, whilst somehow still managing to live our lives. Hopefully, we can actually get some tradesmen to turn up and do what needs doing within that time.

Bike Boy spent much of today hauling out various pieces of crap from behind the shed. I have no idea how we managed to accumulate all this crap, but it fills up a good portion of our lawn, which is not small. Now we just have to dispose of it, so a skip is definitely called for. Who doesn't love spending a weekend filling up a skip with crap?

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Tonight I'm off to see Daryl Braithwaite at a local pub. That should bring back many fond memories of my teenage years.

:-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Just a few more pics


Warren Clampit - he was a nice guy too, he obligingly posed for photos with the desperate groupies. Er... that would be Selina and I.


David Rylah and Nick Jones again. David's on the cover of this month's Ironman - and yes, of course I got him to sign it.

I also have this shot of me with one of my idols, Lindy Olsen, but it came out blurry. Dammit! And no, I'm not a dwarf, she's just VERY tall.

I'm back!!

Had a blast on the weekend, got home last night, late, exhausted and completely over travelling. Ah, it's good to be back with my family.

I'll post more later; right now I need to get organised and head out to train a client (thank goodness I didn't have a 5:00 am booking!), but here's just a little something for the girls:



David Rylah and Nick Jones. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice! I didn't take my camera, deciding to make do with the phone, but it let me down badly, so luckily I got Selina to fire off some shots with her camera. Now I just have to wait for her to get home and email me the pics. *jiggles around impatiently*

Thursday, April 19, 2007

ALL I have to do.....

Right, so in the next 3 hours I just need to:

Finish a client program
Answer any emails that appear in my inbox
Trek down to the shed and haul the suitcase down from up in the roof
Sort through the clean washing that I haven't folded yet and find clothes for my trip
Find where I hid the bag I keep all my bathroom stuff in when I travel (what the HELL did I do with that?)
Go to the supermarket for a few odds and ends
Pack my suitcase
Unpack some stuff that I decide I don't need
Change my mind and repack everything. Just in case.
Worry about all the things I've probably forgotten (phone charger? Deodorant? asthma meds?) and check and recheck my bags
Get myself to the airport to check in 30 minutes prior to flight time.

Easy-peasy.

*runs around in a blind panic*

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Preparation underway

So I'm off to Sydney on Thursday, I fly out at 12:15pm for a huge (almost) 4 days of fitness, fun, catching up with friends and learning stuff. Which means I've had to rearrange my training for the week. I gave it some thought, and even though convention delegates get to work out for free on all the lovely equipment at the expo each morning at 7:30, I'm just not sure that will actually happen. So I'm cramming my 3 weights workouts into 3 days before I go, and I know I'll get some cardio in while I'm away.

It's not ideal, but at least it takes care of all my workouts. I'm also going to be taking some food - at least some oats and whey protein, plus maybe a couple of cans of tuna. And I know there's a 7-eleven near the hotel where I can get eggs and fruit. I need to be able to make breakfast and have snacks available - lunch I can manage with a trusty can of tuna, a piece of fruit and a bought salad and dinners will all be eaten out.

That's the plan, anyway. Mostly, I intend to have fun. :-)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The details

Thanks for all the good vibes...I'm sure they helped.

Here's how today went down: We drove out to check out the block. Even though the roads aren't yet made, they ARE under construction, so we used the excavated street outline and the surveyor's pegs to find the right block (which involved scrabbling down and then up a dry creek bed.... boy, is THAT going to be an attraction for little boys!). Turns out it's perfectly flat, not near the main road, not in sight of the power lines and pretty much Goldilocks' dream - ju-u-u-ust right.

Then we called to see the lovely, helpful (and undoubtedly commission-based) sales lady, who answered all our questions, showed us how the house will sit on the block and allayed all Bike Boy's fears - he's just naturally suspicious, the poor love. Meanwhile I was almost jumping out of my skin with excitement. So we handed over a token deposit, signed contracts in at least a million places, and received a glossy brochure and a bottle of champagne for our trouble.

This is how the place looks - and no, we do NOT want much yard to take care of, thanks!:


Here's the funny thing - the block is actually smaller than our current one, and the house is close to three times the size of this place.

Now I just have to go talk to the builder, sort out some stuff with the bank, get a few estate agents to come and look at our house and ...oh, about a trillion other things, in my spare time. Should be a snap. Yeah.

The deal's done

We got it! Got some celebrating to do now. :D

Fingers crossed, please!


After weeks of researching, discussion, arguments, researching, driving around the neighbourhood, making decisions, changing our minds and did I mention researching? we have finally decided to sell the shoebox we currently call home and build a FABULOUS new house dahling.

So we found the perfect design by the perfect builder, and decided on the perfect housing estate to put it in. We got approval from our bank to go right ahead (after signing over our souls and most of our future income, plus I think there was something about our first-born child in there…they obviously haven’t met him...) and all that was left to do was to locate the perfect block of land. I looked and looked, spent hours on realestate.com, more hours driving around armed with the Melways and my supernatural sense of direction, emailed agents, talked to developers and began to feel a bit like Goldilocks. It had to be not too big, not too small, in the right street, not a corner block please, nice and flat and basically ju-u-ust right. It seemed impossible and I resigned myself to waiting months for the next land release, dammit!

Then late this afternoon what seems like the perfect block appeared out of nowhere. The builder did some very quick fancy footwork to see if the house would fit (it does), the price is right, the location looks good and the timing for the title release seems spot-on. So tomorrow, I'm dragging Bike Boy off to talk to the lovely sales lady, check out the area where the street will eventually be, chat to the builder some more and if everything works out nicely, slap down a chunk of money so they'll hold the land for us.

Things may be actually happening at last. Some good luck vibes sent this way would be appreciated.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Poodle fitness

I had to post this..... it's just TOO weird.



Is she perhaps related to Popeye?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You have been warned!


Here's a heads-up for any clients of mine who happen to be reading this:

If you turn up to a training session with gifts of chocolate or similar goodies for me, expect retribution! Liz can attest to the fact that I'm not making empty threats here. She arrived this morning bearing a plate of chocolate-filled tarts. So I made her do 20 minutes of ab boot-camp. :D It was a little different to this routine, but I'm sure the result will be the same when she tries to get out of bed tomorrow.

Some days I really love my job!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Abandoned behaviour

The abandoned in the title doesn't refer to unrestrained or wild 'n crazy actions. I haven't turned into some drunken floozy or anything, dancing around in my underwear, singing karaoke while sculling bourbon straight from the bottle. Although that sounds like it might be fun. *ahem* It's just that once again Bike Boy has flown off to that sparkling centre of intellectual scintillation, our great national capital, and abandoned me here all alone... well, OK, with 3 kids in the house, so not actually alone, but you know what I mean.

Yeah, he's travelling for work AGAIN. And when he temporarily disappears from my life, it's like this weird switch in my brain flicks on and I simply cannot help getting out of my normal routine. I stay up late, I sleep in, I watch TV (I really, truly hardly ever do that), I let the dishes pile up, and ignore a whole heap of other things I should be doing. I also begin to have strange thoughts about food - like ice cream suddenly seems like a perfectly sane thing to have. For dinner. What the hell is that about? *sigh*

He's gone till Friday night. Oh crap.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The two of us

My week's started off well. I've had alarm clock issues the last couple of Mondays; I either forgot to turn it on or somehow set something wrong and consequently slept in and missed my workout..... which left me running to catch up all the rest of the week. Today being a holiday though, I slept till 7:30, then headed off to train with Bike Boy.

We never train together normally, since we go to different gyms at different times, but today everything just worked out perfectly. We were both home, both had weights sessions on our schedules, and besides, I really needed a spotter for my bench press. So I decided to go with him to the university gym where he trains. It's a great little gym, clean, nicely maintained equipment, has everything that I could need and it's only 5 minutes from home. Unfortunately I won't be joining though, since they don't open till 6:30am on weekdays, which is way too late for me. I need to start by 6:00 at the latest to be back home in time to get the rug rats up and myself organised.

I had a great workout - I managed to increase my weight (slightly) on bench press without fear of getting embarrassingly stuck under the bar, got through my shoulder workout OK and then once again had a handy spotter for my final triceps exercise - lying French press. Yeah, you don't want to drop the bar doing THOSE suckers.... you could give yourself concussion.

Pity about the opening time thing - training together was actually fun.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

All I got for Easter....

.....was a lousy 4 squares of chocolate!


Teehee! Of course, it was Max Brenner dark chocolate, and those 4 squares weigh around 500g. Bike Boy surprised me - we don't normally give each other Easter gifts.


I also got the lovely choc-truffle ball thingies. Note the sticker on the bag, which reads: Chocolate is good for you. Well, der!

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The little boys were up early, eager to go Easter egg hunting. I tried to snap some photos, but you've never seen two kids move so fast.

Apparently, Easter egg hunting is a competitive sport. The fact that I always redistribute the loot afterwards to make sure they get an equal share makes no difference - it's still important to grab more eggs than your brother.

We then sat down to breakfast - cooked on the barbie, of course.


Of course, The Baby was more interested in the chocolate eggs than the kind that come from chooks. I give it 3 days tops, and all his chocolate will be a distant memory.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Dinner is served

Bike Boy served us up a mighty fine dinner last night. It went like this:
Oysters Kilpatrick
Stir-fried prawns with garlic, ginger and chilli...and some other stuff (don't ask me, I'm not the chef)

Baked blue-eye fillets with lemon and pepper


Three fine, fishy courses!

There was also rather a lot of champagne drunk. Consequently, I wasn't feeling too flash this morning. Note to self: do NOT get rat-arsed when you have to get up to train clients the next morning. 'Scuse me while I go take some panadol and lie down for a bit. *groans*

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I've created a monster - I got back from the gym at lunchtime to find that my beloved had been shopping and bought the following accessories for his new pride and joy:

  • a flannel-lined cover (what? does it get cold or something?)
  • a warming rack
  • a rotisserie

I foresee many, many meals cooked outdoors over the coming months.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ta-dah!!

Bike Boy did a wonderful job of assembling the latest evidence of our increasingly rampant consumerism, and here it is, all shiny and gleaming:


We used to laugh hysterically at these things in catalogues. "THAT'S not a barbeque!" we'd splutter, "we don't have appliances that impressive in our KITCHEN!" After all, what's wrong with 4 bricks and an old piece of steel plate with a fire lit underneath?
Anyway, obviously we caved, because we're now the proud owners of no less than 4 barbies: one wonky brick one, built 19 years ago by Bike Boy and a friend, two Webers (one converted to gas - essential for total fire ban days), and now this magnificent stainless steel edifice. We gave it a test run at lunchtime and I can report that the sausages tasted pretty good. I'll report back on the impending seafood feast....

Easter traditions



Our new barbeque arrived last night - in two huge boxes. Bike Boy has the task of putting the monster together today so that he can cook us a fabulous Good Friday fish feast for dinner tonight. Not that either of us is the least bit religious - eating fish on Good Friday was something that both our families adhered to when we were growing up, and for some reason we stuck to it when we left home.

At first we used to go buy fish & chips, but the wait for service just became ridiculous, so for years now we've stocked up on fishy treats at the market instead. Tonight's delights include oysters, prawns and blue-eye - I can't wait!

The kids, of course, are just hanging out for Sunday when they can make themselves ill on tonnes of chocolate. Easter Bunny stops coming to the kids in our family once they start high school (so does Santa, for that matter), so only The Baby gets a visit from His Fluffiness these days. Of course there are plenty of choc treats from Mum and Dad for them all, so it's not like anyone misses out. And luckily for The Middle Child, our youngest likes some company (and competition) when it comes to Easter egg hunts, so they both still get to scamper around the yard looking for goodies hidden in pot plants or under leaves.

Next year, when the bunny stops coming, I think we will need some new traditions - well, I have a whole year to give that some thought.

Today, I'm taking the day off from work - I'm off to the gym in a tick, then plan to spend some time in the garden. I have a lot to do around this place to bring it up to scratch. There is a reason for the sudden flurry of domestic activity - more about that later.

Have a relaxing Easter, all - and don't eat too much of that chocolate, even if it really DOES have no calories on Sunday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Doing my bit

If you're in any Australian capital city and you can run or walk, please sign up for the Mothers' Day Classic 4km or 8km event. Or if you can't possibly enter, then sponsor somebody who can, or just make a donation.


I've entered this run the last 2 years and will be doing it again this year, and I'd love to meet up with anyone else who's able to do the Melbourne event.


If you like, you can dedicate your run or walk to someone you know who's been affected by breast cancer, and you can even wear a tribute placard pinned to the back of your shirt. The sheer number of placards is mind-boggling and every time I pass someone (or they pass me) wearing one, I get all choked up.... which makes running kind of challenging.


I'll be running in memory of my friend Jose, who died 2 years ago this month. I can't help her, or do anything to ease the pain of her husband or her 3 kids, but at least I can do my little bit to help science get a step closer to stamping out breast cancer.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The countdown has begun!

Registration is all taken care of, airfares are booked and accommodation organised. It's now only 15 more sleeps till the Filex fitness industry convention and I'm getting just a tad excited. I'll be abandoning my husband and children and running off to Sydney for 3 and a half days, staying at beautiful Darling Harbour, learning lots of new stuff, participating in workshops run by some of the industry's best, earning the CECs I need to stay registered, checking out the HUGE fitness expo for free, and did I mention that it's going to be heaps of fun? And then there's the shopping and the free samples.....



I also get to catch up with lots of friends who are spread all over the country, including Selina (Girl, if you didn't register for that class with Hot BOSU Guy, I am NEVER speaking to you again!), Jay Bonaretti (go check him out, he's sooooo cute!), and of course my good friend Debbie. Plus I'm hoping to meet some of my Sydney-based online clients face to face. So far I think I have every minute of every day planned, programmed and organised to the nth degree. Although there may be a partying opportunity on Saturday night.....

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I can't wait!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Name that fruit

I spotted these garish things at the supermarket, amongst all the "normal" weird fruit, like rambutans, jack fruit and custard apples.....oh, and some "Panama passionfruit" (must try those, they're HUGE and I'm seriously addicted to passionfruit). Anyone like to hazard a guess at what these are?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Odds and ends

I just realised that this year is already 1/4 over. Yikes! So what did I achieve in the last 3 months? I've managed to maintain my weight, more or less, while building me some muscle. I've completed the two cycling events I planned to do - and I didn't die in the process. And I've managed to keep up my training regime through one of the busiest work periods I've ever had. So yay, me!
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I had my orthotics modified to (hopefully) iron out my ongoing back problems, which are largely due to my right leg being a scary 11mm shorter than my left. I picked them up on Friday and I'm wearing them for about half the day, while I get used to them. So far they make my back ache more, since my poor scrunched-up muscles are all being forced into more natural positions, which they're not at all used to.

Here's the right one, with a 7mm heel lift added to it:



Glamorous, or what? I can't run in the damn things, so it's just as well I'm not actually running at the moment. If I do lose my mind and decide to take up running regularly again, apparently I can get some high-tech carbon fibre ones, that are way more bendy. I'm betting THOSE are pricey!

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As well as being a lopsided freak, age is apparently catching up with me and I have to get *sob* reading glasses. I visited the optometrist the other day and picked out a pair of Calvin Klein frames that I hope won't look too dicky on me. Hopefully they'll be ready to collect before Easter - my arms are getting sore trying to hold books at a far enough distance to focus properly. Perhaps once I get used to them I'll even post a photo.

And once again I'm thankful for my health cover, since those things cost around $400. Out of pocket, it ended up being a much more reasonable $96. Phew. Between the osteopath, the podiatrist and now my aging, failing eyesight, I could go broke!


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I just made a new taste sensation - a chai latte shake. Throw 3 or 4 ice cubes in the blender, add about a cup of skim milk, a serve of Sara's vanilla whey protein and dump in the contents of a sachet of Lipton's chai latte (or you could brew up a cup with a tea bag and let it go cold, I suppose). Blend till thick and frothy and drink through a very wide straw - or a narrow one, if your cheek muscles need a good workout.

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I got a lovely surprise this week - a flower delivery came on Wednesday, and I was mystified. It's not my birthday, anniversary, and I haven't been the bitch-wife-from-hell lately (in spite of PMS), so it couldn't be Bike Boy sucking up. Turns out they were from a client who'd just finished her 12 week program and was over the moon with her results.

Totally unnecessary, but really, REALLY appreciated. Made my day - knowing I've helped someone achieve their dream is a great feeling. That's a good thought to hold onto when 4:30am starts and working all weekend gets me all :-(