Saturday, June 30, 2007

News flash!

For those who enjoy healthy food that doesn't consist of lettuce, lettuce and more lettuce, I've started a new blog, featuring some of my favourite recipes and more recent inventions.

So if you'd rather insert sharp bits of wood under your fingernails than live on diet food, go visit my good food blog. There isn't much there yet, but I'll be adding to it fairly regularly.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Blogger challenge

Right, I just had another “making something from nothing” moment when my stomach told me it was lunchtime and I had very little in the way of supplies.

So I’m throwing down the gauntlet to anyone who’s up for it to play Kek’s Cooking Challenge.

The rules:

1. You can use no more than 6 ingredients (salt, pepper and spices don’t count – you can go nuts with these. You can also use oil or cooking spray as extras.)
2. At least two ingredients must be leftovers
3. You get extra points for using things that are past their use-by date.
4. The end result has to be edible and preferably something that you’d want to eat again.
5. It also has to be healthy and balanced(ish) – with protein, carbs and fat, plus vegies

So, here’s my effort for today:

My ingredients:
1. 1 leftover cooked lamb chop
2. An almost-empty tub of hommus, flavoured with lemon and coriander (leftovers from a week ago)
3. A big bag of baby spinach
4. 1 lemon
5. Some pretty old cous cous in the pantry.

Ha! Looks like the makings of a Mediterranean-Middle Eastern fusion lamb salad.

The challenge is on! I boil the kettle and nuke the chop. Tip about 1/3 cup cous cous into a bowl and pour boiling water on it, then cover it with a lid. I slice up the warm lamb, and dump the raw spinach on a plate. After a couple of minutes, the cous cous is cooked, and I add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, plus pepper, stir it through and tip it onto the spinach. Then I arrange the lamb on top and spoon the hommus over the lot. Voila! C’est magnifique!

No photo, sorry. I was too hungry to stop and snap pics before eating. I think I’m going to make it properly though – with actual quantities and everything - and I might post up a photo then.

So come on, who’s gonna take me on? Sara L? LizN? Sara T? Anybody?


******************

Edit note:


I loved this so much, I made it 'properly' for dinner and served it up to Bike Boy. I added a few things: this time I used lamb leg steaks and rubbed za'atar spice mix on them before grilling. And garlic. Lots of garlic. And I added lemon zest, sliced spring onions and toasted slivered almonds to the cous cous. It turned out like this:


Hmm. Think I need to start a recipe page.

Delish

Yesterday's morning snack - Precision Nutrition Peanut Butter Banana bar and a cup of green tea.

Was good.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

One word

I was tagged by Chris H - and this was harder than it seemed. You have to give a one-word response to each item. I tried.....

1. Where is your cellphone? Pocket

2. Relationship? Strong

3. Your Hair? Short

4. Work? BUSY!

5. Your Sister? Competitive

6. Your Favourite Thing? Sleep

7. Your dream last night? Weird

8. Your Favourite Drink? Wine

9. Your Dream Car? Um….

10. The room you are in? Lounge

11. Your Shoes? None

12. Your Fears? Heights

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Fit

14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? Family

15. What are you not good at? Compromise

16. Muffin? Chocolate

17. Wish list item? Pool

18. Where you grew up? Melbourne

19. The last thing you ate? Lunch

20. What are you wearing? Tracksuit

21. What are you not wearing? Shoes

22. Your pet? Dead (well, he is…..)

23. Your computer? Essential

24. Your life? Muddled (but also marvelous)

25. Your mood? Serene

26. Missing? Grandparents

27. What are you thinking about? Parent teacher interview (yes, that’s 3 words, so sue me!)

28. Your Car? Cute

29. Your kitchen? Tassie Oak

30. Your summer? Impatient

31. Your favourite colour? Turquoise

32. Last time you laughed? 10:45

33. Last time you cried? Tuesday

34. School? Finished

35. Love? Forever

Things that make me happy today:

  • Central heating
  • My osteopath's magic hands
  • Precision Nutrition peanut butter-banana bars
  • Rain
  • A cup of green tea and an unwrinkled newspaper

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In brief

On the work front: Busy - Gah!

Health-wise: Not sick any more.....hooray!

Training and so on: Just ordered Afterburn. Also dusted off my Precision Nutrition and am getting to grips with it. No sign of my new spin bike yet....boo!

Everything else: I'm taking an hour tomorrow and having a blissful facial. Also seeing my osteopath - not so blissful, but very necessary.

OK, now you're up to date and I'm late for bed. Nighty-night.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Disconnected

I've just spent two days with no internet access. I think I may have actually gone insane.

Number One Son has just replaced the faulty #*%^!-ing router and I'm back online. I'm going to be a little busy, catching up on my email backlog.....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

This should work....

In the new-found spirit of making things easier on myself, I've come up with a new training plan to get me through the winter months. It goes like this:

Monday - a.m. cardio intervals on the spin bike p.m. 45-60 minute walk
Tuesday - a.m. weights at the cold, cold gym. Brrr.
Wednesday - a.m. spin bike again or a DVD p.m. walk
Thursday - a.m. weights
Friday - a.m. weights and probably some more walking
Saturday - Rest day
Sunday - DVD or bike ride, depending on the weather. And my mood.

I'm going to love doing cardio at home. No going out into the freezing, foggy, dark, 5:45am cold. Except for Tuesdays, anyway.

Now, all I need is my spin bike, so it better come this week! Apart from my impatience, I can use the tax deduction, and the 30th June is looming. (Yes, I know it's a capital expense, so it has to be depreciated, not actually deducted, but it all helps)

Once the weather warms up and the daylight hours increase, I may get back into running as well. I SO hate treadmill running..... I have no idea how anyone can run for an hour on a treadmill. - B.O.R.I.N.G.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Take THAT!

I must have woken up feeling particularly sadistic this morning, because this is what I inflicted on one of my clients. After a good warm-up of step-ups, squats, some jogging, a few medicine ball moves and some side lunges with windmill arms, I pulled out a slightly modified Josh Hill bodyweight circuit:

Prisoner squat* x 10
Pushup x 10
Split squat x 10
Decline pushup x 10
Mountain climbers x 20

The exercises are all done back to back, no rest. Then a 1-2 minute rest and repeat twice more. We did some shoulder stuff, and then I decided to finish him off with a (slightly modified) Alwyn Cosgrove leg workout, thus:

Dumbbell squats (all the way to the floor, baby!) x 24
Alternating lunges x 12 (that's each leg, of course)
Step-ups with dumbbells x 12 (again, each leg)
Jump squats x 12

This one, I let him off lightly on - I only made him repeat it once. After that, some ab work, some stretching and he was done for the day. I mean REALLY done. His legs were toast. I'm sure I'll hear him cursing me tomorrow.... Ha! Who needs fancy equipment?

*if you're not familiar with prisoner squats, this is how they go.

Friday, June 22, 2007

*giggles childishly*

Oh, oh! Yes I'm back already. I simply could NOT restrain myself from posting a link to the Rude Food site.

It contains such gems as THIS:

and THIS:

And..... oh, I'll just let you find all the others for yourself. *snort*

They add WHAT?

I came across this article today, all about how Weight Watchers add hydrogenated vegetable oil to their pudding mixes here in Australia. *shudder* Nasty stuff. Then of course, the desserts are promoted as "healthier" choices, being only x points or whatever.

The part that I found interesting is that nutritionist Rosemary Stanton speaks out against these sorts of products:

"Much of the world's population starves because they don't have the resources to feed themselves, whereas we produce these foods that have little or no nutritional value just so we can eat more. I really find it quite offensive.''

Why is that interesting? Well, apart from the fact that she's right, for years, Ms Stanton was the consulting nutritionist to Weight Watchers Australia. Um.... I'm guessing she isn't any more.

As for the over-processed pudding mixes, I think I'll just stick to a small serve of something more natural and a whole lot more decadent. Like maybe my lemon tart, made with whole eggs, real sugar and cream. Yum.


Oh, and the moral to this story is: Trust no one. Oh no, hang on, that's the X-Files motto. Well then, read labels before you buy stuff. Please.

Winter solstice



So, what's the GOOD thing about the shortest, darkest day of the cold, cold winter? Give up? OK, it means that from today, the days begin to get longer again. :) More sunlight is a very good thing in my book....

So last night, I was sitting on the couch, attempting to do the sudoku in The Age (which by the way, I gave up on, because the bloody thing was rated 'diabolical' AND IT WAS!!), when I happened to glance to the left and saw the astrology column. I still can't comprehend exactly why a stuffy broadsheet newspaper like The Age even has an astrology column.

Anyway. Yesterday's startling prediction was:

Even Saggitarians need periods of introspection and reflection to take a break and recharge their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual batteries - and today's winter solstice is precisely that time.

Huh. Now I don't feel at all guilty about staying in my pjs all morning, doing no training, spending 2 hours getting my hair done, ignoring the dirty floors and giving the kids 2-minute noodles for dinner.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Prescription: retail therapy

What do you do when you're feeling miserable and sick? You go shopping, of course!

Today went much better than yesterday's aborted attempt, where after purchasing one bright orange Converse hoodie and getting some prescriptions filled, I proceeded to bite the head off some poor teenager at Target who wanted to check my bags.... I told him that if he suspected me of stealing something, he could call the police, but no, he could NOT check my bags. And I marched out. Um. Gee. Hey, I'm sick, OK?

So today, I claimed my doctor's bill at Medicare, browsed a few dress shops, stocked up on Panadol, then picked up the cutest powder-blue waterproof parka with a fur-trimmed hood. Voila:



No, I'm not modelling it, my nose is red, my skin is dry and I desperately need my hair cut and coloured.

Anyway, now I have NO excuse for not walking, no matter the weather. Although perhaps I might need matching gloves....

*Cough!* *Ack!*


My lurgy has progressed from the I must have swallowed razor blades stage to the my head's about to explode stage, and now to the death by snot overload stage. I haven't been this sick for.... well, for as long as I can remember (surgery doesn't count, OK?) and I can't say I'm enjoying it.

I put it down to two factors. For one, I've been extremely slack about taking my L-glutamine and vitamin C for quite some time. Tsk. Plus, I've been operating in crisis mode for weeks now, while selling the house, and it's like the minute the stress was relieved, I just fell in a heap. Weird phenomenon, that.

So, the lessons to be learned? Take your goddamned supplements and learn to be more zen. Zen? Moi? That's a good one....

Seasoned


I thought it was winter, but apparently the silver birch and the hazelnut think it's still autumn.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Typical!

It's very inconvenient. I'm sick (still), so I'm actually home today, with time to spare. I could fill in that spare time with housework, filing, doing my books, or any number of other yawn-inducing tasks. Yeah, like that was ever going to happen!

Instead, I decided to get my hair done, or maybe get a facial, depending on who has an appointment available. It's Tuesday after all - salons are never busy on Tuesdays, surely? So first I ring my hairdresser. No go - she's sick, spent 4 hours yesterday at the hospital. Tsk! Thursday at 1:00pm it'll have to be....

Then I ring the beauty salon - nope, nothing today either. BUT they can fit me in on Thursday at 12:30pm. Of course, that isn't going to work, I can't be in two places at once. Nothing on Friday, nothing ANY day that suits me until Thursday NEXT week.

So, what shall I do today? Rent a DVD and curl up on the couch with a blankie, maybe?

I'm open to suggestions.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Scary stuff

When your husband works in the city, and your 14-year-old has headed off to the CBD as well for a week of City School (a 'real life' program for year 9 students), the last thing you want to see on the news is this headline:


Good thing they were both several blocks from the scene of the drama, but as far as I know the guy's still wandering about. And even though it doesn't appear to have been a random shooting, I'm not thrilled about my family being anywhere near the slightest chance of danger. The poor kids have been locked down all day, so I'm sure that after the initial excitement, they've spent the day bored out of their brains.

Anyway, the school has organised a bus to bring the kids back to campus, rather than being left to make their own way home by train as they were supposed to do.

I bet The Middle Child doesn't forget this experience in a hurry.

Free stuff, germs and band-aids

I was hanging out at the Australian Institute of Sport's website and I came across a reference to one of their recipe books, Survival for the Fittest, which you can apparently buy from bookshops or order online. But then I discovered that the kind folks at the AIS have also posted on their site FOR FREE what appears to be the entire contents of the book.

There are at least 70 recipes, including this Fish Curry:

2 cups white long-grain or basmati rice
600 g firm boneless fish fillets
spray canola or olive oil
1/3 cup curry paste (such as balti or tikka masala)
575 g jar tomato-based pasta sauce
½ cup water
500 g frozen stirfry vegetable medley
½ cup low-fat natural yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

Cook the rice in a large pan of boiling water for 12 minutes or until tender. Cut the fish into large bite-size pieces. Spray a nonstick wok or large frying pan with oil and heat, add the curry paste and stirfry over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the pasta sauce and water and bring to the boil. Add the fish pieces (and vegetables if desired), reduce the heat slightly and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked (test by flaking the flesh with a fork). Push the fish to one side of the pan and stir the yogurt and coriander into the sauce, then gently stir in the fish to coat. (Stirring the fish too much could cause it to fall apart.) Don't let the sauce boil again after adding the yogurt. Serve with rice.

Think I might try this one.

************************************

I've been sick as a dog all weekend. My germy kids have once again shared their nasty bugs with me, and I woke up Friday feeling a bit off. Things progressed from there and it was a pretty crappy weekend.

So, no training for me, but food has been excellent....only because Bike Boy has cooked food and put it in front of me, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered. I've only managed 3 meals a day, but at least they've been good ones.

Today I feel slightly better, but I'm still not doing anything more strenuous than perhaps a walk later on. I do have a million and one errands to run though, so I'll have to get dressed and brave the cold shortly. ugh.

***********************************

I was in the middle of typing this, when I was disturbed by a very loud wailing coming from the street. It took me a few seconds to register that it was The Baby crying.....and this time it was definitely an "I'm injured" kind of cry. I rushed out the front door (in my pjs) to find he'd come off his bike outside the next-door neighbour's house. The fact that he was standing upright and howling at the top of his lungs told me he wasn't seriously injured - but at least 4 band-aids were required to calm him down and send him on his way to school.

That kid loves a band-aid. Even the first aid ladies at school know by now if he turns up in the sick bay, snivelling after a playground accident, they can just stick a plaster on the wound and he'll cheer up instantly. I should have bought shares in Johnson & Johnson.....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Oh yeah, I'm sure.....

I thought I was finished blogging for tonight, but couldn't wait till tomorrow to share this little gem.

Whilst checking out fitness equipment on the net, I came across a most wondrous machine for hire. It's an EX GLORIA MARSHALL BEAUTY ROLLER. And it's a bargain, at only $149 for 12 weeks hire.



Here's the description from the website:
The beauty roller is still a favourite among many today. The heavy duty construction and quiet motor will ensure hours of hassle free use. Massages most areas of the body, including thighs, hips and buttocks.

Right. This thing will magically melt away that fat you're carrying on your hips and thighs. And if you buy THAT line, I have a bottle of snake oil here that will fix all your problems....

Die hardest?

Come on, own up - who loves a good Bruce-saves-the-world Die Hard movie? *puts both hands up*

I just saw the trailer on You Tube for Die Hard IV: Live Free or Die Hard and it's everything you'd expect - lots of shooting, explosions, car smashes and stuff being destroyed, while Bruce makes smart-arse comments the whole time and kicks some bad-guy arse. Oh, and saves the world, of course. Check it out!



The only downside is, it isn't due for release here till the 2nd August, so I shall have to be patient. *taps foot impatiently*

Meanwhile, Transformers looks pretty awesome. And the new Harry Potter film - thank goodness I have kids, so I have a good excuse for seeing kids' movies. And then there's The Simpsons Movie, and OOH, something starring yummy Ioan Gruffyd.....

I foresee many trips to the cinema.

Splashing the cash

I'm excited! We slapped down a deposit on one of these today:


I'm pretty sure the dorky guy with the odd haircut doesn't come with it.

The one I really wanted was a little exxy and what with house-building and all, I really couldn't justify it. I didn't go for one of the el-cheapo home jobbies that abound though - this is a commercial-quality bike, just not the top-of-the-range one I was eying off.

The shop has to order it in for us, they didn't have one in stock, but it should be ready to pick up next week. My next step is to order some spinning DVDs on the net, and then go visit LizN's site for some more DVD shopping to vary my cardio a bit. Fun! :)

Whilst in the gym equipment shop, we had a nice browse and I found plenty of items to add to my wish list for the new studio. Like this absolute beauty:


It's a really clever leg press that converts to a hack squat machine. Oww, my legs hurt, just thinking about it!

There was also a great power cage with high and low cables, boxing gear, every kind of bench imaginable and rows and rows of shiny dumbbells..... *drools* I'd better start saving now.

****************************

Oh, we also saw the builder sales guy today, wrote a cheque, signed our lives away and *fingers crossed* our new house will be starting construction in October.

Seems it was a day for splashing cash around......

Friday, June 15, 2007

Kids these days


It's cold again today. Big news, huh? It's winter in Melbourne and it's cold in the mornings. This morning was slightly warmer than yesterday, with the temp only dropping to 0.5 degrees. It's 9:00am and things are looking up - it's now a positively balmy 2.9 degrees. And foggy. Where did that come from? There was no fog when I opened the curtains at 7:30. I weakened and left the heating on overnight, not something I do often, due to the scary winter gas bills that always eventuate. Blankets and warm jarmies are cheaper.

There was a point to this....what was it again? Oh yeah. The Baby has been wimping out of riding his bike to school and cadging a lift with his mate Ben the last few days. This morning, Ben calls and they decide that they're actually going to ride. So, he dons a beanie under his bike helmet, kisses me goodbye and heads out the back door. A minute later he's back, in tears. Of course I assume he's had a near-fatal accident or something, but no. He's crying because it's TOO COLD TO RIDE TO SCHOOL. Honestly, I wonder what kind of generation we're raising when a cold winter morning is such a drama.

When I was his age, I didn't have the luxury of a lift to school when I felt like it. We only had one car and Dad always drove that to work, way too early for us to grab a ride. So we walked, rain, hail or shine. Cold? He thinks this is COLD? I remember winter mornings, when my friends and I would be breaking the ice on the puddles with our (non-waterproof) shoes.

Ah yes, the good old days....I can just imagine my kids rolling their eyes. When I was your age, I walked 18 miles to school, up a mountain, in the snow, carrying a horse on my back, barefoot over broken glass.....

Oh, and The Baby? I buttoned up his jacket, wiped his tears, told him not to be such a sook and made him ride anyway. Because that's the kind of caring mother I am.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's the little things

I didn't spend all that time hanging round display homes and lurking on builders' websites just idling away the hours daydreaming. No sir - I was carefully taking note of all the clever little touches the interior designers had added to make the rooms oh-so inviting and attractive.

So when it came to putting our house on the market, I put my knowledge to good use. I added vases of fresh flowers, piles of cushions in luxurious-looking fabrics, throws carefully arranged in a not-arranged kind of way, stacks of plush towels tied up with ribbon and a few collections of 'things'. It all looked sumptuous and rich....and most of it came from Target, Spotlight and some even from $2 shops. Shhh.

My favourites are the pale eggshell boucle throw, the beaded gold tassle, and the fabulous lotus seed pods. I already have their spots in the new house all figured out.

And the little gold cushion is GREAT for cuddling while watching TV.








Bike Boy says I should hire myself out as a consultant to people selling their houses. Having seen the state of most of the places advertised on the net, I think there's a BIG market out there.

Hmm, maybe when I get too old for personal training. Yeah, perhaps once I get to 90 or so.

Thursday update


Yes, the house is sold - the contract was signed last week, actually, but the sale was subject to a building inspection, and the long weekend dragged things out a bit. But the contract is now legally binding, and the stress levels in our house have plummeted. Just as well, really; murder was looking quite likely for a while there. So the plan of attack is: we move out in early September, rent something nearby while the new house is built and then move again *sigh* when The Palace is completed around March. Gah! Why do these things have to take so long?

I'm not impatient, but I want it NOW.

*************************

It's FREEZING this morning. I'm not leaving the house. Not for anything. And I may stay in my PJs all day too. So there.

*************************

Yesterday I did a great legs and abs workout - it was really quiet at the gym at 5:45am, there was hardly anyone there. At least there's one good thing about training at this time of year. Oh, two: there's the fact that training makes you nice and warm. :)

*************************

Back on the weather subject, I just checked and the temperature bottomed out at minus 0.6 at 7:35 this morning at the closest weather station to here. What's with THAT? Only draughty Moorabin was colder. Oh, and Scoresby, in the shade of the drippy Dandenongs.

Brrr. I'm going to turn up the heating now. And make more coffee.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Says it all, really:


Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard...

OK, it wasn't Mother Hubbard at all, it was me. The cupboard (and fridge) were a wee bit bare last night. I've kind of had more pressing priorities than shopping lately, and suddenly, there wasn't a great deal to eat. What to do? I took stock of what was in the fridge:


One defrosted chicken breast portion
1/2 a tomato
A scrap of red capsicum
A couple of wilted spring onions
1/2 a lettuce
Some bean shoots
1/2 a red onion
And a whole lot of green and brown sludge in the bottom of the crispers. Ugh. Must clean those tomorrow.

Hmm....not very inspiring. Then I scrounged around and found various jars at the back of the shelves, including some slightly suspect-looking Kalamata olives, some minced garlic and chilli, some sundried tomato strips and a few spoonfuls of pasta sauce, so I dragged it all out and decided I was in an Italian mood.


I'd already cooked pasta for the kids, and The Baby (as usual) had left half of his, so I tipped it into a bowl, grabbed a pan and came up with.....TA-DAH!!!!


Pasta con il pollo, il pomodoro e le olive ed insalata. (Thank you BabelFish!)


Monday, June 11, 2007

Cooking with Kek

I wanted something tasty and filling for lunch today ......a pie would have been nice..... However, instead of heading for the nearest bakery, I got busy in the kitchen and came up with this super-quick Tuna & Sweet Potato Patty:



What's the recipe? I'm glad you asked!

A portion-sized chunk of sweet potato
185g can of tuna in water
*about* 2 tsp olive oil
1-2 tbs finely chopped onion
A generous glob of minced garlic
A few basil and Vietnamese mint leaves, chopped
A birds-eye chilli, finely chopped
5 or 6 macadamias, chopped
½ teaspoon palm sugar (or use brown sugar – not quite as good, but it’ll do)
1 egg white, beaten


Steam the sweet potato in the microwave for about 4 minutes until nice and soft. Mash in a medium sized bowl and add all other ingredients except egg white, mix well. Add about half the egg white and mix again – it will be a little sloppy in texture.

Shape into 2 or 3 patties and cook in a non-stick pan, or you could fire up your shiny new George Foreman grill. :) Serve with a big salad. Yum!

This quantity serves one person, by the way.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

So, did anybody notice....?

I had a go at a custom header today. I thought it would be easy - you know, come up with something fab in Photoshop (at which I am a rank amateur) and then just go clickety-click and VOILA!!

Alas, Blogger ain't that sophisticated. You can only add an image to the existing header, you can't actually whack in your own fab banner. Bugger it!!

So, several hours of editing, resizing, and farting around in the Dashboard, and I have a half-arsed version of what I envisaged. *sigh*


Oh, and also? I got pissed off at Photobucket and created a Flickr account. So - check out my sidebar! More to come.....

Huh?


Bike Boy (opening the fridge): Well, THAT’S never happened before!

Me (hurrying to kitchen to see): What?

BB (holding up bottle and laughing): Leftover wine!
Me: #!*$#@!!

The dirt on....the dirt

We went to visit our block of land today, to see what progress had been made. Settlement is supposed to happen around late August/early September, and things seem to be moving along nicely.

I even took some photos - hope you can all stand the excitement......

Looking towards the back of our block (that big pile of dirt is about where our lounge will be):

The view of what will be the street, from roughly where the front porch will be:
Looking back towards the creek:


The creek - with actual water in it. See, we HAVE had rain! Frogs and tadpoles should keep little boys endlessly amused....let's hope they don't bring them into the house. Perhaps I can distract them with the roos in the park next door?

Amongst the mud, excavated boulders, water pipes, gas lines, various stakes and markings, we managed to find the surveyor's peg marking the boundary between our block and the one next door:

I promise not to post any more pictures till there's actually something to see.... (can you tell I'm getting excited?)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Because everyone needs more hugs

Found this site, courtesy of fatblokethin.

Hello, Sunshine!

I spotted these cute little fellas this afternoon at the local park, while training a client. Well, 'training' is a bit of an exaggeration - the poor guy was as sick as a dog, so we spent the session walking and doing some stretching. He's obviously keen, to turn up for his appointment when he really should have been home in bed.

I don't know about my client, but the walk did me good - the sun was actually shining today, so I got some much-needed phototherapy for an hour. That, plus some extra time spent in the garden, trimming and tidying, should help keep the nasty winter blues at bay.

***********************************
My stress levels have drastically reduced in the last couple of days, assisted by the receipt of an attractive offer on the house. We still have to play a nail-biting waiting game over the long weekend, but by Tuesday night we'll know whether we have a deal or not.

***********************************

I'm beginning to realise that I'll miss my garden.....hope the new owner takes good care of it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I dare you!

Floor wipers, from the 300 Workout: This gives new meaning to the term: "I'll wipe the floor with you"



Anyone game to try this? WITH the barbell?

Guess that movie....


Like the t-shirt? You can get one here.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

In a spin

Things have been a little off lately in my world. It’s been a real struggle to maintain the juggling act that is my life and I’ve been fumbling and even dropping a few balls over the last few weeks. The problem has been a combination of a whole lot of things, including a surge in business that’s keeping me up late at night and leaving me little free time, the stress of selling the house, and if I’m honest, a minor freak-out about competing. There’s a whole lot of other stuff going on as well, not the least of which is an attack of the winter SADs, but the cumulative result is I’ve been feeling like crap.

I knew there was a serious problem when I didn’t want to even go do my weight training. I mean, I never like getting up at 5:30am in the cold and the dark (I’m not actually crazy, ya know!), but the thought of heaving chunks of iron around for an hour always spurs me on. Not this week though.

So earlier this week I was all mopey and moody, and constantly blinking back tears. Training was hit-and-miss, food was completely off and I had all these thoughts swirling around in my brain, but couldn’t seem to put them into any sort of order where I could figure out what to do. All I felt like doing was staying in bed with the blankets over my head…..but that wasn’t going to resolve anything. Thank goodness for some sane and caring people in my life! A series of conversations yesterday made everything crystal clear for me.

First, I got an email from Sara and among other things, she said: “Are you still planning to compete in September? I think it might be all a bit much with everything you have going on. Don’t go giving yourself a mental breakdown or anything!” I swear, that girl must have psychic powers or something!

Then last night, Bike Boy arrived home with a surprise for me: a spanking new George Foreman Grill (you might remember that our old one met an untimely end when it danced off the washing machine during the spin cycle). He's been really concerned about me and was trying hard to make life easier in the food preparation department again. And then we had a chat about things, which resulted in me deciding to postpone the competition till next year.

When I originally made the decision to compete, I had no idea we were going to sell our house and build another. WAAAAY too much stress, let me tell you! If I’m going to prepare for a comp, I’ll need total focus, and that’s just not possible right now. I've been trying to spread myself too thin between family, clients and my own needs and, hey - IT'S NOT WORKING.

That left me with some choices to make about what I AM going to do, training-wise, for the rest of this year. I’m sick of driving for 20 minutes to get to and from the gym on cardio days, when I only spend 20 minutes doing intervals most of the time. Instead, I thought I might get me a spin bike and some DVDs and swap to some home workouts a couple of times a week – Bike Boy could use it too, if he asks nicely. I started surfing the net, looking at bikes, but I really had no idea what was a good brand or price, and it all got a little confusing. So I emailed LizN for some advice and a short time later she RANG me. As well as getting advice on spin bikes, we had a great chat and Liz’s input really cemented my decision to pull the pin on competing for now.

I’m also going to take a break from my trainer for a while – I figure now is a great time to play around with some fun workouts. I might even give that 300 workout that the other Liz wrote about a whirl. And maybe break out my Precision Nutrition kit and give it good go.

I feel as though a huge load has been lifted from my shoulders. Phew.

I’m off now to set some goals and make me a plan…..

Sunday, June 03, 2007

All bow to me



This week I have finally achieved an exalted state of being, known in our household as the state of double-emptiness. How is this achieved? I’m glad you asked.

Bike Boy has a ‘thing’ about rubbish. He stresses about disposing of it, worries whenever anything new is brought into the house that comes with packaging, and has a major hissy fit when the bins are overflowing and it’s still 2 or 3 days till the garbos are due. When we’ve had a party, bought flat-pack furniture or I’ve been on a cleaning spree, the rubbish bins get a little full. So imagine the stress levels in our house lately, with all the cleaning and de-cluttering and getting rid of excess crap accumulated over 20-something years.

Over the years he has become creative – nay, downright devious – about disposing of excess rubbish. You may think there’s nothing creative about putting out the bins on a Thursday night, but you would be SO wrong! Here’s how it works:

You must carefully observe the route the garbos take – they come along one side of our street, then turn and come back along the other, so it’s important to know which side they start on. So you place the full (but not overflowing – they will refuse to empty an overfull bin, something we’ve learned from experience) bins on the side that they do first. Then you lie in wait. The minute you hear them coming up the street, you need to be out of bed and pulling on your clothes. You wait at the bottom of the driveway and as soon as they’re past, you grab the bins, refill them with the surplus rubbish, then place them on the OTHER side of the road.

Voila! Double-emptiness achieved!

If you’re really dedicated (and devious), you can also cram surplus rubbish into any available space in neighbours’ bins.

On rubbish day this week, Bike Boy had already left for work when the garbos arrived in our street, so it was up to me. I made him proud – did the double-empty on both bins, AND lobbed a bit of extra into next-door’s bin too. Well, hers was only half full – I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.


Just FYI, when you get two bins emptied twice, AND both the neighbour’s bins twice as well, that is known as the quadruple-empty. A rare and fine achievement. My husband is a man of talent.

Think? Who, me?


ChrisH was kind enough to give me a ‘thinking bloggers’ award AAAAAGES go, but I was having a really annoying problem with good old Blogger not letting me add page elements, which I’ve only just solved (Grrr!). I got frustrated and gave up, then forgot all about it. But, better late than never!

Anyways, apparently I’m meant to pass the award on to 5 other bloggers who make me think. Here’s how it works:

The Rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post
http://www.thethinkingblog.com/2007/02/thinking-blogger-awards_11.html so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
So, my 5 ‘thinking bloggers’ are (the envelope, please.....):

1. Sara
2. Livy
3. Shauna (although I’m sure she must already have one of these….)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

More house pics. And stuff.

The open house went well, we think..... I'll know more when I speak to the agent on Monday, but apparently 12 groups of people came to check out the house today. Of course, half of them may have just been neighbours rubber-necking (that's exactly the sort of thing I'd do...). But we know that at least 3 people have been back for a second look, so hopefullysome offers will start coming in next week. Cross your fingers for us - I want this to be OVER.
One thing I am enjoying - I have an excuse to buy fresh flowers a couple of times a week. Currently we have: white tulips in the bathroom, yellowy-orange roses in the entry and a HUGE bunch of yellow and white liliums, blue Dutch iris, orange alstromerias, and some tassie blue gum leaves in the lounge. Pretty!
Here's some more photos, cos I'm toolazy otnight to write anything intelligent. Or even spelled correctly.


Nice to see that in spite of winter's onset, we still have a few things flowering. Iceberg roses, cyclamen and some seriously confused azaleas:

An early camellia. I love this - it's a prostrate form, so cascades beautifully from my tall blue pot:

The area next to our deck, known as the lower lager lounge (cute, but not original, I borrowed the name from a friend):

The kids' bathroom, in an unaccustomed pristine state. (Hmm, did I post this already? Well, the mirrored shaving cabinet door is new - Sara, you can actually do your hair and stuff in the bathroom now):

Some of my "pretties" in the bathroom:



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I'm still in a world of pain, following Thursday's leg workout. This doesn't particularly bother me; in fact I kind of love it in a sick sort of way - but MAN, it's hard demonstrating correct squatting technique to a new client when your quads, glutes and hamstrings are stiff as boards and ON FIRE. Today, my biceps have decided to join the pain party. Yeah!

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I'm currently sitting on the couch, laptop on my lap - where else?), watching Angry Beavers with The Middle Child. So mature.... We just watched a particularly awful Steven Seagull movie - has that man aged badly, or what?

What a wild way to spend a Saturday night! Bet you all wish you had MY life! Ha!