Friday, March 30, 2012

Restyled

My styling session yesterday was amazing. I'll spill all in a later post - I don't really have time right now, plus my head's spinning a bit from information overload, so I want to wait for Meaghan's written summary.

Probably the biggest thing I took away from our session is a lot more knowledge about the kind of styles that work for my shape. What is my shape? Well, let's just say if I was a Mad Men character, I'd be Joan Holloway.

Joanie knows how to work those curves!
It was quite exhausting, but a lot of fun. I have three and a half garbage bags filled with clothes and shoes for charity, and another small pile of stuff to sell on eBay. My wardrobe is seriously pared down. And I mean seriously. But what's left will work together in lots of combinations, plus I won't find myself standing in front of 3,000 dresses, shirts, pants and skirts, completely overwhelmed and unable to make a choice.

I highly recommend Meaghan's services if you want some help - either in person (if you're in Melbourne) or online. Her blog's well worth a read too for tips, shopping bargains and all things style and fashion.

There's a good chance I may be cruising the shops at lunchtime. Just looking though....warming up for the real deal once I have my shopping list in hand.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Style, school and stuff - my day in brief

*Not my actual wardrobe.

I have a day off today, so I should have time to write an insightful, witty and thought-provoking blog post (because I produce so many of those, right? ....Oh, shut up.) But hmm, nope.

Instead, this is how my day is planned out:

6:00am - cardio session at the gym.
7:00am - swing by the supermarket for some essentials, fill up the car.
7:30am - get breakfast on, check email, drink coffee, pretend to be "working" when I'm really faffing around on social media.
8:30am - fly through the house, stashing random shoes, papers, items of clothing and other detritus in cupboards or behind the closed laundry door. This passes for cleaning in my world. Don't judge me, I'm busy, OK?
9:00am - shower, dress, generally make myself presentable
9:30am - make a quick batch of sweet potato pancakes and a pot of fruit compote so I have snacks for the next few days.
10:00 - style consultation and wardrobe review with my personal stylist... Yes. That IS what I said. More about that later...
1:00pm - lunch, hang out washing, do a little work. Real work this time.
3:00pm - head off to the school for parent-teacher interviews
5:00pm - start organising dinner

And that'll be my relaxing day off over and done with.

I'd better get moving. This house won't hide its own mess, you know.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Are you feeling lucky....punk?

I rarely enter competitions, but I spotted this one being run by Caz from The Truth About Mummy a couple of weeks ago. She had five copies of the new DVD release of I Don't Know How She Does It starring Sara Jessica Parker. I'd been meaning to go see it at the movies, but you know ....just didn't get around to it.

So I left a comment, as required to enter the competition, and promptly forgot all about it. Then last night when I went to shut down my computer, I had an email from Caz telling me that I was a winner. Yay for me!



Then today at lunchtime I was trawling Twitter and noticed a tweet from The Hoopla mentioning a book giveaway. I was feeling lucky, so I clicked through to the Facebook page, left a comment and went about my day. A bit later I checked my email and bugger me, I was one of the winners of Cathy Kelly's new novel, The House on Willow Street.   



I'm pretty chuffed about the free stuff, and very grateful to the lovely ladies responsible for running the giveaways too. Blog giveaways are actually pretty sweet deals - unless it's a wildly popular A-list blog, you usually have pretty good odds of taking out a prize.

If you're feeling lucky, stay tuned for my upcoming giveaways. I have one coming up next week and it's a nice little prize pack. No, I'm not divulging any more details; you'll have to check back for the giveaway post.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hungry for Change

Just a quickie this morning....I'm in a rush, but wanted to share this while it's still available.

Liz put me onto the documentary, Hungry for Change, which can be viewed online for free up until the 31st March. It's well worth putting aside 90 minutes to watch it.


I watched it last night, and while I didn't really learn anything new, it reinforced some of the main principles of healthy eating for me, and reminded me of the reasons why I need to clean up my act in one or two areas.

If you're confused about what constitutes healthy food, or how to improve your overall health through nutrition, this might help. There's also a handy one-page 10-step action plan that you can download, so you remember the main points.

One of the big things that appealed to me was that it doesn't just focus on the physical side of healthy living. It also discussed dealing with stress and pursuing happiness through self-love. As anyone who's ever tried to lose weight, change the way they eat, or make other major changes to their lifestyle would know, the emotional side of things is just as important as eating the right foods and exercising.

My conclusion? It's not rocket surgery. If we all stopped shovelling "health foods" like processed bars, shakes and other packaged crud into our pie-holes and just ate more freaking veggies, we'd be a lot better off.

Watch it. You won't be sorry.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Science with the "Duh!" factor

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I receive alerts of numerous news articles on scientific studies related to health and nutrition each week. Today's lot had me rolling my eyes at the conclusions, which evidently must have been written by Captain Obvious, and wondering: Who funds this crap? I mean, seriously, why pay money to run a study for weeks or months that's going to tell you something that any five year old could tell you without conducting a year-long, double-blind, expensive study?

Like this one, which apparently concluded that privileged people are more likely to be selfish. (You don't say?) Or this one, which found that people who live alone are more likely to be depressed. (No sh*t, Sherlock?) Then there was this (which I totally lost the link to. Oops): Band musicians using shared instruments have a higher risk of contracting staph infections, warts and other nasties. Whoa! Who knew?

In an effort to save governments and businesses money, I'm willing to selflessly offer my services - for a small fee - to provide immediate and accurate results without the expense of running a tedious study to test their hypothesis. I swear, I have the almost magical power to cut through all the fluff and determine the answer.

For instance, not five minutes ago, I came up with these astounding facts:

If my food is boring, I'm more likely to go buy a chocolate muffin for morning tea. 

Or - and I'll bet this surprises you:

If it's cold and pissing rain outside, I'm more likely to pull the doona over my head at 5:30am and stay in bed than I am to go for a run. 

I know! My ability is uncanny, right?

I discussed my proposed new career as science reporter extraordinaire with Bike Boy, and he added his own contribution:

If his glass is empty, he's more likely to pour a Scotch.

Is it just us, or do others have this same incredible mind power, which all the scientists in the world seem to lack? Hit me with your own Captain Obvious observations.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Product Review - bChill Relaxation Drink

Supermarket shelves are crammed with squillions of drinks in brightly coloured cans, promising us everything from energy, alertness, improved sports performance and more. But they usually come packaged with a massive hit of caffeine, sugar or other things that are less than desirable from a health perspective.

So when I was offered a free sample of a new drink that claims that it's a bit different to the others, I was keen to give it a try. The advertising blurb says: "bChill helps provide that happy, relaxed feeling we all crave. So... Drink. Chill. Relax."

More details are available from the website at www.drinkbchill.com.au

Of course the first thing I did was check out the nutrition panel. The ingredients include passion flower extract, lemon balm, rhodiola, chamomile, tryptophan, B vitamins and magnesium. There is some sweetener, but nothing nasty (and I was pleased to notice stevia in there) and the colours and flavours are all natural.

The herbs and flowers listed are widely claimed to induce calmness, reduce anxiety, relax muscles, reduce stress and promote feelings of well-being.  The way my week's been, I want me some of that! Perhaps I should have packed it for my drive to work through the hell that is Melbourne's Ring Road.

As for taste - it has a sweet (but not too sweet) tropical fruity flavour. It's hard to describe but there's a hint of passionfruit and some citrus tang as well. It's also lightly carbonated; not fizzy, but kind of tingly. Bike Boy willingly joined me as taste-testing guinea pig and we both decreed it tasty and refreshing.

The other good news is that the entire can contains only 50 Calories, so you can indulge without guilt.

So: Would I buy it? Absolutely. I don't ever drink energy drinks, rarely touch soft drinks - diet or otherwise - and use sports drinks only occasionally during lengthy training sessions. This though, I'd happily chug down on a hot day.

The only problem is that the product is initially being launched in Queensland only, so I'm not going to find it in my local shops for a while yet. If you're dying to try it and don't want to wait, you can order it online though.


Disclosure: This is not a paid post. I did not receive payment or other remuneration for writing this post, although I did receive a free sample of the product. The opinions expressed here are my own and are given frankly and honestly. 



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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back in the saddle - at last!

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This morning saw me return to my usual Tuesday 6:00am RPM class and believe me, it feels a LOT longer than three weeks since I last climbed into the saddle. I expected to find it quite a struggle, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I managed to keep up pretty well. I did dial back the resistance a couple of gears on the climbs, just so as not to have too much pressure through my foot - but other than that, it felt really...normal.

I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things now - and perhaps the permanently grumpy mood that's been hanging around for the past few weeks will bugger off too.


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fashion, fun...and a disclaimer

I'm having a bit of a love affair with Polyvore and Birdsnest at the moment. I've put together (or just found) some looks I love.

Like these two for the office, that could take you on to drinks, dinner or a show. Or all of the above if you're very, very lucky:










Or how about a gorgeous vintage-inspired outfit to wear... hmm, out for a posh ladies' lunch or maybe to the races?





Or a more casual look for shopping or coffee with the girls, perhaps?





These websites are quite dangerous though, and should come with a warning: Enter at own risk! You may experience a massive hole in the space-time continuum. Entire afternoons can disappear in what seems like minutes.

Don't say I didn't tell you.


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Friday, March 16, 2012

Hellooo!

Yes, I'm still alive. There's been a sad lack of blogging or any other social media activity this week. It's just been... you know... one of those weeks.

There's been nothing disastrous happen, no real dramas. Just work, exhausting extended trips to and from the office thanks to major roadworks everywhere I need to go, Bike Boy away for work again and general lack of enthusiasm for - well, anything at all, really.

To dispel the general crappy-moodiness of it all, I did a couple of things for myself this week. I outsourced the ironing (yay!), handing over a basket of wrinkled clothing one night and getting back a stack of crisp, freshly ironed lovelies the next, and all for the paltry sum of $20. I also booked in an osteopathic treatment for last night and feel way better for that too. Having a minor injury to one foot really screws up your whole body...

Things are looking up (huzzah!): It's Friday today and the weekend beckons; plus my toe is feeling significantly better. I think the swelling has even reduced a bit (about bloody time!), so I'm hoping to get my runners laced up and hop on the spin bike in a few days' time. Cross your fingers for me....


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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Manic March

The first week of this month has flown past and I feel as though I've achieved nothing. Let's break that down, shall we?

- I've so far failed to post a single photo in the March Photo-a-Day challenge.
- I have a blog giveaway to organise, but so far...haven't done a thing about it.
- Training is more than a little off-track, thanks to my fractured proximal phalanx (I had to consult Wikipedia to find out the singular of "phalanges". Hands up who knew that bone was a phalanx?)
- The house currently resembles something that might be featured on an episode of Hoarders. At least I got the bathrooms cleaned before breaking my toe.

If I think about it, things aren't all bad. I have achieved the following over the past week:

- Attended work for three out of the first five days of the new month. (Well, I left at 2:00pm today, but close enough.)
- Remembered to make an appointment and actually show up for my free "over 50" mammogram.
- Watched the whole of seasons 2 & 3 of The United States of Tara
- Read a Jodie Picoult novel
- Remembered why I hate Jodie Picoult novels
- Had a pre-dinner nap today

Phew. I've got to stop being so hard on myself. It's a wonder I haven't collapsed from exhaustion.


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Monday, March 05, 2012

A slight flaw in the plan

You know how yesterday I said I'd be squeezing into my shoes and heading to the gym this morning? There's a small problem with that; I still can't get shoes on.

So, of course I implemented Plan B. Yep. I stayed in bed and sulked.




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P.S. Don't worry, it was just a temporary setback. I've consulted with Liz and I haz a plan to follow. Some Pilates, some upper body stuff at home and do not eat my own weight in Kit Kats keep nutrition under control. Yeah, that should do the trick.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

An unwelcome break in routine

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I can't say I've enjoyed my enforced rest over the past few days. Lying around on the couch watching DVDs, reading when you get sick of the TV and snoozing when you feel like it sounds like a whole lot of fun. And it is, when it's something you choose to do. I suppose it feels a bit naughty - after all, there's always housework needing to be done or something that you feel you "should" be doing.

But when you have no choice, it's never actually as enjoyable as you think it will be. At least this time I'm only out of action for a short while - not like the couple of major surgeries I've had where I was stuck in the house and unable to drive or do anything interesting for weeks.

Tomorrow I'll be attempting to squeeze my shoes on and will head down to the gym before work. My plan is to do whatever weights exercises I can manage - which I suspect will be upper body only at this point. I'll test out some cardio equipment as well, see what's manageable, but I expect I'll have to be a little patient in that respect...

It's very tempting to just jump back into training in my usual fashion. After all, things were going so well, and I hate to see my hard-earned fitness or strength decline. But I really want this bone to heal properly,  so I won't be doing anything that might hamper progress.

The next four weeks are going to drag, I just know it.

===========================

I wish I had a digital copy of my x-rays that I could upload, because they're pretty interesting. Apparently, a dislocated fracture of the little toe is a pretty common injury, which says a lot about the stupid design of the human foot...


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Thursday, March 01, 2012

5 things I learned today


1. Both breaking and dislocating a toe at the same time is a special talent, but it hurts like a bastard. And by the way, toenails are not meant to point to the side.

2.  Emergency waiting rooms are full of really interesting people. If, by interesting, you mean crazy, disturbing or downright disgusting.

3. If your doctor sends you off to the hospital, make sure you steal some reading material from said doc's waiting room on your way out. Enough for at least three or four hours.

4. Local anaesthetic injected into feet really, really hurts. About the same as injections into your gums, in case you're wondering.

5. Doctors in public hospitals all appear to be about fifteen years old. They must start uni before they're out of nappies.


My toe is now "buddy taped" and will be for the next four weeks. I'm feeling no pain, but judging by the force the doc used to push and pull the toe back into place, I suspect that when the local wears off, it's going to REALLY hurt.

Training is on hold until I can get shoes on. I don't want to drop a dumbbell on my foot....


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