Domesticated ‘goddess’ / weight-lifter in training

Saturday. A day for lie-ins and laundry, brunch and baking, reading and relaxing, cleaning and more cleaning. On this particular Saturday I have even rearranged furniture. Yes – my living room has a new look.

(I decided my TV does not need, nor deserve, to be ‘pride of place’ since I don’t have a TV license and actually rarely even watch DVDs on it anymore. So it’s been relegated to another corner and I now have a nice reading “nook” next to my fireplace)

I have been very grown-up and domesticated today. I took things to the launderette (not my things, of course, but tablecloths from Matt and Laura’s wedding) and called up Window Cleaners to get quotes, and did lots of little grown-up type chores such as reviewing my finances and cleaning the fireplace.

Seriously. I’m like totally grown up, don’t you know.

The best thing about this Saturday is that it means last week is over, and I can look forward to starting again on Monday. I don’t know what was so particularly nasty but the days dragged, everything felt like a challenge, and it was just exhausting. I had a headache every day and I feel like I haven’t slept well the whole week. Unsurprisingly, last night I slept like a baby.

That might be, however, because yesterday I had a session with a personal trainer at the Gym (who happens to be an ex-Marine, ex-weightlifter, with a degree in sports science or physical science or something like that from what’s meant to be the best University for that kind of thing. Go figure.)

Where was I?

Oh yes. It seems I am now in training. Actual, set routine, “overload” / “pyramid” training with weights and everything.

I wanted to meet with the yogalates (yoga/pilates – of course) instructor, to find out if there was anything she could suggest to sort out my shoulders, since I have a condition called Winged Scapula (don’t Google it, it’s gross) but she was off sick, so Tony (I don’t know if that’s his name. He looks like a Tony) went through things with me. He’s never heard of Winged Scapula but could see right off that my upper back muscles, underneath my shoulder blades, are severely underdeveloped. In particular my left side. I’ve always said that I am incredibly right-handed, and my whole right side is stronger than the left, but no-one’s believed me until now!

Long story short, “Tony” has set me up with a weight lifting routine designed to build up and tone the muscles underneath my shoulder blades so that they can’t wing out as much. I have to do: bent over fly lifts with dumbbells, dumbbell rowing, and upright rowing, and lateral pull downs. (You can Google those, they’re not scary or gross)

I am really quite excited about this new regime. I feel like I have a goal and I will be able to see the results of my hard work. I have to do the routine 2 times a week, at least, which works out great because currently I’m there 5 times a week anyway. (Mon/Wed/Thurs evenings and Tue/Fri mornings, generally)

I know, it’s a little intense. But I’m making the most of my money, right?!

So I figured that if do my weights on Monday and Wednesday evenings I have the evenings off to recover – my arms felt like jelly afterwards but Tony promised that is normal.. On Thursdays I go to yogalates from 6.15 – 7pm, and on Tuesdays and Fridays I can do Cardio.

Perfect. Not bad for £30 per month.

Right then. I have to end it there, since my peasant bread should be done rising soon. Yes, you read right. I am in a little bit of a bread-making phase. Last week I tried a spelt loaf which turned out so heavy you could have throw it at someone and killed them dead.=”2013-08-10T15:34:50+00:00″>peasant bread which is supposed to be lovely. And you don’t have to knead it. Score. I’ll let you know how it turns out – if I like it!!

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Happy Sunday

Well, I was hoping that tonight would be a merry blog-posting evening where I could upload the hundreds of photos that I have from recent months; thus updating you (dear readers) on events in my life and at the same time freeing up some of the memory on my phone.

But alas, alack…the “smart-phone” is not so smart. Or maybe it’s the laptop…but either way, the photos are refusing to upload to my computer and so it has not been a merry-blog posting evening for me.

Just one post tonight…and I am fairly out of ideas / things to say.

It has been a very hot weekend – the hottest of the year so far. Right now I have all my upstairs windows open, hoping that the cooler evening air will mean I can get to sleep better tonight.

Yesterday we  (Simon, Faith, Debbie and I) went to Westgate Beach – along with several hundred other people. By the time we got our picnic and settled down for reading/naps it was about 2pm…and about 20 minutes later when I looked up, the sea was only about 1 metre away! Talk about the wrong time for high tide! We had all thought the tide was going out, since the sand on the beach was wet but apparently Westgate beach never really dries. Who knew?!

So we hastily packed up our stuff and walked around the bay to another beach, and then when that got a bit too hot we went up the cliff onto a lawned area and chilled out there in the breeze. Then, of course, we wanted ice creams so we walked back down to the promenade and then back around the bay to the car. It was a lovely afternoon, if not quite what we had planned!

What else have I been up to in this past fortnight… Well.

I have been enjoying my gym membership a lot more since I figured out that if I go before work I can have a 30 minute workout, a shower and blowdry my hair, and still get to the office for 9am! Which always makes me feel very accomplished. I still feel a bit awkward showering at the gym…but I’m getting over it. Hardly anyone is at the gym that early anyway.

Another thing which is making me feel good is all the healthy, summer food that I’ve been having. When I went back to Devon for the wedding, I picked up my lunch box which I had left at mum’s by mistake. I really like my lunchbox (is that a sad thing to say?) It has three compartments – one has it’s own lid so you can separate your main lunch from the other two compartments, which are for snacks. The past two weeks I have had a salad for my “main lunch” with lettuce or (raw) green cabbage, celery, cucumber and pepper, and sometimes sugar snap peas. Next week I have some tomatoes as a treat(!) In my snacky sections I either have carrot sticks or grapes, and either a tortilla wrap or a packet of Morrisons’ not-quavers-but-they-are-exactly-the-same.

Salads just make you feel so healthy, don’t they? I never fancy hot food in this weather and it’s so nice to have crunchy veggies to munch on.

Another exciting – perhaps more exciting than my lunch – is that the Canterbury Foodbank has a new venue. I volunteer at the Foodbank every Tuesday evening, with my small group from church. We pack the food parcels which get given out to those who need them on the distribution coffee mornings.

Up until the end of last month, all the food was stored in a garage-sized building attached to a local church. However the church has had to move venues which meant they could no longer provide a space for Foodbank.

Amazingly though, a local school (a very prestigious, private boarding school – actually) has offered a space that is over 1000 sq ft, absolutely free, for an entire year. The school has bought an old building next to its sports ground but development of the building won’t happen until at least summer 2014…so in the meantime, Foodbank has been given a section of the ground floor for food storage and packing.

The space is seriously INCREDIBLE. God is SO good. Before, all of the food was crammed into the shelves and there were huge stacks of crates filled with tins that had more advanced sell-by-dates on them. Now we have a space where the 2013 food is, where we pack, and there is another space for the food with longer sell-by dates, so that they stay separate, AND there is a space where all the donations go into and are counted/categorised/checked.

I wish there were more photos on the Foodbank website, because my rambly description doesn’t do it justice. I’ll have to take some on Tuesday and try again to get them uploaded onto here.

I think that’s about it for my fortnight’s update. I really need to get back into the swing of blogging, I feel like over the summer there is so much more to be out there doing that it is harder to spend time writing about it! I do, however, have this week off (apart from tomorrow when I am barricading myself in my office with my mammoth stack of typing!!) so maybe there will be a slew of blog posts then.

Maybe.

-x-

An evening in

Today was my first real Saturday in my house. Last weekend my mum was here and the weekend before my army of friends was helping me to move in. I was a little worried I’d go stir crazy by myself but I’ve actually had a grand day.

Granted I did see one friend and his girls as I discovered I’m too short to change the battery in my smoke alarm and it was going off all through the night last night. But that was just a short visit.

For the rest of the day I entertained myself! I went to the gym (and in the process discovered there is no quick way to walk there) and the library (2 new books!) And after lunch went to aldi to get some groceries.

My friend Karen is coming to afternoon tea tomorrow so after my aldi trip I made a cake. After all that I planned on sitting down with a cuppa and watching Grease 2…

However…I then got a sewing urge. 4 hours later I have made 2 skirts. The first was a bit of a flop as I followed the measurements on the pattern I found on Pinterest which were WRONG! But the second I did without a pattern, just making it up as I went along and I have to say I’m chuffed with the result!

You can’t tell but the fabric is actually a bedsheet that I got on sale. I think it’s a pretty pattern. It has 2 darts at the front to give it shape, french seams (cos I learned how to do them after watching The Great British Sewing Bee) and a zip at the back.

Yay me!! Another few Saturday evenings like this and I’ll have a whole new wardrobe!

Hope your Saturday was lovely too
-x-

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah

I had a number of potential blog posts to write today, but they all seem to have disappeared into the ether of my mind.

Isn’t it strange how thoughts can suddenly pop into your head…and then disappear before you get to act on them? Strange, and annoying.

Now, I have nothing to say of consequence. I have spent the weekend “getting stuff done” – returning library books, going to the gym, sorting out dollars for my trip, and petrol money for the 2 kind friends who are being lovely and driving me to/from the airport, buying some new clothes, doing lots *and lots* of laundry, tidying my room, hanging out with Rosie, hanging out with other friends, going to see a potential new flat (a no-go), church, and renewing my car breakdown cover.

Phew.

Yesterday I was so exhausted I was falling asleep by 7pm. But of course, I went to bed early and then woke up at 1am – and couldn’t get back to sleep for another hour!! Muchos irritating.

This evening I’ve spent a couple of hours sorting out all my clothes, and packing for my holiday. My big suitcase is all ready, and my carry-on is done apart from my wash bag. The only things I need now are: books, Bibles, and my handbag – with passport, tickets, money etc…and I need to book my Shuttle from the airport but that’s it!

I feel sleepy. Tomorrow I’m at work; starting my new 5-days-a-week position. I think I picked a bad time to up my days: the week before going on a holiday when I’m also looking for a new place to live and would benefit from an extra day to house-visit…but oh well; it will all be fine.

Off to watch Call The Midwife now; my Sunday evening relaxation. I often cry, but I think that’s part of its’ charm!

Have a good week!! My next blog post will probably come to you straight from Salem, Oregon 🙂

-x-

Oh lovely day

Today has been a good day 🙂

It felt like a good day from the minute I woke up, and it really hasn’t disappointed!

I had a little lie-in, then got up for church and for the first time in about two weeks I didn’t have mad panics trying to work out what to wear [I’m not usually that girl but recently none of my clothes have felt right and it takes a proper old drama and tizzy to find any outfit that I’m happy with] and just wore jeans and a top that I felt comfy in. I even felt like my hair looked good – it’s been difficult these past weeks because I’m trying to grow it longer for this but it’s at that awkward place where it doesn’t want to do anything and I end up shoving it in a ponytail or bun – Not so today, I left it down and felt good about it!

I read my Bible whilst eating my breakfast, and I’m at that bit in Numbers where the donkey talks so that’s always a treat! Makes me giggle to imagine it.

After breakfast it was off to church, where I chatted to some lovely folks whilst drinking tea out of my favourite green mug (I have a little contest with a guy from church to see who gets the green mug each week – this week he had left it for me! How sweet) It really is the best mug.

I was serving in creche for the 9am service, and it was the most chilled out time we’ve ever had – 9 little ones between 3 helpers, and the cutest little kiddos. Admittedly there was a LOT of snotty-nose wiping and at one point, one of the other ladies’ had to physically hold my child’s head so I could wipe the gunk off his face…but other than that, we played and we sang and we cuddled and it was just joyous!

Because of serving in the first service, and because I wasn’t at church last week, I decided to stay for the 11 am service to hear the preach. And yay, for getting to worship at both services. It was a great service, a guy called Geoff preached about how we can evangelise to people by just telling them our own testimonies. Very encouraging and I love his preaching style.

After church I meandered around the supermarket (forgetting one of the only things I actually needed, but coming home with a melon…just because) and went to a discount store to buy fairy lights for Thursday’s shopping evening…and then I came home and watched some of the OC whilst I had lunch.

Anyone else remember how good the first season of the OC was? I simply cannot believe that it was on about a decade ago! It makes me feel so grown-up [old] when I think that I was in my early teens when I watched it. But it was oh-so-good, and just hearing the theme tune makes you want to live in Californiaaaaaaaaa

So yeah, lunch and the OC – falling in love with Seth again, and wishing that silly Anna away because oh-my-gosh-he-is-just-meant-for-Summer-even-though-she-doesn’t-like-him-right-now-she-will-soon. Yay for the teenage romance drama!

And then, in the middle of the Ryan-Marissa angst, I had a sudden burst of Need-to-craft-itis and then proceeded to absolutely cover my living room with floor, pins, tape measures, ribbons, cardboard templates and all other kinds of haberdashery paraphenalia [with my Christmas songs in the background, of course] for about 5 hours and I made some very lovely stockings and tree decorations.

In the midst of my sewing I realised it was dinner-time so I put food in the oven…but then got so absorbed in the sewing that I completely forgot about my dinner and it was only when I looked up and the flat was basically a cloud that I realised it had been in there about an hour too long.

Whoops. Mishap of the day. It was all fine though, I opened all the windows and threw away the burned food and started over – making sure I kept an eye on it. Dinner Mark 2 was actually quite tasty!

Once I was done with the sewing and the flat looked as if a bomb made of fabric & ribbon had exploded…I had a tidy up! And watched some TV (Strictly results…I’m sad Victoria went, but she just isn’t as good as the rest of the celebs and it was her turn. I hope Louis goes next week)

And then, need-to-craft-itis hit me again. So I’ve spent the last two hours in my kitchen messing around with melted chocolate. Not gonna tell you what for (in case it doesn’t work out) but right now it all looks so good. And all this to a lovely soundtrack from Colbie Callait, Lady Antebellum, Agnes Obel and Madeline Peroux – courtesy of Spotify.

I’m just hoping all my crafty stuff sells on Thursday because otherwise I will have a bunch of stuff that I have no idea what to do with! But…that’s a worry for another day!

-x-

Just a little bit…meh

Where has my lovely, happy, chirpy mood gone? I was ever so contented last week…there was so much to enjoy!

I kicked off the week with a whole day of Disney movies & crafts with my friend Karen, which was great…then on Tuesday and Wednesday I had free evenings so after work I went to the gym (which was actually a bit of a mistake on the Wednesday evening because I had physio that morning and I think I undid some of the work…) and then chilled out at home, doing more crafty things and watching The Paradise on iPlayer (I have to say, The Paradise is the most gorgeous progamme I have seen in a long time…I’ve loved it and watched all 7 episodes over the space of a few days)

Anyway…where was I? On Thursday we had our Small Group Firework Night social – I headed to Jonnie and Kate’s straight after work and we had hot dogs and a bonfire and FIREWORKS!! Which I loved 🙂 And then on Friday I went to the gym again after work and came home to chill out and had a proper early night…

and then Saturday came along and punched me in the face 😦

Who knows what happened between going to bed (perfectly fine) on Friday night, and waking up (as Grumpy McGrumperson) on Saturday…but I did.

I tried staying in bed a couple hours longer, and actually managed so sleep in until 10am…but when I got up I just could not shake the grumps, and then came the anxiety because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and I don’t like that feeling. I could feel that I was just working myself up into a tizzy so I went out for a few hours – pottered around The Range, picked up a parcel and did a few other errands…but the whole day I just felt like crawling into bed and sleeping it off.

I didn’t though…I stuck it out til 5 and then went to our Work Bonfire & Firework Party which actually turned out to be alright and I perked up a bit, but then it finished around 7 and I came home to the flat and just felt so rubbish for the rest of the evening that I went to bed as soon as I could.

Sunday, fortunately, was better than Saturday but I still felt pretty miserable. Which was horrible because I was going for lunch with some friends from church – they were lovely, and it was lovely, and I perked up again but just …

Yes. It’s just been a little bit rough…but for no real reason. It just is. Hopefully this week will be better – today has been so/so…I went to a Safeguarding (training) Conference today instead of my usual day off and while it was a little bit boring, I think it was actually good timing because I probably couldn’t have managed another day dominated by my own company.

I have some good things in the next week – Rosie and I are going to see Chicago which will be super because I haven’t seen her in a while, and then on Friday I’m driving home to see my family for a long weekend. I’ve got Friday-Tuesday off, and my middle sister & her fiance are coming home as well to do wedding stuff. I get to try on bridesmaids dresses!

So in summary…I just don’t know what happened on Saturday but I’m trying not to let it drag into this week and spoil the nice stuff I’ve got planned.

-x-

 

 

Summer is almost over…?!

We just had the last Bank Holiday of the summer…boo!! But I don’t think Summer is over yet. At least, I’ve pretty much decided it can’t be, because I haven’t completed all my Bucket List things!

I do have plans for completing them…but most of them will happen in September. And I’ve resigned myself that some of them won’t happen at all, probably (spending a whole day with my three sisters means a visit to Plymouth and I can’t get down there until October)

Oh well. I do think that having the Bucket List has motivated me to do more with my summer – only most of the things I’ve done didn’t actually make it onto the list!

This Bank Holiday weekend was Rosie’s Hen Weekend, and it was really good fun. She had no idea what was being planned, except for it being in Gosport (she found the house for us) There were 18 of us over the weekend, which seems a lot but Rosie has a close group of friends from her school days, a close group of Uni friends and also a close group of church friends, so we were all there.

We went to Gosport in Hampshire to stay at the most gorgeous rental house (http://www.gosportaccommodation.co.uk/)

It was amazing staying there – the rooms are all huge, and it had everything we wanted (except a teapot!). Considering that there were so many of us, we weren’t all on top of each other and the most people per room was 3 so we all had loads of space. The best thing was the second dining room, which had a table long enough for all 18 of us to eat together! I have house envy.

The weekend started on Friday when we all descended on Gosport from our various localities (in Canterbury, Bexley, Maidstone, Poole, Hertfordshire, East Grinstead and London) and most of us got stuck in traffic on the M25 and the A3, but that was ok. Those of us that got there in time went to Playzone for their Adults session – we all dressed in black with leopard print accessories (leopard print was a bit of a theme!) and went slightly mental playing on the slides and stuff. We took loads of pictures…but they’re not shared on Facebook yet so I can’t upload any.

On Saturday we had a lazy morning, breakfast with loads of fruit and yoghurt and pastries (this was a big-food weekend) and then me and two other girls went to do the food shop whilst the others went into town and got fancy dress costume stuff for the evening. The afternoon was spent pampering and prepping whilst watching Maid of Honour (yay for wedding themed movies) and then we had fajitas for dinner before getting the ferry over to Portsmouth dressed as Superheroes!

We went to a club called Tiger Tiger where one of Rosie’s friends had booked us VIP booths including nibbles and cocktails and we had a good dance and played some games, like handing out Man Awards to different guys (Best Biceps/Most Impressive Pecs/Mr Congeniality etc) before getting the ferry back across to Gosport and crawling into bed around 2.30am.

Sunday was a verrrrry lazy morning – we ended up eating our breakfast (fry-up!) at 12noon, but that’s ok because it was fun the night before. After breakfast/brunch/lunch, most of the girls took Rosie to the fun-fair whilst Louise (the maid of honour) and I set up for the afternoon’s event: a garden party Bridal Shower with cream tea. We had loads of cakes, sandwiches, drinks and decorated the house’s gorgeous garden with bunting. We had each gotten her Bridal Shower gifts – lots of bath stuff, lingerie, candles, generally pretty things, and a photo book with pictures of all of us and messages of love for her. She cried 🙂

After the food we watched a couple more movies, played Articulate and Scrabble, and just generally chilled out together. Around 9pm getting Chinese food was suggested – more food!! But that was yummy too.

On Monday we cleaned and tidied up the house and everyone had left by around 11. I took two girls back to Bexley and got home myself around 3.30, and I was so tired from all the fun that I just crashed out for the evening! Today I feel a little more human, which is good because my Mum and sister are coming to stay today!

-x-