The happy list #2

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Here’s what’s been making me happy lately…

Staying cosy inside when it’s raining outside.

While I’m not really a winter person, I do love the occasional excuse to stay in all warm and cosy, when the weather isn’t particularly friendly outside. There’s something really comforting about having a roof over your head where you feel safe and snug while the rain beats down and the wind rages around you. It’s time for movies and warm food and having absolutely nowhere to go. I really feel lucky to be able to take my shelter for granted.

Re-living great memories of last year’s overseas trip.

I’ve been enjoying the ‘On This Day’ function on Facebook, lately. I’m such a dork, but every day I look forward to seeing what I was getting up to on that date, in previous years. At the moment, I’m cycling through great photos and comments and memories of our trip to Korea and Japan (and Singapore). On this day last year, we were in Hiroshima. All the memories come flooding back in the best way. Everything from the powerful experience of visiting the museum, to the beauty of the city and the fun we had exploring with one of my brother’s old school friends and his fiancee who live in Japan.

I think I’ll feel a bit sad when the memories stop cycling through my Facebook. But that would be an item for a ‘sad’ list and this is a happy list…moving right along!

Getting back into routine (I hope). 

Most of last week, the Little Mister had a cold that wanted to linger. So he missed two of his day care days and he was somewhat quarantined a lot of the time. My plans were all over the place and I had to miss work and a solo trip to the city. Even my time to exercise suffered a bit. It wasn’t that bad (we did get some awesome quality time together and he wasn’t deathly sick – still my happy dude), but it did feel a bit chaotic and not very productive. Now it’s a new week and I’m looking forward to getting my momentum back and feeling more on top of everything! You know, before the next thing happens to break routine again, because that’s life!

A selfish Friday night in. 

On Friday, Mr Unprepared had a bucks night to attend, so once the Little Mister was all tucked up in bed, I had the evening to myself. I’d thought that I’d miss the hubby, but honestly, when I realised I could have some selfish me-time, the perks were quite good! I could stay up later without disturbing anyone (usually Mr Unprepared passes out early because of his cycling routine so I tend to begrudgingly take myself to bed before I’m really sleepy most nights of the week – even the weekends). I watched chick flicks and read blogs without feeling conflicted about how to spend my time. I didn’t have to watch the footy (although our team won so that’s awesome). I fell asleep watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix in bed. I spread out like a happy starfish haha. It was wonderful! Only thing missing was wine, but I couldn’t be bothered going to the bottle shop earlier in the day – laziness wins over wine in this house, quite often haha. It is nice just being selfish sometimes.

Chicken soup. 

I’d been feeling gross all weekend. Fighting off the Little Mister’s cold and eating some not-really-good-for-me food will do that. So Sunday was a great day to detox a little. I ate really simply and made a yummy chicken soup for dinner. I felt SO much better after. It really does have healing qualities, that stuff, don’t you think?

Making plans. 

Over the weekend we booked Lion King tickets for 2016. I am SO excited. The Lion King was a big deal in my family growing up. We went nuts over it. My brother and I wore out the VHS version we owned. We knew all the songs. We had the soundtrack. My parents loved it too. It was oddly a real bonding experience that lasted several years! We even have strangely fond memories of the car breaking down on the way home from watching it at the cinema for the very first time haha.

So we’re all going to go to the musical together (with Mr Unprepared who can finally see our Lion King madness firsthand)! Yay!

We’ve also decided when/how we’ll celebrate our wedding anniversary later this year too. We’re going to spend a night in a nice hotel in the city and get away as a couple for the first time in a long time. So. Excited. We can eat dinner somewhere cool that we’ve heard about but never been to (because kid) and just hang out. The two of us. It will be so good. I can’t wait. We don’t get enough date night time, so this will be a big deal!

A part of me is worried I’ve jinxed everything by mentioning it ahead of time, but sometimes, just knowing something good is on the horizon can be a great sanity saver when you feel stir crazy!

So that’s this week’s list! Tell me – what’s been making you feel happy lately? x

All ‘growed’ up.

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I don’t know where the time has gone. I really don’t. But the Little Mister is hurtling towards 4 years old at a frightening rate. Just the other day he ticked over 3 years and 8 months old. It sounds SO much older than 3 and a half. SO MUCH OLDER. It has been a fun age (mostly). He’s getting so much more of a sense of independence and his confidence has been growing. This has made things a little bit easier for his parents too!

He can sit still for longer (he’s going to his first ever movie at the cinema on the weekend – so exciting) and the little tedious tasks I have to help him with daily are slowly decreasing in number as he starts to want to ‘do them all by myself’. It’s just a joy watching his imagination in action and even though he has no sense of an ‘indoor voice’, it’s always great fun seeing what gems he will come out with. It’s like getting a glimpse inside his brain. I love wondering what is going on in there each day. Watching him tick. His sense of humour is still as wicked as ever.

I really want him to feel confident and empowered as he develops and it’s so heart warming to see him take pride in the decisions he has made for himself. Especially when being his age must be frustrating – bloody grown ups always giving ultimatums (i.e. “It’s this healthy snack or nothing else before dinner!”) and telling you where to be and when! The boundaries and discipline are so important but I think it’s also essential that he grows up knowing how to back himself (and that his parents support and love him too).

I’ve been trying to build this up in him in little ways since forever and it has been so rewarding! Lately it’s been extra fun…

Choosing his own hair style.

The Little Mister has always been really good with getting his hair cut, but before his most recent one came around, he kept voicing his objection. He didn’t want his hair cut. He liked it the way it was, even though it was always getting in his eyes and was very shaggy and almost mullet-y. So I put it off for a while, hoping he’d come around on his own. I didn’t want him screaming in the chair.

One night, I said, “How about we look at some pictures on my iPad [the magical iPad] and you can choose a hair style that you would like?”

He loved the idea of using the iPad for something so grown up, but he also loved the idea of picking his own hair cut. Suddenly he felt like he was a part of the process and he really embraced ownership over it. Suddenly he didn’t mind the idea of visiting the local barber. Of course, I very subtly redirected him from a couple of styles, but most of the latest hair styles for boys are quite similar and his hair grows like crazy anyway so no real harm done if it didn’t quite work out.

He chose this one:

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We got to the barber’s and he was so excited. He kept asking when we’d show the lady the picture and tell her what he wanted. I decided with her that we would forego the razored side part and make it a little bit more subtle, but ultimately the Little Mister’s decision was going to be put into action.

He was so happy. He has wild hair so we went to the supermarket together and he ‘helped’ me to pick out his very own spray bottle (like the hair dresser had) and a little tub of styling wax for special occasions. He talked about it non stop. His hair would be the real deal! I wanted to take a couple of photos of him when we got home and he posed like a mini Zoolander – so proud of himself. I must admit, he looked very grown up. Disturbingly so.

It’s growing out a bit funny (as I suspected it might), but I am so glad he loved making his own decisions. I swear he walked a bit taller that day.

Helping with home decor. 

I needed to change out our bar stools. We had two bulky ones with badly shredded fabric (it was like some kind of plastic made to look like a soft leather – I promise they were beautiful when we bought them even if I’m not describing them well at all). They’d been fairly fancy and classy when we’d bought them 7 years ago, but they were no longer looking so healthy and I’ve been on a mission to add colour and life to our home. Time for a revamp. I’d found some stools I liked on a furniture store’s website and I knew I’d have to take the Little Mister on a 2 hour round drive to get them. I needed him on board with this mission! Often, making him feel included makes all the difference in his behaviour.

I showed him the online picture of the range – all different colours. I asked him which colours he’d like to see in our house (I was buying four). He said yellow and green (sure I’d already decided I liked those colours too – great minds and all that haha). It’s a long story about how we finally got what we wanted (gotta love people who tell you one thing on the phone and then you drive forever based on that information and then they say they don’t have half of the things you asked them to put on hold so you have to go to another of their stores even further out of your way because you can’t waste the day now can you), but the main thing is that we did. The Little Mister was SO good and I treated the day like it was an adventure – I was sneaking in some life lessons – by example – about adapting gracefully when things don’t work our way (and teaching myself too haha). Look, sometimes he’s a PITA to shop with but other days he’s the best little adventure buddy. He was wonderful about it all and when we got home with our goods, he was so excited. He couldn’t wait to show his dad and he loves climbing up on them and watching me in the kitchen while I wash dishes or cook something. It’s hard to explain but I can just see the sense of pride and ownership beaming out of him whenever he climbs up or talks about them. He takes special care with them. It’s so lovely.

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Here’s what they look like (complete with bad quality phone/Instagram pic and dirty floor)!

Meal prep and cooking. 

I like letting him cook with me. Tonight we’re making mini pizzas together – his choice of toppings. Other times, I let him play with left over pastry dough while he sits on the other side of the kitchen counter. He likes to feel like he’s played a part in what we’re doing. He loves to grab his little step stool and join me when there’s something to be mixed or added to a bowl. It’s not always efficient or tidy, but seeing him so excited to help makes it worth it.

It’s such a pleasure watching him grow. It’s moments like I’ve just described that make me feel like maybe, just MAYBE I won’t totally screw him up (every parent’s deepest fear). Gosh, I love that kid.

What fun things have you done with your pint sized people lately? Tell me about the last time they made your heart burst! x

Kez Gets Physical: Things I could do better.

I have really been enjoying making a bunch of lifestyle changes so I can be fitter and healthier. I am exercising regularly, meeting and beating my 10,000 steps a day goals almost every day and I have lost a small amount of my body fat percentage, but OMG there is so much room for improvement! I’ve been thinking about the things I am not really nailing right now and how I can do a bit better. And when I say a ‘bit’ better, I really kind of mean that. I want to hold myself to account, but I don’t believe in extremes. I don’t think I could sustain that so I hope to take bite sized chunks at a time, because I want the changes I’m making to become real habits and not just a passing phase. I tend to burn out too quickly if I go too hard too early (I’ve learnt this from numerous experiences in the past so I am trying to pace myself). I feel I’ve reached a little bit of an impasse and I know I need to get my butt in gear and up the ante a little. I’m starting to feel bloated and slow again and I do NOT like this feeling now that I’ve had a taste of the good-for-me life!

Here are the things I want to improve on – starting now!

Nutrition

I have made some minor changes. But I’ll admit I have a looooooooong way to go. For example, I do not crave potato as much as I used to. In fact… *gasp*… I even find it a bit stodgy now and prefer cauliflower. It’s not so starchy, has less carbs and not so many calories. It’s also full of all the right flavours and textures to stop my cravings. A definite win for this spud fanatic!

However…

I have a new obsession with chocolate brownies. And sometimes I eat too much for lunch. And I keep buying little ‘treats’ at the shops, telling myself I’m just gonna eat them to ‘get them out of the house’…but then I go and buy them again. Repeat the cycle and really, we’re achieving sweet F A. Oh gosh, I am ridiculous.

Lately I’ve been procrastinating. Oh, I’ll eat better tomorrow. Or I’ll eat better starting Monday. You know the drill. We’ve all been there, right?

I don’t know if it’s the cold weather or my usual lack of resolve, but I know I need to do better!

I have bought myself some low carb brownie bars from the supermarket for when I have super bad brownie cravings. I am sure they’ll taste nothing like brownies and will be tiny (because correct portion sizes – hello). But they’ll be better than nothing when I am desperate. I am going to just point blank stop buying junk. If I don’t buy it, I won’t have any at home. I think I have a higher chance of stopping myself from buying the stuff than I do of not eating it once it’s in my cupboard/fridge. I gotta stop myself at the source!!

If I can’t stop myself from baking (it’s an addiction – a form of therapy for me), then I will give the stuff away (hey if I make everyone else plumper I will look smaller in comparison hahaha)!

This week, I ordered my groceries online. No impulse shopping. No face to face temptation. Healthy meals all planned and accounted for. Not to mention it helps with budgeting. I must do this more often.

Upper body

I’ve noticed some positive changes in my body. I feel stronger. I’ve lost some lower back fat and my butt looks a bit perkier (at least visually I feel there’s more shape and definition). I use the treadmill a lot. I’m great at walking. I’ve tried some good leg work outs. I just think I need to do more with my arms and my upper back muscles. I’d love to trim up and lose some fat in the ‘back of my bra’ area. As you can see, I did not excel at human biology, but I hope you know the bits I mean.

I’m going to try and do some more all over body type work outs. I have a Michelle Bridges DVD that involves a lot of push up type exercises (I tried it for the first time in forever yesterday – on my hard tile floor – and it wasn’t pretty) and I do love me some Fitness Marshall hip hop. I think I’ll search out some more good stuff to try. As much as I hate exercises that get me down on the floor, I think I should try a bit harder.

I keep joking that Mr Unprepared should get me a boxing bag for when I’m feeling angry, but maybe it’s not such a bad idea!

Drink more water

There are so many health benefits from drinking water. I know I need to do this more. My skin needs it for a start! Since I’ve started sweating a lot of stuff out, my skin started off with a great glow, but now it’s getting dry. I find I’m either full of zits and teenaged style break outs (my skin trying to compensate for the lack of hydration I think) or I just look old and flaky. Attractive.

That’s one of the shallower reasons to drink more water, anyhow. I do take dry skin as a symptom that the rest of my body needs it.

I am not sure how I can encourage myself to improve, other than to maybe start tracking my water intake on my fitbit app.

Setting small goals

I have some bigger goals in mind – getting to a healthy BMI, reaching 25% body fat, fitting more comfortably into my current dress size (12) and then dropping to a comfortable size 10 (a realistic goal at this point – although being a size 8 would be entirely ideal for my naturally small frame I do feel those days might be past me at this point – never say never).

But…I think perhaps having small events to look forward to might help. Like training for a fun run or even wanting to feel and look a bit better for upcoming social engagements. Things that can feel like a reward in themselves and encourage me to push a bit more. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do yet, but I will keep you posted when I figure out what will work for me.

Increase incidental exercise opportunities

I would love to get my incidental step count up, so that my work outs are just the awesome icing on the cake. If I’m not trying at all and it’s a normal day at home (i.e. much like the past week where the Little Mister has been at home sick a lot and we haven’t got out much), I average about 6000 steps incidentally doing housework and just walking around the house doing stuff (and that’s on a good day). I think I need to up my game. Do more housework (haha)? Stand up more often? Go for more walks? Dance in the kitchen? Any suggestions? I’m talking about the days when I can’t really get out of the house.

So those are the areas I want to work on. I have some ideas of where to start, but I’d love any of your suggestions. I haven’t really got many solid goals yet and I know that having specific, achievable goals is important.

What works for you? What do you need to work on? Got any suggestions for me to help me improve?

The happy list.

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Look, I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t have a great day yesterday. Nothing bad really happened except for my mood. I had all of these dreams about being horribly angry and when I woke up… (you guessed it) I was horribly angry. Well, not right away (first I woke up too excited about sleeping in to actually sleep in – even though it was my sleep in day), but it was obviously there, just under the surface. I am sure my awful mood was caused by some super deep, subconscious, unresolved soul shit (in fact I know so) but we won’t go there right now! I hadn’t felt this disgusting for at least a year (very bad mood days seem to stick with you) and I feel like I’m still recovering today. I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this, but I guess to keep it real?

Anyway, today is a new day. That’s the beauty of life. There’s always a tomorrow with no mistakes in it yet. Yeah, yeah. Cheesy, I know. But it’s true.

So I thought I’d try to turn things around by focusing on the things that are making me happy lately. I don’t want to waste any more time on bad feelings (my personal journal has already had quite the work out this morning haha).

Feeling like a good driver. 

I know that sounds funny, but I used to love to drive. For the sake of driving. I would pride myself on being really good in traffic. Instinctive and just really in the moment. Just me and my car stereo. Yesterday, when I ran away from home for a few hours for some retail therapy (there was just no other choice), I got to drive for an hour each way. By myself. Just me in the moment. I finally felt like a good driver again. I was present.

I kind of get why people think parents with ‘baby on board’ are bad drivers (you don’t have to have the sticker in the window for it to be obvious – trust me haha). We’re always thinking about something else – our brains have so many tabs open. It’s harder to focus. We’re always about the destination and not the journey. I’ve missed being all about the journey. Driving well gives my confidence a boost too. I was going somewhere I hadn’t gone alone to in a long time. I had to remember all the little tricks – which lanes to be in and all the rest of it. Sometimes it feels a bit daunting when you’re stuck in the suburbs a lot (which is not exactly the big smoke), doing kid/household centric things all week. Getting back out of my comfort zone (kind of) reassured me that I have still got it. I think I just needed the alone time. I must remember to enjoy the drive more.

Triple J’s 40 Years of Music.

My favourite radio station is celebrating its 40th year and each day this month they have been playing music from a certain year. They pick a year (at 10am and 3pm) and they play music only from that year for an hour. You never know which year they’re going to play and it’s brought me so much joy. So many memories are wrapped up in music, you know? I’ve enjoyed a couple in particular. My last year of high school (2001) and 1994. I think perhaps that 1994 was the first year I really became so aware of music and how to find it for myself on the radio. I am proud of my music taste from back then at the ripe old age of 10. I get so sentimental! Here’s the one song that literally converted me to Triple J forever. The moment my life changed and a whole lot of other amazing music came into my life, bringing with it new memories. Oh, it brings a tear!

Chocolate brownies. 

OK, so maybe they shouldn’t be on the happy list because they are a little counter productive to my fitness mission, but THEY MAKE ME SO HAPPY at the moment. And the packet mixes that require very little effort? Even better. I think they are my official Winter of 2015 comfort food. Oops. I guess I’ll just have to be extra healthy in many other ways haha. SO WORTH IT.

Gold coloured rings.

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They are my latest guilty retail spending pleasures. There’s something I love about the gold bands. Even my wedding ring is a simple gold band. I don’t have massive fingers, so really chunky stuff doesn’t suit me, but I can buy every variation of a gold band forever. The ones above are my latest purchase from Lovisa (not sponsored – just love them). I may be crap at buying the perfect necklace or remembering to put on some nice earrings, but rings are always a winner for a low maintenance (read: lazy) gal like myself.

My new food processor.

It’s not a fancy one. It’s fairly basic but a reliable, affordable brand. And I love it. I have used it heaps. I love making cauliflower mash and fried cauliflower ‘rice’ with it. The other day I used it to mix a shortcrust dough for a quiche and it was a thousand times better than when I’ve attempted it all by hand! It’s the kitchen appliance I didn’t know I needed and I’m stoked with it. So many recipes suggest you use one and I kept putting all of those to the side, thinking I’d never buy or use one. I was so wrong. It’s awesome. You don’t need to spend thousands to achieve good things ;)

So there it is. There’s my happy list. I feel a bit better already.

What would you put on your happy list today?

Kez Gets Physical: Beating the boredom.

I’ve read that it takes a few weeks to form a new habit. For me, exercise is eternally a new habit because I often tend to go in hard for an intensely short period of time with something new, before losing enthusiasm and forgetting about it. Oops. I’m always on the look out for something that will hold my attention and motivate me when I am feeling lazy and tired.

I love my treadmill (have I told you enough yet?) but I know that in order to sustain my new, healthier exercise habits, I need to mix things up sometimes. It’s great to have that real thrill that you’re trying something new. To remind you why you like feeling strong and powerful and to challenge you mentally (and physically). I hate being bored. Also, it’s good to have a variety of types of exercise so your body doesn’t get too used to one thing, causing you to plateau out with your weight loss or fitness.

Here are a couple of the things I added to the mix since I bought my treadmill…

Indoor rock climbing

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This was actually a happy accident! A couple of the girls organised a mystery day out for our friendship group last month and the activity was to throw ourselves out of our comfort zones and climb up some very high walls while wearing camel toe inducing harnesses! It was SO MUCH FUN. I never ever thought I would enjoy that kind of thing (especially after a freak out in year 10 where I chickened out of abseiling down a 9 metre rock face), but I really did. I just wanted to walk out of there feeling great that I tried something new. I got up the first wall I tried – all the way to the top. It was the easy one they start you off on, but it made this uncoordinated dork feel so confident! I then gave another couple of walls a try and I felt so strong! I loved feeling the ache in my forearms and my calf muscles afterwards – proof I worked hard! I loved that I would never have chosen this activity on my own. Being thrown into it was awesome. I still smile at the thought that I (world’s least likely rock climber) did that.

FYI those blue things on the left of the climbing wall? Who knows what they do or how to use them? Because I didn’t haha.

Hip Hop Cardio 

I love to dance (never said I’m any good though – just in case you were sorely mistaken). After a hilarious girls night out last weekend, where we danced like fools in an almost empty pub, I realised how fun it is and how much I miss those days where I’d get my work out on the dance floor (no wonder the 18 year old me was skinny). Yesterday I was feeling so sluggish and unmotivated after a rough night’s sleep. The thought of getting on the treadmill just left me cold. I started to google hip hop dancing for fun, because I knew there would be heaps of good work out videos out there (there really aren’t hahaha). It didn’t take long to find The Fitness Marshall , though, and this guy is FIERCE. He uses songs that are popular and catchy, the moves aren’t too complicated for a goober like me, but they are definitely challenging enough to give you incentive to keep trying and improving. And those facial expressions and the way he really throws his whole body into it? He looks like he’s having SO MUCH FUN. Who doesn’t want to have SO MUCH FUN too?! I spent a whole hour having an absolute ball sweating it out to his videos! A definite new favourite. By the time I was finished, my endorphins were well and truly going and I even got on the treadmill afterwards for a cool down. Go me!

Other little things I do…

Change up my music playlist regularly. I know it took me a while but I finally figured out that I can shuffle my YouTube playlist so I am not working out to everything in the same order all the time. What a noob. But it has changed everything haha. Also, I keep adding songs when I hear something that makes me want to move.

Google new work outs. There’s so much stuff out there for every person. It’s fun to give something new a try. I think you could literally google a new work out every single day and never do the same one twice.

Treat yo self. There’s nothing like buying a couple of cute new sports bras or some cool leggings. Sometimes looking the part helps you feel the part! Getting some new stuff from Cotton On Body (not sponsored – I just like the stuff because it’s cute and I can afford it) in the mail this past week definitely got me out of a rut and made me more excited to move!

Have a buddy. I mentioned Alice last week because she’s the awful awful person who introduced me to a leg work out that had me hurting for days! But she’s been great because just when I think I’m having another boredom slump, she shares what she’s been up to and it spurs me on. We tell each other when we’re eating a salad or we snap chat our work outs. It’s fun. I also like having some buddies on Fitbit because I get a little competitive, even when I’m feeling unmotivated to begin with.

How do you keep your fitness routine interesting? Does breaking the routine help you to keep going? What is your favourite kind of exercise? 

Follow Awesomely Unprepared on Facebook x

Kez Gets Physical: The day after leg day.

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This past weekend I received a twitter DM from a friend who we’ll call ‘Alice’ for the purpose of this blog post (and because that’s her real name). It was a link to a YouTube video, with the accompanying words, “Try this…”

It was late in the afternoon (on a long weekend Monday) and I had just returned home from a pub lunch (it was pork belly thank you very much) and I felt very lazy. I hadn’t even cracked 5000 steps for the day. But I clicked the link anyway.

Uh oh. At first glance I could see it was a work out video. Set specifically to a Katy Perry song. OK, I thought. This is interesting. We all know how I like a good work out with music.

And then I clicked the play button.

Now there’s something you need to know about me: when I try something new, I like to dive right in – hard.

So before I could talk myself out of it, I’d made a space for myself in the living room and got the video playing on the TV. It’s just three minutes, I told myself. The moves all look pretty easy. Why not?

They were not easy. When I really looked at this guy in the red shorts, I realised just how low his squats were. How low he got while he lunged. And those Superman jumps (like a burpee but without the push up)? They look so innocuous but OW. I felt the burn. I also felt very out of shape!

I managed a couple of sets before I collapsed onto the couch.

The next day was the dreaded ‘day after leg day’. I woke up restless after trying to get comfortable all night (much to the bemusement of Mr Unprepared). I felt wobbly all morning as I tried to totter about town in my wedge heeled booties. I may or may not have been relieved to need a shopping trolley (aka Kez’s makeshift zimmer frame). I felt like a newborn giraffe (but without the beautiful long neck or limbs – shut up).

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I remembered that simple things like driving involve more muscle use in your legs than you think. I got home and set about de-cluttering and performing a mini make over of the Little Mister’s play room (where his toys and his little activity table are). It involved a lot of bending, lifting, and getting close to the floor but I  put on some motivational music and soldiered on. What a trooper. It took me hours, but I loved the end result (and so did the Little Mister).

After that, I decided I needed another 3000 steps to reach my daily minimum of 10,000 steps. So I put on my new favourite show Married At First Sight and got walking on the treadmill. I took it easy, just strolling at 4 kilometres an hour. No biggie.

Until the evening came. I had to do stuff like get up and down from the dinner table, go to the toilet and you know, just exist. I gave up and watched House Rules in bed (which you know is on fairly early in the evening). Mr Unprepared laughed at me sprawled out on my back in my fluffy dressing gown, wearing my glasses and making old person groaning noises every time I moved.

How embarrassment. I hardly did anything and I was wrecked!

But I’m glad. Because it means I know how much work I need to do to make my legs stronger. It gives me motivation to keep going. And I admit I did feel a little good to be able to feel the evidence that I did some exercise. Only people who give it a try get to whinge about the day after leg day ;)

I have simple goals. Like being able to wear shorts without my thighs eating them up when I walk. You know. Stuff like that.

What are your simple fitness/weight loss goals? Do you totally know what I mean about ‘day after leg day’ days? Any funny stories? 

Wanna try the work out for yourself (which he suggests is just a pre and post leg work out exercise because WTF? IS THAT NOT ENOUGH)? Here it is:

 

PS. You should totes follow me on Facebook x

Trip of a lifetime: One year later.

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Exactly one year ago, my family took a very important trip. We went to South Korea. We also couldn’t help but add Singapore and Japan to the list (which were AMAZING), but let’s face it. Korea was where it was at on a very personal level.

If you’re new to the blog, let me quickly catch you up. My brother and I were adopted from South Korea when we were only a handful of months old. We’ve been raised as Aussies and until 2014, we’d never been back to Korea before. The opportunity came up (after years of talking about it) because everyone in the family was free to do it at the same time in June 2014. We just had to seize the moment and book that shit in!

We travelled for a month. Myself, Mr Unprepared, the Little Mister (who was 2 and a half), my brother and my/our parents (adoptive but I prefer to call them my ‘real’ parents because they are).

Looking back on the experience a year later, I have so many mixed feelings! Some of my memories are just amazing. I feel so much pride that we undertook such a crazy journey – especially with a 2 year old in tow. We ate some amazing food, we soaked up the culture. We lived out of suitcases. We just threw ourselves into it and got as much out of the experience as we possibly could.

I feel grateful. I am so glad I had that experience. On a personal level, it really cleared some things up for me. I’ve never had a desire to find my biological family. I mean, never say never, but up until now my feelings have not changed. Going to Korea really made me feel comfortable with this. The language barriers, the cultural differences (travelling with a child really highlighted this). Being reunited with your birth family would be an enormous undertaking. It wouldn’t be that easy. And that’s if your biological relatives even wanted to meet you (there’s a lot of shame). I don’t think I am missing enough in my gorgeous life to be willing to go through so much. I am at peace with that. Really, deeply peaceful about it.

This trip changed my life. I wondered if I’d feel a strange resentment towards the country that gave me up and made me look ‘different’ from a lot of my Aussie peers (a great source of curiosity for the ignorant). Would I want to back pedal and claim no likeness to the Korean people? Would I feel so culture shocked that it traumatised me? Would I feel ugly if I compared myself to their beauty standards (they’re big on plastic surgery and the K-pop image)? Where the hell would that leave me after spending my childhood feeling inferior to my white friends (luckily I’m well over that now)?

Turns out, I realised I own my identity as an individual. A unique person who has an amazing story of my own to tell. I got to go to this strange (to me) and wonderful country and I got to sit on both sides of the fence, so to speak. I realised I’m different everywhere I go! And I’m so stoked with that! I’m just me. I’m not a culture. I am not a race. I’ve never felt more ownership over who I am in my life. That trip made me stronger. I will be eternally grateful for it. It changed who I am because it didn’t change who I am. How’s that for confusing? But do you know what I mean? Realising that visiting Korea wasn’t going to unravel me or throw my identity into chaos and confusion, was so…oh I don’t know the word. It was positively powerful.

There are some tough memories of course. The weird, overwhelming sadness I felt at times. Shit had happened to me in this country. It led me to an amazing life, but shit happened. Shit I’d always wondered about and felt sensitive about (rejection issues anyone?). While I’ve worked hard for a lot of my adult years to understand myself better and to grow through these feelings, visiting there unexpectedly (who was I kidding?) opened up some wounds again. I felt very tender. Add the fatigue and stress of wrangling a 2 year old – probably leaving me a bit more vulnerable – and there were some feelings/moments that still feel very raw to this day. I hope that rawness fades over time.

Sometimes I even think, who the eff did we think we were trying this kind of trip with a small child?!! The things we did! The stress we were under daily! The fast pace of the holiday! Even the child free me would find it a huge task! It really wasn’t the kind of trip you would normally plan, with a toddler in mind. At least not something I (a big chicken) would normally plan! But we just had to do it. We couldn’t waste time. No-one wanted any regrets. This was the trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful that our beautiful Little Mister got to share it with me. With us. How very special.

A lot of fun was had. Some days I just walked around in awe. I couldn’t believe I was able to have such an amazing experience. I wanted to absorb everything I was seeing. Oh, if eyes were cameras, dammit!

So a year on, I feel a bit jealous of the travelling me of 2014 (certainly doesn’t help that my parents went to New York without me – the injustice!!), but I feel happy to be home too. Feeling more settled than I have in a long time.

Hashtag f*cking blessed.

Peace out xo

Kez Gets Physical: Measuring progress.

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So it’s been about a month since I got my treadmill and decided to really get my act together when it comes to my fitness. Here’s my best day from this week, as proof I’m really trying!

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I always find the first few weeks the hardest, because it’s hard to measure any progress you might be making (as excited and as motivated as you may be).

I am no scientist/doctor (scientoctor?) but I always find that the first couple of weeks, there can be weight gain and I often feel (and look) bloated after a work out. Not to mention the fatigue from trying something new!!! Which gets me down a bit, even though I know it’s just a hump I have to get over. I always find myself just impatiently waiting to see some results so I can feel encouraged to continue.

I decided I want to do more than just weigh myself and track my activity on my fitbit flex. So I bought the Fitbit Aria scales that sync with your app (WTF? So clever) and tell you your body fat percentage. Any scales with the body fat percentage function in them would be good enough, but I figured it would be handy to have something compatible with my other stuff. I wanted to see an accurate break down of what’s happening in my body. Some weight gain can be muscular and some weight loss isn’t necessarily as healthy as you think. I was so nervous to step on the scale for the first time. I was imagining the scale screaming at me, “95% POTATO”.

What? I like potatoes.

But it turns out I’m more like a third fat. So it could be worse. But it could be a whole lot better. I’ve set a goal of 25% – eek.

Mr Unprepared is training for a big charity bike ride, so we’ve been keeping each other company in our progress. We decided to measure ourselves. Which involved lowering the blinds, stripping down to our underwear and getting the measuring tape out…wait, that sounds wrong. You know what I mean. Nothing suss! Haha.

I’ve never done the measuring thing before. I think because it’s always seemed like the kind of thing that only serious people do. BUT…my need to feel like I’m making progress took over and we did it. Measured ourselves, I mean. I don’t think I’ll check back in on those measurements for a while (part of me is too lazy and another part of me wants to see a significant difference when I do bother), but it’s good to know there are several ways to see how you’re improving over time.

The more I get into this, the more I realise that your weight (at face value) is not the most important thing (although I obviously would like a more healthy BMI). How you get there is more important than say, crash dieting or doing unhealthy stuff.

Also? Listen to those around you. They might notice any changes in you that you don’t see – we’re our own worst critics, are we not? This happened to me over the past week. My mum told me that I looked a little slimmer and I’ve been carrying myself a little differently. She said that I looked different in a top I was wearing. Mr Unprepared kept telling me too. I admit I didn’t listen for a few days haha. I’d look in the mirror and be all, pfffft. Nope.

But the other day, something magical happened. I started to see what they were talking about!!

Guys. I’m getting my butt back. This is VERY exciting news. Pre-Little Mister I had a great butt. Then after pregnancy and birth, I kind of went back, back, back, legs. And no, not because my bum had become so skinny. But because I had filled out so much I had no shape anymore!

I was so excited to look in the mirror and finally see a little curve. A little definition in my lower back! It’s not much, but it’s definitely something!! I don’t think I’ve seen that little curve in at least three years!!

I’m feeling so motivated! I mean, what else can I rediscover?! It’s like an archaeological dig!!!

How do you measure your progress? Had any small wins lately? 

Pretty things.

I’ve been watching too many home make over shows. OK, just the one. And now I have realised that if the contestants on these shows can completely gut, rebuild, design and make over several difficult rooms in a week, then I could probably get off my arse (after seven years) and start prettying up my place a bit more proactively. I think I procrastinate a lot. Shocker.

The other night I had a flash of inspiration. A vision. My living room (the first room you see when you walk in the house) was looking pretty tired, despite having great basic pieces of furniture in it to work with already. It needed a freshen up. It’s our sanctuary in the evenings – our little parents’ retreat. Also, I want it to invite people into our home. It’s kind of spent a bit of time being that first room we rush everybody past when they visit. Oops.

It looked cute when we first decorated it, but seven years (this month) is a long time between improvements!

I have been excited to have a little bit of extra money and time lately (thanks to going back to work and putting the Little Mister in day care a couple of days a week), so I couldn’t wait to catch up on lost time!

I decided to front up to some homewares stores and got my (extremely) amateur interior designer on. I was walking from section to section, carrying bits and bobs. Putting them near each other. Rearranging and primping and matching stuff. I used to be too embarrassed to do that. I used to just leave the things where they were and work from memory as fast as I could in case the store staff wondered why I was still there or why I was bothering to pretend I knew what I was doing (“It’s day 3 and they’re starting to get suspicious”).

Now I’ll spend an hour in a store, getting things just right (which is also why I never have time for it haha)! This kid is growing up. No more self conscious shenanigans!

It’s amazing how a few cushions and stuff can make a person (me) so happy.

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Isn’t this cushion a beauty?! It tied everything together. Also, I’m so in love with the whole geometrical thing that’s happening lately.

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I’ve never really had throw rugs before. This one is a shocker and I LOVE IT! It is neon pink chevron and it livens up the room so much! Also? It’s really comfy to lean against and snuggle into (totes tested it out last night). Still working on my draping technique, but we’ll get there!

I wondered what Mr Unprepared would think of the colour, but he was typically non fazed. He acknowledged that it wouldn’t necessarily be his first choice of colour, but he saw the whole look I was going for. And I quote, “I’m not bothered by it.”

I’d take that as a positive review from the least-likely-to-ever-become-an-interior-design-guy that I’ve ever met haha.

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I went through all of my magazines and only kept the prettiest, best quality ones. The kinds you go back to. The kinds that visitors might want to browse through. Bye bye crumpled up old TV Weeks! I updated some dull looking photo frames and I bought a little coral statue thingy (I love beachy things) and shoved it on a celebrity cover girl’s face (sorry love)! Suddenly that stack kind of looks like it’s meant to be there.

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I then splurged on some little milk bottle thingies with hydrangeas (pretend of course) in them. The purple ones remind me of the flowers we had at our wedding. Add a photo from when we were newly engaged and a kissy smoochy one from our wedding and we’re good to go.

Of course I couldn’t forget some coasters for the coffee table. Mr Unprepared loves his night time cup of tea.

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Aren’t they gorgeous?? Glass was a calculated risk because the Little Mister is growing up just that little bit more (and he’s blocked by a safety gate when we want him to stay out haha).

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a better looking living room!

All I need now is some amazing white wallpaper with some kind of cool textured effect on it (for a feature wall behind the TV) and I do believe I will be very pleased with myself.

I can’t wait to keep tackling my house room by room! And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my future lady cave. We will get there eventually!

Do you enjoy decorating your home? Know where a gal can get some wicked wallpaper??

None of the items in this post were gifted or sponsored. 
I bought them because I love them!