Tag: food

Kez Gets Physical: Smaggle’s #wholesomehabitschallenge

So, for the past two weeks or so I have been participating in a fantastic challenge run by Carly of Smaggle fame (one of my fave bloggers). It’s called the Wholesome Habits Challenge and it was definitely something I was keen on doing, because it came along at the perfect time. I had just recovered from my laparoscopy/hysteroscopy surgery, was feeling bloated and stiff around my middle from lack of exercise and I was keen to focus on experiencing that whole ‘good health’ feeling I’ve been lacking for most of the year (sometimes my fault due to lack of discipline and a lot of the time due to things out of my control).

Basically, the rules of the challenge were:

  1. It went for 14 days. Two weeks. Nothing too intimidating.
  2. You must consume 5 cups of veggies per day.
  3. 30 minutes exercise daily.
  4. Get 8 hours of sleep every night.

So…how did I go?

Technically, not as awesome as I’d hoped. The first week? I was like a machine. I was hitting those goals like you would not believe. The second week? I got my period and exercise became more difficult and I was more tired (read: lazy) and a bit mentally stressed (related – lame ‘lady worries’ story).

I was a bit bummed I didn’t properly hit all my targets for two measly weeks, but here’s a break down of how I went over the 14 days…

8 hours of sleep: 10/14 days

5 cups of veggies: 8/14 days

30 minutes of exercise: 8/14 days

I guess it’s a ‘pass’? So how do I feel after completing the challenge? I feel OK and I’ve had more energy (a big deal for me – especially in winter). I lost 1.1kg (my goal was 1kg – a reasonable and healthy one for a two week period). I am always shocked at the end of a challenge to see that I have actually lost some weight, because I never feel like I am making progress at the time. I have a way to go (I just do not feel physically great at this weight) but I’m glad to be shedding my post surgery weight. That just felt like a bit too much.

The idea of the challenge was to develop healthier habits, so these are the things I am going to take from it moving forward:

  1. Planning is everything. I was amazed at how easy it was to have a great vegetable intake when I’d planned ahead at the beginning of the first week. I also found that we did not indulge in takeaway food even once (while we did have a couple of takeaway style meals we were able to make them a tiny bit healthier than if we’d ordered fast food). We saved money on groceries by mostly buying fresh produce too!
  2. Minimise starchy vegetables. While I have long been a fan of the potato (especially when it’s cut into chip shapes and deep fried), I found it surprisingly easy to cut down while doing the challenge. Same went for pumpkin, sweet potato and all their friends. I will never not love those things, but having smaller portions of them and/or substituting them with other things (i.e. potato can be changed out for cauliflower if you love your mash) wasn’t that painful! I found that eating leafier stuff with some good protein really helped fill me up and stopped me from eating carb loaded crap (mostly). I want to keep this up and try not to fall off the wagon too much. I don’t know if forcing all 5 cups into myself is that beneficial (I was a bit eager in that first week haha), but it is good to have that figure in my head. If I eat 3 and feel satisfied and don’t eat much junk then that’s fine. If I’m starving still, I can have the other 2 instead of looking for gross stuff to pig out on. I probably was too ‘challenge’ focused and not listening to my body, resulting in an initial blow out weight gain (on top of my usual monthly fluid retention and regaining of muscle due to exercise) and becoming challenge fatigued. Next time I’d pace myself better and try not to psych myself out.
  3. Eating out is still fun if you order the healthier stuff. I learned that if I ate in a cafe or restaurant that it’s actually not less fun just because you choose a salad or a green juice/smoothie. I never felt like I was missing out while on the challenge and I surprised myself at how motivated I was to eat well. My experience was no less enjoyable. I had good company, great conversations and laughs, and I loved that feeling you get when you know you’re doing the best thing for your body. I am going to make a big effort to eat as healthily (and veggie focused) as I can when out, as often as I can. A little indulgence here and there won’t hurt, but I’d like to think I can manage healthier options most of the time from now on.
  4. Exercise is a priority and should be treated as such. Sometimes I do the guilty mum/wife thing and put off exercising because I feel time poor or I feel like I’m sacrificing time I could be with my family (as much as it’s a lovely bit of me time). My focused exercise seems to go further down the priority list and really, it needs to be at the top so I am fit, healthy, able to keep up with my life’s demands and be physically and mentally better. Everyone benefits. I’m sorry to put my hubby in it (sorry not sorry haha), but he exercises each weekend for HOURS on bike rides, so I should never feel bad for taking half an hour a week day (on average). At most it still adds up to the same hours he often rides in one Saturday! If he can exercise without feeling any guilt at all (none – not even a little bit haha), then so can I, damn it! I learned during the challenge that it is indeed possible and that everyone can/should live with half an hour without me quite nicely. It’s a manageable chunk of time per day and is not enough that it eats away our precious family or couple time.
  5. Better habits rub off on the people you love. I can find it hard to do these sorts of healthy challenges alone, because you don’t want to force anyone into it at family meal times etc. But I was so impressed and pleasantly surprised when Mr Unprepared volunteered to take part without me even asking him! He’s had salads daily for lunch and started a new habit of having green smoothies for breakfast instead of deceptively sugar laden cereal! I’m so happy for him and he’s making some progress with weight loss already (bloody men – he blinked and lost 3kg)! He’s even tried harder to get his 8 hours of sleep instead of the sleep deprived lifestyle he was trying to maintain before (which hurt my sleep too). This makes me so happy and really helps me to stay motivated. In fact, I’d say he aced this challenge better than I did!

Overall, I loved that this challenge wasn’t about fad dieting or deprivation, because that’s just not how I roll. I am always looking for ways to improve my healthy habits. It can be a struggle so any motivation/inspiration I can get is great. While I could have definitely kicked more arse at this in the past fortnight, this does not have to be the end just because the challenge is formally over.

In saying that, I am about to go to Melbourne and I might want all the food, but I am hoping I can put my slightly improved habits into practice (I think balance is key) and not come home the size of a house!

Did you do the challenge? Would you do something similar to this? How are you feeling, health wise, these days? 

 

The Happy List #33

Yo. I skipped a week because we were away camping, but now we’re home again (back to reality) and I’m about to dive into life as a school mum, starting tomorrow! Hold me!

I seem to have stopped freaking out about name labels and booklist items, and now I’m worried about lunches and this school lunch box shaming I see so much of all the time on the internet and OMG I don’t know if I have the time/energy to be a crazy health nut Pinterest worthy lunch making mummy!!

Breathe, Kez. Breathe! Go to a happy place!!

Here are some things that have made me feel happy since the last happy list

Ticking off holiday traditions

We go away to the same place every year. There are always things you have to do while you’re there. A trip to the light house. Fish and chips from the little takeaway shop on the foreshore. Drive though the beautiful Karri forest. At least one brewery lunch. Chinese takeaway on the last night. Time in/on the water (although the weather wasn’t as conducive to that as it has been in previous years). While we always try something new too, it’s nice to experience the familiar. It’s like a little home away from home.

Not relying on as much technology while away

I love my wifi and my laptop and my Netflix and…you get the idea. But there’s also something liberating about being away from it all. Sure, I had my iPhone and a limited data allowance, but it was really quite easy to switch off. Easier than I thought it would be. I wasn’t against having a browse and a chat. I did post some stuff, but there was no pressure to. I just didn’t feel naked without my phone in my hand, like I thought I would. Sometimes I’d put it down and just forget about it for hours. Then I’d realise I’d forgotten about it and feel quite pleased with myself.

I read more. I sat in the quiet more.

I didn’t even miss my DVR. I did good, y’all.

Holiday scenery

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Coming home to my own bed and ensuite

While I enjoy camping and living more simply, I do reach a time in my holiday where I’m happy to go home and sleep well in a bed that doesn’t move when you roll over, with a toilet in the very next room. It’s the little things that you look forward to when you’re lying in your camper van bed and it’s 2am and you have to decide whether you can make it through the night without peeing or risk waking everyone up and trudging up a hill to the shared ablutions block!

It’s amazing how much I love my toilet when I get home again. I am sorry, convenient, private toilet. I take you for granted!

Good neighbours

While we were away, we were lucky that we didn’t have to worry about the mail or the bins because my sister in law kindly came down the road to tend to those things. It was so nice to save a little money on getting the mail temporarily stopped and to know that we wouldn’t come home to full, stinky bins or bins that had been tipped over or had goodness knows what else done to them.

We also appreciated our good neighbours when we came home and they told us that they had scared off an intruder from our backyard! Some not so good neighbours (totes from the next street over of course) had hosted a rowdy party not long after we’d left for our trip and someone, presumably from that party, had decided that entering our backyard was a cool idea. Joke was on him when there were no drinks in our outdoor fridge, and when he discovered that Mr Unprepared had locked our side gate up. He couldn’t get out, so his rattling had woken the next door neighbours who had bravely and kindly decided to go outside and scare him off. It’s kind of comforting having good neighbours who are burly and have tatts and who at first glance would scare the bejeezus out of you if you were a stupid, drunk kid!

Nothing was stolen. Our house wasn’t damaged or broken into. We somehow gained a tennis ball (not sure if that’s related) and had damage to the dog kennel by the back fence, but we were lucky. Nothing like an unofficial Neighbourhood Watch to make you thankful!

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Trying Pana Chocolate for the first time. I highly recommend the mint flavour! It’s raw, organic and handmade, but hear me out! It actually tastes good. Not even kidding. I can’t wait to try some more! Also, I know I risk sounding like a health obsessed wanker (see the below item on this list to see why I am so not), but the cool thing about it was that just one piece was such a nice inside-my-mouth experience that I didn’t need any more than that in one sitting. Perfect for those after dinner sweet cravings! [not sponsored – just impressed]
  • Red Rock Deli sea salt flavoured chips. I am addicted and they aren’t the best thing for me, but I ate my body weight in them while I was away, with no guilt at all. YUM.
  • Getting some solid sleep since we arrived home.
  • Watching the Little Mister building mud castles on our holiday. He was So. Happy.
  • When I’ve been a little confused about the Little Mister’s school’s dress code requirements – hair and shoes – the barber and the sports shop staff knew exactly what he needed, so I won’t get in trouble. Gotta love great customer service!
  • The realisation that there is life after school holidays. While I’m nervous AF about the Little Mister’s first week at ‘big’ school (kindy), I am kind of also getting excited to have some time back to work and exercise and tick things off my ever growing to-do lists.
  • While the weather on holiday was quite cold and windy, it was a nice change from the relentless heat we’d been experiencing at home.
  • Having nice hair on holiday – the water is not so harsh there and my hair always fluffs up nicely and feels so soft when I’m away!

I’m sure I’ve forgotten so many things, but tell me – what would be on your happy list this week?

 

The Happy List #32

It’s Sunday morning and I am taking some time to breathe. I am not gonna lie. The honeymoon of getting to spend more time with the Little Mister over the holidays has kind of worn off. This mama needs a little sanity back! It’s not at all about him – he’s great most of the time. It’s about me. I think I’ve kind of tried to be SUPER AWESOME MUM and I think I need to take a step back and be REALLY OK MUM WHO ISN’T ABOUT TO LOSE HER SHIT. His dad can be SUPER AWESOME DAD for a bit! I’m really looking forward to our camping trip – a nice circuit breaker. I have got to get out!

So here are the things that have made me happy in the last week…

The Little Mister’s new habit of saying ‘excuse me’

I was getting really annoyed by the Little Mister’s constant nagging. He was not being very well mannered – shouting that he wanted to talk to whoever I was on the phone with, demanding all the snacks NOW etc. I decided that this was not good enough (I am a stickler for good manners), so I told him to practice saying, “Excuse me” and then waiting until someone could tend to him. It wasn’t really getting through until I had some strong words with him earlier in the week and now he’s saying it all the time, instead of repeating himself over and over at ever increasing volume. It’s like music to my ears! He’s not perfect, because 4 years old. But a lot closer!! I’d say the loud, insistent nagging has probably decreased by at least 70%. Amazing.

Double yolk egg

Mr Unprepared buys free range eggs from a guy at work who has his own chooks. He only charges $3 for a dozen and they’re great! It’s awesome knowing where they’re coming from and it’s fun to see all those REAL eggs, with different coloured shells, feathers stuck to some of them.

The guy knows that we have a curious little dude, so he thoughtfully packed a huge double yolker in the last carton we received. This week, I got to crack it with the Little Mister and he was quite amazed. Honestly, I’d never seen one in real life so I was too!

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I was a bit disappointed that I broke one of the yolks, but it was a bit hard not to! I felt for the chicken that had to push it out, though. It was huge!

Writing lists when I feel anxious

I was getting really overwhelmed the other night. Reality started to sink in that the Little Mister would be starting school right after we get home from our little trip and that there wouldn’t be many ‘shopping’ hours left before his first day. I knew I had to really nail my booklist items and know where everything was before we go. It was something I could have just looked at the next morning, but I was feeling pretty hyped up worrying about it and we all know the kind of sleep a person gets when they’re in that state!

I decided to refresh myself by going through all the info we’d been given and I wrote myself a shopping list. That was all there was to it. Once I’d got it all straight in my head and knew all I had to do was wake up the next day and tackle the list, I felt so relaxed. I love that feeling of getting your worries out of your head and onto paper into some kind of action plan. It’s fantastic!

I also have done this with the stuff we have to do to get ready for our trip. I even put weekly planners up in the kitchen on the pantry door – for the next month (kind of a crazy hump we have to get through)! So much relief.

Re-watching Rush on Netflix

It wouldn’t be my happy list if I didn’t mention Netflix at least once (I need a sponsorship deal haha). Lately, I’ve been watching Rush again. I absolutely loved it when it was on TV, but after their fourth season they never came back. It’s like my perfect kind of show. It’s got action, buff cops (they all look hot in their uniforms – hello – and the female characters are awesome), the psychological aspect of negotiating (the show’s about a fictional tactical response team), it’s set in Melbourne and *ahem* Rodger Corser who I have an unexplainable crush on. I don’t know why but I really love the theme music too. It actually seems to capture the mood of the show (and Melbourne) perfectly for me. I have no idea if the show is anything like reality (I’ll take a stab in the dark and say probably not), but gosh it’s fun to watch. It’s got a pretty good cast too. Even the guest roles.

Look, it makes me happy OK? It’s been a quiet post-new year period. I haven’t got out much! I don’t have to explain myself to you haha.

That time the weather cooled down for a couple of days

It’s been a hot few weeks, but gosh it’s nice when the weather breaks just a little and the heat that has accumulated for days just blows away with a nice cool sea breeze. I love summer, but it can get unbearable at times. It’s nice when you can feel your air con becoming efficient again and when you can walk outside first thing in the morning and everything’s so mellow and mild. It’s like a breath of fresh air…literally! I’m hoping that every day will feel like that when we go away (it’s usually a few degrees cooler at our favourite spot).

Other stuff that made me happy…

  • The Little Mister putting on his Superman cape and doing lame (but funny) stunts on my bed (which of course involved all the pillows).
  • Dancing to MC Hammer in the kitchen.
  • That one time I didn’t want to make dinner because I always make dinner so I didn’t make dinner.
  • Remembering the fun stuff that’s going to happen in February – like going to see Josh Pyke and the Lion King musical.

What is on your happy list this week? 

The Happy List #28

I can hardly believe it’s the last happy list before Christmas. I mean, it’s the 20th of December. We’re in the 20s. That’s when you know shit is getting serious. I’m a little overwhelmed about some last minute decisions, but I am going to try to take it all one bite at a time and remember my Christmas spirit when certain situations test me!

I hope that wherever you are, and whoever you are with, that you have a lovely Christmas to look forward to. If you are struggling at this time of year, I am thinking of you.

I am so glad I get to write this list, because it’s so nice to get back to basics and celebrate the good things that have happened in the past week. It seems like a good way to centre myself and move into the next busy week with a positive frame of mind.

I love this time of year, but it does get intense!

Here are the weird and/or wonderful things that have made me happy…

Coleslaw

Seriously. This was the first thing I wanted to write down haha. The summer weather has had me obsessed with the humble salad that is coleslaw! Not the pre-packaged, heavily dressed, overly chopped crap from the deli section at the supermarket (or from takeaway outlets) but the stuff that comes ‘dry’ in bags, fresh, pre-shredded and ready to serve however you like. I cannot get enough of the stuff. I’ve eaten it for lunch with a little bit of tuna (don’t know if that’s a weird combination – I can feel you judging me) or with a minimal amount of dressing or just on its own. Cannot get enough. Pretty sure it’s helping me to lose weight (a surprising but probably logical outcome), but I will admit things get a little more windy at night time if you know what I mean. OMG I can’t believe I just admitted that.

It’s just so fresh and light (at least the way I eat it) and easy!

I sometimes call it ‘slaw, because that’s what all the cool people are doing these days. It drives Mr Unprepared mad haha.

Finishing the Christmas shopping

That’s a big deal, right? What an achievement! Where’s my medal? I was lucky because Mr Unprepared was free to help with this task yesterday and it was so much easier with a (grown up) buddy! Yay for team work, as we navigated the busy shops and drove from place to place in what seemed like circles!

We rewarded ourselves with a pub lunch and some cider and beer. Did I mention we were child free? Amazing! A Christmas miracle!

The Little Mister’s adventure with his Nanna

For months, my mum was really excited about taking the Little Mister to the airport to pick up my dad (known to the Little Mister as Poppy). She wanted to show him the planes and do some special things with him. So cute. It was fantastic, because it coincided with Mr Unprepared and I needing to finish the Christmas shopping (see above) too!

They had a pretty awesome time, by all accounts. A lot of the time, the Little Mister wore a Santa hat and cuddled a Christmas teddy bear and it was pretty adorable stuff (judging from the photos my mum sent). They visited his beloved great uncle (the Little Mister had never been to his house). They visited the shops. They sang Christmas songs in the car. The Little Mister ran at his Poppy filled with so much excitement when he arrived. He shared the cookies he made the day before. He then slept all the way home haha.

I love when he gets to do stuff like that. It’s what memories are made of, don’t you think?

Remembering to buy paper towel

Ever have that one item that you keep forgetting to pick up when you’re at the supermarket and it gets really frustrating, but you’re a slow learner so it happens over and over again?

For me, in the past week it was paper towel. The day I remembered to buy it was a joyous day. I even bought the stuff that has festive Christmas tree patterns on it, for good measure. There was so much satisfaction in bringing it home and putting it on the holder. The first time I needed paper towel to wipe up a spill, I could not contain my joy – yes. I did it. I remembered to buy it. Winning at life. I was my own hero.

Realising that one of my favourite people is on her way home for Christmas/a wedding celebration from the US

I woke up on the 18th and suddenly realised my friend would be getting ready to get on a plane and come home for the holidays with her husband. Yay! I miss her all the time and distance never stops us from getting along like a house on fire. I can’t wait to catch up with her, celebrate her wedding again and see her family (who always make me feel like a part of the family).

 

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Admitting to friends that I like watching interviews on TV that feature Justin Bieber. I don’t know why, but I do. It’s so…interesting? Oh, gosh it shouldn’t be. It really shouldn’t. I’m not even into him or his music really (although it pains me to admit his latest singles aren’t so bad). I just like reading gossip about him. Anyway, admitting it is the first step to recovery, right? Gosh, it made me laugh so hard when they all admitted to being secret Beliebers ?
  • The Little Mister’s happy face first thing in the morning (what is wrong with me – in theory this should really annoy me haha).
  • The bittersweetness that came with the Little Mister finishing his time at day care. It’s 4 year old kindy next year!!! I also felt so glad I could express my gratitude (in a Christmas card that was attached to some chocolates) to the carers for being a big part in why I think the Little Mister is so ready for the next chapter. When I read their email (sent out to everyone) that the cards and pressies they’d received last week had made them so happy and teary (in a good way haha), I knew I’d done the right thing – I had debated over whether to do the gift thing or the heartfelt card thing and settled on both because I figured that everyone wants to know they’re appreciated. I can’t thank them enough.
  • Running into a couple of really good friends at the shops and being able to wish them a merry Christmas in person (and give squeezy hugs), as we weren’t likely to see them beforehand.
  • Having mature conversations on really touchy topics, without everything turning to crap.
  • Throwing myself an end of year ‘staff’ party at home (being a SAHM I figured I deserved recognition for my hard work all year). It involved wine, was catered by Dominos pizza delivery, entertainment by the Little Mister (my esteemed underling), music from the 90s, and I swanned about a bit without having to do anything I didn’t feel like. Props to Mr Unprepared who truly humoured me (smart man) haha.
  • Hearing from readers who are inspired by my happy lists. I cannot thank you enough for sharing with me.

What is on your happy list this week? 

Kez Gets Physical: #NoExcusesVember

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I need a kick up the bum, so I am taking action. I have been eating my feelings for a few weeks now. I have been unable to exercise properly for a little while too. I am still doing fairly well in terms of my weight (well – considering) and how I feel in my clothes but I know that if I don’t get back on top of things, these things will happen:

  • My weight will creep back up and my clothes won’t fit which will be really really annoying and will make me feel disheartened.
  • The lower back fat I worked so hard on losing will return. I won’t feel so toned anymore.
  • I will start to feel sluggish from eating badly.
  • My mental health will suffer.
  • The urge to give up will become stronger.

So, I’ve declared this month #NoExcusesVember – clever huh? Bit bummed to discover I am not the only one who thought of that hashtag but the other two guys on Twitter seem to be using it for fitness purposes so I guess we can share haha.

Nothing’s going to be 100% perfect, but my aim for the month is to be really disciplined and to force myself to walk away from bad choices (literally – GET OUT OF THE POTATO CHIP AISLE KEZ) and run towards really good ones. While I don’t believe in temporary or drastic diets/exercise plans – I believe our health should be an every day lifestyle thing full of balance – I do believe in a kick up the bum when needed. I have no intention of giving up after a month, but I think I need to work a lot harder at remembering the habits that are better for me.

I feel like by telling myself that it’s just 30 or so days of the mentally hard stuff, it will seem easier by the time December rolls around. I have had fairly good habits through the year (compared to the past Kez) but I just need to slot myself back into that groove. I don’t think making excuses to eat my feelings or letting myself have lots of time off is working. I’m not getting the results I want so I need to get back to putting in the work. It’s not really only a month long challenge I’ve set myself, but more of a rehab of sorts.

There will be exceptions. Times when I don’t have many healthy food options or when I want the Little Mister to see me sharing a little birthday cake with him. But I will be making those moments as few and far between as possible. I want to do everything I can to avoid my old excuses (trust me – they’re getting old).

This is not about being mean to myself. It’s about being kind. I won’t be shaming myself. I won’t be doing this so I can suffer. I won’t be doing this because I don’t like myself. I will be doing this because I love myself enough to.

So here are the specific things I will be doing (and it’s scary to write it down and make myself accountable but I think we all know I need to):

  • I will plan my lunches (they are my weakness sometimes) so that they are healthy and of a good portion size. I will exercise much more discipline than I have been.
  • I will eat less dinner – using a smaller plate. I truly do not need to eat as much at night as I do at the moment.
  • I will not impulsively buy snacks that are not conducive to my efforts. I will walk RIGHT PAST that stuff at the shops.
  • I will work out wherever/whenever possible. If I cannot get on the treadmill, I can do a quick weights work out or a hip hop cardio work out while in the same room as the Little Mister. Daily would be good, but definitely 3-5 days a week minimum.
  • If I feel really hungry emotionally and/or physically I will have some lean protein to get me through until the next meal time (that is what seems to work for me).
  • If I am in a take away food/eating out situation, I will order the healthiest choice available and/or have the smallest portion available.
  • If I should slip up at any point, I will NOT GIVE UP or slack off. I will do better at the very next opportunity I have.

Basically, I am going to force myself to do the right things. It sounds funny, but I’m going to treat this as a physical thing. My mind might try to make bad decisions, but I can tell my legs to walk on by!! Once I’ve walked away or shut my mouth (haha), I’m going to do a lot better! I can journal out my emotions, use my support networks and give myself non food related rewards after that haha.

Those are just my own goals and what I think will work for me. What works for somebody else might look a bit different.

I know that once I see the good results – my mental health, my weight, how I feel in my clothes, how energised I am – I won’t want to stop after November. I can’t wait.

Are you going to join me in my #NoExcusesVember efforts – what will your NoExcusesVember look like? What are your goals? Are you an emotional eater too? 

The Happy List #17

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It’s that time of the week again! I am sitting in bed with my laptop, trying to ignore the fact that I had a shitty night’s sleep, despite it being my first chance in ages to sleep in. I’m feeling kind of mellow. Right in this moment, I’m a good kind of tired. Like the dust has settled on the previous week. Ask me again in a few hours when I’m feeling hangry and I am reminded of the mess in my house, but for now I just feel calm.

I feel like saying that it’s been a big week. But it’s always a big week in real life, is it not? Maybe I’ll just let you know when it isn’t.

Anyway, here’s my favourite part. The part where I look back on the week and remember the happy moments:

I smashed a lot of exercise goals

I ran. I kept up with my fitbit step count. I was surprisingly competitive. I started to feel my hips again. OK, so there’s still some pretty good *ahem* insulation on them bones, but I think I’m getting some shape back in that area and they feel slightly different to me. It’s very subtle (seriously don’t bother looking haha), but it’s encouraging nonetheless.

I let myself be emotionally vulnerable and nobody left me hanging

I am always the person who wants to help others with their feelings and their tough times. Despite being a pretty open person on the surface of things, I can be surprisingly guarded about my deepest feelings and experiences. It’s my armour. I don’t like feeling vulnerable and while I’d move heaven and earth to show someone that I’m listening and that I care, I just don’t know how to be that person who needs someone to listen and to care (outside of my family who are so awesome of course). I had a real roller coaster of emotions this past week. I’ve had a lot to process. I finally learned that I need to learn to reach out to people (instead of holding things in or playing things down) and the support and love that came back frightened and embarrassed me at first. I didn’t know what to do with it. I had this weird expectation that if I let myself open up and ask for support that people would turn away. It’s irrational (because I know a lot of awesome people) but let’s file that under ‘Kez’s Weird Fears’. When it didn’t come true (thank goodness), I was overwhelmed. I am so appreciative of those who have shown me that they care and that they understand and that they’re not going anywhere. I might have cried a few ugly, but grateful tears. I’m definitely being forced to grow as a person.

I know this is a little cryptic (how annoying!), but I’m OK – really. It’s just some real life stuff. We all have our own stuff. I hope someone cares about your stuff <3

I brought home some stuff for my lady cave

I was so excited when I found the little filing cabinets I wanted online! I picked them up this week and while I have no idea where I’m going to put them just yet (oh the clutter!), I am glad to be making progress. It can be hard to put aside time to get projects done around the house, but I’m feeling encouraged by these recent developments!

Oh and I also pulled apart some very old desktop computer towers after raiding Mr Unprepared’s screwdriver collection and looking at a YouTube video. Very proud haha.

When Mr Unprepared made dinner

I don’t know exactly how it happened but over time (since the Little Mister came along), I became the only dinner cook in our household (probably my fault at first – I used to use cooking dinner as my ‘me time’ where I could kick everyone else out of the kitchen after a long day haha). Recently, we realised this when I got sick and I felt too gross to do much by the time I’d survived the day. I had to call in some help! Mr Unprepared has started to find his own meal ideas and cook a couple of nights a week again. It’s so great.

I like the Little Mister seeing both of us in the kitchen – role modelling win.

On Friday night, it was fajitas cooked on the barbecue and I was in heaven. There were barbecued corn cobs and everything (my absolute fave)! Also, I can’t believe Mr Unprepared makes such pretty dinners. Totally Instagrammable haha. Pity I’m not a great photographer (see blurred evidence below), but you win some, you lose some!

I think he’s unwittingly started a Friday Night Fajita tradition. It’s so nice to sit outside and enjoy our patio too. What a taste of summer.

12096271_10153343599133218_7245489749924527313_n12087991_10153343599183218_3776556851450437335_nWatching the Little Mister play with his friends on AFL grand final day

All the kids played so well together while the adults got together to watch the game. I was so impressed. I know it’s totally normal and kids his age are all doing it, but I just still get so much pleasure out of seeing them at an age where they play with each other and not just alongside each other. It’s very cute and when they’re all being pretty well behaved and keeping their squabbles to a minimum it’s such a joy! It also makes them super low maintenance haha.

Our team lost, but the day itself was a big win. Great company and a relaxed atmosphere. Wonderful.

Other stuff that has made me happy…

  • XOXO Gossip Girl haha. I’m up to season 2 now!
  • This morning’s time to myself.
  • The moment you wake up and realise that scary dream was just a dream.
  • Having Mr Unprepared around a lot more since he finished his big charity bike ride.
  • That one time I chose not to reach for the comfort food. It’s a start haha.
  • Reading Disney stories with the Little Mister at night. I don’t always love doing bedtime stories (as bad as that makes me feel), but lately I think it has been good for the soul to cherish that quality time.

What has made you happy this week? Do you have trouble opening up to friends too? Got anything nice planned for the week coming? 

Stuff I wish I wrote (or that I just love).

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Guys, I am not kidding when I tell you I am getting stir crazy. Did you know that I have not left my home for a week?! If I didn’t have a Friday night date with my girlfriends to see Magic Mike XXL (we are all really interested in the plot of course), I think I’d go absolutely loco. Well, more than usual.

Everyone’s taken their turns being sick in our household and OMFG I want out!! I haven’t touched my make up in days and I have worn variations of really daggy PJs/track suit/leggings combos for an embarrassingly long streak. What’s going on in the real world, guys? Is everyone on hover boards yet? Are you all still out there? There hasn’t been some kind of crazy zombie apocalypse or anything, has there?

As you can tell, I cope really well with isolation…

I thought, hmm. I have all this time at home so maybe I can blog more. But could I think of a single thing to write about that wasn’t tired or boring (much like my week)?? Nope. Nothing. I stared at my blog for ages, nothing going on behind my eyes. One big derp. You know when you think you’re being really productive because you’re making your thinking face but then you realise that really, it’s all just a facade and you forgot to actually think? For like a few minutes you were just sitting there like a dumb arse? Because derp?

Turns out, to be inspired, you often need to get out of your little bubble and explore the world. You know, live a life you can blog about. At least that is what I would normally do when I have writer’s block. Damn it!

So today I gave up. I started catching up on all the blogs I subscribe to (and Netflix but let’s not go there). If I can’t write great stuff, then I can read it! Everyone is so gosh darn clever. I’ve read so many posts that I wish I’d written. Stuff that has made me laugh or made me think. Or made me hungry.

So I thought I’d share a little bit of link love. Here are some of the things I’ve really enjoyed…

Never Trust a Jellyfish – Tribute (to the Best Blog Post in the World)

Oh, the times I have thought up a wonderful blog post…and then subsequently forgotten when it came time to type it up. Or worse, when I’ve written a fantastic post and suddenly there’s a glitch and it goes missing!

This is not only a hilarious tribute to that frustrating experience, but a trip down memory lane – remember, Tenacious D, anyone?

A life less frantic – Managing the overwhelm caused by your inner ‘planner’

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Well, duh. You’re a person. Of course you have! Kelly, over at A Life Less Frantic has some really great tips for managing that frantic anxiety of trying to figure out the logistics of everything on your to do list.

Babble – Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week

I love when people round up great tweets that I would not otherwise find by myself. I giggle SO HARD. Trust me, these are worth it.

Ask Your Dad – Dear Crappy Parent

Around these parts, I am very clear about ridiculous judgement of other parents being an absolute no no. I always believe that when we see that person at the supermarket with their kids, we do not know the whole story. We don’t have the right to go off at people on the internet, based on one photo or post that we’ve seen. We should all focus on getting our own backyard in order before bossing other people around about theirs. Just because someone does something differently to us, does not immediately make that person inferior to us (I mean – who do we think we are?). That’s just how I roll.

Unless we see a clear incidence/evidence of abuse that cannot be explained in any other context (in which we should ALWAYS speak up), we need to reserve our judgements. We are all in this together.

This blog post from Ask Your Dad totally nails why we should be less nosey and judgey.

Culinary Storm – Chocolate Lava Cake for 2 

OK, so this just made me drool. It’s so easy and it is everything I crave on a winter’s evening. I’m not saying it’s good for you, but hello…just look at the pictures and tell me you don’t want it. Chocolate lava cake for 2? Yeah, right. I think we know it’s just for one hungry 31 year old woman with no self control…not that we’re talking about me or anything…

What have you been reading lately? Want to share your latest blog post with me? x

Making friends with salad?

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This past week I was having a Twitter conversation with my best friend from Tasmania that I’ve never met (you know who you are you gorgeous thing you). She was having a salad for dinner. I KNOW, right? We joked about how she was totally Khloe Kardashian now, because we bond over watching bad reality TV (and any TV shows really) and the Kardashian sisters are ALWAYS seen chowing down on massive salads. Just shoving leaves into their gobs. It’s fascinating stuff.

…and I think it’s rubbing off on me. I say this, because every time I see one of those booty-licious ladies who are famous for something, eating a salad, I almost think it might be a cool thing to do. As you can see, I get my life’s guidance from all the right places.

*rolls eyes on your behalf*

So I took my Tasmanian beauty of a friend’s lead and ate a salad the next day. And I liked it. And I lost a kilo in bloat overnight after thinking I’d never shift it ever again because potatoes (and eating my feelings). Hmm. Interesting…

Now I’m determined to make friends with salad. Less carbs, no processed crap in them, lots of nutrition, less calories, more satisfying. If you do them right. Note to self: Potato salad – probably not what I’m talking about. God, I love potatoes.

Moving right along now…

Usually, when I think of salad, I think leaves. Eating like a rabbit. Boring. Blah blah.

I’m the kind of gal who likes my salad to be killer and not just lettuce leaf filler.

But lately I’ve been finding some great pre-made salads at the supermarket and some great salads on restaurant menus. I think I might actually be able to make a go of this. You know, lifestyle changes and all that.

Anyway, I’m blogging about it here so I have to stay accountable. I’m never going to be perfect, but I want to start sneaking salads into my every day life more often. As a whole meal (and not just as a token side with my fish and chips haha). I figure that if I can become a salad convert, I’m going to feel better for it.

I hereby REALISTICALLY resolve to:

1. Order salad options more often when eating out.

2. Make salad my go-to lunch (i.e. the rule and not the exception) when I’m at home on ordinary week days.

THE WORLD IS MY SALAD BAR.

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

So tell me, what is your favourite kind of salad? I am going to need ideas, people!! x

Fake it ’til you bake it.

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I didn’t really care for baking until I got pregnant with the Little Mister back in 2011. When the urge hit, I went a little bit nuts (I’m really not joking). Luckily my joy for it has since evened out and now I like doing it regularly. It can be a cost effective way to fill out Mr Unprepared’s work lunches and to provide the Little Mister with interesting enough snacks. It is also the way that I pad out the end of the pay period (when the cupboard and fridge are looking a bit bare). I find ways to throw as many random ingredients into a muffin or some other such thing as I can. Everyone thinks I’ve done something special for them (yay – baked goods), but all I’ve really done is scraped some weird stuff together so we don’t have to go back to the supermarket any sooner than we have to!

(and yes I do love love love online grocery shopping but sometimes I forget to order it ahead of time or can’t be bothered which is probably the most lazy – or tired if I’m kind to myself – a person can possibly be)

But make no mistake. I am not actually that awesome at it! I am never going to be on Masterchef and I honestly do not really know what I’m doing most of the time! I am not spending hours studying the art of whatever it is that people who can cook real good study (and I’m not even going to apologise for that poorly constructed sentence). I’m a total fake and I don’t care if everyone knows it.

It can be hard to find time to gather ingredients and it can be difficult to then create something with them, with a demanding toddler (who as much as I love his enthusiasm is not always as helpful as he – bless his heart – thinks he is).

*whispers* Sometimes? Sometimes I use *gasp* PACKET MIX. Yeah. Those cupcakes on Instagram? PACKET MIX. My secret? Raid the cake decorating section of the baking aisle in any major supermarket *OMG*.

Seriously. No-one cares. THEY TASTE LIKE CAKE.

Another tip? Have a baking kit. Once I started to keep one, shit got so much easier. I can bake almost any time I have a chance, instead of thinking, “WHAT? This recipe requires FLOUR? What kind of f*ckery is this?”

Here’s what I keep in it (always replenishing stocks):

  • Self raising flour
  • Plain flour
  • Caster sugar
  • Icing mix/icing sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cocoa
  • Patty cases
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

Well, those are the basics, anyhow. It sounds like a lot, but if you go to the shops just the once, to begin with, the hard part is done! I’ve slowly added some extra bits and pieces (piping bag with nozzles or choc chips and sprinkles etc), but those simple things can get you a long way if you have some eggs, butter and milk in the fridge (don’t even get me started on how awesome and magical and versatile eggs are)! I know a lot of you are looking at this thinking, Kez. This is hardly revolutionary. I mean, who doesn’t have these things? Well, all you people who can probably bake better than me, until recently, I did not have these things. Ever. Every single attempt to bake was either thwarted from the get go or involved a time consuming, inconvenient special visit to the supermarket. It made it all a BIG DEAL. So tiring, really.

Now I just google recipes that have the ingredients I have to work with (e.g. a banana and a lemon or something equally weird) and get started! The other day it was canned corn kernels, store bought salsa dip and grated cheese!! WTF? I find that taste.com.au is an awesome resource (and no this is not a sponsored post – it is just my honest and independent opinion).

Another tip? Keep it frickin’ simple. Stay the f*ck away from recipes with ingredients you’ve never heard of or will never use again. Stop reading that recipe when it starts talking about doing weird things with the ingredients that you do not know how to do and cannot learn that day. I mean, I admire those who like a challenge, but for anyone like me who just needs to put something on the table to avoid mutiny, just stick to what you can handle! Use what you’ve already got. Trust me. People will think you are way more awesome than you feel you really are. Don’t make it more stressful than it has to be! There are HEAPS of really tasty recipes out there that I just know you’ll be able to handle. Also…Siri is a gun at converting things like farenheit to celcius, so don’t worry if that awesome recipe from an American blog/website/Pinterest sounds scary with all its weird numbers and measurements 😉

I do love learning new things here and there. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to master a new skill. I just don’t always have the time for it and I’m so OK with that.

Fake it ’til you bake it.

Or buy it from the shops. No judgement here haha.

How are you at cooking/baking? What’s your favourite thing to make? Or are you the buy it at the shops type? x