Sunday, December 12, 2010

False Start

Why is that when you decide "Today is The Day", something pops up to knock you back on your booty and muck up all your plans?!

I am sick! I have a horrible cold, complete with all the bonuses of Killer sore throat, alternating blocked / runny nose, terrible cough, all-over-yucky-feeling, and poor-me self-sympathising to complete the collection.
So the plan of amping up the exercise, sorting out my food plan and being generally healthy and hearty has had a False Start, and I have done no exercise, have eaten whatever is closest to hand (when I actually feel like eating) and have just felt generally blah.

BUT... in other news, I ordered new sneakers from the US on Monday and they arrived on Friday. Who knew postage could be that quick, especially at this time of year?!

They tick all the boxes. Nike. Tick! Black but not masculine. Tick! Comfy. Tick! Sparkly. Tick! (Ok so sparkly wasn't on my list of must-haves for sneakers, but it is always a bonus.)

So once I shake this cold, I am lacing my new shoes up and hitting the gym! In the meantime I am sitting on the couch, watching hubby vacuum and watching The Hills re-runs. ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New House: Lounge Room

When we came through the house at the first open home, we were a bit umm... "stunned" at the owner's choice of colours. Firstly, they had exactly the same 2 colours on the lounge room walls as us - dark chocolate and creamy latte, which was surprisingly lucky. Secondly, they had decided that blue was the best choice of furnishing to go with these colours. That I found to be stunning (shocking?) in itself, however they had gone on to accessorise with white, yellow, and a range of other inappropriate shades.

The "before" (real estate) photo:

And the "after":
We are currently in the process of deciding on new couching options. The one that I have my heart set on is a ridiculous price and will involve years of favours and bribes being paid to my husband if we do buy it. This is it:
It is the most comfortable lounge that I have ever sat on, and it is enormous. The 4 seater is just SO big, the picture doesn't show its size but my husband and I sat at each end and it felt like there was about 2 metres between us! This is the gorgeously comfortable and prohibitively expensive matching ottoman:
Sigh! I am in love. I think we need to go for a drive tomorrow to look at our options and have some serious couching discussions... and maybe begin negotiations.

Going down

My weightloss journey has hit a few speedbumps lately.  Things have slowed down, reversed, kept going, reversed a bit more, come to a complete halt, then reversed a little more.

Lots of the above in NZ didn't help my cause
Motivation has come and gone. I find myself, shortly after committing to a diet, munching on chocolate and chips.  I know that my health is at it's best when I follow a low GI, lower carb diet, so why do I put my body through the trauma of ingesting high amounts of sugar and other rubbish and feeling awful both physically and mentally afterwards...?  I tell myself "I don't care", "I have lost this much, I can do it again", "I will start again tomorrow"... But I do care.

So I have put on a few kilos.  

I am so far out of my healthy weight range that my mini goal weights don't even start with the same number as that of my (maximum) goal weight.  I have a few goals in mind.  People constantly tell me that I don't look like I weigh as much as I do, and I don't want to become a skeleton (yeah, 'cause THAT'S gonna happen!), so I plan to reassess as I reach my goal weight, then possibly set another goal.

The yo-yoing ends HERE. <- at that full stop 

I am going to the gym this morning to re-instate my membership and get back into daily exercise.

No more self sabotage.

I am going to make good choices that reflect my healthy lifestyle.

I actually feel really excited about getting back into the gym classes that I love, like BodyPump, BodyCombat and RPM.  I know once I get into a routine again, I can stick to it like I did before and love it.

My bathroom scales tell me all kinds of awful things, like how much I weigh, my body fat percentage, BMI and bone density. I am going to start recording the stats here as a bit of accountability / motivation.
SO here goes...

Weight: x7.8 (ok maybe I am not brave enough to post that first number yet ;) )
Body fat %: 35.3
H20: 47.2
Bone density: 7.0
BMI: 31.3


Friday, December 3, 2010


I have been completely slack, yet again, and neglected my poor sad little blog. Hopefully now that the year is coming to an end I have some more time to devote to keeping it updated.

What a year it has been, these last few months have been draining. Uni ended well with good results, we went to NZ for two weeks in November and had a fantastic time, my big brother told us he is coming home for a visit from the UK with his wife and little boy on New Years Day, we started on the courtyard and garden makeover.

There has been so much happening but one major event in my life actually happened this week.

My wonderful kind intelligent charming witty Grandpa passed away on Monday, 29 November 2010 after a very quick decline in health. In August, Grandpa was living alone, managing independently, driving himself around, visiting his wife of 62 years in her nursing home every day. His health started to decline very quickly during August and he decided to put his house on the market and move in with his son and daughter-in-law as he was unable to care for himself any more.

Shortly after, he became quite sick with pneumonia and was admitted to hospital. We didn't know then that he wouldn't return to live at home. Grandpa's health continued to decline further and further until he was finding it hard to complete sentences and to even stay awake while he was speaking. It was heartbreaking to watch our eloquent story-telling grandfather turn into an old man so quickly.

We returned from NZ on Thursday 25 November, Grandpa's 87th birthday. I had contracted a throat infection while we were away so the doctor told me to hold off a week before going to visit Grandpa. Unfortunately this meant that I didn't get to see Grandpa alive again or tell him about our trip and show him our holiday photos.

He showed such an interest in not only his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but everyone who he came in contact with in his daily activities, and was very much loved by everyone who knew him. He knew all the names and stories of the carers at Granny's nursing home, the chemist where he picked up his medication, the newsagent where he bought the paper, the supermarket where he bought his groceries. When he was moved into hospital he got to know all of the people who cared for him, from the doctors and nurses to the tea ladies and orderlies. By showing a genuine interest in people and remembering their names, he formed immediate friendships and gained great respect wherever he went.

I miss my Grandpa so much already. His funeral was held yesterday, Thursday 2 December. My father did a beautiful talk which perfectly honoured Grandpa, and a bagpiper played his favourite piece of Scottish music then walked away into the distance, so we could hear the music fade away as Grandpa's coffin was lowered out of sight.

I came home last night and just wanted to go and see Grandpa, I just can't believe he isn't there.

Rest in peace Mr MacGregor, my amazing strong inspiring grandfather. No more pain. You live and are loved in the memories of your family.

Ian Murray MacGregor

25-11-1923 ~ 29-11-2010

"Tata sweetie"

Highland Cathedral

Monday, October 25, 2010

Courtyard progress

It's been a while since I've updated - Uni studies have been in the way but now exams are over, study is done and gardening begins.

Over the weekend we started pulling out the rubbish in the side garden and around the courtyard. It has become quite overgrown and the area is full of plants we don't want, so we've cutting, pruning, pulling, destroying!

The courtyard is currently a warzone of branches, ferns, whole bushes and plants, and the mulcher is making an appearance this weekend to help get rid of it all. The trashpack people are dropping one off for us to fill, and I am unreasonably excited about this.

I have made a few decisions about the courtyard area now, and my plan is:

- Remove the ferns

- Plant the San Jose magnolia where ferns are currently living

- Plant calla lillies along base of magnolia

- Buy a large round pot for water lilies to live in

- Decide on the rest of the plants to fill the courtyard area

- Kill the weeds / moss growing through pavers and on fence

- Cover unsightly fence with lattice

- Install lighting

- Maybe install decking over current pavers (maybe...)

With the ultimate goal of:

- Build (or buy!) gazebo/ pergola structure to cover the paved area

We have a lot to do...! Will update with some pics shortly. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

20kg Down :)

Hit a milestone this morning in my weightloss journey - 20kg lost since I started this gymming and dieting business. It has been a lot of hard work but I am feeling really proud of myself today.

I had carpal tunnel release surgery on the 23rd of July and since then have been unable to go to the gym. Not only do I not have any strength in my wrist, but any sort of exercise of course makes my blood pump a lot faster, which in turn makes my wrist throb with pain after about hmm 3 minutes?! The osteopath I see and the occupational therapist who has been helping me get back in to working safely have both told me to not go to the gym yet. I should be able to ease back into aerobic activity soon but weights have been ruled out for a long time. The only muscle exercise I am allowed to do at the moment is squeezing a stress ball. :|

I have been going through some old photos this morning and I am shocked at my size in some of them, I really don't know how I let myself get so big and am embarrassed that I didn't do something about it sooner.

I'm currently trying to work up the guts to post a photo... eek!

Deep breath... here goes:

This photo was taken last year, before I started actually using my gym membership (I know, I thought you signed up and lost weight/got fitter automatically). I was unhappy, hated the way I looked in everything I wore, hated having to buy bigger clothes, hated bawling my eyes out in fitting rooms, or even worse getting STUCK in clothes in fitting rooms, and eventually realised I could do something about it.

So I did. I started going to the gym and realised I loved it. I loved the classes, the instructors, the music, the feeling afterwards of I'm-going-to-die-but-that-was-awesome! All of it. Then I started looking at what I was eating, cutting out the junk food and thinking before I put food in my mouth.

And here I am, 20kg later:

This was taken this morning before I went out shopping with my sister (AND BOUGHT NEW JEANS THAT FIT!) (oops caps unintentional but I'm leaving them as I feel like shouting it out!!). I obviously still have a long way to go. I'd like to lose another 15-20kg but will re-assess that as I lose the weight.

Feeling very scared to click "publish post" and put this out there, but I'll just have to be brave and do it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The new house - Kitchen

Over the next few posts I will introduce you to our "new" house, although we have been here 9 months now, so it isn't that new.

I will start with the kitchen/dining. When we first visited the house during an open home, we saw a few things straight away that we wanted to change about it - the colour, the benches, flooring, cupboards, okay almost the whole layout of it, but we are planning it a bit at a time.

Here is the real estate photo of it:

As you can see, not only did the previous owners have interesting taste in furniture and decorations (of course you sit a motorbike on top of your rangehood!), they also had strange ideas about kitchen paint colours... don't they know kitchens should be white??!!

So we showed them a thing or two:

'Scuse the mess, I was setting up for a party.

We have bigger plans for this area, including new wooden benchtops, new white cupboards, removing the pantry which is on the left hand side out of the photo and replacing it with long white shelves, moving the pantry out into the laundry, putting in timber floors, installing the dishwasher that has been sitting in the garage for the last 9 months (involves replacing the sink as it won't fit underneath the bench with such a wide sink), replacing the sliding glass doors with wooden paned doors leading out onto the deck, new oven and stovetop, putting in white tile splashbacks... ok it's quite a list.

So that's the kitchen, next time I will show you the lounge.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I adore magnolias. I love that their branches look so twiggy and their flowers are like amazingly coloured balloons. They are just so beautiful. Yesterday hubby took me to the local nursery and I was allowed to buy two.

I picked these ones:

Lennei Alba "Magnificence"

San Jose

I can't wait to plant them. We have had a windy and wet couple of days, with even some snow today so I don't want to plant them just yet... plus we have a bit of clearing to do to for the spots they are going into.

Aren't they just stunning?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Study Lighting

If you have read any of my blog you will know I have a slight penchant for chandeliers. I love the sparkle they add to a room.

I have been on the lookout for a chandelier for my study. I really think it NEEDS one. I haven't been able to find one that suits the room though. Then I remembered something I have in storage...

We bought this for the guest room at our old house (see pic below). It suited the room perfectly and we had so many comments on it. When we sold the house, I had to leave 2 of the chandeliers behind as they were wired in, but this one was a plug-in one that I removed after the real estate photos were taken, before the open homes began.

I have had it packed away since we moved, and think that it is "the one" to finish the study. Luckily we have a friend who is an electrician so we should be able to get it done shortly. Can't wait, I think it will be so pretty!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Study Time

The university semester has started, so I am working on getting used to being a student again. As all of my post-high school education was done via distance university studies, it is certainly a strange feeling to be back on a campus. Admittedly, part of that strangeness comes from being in classes full of people 10 years my junior, but I am slowly finding my place.

The best part of commencing studies has been creating my study area at home. We have moved our guest bedroom downstairs to a bigger space, and I have moved myself into what was the guest room upstairs.

A trip to Freedom ensued and the following purchases were made...

White linen curtains with a subtle stripe to cover the wooden venetians and give extra privacy:

Office chair, though mine is red (white was out of stock and I'd been fighting myself over red or white):
A dining table to use as my desk. I wanted wooden and white and it was impossible to find exactly what I wanted in a good use-able size:A simple white wooden bookcase:
I am very happy with how it is all coming together, and will post some photos soon of the completed room.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pots & Plans

I have found the red pot I have been dreaming about. I haven't bought it yet due to the self-enforced wait-until-the-courtyard-is-cleared-and-ready phase has passed, but I desperately want it and am planning to transplant my lemon tree into it. So here is the little beauty, and some other bits I found at the same store:

My courtyard is currently filled with my husband's prunings and offcuts from the rest of the garden so it has delayed my plans even more. Truthfully though, I am quite happy to stay inside in this freezing cold weather and am using that as an excuse!

I am just about to start studying again, so have decided to turn the guest room into a study for me. It's only fair, as hubby has his study, and our rooms downstairs can be turned into a guest area - bedroom and lounge. I am very excited about this little project as it doesn't involve any painting, and involves me buying furniture, stationery and pretty things. Yay!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Showers and Flowers

So Water Issue #3 happened today.

We have been having noisy showers for a few weeks. When turned on, the taps would make varying noises, from groans to bangs to loud roaring and the water coming out of the shower head in bursts. I contacted our faithful plumber (Google) and found out that it could be caused by a number of things - pockets of air in the pipes, worn-out washers, the pipes not being secured to the house properly, the list goes on!

I decided we would start with the easy (and free) fix, clear the air from the pipes. Ok that didn't work, and may have actually made it worse.

Onto the next cheapest fix, change the washers in the taps, done and done. No difference!

While my Darling Husband was standing in the shower fixing the taps back to the wall, he decided to take the shower head off to see if there was anything in it that could be causing the problem. There is a perforated plastic plug in the shower head to restrict the water flow as we have really high pressure here. Turns out that was causing the problem, it has now been removed and all is working fine again. PHEW! I was worried it was going to become another enormous headache of a water problem.

Let's hope that is the last in our run of 3 bad-luck-with-water moments!

Our jaunt to the hardware store to get new washers also involved a tour of the garden section. I found so many gorgeous pots and urns to fill my courtyard. I am trying not to buy yet until I get the whole area cleared out and am ready to begin.

Helleborus Ivory Prince is one of my absolute favourite flowers. I adore the antique colour of it. Here is the Prince himself:

I also have a thing for Camellias. Sometimes they are so perfect you think they can't possibly be real. Like these little lovelies:

^ Desire

^ Primavera

A pretty bench:
A pretty arch:
And a beautiful pot:

It is so hard not to buy as I see things, but I am showing Some Serious Restraint.

I am on the lookout for a red glazed pot. I know exactly what I want, but am yet to find it. let me know if you see one somewhere!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Courtyard Designs

Our new house has a courtyard which is mine, all mine! I haven't done anything to it or in it yet, besides stand at the side of it and think. I think about what I want to get rid of, what I want to plant, how I want to decorate it, where I want to put furniture.... and the list goes on.

This is what it looks like now, in its present neglected state of ugliness:

I have some ideas in mind for what I want it to look like, but I want to strip it back first and look at the bones. Some of the ideas I had in mind are a little grand, and won't really fit a suburban backyard but I still plan to make it a little nook of loveliness where I can sip a wine, read a magazine, enjoy the (rare Tasmanian) sunshine and spend time with friends and family.

Any suggestions? Would love to hear them.