Sunday, 26 June 2011

The week that was.

Well, it's been a crazy week. Mainly for good reasons.

We had our work conference this week, which I attended for the first time. It was great, and I learnt a lot and networked a lot, but I still have a lot more networking to do and a lot more 'stuff' to figure out in relation to the industry - being a city girl and getting my head around agriculture and rural Victoria does take time. But I'm getting a crash course in the next few weeks with a heap of conferences to attend, including the one in WA, so I'm sure I'll be a pro in no time!

It was Winter Solstice this week, the shortest day of the year and longest night. The great thing about Yule is that even though it's just the beginning of winter, from here on in the days will get longer and the nights shorter. Woohoo! I feel like I haven't really connected with my roots for a while, so doing something for it this year was good (even though I only really did stuff last night). The official Solstice was celebrated with lots of mulled wine (possibly to much for a Tuesday, but such is life) and warming, hearty foods such as black bean enchiladas.

This week I've learn that black beans, whilst awesome, take ages to cook. After getting ridiculously excited at getting black beans from the Queen Vic Market (Black Beans. In Melbourne!), I found out they need to soak for a day. And then be boiled/cooked for about another two hours. So the black bean enchiladas were epic. But totally worth it. See?


Yesterday Dan and I took the dog for a walk along the river for just over 12 kms. It was a gorgeous sunny day in Melbourne, and my first bit of exercise since hurting my rib. So it was spectacular! We went further than we expected and it was just really nice. And today I took the dog to the usual part, and we had a great time and met a heap of other dogs (and owners), and it was just really nice. All in all, it was a really nice and chilled weekend.  And my rib is hurting less and less! I reckon with luck I'll be able to compete in the half marathon. And Goddamn if I do I am going to finish it!!

This is the dog I've been talking about, a little knackered after her walks. And yes, she is in a cat bed. The bed the cats rejected. Sigh.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

30 before 30

Upon starting this blog, I really wanted to have something that made it worthwhile. It is just a random stream of conciousness (well, yes, kind of), or will it have a purpose (hopefully). Will it help me grow as a person? (ideally). Will it be interesting for others to read? (I'd like to think so. I don't though. Yet. Mwahaha).

Anyway, one of the things I like to read is people's lists of goals. What do they want to achieve with their lives? Have they achieved what they want to? Goals are very telling about a person. And since I am turning 30 in January next year, I figured I would list what I want to achieve by the time I'm 30. Some of them I have done, some I haven't, some I won't. Yet (I think yet is becoming my favourite word). So, without further ado, here it is, in no particular order: My 30 before 30(TM) .

New Goal

1. Go to a new country with a different culture and language
2. Learn another language
3. Run a half marathon
4. Learn to surf
5. Learn to sew (properly), as in take a sewing course.
6. Climb a palm tree
7. Go scuba diving
8. Swim with sharks
9. Travel around Australia
10. Go to Tasmania
11. Go skiing
12. See snow
13. Go to the Amazon
14. Get a degree
15. See the full moon over water (ideally a beach)
16. Live inner city
17. Go camping under the stars
18. See Macchu Picchu
19. Attend a High Tea, preferably with my mum.
20. Go to a gallery
21. Go to the Museum
22. Do the Oxfam Trail Walk
23. Have a stall at a market
24. Go to Canada
25. Buy a brand new car
26. Do Bikram or Hot Yoga
27. Do 10 chin ups/pull ups
28. See Rammstein Live
29. Go to New Zealand
30. Go to the Melbourne Comedy Festival

Here they are. My 30 before 30 list. More information to follow about what I've done and what I haven't done.

Isn't having a blog a wonderful time waster?


Friday, 17 June 2011

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Like a lead balloon

Over the past week or soI have had a sore muscle in my chest, which I figured was just strained from coughing my lungs up. It started getting worse, particularly when I was in bed - sitting up was agony. Yesterday morning Dan checked out my rib and realised that it was out, so we thought it was just a rib that had popped out. After getting more and more painful and finally seeing a doctor, it turns out that I damaged the cartilage around the and have to take it easy for the next 3-6 weeks.

My half marathon is in 6 weeks.


Monday, 13 June 2011

The Long Weekend that was

God I love long weekends. And this was a good one.

Friday night involved watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on TV. They're all so little!! I feel a bit weird for having a small crush on Daniel Radcliff now...Saturday was awesome. I got up and had my first coffee in 9 days. Oh. My. God. It was wonderful. Breakfast involved multigrain toast with Vegemite, which was a treat from my thin white bread with butter. Life was good.

This is me with the coffee and toast the day after Living Below the Line:

Then it was to the airport to pick up my best friend Ange who was down from Brisbane for her Hen's Party. Unfortuately she was early and therefore I was late, but it all worked in the end. I dropped her home and went to Mel the other bridesmaid's house to set up for the secret kitchen tea. We went to lunch up in the Dandenongs and much food was consumed, and only a little bit of wine since I was driving. Then back to Mel's place for the kitchen tea and games like 'put the apron on while keeping a balloon in the air. The peg game was my fave - it's where everyone has two pegs and they can't say certain words or will get their pegs taken off them. I lost both my pegs, and then starting kicking arse at the game. Too late! D'oh! After a very civilised day it was off to mum and dad's for a girl's night watching Burlesque with my sister. I have heard it described as 'sparkly brain rot', and that's exactly what it was. It didn't try to be anything that it wasn't, and it was awesome.

Sunday morning I got up and went for a run. It was a gorgeous morning - foggy and mystical, and I didn't have the dog since she was at home. I had planned on going for 16kms, then figured I would try for 18km, and then realised that if I wanted to get to the boardwalk it would mean that it would be about 20kms all up. So I ran it all. Every track that came on was exactly perfect (until 15kms in when my music stopped unexpectedly and I couldn't get it going again), and I was in the zone. It was a perfect run and a perfect morning, and all up it ended up being 22.7kms. Fuck yeah. I ran a half marathon before breakfast!!! This was in stark contrast to Tuesday when I was coughing and spluttering and struggled to run 10kms. I was kind of in shock because I still don't know how I did it, but it was great. And I'm feeling much for confident about the actual half marathon in July. Now I can work on improving my times. Hooray for goals!!!

The rest of the weekend has been relaxing, with lots of How I Met Your Mother, walking the dog, eating fresh vegetables (sooo good!), drinking coffee and mending clothes to make awesome new outfits. Queen Lizzie, thank you for having a birthday!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Things I Love Thursday

It has been 7 days since my last coffee.

Today is day 4 of my Living Below the Line Challenge. Whilst it's been easier than I thought, I caved yesterday and had a square of chocolate. It has been ridiculously cold all week, and my train had been delayed for half an hour, I was waiting in the cold wind and rain shivering, and then my housemate wanted chocolate. So I caved. But goddamn was that good chocolate!

I've learnt a couple of things during this challenge: How much of eating is a social aspect. When you're not eating anything very interesting, you don't want to make a big deal about it. I tended to eat by myself in the kitchen and come out afterwards and socialise. Likewise with booze: a glass of wine with dinner is always great, but not this week, so again there was nothing to really do.

I also realised that you don't need to eat much. I am someone who eats a lot - I eat large portions and was brought up to eat everything on my plate (within reason - I'm fussy). So realising that I can survive on smaller amounts of food was quite freeing actually. I often tend to eat because I think I'll be hungry later, whereas this time I ate because I was hungry.

Finally, I realised just how lucky we are. Although I am raising money to fight global poverty, it really brought home the fact so many people in our own town are struggling. After rent and bills, many people don't have that much and really, $10 a week for food is quite common. It's been in all the local papers how food charities are struggling because of the increased demand in services for food. So it's not difficult to believe that this is quite normal for some people. And that sucks. It really does.

So I don't know where to go to here. I think I am going to change one of my charities from Greenpeace to the Salvos or Feed Melbourne. It just doesn't seem right that there are people eating 2.5kg burrittos at Taco Bills while so many others go hungry.

But, onto a lighter note: Things I Love Thursday. Woot!

Little things that have made me smile this week include:
  • The temperature increasing 2 degrees. I could feel my hands today!
  • Finding a wedding location which is AWESOME!
  • Getting a seat on the train today and generally having a pleasant ride in. Unexpected, but nice.
  • That square of chocolate. Top Deck rocks my socks.
  • How I Met Your Mother. Can you say addiction?
  • Ange's upcoming hen's party!!
  • Positive developments at work - including going to WA in July for a conference! Fun in the sun :-D
  • Finding the holy grail of cupcake decorating stores at exactly the perfect time.
  • Running about 14kms tonight. The half marathon will be MINE!!
  • This picture:

 Puntastic :-D

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Living Below the Line - Day 2

I am currently on Day 2 of Living Below the Line, and am feeling good so far. My inadvertant coffee ban last week has helped a lot, so I'm not really craving coffee this week. Hooray for illness! ;)

On Sunday night I went back to Coles, and this is what I got:

Bread: $1.09
Butter: $1.39
Pasta Sauce: $1.59
Pasta: $1.00
Frozen vegies: $2.00
Pears (4): $1.23
Potatoes: $0.98
Apple: $0.16
Mi Goreng: $0.54
Total: $9.98

The bread and butter is a bit of a splurge, but after having oats and water last week when I was super sick, I just couldn't face the idea of it. And I've often said I could live on toast, so we'll see how it goes!

Day 1 diet:
Breakfast: 3 slices of toast with butter
Lunch: Small bowl of pasta with frozen vegies and pasta sauce, baked potato
Afternoon snack: 2 slices of toast with butter, baked potato
Dinner: Bowl of pasta and vegies.
Dessert: Pear! And it was the best, juiciest, most un-refined, un-carby thing I have eaten! <3

Day 2: Repeat.
Breakfast: 2 slices of toast with butter
Lunch: Bowl of pasta with vegies (slighly larger than yesterday).

Lunch yesterday:

It doesn't seem that bad. The choices that I made this week were the right ones for me. Although I would kill for some fresh vegies, and possibly some milk, I think I've chosen well. My pack of Mi Goreng will be a welcome change either tomorrow or Thursday though. I also have marathon training tonight, so that could be an interesting challenge. We'll see how it goes. I'll have my potato and probably more toast before hand.

Despite it being better than I thought, I am VERY glad that it is not my life.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Well, this was meant to be my Living Below the Line week. I even went shopping with D and we bought just under $20 worth of food for the both of us. I was looking at the battery-hen eggs, thinking about how on top of everything else, how much it would suck if you were that poor and had to make inethical choices about what to eat. I decided not to get the eggs because the idea of it made me sick to my stomach.

It wasn't just the idea of inethical, chicken hating eggs. I don't know what it was, but I ended up having two days off work and still am feeling a bit off. I tried on the Monday to stick to just porridge with hot water, but alas....that is not appetising at the best of times, and when you can barely sit upright even less so. So I decided to put the challenge off for a week and do it next week. I already know that it is hard - some of the choices that you have to make over taste, nutrition, bulk (ie things that will fill you up the longest for the least amount of money) are hard to do. It's so easy to just spend $3 without thinking about it, and that's more than some people's daily wage. Crazy times.

However, it is Thursday and that is Things I Love Thursday day! As per the lovely Ms Gala, I love the idea of a day of gratitude. I have a little gratitude notebook and write in it as often as a can, which generally means whenever I get a seat on the train or tram (which normally ends up being one of the entries)

So, without further ado:

Things I Love Thursday
  • Feeling less like dying after being sick all week. Hooray!
  • My little black ball of fluff, otherwise known as my kitty :)
  • Reading Life is So Good. I saw a girl on the train reading it the other day and was intrigued. Then I saw it at my local op-shop (which is now open Sundays - SCORE!). It's still early on but I'm enjoying it immensely
  • New runners. Soon I'll even be able to train for my half marathon again!
  • This sign - it is exactly the kind of sign I would do. I think I even thought about creating something like it during my last major run! This means that someone is thinking the same as me! Spooky ;)
  • Getting flowers from an organisation I did minutes for last week. It was a really nice gesture.
  • Just how fucking lucky I am. Seriously, things could be a lot worse. Life is pretty sweet.