Yes.....this would be week 3 of Move it Like Mike. I didn't update last week, not because I didn't complete the challenge, but because I was inundated with essays. Last week I did a FABULOUS job of the challenge. I went to the gym 4 days of the week with an average of an hour workout each time! I feel fantastic, even if I did feel quite ill after a couple of the workouts.
This week is looking a little less good. I've only done 2 workouts, so might have to go for a super long power walk tomorrow morning before work. How is everybody else going with their challenge?
Hello chickens! Just when I think I've totally fallen off the blog bandwagon, Pip Lincolne flies in like an angel and resuscitates my blog, injecting me with a newfound inspiration and a way to keep me on track. Move It Like Mike is an idea that she had as a way to keep exercising, as she didn't want to let her audience down. What a great idea! If you want to sign up, just click on the link. This couldn't have come at a better time, as far as I'm concerned. Like Pip, I was wonderfully active last year, and felt better than I have in a long, long time. But recently a combination of a few issues mean that I haven't been as active as I would have liked. A couple of weeks ago I joined a new gym and have been quite good at keeping on track with exercise. The idea of Move It Like Mike is that you need to move for at least 20 minutes 3 times a week. I've already been twice this week, and I have my gym gear in my bag next to me, so I'm looking good for this first week of the challenge at least. I'll update my progress each Thursday, and please let me know if you have decided to sign up too!
Hello my faithful readers! I'm sorry I've been so neglectful. To make up for it, I'd like to introduce you to Wedlings I Like (Wednesday's Links and Things I Like). Another (hopefully) weekly post to give you something interesting to do when you're supposed to be working/studying/writing an essay/ironing/changing the oil in your car etc etc. So without further achoo (I think I'm getting a cold today) here goes:
First and foremost, reconnecting with old friends. When it has been a long time, and you realise that the things that made you friends in the beginning are still there even if your interests have changed, spending time with an old friend can be a wonderful way to spend a few hours.
Hotels can be so stark and uninteresting, don't you think? I LOVE interesting hotels. Do you have a favourite room? I can't pick; I narrowed it down to 10 of my favourites::
Room 309 Clubs - The Secret Palace:: It looks sensual, sexy and a little boudoir-esque. Doesn't look like a room that a lot of sleeping gets done in!
Room 502 Hearts - The Royal Wedding:: This is all about the gold chaise lounge, the cute little table and the enormous slanted ceiling for me.
Room 307 Dryads:: Look at the chandelier! And the walls have deer and trees painted on them! Cute!
Room 121 Sleep Seasons:: I love tents. And that bed looks mighty comfortable!
Room 204 Tokidoki World:: This might just be because I LOVE Tokidoki and think that Simone Legno is a fine, fine artist!
Room 212 Japanese Garden:: Another one of Simone's rooms.
Room 214 Two Swans (Fertility Shrine):: This is about as close as most people will ever get to sleeping in a forest with wild animals.
Room 412 Spring Grove:: I just love the colour and the pattern of this room. That shade of blue is about as close to my favourite colour as you can get.
Room 405 Lifelines:: It's a little bit hectic but the fact that it's black and white makes it very classy and chic.
Room 510 King's Court 2:: This is a little like a fairy tale bedroom. If the fairy tale is the Snow Queen, or something like that. It's beautiful and a little icy and absolutely fantastic!
I know I have neglected this blog lately and by extension have neglected you, my beloved readers. I have not forgotten about you, or this blog, things are just a little (LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS) bit crazy with course work at the moment. I promise to return to you soon!
Wow, I can't believe it's Thursday already! Craziness! Ok folks, let's start with mine again, cos it's rather boring compared to the next two. Don't get me wrong, I like the colours and the shape, but it's just a bit blah.
I know, I know. It is simply too exciting for words! You all missed Polyvore Thursday last week, and have been anxiously anticipating its return. You will not be disappointed. I'm only going to add one of my own this week, as I've been stressed out with uni and have only had time to make up one decent set. I really love this one though...it's interior, not fashion. Sooo...let's start with mine, shall we?
*Disclaimer. I am no Girl With a Satchel. I lack her eloquence, magazine experience, informed opinions and fancy shmancy blog layout! If you want a decent magazine review I suggest checking out her blog!
Frankie Magazine. For a year now I have been a loyal fan. This time last year I was a patient in hospital and was fortunate enough to have plenty of visitors. Even in that grim time I knew I was lucky enough to be blessed with so many caring friends and family members. One of my best friends brought in a stack of magazines during one such visit. They were current magazines but her flatmate had finished them and thought I might enjoy them (I think my friend is probably reading this with a thrill of excitement knowing that I'm talking about her and that something she did a year ago has inspired an entire blog post! Hi Erin!). Amongst those magazines was Frankie. Ahhh, Frankie. Clever, witty, sometimes sarcastic, always lovely, forever funny. Magazines pride themselves on their point of difference, but Frankie is unique. She's the girl cool enough to hang out with the popular kids, friendly enough that she doesn't intimidate the less cool kids and smart enough to know the difference. I'd never even considered reading Frankie before it was literally dropped into my lap; it seemed a little too "indie" for me. Sweet sweet fortune that somebody with far better taste than I had the inkling I might enjoy it.
The latest issue is a joy to read. Benjamin Law and Caro Cooper are favourites of mine. Benjamin writes with self-effacing humour, Caro writes as though narrative can't help but flow out of every pore. Highlights:
Kelly White's i love owls feature. Mainly because I also love owls and she's got some cuties!
Caro Cooper's may contain graphic scenes is a love letter to the graphic novel. Five in particular are highlighted as 'should'-reads ('If you want to. But you don't have to.') I want to. (In case you're interested the are Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine, Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson, I am going to be small by Jeffery Brown, Maus by Art Spiegelman and Jimmy Corrigan: The smartest kid on Earth by Chris Ware.
a mum's life contains some wonderful moments when four writers spend the day as their mother. There seems to be quite a focus on exercise, work-outs and personal trainers. Perhaps this is what we look forward to in retirement. Benjamin Law's description of his mother, Jenny's, Exercise of the Month is particularly entertaining, as is Caro Cooper's journey into an imaginary world where she flirts with an unresponsive butcher, has conversations with imaginary dogs and cooks dinner for an imaginary partner whilst conversing with aforementioned dogs.
I encourage all of my PhD student friends, and friends of friends, and anybody even considering undertaking a PhD at any point, to read how uni melted my brain. Benjamin Law highlights everything I've ever heard, or ever considered about this arduous pursuit (it still hasn't put me off though).
There's a fabulous road test of different varieties of packet noodles and how likely each are to kill you. My favourite noodles are apparently likely to cause me a slow, but sure, death. This feature appears at an opportune time. They're practically all I can afford to buy.
I laughed and felt a small twinge of shame at Justin Heazlewood's no cd collection is an island. I can definitely relate to both sides of the story, but hope I have never been to the point of being the friend who asks if you've "heard of The Obscures, (my) eyes burning with rage and glee when (you) decline." The article is summed up in the line "It's a testament to the human ego, the way we make our role as fan completely about us."
Bless Pip Lincolne for including a pattern for a too-cute wheat pack by Claire Robertson.
New issue is out on April 22nd so go out and get a copy of this one now!
In answer to my previous post, I shall create inspiration for myself and for others, using my own creativity and the tools which the internet provides me with! Hooray. I've found myself addicted to Polyvore and so each Thursday will feature a polyvore set that I particularly like as well as 1 or 2 of my own that I've created using one of that week's top products. Feel free to leave me suggestions on what sort of sets you'd like to see whether they be fashion, interior or art based. Also, sign up to create your own. It's highly addictive. This week I was inspired by the amount of quality interior design sets and so have chosen one to represent all those I really loved. I can't possibly blog every set I like but if you'd like to see more of where this came from add me as a contact on polyvore and, of course, keep reading!
Just looking at that makes me think of weekends in the country, road trips with friends, wine and snacks whilst playing board games.
And here are a couple of mine. T-shirt focus this week as I adore t-shirts and I don't think that the jeans and t-shirt combo has to be boring. I really love the cupcake tee, the cheerful yellow really lends itself to cuteness, don't you agree?
I love the black, white and red style of this. Though I'm very much a pastels girl, I always think that it's very very very difficult to go wrong with this trinity and a little bit of attitude. The girl with the red lipstick is always going to attract a few (mostly admiring) glances.
The title says it all, really. Well, I think it does. Here I am, sitting in the library, thinking I should be reading the Oresteia trilogy, but feeling that there is something stirring inside of me that I'm not sure I can stop. It's not as though I lack a creative or inspirational gene. I love to create. Lately though, I've felt like there is something missing. That I need outside influences to fulfill me from within...and... is that right? I know that you can't JUST be inspired from within. External factors ALWAYS count. The amazing book you read, the sunset that makes you feel alive, a glimpse of something you almost catch and then it's gone before you absorb it. The friend who shares something secret with you, the taste of the most magnificent meal you've eaten, the discovery of something that fits with you. Falling in love. Having your heart broken. Breaking a heart. Getting married. Having a child. Making new friends. Traveling. Embarking on a spiritual journey. Meeting a soulmate. Perfect weather. Random, spontaneous moments that are gone in a flash but leave a distinct imprint on your heart. These are the external factors that generate creativity. These are the moments in which you gain your inspiration. But do I keep looking for inspiration? Or does it strike when you least expect it? I'm waiting for a spark, a moment, in which I can create something worthwhile. Is it in me? Or is it ruled by something outside? Or is it all connected? Do I just start something and see where it takes me? Or, do I wait? This is hard...
There is poetry, there is prose, there is gardening, there is music, there is acting, there is dancing, there is painting, there is drawing, there is sculpting, there is photography, there is imagination, there is everything in between and beyond and lately I can't seem to get a handle on any of it...
...with some shiny, shiny happiness! Lest readers believe that I am a cynical, angry, disillusioned product of a society that has no regard for kindness, helpfulness or tolerance, I'm providing you with things that bring a smile to my face. What brings a smile to yours?
Tiny, tiny little piggies! I'd like one as a pet, please!
Cute puppies doing very silly things. 1000 Awesome Things is indeed an awesome website, and wonderful to trawl through when you should be doing something else.
Craft books. Every single one of those is now on my wish list for anybody keeping score.
Learning random facts about odd topics. Mental Floss magazine is practically nerdling porn, and I encourage all of you to check the site out. Of particular interest to me was this article of the stories behind Dr. Seuss' stories.
Talk about inspiring... check this out! So stunning, so effective! And what a wonderful way to to keep mementos of different occasions. You can adapt these to your own tastes and needs, but they look so wonderful. I intend to make some of my own... I think I have found a use for my myriad scrapbooking paper! Elise Blaha's blog is full of incredible beauty and crafty inspiration and bookmark it. NOW! Go on, do it! It's one of my new favourite sites (thanks google reader!)
Now, if anybody has anything they believe I should see please please let me know. I'm back at uni now and am looking for new ways to procrastinate! There's only so much Ancient Greek a girl can take!
... look, I am an optimist most of the time. You need a silver lining? I'll be the one who finds it; at the very least I'll help you look. But sometimes, sometimes, things just completely baffle me. When I am baffled I get annoyed. When I get annoyed, I RANT. A list of things that are baffling/annoying me at the moment, in no particular order...
- Customers. I could just stop there and everyone who has ever worked in retail would understand or agree, but that would be unfair, as sometimes I have wonderful customers. Some drive me almost to breaking point though. For example, the customer who asks you for help. You give them help. They question your help. You answer their questions. They question your answers. You paraphrase their original needs, reiterating the ways that the suggested product will help them. They ask about a product that is completely unsuitable for their needs. You explain why it is unsuitable. They look at you as though you are the one who is being difficult. You give up. They say they will "just look around for a while". You stand there and think "Why, for the love of God, WHY did you ask for my help and advice if all you wanted to do was ignore my suggestions and purchase a product that will disappoint you?!"
- Political Correctness OVERLOAD. I can't take it anymore. These PC Police have too much time on their hands, if they can consider all the ways in which children will be harmed by the same things that many of us grew up with. It did not cause me any harm. I've always been an avid reader. Among the first books I read were Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree series. I'd just like to note some of the changes made to these books since I read them as a child. Dame Slap is now Dame Snap. Corporal punishment is no longer relevant, so Dame Snap now yells at her students instead. Awesome. I'm actually not sure how that is much better, but you're certainly not going to hear me complain about that lest I find that Dame Snap has become Dame Sunshine-and-freaking-light and instead of yelling at her naughty students, she praises them for expressing themselves. Jo has become Joe because Joe is a boy and the J-O spelling was too feminine. Bessie is now Beth.....because Bessie is a name rarely used now (oh, because I can totally remember the last time I climbed a magical tree inhabited by mythical creatures, can't you?!) Ridiculous. And poor old Dick and Fanny. Rick and Frannie. I'm sure I don't need to tell you why. What about the poor old Dick's and Fanny's of the real world who are being told their names are inappropriate? It is offensive to me, to think that people could be so serious about this that a piece of classic literature can be tampered with in this way. Ms. Blyton would be turning in her grave. JUST GIVE ME MY DICK AND MY FANNY!
- On that note, parents blaming everyone and everything they can in order to not take responsibility for their own children. Something that really grinds my gears is that teachers are supposed to educate children and help with academic endeavours, yet a lot of the time is taken up by children who have not learnt basic etiquette or social skills at home and have no idea what is, or isn't, appropraite. Teachers should not be expected to run deportment classes on top of the (considerable) workload they already have. It's not good enough. Parents should be parenting. Not blaming.
There are so many more. I think I'll leave it there though, I don't want anybody to think I'm a bitter and twisted cynic. Perhaps next time I'll write about the things that make me happy!
Love and laughter (and slight grunts of annoyance)
If any of you read Vanity Fair magazine, you might know that they interview a famous person and call it the Proust Questionnaire. It was a parlor game that Marcel Proust played in his youth (no, he did not actually invent the game). His answers were recorded once when he was 13 and once when he was 20. I've decided to play the parlor game as well....here are my answers...
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Clinical depression and being confined to a hospital because of it.
Where would you like to live?
Wherever I feel I could make a home that doesn't stifle my creativity and freedom.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
To live in a house with a library and my family and close friends nearby.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Atticus Finch, Aragorn, Professor Dumbledore, Sirius Black
Who are your favorite characters in history?
Socrates, Oscar Wilde, Homer, Chaucer, Shakespeare
Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Arwen, Eowen, Jo March, Calamity Jane, Holly Golightly
Your favorite musician?
The quality you most admire in a man?
Intelligence, wit, honour
The quality you most admire in a woman?
a good sense of humour
Your favorite virtue?
Your favorite occupation?
Reading and writing
Who would you have liked to be?
Myself, this time a year ago..... with the knowledge I have now....the world would be a fairer place for it.
Your most marked characteristic?
My passion and determination; I've been called relentless by a friend before.
What do you most value in your friends?
Intelligence, honesty, open-mindedness and courage
Lately I've been having these flashbacks to my childhood. I keep remembering little scenes, tv shows, food, drinks, places etc from when I was a little 'un. In the hope of not forgetting them again, I've decided to document some of them here, in no particular order.
*Cottee's Lemon Crush cordial
* DJ Bobo
*Ghostwriter (the tv series. Did you know that Julia Stiles guest-starred in one of the mysteries?! True story
* The Baby-sitters club books. My sister and I devoured these. Over the years we managed to collect the entire series. My favourite character when I first started reading them was Mary-Anne, eventually she got replaced by Stacey though.
*Trips to Rosebud, where my grandparents lived.
*Staying in the caravan park in Rosebud, before my grandparents lived there. Also, Henrietta, the caravan park's hen, who once laid a hard boiled egg for me :D
*Strawberry smoothies (Dad used to make these for us)
*Cinderella, the darker, sinister story as opposed to the Disney version. Dad bought me a copy of it one day, I don't think he realised which version he was buying, but it has remained my favourite telling of the story to this day.
*Postman. This was a game that my sister and I used to play for years, which involved finding odd toys and ornaments we no longer wanted, delivering them to each others bedroom, knocking on the door, then running back to your own room to wait for your next delivery.
*Girlfriend (the band)
*Tea-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom
*Agro's Cartoon Connection
*Grandad's workshop. I remember the smell of it, the neatness of it, the excitement of the place when he was building something for us.
*The yellow slide
*Getting my pen license
*Nana's butterscotch scones
*Fairy bread (which, admittedly, I still sometimes indulge in)
*Starting my first journal at 8....have not stopped since
*Camping, caving and abseiling.
*The smell of San Francisco
*Reading the Hobbit
*Using landline phones to call friends, having long conversations with them, even though you'd spent the whole day at school with them
*Going to the tip with Grandad and scoring a bike!
*Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Leonardo was me favourite)
*Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (Kimberley, the Pink Ranger was my favourite. I liked her relationship with Tommy, but always though that Jason, the Red Ranger was the cutest)
*Our cubby house! Dad built us a cubby, which had bunk beds, a table and chairs, our toys, curtains and wind-out windows!
*Mum teaching me how to make ribbon roses
*Chocolate crackles, honey joys and toasted marshmallows
There are so many more, but I could be writing forever!
Let me know some of your favourite childhood memories!
and no, I don't mean that we are sly and cunning (though we can definitely be that too), but that we like to do artsy things. Our craft materials have, until recently, been stored in random boxes and containers all over the house and in the garage. I like to be able to find things when I'm looking for them, and this is easier when everything is in the one place. So, being the anally retentive pedant that I am, I gathered craft boxes and divided our craft materials into groups, and gave each group its own box. My absolute FAVOURITE of these boxes is one that I made up myself. It was a very sturdy, but very nondescript box. So I prettied it up...Here is what it looks like now (For some reason I have the 'My Favourite Things' tune playing in my mind):
Basically, every time I saw a picture that triggered a certain "OOH! I LIKE!" reaction within me, I cut it out and put it in this box. They were too pretty to be hidden though, so they became decorations for the box which is now storage for other Pretty Things that shall be used for handmade birthday cards and such.
A couple of my favourite favourite things are:
This VERY cute Fendi bear
Very Pretty gumboots that I now covet!
It was my dear, dear friend Alicia's 21st Birthday yesterday. On Wednesday night our whole workplace threw a surprise birthday dinner for her (and wow! she was surprised.....she almost ripped my arm out of its socket with shock) and I made her a butterfly birthday cake that took an obscenely long time to decorate. Cute result though, the gang seemed to like it (I hear the Smarties were eaten in the car by somebody other than the birthday girl). Vanilla Buttercream, in case you were wondering!
I also need to track down a photo of the piñata birthday cake I made for my friend and manager Amber's 30th Birthday. That cake generated far more excitement that a chocolate shell should ever warrant!
This is seriously the best present I have ever received, mainly because my whole family are involved in it now (my Dad's wii me always makes my sister laughs, she thinks it looks just like him!). I'm usually quite an active person, but have fallen off the wagon a little lately. This has been good for tracking progress, but mainly it's good fun! Even Mum, who is not the most active person in the world, is actively trying to be ranked in one of the balance games...I'll say this about my mother, she's no quitter! She's been playing the same game over and over again trying to make it into the top ten. The wii itself, and its games are extremely fun and I love it, but it's the wii fit that makes me laugh the most. Especially when my "trainer" (you can choose between a man and a woman. I chose the man, because the woman, well.... does she remind anybody else of Cherry from Cherry's Driving School in micro machines for ps2?!) yells at me for having shaky legs, or collapsing onto the board (I'm sorry sir, my arms couldn't hold me up any longer!). It's even funnier when he does this to somebody else!
Welcome to my blog! Do you ever find yourself thinking up an idea that seems really good in your head then, when it comes time to put it into practice, there are a million other things you should be doing (yes, I really DO need to beat Dad's high score on Wii baseball), or that the idea seemed better in theory than in practice, due simply to the amount of sheer hard work you realise it's going to be? Do you need to add more work to your life? Wouldn't it be better to procrastinate (oh, need to beat Dad's top score in Wii bowling as well!)? That's me and this blog. However, I'm starting it now, after all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with blah blah blah....
I've recently (in the past couple of months) decided that I would become all crafty and creative and little-miss-homemaker-esque. No idea where any of that came from really, just one day I decided, "I'm going to start MAKING things." So I did. These are some of the things I've made recently:
It was Dad's 50th in December. I insisted on making his cake, believing that a cake baked with love is far better than a cake bought from a store. The reality of the situation was that I had just worked a 10 hour shift, came home to bake 24 cupcakes and attempt to
bake a double layer chocolate and caramel buttercream cake. Note that I said attempt, this is very important. The cake tins weren't big enough, so I ended up with 2 layers that looked like pancakes. I gave up. The next day
(the day of his party and his birthday) I refused to be beaten by a cake. And I made it again. This one turned out far better (tasted good too)!
I was in a very cakey-bakey mood Christmas week! These are some of the vanilla Christmas cupcakes I baked. I found myself slowly turning off cakes as I turned into a baking
machine. Never fear, my sweet tooth has now returned.
One of my friends has been having a lot of trouble finding a journal that was just right for her, so I made her one that was specifically for her. I got just a plain old hardcover spiral-bound notebook and personalised it for her. I papered the cover, made a little felt dress to attach to
the front, and then hand-stitched her name into a little felt nameplate. It was the first really crafty thing I've done, so I was a bit excited by the results.