Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BERRIES




Stone Drop Earrings, $15.00 - Diva 
Fuschia Feather Necklace, $20.00  - Diva
MAC Lipstick in 'Pink Nouveau' - US$14.50 
Peeptoe 'Lady Mesmerise' clutch - $199.00
Perfume - Marc Jacobs 'Lola' 
Shoes - Vavor by Soul Princess at Wanted shoes - $159.95 
MAC Nail Polish in 'La Dolce Vita' - $22.00

Monday, February 27, 2012

MUSCLE MAGS

For anyone interested in equipping themselves with plenty of moves they can take to the gym or even do at home, I have the very magazine for you! This sounds like a sales spiel, but I have absolutely nothing to do with any publications or PR co's: this is just another thing I have found exciting and helpful and want to share with you here.

I recently purchased what I believe to be a workout bible: Oxygen's 2012 Workout Annual. It's comprehensive, explanatory and has neat little tab dividers so you can easily flick to the section containing moves for the body part you want to work out. Did I mention it also has a workout journal so you can plan your gym session and track your progress. 'Cause isn't it the case that those who fail to plan, plan to fail? ;-) 



Some of the more popular magazines in the health/fitness genre bombard you with a whole lot of advertising, pointless feature articles and "page filler" stuff and I always close the magazine thinking I haven't really taken much away from it to justify the money I just spent.

Oxygen is written by fitness professionals and geared toward people who are serious about fitness, so you know what you are getting is the real deal. But rest assured it's absolutely non-intimidating and, in my opinion, actually better for those starting out. It's instructional, in-depth and informative and basically the closest thing to having a personal trainer: if it's the body of your dreams you're after, it makes sense to pick up a magazine that is actually made for the purpose of teaching people how to sculpt their bodies and keep weight off in the long-term.

If, like me, you're disillusioned with most health/fitness magazines, don't see the value in buying them on a monthly basis, but want some decent fitness moves and information to develop your training and diet, run on up to your newsagent and grab the Oxygen 2012 Workout Annual. Happy training!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

MY SATURDAY LOOKS LIKE THIS...

I painted my nails Atomic Oramge (OPI) and coated my ring finger in glitter - it apparently shows you're 'taken' (and costs a thousandth the price of an engagement ring! Am I not the most thoughtful girlfriend ever? )... Here's me hopping on board that bandwagon:


After preening myself for the most part of the morning, we stopped for lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. This place makes some of the best salads - quality ingredients and wonderful presentation. Normally I have a chicken, avocado and blue cheese salad but today I opted for the 'Detox' Salad:


Good presentation makes otherwise bland ingredients look incredibly palatable (write that down!) The dressing was lovely and it felt good to eat something so nutritious, particularly because Saturday usually calls for pastries or cooked breakfasts. Ah... so virtuous of me!

My better half had the leg ham omelette with mesclun salad, pesto dressing and artisan bread... It tasted a whole lot better than it looked:


Afterwards, while we waited to pay at the counter, we (figuratively) drooled over the almond croissants...


We're catching up on some much-needed relaxation at the moment and will probably check in at the movies tonight... Will let you know what we end up seeing...

Friday, February 24, 2012

GLITTERATI

Today I'm hanging out at home, resting a sore shin.
What does one do on a lazy day like this? After finally coming to terms with the fact that there's NOTHING ON T.V, the logical next step is to experiment with nail colours, of course...


L-R: OPI 'We'll Always Have Paris'; Revlon 'Fuschia Fever'; OPI 'Alpine Snow'; OPI 'At First Sight'

...Bet you didn't recognise them after their brush with OPI 'Teenage Dream'

Thursday, February 23, 2012

LOVING...

1. Bright Nail Polish! Who doesn't get excited when they see loads of brand new colours at the OPI counter? This one's called Atomic Orange:


2. Sparkly Nail Polish... Glitter and I haven't been seen together since high school, but I'm not averse to getting behind this new nail trend. Meet 'Teenage Dream':


3. Long-lasting lip shades. I ran out of this product just the other day and decided to re-stock. It's a perfect light pink that allows me to wear my darker smoky-eye look without looking like I've overdone it. I'm not one for constantly reapplying lippy or gloss and I love to wear a lip shade so this just right:


4. Fresh, clean smelling cleansers... There's nothing worse than putting something on your face that smells like it should be used for the dishes. This one has a delicate, beautiful fragrance and leaves my skin feeling baby smooth:


5. Mixing up the exercise regime with a workout DVD. This is good for people like me who are a little uncoordinated at choreographed workout classes. I can make mistakes in the comfort of my own living room - BONZA! Not only are workout DVD's good for the time-poor, their very presence on your DVD shelf helps you to take a more proactive approach to exercise. It's likely you'll think to yourself: If I have time to sit on my behind and watch trash TV for the rest of the night, I've got time to get up and move along to one of these babies for the next hour:


COFFEE AND CHOCOLATE


From L-R Aesop Haircare; Bobbi Brown 'Chocolate & Gold' Eye Paint Palette (Limited Edition); Michael Kors Tortoise Jet Set Watch (MK5038); OPI Lacquer in 'You Don't Know Jacques'; Ferrero Rondnoir Chocolates; Nespresso Scented Candle 'Bois de Maragogype'; Keel's Simple Diary Volume One in Brown (available from Amazon.com - check it out: it's diary writing made much, much easier!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CHEVRON CRUSH










Is there an object on this planet that doesn't look magnificent in zig zag? The above vase has inspired my next DIY project (stay tuned). The trays look like an easy craft task too - perfect as a perfume display, methinks.

THE HEALTHY LIFE

If you read my last post (which feels like a LONG time ago, particularly in blogger time), you'll know that I decided to make a more serious commitment to my health and fitness. Well, I've been doing just that and I absolutely love how it makes me feel. Here's a little illustration of my lifestyle this past week...

My gym: It has all I need. I love the elliptical trainer because it loves my knees! I had to stop exercise completely at the end of last year after hurting my knee quite badly while on a brisk walk (what am I, 70?)... I've got pretty weak knees and they don't like much impact so the cross trainer is my cardio soulmate. I choose the "total body" workout setting, a really effective interval-style workout that fulfils all my cardio needs :-)

I'm in here for 45 minutes to an hour most days... You don't need to spend a lot of time in the gym but you need to make sure you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I personally love setting up little circuit routines that I repeat until I'm literally shaking. It's awesome for your metabolism, particularly when you combine with weights. 

Handy tips on circuits:

Choose at least 4 different exercises of which you can complete 6-10 repetitions (reps). Once you have completed the circuit, take a short rest before beginning the circuit again. 

A useful tip from Men's Fitness: 'If this is your first time doing a circuit, be conservative and stay closer to six reps. As you improve, you can increase your reps. Rest about 60 seconds, or only as long as it takes before you think you can repeat the exercises with good form— that’s one “round.” Perform one fewer rep each round until you’re down to just one rep (so if you started with eight reps, you’d do seven the second round, six the third, and so on)'

I recommended you work different body parts too, so if you go nuts doing dips, it feels like quite a relief if you do squats or sit-ups as your next exercise.

Workout attire... I have a steady diet of capris and singlets! This picture captures my post-workout hair... It would look a lot worse but I am constantly having to re-tie it during my gym sessions... You shouldn't walk out of the gym looking or feeling the same as when you walked in.

Pouring the whites for my egg white, spinach and avocado omelette. I swear I eat these every night!

On the weekends, I like to eat out. Last weekend, instead my usual  burrito or hamburger, I had this glorious vegan, gluten-free lasagne with cabbage salad at Iku Wholefoods. I don't miss junk food when I am eating seriously tasty, healthy food like this. 



This is my "health and fitness" board on Pinterest.  I'm always updating and consulting my little board for inspiration, and it's handy to have it all in one place.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

IT HAS BEGUN


For a long time now I have shied away from the gym. These are the excuses I gave myself:

-The pain and exertion is too hard to face
-I'm unfit
-I'll just go for a walk/jog
-I can exercise on the living room floor
-It's boring
-I don't know enough exercises
-I'll go later
-I'll start tomorrow
-I'll just eat less

While I do plenty of exercise in the way of walking, push-ups, dips and sit-ups, I know that my body can handle it pretty well and I have been known to stop while I'm still feeling comfortable... it's quite literally a walk in the park for me. Pushing myself through a gym routine causes me to sweat, sends my heart rate through the roof and my muscles feel really well-used afterwards. I know that this means visible results.

Funnily enough, this eerily accurate Birthday Astrology site, which allows you to read an astrological profile for the exact day you were born, said that those born on my D.O.B "may not possess the high energy level of other Leos. Even when they do feel good about themselves, they are somewhat indolent and may shy away from exercise"... I am determined not to be lazy and to challenge what's written in the stars, because we all know that zero effort means zero results - in and outside of the gym.

Pushing myself for a few weeks and cleaning up my diet a little will help me achieve the results I am after, and results you can see generally helps you in committing to a journey of health and fitness for life. My apartment complex has a very small and cramped gym but there is plenty of equipment for me to achieve my goals. I hope to include some of my little routines in a later post, with moves you can do in your living room if you don't have access to a gym.

Meanwhile, if you're on pinterest, check out my page - I've got a board devoted to fitness (and diet) which includes some pins that I have found useful and inspiring.

SURPRISE!

You know how yesterday I said my better half had a surprise up his sleeve for Valentine's Day evening?


Well... 




We went to see Rod Stewart live in concert!


Our night started with frozen margaritas and Mexican food (one of our favourite indulgences) followed by one of the coolest, nicest performers in history serenading an Entertainment Centre full of loved-up Valentine's :-)


My favourite bits, aside from phenomenal performances of all his best songs, were:


-Mr Stewart kicking footballs into the crowd for an entire song


-His little son breakdancing on stage - too cute! The little guy also wished us a good night and everyone's hearts melted :-)


-RS talking us through his recent family photos, which included pictures of his baby son and grandson both kitted out in Celtic FC merchandise. They are big Celtic fans like the boys in my family.


-The band... Oh my goodness. The electric guitarist had a very injured, plastered hand but that didn't stop him wowing us all, song after song. The same goes for the drummer and his epic drum solo, the singers and of course the lovely looking ladies with their violins, saxophones and trumpets. Playing an instrument is cool!


-At the very end, red and white balloons were dropped from the roof and into the crowd... James' mission was to get one for me, and he did.


It was a Valentine's Day so amazing I couldn't have dreamt it and will certainly never forget it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

BE MINE

I love special occasions with my gorgeous better half. There's a lot of excitement in choosing something personal and special, wrapping it beautifully and watching the reaction of the person you love as they open it. Granted, I get a little too excited and end up spilling the beans beforehand and ruining the surprise element for James! He is far better at keeping surprises from me and is also much better at coming up with the most appropriate, thoughtful and wonderful gifts as well. 

I had a lot of fun this year. I had to wake up super early to race out the door without letting on where I was going, leaving James bewildered and guessing that perhaps I had gone to get him an almond croissant for breakfast as a treat (that's what he told me when I returned). I was, in fact, racing to the shops just as it started pouring rain to get a newspaper as I had taken out some column space in the Valentine's Day Classifieds. Those lucky and not so lucky in love write little messages to the ones they love and it's a lot of fun to read. Mine ended up being full of errors as I had to dictate a veeeeery long message over the phone rather than being able to type it up on the computer and upload it myself - there was some sort of technical glitch preventing me from doing it that way. As I made my way back to the apartment, thoughtful soul and sweetheart James was heading out the door, umbrella in hand, looking for me so I wouldn't be caught in the rain.

Once we got home, I was given my presents and was blown away that James seemed to know every single book I had ever expressed an interest in reading and had sought some of them out for me. He was disappointed because most books which are not new releases aren't anywhere to be found in bookstores anymore, apart from those that sell books second-hand. I suppose now that online book businesses are bustling, bookstores are really downsizing. I think he did a marvellous job in selecting three titles for me, including a light read by PR doyenne Roxy Jacenko that's full of gossip about the Sydney PR scene. I wasn't willing to go out and buy it myself because I don't tend to read chick lit, but I had admitted I was mildly curious about reading it because of all the hype surrounding Ms Jacenko and my own soul-crushing experience working in PR! Have started reading it and must say I am surprised at how she writes. Very much a piece of chick-lit, but if you're into that genre, you won't be disappointed. I will admit, I am somewhat enjoying it, actually...


Valentine's Day started kind of early for James as I had baked him some cupcakes yesterday, which we pretty much demolished as soon as he came in from work last night. He refused to open his present until today and was pleased to find I had given him a TV series I knew he was interested in watching and a shirt that I thought would go nicely with all the lovely shorts he owns. He suits grey and blue tops like no-one else but what do you do when he buys his shorts in blue??? I chose a white RL polo, which I think looks fantastic and will satisfy my quest to napi san my whites to a level of unprecedented brightness :-)



One of the things I love most about these special occasions is the cards we buy for each other because we are both so pedantic about choosing one that is one hundred percent perfect and applicable to the other person. I always find writing cards difficult because, as you probably agree, words can never adequately express feelings... but I think we both know what the other means to us.


So anyway, I gave my Valentine a kiss and sent him off to work and, a few hours later as I was still riding on my high from the morning, the intercom sounded. The voice on the other line told me there was a delivery for me downstairs. Just when I thought my Valentine's Day couldn't get any better, two lovely ladies handed me an enormous box and enthusiastically wished me a Happy Valentine's Day. I couldn't have been more surprised and beamed as I opened the card, which read "for the princess"... 


I let myself into the apartment, sat the box down, opening it to find not one but TWO DOZEN red roses and some HUGE chocolate hearts! I think my heart almost stopped right there and then.

I've included some pictures of the roses before and after I arranged them - I used a very simplified version of a technique I had remembered reading on Cupcakes and Cashmere and I think the results are pretty good!




Shortly, I am going to start getting ready because James has made some secret plans for us... I am having an unforgettable day so far and will update you on the evening's events in a later post!

Happy Valentine's Day!!! I hope you all have a wonderful day with the one you love xxxx

Thursday, February 9, 2012

HOME

Whenever the topic "how many houses have you lived in?" comes up in conversation, I am that person whose response evokes the loudest gasp, followed by: "WOW, and I thought I moved a lot", or words to that effect.
Then I suspect my company arrives at a silent understanding, where they simultaneously also decide not to say out loud "this probably explains your lack of friends and an established social circle..."
Excuse the pun, but moving right along... 
Of all the places I have ever lived, where I live now is the only place that has ever felt like home. I suspect this has everything to do with the fact that home is where the heart is :-)
I really want to tell you the story of how I fell head over heels in love but was in a relationship at the time and how I knew I had to follow my heart but it was so difficult to say the words I needed to say but how, after much pain and longing, I woke up early one morning and, with only a tiny suitcase, left everything else behind as I jumped in a taxi and drove through the sunkissed, still sleeping city to be with the love of my life. Ohhhhh I really want to tell the rest of the story because that day was one of the happiest in my life and when I opened the door James had prepared something truly romantic for me... But that can be a story for another time...


Here's some iPhone pics from our little abode: