Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Training for Tuesday

Another month has flown by and it's time for Training for Tuesday with Alyssa and Tracy again. The first time, I talked about running and trying to get back into it. The next time, I talked about my goals for fitness in general. I wanted to run 3-5 times a week, get back into strength training and do yoga regularly. 

Well.. since then I haven't done any yoga, have only done strength training once and a couple of workout videos. Last week was the first time I ran more than twice, so clearly I don't have any great progress to share. But that's okay, I'm not mad. I'm focusing on just enjoying running right now, with no pressure. 

Last week I ran 4 times, nothing crazy just a couple miles each day. I didn't want to get up yesterday morning, thankfully KC dragged encouraged me to get out of bed and it felt so good. It's early in this new relationship I have with running I know, but finally I felt good with each step I took. I finally felt like I was enjoying it, like you should. A lot of people say they hate running but they really should do it, and to that I say boohickey! Why do anything you don't enjoy? Sure, you should love to hate your workouts, but actually hate them?

So with zero pressure, not getting too ahead of myself... I want to run the triple crown (hopefully work will pay for it, what what) which is 3 races (5k, 10k and 10 miles). They are in March, every other weekend, and then a couple weeks after is the Derby 'mini' marathon. I thought it would be fun to do a race every month but KC quickly dismissed that idea, way too expensive. But, normally with all my races at the start of the year, I fizzle out towards the middle and end so I want to try and find at least one race each season. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

For now, I would like to just throw out what I think are very reasonable goals for next year. They aren't anything crazy, those PRs are all from 2012, almost 3 years ago (jeepers) and I'm not in the same shape. So we'll see.  They are just my goals right now.


PR: 27:16 
Goal: under 30 minutes.


PR: 55:13
Goal: under 60 minutes.

10 miles

PR: 1:42:58
Goal: less than an hour and 30 minutes.

Half marathon

Goal: Less than 2 hours.

To work towards these goals, I am focusing on running 3-5 times per week (heard that before). So far so good. This week will be a true test, with having Thursday and Friday off and Thursday being the holiday of all the food. After that, I'll follow a proper plan with speed work and all that jazz.

On top of that, I know strength training is where it's at, both to lose weight and to help with my running. Twice a week for that right now, one lower body and one upper body.

On top of that, I need to get back into yoga - it feels so good and I really enjoy it, just need to make myself do it. I am going to start Erin Motz's original 30 day challenge again. I did it before, but all over the place, so this time I want to concentrate on doing it every day, or at least not taking too many days off.

As with anything, I just need to get into a routine and I'll be fine. Couple weeks of doing it and it becomes like anything else routine, easy as all the pie I'm going to eat.

Anyway, as I'm sure you've noticed, I often talk about what I want to do and all these goals and how I am going to achieve them, but I never actually do. All talk, I am. I feel like I say the same thing eah time, and it never changes because I never do it. But not this time, I promise you, and myself. I will reach these goals. I'll check in next time to let you know cause I'm sure you're all dying to know, but it helps me to stay accountable. So I appreciate you letting me babble.

Right? The time will pass anyway, may as well make the most of it.

What are you working towards?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Not another thankful post..

I know these are everywhere and you are probably sick of seeing these. I know they pretty much all say the same thing. I know we should be thankful year round, and not just for November. I know I am Australian and have no claim on Thanksgiving... But... It's good to think (or write) about the things we are thankful for. So, as is my motto for everything, why not... Here are all the things I am currently trying not to take for granted:

1 - My hubby. Awwww sappy soppyness. I know. But you know, he's pretty awesome and wonderfully good to me especially when I don't deserve it.

2 - My mummy. Gosh if my daughter moved overseas, I'd hate her. My mum misses me, but she only throws the occasional guilt trip my way. I'm lucky to have her.

3 - My family. My brothers, my nana, my cousins.. I love them all.

4 - My girlfriends. I used to think the amount of friends I had mattered, but now that I am older - I know it's quality over quantity.

5 - My cats. Duh. They are like children, they get into everything and break my valuables. But I love them.

6 - The blogging community. Double duh. Before I blogged I would read how bloggers loved the community and the friends they'd made and I just rolled my eyes, like how can you make friends online talking about yourself? Well, I was wrong. The blogging community is the bomb dot com.

7 - Books. For allowing me to escape, dream, live other lives and to never be alone.

8 - My good health. Sure I have a few issues, but I am alive, healthy and able bodied. I can run, I can lift furniture, I can eat chocolate and nuts (because that allergy would suck).

9 - Immigration. Because without them, I wouldn't be here with my husband, girlfriends and cats. So thank you very much. But now may I please have an updated green card? You know, the one I sent in for in April?

10 - The Internet. For blogging, asking questions, stalking people and of course staying in contact with people on the other side of the world. It is so wonderful.

I mean, there are a million other things I am thankful for, but these are the top 10 for today. I'm thinking perhaps next year I'll start a gratitude journal - such a good idea.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Glasses à la Hipster

Firstly I just wanna give y'all a big ol internet hug and thank you for your sweet words on Monday's post. I know I'm not the only one who lets things like jeans not fitting get me down, and its so stupid to be so hard on myself so I just wanted to say thank you very much, you are awesome and that is all.

Moving on.

I have worn glasses for over 6 years now, mainly for reading and when I'm on the computer for long periods of time. Trouble is, my eyes are almost perfect except when I'm reading or on the computer, so it's really hard for me to get glasses that actually help when I read but don't hinder my normal vision.

I bought my original pair based purely on looks and they are quite annoying - because they are so small, the frame makes it hard to see anything that's not right in front of me. Kind of like how you can't see everything in a car when you're reversing or whatever - because the car is in the way. Does that make sense? Anyway. So if I am wearing glasses and someone in front of me talks to me, I have to move the glasses in order to see properly.

It gets super annoying during the day, every time I look away from the computer or I get up to get some water or anything, I have to move my glasses or take them off.

And because the computer is further away than a book, my glasses don't help as much as they should. I don't know how to explain to an eye doctor that although I can see perfectly, the words get blurry after a short time. I'm not sure if I am making any sense.

So I started searching for some new glasses. I was a bit embarrassed but I kinda wanted the bigger ones - you know, the ones that scream hipster? They just seemed so smart, the frame was above my eyes so it wouldn't hinder my vision - kind of like sunglasses, you wouldn't wear thin silly sunglasses would you? Anywho, I stumbled across Firmoo after seeing them on Camp Patton & Frikken Duckie. They also make sunglasses, but because I was in the market for some actual glasses, that's what I decided to get. But then I forgot about them, as you do.

The other day I was going through my junk folder and saw an email from Firmoo - um, what are the odds? They wanted to send me a pair. Don't mind if I do, thank you very much. You can even get free glasses - just need to pay for the lenses and shipping.

The glasses arrived quick smart with a cute little map themed case that just happens to have Australia on it (!!). I was super excited and tried them on immediately. Unfortunately, they are perfect for reading but not perfect for all day at work where the computer is an arms length away, so I am still searching.

I'm certain the reason they aren't perfect is because I used my old prescription details, and that was from many moons ago, so I need to get a new prescription to match my new old lady eyes. I can't go back to my original eye doctor because he's, well, in Sydney. I don't particularly like going to new doctors but I don't think I have much of a choice. My head starts hurting after squinting to read blurry words all day.

So.. be honest.. do I look like a hipster? Or like I'm trying too hard?

WHAT how did that copy of P&P get in this post?
I was given prescription glasses in exchange for a review on my blog - all opinions are my own as is the serious question about whether I look like a hipster or not.

Do you wear glasses? How do I get my eyes checked in this country? Help.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Kristen The (Non) Runner

I remember my first run. Basically, my aussie best friend asked me to play in her netball team and surprised me with a run to warm up before the game. I almost puked and she was shocked I hadn't said anything before running 5k. I went to the gym regularly but I ate like crap and was not a runner. But I was too embarrassed to tell her, so I just tried to keep up.

A couple of days after that, I jumped on the treadmill to try this running thing again. I could barely last a minute, I had no idea how fast or slow I was supposed to go, what I was supposed to do with the incline and I held on to the treadmill for dear life. I must have looked a real sight.

I started running outside after that - not paying attention to how far, just the time, and running the same route every day which I soon discovered was 5k. At first I had to walk most of it, and then slowly but surely I was running the whole thing. Then one day I decided to keep going, and I did another lap. Again, it took me awhile, but I kept trying and before I knew it I was doing 10k without stopping.

I had done the City2Surf before, but only walking. That year I was determined to run the whole thing - but it was harder than it looked! We have our own 'heartbreak hill' and I only managed to run about 10k, but I was still so proud of myself.

Then I signed up for my first half marathon. I had to walk bits and pieces but I did it - me! I ran 21 kms, which seemed so crazy daunting and scary 2 years prior. But I did it. I cried when I crossed the finish line - if you ever have the opportunity you should do a race that ends in the heart of Sydney. Nothing like it.

A couple months later I did the City2Surf  again - this time I ran the whole thing. So proud.

After that I ran regularly, 4-5 times a week, even when I visited and moved to KY. I did my second half marathon in 2012 and cut more than 30 minutes off my race time.

2013 was a stressful and busy year and I still ran, but I was nowhere near as consistent. One month I would run 20 times, another I would run once. The horrible winter really didn't help.

Finally in early 2014 I decided to sign up for the same half marathon I'd done in 2012. I thought it would motivate me. Unfortunately it didn't, and I ran 2 minutes slower than my first half marathon - I was so disappointed and disgusted with myself.

As the weather got better, I ran more. I was so slow compared to my old running self, and it discouraged me. It's so hard to go back and reach all the same goals, it doesn't feel as great the second time around.

I ran my 4th half marathon. It wasn't great, but at least I did better than #1 and #3.

Anyway, this trip down memory lane has a point, besides showcasing my love for a certain jacket. After all these races, I still don't call myself a runner. Never have. When people say 'oh you're a runner?' I say 'well, I run sometimes - but no, not really.' Like it's some club I can't get into, a hurdle I can't jump. Sure I run. But not consistently, and I have never taken it seriously. When I'm really into it, I love it. When I'm lazy, I'm lucky to go for a walk. So I don't call myself a runner. I feel that calling myself a runner somehow cheapens real runners, like Alyssa or Tracy. Or I'm adding salt to the wound for people who have an injury that prevents them running, like KC. How can I call myself a runner when I don't do it regularly, and he would give almost anything to run? I can't call myself a runner because I've gotten worse, I've gotten slower. Aren't you supposed to get better at things, not worse? I'm better at talking about running than actually running.

But that first run? That started this all? The date was November 17th 2009. I have been doing this for 5 years. Shouldn't I be better by now? I know you shouldn't compare, but other people have been running less than a year and are better than me. Or rather, they are better than they were when they first started - I have hardly improved, I've gone backwards.

I cleaned out my closet yesterday. It was fun. I'm a bit emotional with clothes sometimes, ruthless with others. I saw a pair of jeans from 2012, around the time of my best half marathon - I don't wear them anymore because I wore them when I worked in a restaurant and they smell like oil. I decided to try them on for shits and giggles. Well the joke was on me because I kid you not, I could not get them over my butt. Hilarious, right? I couldn't believe it. I know I've gained weight but this was embarrassing. I'm not saying I couldn't do them up, I'm saying they wouldn't even go past my butt.

Now that it's getting cold again, I'm struggling to keep motivated. But the 'jeans incident of 2014 that we shall never talk about again' gave me the kick up the butt (pun intended) I needed.

My problem is not only my motivation to run, but also the pressure I put on myself. When I started running I did so 'naked'. I didn't use apps, I had a watch on but I didn't monitor it the way most runners do. I like listening to audiobooks because if I listen to music I catch myself thinking 'one more song should be 3 miles'. I wait for the nike app lady to tell me how fast I'm going, and then I criticize myself. I listened to an app for a 10 miler in 2012 that turned out to be incorrect and I was so upset because I missed my opportunity to PR that I didn't run for 3 weeks (which happened to be the 3 weeks before the half marathon). Perhaps if I didn't get so mad at myself, and ran those 3 weeks I might have actually done a sub 2 hour half. Maybe.

I look back on my past races, specifically 2012, and I am so disappointed by how far I am away from that, how much weight I have gained, how much slower I am. I give myself goals and deadlines and I never meet them because I am too hard on myself. I have to understand that I am not going to get back to 2012 shape overnight. But I'm certainly not gonna get there by crying over a pair of jeans, eating ice cream with my ass on the couch.

So as of today, I am calling myself a runner. Zero pressure. No goals, no requirements, no 'must run this many miles each week'. I'm not gonna get mad at myself if I miss a run, or if I run slower than I 'should' be. At least, not yet. First I just need to get back into the routine, running needs to become like brushing my teeth again. It needs to be something I don't think about, something I enjoy. Once it is, I'll start thinking about specific goals and training plans.

I have done the triple crown (5k, 10k, 10 miler) for the last 3 years, and I am considering signing up again. KC doesn't really want me to, they are expensive and such a pain in the butt to get to, but as every runner knows, a PR doesn't count unless it's a race. The first race is 109 days away and the half marathon is 158 days away.

I can do this. I know I can. But it's not about can, it's about actually doing it. I have to do this. And I need you all to hold me accountable. Because if I don't get better, I am stripping myself of the runner title again. Ok that might be a bit dramatic. But I can't let a pair of jeans show me up like that. I can't let 2012 be my best. I've asked for help before and I am armed with the tips that you all shared (thank you). Here's to not going backwards anymore.

Do you have any health or fitness goals you're working on right now? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hey hey it's Friday Favourites

Thank Zeus it's the end of this week. It wasn't even that bad, but how can you not be excited for 2 days off? You can't. It's not right. For a lot of my working life, I worked weekends. So now that I don't, I give them the respect they deserve.

It's been a hot minute since I linked up with Amanda so be prepared for all the favourites - I was saving them up.

Favourite Book

The best book I've read lately is easily The Girl You Left Behind. Read it and weep.

Favourite Purchase 

Ok, this won't matter to you unless you're a Jane Austen fan, but if you are... you need this. I love to collect copies of my favourite books (I have more than 20 P&P...) and this book contains a bazillion different covers of Austen's work. It’s fascinating and fun to see the different book cover art through the years since Austen was first published. It includes international editions, first editions, movie-tie-in editions, mass market paperback editions, graphic novels, e-book versions, editions aimed at children and teenagers.. seriously. It's amazing. Alongside the gorgeous graphics, the author provides some hilarious commentary about each cover making me giggle and want to be her friend. 

Favourite Look

I would never wear this (or most of Taylor's outfits) but hot damn I wish I could. She looks amazing.

Favourite trailer

I think this movie looks super cute / lame / awesome. Anyone want to see it with me, because I know KC won't.

Favourite Lipstick

I'm no beauty blogger but I'm learning, and even though red is fun, it's not for everyday (for me). I stumbled across Milani Nude Creme on pinterest and I am obsessed. It's nude without looking like you're wearing concealer on your lips, and it's creamy and kinda pink and I just LOVE it. And it's less than $6 so, yeah.

Favourite CD

Like the rest of the world, I'm jamming to Taylor Swift's 1989. I can't decide which is my favourite song, I loved 'This Love' immediately, but 'Blank Space' is so fun and I dig 'I Know Places' as well. Ok, 'Style' too. Ok, all of it. The highlight of our Saturday night was when Shake it Off came on, and we danced like we were in the video #noshame.

Although when I first heard 'Wildest Dreams' and she says 'no-one has to know what we do, his hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room' I was like:

Favourite Workout

I took a bit of unnecessary time off from working out after my half marathon, but I finally - finally! - got back into the gym this week and it feels SO good. I haven't done weights consistently in a long, long time. I'm taking it easy and just doing lower body / upper body once per week and then I'll step up my game when I feel like I'm not gonna kill myself. I still want to do something other than running, and Amanda shared this video in her home workouts and I finally got around to doing it yesterday. Ow. That is all.

Favourite Recipe

I love making fried rice at home. I've made cauliflower rice before which was good, but way too much work for a weeknight meal. So I made a mish mash of that one and this recipe for dinner the other night. I meant to cook some chicken but forgot, so we had a side of fish afterwards. It would be great with chicken or shrimp. As you can see, my cats think anything in the kitchen is for them.

Oh and of course, a couple of funnies for funsies.

Got any crazy plans for the weekend? AND OHMYGAWD DID YOU HEAR ABOUT GILMORE GIRLS?!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gift Ideas for everybody-ish.

I have mixed feelings about 'gift ideas' posts. Mainly because I am cheap, and a lot of posts include things I can't afford or don't want to buy for the people in my life.

Don't get me wrong, I love (most of) the people in my life that I have to buy gifts for. I even have most of them bought, and if I don't, I have my list with ideas ready to purchase.

But still, I thought I would annoy you with some gift ideas, because you know. T'is the season to annoy.

gift ideas are coming
These are all my 'go-to' gift ideas for birthdays, christmases, thank-yous.. whatever. They are particularly good for people who 'have everything' or that you don't know that well (extended in-laws, anyone?). None of them are particularly original or mind blowing, but hey. They work.


Boring, I know, but whether it's for the husband that goes through socks faster than the speed of light, or your friend who likes cats or Doctor Who, or perhaps Christmas falls in winter and it will be a delightful winter like last year and everyone might need a pair of fuzzy socks.. there is a pair of socks for everybody.

champion / kitties / fluffies / for the whovians

Gift cards.

Oh how boring. But how smart. Whether it's steam (KC), starbucks (girlfriends) or amazon (everyone) gift cards are the best way to say I don't really give a damn. But actually, I do give a damn otherwise I wouldn't have bought it.

Perfume / Jewellery.

Women like this stuff. I personally don't go too fancy because everyone's taste differs and I am not really a perfume / jewellery gal myself so you know, bit out of my bubble. However, if you have a best friend to buy for, might I recommend this little pretty from Kate Spade? I bought it for my bestie as a thank you for being my MOH and she says she loves it, so.... It comes in gold and silver and is called the bridesmaid bangle. There is even a MOH one that is adorable and says 'the hocus to my pocus' among other cute things and OMG I want it, too bad I'm never going to be anyone's MOH.

bridesmaid / maid of honor bangles
but these would be perfect for besties or sisters regardless of whether there is a wedding involved


I know what you're thinking. Kristen, you give books as gifts, I'm SHOCKED. But I don't go round giving everyone Jane Austen books, I try to think about them and what they like. For example, I would not read it but I think my grandmother in-law would like the 'heaven is for real' book so I bought that for her. I bought a vegetarian cookbook for my mother in law because I know she has been trying to incorporate meatless meals in her life. Sometimes I search 'books for mothers, books for people who like dogs, books for religious people, books for people who liked Harry Potter' or whatever. Unless the person you are buying for hates life reading, a book is a good gift.

outlander / heaven is for real / the girl you left behind / forks over knives cookbook

A framed photo.

Nothing says Happy Christmas like a photo of your pretty face with their pretty face.


A coffee cup.

Everyone can use a mug, even if they don't drink coffee. I think I have bought a mug for everyone in my life for some reason... no-one has ever said they hated it!

doctor who / monogram mug / dog hair / downton abbey / presidential slogan

Candles or smelly stuff.

Bath and body works for the win. I got a bunch of candles and gift sets the other day on sale, yay.

winter candy apple

Wine or beer. Or liquor.

As long as they are over legal drinking age, but of course.

Scarves, gloves and beanies.

I love cold weather items for gifts now that I live somewhere it actually gets bloody cold. Gloves and beanies for men, gloves and scarves for women. I'm not big on scarves for men and neither are the men in my life.

fingerless gloves / j crew scarf / asos scarf / colourful beanie / cat beanie / mens gloves'


I promise this is not sponsored but seriously if you have a man in your life and he shaves... dollar shave club. Dooo eeet.

Notebooks or stationery.

Because who doesn't have shit to do?

only $10 for 2

A bow tie.

who doesn't want a bow tie

Also that was a joke. Unless you know someone who wears bow ties, in that case you are both awesome.

This striped top

Yeah I'm obsessed with this top and I think you should get it. The link isn't even an affiliate, cross my heart and hope to (not) die, I won't earn a cent. But you should buy it for yourself as a reward for getting all your Christmas shopping done! It is one size, a tad shapeless but that's why it's awesome. Long enough for the leggings as pants party, unless you are short and in that case it's a dress.


Ah these are fabulous ideas and ones I want to start doing maybe next year. Ideas like rock climbing, paint ball, a play, a wine + painting night for your girlfriends, perhaps some freezer meals for the new parents or a promise to babysit so they can have a date night, a basket full of snacks and a plan to see an outdoor movie.. the options are endless and I really think people in my life would enjoy them, so maybe yours would too.

7 gifts that can't go under the tree

Ok, hit me. I know everyone has a 'go-to' gift idea of some sort and I will never say no to more ideas in my arsenal. Whatcha got?