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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

What happens when you're sick... that you are so pissed at the world for a. making A sick on his holidays, b. then passing it on to me, and have it hang around for 2.5 weeks, and c. you have so much going on that you don't actually have time to rest and get better.

I woke up yesterday and felt so incredibly wonderful for the first time since Thursday 14 November 2013. Yup, it really was that long. Such a pain to be so ill, but not much can be done about it now.
In that two and a half weeks, once A was better, we rearranged the entire house. Thank goodness it's a large 1 bedroom apartment! While he did most of the furniture-moving, I supervised and helped out when he couldn't do it on his own. I also unpacked and strategically placed items and things from bookshelves etc. which was fairly draining. I'm still in the process of decluttering, but hopefully now that my energy stores are near on being replenished, I'll be able to attack it with ease and enthusiasm and get our little place back to tip top condition.

I haven't felt much like eating whilst sick, or stepping out of my pyjamas, but I had to do both, on occasion.
But, before I got sick, we went to Geelong for a haircut. We can both get our hair cut in Geelong for, on average, less than I can in Melbourne. 
This is what my hair was looking like pre-cut: a side fringe masquerading as a front fringe with ends going every which way. 

Here I am, day of cut (below), waiting in the car to head into A's doctor's appointment. Ironically, it was after this trip that he became ill (we were visiting for something unrelated).

For the first time in 5 years, I have a front fringe. And in this photo, I'm sporting my natural hair colour. The previous one still had a wee bit of colour from when I coloured my hair in March.
Three days later, on the Thursday, I coloured my hair. I was expecting my hair to become similar to the middle shade, based on the approximation of the colour sampler on the pack.

This is after applying the colour and washing out the excess.

It's not even close to ANY of the colour samples pictured. I wanted to be a light amber auburn, not deep auburn bordering mahogany! 
This was also the day that I got sick. Thursday 14 November was clearly not my day.

I had two interviews for uni placement during that time. I wasn't successful with one, and still waiting to hear from the other.

I'm becoming more confident in my skin (even if I have put on a few kilos) and wearing clothes I'm comfortable in. Behold outfit selfies.

Interview One outfit - cold and miserable; 21 November
Interview Two outfit - warm and sunshiny; 26 November
Five days between interviews and two completely different climates. Anyone would think I live in Melbourne.

By Saturday, 30 November, I was starting to feel much chipper, and gladly so as our beautiful friends married that day (see A and I with The Bride below). I wore the same dress I wore to Interview Two, only I froze all day, so also wore a beautiful shawl that I picked up at Forever New DFO what feels like a million years ago, but in reality was less than four.
'Twas an intimate and loving gathering, and one we feel very blessed to have been a part of. As The Bride and The Groom said in their vows, til death, or zombies, do us part.
The food, ambience, and mocktails at Centonove were beyond anything I could imagine. Just sensational. The portions were perfect, the dishes were perfect, and the service was amazing. All the fluids I consumed (no booze; mocktails and water only) made me feel super full, and super fat! Talk about fluid retention.

A, me, The Bride
'Twas late in the eve when this was taken, and my fringe was falling out of its curl, but it's still a beautiful picture!

Post weekend, despite hardly eating a thing given all the festivities (there was also a post-wedding barbeque on Sunday), all I could see was fat. Fat everywhere. My clothes agree. Garments are a touch on the snug side in some places, and not particularly flattering.
So, it's back on MFP for me. Day two of tracking and I haven't missed a thing yet. Today I was ravenous though, so when A walked through the door with cold chips and schnitzel after work, we demolished them. Not something I'm proud of but we don't have much in the way of food at the moment. I also think my body is trying to reclaim nutrients it missed out on whilst sick. Anyways, into MFP they go.

So, a bit of ramblings, not my usual style, but that's what's been going on in my life these last few weeks.
Wednesday Weigh In tomorrow, so will report back then.
For now, it's time to hit the hay!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

My Moment

The gorgeous Nicole at Turning "I can't" into "I can" one pound at a time posted a great reflection about her 'moment' last Friday. Couldn't have been a more timely reminder. You can read about my original moment here.

This time round, the moment happened for me on Friday when I tried on this gorgeous dress to wear to A's step-sister's engagement party Sunday just gone, and he said 'Nay'. That made me incredibly sad. I also became incredibly frustrated with myself for getting pudgy. Too much ice cream and too much pizza.

What actually made me stressed was the fact I want to wear it to a wedding on the 30th of November. We can't afford for me to buy a new outfit. I bought this a few months ago on sale and, although there is another dress I have spotted that is also on sale, I want to wear this.
I need to get back into my good habits and not give in to laziness. It would also do A the world of good too, he's got a suit he needs to fit into in February for his brother's wedding!

So, the gorgeous Honeysuckle dress is my moment. Hopefully with all the rearranging of furniture we're doing at home, I'll get a kick start in what needs to be done.

When or what was your moment?

Monday, 18 November 2013

Monday: Measurements and other stuff

I have been so completely busy today that I forgot to weigh myself this morning and forgot to take my measurements 'til a couple of hours ago.

Weight          80kg
Neck             35cm
Bust              105cm
Under Bust   92cm
Waist            94.5cm
Hips              117cm
Butt              112cm
Thigh            88cm
Arm              34cm

Today's food has been fairly good, including a small amount of dark chocolate. We've rearranged and cleaned the bedroom, so there's been lots of movement and burning of energy.
I haven't tracked on MFP or printed out my goal charts yet, but that can and will happen tomorrow, along with meal planning and pictures (I'm sick right now, so really don't fancy posting pasty selfies!)

Now it's time for pork eggplant hot pot leftovers from last night, and more rest!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Life got in the way, and I let it take control. Ooops.

Tomorrow I'm back on deck for weight loss! I've been SO flipping busy since finishing uni that I haven't even had time to think about me. Consequently, new dress I bought a few months ago to wear to a wedding in 2 weeks is now too tight in the mid section, my bras aren't fitting me any more, and I'm just generally feeling blah about my appearance.

I'll be doing my 5kg/2 months challenge I did when I lost all my weight last year; going to get back to blogging; hopefully get back into MFP which I found time consuming in the end...or maybe it just bored me? I don't know.
Anyway, my back is feeling pretty strong these days, and as long as the weather stays warm and dry, I will be back out pounding that pavement. I want to wear my swimsuit comfortably again this summer!

Weigh-in Wednesday is still my day; I don't think I can get used to it being any other day. I'm sure there is a mnemonic for the other days of the week pertaining to weight loss/weighing in, but honestly, Weigh-in Wednesday makes the most sense.
Before pictures and measurements will be posted, along with starting weight, tomorrow at some stage.

I'll try to blog Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you haven't seen me post anything, check in with me. I need to be accountable again!

So, until my post tomorrow, ¡hasta mañana!

Friday, 27 September 2013

The swimsuit journey continues

Why hello there. How are y'all doin' today?

I'm terrible, I said I'd try and write at least three times a week, and that didn't even happen. Perhaps I should aim for once a week instead. I was never good at keeping a diary as a kid, and a blog is pretty much that, only I don't tell you my deepest and darkest secrets ;)

Over the last few weeks since my last entry, I've kinda been laid up in bed in worlds of pain. You see, my back isn't taking too kindly to this coldish weather we're having here in Melbourne. So, I've just been laying here, doing not much of anything. Perfect time to blog, you say? Well, maybe not. I gotta have stories to tell y'all in order to do that!

A week ago, I got a message from Nicole at Turning "I can't" into "I can" asking me how I'm doing. I found Nicole through my friend, K. Nicole's from Canada, from the area K grew up in. K and Nicole's brother went to school together. But, I digress.
Nicole was checking in to see how I was doing, so I told her I'm not fabulous, but that I'm not bad, either. It also got me to thinking about content for this little ol' blog. 
I've realised that my swimsuit journey is still continuing, not because I'm not comfortable in my body, but because I actually haven't purchased a new swimsuit! Yup, I didn't end up getting myself a new one last summer. I was content that I was able to fit in to my existing one (plus the funds didn't really allow for a new suit). 
The other thing I've been thinking about is just writing about how good I feel, and what it's done for me mentally (even though I'm not out of the depths of doom and gloom, (and I really hope that doesn't offend anyone)) I'm still feeling MUCH better than what I was 18-24 months ago.

So, aside from the fact there is a family wedding to attend in February that I want to try and lose 5 - 7 kg for, I'd also like to get that new swimsuit. I want to spend time on the beach this summer!
The link earlier is last season's suits, but definitely still designs and cuts I'm chasing.

Suits Me Just Fine: Polka Spots

One piece swimsuit

Bettie Page one piece swimsuit
96 AUD -

One piece swimwear

Halter top

What do you think? Which one's your favourite?

Oh, by the way, I'm going on a small hiatus til my exams and assignments are done, so my next post probably won't be til end of October-early November.
Take care, and remember, one day at a time.


Monday, 2 September 2013

The third quarter: how did you fair?

Don't worry, it's not about AFL or any other sport. Appropriately titled though given AFL finals begins this week.

What I'm actually talking about is how you're fairing with any resolutions or goals you may have set yourself way back on 1 January 2013.
I hate making a list of resolutions. I have never really been fabulous at sticking to them. On 1 January 2013, I did write a list of things I want to achieve (see this post). If you're like me and don't always like clicking through posts, see here:

2013 - come at me

In this post here, I wrote about what I'd achieved so far 26 days into 2013. Here we are, on day 245/365, some 219 days later, and this is how my list stands:

  1. Be confident

    I'm not as confident as I was earlier in the year, that's for sure, but I'm not going down without a fight! Onward and upward!

  2. Learn new make up techniques

    I've definitely learned a thing or two after attending a vintage make-over/photo shoot in June, as well as playing along with the Fox in Flats Style Dares. Check out my Instagram feed for my take on the Style Dares from March - June.

    9 June 2013: Before and after
    Photos courtesy of Brook Orchard Photography
    Hair and Make Up by The Lindy Charm School for Girls

  3. Take risks

    I've taken some big risks this year, both personally and in my small biz.
    Let's just hope these big risks will pay off later down the track.
    There was also the fun risks, like mentioned above with the FIFSDs!

  4. Love myself enough

    I reckon that seeing as I've gained 3kg, I've loved myself a little too much but also that I'm being too harsh on myself given the circumstances surrounding my weight gain. Working on this one.

  5. Learn Spanish

    ¡Hola chicos y chicas! Hablo un poco español porque asisto clases lenguas español en mi universidad.

    I do not speak fluent Spanish. I barely speak enough Spanish to get through my classes. I have no idea if this is correct or not. As this post goes live, I'm actually taking deferred Spanish assessments because of my ill health from May - August.

  6. Make new friends

    Friendships are circumstantial. I'm learning that slowly.
    I lost my job because of a clash with uni this semester, so the contact isn't really there with those friends.
    There are people in this world whom I am forever grateful to. You support me through the good times and bad, and for that, I thank you and look forward to our future!

  7. Do well at uni

    Must say, rather pleased with my efforts last semester.
    If only they followed through to this semester.....

  8. Be the best lover to my partner

    Only one person can be the judge of that, but I'd like to think I am doing a good job.

  9. Start jogging again

    Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances with my back, jogging is on the back burner. It was there on the front burner in May before I hurt myself, so this is a good thing! At least I know that when the weather warms up and my strength returns, I'll be able to hopefully get back into it.

  10. Build my business

    Little Goldfish Invitations & Stationery has a website now, and I'm slowly getting more content to it. I won't be doing any more markets in 2013 for a few reasons, but once the weather continues doing what it has been here in Melbourne (sunshiny, glorious, beautiful), I'll be able to get out and take some hopefully nice photos of my wares to sell on my site.

  11. Wear a bikini

    Wish I hadn't have lost my mojo earlier in the year. We'll put this one on the list for summer 2014/2015.

  12. Be a better friend, daughter, and granddaughter

    Again, I can't answer this, but I'd like to think I've improved. I mentioned earlier that friendship is relative to proximity, and I think this also plays a big part in my not-s0-great ways, but I do try.

Now it's time I take heed of my own words, and love myself enough to get through this next phase of my weight loss journey!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Spring Cleaning is not just for the house

Spring, spring, spring!

Oh boy, it's here, it's here, it's here! Spring! Too many exclamation marks? Here, have another!
I love spring. It's A's favourite season too. Hopefully it's kind to us both after the dreadful winter we had.

First things first - notice a bit of an overhaul to my blog's appearance? I had been searching for something lovely, something beautiful, for quite a long time, searching mostly for 'Free Blogger Templates'. Today, I searched for 'Blogger Templates', and got some fabulous hits. I got this 'Love Me' theme here
Second, you may have noticed that I'm actually publishing content on here after a two month hiatus, and prior to that, entries were published sparingly, too.
Thirdly, I said we had a dreadful winter. Three kilos of dreadful for me, a combination of factors really. It could have been worse, but 3kg is still bad enough. My back hasn't been the greatest since May, rendering me immobile for a total of around 8 weeks, though not all at once. This is where my 3kg gain came from. The only way is up! I'm seeing the physio regularly again, and hopefully come time for wedding season (dear friends in November, A's brother in February), I want to be looking and feeling great.

Yesterday, we went on a slow but long walk. I've realised today I pushed myself a bit too far. I've just mapped the circuit out for you to see how far we walked. We were gone for an hour and twenty minutes. This included stopping for 10 minutes (thanks to the queues of people in Acland Street) to get gelato from 7 Apples, and stopping on the foreshore to witness the commotion of the seven MFB (every time I see a firetruck, I still go to say CFA. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl, right?) trucks at the iconic Edgewater Towers. Click here to see what I'm talking about. We saw the aftermath when the firefighters were clearing the building. I think we were stopped here for 5 or so minutes, too. 
Approximately 15-20 minutes of stalling in our 1 hour 20 minute casual stroll. Google Maps says the very exact 5km route we took should take 1 hour and 3 minutes at a regular pace (the average human being walks at a pace of around 4-5km/h).

5km: Elwood - S. Kilda - Elwood

I'm not going to lie, I am rather sore today, indicating I pushed myself too hard, but I can walk this circuit in under an hour when I'm walking at my regular pace (A usually struggles to keep up with me).
Fingers crossed that with continual physio visits and getting ourselves back onto the balanced diet and meal planning bandwagon, 75kg by 31 October might be achievable.
I've started logging on MyFitnessPal again today, and writing here (I'm going to try to do it at least three times a week) to make myself accountable.

Have you been following me on Instagram? You can find the most up to date pictures of me there. But for now, here's one from 18 August when we celebrated A's 30th birthday, and just 3 days before my 29th birthday.

18 August 2013
Hasta luego chicas!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

I really need to find my mojo for writing and keeping on the weight loss bandwagon. Not that I've gained, I'm actually doing quite well at maintaining/fluctuating.

For anyone who does read what I write, thank you, and my apologies for the sporadic posts. I was never good with keeping a diary as a young'un, so I really don't hold out much for this blog, either. We'll see.

Last time round, I said that I'd explore the question of when something is too much further. Three months have passed and I really can't remember what I was going to continue with. My bad. 

We're now in to the sixth month of the year, which is really quite scary. I keep making (and breaking) all these promises to myself that "I will get my weight loss mojo back", "I will start meal planning again", "I will be more focused", but so far, they're not happening.

I've lost 20kgs. Am I proud of myself? Bet your bottom dollar I am. But right now, I'm at a stage in my life where I am REALLY happy being where I am. Sure, I want to lose more weight, I want to get rid of this freaking stomach (that's my problem area), but overall, I'm happy. I'm content. I know I need to make improvements in areas, and I need to make the time to meal plan again (right now, it's the end of semester (fact: three months since I've written, and for those three months I've been underground with uni work. Coincidence?) so I'm crazy busy with study), and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get that action plan happening once it's all over.

Yesterday was the first of June. I took my measurements (in centimetres) for the first time since 27 August 2012. Have a look, tell me what you think. I know what I think.

So, until next time. Who knows when that will be. Next time, I might even have some then and now pictures for you to.
In the meantime though, head on over to Little Goldfish Invitations & Stationery. It's my biz page. I'm really focusing on building my biz so that when I have times like these (in case you didn't know, my back has been on the fritz and had me out of action for 3-4 weeks now) I know that I can still have a stream of income of some sort.

Don't lose sight of your goals, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't achieve anything. Believe in yourself and you will go anywhere you want.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

At what point is something "too much"?

Warning: probably no images in this post.

On Saturday, A and I took my little business to a market. It was very slow going in terms of traffic and sales. People took my business card, so we'll see what comes of that.
When you're at markets, you tend to talk to the stallholders around you - after all, you're all there for the same thing and that is to promote your wares and get your name out there. Oh, and maybe sell some stuff and make some cash.

Somehow, I got to talking to the lady next to me (who sold earrings and necklaces) about my weight loss. She did not hide the fact that she was in her 50s, 51 I believe she said she was, and that she's lost 10kg since cutting out sugar from her diet. I told her how I have lost almost 20kgs, and she asked how I did it. I told her MFP, subtle and not so subtle changes in eating habits, and a little exercise when I could. She was very impressed, and went on to say that she reckons she's been dieting ever since she's been 12. Now, although I'm on the road to self-improvement, it's not my place to comment on someone's appearance and goals unless asked. Our conversation was continuing and I mentioned how I would like to lose another 10kg. 
This lady wears plus-sized clothing, has her own designer-recycled plus-sized clothing store, and is herself trying to lose weight.
I was absolutely flabbergasted to say the least to her reaction when I told her about wanting to lose another 10kg. She told me I would look anorexic and disgusting. Anorexic. Disgusting. What!? In my confusion, and wanting to keep the peace, I fumbled and stumbled over my words and said "Thank you, I take that as a compliment, I guess."

Her comments plagued me for the rest of the day, so much so that I need to write about it, and brings me to the question: At what point is something "too much"?

I've lost 18kg since 18 April 2012. I'm plateauing. I'm stressed. How do I know I'm stressed? I'm eating pizza and other carby carbs in the same day. I'm eating carby carbs multiple times a week. The scales aren't budging, so I'm not doing anything about it. I know I need to be, but my head isn't in the right space. I have f*cked around saying this that and the other about why I haven't lost any weight for a while, but fact of the matter is that there are other things in my life that are placing stress on me right now (really, I am okay, it's nothing I can't handle) and although I did develop this awesome habit of eating healthily and keeping track, it's slowly sliding away and all that goes with it.
Shit, there's no denying that I don't want that weight to pile back on. F*ck no. I would be so utterly depressed, devastated and angry at myself. Only I can pull myself out of this rut. But when?

Moving forward. Enough digression. Back to the question: At what point is something "too much?"

Background on me

Height: 156cm/5'2"
Start Weight - April 2012: 98kg
Current Weight - March 2013: 80kg
Start BMI: 40 - Obese
Current BMI: 32 - Obese
Ideal weight for my height: 45 - 61kg
Ideal BMI for my height: 18.5 - 25 - Healthy
(information calculated at Heart Foundation Australia)

This image here to the left (click on it, make it bigger, don't strain your eyes!) is where I was in April 2012 (and if I'm not careful, with the way I'm going, will end up back there :( ).

Now, BMIs are to be taken with a grain of salt - even the Heart Foundation website says so. However, health care professionals tend to judge you based on these numbers.
A tells me all the time I have an athletic build: my shoulders are broad, I have muscly calves and upper arms (I'd like to say my thighs are muscly but I'm sure it's cellulite/fat), however I always wonder if that's right.
I conferred with a girlfriend, R, who confirmed my suspicions - I'm an hourglass. I'd almost go so far as to say I'm a neat/perfect hourglass. It's very hard to tell your shape from any of these BMI images though as they're quite generic.
So, back to the hourglass. I'm balanced on top and bottom with a slender waist - got to love writing those words about myself. Despite this, I still have a tummy. It's my biggest problem area. And (cardinal sin, I know), of late, I've noticed it's getting just that little bit more rotund: clothing/underwear is a little more snug around the tum-tum, which means I've let myself get out of the good habits. OH NO!
I started this post on Saturday. It's taken up lots of my thought processes, distracted me from uni homework (oops...), and is taking far too long to write. Sometimes, that happens though. 

On Sunday, as much of an awful thing that it is, I feel like I was given a second chance at this weight loss game. A had a very major car accident just 300m from home. He's okay, not a scratch on him, but I can't say the same for our car. We're assuming that it's a write-off. Not so much fun there. Car hunting, bleurgh. However, as poor uni students, we're going to take our time and save up to get something half decent. If that means we're without a car for 12 months, so be it. Where we live, we have the tram 300m away (pretty much where A had his accident, give or take a few metres), the bus that goes directly to A's work is 500m away, and the train is 700m away. Car, schmar. Did I mention the environmental benefits, too? We're now carless, and doing our bit even more. A's thinking about getting a bicycle for his main mode of transport, and as for me, well I've been relying on Melbourne's PT network for almost 2 years now. Piece of cake. 
Now, how do I feel as though I've been given a second chance at weight loss? We're now forced to take more sustainable modes of transport. Walking, cycling, PT. Now that there isn't a car, I can't get A to pick me up from work, I have to walk 1km from work to the train station and vice versa. In walking from home --> station, station --> work, I will clock up 3.4km a day. 

With that in mind, this is what I currently look like, according to The Heart Foundation's BMI calculator. I really can't see too much of a difference in these images, which is total crap, because on my body, I can. As you can also see, I'm just two categories away from no longer being obese. Instead, my goal of 70kg will be classed as being overweight! Ha! Anyway, back to this second chance. It's a damned awful situation as to why I'm getting serious again - ironic though, the first reason I decided to do this weight loss thing was because of the loss of a loved one in a car accident. After A's smash, I realised that it could have been much worse, and that we needed to begin to look after ourselves again (even he's got a bit of a pot belly happening, sorry honey!). I know we could have made better choices, but all that hot weather we had here in Melbourne recently really tugged at our desire for ice cream. We couldn't give in. We didn't have it every night, but frequently. Throw in a few too many pizza orders, and you got yourself a nice, big, bloated stomach that will stick around for quite a while to come. Unless you're ready to do something about it.

A while back, I said that I was ready to do this again. In fact, I may have said it a couple of times. Pish posh. Nothing happened, clearly. I'm still fluctuating between 80 and 81 kilograms. For the most part, it's around 80.5kg. I'm okay with that. And there's my problem - I am okay with that. Being okay with something when you want to be somewhere else is really not a good thing. You need to change that mindset. You need to readdress where you're headed and how you'll get there. Well, I think I managed to find that train again. 

Today, for the first time in I don't know how long, I logged my food on MFP. Holy shit, any wonder I am plateauing in a major way - I ate twice today. TWICE. I used to eat SIX times a day. I would guzzle water like it went out of fashion, and I would be in bed before midnight. Well, I'm in bed before midnight right now, but I have the computer on writing this, when I really should be reading articles for discussion at 11:30am tomorrow. Old Hollie's habits are really coming back with a vengeance. Not good at all. Hopefully the fact that I have outwardly said so will keep me in check.

On that note, I should probably get back to reading my articles, but I leave you with this: At what point is something "too much"?
In the next post, I'll explore this some more.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Blogs: Who I'm Following

What is a blog?

Urban Dictionary has this to say about a blog:

January 11, 2005 Urban Word of the Day
Short for weblog.
A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life. Consists of such riveting entries as "homework sucks" and "I slept until noon today."

v. intr.
The act of posting to a weblog.

When it comes to my blog, I tend to agree. I do meander. That said, my meandering has received a bit of praise from those who do read it, and for that I am very thankful. 
As a blogger, I like to hope that people are following me. I can see that there are 5 people who subscribe, and I could name you individually, but you know who you are! Then there are my friends who tell me they read my blog and they comment about this and that and that makes me feel just as good - so again, thank you!
I just hope that for anyone who randomly reads finds what I write even half interesting.
So, getting to topic - blogs that I follow.
I have a whole list of stuff in my blogger dashboard that I subscribe to. Crafty blogs most of them, but you know, I confess, they're not the ones I read - whoops! Apologies if any of you read my little ditty.
The list below is of those I follow semi-regularly. I say semi-regularly because for me, reading blogs is something I do when I remember (after the addictions of Facebook, the forum I help moderate, Pinterest, Polyvore, and Instagram). Most of them are fashion and lifestyle blogs. I am a woman, it's to be expected.

Business Chic

I came across Business Chic through Caroline at 17 Laps Marketing.  
Business Chic - Cheryl - is one woman, a very stylish woman at that, writing about and  photographing her fellow Melburnians and their corporate style.
See Cheryl for the entire month of March as she exhibits at Melbourne Central as part of the Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival with her infamous Little Black Dress Project (which went to print this week - hurrah!).
Oh, and did I mention that I actually work with Cheryl!? World = Small.

Image courtesy of

A Girl and Her Pugs

Image courtesy of
A Girl and Her Pugs is exactly that - a mid/late twenties Adeladian woman blogging about her life, her hubby, and their two pooches. Ms Puggy, as she calls herself, has just made a career change back into the world she left not long before returning. Alas, her posts are now once a week, but always provide me with good laughs, food and interior inspiration, as well as the knowledge of where to take A for good coffee if we ever head to Adelaide.
I came across Ms Puggy from the forum I help moderate.

A Girl and Some Clothes

Image courtesy of

Guess what?! Ms Puggy also has a blog for fashion and style, again focussing on corporate wear, but also with some less corporate outfits as well.  Ms Puggy likes to style pieces readily available or easily shipped to Australia.
This lady also has some serious style. I get itchy waiting for her Polyvore sets to appear on her blog.


Where do I start with Yvonne's blog? 
Yvonne is my mum's childhood friend. Yvonne's beautiful daughter Aimee is my friend (rest in peace beautiful girl), along with her sons Lachlan and Stuart. We all spent our childhood in a small town outside of Geelong, mum and Yvonne included.
Now, Yvonne is living in the Blue Mountains. She just won Star Central Magazine's Blogger of the Year for 2012 (well done, Yvonne!).
Her blog is much more ordered than mine, and is about ", love, loss, laughter, and larrikins".
If you think that you can never relate to anything, go and read Yvonne's blog*. Pretty sure your life will change. 

* warning - tissues are required

Image courtesy of

Cheeky Pickle

Image courtesy of
I actually stumbled across Ali's blog after being told about Ali's 'Cheeky Chats' on tickle the imagination by A's step sister, D (who owns Fashion Deli, stockist of all that is awesome in the realm of kids, and LGIS merch when I have the time...and hopefully that's all gonna change this year).
Ali and her hubby moved to Australia from the UK about 7 or 8 years ago now. Ali is a successful 'mumpreneur' and someone whom I admire. Her drive and determination for her business has stirred the fire in my belly to really push Little Goldfish this year - thanks, Ali!


If you're in the blogosphere, this one needs no introduction. In fact, if you're on any form of social media, you will know all about Fat Mum Slim. Chantelle Ellem's blog makes me feel like I'm there living her life with her. I'm pretty sure a lot of other readers would have the same, or similar, sentiments. Her awesome Photo A Day challenges every month have created a buzz in phone photography. I finally got the bug and joined in for February (in fact, I think I'll be doing a whole post dedicated to my shots each this space). Chantelle has provided yet another opportunity for all the strangers on this planet to connect with social media through the use of the infamous #fmsphotoaday on instagram and twitter, as well as creating a Facebook group especially for those around the globe partaking in the challenge.

Image courtesy of


Image courtesy of

Now, I have only just discovered Fox in Flats a few weeks ago through Business Chic on Instagram. A blog for the fashion conscious mum, (yes, I know I'm not a mum, but heck, I have a new-found body after losing all that weight!) Andrea really does inspire mums around Australia, and the world!
Andrea's got a Style Dare A Day going on as well - and this month, I'm playing! Talk about getting out of my comfort zone, the first one for the month of March was 'Grr!'. I don't do animal prints for anyone. Anyone. But, I did it for the Style Dare (see below). I don't own them - yet. I had to be creative. Everywhere I looked today - there was something animal print. What's your verdict on my venture into animal print?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Rockets, carbs and sugars, sickness, and disruptions

Pretty random title, right? So goes my life.

This blog started out as a way in which I would communicate and semi-diarise my weight loss. It's kind of turned into all things but that of late. This entry is no exception.


A week and a half ago, out of nowhere, I had a major rocket that was let off in my head. I decided that this was the year for me to grow my business, Little Goldfish Invitations & Stationery. Out of nowhere I had all this motivation. I arranged a meeting with a marketing guru, I started to set up my Hand-Made store, and am also in the process of setting up my MadeIt store, however that one is nowhere near as ready as Hand-Made. 
A and I discussed it - wait, who am I kidding, I finally decided that maybe he's right and I should spend the money on promoting my business. So really, there was no discussion. I simply said to him that I'm doing it and that although I feel bad for spending the money, if I want to go anywhere, I need to spend the money. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and basically said "I told you so." It's not often that he says that because, let's face it, when are men ever right!?  (A, I do love you if you are reading this!)
I met with my marketing guru on the Saturday. She planted lots of seeds in my head. We had a lovely brunch at Spout. I was really good though and had my weight loss at the front of my mind, next to business/marketing strategy talk of course, and ordered the Fruit Salad. Now, I've been to Spout a few times, heck, it's less than a kilometre from our place, but I'd never had the FS. OMG. Delicious. That creamy yoghurt (for the record, I say yog-ert, not yo-gert - just like Alan Rickman does) is absolutely divine! Must ask them what brand it is next time I'm there. Wonder if they'll give that info up though!?
Anyway, after our 2 hour session, I came home and spent 3 hours researching where I wanted to be in 2013. I've semi-figured out what markets I'd like to scope out to possibly attend, now I just need to fit them into my calendar and see how they roll.
However, you will find me at Indie Market Place in Camberwell on Saturday the 16th of March, and again at South Melbourne on Sunday the 21st of April.

Carbs and sugars

Oh goodness me. I am fairly sure I inhaled a whole week's worth of carbs in one day. And they were white, starchy, sugary carbs. I loved it. What is going on with me? Oh, I know. I went to Baker's Delight (my dad's best mate owns a couple back in my hometown). It was nice, he wasn't there so I actually got to pay for my food for once! 
Don't get me wrong, I felt guilty when we got home, and maybe when I had my fourth mini jam scroll thing, but gosh darn it was fab. Just fab. A lazy day on the foreshore with E, C, M and A, picnicking and enjoying the sun (gosh I hate the English language sometimes. There is no 'k' in picnic, so why on earth does the word become 'picnicking'!)
Along with these, over the last few weeks, it's been rather hot, and we've been working late, which has seen a slight increase of pizza and ice cream in our diet. Not to mention the fact that my work team's awesome supervisor just finished up a few days ago, so the last two weeks at work were sugar fests. I demonstrated no self control. I admit it. My clothes still fit me, I'm doing okay. 
Despite this, I am pretty motivated to lose another 15kg (oh yeah, Wednesday Weigh In last week said 80kg. EIGHTY. EIGHT ZERO). I think I need to find something else to motivate me though. My - whoops, digression at its best! Back to the carbs and sugars. I know what I am doing is 'wrong' - wrong as in I will fall into my old habits if I'm not careful; that I should care when I am consuming but I don't; that I should make more effort to plan again, but I'm not. We are going grocery shopping though tomorrow so hopefully things will be okay. This is a big thing (grocery shopping) as we usually buy things every day, so the fact that tomorrow marks the second time in a fortnight is somewhat a miracle. Let's hope we can keep it up (even if the days have to change).


Apparently my body is not superhuman after all. Gutted. I've been sick for since Sunday of last week (9 days and counting). I put off going to the doctor until Saturday. Went back yesterday and got the all clear. Woke up this morning and felt pretty poorly, so didn't go to work. In hindsight, despite resting all weekend, I should have not worked yesterday. That said, how I was feeling today could also have been attributed to night 9 of pretty much no sleep due to the inexplicable (well, really, who am I kidding, it is summer!) heat we have had. Cue Melbourne weather - today is horribly cold and miserable. Yay! 
So, today has been rest. I haven't done anything. I've eaten two plain wholegrain wraps, a plum, and a yellow nectarine. I've watched Mad Men (season 5, I'm almost caught up, yay!) and I've tried to write this blog (did I tell you that I actually started it about 8 days ago?). I'm satisfied that it's almost finished. I'm also happy that I have the stirrings of the next post in my head - perhaps I should draft it tonight!


The disruption isn't as massive as what I made it out to be when I titled this post. However, at the time it arrived, it was a major pain in the butt (and very much a first world problem). As you may (or may not, if this is the first post you're reading) know, I'm a full time uni student. I'm about to start my third year in a B. Urban and Regional Planning. At the end of last year, my university decided to do a reshuffle of the BURP program. This affected my year level as the one subject we were all looking forward to doing - Transport Planning with one very passionate doctor (holy crap! he has his own Wikipedia page) - however the reshuffle moved it back to second semester, second year. We now can't do it until second semester, final year. Did I mention it was a cool subject, AND a core subject fundamental to our graduation?! There it is again - digression. Obviously, we have now got a gaping hole in our timetable that can be filled with whatever we like (provided the university offers it, of course). After months and months of academics and administration staff fluffing around, we decided to go and find stuff on our own instead of waiting for the list. I ended up choosing Strategies for Sustainability, seeing as how it's something I'm quite interested in. Hurrah, finally settled. Until last week when I got an email saying that it had been cancelled and I now had to find another elective. Freaking hell. Are you serious? It took me FOREVER to pick that. Back to square one. 
Nothing else really took my fancy when I was looking originally. I tried to expand my horizons - I even thought of doing a subject that teaches you honours research techniques. Boring. Then I recalled something that is always at the back of my mind from O Week - "If you're going to learn a language as a planner here at RMIT, learn a Chinese language or Spanish." Thanks John Jackson for those wonderful words.
Remember my declaration in this post? I tried, I really did. I contacted a bunch of people on Gumtree about Spanish (and Chinese!!) conversation, and they were just failures. They were terrible at arranging a time to meet/reply to emails and messages. I even borrowed Spanish for Dummies from a friend. As fate would have it, I am now enrolled in Spanish 1 at RMIT. Hurrah! Cross another one off my list! Only problem is that I have to pursue it myself outside of this semester as there is no room in my program after that. Boohoo.

So, there you have it. The very insides of my head in a nutshell. Some may say that the insides of my head ARE the size of a nutshell. 

Next post will talk about bloggers I've been following, me on Instagram, and will have some photos, I promise!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Standards: Clothing. Self. People.

It's been 25 days since my last blog post. I wrote about what I wanted to achieve in 2013 (see here). So far, I can definitely say I've had a RHG (if I wanted to be all technical, which I usually am, it should probably be 'an RHG', given that the letter R is pronounced 'arh' and therefore constitutes a vowel-sounding pronunciation) at numbers 1, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 12. That's over half of them. In 26 days. There's still 339 days left to go. Here's what I've done (maybe not in so much detail) to get going on them:

1. Be confident

There are a few ways that this has been achieved. 

  • Given my new-found (old) shape, I've started experimenting more with outfits and hair and makeup. I've dressed up to go to work (see below pictures (and apologies for the horrible images, my phone really is that bad - roll on March when I can get a new one)) which is something that I wouldn't normally do. I've had a few compliments too, which gives me the confidence to try and try again.

  • There's been a few personal issues that I would have usually ignored (and for privacy reasons I don't want to divulge any further, sorry) but I took a stand and voiced my opinion and shared my feelings. The old me (from another chapter in my life) would have just let the feelings be subdued and I would have forged on without listening to myself. The few people I have shared my problems with have told me that it takes real guts to do what I did, so for that, I thank them for their honesty and support.
3.  Take risks

The risks I have taken can be attributed to the confidence I have gained, so really can't go into too much detail here, other than these risks have succeeded so far!

5. Learn Spanish

I contacted a few people who posted ads on Gumtree offering Spanish for English. Heck, I even answered an add for someone offering Chinese for English. Can't hurt, right? Despite my best efforts, nothing further has come of this. There was one or two emails or texts exchanged, and nothing further. I also think I ought to put up my own ad on Gumtree offering English for Spanish. I'm too poor right now to get Spanish tuition, but once our finances start to build up, it might be an option.
However, I have borrowed 'Spanish For Dummies' from a good friend to help me in my plight. His partner (also of course a good friend!) speaks fluent Spanish as her family is Argentinian. Now, I must start reading that book and perhaps investing in English/Spanish dictionaries etc.

6. Make new friends

Given that I started working at a new place of employment just before November, I am kind of on the way to making new friends. Some of the friendships have started to extend to the realms of social media, however this may also be due to the fact that adding new people to social media outlets is the done thing. I don't know. Anyway, these work friends are pretty cool, and maybe hanging out outside of work could eventuate. You just never now.

8. Be the best lover to my partner

I'd like to think that I'm doing okay in this department. This goal's intention is entirely G-rated too, by the way. I have cleaned away some stuff in order for A to build his Christmas present - a Lego Kombi Van. I provide words of support and encouragement when he practises playing guitar (which I absolutely love to listen to him playing!). I do housework when I'm physically capable. I don't ask that he picks me up from work every night (or any night other than when we have plans, in fact). I love him. A, what do you think? Am I doing okay? How can I improve?

12. Be a better friend, daughter and grandaughter

So, this one is a partial achievement, seeing as how I haven't really given much action to the last two. I need to work on those a lot.
However, I am trying to rebuild and then maintain existing friendships. Life happens. Things get in the way. But sometimes we just take friends for granted. I know that I have done this, and also been on the receiving end. It sucks. It hurts like hell. Last year, I made a big decision to leave a lot of people behind because I clearly valued the friendship more than they did. This year, I am trying to make the effort with family and friends. 
The last place I worked, I met three fabulous ladies: Hayley, Lena and Olivia. In the office, we were quite close. We would try and see each other often outside of the office. Liv left first, then me, then Hayley. Lena is still there. The four of us have not been together in almost two years. Of course, we still use modern technology to keep in touch, however face time has been lacking.
I had lunch with Lena a few weeks ago (wearing the red cardi/skirt combo up there), and as I was walking to our meeting point, I happened to run into Hayley! It was fab! Hayley came and saw Lena quickly as well, but then went out for some Vitamin D.
Lena and I enjoyed our lunch and our catch up, and it was decided that we really all needed to catch up again. That night, or the few days later, Lena organised a dinner date. Cue calendar clashes and things arising out of the blue once a date was decided, but I think we have now got a date for dinner, even if it's postponed for another month. As long as we get there in the end, everything will be okay. I'd really like to see if we can do it every month, or every two months. That would be brilliant.
There have been other friends too whom I've rebonded with this year - Kat, Rach J ('cause I have three Rachs in my life!) and Saabira. I'm hoping to continue to nurture these friendships as the year progresses, and rebond with many, many more people as well!

Why is it that some people, including me, think that family will always be there? I haven't spoken to my grandfather since Christmas Day, but I hope to see him this weekend. I have spoken to my parents a few times, and the same for my brother. Granted, given that we live in different cities, and in my brother's case, different states (not only does he live interstate, but he also works in another different state!), co-ordinating schedules and/or seeing each other regularly is never going to be an easy task, however telephones aren't a recent invention. 
That said, I always say to A on the topic of familial contact: "Your parents and grandparents worry when they don't hear from you; my parents and grandparents worry when they do!"
Here's hoping 2013 will be a better year for family and friendship nurturing.

As for the weight stuffs...

This weight loss journey has really come to a grinding halt. I don't know why, I still have 16 kilos I'd like to lose. One day, I think I've found my mojo, and just as quick as it arrives, it goes again. 

Twenty-six days in to 2013 (yay, Australia Day!) I am still 3 kilos away from where I wanted to be on 31 December 2012. I know I want to keep going with the weight loss, and I've had a few suggestions as to how to get back on track, but I am all meh about the whole thing. Now though, it's time to stop focusing on the negatives and get back on the positive train.

I have tried multiple times to write a blog post since my last entry. I have failed miserably. Is it because I have been busy? Is it because I have been lazy? Is it because I have been upset? Frankly, I have no idea whatsoever.
I've tried meal planning, I've tried budget planning for grocery shopping, I've tried to exercise. Nothing. I have told myself and others that I want to look fabulous in A's graduation photos sometime in August. Even that hasn't spurred me on.
I just checked for certain on his university's website for an exact date, but it just says August. Right. I need to get serious. I have 6 months to lose 16 kilos. That's 2.66 kilos per month. I was really, really good over the Christmas break. I didn't eat the copious amounts of shitty foods I used to.

My problem is entirely psychological, and I'm pretty sure that others will also identify with this: I can now fit into lots and lots of clothes and I feel fantastic in them, so ice cream and pizza aren't going to hurt too much, are they? Wrong. That, and all the other crap you have been eating make you feel bloated and you don't see any movement on the scales. They didn't go up, but they didn't go down.

Yesterday, I went shopping with Rach J. We hadn't seen each other since we saw Hanson in September. Yes, Hanson. THE Hanson. *swoon* Rach J has just been to see them in L.A. and Jamaica. *swoon* Cue jealousy. So happy though she got to have the time of her life over there, and it was fabulous to hear all about it yesterday!
Anyway, back to our shopping. We went to Chadstone. We did lots of walking. We ate lunch. We continued walking and shopping. Window shopping and actual shopping. Poor Rach though. I took two things into the change rooms at Sportsgirl (WTF!, I can wear things from Sportsgirl?!). One of them was horrendous on me (an oversized yellow v-neck lightweight knit), so the change room assistant went out and brought back a crew neck oversized lightweight knit in red. Colour works, size didn't (M-L). Tried on the S-M (again, wtf!?), still no dice. Same awesome assistant who wasn't a Barbie but a real person came back with two other lightweight knits in different shades of pink. These knits were much shorter, too, in comparison to the others. Instead of finishing halfway down my thighs, they finished at my hips. Perfect. It appears that we were on to a winner at last.
The first one I tried on was perfect in every way! Thank you very much, I'll laybuy that one. And, the size is M. Medium. Average. In the middle. 
The second one wasn't really so awesome. I didn't like the cut. The colour was okay-ish, but not fantastic. The change room assistant was also honest and told me it wasn't as awesome as the first one, and that at the end of the day, I had to be comfortable in what I was wearing. Kudos to her.
Finally, I got to try on the original second item I took into the change rooms. Oh, I was in love with this mint dress (the Sportsgirl site says it's aqua, but even the shop assistants said mint before I even said it) from the moment I saw it on the rack. One thing I wasn't particularly impressed with though was the low-cut arm holes. One could see a lot of side boob if a singlet or bandeau is not worn. I popped the dress on (thankfully I was wearing a singlet underneath, and a thickish one at that. I started doing the dress up, and then ran into some trouble. The stupid invisible zip wouldn't do up over the seam of the dress. Damn it. I got the assistant to help me, who couldn't do it on her own and had to get another assistant to help. Awesome. Anyway, we got the dress done up and there was room to spare (16). Winning! The only thing that was really bothering me was the side boob viewing factor. We discussed the options - tacking fabric to your bra so it's interchangeable, or wearing a bandeau. I was sold. This morning when I woke up, I had a brilliant idea: instead of tacking fabric to your bra, pop some press studs on the inside of the dress and on said interchangeable pieces of fabric. Winning!
I also purchased a beautiful purple cable knit jumper from Dangerfield. In a 12. Again, a 12. How on earth does this happen? I really need to take my measurements tomorrow. It's been 5 months since I did so.
There were also some cute underwear purchases from Cotton On, and some head ties from Dangerfield. Below are stock images of the items of clothing.

What did I learn from our shopping expedition?

1. Sizing clearly isn't standard.
2. Don't discount shops you wouldn't usually shop in.
3. Buy things you love and can see yourself wearing. Don't buy it just because it is 'in'.
4. If something BRAND NEW is on the rack and it's already damaged, how damaged is it going to get when you actually wear it (sorry, Forever New, but you did just lose a $100 sale from me)?
5. Always go with a good friend who will give you honest advice!
6. Go in with an open mind.
7. Stick to your budget. I could have spent all my money in Review, but I didn't. I didn't buy anything from Review. In fact, I all of my take home purchases were clearance items or multi-buys.

So, I have plugged today's food consumption in to MFP. I must do this religiously again. Didn't start today off well with skipping breakfast but I was apparently still tired.
Tonight's dinner is Lamb Rogan Josh made by A (from scratch) with some quinoa. Om. Nom. Nom. Hopefully we might watch a film, too.

I think that about does it for now. This is 25 days' worth of information. Will take measurements tomorrow and compare from August's measurements.