Friday, June 22, 2012

Funk in my Trunk

I’m sure that junk can be included in that title too, but at the moment I’m going to talk about being in a funk!
Do you ever feel like you are literally standing still, paddling against the current, just not getting anywhere?  No? Yes? maybe just me?
Funks can come in different forms, maybe you’re over the 9-5 slog, maybe your head is bogged with study, maybe you are so quiet with work you don’t know what to do with yourself, maybe you are too busy you don't have time for yourself or maybe generally no matter how hard you try, life just doesn’t seem to progress or get any brighter.  Which starts a bit of a vicious cycle in your mind, some may say its depression – and maybe that does creep in – but how can you be depressed if you are generally happy, grateful and still hold positivity and laughter in your life? I simply put it down to “being in a funk”.
So starting at the beginning of this week I have challenged myself to fight the funk starting with my trunk!!
I post a lot of little jokes about my waistline or bootee’ which is all a bit of fun, after all how can we laugh when we can’t shake off and laugh at ourselves?
So this is where I struggle:  I don’t have the inbuilt psyche or inbuilt habits of doing fitness and sports.  The urge of jumping up out of bed and going for a run doesn’t come to me as a natural instinct.
Growing up I was always slimish.  Friends used to comment to me “How can you eat that and not gain weight” when I was tucking into a daily pie and coke or cookie and coke.  My answer, may sound a bit arrogant but it was honest “I just poop it out” followed by “don’t worry I’m sure it will bite me in the bum when I’m older!" ........  And that it has! …… No literally something has bitten me on the bum, it’s swollen!. You see I was always “Arty not Sporty” Sometimes I wish my younger self was a bit wiser in being this however.  As you can’t draw yourself a new pair of thighs :S
So now I eat a million times healthier than my younger self and have to work hard to keep my body resisting against aging, weight and lack of fitness.
I go through a range of issues when it comes to going to the gym.
Which starts with the actual motivation to get there.  Then comes the guilt factor of knowing that you have been donating to the charity of the gym.  This becomes ever more evident the minute you walk the door. The attendant smiles widely “Good Morning”. Yip it’s a good morning for you, I think to myself, I have just been paying your wages for the last month.  When you swipe my card, see my name all you see is VIP – Very Improbable Person ….. to come more than twice a month.
Then come the realisations,  the ones you are forced to face when starting the machines.  For example, the treadmill: First setting - “Fat burn” sounds goood, Time errrrm 20 minutes (its really 25, there is cool down after all), Age … hesitation … can’t believe that number starts with a 3 already … carry on … weight … well last time just before my wedding I was this but I’ll add a little .. sounds about right!  Earphones in (to avoid hearing my own heavy breathing) and we are off phwwweeeh. 
So after this I’m feeling good – should come more often really!  Next I go to the weights machines, in which have been now perfectly positioned facing the kid zone.  This is where I convince myself that keeping this membership (which is cutting into the budget) is worthwhile.  Because if we have children, I could come here, drop the kids off and have a bit of me fitness time. Who am I kidding, if I find this hard now, is it really going to happen with a potential child?  Plus mothers, I can hear you sniggling yeh right! .. you time, good luck.
So this is also where I weigh up the self fitness section in comparison to the class section of the gym, as I know in classes you always push yourself harder.  But let me tell you the last time I attended a class ….
I was 5 minutes late so you have the task of poking your nose through the door in order for the trainer to issue you attendance.  My response “yes that’s fine come in” .. great in I walk “I know what its like getting the kids to school” the trainer continues.  Errrrppppp (cue record scratch)
Kids ?%#.  So,  A. you think I’m old, old enough to have kids (plural) at school, kids in general.  B. You think I’m a mum trying to burn fat, baby fat maybe   Either way,  sheeesh, what an assumption.  So I brushed this off claiming Karma for being late and also had an interior giggle to myself of "Nup I just rolled my lazy butt out of bed".  I also know I can avoid this conundrum by going to earlier classes than 9 am but the one before this is something like 5.30am, seriously that is commitment.  Plus you are up at the crack of dawn with all that are trim taught and toned and are off to there professional professions.  
So don't go to the gym you say, go for a walk, run around the block.  This I do too, I love taking our dog to the park or going for sunset walks by the bay.  But I also know that my body doesn't feel half the effects on our pleasure strolls than when I fight that funk and move that junk. 
So from one chummy to another - How do you fight the fitness funk?,  I would love to know the tricks and tips you have for staying motivated to GET UP & MOVE IT ......... and if this isn't your funk, what is?  CAN YOU FIGHT IT??

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Nesting Quest

Well this weekend we are starting our nesting quest -  For quite simply more nest space. 
We are simplifying our living space and freshening up bit by bit (it is a long process) and turfing out the things we don’t need.  Because there is only so much crap that two people really need. 
I remember when I was younger we would have working bees around the house.  We would all chip in, Dad would clip the hedge and we would have to cart the clippings to the trailer,  we would throw in old belongings and take a trip to the tip it was such a drag and potentially – slave labour ;)  But now I love the weekends we get to spend around the house, improving, renovating, decorating or just planning and making our home more of a home.
So we have reno’ed our bedroom at the start of the year putting in a new ceiling, new architraves and painted.  So we (meaning Mr C) just has to rejuvenate one window in the bedroom, then we are awaiting new blinds yay.  There is something about our cardboard curtains at the moment that is very organic and creative but oh so very wrong.  Takes me back also to my younger days when Dad built us a new home and we had stunning sheet curtains held up by nails.  It was so embarrassing at the time; funny how it’s oh so acceptable when you’re all grown up and do similar things to save money, puts things into perspective when it’s your own pad.
Anyway, now we are onto our other room (two bedroom house), which is the office, which will eventually move out to our granny flat aka more stylish name “studio”.  So we need to gut the room and repaint.  And to create more space Mr C has purchased for a steal an attic ladder in which will go into our ceiling to put all the things (childhood bits and bobs) into.  Hence creating more space.
Because I don’t know if others are as fortunate (cue sarcasm) as I.  But the minute we bought our home my parents arrived at the door with all of my belongings, even some things that weren’t mine (Mothers clothes) to keep or discard at my leisure.  So while Ma and Pa live in their McMansion with oodles of space. (Exaggeration! however anything is big compared to our little home).  Our house is now like my buttocks trying to fit into year 2001 jeans – bursting at the seams.
So the attic/ceiling idea fulfills two main objectives.
1. To create space. 
2. Mr C’s obsession with Chevy Chase’s National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. 
So while he may at some stage sit up there wrapped in my Mums old scarf and fisherman rib jersey, listening to beach boys, watching old slides in the company of Punky the monkey.  Fantastic!!, hopefully and potentially I will be out shopping (like the movie) but if not I will be in the house lapping up the space.
So this is where I turn my negatives into positives.  Having a small home forces you to discard the things you don’t need or use.  You don’t need to keep absolutely everything.  Start getting realistic – go through old paperwork; bills, menus, cards and only keep the essential ones (they are not all essential!).  Go through your wardrobe – Are really going to wear that again. Are you going to fit it again?  I know, I know if you lose a bit of weight you could wear it again – but how long have you been saying this?  Is it weight or body change because some items are just not going to look the same.  I know it is depressing but remember this – think of how much wear you did get out of it.  You got your moneys worth; you looked great now maybe it is time to move on.  Replace and chuck out (put to the side for a little while if you can’t handle it) but it feels so much better to look into your wardrobe and see hot options then look in dismay at all the things that were once hot options.  I know it's hard - but just try it.
I always try and follow the rule - you buy something – you discard something.  And I pretty much am forced to do this with my teeny tiny wardrobe.  Of course I dream of a beautiful walk in wardrobe with all its fittings and shelves ahhhhhhh.  But this isn’t us now (keep dreaming, keep doing ;)  And to be honest would I then wear all that attire?  I myself am a stickler for favorites and also for little laundry and ironing. 
So keeping on track with nesting.  What can you do to improve your nest?  A little bit of a freshening with paint?  Chucking out unwanted items.  Reducing clutter in turn de-cluttering your life.
It really does declutter your mind, simplify life and also implements good habits.
After all it is only your mess you have to clean Chummies.

Have a great weekend

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Recession Dressin

So I’m not going to drone on about our economies current recession, as we hear enough about it on the news and radio and let face it.  It’s depressing!!
Depending on what country or industry we are in, we are all feeling it in different waves and ways.  Some businesses are flourishing and some are struggling and diminishing.
I myself am feeling the strain.  The industry I am in is feeling the effects at this time more than ever before. However, I cannot completely blame the economy as for me I personally have come to a crossroad in my career, in which I need to develop, grow and go out on a limb also to boost my business.
So whether you are sitting pretty at the moment – then fantastic.   Or if you are on Struggle Street we still need to remember we are not alone, learn to make do, improvise and always be grateful for what we do have.
So for us, we have always been homebodies and not huge socialites.  However it always feels great when we do have a bit of a date night, splurge and go out for dinner or go to the movies, catch up with friends or go to an event.  Events; I love being invited to events, birthdays, weddings, engagements whatever it is a great reason to get out in turn celebrating a special occasion. 
But with special occasion’s come costs and when your not sitting flush this can put a bit of downer on your enthusiasm of something you enjoy so much.   There’s the present, the travel, maybe accommodation, time off work and not to mention, “what am I going to wear”?
I know myself, as much as I persist in my mind that I can just wear that dress from two years ago that I wore to such and suches wedding, when I actually put it on; it looks just as stunning as a skin on sausage and always ends in a tear.  Because, I can’t speak for others my age but Mothers, you’re not the only ones feeling the effects of a 30 something year old body.  I may not have had kids but this lower body and thighs are hell bent in reminding me that I too have good child bearing hips.  And every year I don’t bear they scream a little louder and wider.  Honestly I’m pretty sure I saw my stomach crease line in the mirror smirking at me the other day and my always negative bellybutton chiming in with all its roundness exclaiming OOOOWwww.  So I by no means am saying my body has gone through all that a Mother has, not at all – just that children or no children it's no spring chicken!.
So the next step is finding an outfit, because there is no way that I am going to suck myself in all day or night or resist the temptation to sit or eat, in fear of my attire splitting and having a costume malfunction and lets face it, if you don’t look good you never feel good!! hence you won't have a good time.
Which is where recession dressin comes into effect. 
How to find spare cash when the funds are low?  Save money in other areas!  For the next few weeks I usually cut my spending down on Groceries and things that we don’t really need straight away.  A few weeks of doing a pov shop (budget shop) you can save a lot.  And why can we do this???.   Because we are chummies.  With no dependents we don’t have all the additional expenses of feeding and raising a family.  If I had children I wouldn’t dream of not providing what they need, in fact that's one of my worst fears but when its just the two or one of you its no major drama.  I think it also helps you to learn to improvise at meal times, stretch your meals and learn to budget. As well as ways to avoid any wasted food.  Which in turn may be good prep for if you do intend to have a family.
Nothing drove this home to us more so than when we went on a trip to Africa recently (another reason we are slightly on struggle street, but have no regrets what so ever in going).   The happiness of the people was resonated in every town we went to.  They survived on little or little selection in foods and always made the most of every piece of the produce they had.
So for us I’m not talking about starving yourselves for the sake of a some fancy frills.   Just a few weeks of non gourmet meals - Please note though for us gourmet simply means the addition of something like chorizos, haloumi, fetta or any other lettuce than iceberg on our grocery list. 
My shopping habits have become so budget conscious anyway that I now hate buying anything full price.  Any meat bought is reduced, and I’m not talking old and grey there are limits to budget shopping!!  I only get the fresh produce in season and on special and if the dog food or toilet paper is on special, I buy ….. eeeek I dread saying this because I used to go to peoples places and think they were nutsack in buying so many of one thing but yes “my name is chummy and I buy in bulk”.  I don’t buy perishables in bulk, as you have to be realistic, there are only two of us so how many potatoes, carrots or tinned products can you eat.  And my one pet hate is toot paper so if there is an endless supply in the cupboard (2 ply on special, never cut the budget to one ply seriously do they even make that anymore) I don’t have to make a special trip to get them.
So with these budget saving techniques on hand I now have some money to get an outfit for the event we have to attend.  And you guessed it – I also refuse to buy anything full price.  If you keep a keen eye out and pay attention to the brands that you like you can get them on promotion and when they are on sale.  Sale ?#$@!! you say, I know! I am not a big shopper at all, I really don’t like rummaging through racks, loads of people, waiting in cues for the changerooms and then trying on a dress that has every Betsy’s shade of foundation or lipstick around the neckline.  Because lets face it, this is still your hard earned cash; you want something that is fresh, new and current style.  Which is where if you sign up to your favorite brand websites, like them on facebook  or generally are aware of reduction times you will always be in the know – In fact I have an email dedicated to all the junk sites that I have signed up too.  Therefore they don’t clutter my inbox and even though I hardly open them when I need to, it is so beneficial.
So now you have a new dress, maybe shoes and you are ready to go out, on the very rare occasions that you get to go to.  Feeling good and looking great.  Plus your husband or partner will be loving your styles too.

Do you have any money saving tips, I would love to hear them???


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We would like to announce the arrival of ......

Today we are happy to announce that we are awaiting the arrival of our new couch.  Today for us is “White Couch Wednesday”
Errrrrccccccccchhhh hold the phone you say, “What was that, WHITE couch, Good luck!”
Yip White Couch!.  You see here is our situation:
We live in a teeny tiny house and any good designer or person with an eye for colour and space will conclude that white creates more space.  White walls and white furniture creates the illusion of more space.
We came to buy our teeny tiny house in a time in our lives when we needed to move on and welcomed the distraction around all the personal goings on that were happening at the time. Originally we were thinking of investing in a townhouse but were not keen on all that comes with body corporate and a confined close-knit living space.  Plus we wanted somewhere where we could renovate, alter, make our own and have pets.  So I guess on a whim we found our house and bought.  It was small, so low maintenance (little housework - yay, well kind of as its old - boo), loved the area and it had potential to change and grow. 
We could have moved further abroad to outer suburbs to a larger newer home.  In which now sometimes I do long for more rooms, space, cupboards and modernity but we prefer spending time together rather than time spent travelling.
So we bought up, acquired a dog (another story) whom completes our days and we live in her house.
So back to the WHITE couch. 
I have always loved white, but when it came to the buying, I began to back out of my love.  Explaining to my husband (lets call him Mr C from now on) that this may not be a wise decision, what if we have kids? do we want to be worried about marking it? is it crazy and impractical?  In the end he was more pro white than I, and every couch we saw we migrated to white.
Yes, to give the illusion of more space we could have gone for a smaller couch rather than a white colour choice.  However, after being seated on our 2.5 seater futon for four months (selling our enormous couch that took up our whole living space).  What began as a “this is so nice we don’t seem to cuddle anymore” quickly turned into a brother sister type relationship, where we both raced to it nightly and were pretty soon nudging each other off, feet in each others faces, over either sides.   
So a larger but not too large couch was a must, revising our options and discussing the practicality, pros,cons and what we actually liked and made us happy with our purchase.
In fact we both even reminisced to our own childhood and concluded that, we were never allowed to jump or eat on the furniture as kids.  And not once did our parents get rid of or update their furniture on the issue of it becoming trashed by us children.  Maybe our parents were strict or maybe kids are allowed to be more kids these days.  However our reaction is - white or not white -  these are our natural tendencies and reactions so we would maintain them.
So yip I hear all the mothers in the room saying.  “Yip, uuuuhuh have fun with that and we’ll see”.  I get that and we will most probably eat our words, regret our decision or maybe even change tactics.
But for us now, we would rather sit on our new white couch than sit on our dark robust family friendly couch that would serve to be a constant reminder of what we don’t have, maybe can’t have or what could have been.
It probably will get marked and we may spend our days tirelessly wiping.  I may even discreetly slip a butt sized coaster under your behind if you visit our house with freshly bought dark blue jeans.
We probably will even have the inevitable leather butt marks from our favorite sitting spots.  But hopefully this in future serves to be a reminder and memories of when it was just us two.
We have settled upon what makes us happy now and for now Mr C looks damn good sitting on a white couch.

….. Get your feet off the cushions ……. Just kidding.


Monday, June 4, 2012

I cheated. I do, do I?

OK OK so I was encouraging everyone to frock it up this weekend knowing full well that I myself had a wedding to attend.  On my defence however it was stated on the invitation to be of smart casual attire so I could have easily donned the practical pants and a nice top.  (Plus it was raining and I had the flu so I also could have easily worn a snuggie).  But that’s not really my style anyway.  So yes I kind of cheated!
Now everyone loves a wedding or so the saying goes.  I love tradition, family traditions and traditional weddings but as you may have read in the about me section we don’t live to the traditional rhymes, reasons and routines of life e.g., engagement, marriage, house, kids etc.  Some may say “the right way”.  We prefer to carve our own way like many others these days.
So I love attending a wedding full of tradition but in the couple’s own way.  A wedding that fully replicates them as a couple and is carried out in no means other than to make the two of them happy.
And this wedding was just that.  The couple being our close friends have been living out their life and creating their traditions, their own way.  They bought a house, have had two beautiful daughters and now have gotten married.
So when it comes to the, I do’s they are 100% ready.  There are no questions of  “do I” and for that matter there are no questions!
Questions, I’m sure all of us get them! 
When we are single – “So have you met anyone”?
When we are engaged – “So when are you getting married”?
When we are married – “So when are you having children?” “Are you pregnant?, (The questions we got asked a million times yesterday)
.. And I’m sure when couples have a child this then becomes “So when are you having another?”
This couple; by living their lives in the words of Mr Squiggle “upside down upside down”, their own way and letting what will be will be, have achieved what so many of us don’t.  No questions! 
I can think of no what are’s, when are’s or so when’s for this couple.  Their last puzzle piece is placed and sentence is full stopped to carry out their lives question free.
So for this wedding I conclude a double "congratulations"
For carrying out their own traditions their own way “the right way up”
And for the rest of us:
If others question you, remember - don’t question yourself.  Create your own paths, your own dreams, live to your own traditions.

 [Image 1, 2]

Friday, June 1, 2012

Mad Men Sexy Ladies

Do you ever feel like a 50’s/60’s housewife without the children?
To be honest I love the idea of a 50’s housewife.  Idea, not ideals and expectations of!  Maybe this is made all the more appealing and glamorous due to the series of Mad Men.  (An American TV series set in the 60’s – haven’t seen it? Do its weirdly addictive)
Anyway.. 50’s/60’s housewife
I love the fact that when I bake, it is thoughtful and from the heart.  Even though I am a terrible baker and about 80% of what I bake turns out flat, burnt or generally not tasty.  This may also be due to the fact my oven is from the 60’s .. Well almost.
I love home cooked meals, mainly because I am budget conscious and enjoy and implement healthy eating, back to basics food.  But don’t get me wrong its 50/50 cooking in this household.
I like a clean house, a sense of order and sense of completion when I have finished the housework.  I just hate the actual doing of the housework, especially due to the fact we have a dusty little Queenslander (Queensland style house) and a hairy dog in which daily carpets our house in tumbleweed .. And yes ok it’s not all her hair I also moult like a wookie at a disco.

I love smoking indoors …. Just kidding, I have never been a smoker never will.  It just looks so damn sexy on that show.
I love the femininity and fashions as it reminds me to be more feminine and put a dress on and get rid of my practical pants
Plus I love all the images and cartoons that take the micky out of the 50’s and 60’s, which I’m sure you will see a lot of on this site.

So this weekend whether you are out on the town, attending an event, staying at home or doing the god dam housework
“Get your frock on!!!!”
I am!  Have a great weekend