Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2 months, 1 day

I find it unbelievable that Christmas is so close. How did that happen?

This morning I went to the gym despite having a sore lower back. I tried to walk on the treadmill and that was not good; so I swapped to the stationary bike. I managed to do about 30 minutes of cardio which was a fairly poor effort. Mind you I was trying to talk myself out of working out at all so even 30 minutes is better than none.

I am not on track to hit my Christmas target. I feel angry at myself and my lack of planning/discipline. However, I am not going to give up. I have 8 weeks and I can make those 8 weeks count. I can ‘choose’ to lose 8kg or 16kg. I am going to aim for 16kg!  This means sorting my eating out and committing to exercise.

How will I do it?
- Plan my meals and increase my vegetable and fruit intake
- Remember to take food out of the freezer before work
- Stop eating pasta for a while (this is my weakness)
- Reducing my portion sizes (I even disgusted myself at the amount of pasta I ate yesterday)
- Aim for lower G.I. food to keep my blood sugar stable
- No takeaways
- Drink less coffee and more herbal tea
- Have less salt
- More sleep
- Get out of bed when the alarm goes off and drag my butt to the gym
- Do 20-30 minutes of exercise when I get home after work
- Start doing yoga or Pilates
- Build my core strength
- Read the two health and fitness books I have in my bedside drawer for inspiration and motivation
- Buy a pair of new shoes

At the end of the day I know what to do I just need to stop talking about it and ‘just do it’.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Yesterday I wrote a blog about Spring Cleaning and Decluttering. I got some great suggestions as a result and two comments that both mentioned that it is good for your soul; which I absolutely agree with.

Lauren has been finding 15 things per week to sell or donate. Pauline has just finished tackling her pantry. Teena has sorted her daughter’s room and the hall cupboard. It seems that people have the decluttering “bug”.

Then last night my whole world changed! Kat mentioned that I take a look at Freecycle. Now I had heard of Freecycle before, but I had never really looked at it.

I went on and signed up immediately. Next to Pinterest this could be my next obsession! I have been a member for less than 24 hours and found homes for:

Two Queen sized duvet inners
A Metal filing tray
2 x books
62 empty DVD cases (from work)
Assorted Stationery “stuff”
Pet bowls, blankets and a basket
A stack of reusable shopping bags

I am completely addicted to it. The pile to list on Freecycle is growing and the pile to sell on Trade Me is decreasing. I have told my friends about it and phoned my husband twice; I do not think he gets why I am beyond excited. Raewyn and Pauline are both now fired up and excited about it as well.

Freecycle speaks to me because it is about community, about gifting items to other people in your community and ultimately reducing the amount of waste that goes into our landfills. This is why I totally support people going through inorganic collections on the side of the road. If someone can use something that others have thrown away then I support that 100%.

Their mission statement is simple “Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.

So, what are you waiting for; get decluttering and “Freecycling” people…you will be amazed at how good it makes you feel.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Decluttering


I have been thinking about spring cleaning our house for a few weeks now and I have procrastinated about getting started. So my intended method of attack is to declutter and clean out cupboards and draws first and then go through the whole house and wash walls and skirting’s, vacuum, mop and wash the windows. The worst thing is that I often want to clean at the most inopportune times i.e. midnight; rather than at a normal hour.

I wanted to start at one end of the house and go through room by room. I have now nearly finished the kitchen and have managed to fill two banana boxes full of stuff to sell/get rid of and things that do not belong in the kitchen. I have 5 cupboards left in the kitchen and then I just need to wash down all the outside of the cupboards and do the benches. At some stage I need to do the oven, but that might have to wait until the weekend.I have included some before (photos on left) and after (photos on right) to show you my pantry and second draw of shame. The pantry looked like I had just gone shopping and thrown the food onto the shelf.

Then I will move onto the dining area and lounge. There is a bit that could go from the lounge including DVD’s and CD’s we do not want and also some other bits and pieces.  The hall is pretty basic and just needs a painting hung and the walls washed and touched up with paint. Oh blast….and the hall cupboard needs to be cleared out to make more space for storage.

The bathroom is pretty much completed as I did the cupboard and draw a few weeks ago. So all it really needs is the walls and ceiling wiped down.

The bedrooms are a little bit more complex and I think that I might leave them until last as there are quite a few draws and two wardrobes to sort out. The spare room cupboard is completely packed to the gunnels with so much stuff and I am cringing just thinking about it.

The study seems to be the “holding” zone for everything that has been removed from the rest of the house. I need to go through my books one last time, then sort and file our paperwork and finally clear out the cupboards of unnecessary stuff.  

Honestly, I cannot believe how much “stuff” we have accumulated over the years. I do sort things often, but seriously it just keeps creeping back in. I hate taking things to the dump, so I would rather items find a new home where they will be loved and used instead of sitting unused in the back of a cupboard.

Also, there are things that Mark will not let me get rid of that I hate, so I just have to find better places to put them. I do have a process of dealing with this and I will often say to him “do you want to keep item 1 or item 2” knowing full well that he will never, ever part with item 2. It is naughty, but it seems to work.

I think I might have to write a list to keep myself on task. So the plan for the long weekend is:
1. Finish the kitchen
2. Sort out the “stuff” into three piles 1. Give Away. 2. Sell on Trade Me and 3. Throw away.
3. List things on Trade Me
4. Start (and finish) the rest of the house Lounge, Hall, Bedrooms (sigh) and study
5. Mark to wash the walls and ceiling in bathroom and to do all the “touch” up painting
6. Wash windows inside and out

Are you spring cleaning or decluttering?  What is your process?

Week 41 – w/c Saturday 8th October, 2011

Saturday (08/10/11) ~ Really, really wanted to sleep in…did not happen and I woke up at 7am. Caught up on more TV and then went out for lunch with some Twitter friends.

Sunday (09/10/11) ~ Totally lazy day getting up to date with washing and more TV. Watched the rugby in the evening with Mark and Raewyn and had kitten cuddles. Is Kitty-Kat a cat or a bunny? Hard to tell.

Monday (10/10/11) ~ First day of the school holidays which meant the roads were great; good because we slept through our alarm. I registered for Blog Action Day on the 16th October. Might try and do the 6km walk after work. No photo.

Tuesday (11/10/11) ~ Went to the gym without Mark this morning and it was fabulous. I managed 55 minutes of cardio and burned almost 500 calories. I am planning on an early night so that I can go on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday (12/10/11) ~ Surprise, surprise I did not make it to the gym. Slacker. Had lunch in Mt Eden and it was awful as the café I normally go to was PACKED and then I forgot to get chicken with my Caesar salad. The beautiful spring blossoms made up for it though!

Thursday (13/10/11) ~ Had the most amazing lunch with a friend from Twitter. She made the yummiest vegetarian lunch. Cannot wait to replicate at home. No photo.

Friday (14/10/11) ~ Went to see Footloose with Mark at Sylvia Park. I really enjoyed it, but then again I have not seen the original. We went into Toy World and they had this crazy Rubiks cube!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blame it on the alcohol

Over the past few weeks I have read news articles about behaviour that has been attributed to alcohol.

When I was in my late teens I told my (then) boyfriend that people could not use alcohol as an excuse for bad behaviour; even at 18 I knew that! Then I kissed someone at a party and ended up telling my boyfriend that “I was drunk”; he threw my words back in my face and said “you told me that being drunk is not an excuse”.  Bugger!

While I understand that alcohol can affect your judgement I DO NOT accept it as an excuse for bad (illegal, malicious etc.) behaviour.  Seriously, at what point does alcohol affect your judgement so much that you cannot tell the difference from right and wrong?  Or perhaps alcohol just lowers the inhibitions of certain people so that their natural predilection towards violence or inappropriate behaviour comes out.

I hate to say it, but at the end of the day if you “lose” control then you need to seriously look at the volume that you are drinking and why. Like the advertisements say “it’s not what we are drinking, it’s how we are drinking”.  The message does not seem to be getting through.  People are still drinking and driving, violence is still breaking out, and people are still dying on our roads, assaulting and/or killing others or sexually assaulting people.

I am sure that there have all been times when people have over-indulged, but the majority do not lose control of their senses and murder, rape, start fights, damage property etc. This does not justify getting “smashed” but I am just trying to explain that people do get drunk and do not lose it.

In my opinion we have a pretty shocking drinking culture in New Zealand. It needs to be addressed and measures taken to try and turn this around. It would be easy to focus on the younger generation as being the majority of the problem, but it is not just them. We have people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s binge drinking and ending up losing control. So, to say that there is not a binge drinking problem in New Zealand is pure ignorance.

So what do we do about it?

- Stop turning a blind eye when you see people that are obviously over the limit and out of control. The ‘Who are you’ clip really sums up my point about not turning a blind eye

- Discouraging bars/restaurants to stop serving people that are obviously intoxicated and send them home via taxi

- Flipping the message that it is “cool” to stay sober vs. being “cool” is getting so wasted that you vomit and pass out. Listener article about teen drinking culture

- Being a responsible host and “always” providing food with alcohol. Having a few sober people that can drive others home

- Limit the number of drinks available per person i.e. 3 standard drinks per person? I.e. do not over cater with alcohol

What do you think? Do you even think there is a problem?