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Nostalgia

I am feeling kind of sad this afternoon. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here before or not, but I’m in the process of wrapping up an assortment of part-time positions in preparation for starting one full-time job in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to the new job, and it will be great to be based in one place instead of moving around all the time, but I’m not always very good with good byes and changes and the next week and a half is going to be full of them! Today was my last day at a place I’ve been working casually for over 5 years…in many ways this is the least sad good bye as I know I’ll still have ongoing contact with these people, but it’s still strange to think I won’t actually be working there any more.

I think in some ways this is also a double hit for me, as one of my current positions is at the university where I studied for 8 years – 4 years undergraduate and 4 years postgraduate – so finishing up there means I cut official ties with the uni too. I know I’ll get over it though, and of course the new job is exciting…I’m just not a huge fan of sad 😦

On other topics, I used some of my market-fresh vegetables last night to make tuna-stuffed-pepper. It was a pretty simple mix, but it tasted great! I had bok choi, some cooked celery (I love it cooked!), carrots, cherry tomatoes, and half of the big red pepper filled with “sundried tomato” tuna (I didn’t snap the tin):

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Lots of colour!

I had my carbohydrate as a separate meal 🙂 A bowl of special k advantage with a few tsps of skim milk (I was in the mood for crunch) and some frozen berries:

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I also had a great interval-training run at the gym this morning. I did 25 mins on the cross-trainer to start, and then did 25 mins on the treadmill with the speed set at 12km/hr for my “work” speed and 7km/hr for my “rest” speed (both with 2.5% incline). The running time didn’t equate to much all up (half of the 25mins) but the speed felt good!

I have a presentation to practice for work tomorrow (one of the jobs I haven’t finished lol) so I think I’d better go and do that now 😛

xx Kari

Sunday shopping = shoes

*This post was meant to be posted on Sunday night, but I forgot to hit submit!*

I finished off the weekend with a great Sunday afternoon! I wanted to get some new black ballet flats as my current pairs are either scuffed or super dirty inside or both, so I went into the city with a bit of a shopping mission. Luckily I was successful…I found a pair that I love:

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Sorry about the blurry pictures…I think my shoe photography skills leave a bit to be desired!

I feel like I should point out here that I already own an inordinate number of ballet flats. I guess in part this reflects that I still have shoes I bought 5 years ago, and I tend to go for quantity over quality with my shoe shopping. I’m definitely not a designer shoe girl, at least not at this stage of my life!

I thought I’d take a snap of my current (pre-new purchase) ballet flat wardrobe for reference 🙂

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Lol…from top left:

  • A red pair I bought a couple of years ago and wear pretty occasionally – really if I’m wearing a red top/accessories and jeans or black pants
  • A dark grey pair I bought in London this time last year on sale for 10 pounds
  • A black (super dirty inside!) pair I bought in London this time last year before finding the grey ones…I can’t remember price but they were quite cheap as I was really just buying them due to my own shoes inexplicably giving me blisters.
  • My favourite pre-existing black pair that have straps crossing over the top. Sadly, the front of them have become very scuffed. Still great for weekends but not so much for work.
  • My other pre-existing scuffed black pair, that also have the disadvantage of being about a 1/4 size to big.
  • On the bottom row, far left, some slip on polka dot shoes that don’t really belong with the ballet flats but are stored here for lack of a better place…bought in NY this time last year (it seems I spent a lot of my trip last year buying shoes, which I hadn’t actually realised until writing this!!) and which, sadly, are not very easy to walk in. Still, I really really liked them and love the fact that I have shoes from NY 🙂
  • A goldy beige pair also bought this time last year in NY (!) but from the Gap…I really like these but made the mistake of wearing them to Niagara Falls. Of course, they got soaking wet and ever since they’ve had a tendency to fall off my heels at the back. Definitely not for walking around in.
  • A silver pair that are identical to the black ones far left on the top row…also 1/4 size to big.
  • A light pink pair I bought 5 years ago and still love, but they give me blisters EVERY time I wear them.
  • A darker pink pair that also give me blisters. I didn’t really have much luck with pink.

You’ll notice that there’s a little gap in the middle of the top row where my new black shoes can fit in 🙂

I do realise that this really is more shoes than I need. This is just one category after all – although granted my most prolific one. I also have boots, quite a few pairs of running/casual outdoor shoes and a few pairs of slip on sandals and heels for evenings. I think part of the problem (aside from the quantity over quality thing, and the tendency to keep shoes even when I don’t wear them anymore) is that I am seriously prone to blisters. I definitely appreciated Angela’s post on the topic here. I don’t have so many problems with runners, which is something to be very grateful for, but with pretty much any other shoe I can never tell if they’ll give me blisters or not. I know what to steer clear of – sharp straps, straps with lots of buckles or accessories that might rub – but it is beyond me why my pink ballet flats give me blisters when, for instance, my red ones do not. I thus waste an unfortunate amount of money on shoes that will forever give me pain!

Anyway. I think this may be enough on shoes for one day. I also bought 3 books in the city (in a 3 for 2 special), which was perhaps not sensible seeing as I go on holiday this Thursday and will no doubt be spending extra money when away, but I just received a big back payment of pay and have been waiting a while for the middle book below to come out in paperback:

012The books, in order, are “When will there be good news” by Kate Atkinson, “The unbearable lightness of scones” by Alexander Mcall Smith (the one I’m excited about – latest in one of his series and apparently some of the characters come to Australia 🙂 Plus I love the 6-year-old character in this series called Bertie) and “The lucy family alphabet” by Judith Lucy, which I hadn’t heard of, but looks  good.

To finish of the shopping I bought another block of the sugar-free carob I love:

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And clearly that was quite enough for one afternoon 🙂

xx Kari

Saturday meanderings

I am back home at my place and very glad it is the weekend 🙂 I’m also starting to get very excited about a holiday my sister and I are taking at the end of next week – we’re flying to Queensland on Thursday for 4 nights/ 5 days. I am really looking foward to it!

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Busy!

Goodness this has been a hectic week. Sometimes I really don’t know where the time goes! This isn’t even a real post – just a post to say I don’t have time to post but will soon.

One good great thing is that my parents get back this afternoon! I’m excited to see them and hear about their trip (it was part business for my dad and part holiday). I’m sure they’ll have some great photos…they spent a week in Venice and it sounds amazing. I’m also excited to move back to my place properly; I miss it!

I will post ‘properly’ soon. But to liven up 5 lines of text, I thought I’d throw in some Venice photos for good measure 🙂

italy-venice

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xx Kari

I think I might have mentioned that my parents are away at the moment, which is why I’m only at my place part-time and am semi-based at their house.  They get back on Thursday so we’ll be doing a postponed mothers day celebration with my mum next weekend.

My dad’s parents live about an hour away from here though, so I had thought to visit them for a little while this afternoon, given that it’s kind of grandmothers’ day too. However, when I rang on Friday, the conversation somehow ended with them coming to us for lunch (us being my 2 younger siblings and I). This possibly tells you quite a lot about my grandmother lol. I promptly went into panic mode after getting off the phone to her, because formal family lunches stress me out somewhat at the best of times, never mind when I’m responsible for hosting things! I know this probably sounds like an overreaction (ok, I know it probably is an overreaction), but nonetheless. My younger brother, incidentally, was even more panicked and he wasn’t going to have to do anything except turn up at the table!

Anyway. I decided I would keep things very simple! I hit the supermarket yesterday and got some different sorts of breads/rolls, lots of salad things, and cheese, dip and turkey. Because I wanted to go to the gym this morning and my grandmother said they’d get to us “late morning”, I also got up at 7.30am to get things ready. Late morning in my grandmother’s language usually means about 10.30am, so there wasn’t that much time to spare!

Things ended up looking like this:

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In more detail…

White rolls, little wholemeal rolls, and soy and linseed bread
White rolls, little wholemeal rolls, and soy and linseed bread
Grated cheese (top); low fat sandwich turkey, crackers, and sweet chilli cream cheese (bottom)
Grated cheese (top); low fat sandwich turkey, crackers, and sweet chilli cream cheese (bottom)
Carrot and celery sticks with hommus
Carrot and celery sticks with hommus
Salad :) Lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, sweet pepper (in orange), mushroom, celery
Salad 🙂 Lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, sweet pepper (in orange), mushroom, celery

Very straightforward, nothing fancy, nothing that needed heating, and things that everyone could serve themselves from. I also put together a plate of cookies and little tarts and the like, but foolishly forgot to take a photo of that. Usually if I was to have people to lunch (except I wouldn’t, because I’d make it breakfast or dinner – lunch as an entertaining option doesn’t excite me at all!) I would do something more impressive than this, but I really was aiming for simplicity.

Well, when I got back from the gym, my sister told me that my grandmother had rung to say they wouldn’t be coming to lunch afterall! They’re in the process of moving/selling their house at the moment, and they had a last minute call from the estate agent to arrange a viewing late morning. Instead, they came by for a little while in the afternoon,  which was of course the sort of arrangement I’d been angling for from the start. Lol. I could have just saved myself the stress and slept in for another half an hour!

Anyway. At least we have lots of salad-type stuff ready to use for dinner now 😛 And I know I probably sound hugely overdramatic anyway.

On a side note, I am looking forward to my parents getting back! In part to hear about their trip and see them, and in part so I can go back to my home 🙂

xx Kari

Half ironman awe

There was a half ironman held last weekend in Western Australia and I finally got around to checking the website to see the results today. It is so inspiring! The race consisted of a 1.9km swim, 90.1km ride, and 21.1km run (I guess these are standard half ironman distances?). I would frankly be very happy to be able to run 21km without swimming and cycling for hours first, but to do all of them really amazes me.

The fastest female did the whole course in a bit under 4.5 hours! Her running time averaged just over 4 minutes per kilometre – or over 14km (8.7 miles) per hour. She looks pretty happy at the finish line which isn’t too surprising:

Champs

Here is a picture of the course (not great detail at this scale)

course

I would love to do something like this one day. I guess an initial step might be doing a half marathon seeing as I currently do no swimming and my cycling is very low key (and my running is pretty low key for that matter!) but one advantage of running/ triathlons is that you don’t have to do them at a young age. I mean, for some sports and activities, if you’re not good by the time you hit adulthood, you’re pretty much never going to be good. I suspect I’ll never be great at running regardless (lol), but plenty of people run super long distances well into middle age. So I figure at 25 there’s still time for me yet!

On that note (or a related one anyway), I tried out the “random” setting on the treadmill today. Would you believe I’ve only ever used the manual and interval options before? When I started out I liked being able to control my speed and time myself. Having started doing longer outdoor runs on the weekends though, I find I get bored on the treadmill after 10 or 15 minutes. So I thought I’d mix it up, and am I glad I did!

I put it on level 10 not really knowing what this would equate to – and what it equated to was inclines! The speed stayed at about 7km/hr (I think I need to keep playing with the settings so this will change too), but I changed that myself because I wanted to run rather than walk. The programme gave me inclines that ranged from 5.5% to 8.5%, and I ran at between 10km/hr and 11km/hr (mostly 10!)  when the incline was 7% or less. All I can say is wow. Lol…it was seriously hard. My heart rate got up to nearly 170bpm, which is higher than it reached after 70 minutes of running on the weekend. I felt great afterwards. I was only on the treadmill for 15 minutes in total (I did other gym work first) but I will definitely be trying this workout again!

xx Kari

(Belated) dinner

This has ended up being seriously late! I did manage to pull my act together last night though. Dinner ended up being what I am going to christen chickpea stew. It doesn’t really deserve an official name as it’s basically just tinned food and vegetables thrown together, but I figure I should call it something 😛

The ingredients:

  • Chick peas
  • 1/4 tin diced tomatoes
  • Carrot
  • Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • 1/2 pepper
  • ~ 1 tsp curry powder
  • ~ 1 tsp chilli powder

I had it with potato on the side.

Chickpea stew with potato

Chickpea stew with potato

Mr potato before going in the microwave

Mr potato before going in the microwave

I can’t remember what this version of potato is called but it’s my favourite.

I think in future I’ll leave out the curry powder – or at least use less – but I figure this mix must have been better for me than cereal. I did satisfy my cereal urge later in the evening though, with a bowl of special k advantage (one of the cereals I specifically buy for dessert/snacks) 😛

xx Kari