Little Things: Staying Healthy on a Busy Week

Is it just me or does there seem to be so much going on after holiday lull that no one was ready for? There was the public outpouring of sorrow and reminiscences following the deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Tim Peake’s space walk again capturing our imagination. And, at least in my own circles the engrossing, maddening and at times heartwarming viewing that is the Making a Murderer documentary series on Netflix. Yep,it’s been an emotional roller coaster of a week – and that was just on the telly!

FB_IMG_1453029804180
I saw this in a Facebook comment and had to share – hands up if this was you after watching Making a Murderer!

Work has been fairly intense with a lot of early starts plus my boyfriend’s band played their final gig together on Thursday night. It was a great set and there was a really positive vibe with everyone there. But it did go on quite late. Having to do a presentation first thing the next day wasn’t exactly ideal but I got through it and am really glad I was there to watch the guys the night before. Needless to say though, I was ready to chill out come 4:30pm on Friday!

I’ve found this week that it’s been the little things that have gotten me through healthwise. Monday night saw me go on a bit of a YouTube binge and watch a bunch of Madeline Shaw videos. I’d read her book before Christmas which I’d mentioned in an earlier post. I wouldn’t say that I was all that gone on her entire diet plan but the quick tips and ideas she offers are really useful. For example I’ve been taking her advice and hydrating first thing in the morning with water and salt and giving myself a bedtime routine (hand cream massages are a total winner). Plus I just like her style in general. Her enthusiasm about coconut oil is just heart warming and I like that she doesn’t mind that her kitchen table is a little messy when she’s doing a cookery tutorial. Because we can’t all have those blindingly white kitchens – even if she does have a very farm chic Aga – I feel that Madeline emanates a chilled and accepting vibe which I’m very much in favour of.

Money is always so tight in January and health conscious food can be on the pricey side. I found that stocking up on plenty of fresh fruit throughout the week has been a way of giving myself a boost in the snack/breakfast department without making an impact on my bank balance! Buying a big bag of kale and mixing it up with fresh orange juice and lemons or blending a delicious apple and pear with some cinnamon and honey have made for simple but effective ways of getting nutrients into my diet when I’m just in the door after a busy day.

I went on a slow paced 3.5 mile night run on Tuesday and then a 2 hour walk in the glorious snow on Saturday afternoon. How good is snow?! It was like stepping into Narnia! Everyone in my area were out on sledges and Chris and I had a constant snowball fight the whole time we were out. Not my best week for exercise but with a gym class planned for today that’s 3 solid workouts of varying degrees which I’m pretty happy with.

received_10207202698399151
It’s a Winter Wonderland here in Glasgow

 

received_10207202699479178
So pleased!
IMG_20160116_174446
After any snow day or cold weather in general, a Madeline inspired non dairy (oat milk in my case) cinnamon hot cocoa is definitely a good shout!

Thinking about the little things like getting the fruit and veg in, staying hydrated and getting outdoors have kept me in good form all week – in spite of some late nights and an aforementioned compulsive tv documentary which had me shouting at the television more than usual!

Have you been shouting at any appliances this week? Do you have any tips for running in the snow? Because I think it’s here to stay!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Go For It: Crafting

I’ve associated crafting with taking a step backwards for a long time. Think about it, when you read the word, did you automatically think of being back at school, or something you did with your mum or nana? Going deeper, I actually just associated it with an antiquated way of thinking. Pfft women crafting, go back to the fifties! The truth is though, quite a lot of my friends are wonderfully creative knitters, sewers, origamists (no, that cannot be a word) and one is particularly talented at making fantastic creations out of Tunnocks tea cake wrappers! All educated, intelligent hard working women who love to craft. So over the past few months I’ve gotten down off of my high horse and given it a go.

What I’ve found is that taking an old jar and making a new use for it, or going for a long walk with your friends to collect some Autumn leaves to press is relaxing and fun but also feels kind of productive. It’s just a pleasure to see something you actually made around the house and know that it’s completely unique to you!

For me, my favourite thing about crafting is the social aspect. Two of my friends and I meet for craft and wine nights and solve the problems of the world over some good food and felt. Only recently my friend Emer invited me to a Laura Ashley crafting event to launch their range of crafting kits in Glasgow. Sitting with a group of lovely women, drinking tea, having a giggle and eating mouthwatering cakes at the Butterfly and Pig all while violently stabbing our felt creations into shapes (some with more success than others) was a brilliant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

image

image

I liked using the crafting kits from Laura Ashley because even though I’m not particularly good at crafting, having everything that I needed gave me a bit of confidence. I’m quite pleased with how my little creations turned out!
image

Before even going to the event I had bought someone (I’ll not name names in case they read this) one of the Laura Ashley apron making kits for Christmas. I thought it would be something fun and a bit different for the Christmas stocking. I’ll include a link to the website here if you want to take a look at their stuff for a gift (or maybe a little self gift…).

For me the key to crafting is that it does take you a step backwards. But not in the way I’d thought. When you’re with your friends, laughing at your concoctions or by yourself with your masterpiece, crafting gives you bit of time to step back from yourself, your schedule and all of the noise to immerse yourself in what’s in front of you.

So my recommendation is to give crafting a go. Have you ever tried it? Leave a comment below and tell me all!

 

DSC_0502

DSC_0512

DSC_0509

 

Four Reasons to be Cheerful

Saturday, for me had to be a day to switch off. It was one of those classic November days in Glasgow where the rain is pouring down and while the juxtaposition of the orange leaves and the gray sky is pleasing to the eye, it’s not actually weather that you want to be out in if you can avoid it. So I totally avoided it!

I find it pretty hard to sit about and do nothing for a day but I needed this. The last week has been packed with things to do and I needed a day to just chill out.

I had to take a rest week from exercise this week because I was getting over a cold and I’m glad I just focused on Yoga and stretching rather than doing any cardio. Taking a day off on Saturday was a good chance to reflect too on what I’m thankful for this week:

Fireworks and Fun: So one of my favorite things about living in Scotland is that not only do we have Halloween, there’s also Guy Fawkes! I love the fireworks and this year I went to see the big display in Glasgow Green. I’ve done this every year since I moved here and it’s become a tradition now. This time me, Chris and my friend Naomi went to West Brewery for mouthwatering outdoor burgers and beer (well, hot chocolate for me – I had an early start for an event the next day). I had some friends over to the flat last week for Halloween and even though I was getting over a cold it was such a fun night. The girls and I dressed up as trolls and we danced the night away. It was the most effort and make up that I have possibly ever worn but we truly felt like magical creatures! I was pretty reluctant to take my wig off at the end of the night if truth be told!

IMAG1819 IMAG1892

A Day in the Snow: I organised a work event at the indoor slopes in Braehead and it was a great day out. As with any event there was a huge amount of preparation in the lead up to it but it was a pleasure to get 70 people out of the office and onto the slopes. Seeing a day come together like that is always really rewarding and while the lead up was exhausting – I was up till all hours the night before making last minute edits to the presentations and doing arts and crafts! – it’s just worth it every time in the end. I feel very lucky to be able to do things like this in my job.

IMAG1924

IMAG1895

Narcos: I am obsessed with this show on Netflix. Narcos is based in late 1980’s Columbia during the war on drug baron’s and the rise of Pablo Escobar. If gritty drama, intelligent scripts, history and subtitles are your thing, check this one out!

Crafting: Okay, I’m a self confessed Winter hater but these cold evenings in are starting to grow on me a bit. I’ve been a bit more creative around the house have started recycling old jars for storage and adding a few little touches to brighten the place up a bit. My two friends and I have been getting together for little craft nights and it’s been a lovely way to spend a dark weeknight. It’s nice to have some homemade comforts around the house and while I’m definitely not an artist or really remotely talented when it comes to crafting I like having some pieces that are just my own little concoctions! Plus creativity, friends and wine are always a winner in my book.

image

IMAG2009
Book perfectionists look away now!
image
So I cannot take credit for the hand knit stag cushion you see before you. My friend in the US sent this ti me as a housewarming gift and I absolutely love it. I just wanted to show it here because I'm so proud to have something so unique in my home. While I'll never have this level of talent she's definitely inspired me to be a bit more creative!

So these were the little things I was thankful for this week.

Are you a crafting novice like me? Do you have any recommendations for good series right now – because I’m getting through Narcos at an alarming rate -?

Go For It: Let’s Go Trampolining!

Sorry about the lack of pictures and the quality, we were just having too much fun to take more and it wasn't the kinda place to bring your new Nikon!
Sorry about the lack of pictures and the quality, we were just having too much fun to take more and it wasn’t the kinda place to bring your new Nikon!

Here in this part of the world we are lucky enough to get some time off over the Easter period. When I was living at home, this would always be a time when we would do something as a family, usually involving some kind of light exercise and the subsequent consumption of a LOT of really good food. I haven’t been back in Ireland for the Easter break in the last two years, however, the old habits stick, so food and fun were high on the list for this weekend. Which leads me to write this weeks Go For It post on Trampolining! A little while ago, my boyfriend told me about an indoor trampolining park called Airspace which had recently opened in East Kilbride, and could we please go because it sounded awesome.

Well, I didn’t need to be asked twice!

Having only ever done a little bit of trampoline work during PE at school and of course bouncing about on friends back garden trampolines in my childhood, I’m a total novice when it comes to this. But the idea of a massive floor with over a hundred trampolines sounded way too exciting to get put off by a little matter like that. We booked a slot and went to Airspace on Saturday morning. When we arrived we were welcomed at the door by a member of staff who told us a little bit about the venue and where to go to sign in etc. which was nice and helpful. By the time our slot came around we were itching to get on the trampolines. There was a safety briefing before going out where the presenter used video examples of do’s and don’ts on the trampolines which was good because it told us what we needed to know but didn’t take too long; and then we were let loose.

IMAG0691

There is trampoline dodgeball, basketball, airbag jumps, and then a space towards the back of the area with wall to wall trampolines (and I’m actually talking trampolines on the walls here). My favorites were the trampoline basketball where you can bounce as high as you can to get a slam dunk (I didn’t manage it, but it was still awesome and Chris and I got quite competitive) and the wall to wall trampoline area where I tried a few twists and bouncing from my bum to standing (again, with varying degrees of success).

Jumping around on trampolines for an hour is pure joy. The second we got on them we were smiling and laughing like a pair of children (although we were far less talented at trampolining than all of the children there, we discovered) and we didn’t stop until it was time to leave. Trampolining is high intensity exercise so it’s a fantastic workout, and the fun aspect of it makes you keep going for longer than a more boring or repetitive activity. It was tiring and I recommend taking a couple of breaks, but the hour slot is more than enough time to have a lot of fun and try all of the things that you want to try. I was a little bit stiff on Sunday so stretching afterwards is a must. If you want to give something new a try, get a group together and go trampolining, it is so much fun and will make you feel happy and silly and all of the good things. I’ll be back next month, hoping to get that slam dunk!

There are trampolining parks all over the world, but in my little corner Airspace is the closest, you can find out more about it here.

Have you tried something like this before? Let me know how you got on.

IMAG0689
Tired out after all of that bouncing!