Feeling Fine

Hello, and welcome to A Venturing Girl!

How are you feeling? It’s a question that we don’t often answer truthfully. Saying I’m fine is a simple and welcome answer to a question that is rarely has much intent behind it. If I’m honest, talking about how I feel is often the last thing that I want to do (to the relief of a lot of people I’m sure), let’s have a laugh or go out and do something instead! “Fine” is such a funny thing. Fine is light and bright, but also thin, narrow and fragile. So by it’s very definition your “fine” feeling is at a constant risk of damage. Yet we all manage to persistently feel fine and never drop over the edge into the “not so fine” zone, whatever that is, eh?

How have I been feeling? Honestly, I think I’ve been in a bit of a funk over the last while. Between bouts of sickness with some subsequent feeling sorry for myself, it’s been a bit of a bad patch. But this week, I just felt a difference. The sun was out, I had a restful weekend and I just felt more like me again! I realised that after being in a bit of a funk, I’m getting away from it. On Monday night I got my lunches and soup ready for the week, Tuesday saw some sneaky pints for St. Patrick’s day (full of Iron though!), Wednesday and Thursday I was out for a 4 and 3 mile run respectively with some sprint work on Thursday which was a great workout and challenge. I’ve been up earlier and enjoying more breakfasts on the brighter mornings and it’s making such a difference to my day! Plus Chris and I booked a long awaited trip to New York in September for which I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am!

So if you’ve been a little bit un-fine, maybe you’re a bit sick of it too but don’t want to moan too much. If it’s a run in the park, listening to something extremely cheesy, talking it all over with a friend you feel comfortable with or all or none of the above, I hope that this weekend you can get some “fine time” all to yourself to help break the funk. If you have been feeling like me over the past while and it takes a while for it to completely go away, don’t feel bad; believe me, it too shall pass.

Feeling more like me
Feeling more like me

A Sunday Post: Venturing Out With Mum

Hello!

I have seen a lot of lovely things written on social media by people about their mother’s this Mother’s Day. There is always a worry about the narcissism that social media breeds (this blog possibly being a prime example) but to see so many expressions of plain and simple love and gratitude all over the feeds today has given me a bit of hope. I haven’t posted anything today because, well, my mum doesn’t use social media! I don’t get to see my mum very often because I live in a different country now, but she came to visit me yesterday, just for the day and we had Mother’s Day a day early. We had a great catch up lots of tea, an impromptu tour of the Mitchell Library, I treated her to a nice dinner and we also watched the Rugby (this just has to happen when we are together), but I’m from Ireland and I shall say no more about that particular black cloud!

I am lucky enough to have a wonderful, hilarious and kind mother who I am very close to, and I miss her, but that’s not something to dwell on here. Coming from a farming background, one thing that she has instilled in me is a love of the great outdoors and nature, so of course we took a long trek yesterday through Linn Park (which is like a mini national park with trails and everything!). It was lovely to be out in the fresh air chatting away and enjoying our surroundings and I am so glad that we had the good weather to enjoy it.

I actually made a surprise discovery yesterday. Because her flight was delayed I figured I’d just sit and get a coffee and read a magazine while I waited. I picked up a copy of Country Living which isn’t a magazine that I would normally buy, but figured that I could have a flick through and then give it to her to read on her flight home that evening. But I have to say, I loved it!

Sitting With my Coffee right in the heart of the city centre, readying up on Country Living
Sitting With my Coffee right in the heart of the city centre, readying up on Country Living

They have pieces about seasonal food and baking, simple crafts and just generally interesting stuff as well have having some beautiful photography which is rather inspiring for a girl with a new home. I did give it to her in the end but it’s another good resource for anyone looking for some clean living, healthy lifestyle and food inspiration!

Today has been a very relaxed affair. Our internet was installed on Friday (thank God!) so I am catching up on blogging in my little office which I love!

My desk
My desk
Very Pleased with my little space!
Very Pleased with my little space!

I’m going out for a 10k run this evening, just to run the distance more than anything so I want to get it in under an hour but that’s my only constraint really.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and I will catch up with you during the week!

Yes Please, and Thank You!

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I do love a good book and when my brother gave me Amy Phoeler’s Yes Please for Christmas I was absolutely delighted, even though I did have to scold him a bit (I’d asked my friends and family to donate to charity instead of buying me gifts this year). However, knowing well how much of a sucker I am for a) inspiring women b) inspiring women who are funny and c) reading about inspiring women who are funny, I think he made a pretty perfect gift choice (which I told him, I wasn’t an ungrateful gift recipient or anything!). I’m in a bookclub and have had to resist the urge to pick Yes Please up until this week as I have been toiling through The Goldfinch (sorry to all who liked The Goldfinch, it isn’t personal, it just wasn’t for me) and wanted to see it through. However, last week I grabbed Yes Please and read about 80 pages in the first session! It’s brilliant, and I know that people probably don’t read this blog to hear about books, and this post is not just about a book but I will take this opportunity to say if you want to read something uplifting, unchallenging and laugh out loud funny, please read Yes Please!

The Carnage!
The Carnage!
Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac
Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac

I said “Yes Please!” to quite a few things over the last while including: Margaritas at Topolabamba and Fleetwood Mac Tribute gig by Rumours of Fleetwood Mac with my pals. It was incredible if you like Fleetwood Mac, which I really do! I entered the Flora Dublin Women’s Mini Marathon which takes place in June this year and will be bringing my friend Beth on her first ever visit to Dublin to compete in this race and see the sights! I also said Yes to competing in the Morrison’s Great Edinburgh 10 mile Run in April and to an invite to a swanky work event this weekend! My first Parkrun in (shamefully) over a year was also on the agenda, and I completed it last Saturday morning with a time of 29.01 minutes. And (finally) I can say that I am now moved in and unpacked in my new home. Delighted does not even come close!

Morning Parkrun!
Morning Parkrun!

The last while has been quite demanding with the move and at times, yes, the healthy lifestyle has taken a back seat. It isn’t really good enough but seriously, when you’ve been packing all day, Marks and Spencer ready meals feel like a godsend while the thought of cooking yourself is just hellish (and that’s from someone who likes to cook!). But while my performance lately has been lacking a bit, the plans are being put firmly in place. So, bigger and better things?
Yes Please!

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Sunday Post: Blending In

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Welcome to Sunday!

It’s funny how weekends and days off in general are supposed to be restful, but often they are anything but! This weekend for example, I had a long over due wardrobe clear out to look forward to, oh joy of joys. As I mentioned in my last post, I have a move coming up in the next few weeks and, I’m in the process of getting my possessions packed up in the least chaotic fashion possible. To be honest, even though I have not been living here for that long I can still find clothes and things that I can give to charity! That might just be me though. I am not the most materialistic person and am very quick to say when I don’t need something. I can fit all of the clothes, shoes and make up that I need and want into one suitcase (although to be fair, I cannot say the same for books). That has it’s advantages and disadvantages. For example, my style could definitely be described as simple (read: boring) and there is a strong possibility that subconsciously I am just constantly preparing to make a quick getaway (I may have been some kind of fugitive or hunter gather in a past life). I’m just not a great possessor of things. If I no longer have use for something, I throw or give it away. Sentimentality only comes into a few, probably quite strange items that I own: postcards, my dads scarf which I wear nearly everyday, my race numbers and some pictures. That being said, though, I don’t believe in denying yourself something that you want. Life is for living and experiencing not for saving it all up for a rainy day! For some people that’s a new lipstick, for others it’s a holiday or just (we’re getting crazy here) a few hours of down time to do nothing at all.

IMG_20150126_182354Recently, I bought a Kenwood Tri-Blade hand held blender set. Calm down lads, I know this is getting a bit wild! Seriously though, I have been meaning to get something to make soups and smoothies with and was initially just looking for a simple single unit blender as they are reasonable priced and would really help me to pack some fresh fruit and veg combinations to my diet. I ended up going for a bit extra as there was a set on sale with a balloon whisk, shredder and soup blender, so for the sake of an extra £20 I figured it was, as Kevin Bacon would say, a no brainer, but the hand held mixer is what I will be getting the most use out of. Over the past week or so I have been trying out a few different concoctions including a kale, chilli and broccoli soup. I actually got a compliment about the smell of this soup from someone sitting beside me at lunch one day, which, for any kale eaters, made me rather proud as we all know that it can smell rather pungent at times! I also like cucumber and apple smoothies which are incredibly refreshing. I have found smoothies to be great with my breakfast because they make me feel nicely full and stave off hunger for a good while.

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The Blender set has been a welcome addition to our culinary collection. There is something rather satisfying in the act of blitzing things after a long day at work too! Another, slightly more strenuous health and fitness aid that has entered our home this week is the lovely pull up bar which my boyfriend has just purchased. Pull Up Bars don’t seem to like me and in the past have had a habit of falling on my head during an ill advised door closures. This guy is no different, our first acquaintance ended in half a pull up and copious swearing. But now that it is here, I am going to try to make some use out of it as I know that it will be an amazing way to build up my strength, and, tears and swearing aside, help me to achieve my goals as a runner.

When it comes to the things that you have, thinking about what you need is important from time to time. Getting a blender was something that I wanted and will make good use out of but the pull up bar is probably a challenge that I need. So that’s my brief chat on possessions and things. Truth is though, the best one that you will have is your body; yourself. Use it, test it, rest it and take care of it.

Take care of yourself.

Just Go With It – Spring Is Here

Spring is in the air if it isn’t on the ground. Even with the snow, the mornings are bright again. I love to watch the sun rising over the river Clyde as my train crosses the bridge into Glasgow Central Station everyday. That view always stirs a smile from me, even if I’m just commuting into work. Seeing the quays lighting up with the day, the sun bouncing back off the river and the glass buildings makes me think of all of the possibilities and people around me.

Like most people, the last month has been a challenge for me. January is a notoriously tough month, isn’t it? It’s dark, the buzz of Christmas is over, money is always tight and everyone feels like they should be doing more to be a better person. Over the last month, making the commitment to get my act together when it came to my running and health goals has definitely made me more conscious of maybe a couple (of thousand) ways that I can procrastinate and talk myself into letting things slide. But it has also made me very proud of the little achievements that I have made, even if that’s just having breakfast in the morning! Starting this blog has been a big part of that. Not only in terms of thinking of my own little victories, but feeling like I can share them with other people has made me feel a bit more awesome about the little things that I have done. One aspect of this which I had never considered, was how much I would enjoy reading other people’s story’s by exploring other blogs. When I think of myself sitting on that train commute at the start of January flicking through the WordPress Reader wondering what the hell it all was, to now scrolling through the list of blogs that I follow, it’s like another world that I had no clue existed before!

Blogging has been a welcome outlet and motivator in what has been a month that has challenged me in other areas too. Outside of blogging, I have been adjusting to some changes in my life here. Just before Christmas I said goodbye to a great friend and flatmate Audrey who moved back to her home in California to pursue a Masters degree and her career. I have known Audrey since I moved to Glasgow and it was a hard goodbye as we had become very close through our shared experiences (and various disasters!) of moving to a new country. She is not the only friend that I have had to say goodbye to, our other friend from the beginning, Beth, left back in July and a lot of the great people that I have met here have moved on too. Only two weeks ago, Erica an amazing cook and sweet/hilarious friend, also made the journey back to the States. I would never grudge anyone for leaving to move on to the next adventure in their lives, it’s just that for me, moving on has meant staying where I am.

Beth, Audrey and I
Beth, Audrey and I
Erica and Audrey
Erica and Audrey

It hasn’t been all bad. My boyfriend Chris and I had decided a few months ago that we were ready to move in together, which we did just before Christmas. Chris and I have been together for almost 2 years and the last month has been our first real experience of living together, and even at that he was called away on a business trip for a week! Plus, but we have been looking for a bigger flat to rent.

Chris like h
Me and Chris
Chris and I share a love of crisps!
We share a love of crisps!

This can be a bit of a challenge when you live so close to the city as the ones you want tend to get snapped up (which we have definitely experienced) and we have been waiting for something that we really loved to give us the best possible start. Just last weekend, we were lucky enough to be chosen by a landlord to rent a really beautiful place that I fell in love with the second I walked in. Have you ever been in a place and you can just see yourself sitting on the couch or cooking in the kitchen? That’s how I felt and honestly I cannot describe how excited I am to make it my home (sorry; our home, *cough).

Personally, I don’t like life to be easy, it should be full of plans and spontaneity and fun and challenges and craic (craic is Irish for fun in case you get any ideas). So January is done and dusted and we are all moving on to the next venture. Here’s to Spring.

As the Tears for Fears Lyric says: Welcome to your life; there’s no turning back.

Let’s Go!

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