Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Paris, Almond Milk L'Occitane, Barcelona and Healing

Pont De Barcelona
Whatever your situation now - thrillingly wonderful or dismally down - we all need something to look forward to.
Lying in a hospital bed is an excellent time to consider priorities and what I'd previously taken for granted, or delayed, or thought of as a distant dream.
In my teens and twenties I was often mistaken for French or Italian - must be the dark hair or the big teeth!
My nan was a part-time Melbournite, part-time Francophile. She spent a large part of her life in France and lectured in French. While my high school French definitely won't impress anyone, I have always thought I would find a spiritual home in France. So, next year I'm going to Paris! I'm also going to go to Barcelona. Gaudi's amazing architecture, the dancing, the food! I know Alex will help me with speaking more than six Spanish words too. Beso!
I am doing the planning and booking right now - early bird flights.

Tonight, I'm indulging in a classic fashion and Euro moment: Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. Delightful. I'm also drinking coffee post 5pm.


But my biggest indulgence is L'Occitane En Provence Almond Milk body products. They're French! And they smell so incredibly, addictively good. Even REAL almonds don't smell this delicious. Since my poor thigh has been swelling during the healing process, I'm not expecting miracles with the "Shaping Delight" but I'm willing to give it a go!

Since you may not be floating about the Champs Elysees next year, gift yourself at least something French! It will also go to supporting the L'Occitane Foundation.
www.loccitane.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/LOccitaneAustralia

Thursday, 25 September 2014

OPI x Coke x Karl




I couldn't help myself. You KNOW I love nailpolish. OPI have hooked up with Coke to create a range of colours that are reflected in the labelling and products.
I took this opening to go looking for those gorgeous 50s ads for Coke that promote its wholesomeness and lifestyle appeal. So much more chic and stylish than the desperate-looking Zero addicts carrying boxloads of the stuff through the checkout. Eek!

However, Karl Lagerfeld is a Diet Coke obsessive and let's face it, if Karl does it, it's fashion darling.

My picks? I Got Absolutely Zero Done Today, Get Cherried Away, You're So Vain-illa, Coke Bottle Red.

Get to David Jones. Stat.

Home.

So, I'm attempting the triple jump/spin/flip your heels over your head a few times trick. I thought, I know! I'm getting out of hospital.
I'll try to move out of my horrible apartment.
I'll try to go back to work straight away.
I'll take on new jobs.

So now I am sitting here, feeling very scared about what I'm taking on.
I may have to explain to some people why I can't do everything I've said I will do. I may need to alter my priorities so that earning an income that enables me to live independently and feel confident in my bank account isn't my top priority over healing.

I need to heal.

I take enormous pride in my ability to endure, bend, stretch, and heal. I'm finding it very hard to find my restless legs driving me crazy at night, my thigh swollen with fluid just from moving during my rehabilitation exercises and getting about on crutches. It's HARD.

So, I'm going to do what I would tell anyone I love to do. Give yourself some peace. Tell those people who are more interested in their timetables and their plans than my health that their needs can't come above my health. I matter. My body matters.

Thankyou to my dear friends and family who visited, called, emailed, asked about my wellbeing. You are treasured! It has meant the world to me. I hope I can be as supportive to you when you need it!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Try to make me go to rehab, I said yes

Best thing I have done in a long time! The anterior hip replacement took place on Monday afternoon. I went in about 2 and woke around 5.30 feeling pretty alert and pain-free.
I spent 4 days in hospital then moved to the rehab centre on Thursday to get a structured physio program and prepare me for getting back to my active lifestyle.
I have been doing plies at the bar, as well as lunges which are pretty shallow at the moment but they are getting better each time! I also bought pink 2kg Dumbbells from Target along with some very stylish harem pants and I'm doing my Ballet Sculpt arm routines in here. Nothing scares me like the idea of a sad, saggy, tuckshop tricep!

I had a very upsetting visit yesterday. I recommend that you are very careful about who comes to see you when you're recovering because you'll be super sensitive and pretty vulnerable with the experience of not only surgery, but a lot of painkillers and having to manage with a seriously reduced physical capacity.
My parents sat and chatted to each other about the state of their farm property, James Hird, pet lambs... Look, I've just had a major operation. I don't want to avoid any talk about it. I am thrilled with the progress I'm making - I want that to mean something to the people who care about me!

Don't feel bad, like I did all last night, about knowing what and who is best for you and making the call. A big element of recovering faster and better is FEELING optimistic and excited about what you can do and what you will do! Now, I'm off to the gym to do some side walking, plies and the arm cycle thingo.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Perfect Woman?

I watched this video this morning - it's super short and if you've just eaten, perhaps leave it until later, but it's a thought-provoker. Supervenus by Frederic Doazan.
The idealisation of unnatural features is undeniable when you look at magazines, TV and movies now. Size DD boobs on women with otherwise bony arms and legs is everywhere. Inflated lips and puffy cheeks are just as likely on the women serving you coffee as the actress on TV. I'm not saying it's NOT beautiful, but it's interesting to look at how our ideas have altered.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Days Before Surgery

I'm ready! I just keep thinking about all the things I will be able to do in a few months that I can't do now.

  • interval training with running and skipping
  • dancing
  • Tree Pose without pain later!
  • goblet squats (yes, I really do love these)
In the few days leading up, I'm doing the following.

Enjoying tying up my laces.
Restrictions on bending and reaching after surgery mean I won't be able to have lace-ups for a couple of weeks. Considering almost every shoe I own is a sneaker, this is troubling! I've got slip-on Vans though. I'm prepared.

Body Pump.
Won't be doing this for a few months. Enjoying it while I can and expecting, as has happened in the past, that after taking a break from Pump I enjoy it more and go harder when I get back.

Tanning. 
Ok, sure. I can do this when I'm rehabbing, but since I'll be off work for 2 weeks, I'm going to return trying to fool others, and myself, that I have been on a yachting cruise in St Tropez where I fell out of a coconut tree and ended up on crutches for a bit. Keith Richards and his smart ideas! I am LOVING St Tropez self-tan for face. It's for sensitive skin so no breakouts. Love it. Get yours here and if you tell everyone we were in St Tropez together I'll fully back your story!

Organising work.
I've got plenty of planning and reviewing of documents to do so on top of a very structured rehabilitation program in hospital and at home afterwards, I've also got lots to keep my brain busy. I've just taken on a new role coordinating Group Fitness for an inner city club and I am really excited about the role and the people and place I'm working with. 

Jade Rolling.
I read in a UK fashion magazine that this woman with INCREDIBLE skin uses a jade massage to massage her face. It stays cool no matter what the weather and is recommended for lymphatic drainage, reducing puffiness, increasing blood flow to the skin and massaging out tension from frowning and smiling too much. Really! I found mine on White Lotus Anti Ageing - 100% Jade Crystal. So fancy!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Free Group Fitness - 15 Classes Daily

Oh my god, where? Where?!

Cairns. Here's the deal: 6 days a week there are roughly 15 group fitness classes run outdoors for anyone and everyone who wants to take part - free.
It is run from the Cairns Esplanade in northern Australia. As fabulous as group fitness instructors are, they are not volunteers. It is funded through the commercial operations on the esplanade as well as Council making up any shortfall. Why would Council assist? Because group fitness

  • is a great marketing initiative for tourists
  • is an appealing holiday activity for local visitors
  • improves mental and physical health
  • is much cheaper than funding health warnings and reactive measures
  • proves that fitness can be fun and diverse
  • makes it easy for every age, gender and level of ability to take part
The initiative is called Active Living. Today there is Sahaja Yoga Meditation, Seniors Steady Steps, Boxfit, Beach Volleyball, Mumbalates (pilates for mums AND their kids!), Aqua Zumba, Tai Chi and more.

If this is something you want to see locally, get writing to your local MP! Find Your Local MP.

Friday, 5 September 2014

"Thailand Toosh" or KickAss Kettlebell

This girl is gorgeous and super fit. I'm going off to pick up a kettlebell at the gym. Seriously - tell me this doesn't make you want to!
After the kettlebell moves, which are simple and well demonstrated, there's some matwork that would go down a treat in Ballet Sculpt. Get to it.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

McQueen: Genius of a generation

Alexander McQueen: Genius of a GenerationAlexander McQueen: Genius of a Generation by Kristin Knox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fashionistas and artlovers were devastated by the suicide of designer Alexander McQueen in 2010. Inarguably, he was gone too soon, but not before he blessed the design and fashion world with his incredible visions materialised. He was the Lewisham-born lad who was would have looked equally at home traipsing through the council estates with his pitbulls as he did on the catwalk. In fact, he would have looked much more comfortable on the street.
A 16-year old dropout, he managed to secure an apprenticeship in tailoring on Savile Row, followed by gigs with theatrical costume designers and Milanese fashion house, Romeo Gigli. His skill and uniqueness was embraced by Central St Martins when he returned to London to enrol in the early 90s.
His story, lushly illustrated with full page photographs, is told in Alexander McQueen: Genius Of A Generation by fashion blogger, Kristin Knox aka The Clothes Whisperer. Knox brilliantly and succinctly describes McQueen’s role to “compel the wearer or beholder to surrender to the fantastical and sinister world of which McQueen was the sole artificer...an enfant terrible.”
Fabulous photos include the bumsters in 2001, glass-boxed butterfly-laden models, the armadillo heels that famously adorned Lady Gaga. Whether antlered, red-eyed, covered in sequins and crystals, or toting the skeletons of foxes around their necks, his vision of women was as powerful, warrior like creatures that were part animal, part mystical goddess.
Knox recognises that there is no need for pages and pages of tightly packed text required to tell McQueen’s story. His life was his work and it best speaks for itself. The back cover image is bittersweet; McQueen gives his final wave on the catwalk and for us, it is the finale of a lifetime.
Alexander McQueen: Genius Of A Generation
Kristin Knox
http://www.allenandunwin.com/default....


View all my reviews

Monday, 1 September 2014

Sneaker Freaker x Lacquered Lady

When I was little I was obsessed with heels. I would take all my nan's high heels out of the wardrobe and parade in a circle through the hallways/kitchen and lounge in each pair to test them out. Oh so tall! So elegant!

And now here I am, obsessed with sneakers! All the damn time. But I love them. My latest gift-to-self was justified on the basis of getting my article published AND getting a new job. It hasn't been for lack of looking and hoping and trying!

I'll share more with you once all the paperwork is signed.

I can't emphasise enough that matching your  nails to your sneakers is really fun. It's also up there with matching your nails to your yoga mat! I highly recommend it. I can't wait until OPI hook up with Nike or Manduka and give us a yoga/fitness/nails combination. I called it first.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Storm in a Teacup


Two weeks ago, my class at Carlton was all about finding a good chai in Melbourne. Nothing worse, we agreed, than getting a teabag dunked a couple of times in a tiny teapot and being charged $4 for it. Cheers.

So I went on the hunt for amazing teas you can get locally. I'm a licorice fiend - and green tea is my daily staple. I'm trying to reduce the 5 coffees a day - it's a work in progress!

I love SkinBliss for the combination of minty sweetness and all sorts of skin-loving goodies including calendula and echinacea. Not only will it boost your glow, it aids in digestion, wound healing and stimulating the immune system. I got it from Good Food for me. You can contact them on goodfoodforme@outlook.com

Just saying the name makes me think of Jamie Oliver! Thankfully the tea is much more tasty. pukka is a cult tea brand in Australia but also amongst international tea lovers. My two favourites are peppermint & licorice (again, super sweet and really aids digestion and satiety) and love (organic rose, chamomile and lavender), which is gorgeous for an afternoon calm-down or evening reading accompaniment. Get yours here and follow Pukka on Twitter

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Sweaty Betty #GetFit4Free

Do you know Betty? She's going to make you look GORGEOUS, so let me acquaint you. Sweaty Betty is a cult activewear range that has yoga outfits to die for.

Apart from fitting like a glove, lasting forever, and being cut to flatter and enhance body shapes from athletic to hourglass, petite and Kardashian-esque, Sweaty Betty ALSO run a campaign every September that allows you to Get Fit For Free. Workout and yoga videos plus inspirational interviews with ambassadors.
Get your videos here. I LOVE Frame Rave's abs workout. Come on 90s kids, get out your glow sticks and go mad.

There is quick and easy delivery to Australia. Details here!

www.sweatybetty.com

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Got The Blues

Do you think blue eyeshadow automatically means permed hair, mullets and matching frosted pink lips? Stop. Blue liner (or subtle shadow!) actually brings out the whiteness of eyes, making you look more awake and really flattering brown and green eyes in particular.
You can draw it on the upper lashline, or be a bit more daring and draw it along the inner rim of the lower lashline. If you keep the rest of your makeup au naturale, it will be your feature look!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Scissors to Sculpt

One of my favourite pilates moves is the Scissors.

In the one move you
  • strengthen the abdominal muscles
  • strengthen the butt
  • lengthen and challenge the hamstrings and quadriceps
Remember to
  • keep your whole spine extended along the mat (this is not the raised version!)
  • tuck your chin a little to extend through back of the neck
  • inhale on the leg change, exhale as you catch each leg in turn
While this woman does say "Go ahead and..." a LOT, she gives a fantastic guide to getting from single leg stretch to scissors. Do it.
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Once you've mastered Scissors, you can also try the Corkscrew. Here's a great instructional vid from Catherine and Kimberly at Pilates on Fifth. Remember: NO ROTATION! You're trying to sculpt your abs, not break your spine.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Osteoarthritis and Dancing, Being a Yogi and a Fitness Instructor

I'm finding that a lot of professionals are giving me material, both written and via phone, that is clearly designed for older patients! "Don't bend over 90 degrees for the first few days when you're putting your slippers on!" MY SLIPPERS?

I'm going to be able to dance and hold tree pose, leap, run and hip swivel in a few months. That's exciting. I want to speak to people who appreciate what that means to me.

If you know someone, or you ARE someone with osteoarthritis and you are also an athlete (or a weekend warrior), a dancer, a fitness instructor or just very active, please get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

I think we need to organise a site that is dedicated to encouraging people - sharing lifestyle stories that can benefit. For me, strength training (wisely!) consistently has been a major reason I don't get much pain at all.

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