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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.

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 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

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

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!

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.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Make It Work: Where You Workout

I made no apologies for loving the gym. There's a whole treasure chest of machines, tools and open space, bars and cords and ropes that most of us don't have access to without shelling out for membership to the local recreation centre.
There are definitely some heavy downsides though - the likelihood that as soon as a woman steps into the weights area, the grunting will increase 200%. Some people, men and women, are unfamiliar with deodorant, and some gym staff get a little chilly while standing around and switch all the fans off.
However, since you're going to be the one who walks out with amazing triceps and pain-blitzing adrenalin rush 45 minutes later, this isn't so horrible.

In my class environment though, I love it to be light, clean, well-ventilated and designed to look and feel welcoming. To that end, I can't paint floral patterns or big geometric shapes all over the walls of the studios I teach in, but I can give them a little spritz of room spray and encourage mat cleaning! It's a small gesture. But it counts. I am LOVING Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Room Spray while I'm going from place to place. At home, I use the diffuser because it looks gorgeous. Find a store in Victoria or New South Wales.

I tote around Dr.Bronner's organic hand sanitizer spray. Gorgeous lavender scent and it's ideal for both gym AND outside the gym! It beats gloopy sanitizing ointment because you can spray surfaces, including the gym mats hundreds have used before you!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Yes Indeed to Perfect Skin

My name is Cat and I'm a Skincare Junkie. It has to be amazing and effective (FAST) or I'll move on. Same deal with makeup. If it's a colour mismatch or it makes my skin dry out or break out, the relationship is over.

After a recommendation from beauty vlogger extraordinaire, Jessica Ann (Taken By Surprise), I have been using indeed laboratories' range of skincare. Totally recommend you get your hands on this if you are 20s to 60s. It's available at Priceline as of recently!

I have raved about retinol before because it is VITAL for skin renewal. As a spotty teenager, I depended on it to clear my skin and now, I rely on it to soften and plump any wrinkle-prone areas. Every third night, I've been using retinol reface. Considering some retinol products are over the $100 mark, this is a total bargain and I've noticed the difference. For around $35, you only need a tiny amount so it should last you a couple of months at least.

Jessica Ann claimed the Hydraluron moisturising jelly worked like a charm for dry skin that needs a bit more than just the usual cream formula. It can also be worn under makeup (or BB/CC cream as I am addicted to!) Press a button to release a controlled amount - so high tech! This one will be at Priceline soon. In case you like a serve of science with my recommendation, here's the lowdown from indeed labs:   Clinical trials with hyaluronic acid, applied twice a day for 8 weeks showed an increase of skin's elasticity by 27% and a reduction of skin roughness by 10%.

My beauty loves for August are pictured here. Included are L'Oreal Glam Bronze Mono in Blonde Sun (light for paler skin tone!), the OPI Nordic Collection (hello Suzy Has A Swede Tooth and How Great Is Your Dane?), abeeco Bee Venom Lip Plumper (love the tingly feeling - it must be working) and ModelCo Lip Couture in Emily. Built in mirror with your lipstick? Genius.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Meet Grace McClure, Ironwoman, Mum and Ballet Sculpter

I meet lots of amazing people through teaching Ballet Sculpt and last week I was very fortunate to have Grace McClure in on of my Ballet Sculpt classes. Grace has had to modify her training due to a shoulder injury so she is foraying into the world of pilates, yoga and core-strength based workouts.
As an IronMan triathlete and ambassador for Liv Giant and Can Too, Grace is super busy and extraordinarily fit. I mean this in both the physical and mental sense as endurance sports are just as mentally challenging as they are physical. Hours upon hours of training, whatever the weather, takes a level of determination and desire that appeals only to a minority of athletes.

Grace has worked in modelling and television presenting, both of which have strict expectations of a lean and 'made to sell product' physique. Endurance sports also favour an extraordinarily lean physique. Both of these factors made me very hesitant in promoting Grace as an inspiration to my blog readers, but to her endless credit, Grace and I discussed my concerns and she was very honest in having dealt with body image concerns in the past. She is also very aware of balancing her training to ensure adequate recovery and allowing her motivational speaking and ambassadorial work to take priority along with her athletic achievements.

A genuinely loving, generous and conscientious woman, I am already a big fan and look forward to following Grace's blog and all her achievements, whether in Ironman or as a mother and author. Please check out her website and follow her on Twitter. She is also Director of Rural Organics, a business that consults and provides accreditation for organic products and education in organic and bio dynamic farming techniques.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Methodology X

Nothing beats reading health and fitness magazines while on the elliptical trainer. This is how I discovered Dan Roberts, master trainer and founder of Methodology X

"sculpt your model body in a healthy, athletic, and holistic way. All you need is a gym ball and a base level of fitness." - Dan Roberts

Even though Dan works with many models, this is not a magic-pill style workout promising to make you look like Gisele Bundchen. This is a brilliant workout system for building core strength, balance and including a whole range of really different moves.

Dan understands the benefits of training with body weight resistance and awareness of intensity and length of training sessions. What I love is that he keeps the workouts short, progressively more challenging, and very much about strength and body awareness.

You download the book and as you progress through the chapters, you can watch video guides for each workout. It's easy to follow and at any point, I can go back and revisit earlier workouts when I need to dial back the difficulty level.

My favourite moves are the Spiralizer and Diamond Push-Ups. Do it, and share your progress with the MethodologyX crew on Twitter and Facebook!

Other lovers of Methodology X?


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