Holiday at Home – Day 3

Damnit I can’t believe it’s already Thursday evening! I could’ve started with the holiday experiments last Friday evening, no idea why I didn’t. Instead I only started Tuesday. But I’m loving it.

I’m still keeping at the gym challenge. Went again this morning, didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I’d been making massive progress but today I didn’t really seem to be doing any better at all. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. I’ve got some running planned.

I finally managed to plant the hedge by the way! I’ve been wanting to do this ever since we moved in last July. And now it’s done! It was a bit of a rushed job as the sky looked like it was gonna unleash its full-blown April wrath on us, and I didn’t want my new plants to blow or rain away. But by the time I was finished, the sun even came out! So I also planted some more veggies: spinach and leek, so exciting! The hedge doesn’t look like much yet, just some branches here and there. But they have loads of buds so it looks promising. I’m really curious to see it grow and hope it’ll soon be all bushy and green 🙂

Now today I also had some cleaning planned. Blah, boring, but always so nice to have it done. The bathroom looks as new. I took everything out, ev-er-y-thing, and cleaned from the ceiling to the walls to the floors, and scrubbed down the shower. And it smells so nice!

No special cooking done today, I just made some appetisers to eat in our backroom in the sun with a nice glass of white wine (olives, salami, and crackers with paté), and for food I threw together some grilled naan bread with goat cheese, bacon and green beans. So easy and fast to make, and so amazingly tasty.

So now, as always: couch time! Tomorrow, there will be  gym, more cleaning (the kitchen and oven, ow dear) and that’s it. I might head in to town to run some errands, or I might not… We’ll see. And in the evening: Irish Pub with friends. Bring it on!

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Holiday at Home – Day 2

I am totally getting everything I can out of my week of no work. This morning I went to the gym again. I have to say, this idea of had of going to the gym every day, I’m slightly regretting it. It’s a lot tougher than I’d thought. I used to have a super active lifestyle when I was still a waitress. On my feet at work all day, and in my free time to the gym with my bodybuilder friends. I could eat whatever I wanted and had never felt stronger and fitter. Yes, those days seem to be long behind me and harder to get back to than I had hoped. I’m still making good progress at the gym though, I think if I could keep it up I really could get back to my fittest self. But once work starts again, no more time for daily gym sessions unfortunately. So I’ll try to stick out this week and see how far I get. I wonder if I’ll feel a difference!

Now, I’ve told you before that the reason I work out, is because I like to eat too much. I do Not want to go on a diet because it makes me more than sad. So now that I have time for daily gym sessions, I also have time for extensive cooking sessions. Today I was in the kitchen for four hours! I made samosas for the first time ever, from my new Indian cooking book. It was a lot of work, also because our kitchen is quite small and I had to be very inventive with where to put all the bowls and cutting boards and oven dishes. But the result was amazing. I made two different kinds: one was a veggie one, with beetroot (first time I ever cooked beetroot; even though I love eating it, I’ve never bothered to cook it myself) and feta cheese and of course a whole load of spices like cumin and coriander seeds, the other was with lamb mince and even more spices, like ginger and chilli flakes. I served it with a nice salad in which I put some of the left over ingredients, like the rest of the beetroot, the feta, and some spring onions. Definitely a succes.

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I also did some more gardening, even though the weather wasn’t on my side. It was quite cold, and very windy. I hope my seeds didn’t all blow away. I cleared the space on the side of the garden for the veggie garden of all weeds and sowed some silverbeet. I also want to plant horseradishes and rucola, but I’ll have to wait until May for those. I then started digging the little ditch to plant the hedge tomorrow. My goodness, I am still amazed at the volume of dirt that comes out of the ground! It’s like the soil quadruples once you shovel it out! Our garden is now full of boxes with dirt in them, which I can’t move anymore because they’re too heavy. I’m seriously wondering if I’ll be able to put all the dirt back once the plants are in the ground. Well weird. I also found a lot of potsherds, unfortunately none of them antique. Otherwise I could’ve opened a serious museum by now. Maybe even become rich. Oh well.

The boyfriend is now doing the dishes (such a hero) and I am finally sat down. I have to say, I am even more tired than I was yesterday! And so are my legs! But I’ll try to go to the gym again tomorrow. Then plant the hedge. And also do some cleaning. No rest for the wicked!

Holiday At Home – Day 1

So yesterday I told you about how spring has arrived, and all the fun stuff it makes me want to do. This week the campus is closed, so  literally can’t go to work. I could work from home, but I won’t. I think I’ll work a thousand times more efficient next week if I now take a proper break. And do all the stuff I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Starting today.

This morning I joined the boyfriend on his cycle to work and went to the gym. It actually went quite well! Ever since I had my break from the gym, I’ve been having a really hard time with cardio. My trainer told me that if I want to lose some weight (no, I am not on a diet but I would definitely not mind losing a few kilos), I should train between 60 and 70 percent of my maximal heart rate. Now, that is a lot lower than I have been training. And it’s been a real challenge to stay in that zone while on the cross-trainer (or elliptical, whatever you call it). I go a lot slower than I used to (I am now below 60 rotations per minutes, I used to be above 70), and I had to set the resistance level to zero. Oops. But this morning, I managed to have 65 rotations per minute and have the ideal heart rate for 45 minutes! Win!

After the gym I cycled to my brother’s to pick up the car that we share. I was going to drive to a garden centre a little bit out of town to buy some plants for a hedge (I think it’s called privet but I’m not sure, translation problem here). But the satnav let me down. 50 kms and an hour and a half later, I was back home and didn’t find any of the two garden centres I looked for. To say I was annoyed and angry would be an understatement. But nothing a cheese toastie and a cuppa can’t fix.

So after lunch, I called every garden centre I knew around town, and finally found one that not only I could find without the satnav, but they also sold the plant I was looking for. I’ve ordered it for Thursday.

I had two options then really. Stay home and sulk, or make use of the car before I had to bring it back. I picked the latter, so proud of myself! (My New Year’s resolution seems to working quite well nowadays, for those who were wondering.) So I did some shopping and went to a smaller garden centre to buy some fun stuff: a few rose plants, small lavender bushes, and two small red current bushes! After dropping the car back off at my brother’s, time to plant some stuff!

Our garden is tiny, but I really want to make it feel like our little oasis of peace. It’s surrounded by other apartments so it’s not exactly the kind of peace I was looking for, but the way it is now it already makes a world of difference in our busy lives. Below our bedroom window, I now have a row of roses. Next to it, some lavender that will hopefully keep the mosquitos out of the bedroom in summer. At the back of the garden there used to be overgrowth of a bush from the neighbours, but I completely cut it down and dug it out. That’s where I put the berries. Can’t wait for them to grow and make a weekly red current crumble! On the side of the garden I cleared up a space to plant some veggies. I’ll do that tomorrow. And the other side, that’s where we’ll put the hedge. It might not really make a lot of sense, but when it’s finished I’ll post a photo so you can see the result.

I finished the day off by cooking a massive serve of chilli, of which we ate way too much, and now we are happily relaxing on the couch. Relaxing turns out to be a lot more fun when you actually have something to relax from. This day had everything to become a massive disaster, but what a lovely day it was in the end!

Happy Sunny Ramblings

Yes! Finally! It has happened! Ladies and Gentlemen, Spring Has Arrived!

My goodness you have no idea how much I’ve been craving for this. Or if you’ve been following my blog, you probably do, as I often complain about how I miss the sun. And not just the sun, but the possibilities it brings. Coming home from work when it’s still light out, it changes your whole day. I feel like doing stuff in summer after work, rather than just sitting on the couch and relaxing, I want to go for walks and do some spring cleaning and garden and cook and just listen to music in the sun. And that’s the funny bit. In winter, when I don’t do anything I get frustrated. But in summer, doing nothing is the best and makes me feel amazing.

Yesterday, it was that first day of sun-laziness. It was 19 degrees out and super sunny! So I put out the picnic blanket in our tiny little garden and just lied about. Bit of music, cup of coffee, maybe a book for a while… Ah, the life! I felt on top of this world! (And sunburnt by the evening, so I bought myself some new sunscreen.)

Today, the sun has gone again, but I am ready for its return. We went out to buy a hammock 😀 It was a bit of a disaster to build the stand, but it’s up now and ready to be used extensively! We also got some extra gardening equipment and later this week (I have a holiday from work this week) I will go to the garden centre to buy a few small plants for a hedge. Exciting! And then I can also start planting some veggies. And a berry bush!

I have a massive to-do list for this holiday week. And I feel like, if the sun does indeed stay out, I might just actually do all of it! I have to urgently clean the shower, go through my papers to see if I haven’t missed some important stuff, do that gardening, and I am planning to do some awesome cooking. I am going to try a shrimp curry, samosas, and I’ll also make a big load of chilli to put in the freezer in one-person portions for a lazy day. Painting is also on the list, some sort of super colourful paint splash out. I’m really excited to get started, but oddly enough, even though I am well excited, I am still sitting on my butt on the couch and have been doing so for the last two hours.

Time to get up! Off I go 🙂 Oh yeah, and not to forget: I’ve challenged myself to go to the gym every day of the week! Let’s see how it goes, I’m looking forward to giving you a hopefully very succesfull update 🙂