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new year, new me

11 Feb

lovelies, let’s breeze past the fact i’ve been inactive for oodles of time, again.

how has 2014 been treating you so far? i, for one, was very happy leaving 2013 behind me- not that it was all bad, but especially the end sucked, with emergency eye surgery in november and getting robbed on christmas… let’s just say i’m looking forward to 2014 being better :)

speaking of better, and referring back to the title of this post, my new year’s resolution is to get in the best shape i’ve been. i’m aiming for ever, but that might be hard going back to the slimness of my 13 year old self. let’s be realistic here.
i’ve started working towards better physical fitness in april, after some events led to a very minimal consumption of food, and saw me losing 1,5 kgs in a week. no better motivation than that to get started on a healthy clean eating regimen! i’ve modelled my food plan on the paleo diet, with added influences of the dukan diet.
paleo_food_pyramidof course, it’s much easier to eat clean in the summer, when salads and light foods are especially appealing, but their winter counterparts are just as delicious!
vegetables of all colors come into play, eaten when possible as raw as you can- the less cooked they are, the better. i’ve omitted sugar and sweetener where i can, it’s taken a few days to get used to it, but now i can’t imagine drinking sweet coffee or tea again. lean red meat, chicken, turkey, tuna and salmon also feature heavily in my new diet, and go splendidly with all the vegetables! i haven’t given up grains, i often eat cereal (muesli) in the morning with low fat yogurt and berries, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, as well as wholegrain rye bread for spreads. but i find myself not really craving bread or carbs in any form in general, and when i do feel like having a sandwich, a tortilla is a great substitute for bread!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmy drink of choice is water, or green tea. all day long. sometimes i drink peppermint, or other herbal teas too, but usually it’s green, especially in the mornings. in the evening i’ll sometimes switch the green tea for black, and add some skim milk to it (i often add milk to green tea too, it’s delicious!)

step two of the plan, was exercise. obviously. no way around that. nutrition plays an immense part in getting fit, but you have to get off your ass as well.
i’ve posted about my passion for zumba before, and i still do it once or twice a week, but i’ve added a few other elements to my workout regimen.
for the lovelies that haven’t heard of zumba, here’s a short video of what to expect from a class:

i try to go to the gym 3-4 times a week- sometimes less, sometimes more. when i don’t make it to the gym, i’ll go for a run outdoors; i don’t really like running, but it gets the job done, and is a pretty decent workout. i enjoy working out by myself, but i love the classes. when i do a solo session, i usually use the crosstrainer for 30-45 minutes, and then round it off with free weights, focusing on shoulders, triceps and biceps. i often pack in some squats and crunches too, depending on the workout i’ve done the session before.
the classes i frequent apart from zumba are bodyshape (aerobics-cardio), bbp (which stands for bauch-beine-po, abs-legs-ass, a combination of cardio and resistance exercises), body pump and body balance. the latter two are by les mills, and are freaking awesome!
you can read about body pump here, but it’s basically an intense “resistance workout training focusing on low weight loads and high repetition movements”. it is killer. but the feeling you get after doing it overshadows by far your inability to walk up stairs and lift a teacup the next day. it’s addictive. here’s their promo video, and the second one is what to expect from a class:

body balance is a beautiful beautiful class, which combines the elements of tai-chi, yoga and pilates to give you a well rounded, toning, strengthening and calming work out. i usually take a bodybalance class after one of the tougher sessions, to give myself a deep stretch, and calm down in a powerful way from the intensity of the previous class. here’s what to expect from a bodybalance class:

after almost a year (omg time flies!) of working out regularly and eating clean(er), i’m very happy with the results. i’ve lost 8,5 kgs, my arms, legs, back and abs are way more defined, and i’ve lost two dress sizes. the thing that most amazes me, is how working out has become an integral part of my lifestyle, and i’m so happy about it! it’s not a chore, something that i have to do, it’s something i look forward to doing, i want to! love it.
in conclusion, i don’t want to give the impression that i became a total health nut. puh-lease. i still have pizza, mcdonalds, sweets and pretty much any other thing i want. but the key is in the quantity, timing, and necessity. when i order a pizza, i only eat half of it. the other half goes into the fridge/freezer for some other time. when i eat junk, i try to do it earlier in the day, so that my metabolism is still running high enough to burn it effectively. cookies or chocolate in the evening? sure, but instead of eating 10 cookies, i’ll have 4. instead of three rows of chocolate, i’ll eat one. and it’s enough to still the craving. and of course, i then pack an extra bit of time at the gym to soothe my conscience. annoying little bugger it can be.

i’m curious to know whether any of you have tried or are doing these classes, and what you think of them?
let me know!
before i forget, follow me on instagram for updates!

ciao for now, lovelies

 

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Haiku

8 Sep

lovelies, a sudden burst of creativity just hit me, and i’m sharing the fruits of my mind with you.
here is a haiku of what is going on right now:

The cats stare at me
In my hands Harry potter
Cat stomachs rumble

Reading Potter book
Emptied suitcase on my bed
I hate unpacking

Fear of tan fading
Autumn is upon us now
Where has summer gone

hope you enjoyed it :)

my most recent date, or what the hell is wrong with you, man

19 Aug

lovelies,
i’ve very recently gone on a date that was not all that. actually, it really sucked. big time. after it was over i felt like going home, curl up on my bed and cry into my cat’s fur- he wouldn’t have liked it, but he’d take one for the team, i’m sure.
how did it come to the date? well, a friend of mine suggested i get ”tinder”. it’s an app that locates people in your vicinity with the same application. it’s very woman friendly, as you get to ”like” or ”nope” the people that show up on your locator feed, before they see your profile. basically, if you ”like” someone, only then they can see your profile. once there’s a ”match” (both liked eachother), you can start chatting. my girls and i installed it- just for fun, of course! r-TINDER-large570
after some browsing through the app, this blurry picture of a guy’s profile shows up. despite the blur, i felt like there was something i can work with- i could see just about enough of him to give it a go. what do you know- it was a match!
we get to chitchatting, mainly about what we do to keep cool in the crazy heat we had in vienna. i mentioned going for viennese ice coffee was a regular thing besides being poolside most of the day, and he suggested to meet up for a coffee. he seemed nice enough, so i agreed. we set for the next day, early afternoon. around noon that day, he texts about trouble at work, and if we can postpone to the next day. sure! no problems, sunday afternoon it is!
right, i’m getting ready to go meet this guy, i choose a cute yet effortless outfit of dark denim shorts with tiny little white stars, and a blush pink cami top. we were set to meet at 4 pm- we were only meeting for half an hour, as he had plans with friends and was catching a plane later that evening- totally fine for a first date. at 3:55 he texts me ”if i know how long i’m going to be”.
ummm, ok… it’s not that i’m late, and was just around the corner, so i text back ”2 mins”. once at the cafe, i perform a quick scan of the place but don’t spot someone that could be my blurry date, so i text him that i’m there, and am finding a place to sit. maybe he is running late, that’s why he asked how long i was going to be…
as soon as i sit and whip out my phone, i hear chairs moving and a figure appears by the table. i look up, and the guy asks: ”nadia?”
two thoughts cross my mind instantly- 1. we’ve been texting for two days, the name of the user is right at the top of every chat window- and you STILL get my name wrong? what the hell is wrong with you, man?
2. i’ve seen this guy during my scan! but dismissed him right away because he looks sixteen, not 28!
whatever, i’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, even if i’m a little irritated, stand up and shake his hand, saying ”it’s nadine actually, but close enough i guess.” as soon as he sits down, he asks me if i’m still up for ice coffee, as it’s not that hot anymore. given that it still was 29 degrees C, i was seriously wondering if this guy just has a pretty lame sense of humor, or if he’s serious. i told him i thought it was warm enough to still get two scoops of vanilla ice cream in coffee, yes.

viennese ice coffee

viennese ice coffee

moments later the waitress shows up, and wants to take our order. he asks her if they served ice coffee, she says ”yes of course”! then, he asks how much it costs. when she answers 5 euros, he deems it a fair price, as he says ”thats ok, i’d like an ice coffee”. i’m honestly speechless by now. seriously, how much did you think it was going to cost? this guy is not doing himself any favors…
i proceed with ordering one too, and try to start a conversation. i ask what kind of job entails an emergency on a saturday afternoon, and he informs me that he ”actually lives and works in london, but is in vienna for business over the weekend.” is this guy for real? how in any way, is that an answer to my question? so i make myself clearer: ”what is it that you do?” ” oh finance, investment blablablabla (don’t actually remember, i was so fascinated, obviously), but i don’t really want to talk about what i do, as it doesn’t have a very good reputation. what do you do?” so i tell him that i’m in between jobs right now, and enjoying the summer, but that i used to work at a bank in the communications sector, and didn’t really like it. at that, he proceeds to freely recount how the firm he works at just pulled a gajillion euro deal with said bank, and just keeps on going on and on about money and work… i’m sorry, didn’t you not want to talk about work? why am i being treated to such a riveting tale?
when he’s done, he asks me if i’m still going to the pool today. i answer that it’s too late now, but that i was looking forward to spending the whole next day in the water. you know what his next question is? ”when do you get off work?” i kind of blankly stare at him at this point, and explain very slowly that right now, i’m not working, but when i used to work, i would get off around 5 pm. wow. did this guy not listen to a word i said? what is wrong with you, man!?
as the allotted time for the date comes to an end, i’m beyond happy, and when he starts getting antsy, i beckon the waitress over so that we can pay and i can get the hell out of there. needless to say, he doesn’t even attempt to stop me paying for my own ice coffee, and proceeds to pay for his own. don’t get me wrong, i really didn’t want him to pay for it, but it’s about the gesture, the principle of gallantry- no, not gallantry, manners!
when we walk out, he suggests we should add eachother on facebook- i say sure, but my mind is saying no way. i ask him for his last name. ”i’ll whatsapp it to you.” wow. such mystery. not for the first time, but what is wrong with you, man!?
at the end, he looks for a car2go, and i spot one across the street; when he makes no move to go to it, i ask him ”don’t you need it? well then bye!” we shake hands, and i speedwalk into the distance.

this is the second date i’ve been on recently, and even though the first one was great, but sadly there was absolutely no chemistry, this date made me feel really frustrated, disappointed, sad, and most of all hopeless. where are all the good guys? taken. or gay. or just want to be friends. isn’t that great? time to get another cat, i think. or maybe i should spice it up with something a little more exotic like a chinchilla or a mini horse. i think my cats would like that.

hello, i'm your new roommate!

hello, i’m your new roommate!

guilt

9 Jul

yes! ok! you got me! i’m guilty!

my guilt box is plenty full!

my guilt box is plenty full!

why, you ask?
well, because i just saw that my last post was in january!
shameful. hopeless. bad.
i know!
32465566i’m sorry. so so so sorry. if i were a dog, this is what i would look like right now

i am denver. denver is me.

i am denver. denver is me.

i will not let it happen again, i promise. you know what the worst part is? i’ve actually been photo-documenting everything noteworthy, so that i can blog about it.
without wanting to bore you about being uninspired, i’ll just blame life again. ha! yes, life has handed me quite a few cards- taken away some, and then dished out some more. so there, that’s why i haven’t been blogging. oh yeah, and the weather (the weather is always a great scapegoat). it has been so nice outside these past weeks, that i really barely use the computer. so there. mobile blogging? oh right, i have that too… ok well then here: my phone battery always runs out too fast! ha! ha! gotcha.

in case you don’t know who denver is, you need to watch this gem:

 

the next step

14 Dec

lovelies, as you know, i am not particularly fond of my job.

it’s not fulfilling nor challenging me, and it sure as hell isn’t interesting.
usually, at least the co-workers are a highlight… well, mine aren’t. save for maybe two people, i really don’t care much about any of them. doesn’t sound like much fun, right?

3rndhx

i am very happy to tell you, that today is my last day at work.

i handed in my resignation three weeks ago. the feeling i got when i walked out of my boss’ office was of sheer joy and relief. i took that as a good sign.

suddenly my work ethic and outlook changed- i became more relaxed and focused, fending off the negative feelings, because i knew that there was a time limit. every day i chanted a little mantra of “only x more days to go”- believe me, it worked like magic! i was no longer bothered by my colleagues, or the petty things happening at the office. a calmness enveloped me, ever since i made my decision, and it’s a wonderful feeling.
i might walk out the building dancing the macarena, who knows. maybe i’ll hop out gangnam style.

it’s really not worth it, doing a job you despise. of course everyone needs the money. but there has to be some quality of life left. one shouldn’t have to dread going to work every morning of every day, it’s just such a heavy chunk of negativity to carry- it will eventually bring you down. and i don’t want that for myself. i could almost see my joie de vivre dissipate, month after month, and decided it can’t go on like that- i refuse to lose my energy and positivity because of a job. just no.

so now the job search begins again. i’m not picky, i have a wide range of interests and capabilities and i’m a quick learner- i like to think of myself as quite versatile. i don’t expect to find my absolute dream job, where i will be so happy i don’t want to go home, but i’ve learned my lesson: i need a job where i have at least the slightest interest in the subject, or where i can honestly say “i’m ok with doing this for the next x years”.
it’s not going to be easy, but i’m looking forward to the challenge.

has anyone of you been in a similar situation?
have you quit your job before, because you were unhappy with it?
i would love to hear your stories!

a book a week

10 Jul

about two months ago, on my way to work my ipod died. the silly battery ran out, and i was in the middle of my commute. shit! i hate when that happens, especially because the battery status was half full when i left home. then again, my ipod is a little older and it’s been surprising me in this way quite often lately.

still, didn’t change the fact that i was music-less and forced to look out of the window, listening to people’s conversations. damn i wish i had something to entertain me- believe it or not, the lady next to me recounting her dog’s grooming appointment to her sister was not so thrilling.

the next day, after having endured the commute back without something distracting me from the atrocious body odours surrounding me, i realized before i left home that i forgot to charge my ipod. seriously, brain?! really? whatevs- i spotted my pile of “not read yet” books, grabbed the first one and dashed out the door.
pile of books you say? why, yes. ever since i learned how to read, i’ve been an avid book devourer. i’m kind of proud of my ability to read a book in depth in little time. reading is one of my favorite pastimes- i rarely go to sleep before having read a few pages! my guilty pleasure? well ok, one of many… opening, smelling and reading old books. there’s something very comforting about the yellowness and smell of old pages…
anyhow, back to my story: i started reading that first book from the pile (you’re the one that i don’t want by alexandra potter) while commuting, and was happy to find it a much more rewarding entertainment than listening to music, because i didn’t even have to look at anybody. ha!
turns out that with the commuting pace, i finished the book in a working week. the next week, i picked up the next book from the pile (good girls don’t… by victoria dahl), and so on.

so far i’ve read two more novels by alexandra potter, what’s new pussycat and going la la, the gift by cecelia ahern, something from tiffany’s by melissa hill, i heart london by lindsey kelk (the latest of the i heart series!) and i’ve just started the second book of the all souls trilogy by deborah harkness, shadow of night.   
i might make an exception of shadow of night, because it’s such a compelling story, and the book is huge- i doubt two sets of 30 minutes a day will be enough to finish it in a week.

in the house that i imagine myself living in at a later stage in life, i will definitely have a reading niche, preferably an inbuilt one like these:

how amazing are these reading spaces? i can just picture myself sprawled in the niche for hours, with a cup of tea or hot chocolate, reading to my heart’s content.

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