Neon Run

To keep with my 12 in 2 goal to run a half marathon sometime by the end of 2014, I signed up for the Sydney 5km Neon Run this past Saturday with my water polo coach and some of her friends.  The run was in the evening around the Domain and Mrs Macquaries Chair – iconic parkland around Sydney Harbour.

Here’s the foursome:

Light in our eyes for the neon run
Light in our eyes for the neon run

The glasses were $10 (!!) each – seems a lot for plasticy goodness with LEDs.  I wasn’t going to buy any (partly because I didn’t bring any money, and partly – well regular Wednesday readers would know why).  But the team bought me a pair, and were smart enough to know they just HAD to be blue!

I'm blue, if I was green I would die
I’m blue, if I was green I would die
Blue glasses for the blue eyed girl
Blue glasses for the blue eyed girl

There were other merchandising options, like these:

Other merchandise - fluro dreadlocks on head bands. There were also mowhawks.
Other merchandise – fluro dreadlocks on head bands. There were also mowhawks.

Here’s the crowd, it was a small event, relatively speaking. That being said, we entered in a walking group, but did want to jog a bit. Sadly, there were too many people underfoot at the start, and of course after our first burst of running, we weren’t as interested anymore! There were four different music and dance stations, as well as fantastic harbour views! We did run the last 750m plus to the finish, which was nice.

The crowd and the starting arches
The crowd and the starting arches

My phone ran out of battery not that much later, so there’s no ‘night’ photos, which is when the run started. It was pretty amazing to see all the costumes, and we vowed to amp it up next year. I’d love me a bright tutu, though I’m not sure how comfortable it would be to run in! There was one guy just in fluro jocks – and painted on suspenders! And it was cold at the start line… So he was very daring.

Events like this a great – legitimately FUN run (or walk). I’m pleased to report that they used paper cups (unlike last time) AND they had lots of recycling bins for the cups too! Sadly, the glasses were plastic wrapped, as were our ice lollies filled with rehydration fluid, handed out at the finish.
For more fun photos, see the Neon Run site.

What’s the most fun you’ve had exercising? (Or is that an oxymoron to you?)

All time favourite books

I know many of my readers, are readers of books too!  So I thought I would share my top 5 books.  Not my latest reads but the books that years later I still remember and I want to share with others.  And none of them are what I’d call classics either!  Each of them will probably reveal a little more about me too.

A gripping story when you're 11
A gripping story when you’re 11

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

This book was read to my year 6 class by Mrs… oh wow, I don’t remember her name!  Mrs Jones! Or was in Year 5 – what a memory I don’t have (I had the same classroom those two years, so perhaps that’s why I’m confused).

This novel was my first introduction to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.  Since then, I’ve devoured countless books on the holocaust (my book collection features them heavily). The title refers to the characters decision making on packing toys.  Until I moved in with the BF (two months ago), I slept with my teddy bear.  I promised him (and past BFs) that when I had a permanent bed mate, I would shelve Jessie.  To this day, I miss her, and when I’m sick, the BF gets her for me, to cheer me up.

Travel without books - guide books. Novels are fine!
Travel without books – guide books. Novels are fine!

Honeymoon with my brother by Franz Wiesner

This book is the true story of the author being more or less left at the alter.  Instead of ‘wasting’ the once in a lifetime trip he’d planned, he signed his brother up, and they started seeing the world.  It’s a story of healing, but more than that, what I took away from it was the desire to travel genuinely.  To travel and to LISTEN.  Not to read Lonely Planet and go where everyone else goes.  I don’t travel with a guide book (and sometimes, I regret that!).  I ask people in hostels and hotels what they like.  I go wherever, and enjoy the journey of walking streets.  I go to Jewish Museums (everywhere).  That probably goes back to the first book!

So many mysteries in one story
So many mysteries in one story

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

Not be confused with Sophie’s Choice, which I also enjoyed, Sophie’s World is a book that introduces a child to philosophy.  Every book by Gaarder is a masterpiece in my mind, and develops and introduces new and challenging concepts to me.  She has an incredible knack for storytelling.

 

Pull down to escape - Emergency by Neil Strauss
Pull down to escape – Emergency by Neil Strauss

Emergency by Neil Strauss

I was in NYC in 2011, and browsing Barnes and Noble.  I was hoping to find secrets in a Postsecret book, but didn’t ūüôĀ  I wanted to find something to read, as I’d exhausted my supply by this stage in the trip.  I find it so difficult to BUY books, because I don’t (by and large) keep books.  I wanted something engaging, but enduring.  I’m not sure how I resolved to buy Emergency, but it was my first introduction to ‘doomsday preppers’.  I do like end of the world movies, so it probably has something to do with that.  Nonetheless, it still sits of my bookshelf and I keep thinking ‘I must get some candles, and a canteen of water, you never know what could happen’.

Each peach pear plum

This is the only childhood book I was adamant could not be downsized or rationalised.  My mother loves to downsize, and when you move 10 times in 10 years, I’m lucky to have any childhood books still standing!  I love that it rhymes, incorporating all the characters you know from other stories – Mother Hubbard and Tom Thum.  It’s just such a joy to trip along through the story, and the illustrations always capture my imagination.

How about you? What books changed your life?  What book are you always telling people they just *have* to read?

Goals Update – September

To be honest, usually I spend the month editting and drafting my monthly goal update post. ¬†Not this month! So, there’ll be no list of my meals. ¬†And everything feels a bit sketchy!

For new readers, every month, I like to check in with the ‘New years goals‘ I set. ¬†It’s a regular reminder of what I’d like to be doing!

Financial

Save $20k $26k cash by 22 Dec (for when I get a mortgage offset account): stalled
August: $21,140.13
September: $21,020.20 (-$120)

Such a nice looking number, but sadly not on target for my stretch $26k goal. ¬†Thanks to… booking a holiday to Vietnam with the BF!

12 in 2 Adventures savings fund: hahaha what? nope
July: $749.93 (how’d that go down?)
August: $1.72 (-$748,21)
September: $1.73 (+$0.01) Oh for interest!

Grocery spend:¬†improved from August’s HUGE spend

I’m loathed to share figures, as Australia’s costs vs other countries and readers might be misinterpreted. ¬†Let’s just say, it’s a little more than double my ‘usual’ spend when I lived alone. ¬†I’m happy with that. ¬†22% is on meat, 13% on dairy (we eat so much cheese!). ¬†I’m pleased that fruit and vege % spend are up on last month. ¬†I’ve got a piece of fruit a day as a snack (banana or apple), plus frozen berries on my porridge. ¬†Vegies aren’t so simply integrated, yet.

Volunteering hours: alright (poorly remembered though!)

Sat 13th: 4hrs doing church flowers

Health

Cook at home twice a week: Achieved! 

The BF and I have a great ‘menu’ for every week, which helps the ‘I don’t know, what do you want’ conversations. ¬†I’ll get a few more photos together, and then I’ll share it with you.

Sugar: Totally not on my radar

Although, after our housewarming this weekend (I’ll bake a number of treats), I’m pledged to try and join Lucinda Sans in her first mention of the¬†Droptober challenge to eat less sweets. ¬†Here’s the rules she published.

Train for polo¬†–¬†Training to run a half marathon: ¬†inconsistent, but some running

Actually, the summer water polo season is starting, so far I’ve not been to training, due to a cold, then my lift/carpool hurting her toe, and the next week being out of town.

However, on the running front, I did a 9km organised run, and I’ve signed up for the Neon run in October (5km) and the Color Run in February (5km). ¬†This past week, which is technically October, I’ve run twice, though quite short distances, and once the week before.

Cultural

2 films a month: wow, another month with no cinema visits

2 books a month: achieved

I read World War Z (remember I saw the film earlier this year?)  The book was totally different, as commenters warned me.  I enjoyed the book, but it took me a while to get through it.

Then I read Plastic Free, by Beth Terry which I reviewed earlier this week.  I really enjoyed it!

I’m in the middle of Mr Know-it-all by A.J. Jacobs. ¬†I read his book about reading the bible and living it literally, and was reminded of this book of his thanks to Lucinda’s review.

Social

Call/connect with an out of town friend: Did wonderfully

I had a friend from Orange come to town, and we met for a hot chocolate. ¬†Another friend stayed two nights in our guest room when she came to Sydney for a wedding (I’d seen her a few weeks ago in Melbourne!). ¬†A very dear friend in Brisbane has been great at encouraging me via Facebook, so I feel closer there, and another friend who used to live in Sydney and moved to Alice Springs, and then to the UK, we had a great chat on Facebook the other evening. ¬†We couldn’t believe it was three years almost to the day, that I’d visited her in Alice!

Career

Certification: last edits needed, then submit them in October

All my episode reports are written, and long enough.  My external mentor has reviewed them all, and now I need to make some improvements and submit them!  I hope to have them submitted by the end of October.

Sorry there wasn’t any photos… How are your new year’s resolutions progressing?

Light entertainment – Beams Festival

Saturday night, before my big run, I was excited to be able to visit the local arts festival ‘Beams Festival’. Seriously, across the nearest main road from my house, my suburb was hosting this cool one night only art show, complete with food trucks and music! It was great. My brother came over to stay before he did the half marathon (who start a fair bit earlier than 9am like me!) and we headed out to the festival.

A plastic bottle walkthrough
A plastic bottle walkthrough

DSC_0702

Graffiti style art (in progress)
Graffiti style art (in progress)
A wave in a laneway out of netting and plastic cups
A wave in a laneway out of netting and plastic cups
Not so paper cranes
Not so paper cranes
Curious things hanging from tresses
Curious things hanging from tresses

DSC_0708

I'm not sure what... but I do like fairy lights!
I’m not sure what… but I do like fairy lights!
Umbrellas upside down (you could get those all from lost and found I think!)
Umbrellas upside down (you could get those all from lost and found I think!)
Plastic shot glasses!
Plastic shot glasses!
Reading glasses
Reading glasses

We grabbed some food, and were dismayed at the quantity for the price (not enough), although it was tasty! We headed home afterwards and made pasta to carb load for our runs! There were also great activities, like decorating paper lanterns, painting portraits, creating ‘reflections’ by cutting out things from magazine images, and transposing them. I didn’t get in on any of the crafting, cause I wasn’t sure if they were for adults or kids, but I was very tempted by the lanterns!

Gratitude (for Monday)

  1. A work car for my sole use, which got me from home to Chatswood, to Freshwater, to Manly to Lindfield to Chatswood to Cherrybrook to Chatswood and home!
  2. A delicious dinner of beef bourginon, cooked by me (a rarity these days)
  3. Minimal washing up!
  4. Getting 1 hour of chores in before dinner prep, best idea ever! Cleared some of the ignored weekend’s backlog, but still had dinner sorted ‘in time’
  5. Finally getting sticky pads to stop one of the sofas moving (and potentially scratching our lovely floors)
  6. A row of chocolate, mmmmm Cabury’s! for dessert

Does your city do many festivals?  Does it have a light festival Рthey seem to be popping up everywhere lately!  I really wonder how they coordinate it all, with only a 24hr window of road closures, and so much cabling!

Running – 12 in 2 list progress

In February this year, I set 12 goals I wanted to achieve in two years, called 12 in 2.  Number 11 was to run a half marathon, which is 21kms.  Naturally, as a non runner, this is a huge stretch of a goal but something I put on the list to as the ultimate challenge.  When I say non-runner, I mean I devised ways to get out of high school cross country, despite being otherwise a capable and fit athlete!  Warm up jogs at boot camp or school sport had me whinging (and panting) the loudest.  However, this past Sunday, I completed the 9km Bridge Run over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, as a stepping stone to the half marathon.

Million dollar real estate with a view to our start!
Million dollar real estate with a view to our start!

The 9km bridge run (5.6 miles) was the last race of the day, starting after the marathon, half marathon and family fun run (4kms) for the Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival. ¬†So it was a sunny warm day for the 9am start at Milson’s Point. ¬†I was in group C, which run third/last of the groups, due to us having expected run times of 1hr or over. ¬†The cutout off it 90 minutes <- I was pretty confident I wouldn’t get cut off, but your never know!

I can’t help myself, and took heaps of photos before the start, to share with you:

The view in front of me
The view in front of me
The view to the left
The view to the left
The view behind me - yes, the lady in blue and I talked... I can't help myself!
The view behind me – yes, the lady in blue and I talked… I can’t help myself!

How’d I go?

I set myself a target pace of 9kms per hour, hoping to finish in an hour of starting (I actually started at about 9.23am). ¬†I had Runkeeper going, along with some music. ¬†When I usually ‘run’ I actually do jogs interspersed with walking, and still achieve this 9kmh so I was happy to pace myself to this.

The first kilometer was hard, and I always find the start of a run the worst! ¬†There was also a gentle but continuous incline to get onto the bridge as well. ¬†It was exciting to be on the bridge though! I drive on it twice a day to get to and from work, and here I was, running on it when it was completely devoid of cars. ¬†There was definitely a smug smile through the running pain! I remember I didn’t make the first kilometer without a walking stretch. ¬†Still, Runkeeper kept me up to date every 5 minutes with my pacing, and I think only one interval over the whole run was I behind!

Our course had us do all sorts of strange things to someone accustomed to Sydney roads – we went the ‘wrong way’ down a spiral ramp onto the Cahill expressway, which took us running over the train line at Circular Quay. ¬†If I’d been more about blogging than running, I might have photographed the sparkling harbour, and iconic bridge and Opera House, but by this stage, I was in the thick of the ‘running’ and not so worried about a play by play for my readers!

Where Runkeeper saw me run!
Where Runkeeper saw me run!

Prior to this run, I’d only done a training run at 6km. That run was more than two weeks prior to the Bridge Run, and in the meantime, I’d been through a cold. So, part of me wasn’t entirely confident in how I’d run! I used positive self talk to help – instead of ‘you’ve never run more than 6kms’, I’d say ‘wow, you’ve got 3kms to go, you can easily do that’. It made a big difference!

Oh so bright!
Oh so bright!

According to Runkeeper (I love their stats), I was above 9kms per hour for the first 4kms, which probably helped me stay ahead in pacing for the second ‘half’ of the race. Interestingly, the peaks in the coure are around the 4.5-5km mark and again in the last km! As far as speed, at my fastest I was doing 12.32kmph (I must check where it thinks I ran that fast!), and at the slowest, in my last km, was at 7.77kmph. Overall, I ran at 8.79kmph, for a total distance of 9.63kms (They say the course is ‘about’ 9km). This took me 1 hr and 5 minutes. This puts me right on pace, even though I didn’t meet my 1hr ambitious finish goal. Overall, I’m happy I made it to the end without an injury (even my shin splint like pain was silent), though I did have tight hamstrings before and after.

I never took this photo (photos were banned to keep the flow on the bridge - I actually was running when I snapped this!)
I never took this photo (photos were banned to keep the flow on the bridge – I actually was running when I snapped this!)

At the end of the race, I made my own way home. There was just swarms of people at the finish, so I can’t imagine if the BF had made it in, even trying to find him! Then getting to the train was a little bit of a logistical challenge – I ended up crossing the marathon runners path twice! Thankfully, Sydney smartly provides free public transport for all run participants, so being lazy, I got the train, then a bus (cause just a train involved more walking to get home!). The bf was at home after spending the last 24 hours on a yacht race, and we headed out for burgers. I then thought I was entitled to anything I wanted, being that I burned 710 calories! Alas, I still coped some cheek when a block or two of chocolate ended up in the shopping trolley! (For the record, I’ve not yet had any!)

So, in a rousing finale: anything is possible when you set your mind to it! ¬†Practice makes the world of difference, and having people overtake you is often enough to stumble from walking to jogging again. ¬†Now for a training plan to get me to a half marathon! (My brother’s time was 2hr02minutes for his half – impressive!)

Gratitude (for Sunday)

  • I finished the race, without an injury!
  • A beautiful warm day
  • The BF’s patience in traffic, during run road closures
  • The Newsroom finale (and finding out it’s signed for a new season!)
  • Mac and cheese made by the BF
  • For being somewhat relaxed with the state of the less than perfect house

What ambitious goals have you set yourself?  Have you surprised yourself in what you can achieve?

Goals Update – August

Every month, I like to check in with the ‘New years goals‘ I set.  I’m getting a little rusty on updating some of my reporting (like meals and volunteering), but if nothing else, it’s a regular reminder of what I’d like to be doing!

Financial

Save $20k $26k cash by 22 Dec (for when I get a mortgage offset account)nicely replenished with a tax return
July: $18,035.56
August: $21,140.13 (+3,104.57)

12 in 2 Adventures savings fund: something had to give in the month of rent + mortgage
July: $749.93 (how’d that go down?)
August: $1.72 (-$748,21)

Grocery spend: increase achieved

That’s a blog post in and of itself – probably on Monday.  Let’s just say it’s more than doubled, and we’re shocked!

Volunteering hours: alright (poorly remembered though!)

Sat 3rd: 4hrs doing church flowers

Sun 4th: 1 hr doing Sunday School

I’m sure there’s heaps more – bad at tracking!!

Ah that's right - I did church flowers this month!
Ah that’s right – I did church flowers this month!

Health

Cook at home twice a weekAchieved! Since no eating out month (and the BF being around all the time), I’m much better at eating hearty, homecooked meals!

Items in bold were cooked at home from scratch

(Thu)
Dumplings out (Fri)
Apple sauce (sick) (Sat)
Domino’s pizza (Sun)

week 1 –
Soup and garlic bread (Mon)
Mac & cheese (Tue)
Leftover Mac & cheese (Wed)
Nothing – feeling bloated (Thu)
Cauliflower risotto – as in no rice!(Fri)
Mum’s birthday dinner (Sat)
Roast lamb (Sun)

week 2 –
Quesadillas (Mon)
Out for a 30th (Tue)
Pizza Risotto (Wed)
Omelette (Thu)
Leftovers?! (Fri)
Thai out for another 30th (Sat)
Roast beef (Sun)

One of the most vibrant things I've seen whilst on site!
One of the most vibrant things I’ve seen whilst on site!

Week 3 –
Cornbread, with pork mince with homemade taco spice (Mon)
Macaroni with anchovies and bacon (Tue)
Leftovers (Wed)
Crust Pizzas out(Thu)
Schnitzel/grilled chicken & chips <- ready made (Fri)
Beef sliders (even using left over cabbage!) (Sat)
Pulled pork nachos with Mexican beans (Sun)

week 4 –
Macaroni & Cheese (Mon)
?? (Tue)
Red Rooster (Wed)
Mexican out (Thu)
Gnochhi, then Nutella pizza (out) (Fri)
Risotto (Sat)
Dinner at parents for Father’s Day (Sun)

The boyfriend has taken the lion’s share with cooking.  He doesn’t need recipes, it’s tasty and it’s about 1/3 to 1/10th of the time it takes me.  I enjoy weekend prepping ‘weird’ hand and home made meals (like gnocchi).

Sugar:

What? Surely I didn’t think I’d stop eating sugar.  I have a killer caramel cheesecake recipe, remember! With a gluten free gingernut biscuit bases… mmmm.  And then… there was a lemon meringue pie for the greater good of the family.

Made this for the big family dinner for Mum's birthday. She got a coconut and date mousse (as it was sugar free)
Made this for the big family dinner for Mum’s birthday. She got a coconut and date mousse (as it was sugar free)

Train for polo – Training to run a half marathon:  sort of – good weeks and bad

Stopped for a week after I got some bad shin splints!  So I just bought some new shoes to (hopefully) help.  Thankfully I googled for a outlet, and shaved $70! (!!!!) off the price by buying the old style.

Cultural

2 films a month: still  none!?

2 books a month: achieved

I finished Zero Waste Home and I will add to my blogger friend’s review.  I’m likely to be a little harsher, I looked very intently on all that was said :p  I did read something else, but hmmm not sure what.  Maybe there wasn’t

Social

Call/connect with an out of town friend: YEP!

Thanks to a Melbourne trip I caught up with a friend!

Career

Certification: oh so close…

 Oh so close – I have the 150 hours (over the past three years), and I have one episode report that’s too long (a mash up of two ‘episodes’ and totally disjointed) and one that’s too short AND makes no sense… I have no idea what I was trying to write/say!

Melbourne in photos

Last Wednesday afternoon, I headed to Melbourne for three nights to complete some training. The course will help make up 150 hours on my continuing professional development to help me become a certified engineer.  This is one of my annual goals – getting my certification!

Naturally, I can’t enter a hotel room now without taking photos, so I figured I may as well share:

I could easily have snuck the BF in - or a gaggle of friends!
I could easily have snuck the BF in – or a gaggle of friends!

This was the Holiday Inn on Flinders, which is well located when your course is in the same building! I didn’t get much ‘sight seeing’ other than inside the course room for 16 hours, so the photos are of the little quirky things I did see.

Back to my room, the pillow ‘menu’. There were “hard” ones too!

In case you were wondering... Though I did struggle to remove this temporary band!
In case you were wondering… Though I did struggle to remove this temporary band!

Breakfast wasn’t included in my room rate (well I never asked?!) so I headed out each morning to get a coffee and something to eat. The first morning I got a fruit salad, but the photo seems have gotten lost. The next day, I went all out!

I think I paid far more than the size would have you think - those globs of colour must be worth their weight in gold! Still, yummy splurge b'fast
I think I paid far more than the size would have you think – those globs of colour must be worth their weight in gold! Still, yummy splurge b’fast

I was a lovely place, the Grain House, and I did break my attempts at being gluten free. It was lovely a venue, and they were totally flummoxed I didn’t order coffee (repeatedly). See, my course had great coffee/hot chocolate!

The interior of the lovely maker of pancakes
The interior of the lovely maker of pancakes

After two nights in a hotel, I’d used my ‘freebie’ and moved to stay with my friend in South Melbourne. I’ve known this friend since school (she was my boarding house supervisor). In that time, she’s lived in Germany twice, me in France once. In addition, I’ve visited her twice in Germany and once in Brisbane (when she was visiting her parents), and she’s visited me in Paris and in Sydney. We certainly are jetsetters!

The view from my friend's apartment. I can see why she chose it!
The view from my friend’s apartment. I can see why she chose it!

We had a pretty leisurely evening together and morning before my Saturday afternoon flight back to Sydney. We did so much walking!! Though, the walking was worth it, for the things we ate (not all of it was I ‘blogger’ like for, so there’s no photos of delicious gnocchi or pear & nutella pizza or my pastry!)

Mac and cheese burger by the beach
Mac and cheese burger by the beach

Wow, my phone takes great photos in good light (and horrible photos in bad, as seen below!)

As you can see, burgers and slaw are my thing – and… whilst i don’t have a file photo, so is Mac and Cheese! The BF cooks it to ‘pick me up’ pretty regularly.

Compared to my homemade version with potato bread and red cabbage slaw
Compared to my homemade version with potato bread and red cabbage slaw

Speaking of – I came home to a beautiful bunch of my favourite flowers, which I (of course) have forgotten to photograph. I’ll get a snap as they open up nicely. There you have it, a mini break in Melbourne in pictures.

Stress bunny

Let’s be honest here – I’ve been a bit of a stress head of late (which might have come out in last Wednesday’s post, among others).

I think there’s a few key reasons for my stress:

  1. Money
  2. Work
  3. Moving house
  4. To do lists!

Cause my blog is as much my journal as anything, I’m just going to workshop it out a little now.

1. Money

I’ve had to pay close to 4 figures to move house, on top of new rent – all whilst not getting ANY rental income.  It’s due at the end of the month, but will be less the expenses (advertising, landlord’s insurance etc), so it won’t be as much as it will be other months.  So, basically, I have rent + mortgage + bills for two houses on the same income that used to do mortgage + bills.  Naturally, an adjustment.

Then, on top of that, is working through how to budget as a household, not a single being who goes on dates.  Suggestions welcomed!!  Once I have a day off (which I usually get once every ten days), I shall head to the bank to set up a shared account for shared expenses – hopefully this Friday.

2. Work

I went from a role where I managed construction projects – so big things, that happened slowly, with lots of warning.  I blogged and read blogs and did many other things (managed a water polo club for example) to fill the inevitable gaps in my work flow.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been in a maintenance based role.  EVERY single day, two crews must have work from me to do.  It’s nice to have dedicated staff to do work (in the construction role, I waited to be ‘given’ them on a said date).  However, there’s a constant demand for me to output work for them! Then, from the other direction, I have a L-O-N-G list of tasks that all of management are diligently tracking (against my region and others) and hoping to see drop.  Let’s say there’s at least 6,000 tasks on said list for me to work on.  I hit the jackpot the other day, when 19 tasks = 1 day’s work, but it’s not always that good!  Anyhow, I’m constantly analysing spreadsheets and coordinating with the same five people over and over.  It’s a HUGE change from what was a much more stop/go mode of my former role.  Now it’s mainly go go go (and cheer when it’s the weekend!)

source: grantbuist.com
source: grantbuist.com

3. Moving House

I always think moving house will be a breeze, cause I’m organised.  But it’s not – there’s always so much to ‘settle’.  So many little tasks you want done.  And you just want to start feeling ‘at home’.  Thankfully, as a renter, I asked for a few pictures to be hung and doors and shelves to be planed (so they fit the spaces) – and I got a lovely handyman delivered.  I do get joy in doing the tasks, but just having them done is nice too!  I have also finally rebuilt my sofa – it now has two arms!  And I’ve rebuilt my lovely acro lamp.  I’m still getting accustomed to my wardrobe, and the shelves that are less wide then before (see my wardrobe before).  The second bedroom shelves are far nicer, but I know once I move stuff in there, the possibility of renting out the spare room will vanish… So I’m hesitating and cursing my small shelves daily.

4. To do lists

As my blog name implies, I like to list.  And this weekend, I listed! But then I had a mini meltdown on Saturday – started from frying my nerves driving (even though I drive every day!?).  Anyhow, the BF sat down with the list, and assigned priorities to what was on there – I had to achieve one high, one medium and one low each weekend day.  And anything extra could hold off (the ‘rest’ were predominantly low – no urgency to get done).  In the moment, I may not have been totally on board with the prioritisation.  However, as I write this on Sunday afternoon, with the list more or less completed (at least the important stuff), I’m pretty chuffed at his suggestion!  I got my run in, I rebuilt the sofa (not again… just once!), I baked and delivered brownies to my neighbours.  And (not on the list) I even finished a novel (Amity and Sorrow – I did enjoy it Lucinda!)  So, I end this post with – overall, the stress bunny has relaxed a little.  For now.

Packed and then the empty loft

I took some photos as a ‘memories’ of the packing and moving process. This is probably the last I’ll share of the old house (at least the last of photos you’ve never seen before).  I’ll also review my ‘tips‘ (they’ll be the dot points scattered throughout)

Boxes stacked in piles, ready to be rolled out. I thought they were high enough, but the movers got one or two more boxes on each pile! So this tip:

  • use as many uniformly sized boxes as possible – they stack easier This worked well
More packing chaos!
More packing chaos!
  • wear pants with pockets – failed at this last weekend, and spent my life asking for things out of other’s pockets, namely keys! worked
  • label boxes on two adjoining sides – at least one should be accessible/viewable when stacked/moved then no one read these but me ūüôĀ
  • consider a ‘car load’ for odds and sods – I have a list of what I think will be in this load did this, later than hoped with the hospital visit
    • birdcages
    • lamps
    • magnetic notice board
    • ironing board

You can’t beat plastic for protecting furniture. I’d kept the bags the sofas came in. I don’t usually keep packaging, but I couldn’t trash that much plastic, and I knew it was hardy enough to use again (unlike the flimsy mattress bags we bought)

Plastic wrapped furniture
Plastic wrapped furniture

Oh below you see the arm liberated from the sofa… That was a task and a half, but the BF and I are a good team and we got it done with minimal irreparable damage.  The put back together has not happened yet…

  • create a list for the order of packing, starting with the least used items (like linen closet stock piles, out of season clothing etc) Or just do it all right before the move day
  • consider the order of stuff onto the truck vs off the truck, therefore, I’ll pack my entry buffet first, so it comes off last – in both cases, it’ll keep the entryway clearer in both homes. So simple, and yes, this is what happened
Packed to go
Packed to go
  • make sure you have all the tools you need for your flat pack items (thanks Ikea, I have so much Ikea in my house!) – allan keys, shifting spanners etc mostly worked, but the movers having a drill to borrow was a bonus!
  • remember to have toilet paper (more than one roll!) at both houses.  Thankfully there’s a four pack left at the new home! worked
  • as above, it’s useful to have scissors/knives for opening boxes and cutting tape at both locations seemed to happen, by magic rather than planning
  • work out a ‘food plan’ cause at some stage eating will be needed <- ekk something I’ve not done yet! Nope, Dad did that!
Packing up progress
Packing up progress

I seemed to clean this place endlessly – on moving out day (when I had nothing to do but await the movers finishing emptying it). Then again the day after, in the morning, til I needed to be at the new house to receive the new fridge. Then again that same afternoon – to meet the agent and do the condition report for the new tenants. I won’t bore you with photos of the all the chips and dents… cause I have those too! Just some errie empty home photos. It was so echo-y, and both bigger and smaller all at once.

  • keep cleaning and hardware products at the ‘outgoing’ house for the final touch ups Ideally some at both house would be better!
Empty house
Empty house
  •  roughly hash out what will go where (furniture items particularly, but you can get crazy and go down to cupboards!), and where ‘other’ stuff will go, such as all the boxes! didn’t do well, so I keep moving things in the kitchen to the BF’s frustration
  • spend the ‘pre’ move time getting things back to their rightful owners, dropping stuff at recycling centers or thrift stores etc. The less the move the better! (I’ll be rehoming my bokashi compost box to my parents, my sewing machine, 1 microwave and a toaster to some friends in need, excess craft stuff went back to the Co-op, and I have a box to give the op (thrift) shop already) Did this well! But then there’s a little be of ‘collecting it all back’ too!
Empty view out to the balcony
Empty view out to the balcony

Good bye old house – let the new tenants love you as much as I do!

A new (blogging) home

Howdy all… Do things look a little different to you?  Me too – I’ve moved house in the virtual sense too!

So the BF bought me a domain (isn’t he a romantic) and now that I live with him in captivity, we ‘moved house’ in the virtual sense too.  So instead of being livetolist.wordpress.com, I’ve dropped a pesky nine letters and a colon, and said goodbye to the free-ness of WordPress. Now I am THE www.livetolist.com  So, if like me, you love a great bookmark, I’d suggest updating it.  But rest assured, if you don’t, I’ll still magically turn up, cause I have a funky redirection in place.

I’m not sure what this means for now, but I’m assured it gives me far greater visuals on statistics, which I quite like.  Otherwise, from the back end, it looks the same but with more bells and whistles.

Anyhow, if you’re having any issues, please let me know, so I can iron out the kinks.

Now for some snapshots of my new place:

The kitchen and the open shelves
The kitchen and the open shelves
I love my blue glasses - the smokey candle, not so much!
I love my blue glasses – the smokey candle, not so much!
A bathroom ledge is so useful, loving it!
A bathroom ledge is so useful, loving it!
Wine rack - I feel like a grown up with a whole dozen in there!
Wine rack – I feel like a grown up with a whole dozen in there!

 

Finally a way to display my Venetian mask!
Finally a way to display my Venetian mask!

I did try to take it easy this weekend, focusing on my ‘top 3’ tasks per day – many weren’t DIY or house related, but meals out for a birthday and the church’s patron saint’s festival’s lunch. I’ve been a little stressed out, so I really did take it easier on myself with respect to the house (and the blogging). I feel much better for it too!