Melbourne, Post Holiday Blues and a Bit of a Life Update.

Hey guys,

I know this isn’t the usual travel series I have been posting each week although I wanted to break it up a bit. I also know I haven’t posted in a few weeks, life has been pretty crazy, although I have made a commitment to my blog and I do love writing so I am going to try to keep uploading on a weekly basis.

Firstly, I feel like I want to mention this because something quite scary happened in our family recently. A few months ago my mum was diagnosed with a very early stage of breast cancer. It was a massive relief that it was diagnosed so early and thankfully everything is going to be okay. For a few weeks it was scary because all we knew was that ‘Mum had cancer’ and until it was removed and found out, very luckily, that it hadn’t spread, it was a pretty stressful time for all of us (especially mum!). It certainly put life in a bit of a different perspective as you just think ‘that will never happen to me or the people I love’ and when it does, you realise how lucky you are to have your good health and loving supportive people in your life, and how lucky we are, as not all people find it as early as the doctors did. I cannot stress enough how early detection saves lives, my mum did not have any symptoms or lumps, she is perfectly healthy. Ladies, if you have been putting off that pap smear or breast check, go and do it, it’s not a nice thing to do, but it sure is better than a cancer that has spread.

Moving forward, recently I went to Melbourne to visit my brother for a week, we did so much in just one week, including visiting the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, drinking wine at a vineyard in Monteville and doing enough shopping to (literally) break my bank account. A friend asked me the other day ‘how can you afford to be going away all the time lately?’ I replied with ‘I have a credit card’. (Which is ok as long as you don’t go crazy with it and only spend enough so that you can pay it back in full within a reasonable time – that Louis Vuitton handbag will have to wait!) But yes, it was very worth it, as I have to say I was stuck in quite a holiday blues slump when I came home from Europe, and I could not get motivated to do anything. I didn’t want to go to the gym, I didn’t want to go to work and basically I was super bored. Although it’s a beautiful place to live, I live in a very small town with minimal things to do.

Which is why I am excited to say I have decided to head back to study. I have just started a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing via distance education and so far I love it! Between work, gym, study, preparing healthy meals and trying to get a full 8 hours sleep, I haven’t found much extra time in the day, but the past week I have felt that I have a purpose in life and that I have something to work towards again. I am crazy busy but I like busy, productivity keeps me motivated and it also makes me look much more forward to my rest days.

I feel going away to Melbourne gave me a lot of time to think and chat to my brother about ‘what was next for me’. To end this blog on a happy note, here are a few photos I took whilst I was there for the week 🙂

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Ways I like to Unwind and Relax at the end of the day.

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Sometimes it feels that you have days where nothing goes right or maybe you just look in the mirror that day and just feel bleh! (even if you’re a person with lots of confidence, everyone has days like this!)

I have put together a few things that I like to do at the end of the day to make myself feel better and more relaxed.

Take a bubble bath

I loooove bubble baths. Nothing is better when you are a bit stressed than dropping a Lush bath bomb and watching the colours swirl and sizzle in the water as you light some candles ready to close yourself off from the world for an hour or two. While in the bath I either like read a good book or I put my iPad at the end of the bath and watch Netflix/YouTube. It really is my favourite way to relax as it feels like my time.

A pamper evening

Joining with the first point, if you have the time, having a pamper evening is a great way to unwind and make yourself feel 100% better. I like to shave my legs, put on a facemask and hair mask, use lots of lovely smelling body wash, exfoliator, moisturiser and then finish with some self-tanner and I can guarantee you will feel like a shiny new person when you’re done.

Logging out of Facebook. 

This is one thing I have been trying to do recently each night before I get into bed. Because I work on a computer all day at work, I have already been staring at technology for around 7 hours that day, so I feel that logging out of Facebook before I get in bed resists my urge to stay up and binge scroll for hours, and it gives my brain a break. I don’t just mean close the app, I mean logging out, this goes for any type of social media that you may be addicted to, scrolling on etc. such as Instagram, Snapchat, twitter. Trust me, it will remind you not to go on it if you open it by accident, as you will already be logged out and not tempted. Reading a book before you sleep is much more relaxing.

Plan the next day

My boss recently gave me this idea. Sometimes I am just staring at the roof awake thinking of the things I need to do the next day (even if it isn’t that much, I still tend to overthink). So before I go to sleep I like to plan the next day and make bullet points of what I need to do. I feel that this clears my head, and I can sleep better knowing that I won’t forget anything that I need to get done the next day. I have this great planner that I got online that lets me meal plan, plan your workout, track your water intake as well as having a check list. I recommend it if you want to stick to a routine.

Stretch

Normally after I work out in the morning I don’t have much time to spare to stretch out my muscles, so at night in bed I like to stretch. I normally just use this video by Blogilates (her workouts are amazing too, if you are stuck for time) . Even though I already know how to stretch I like to use video tutorials because it makes sure that you stretch out each muscle for long enough. I find that by stretching and relaxing I feel ready to go to sleep after I finish. I also find that I don’t normally wake up sore from my workouts if I take time to stretch properly each day. I know people say meditating is great for relaxing, but I still haven’t mastered that, I don’t have enough patience to sit still for too long. (I’m working on it!)

I hope this post has been helpful for those busy people out there, I would love some suggestions if you have any other ways you like to unwind.

Kate xx

 

Going Vegetarian?

Hi Everyone,

Today I wanted to talk about food and my opinion on vegetarian and vegan foods.

DISCLAIMER: Please don’t be offended by this post if you are a vegan or vegetarian, this is just my choice on how I want to eat and I’m really no expert on the topic, I know people choose to eat like this for bigger reasons than I’m talking about today.

As of a few months ago, after reading about fitness fads and other people’s lifestyle choices, I decided to start experimenting with more vegetarian/vegan meals and snacks, this isn’t because I have an issue with eating animal products (although sometimes I feel the way the animals are treated could be a lot better!), I was just curious to see the difference in how I felt.

Overall, it made me feel great, I feel I am less bloated and feel less full when I don’t eat meat and I noticed how nice my skin felt when I avoid dairy for a few days. It also doesn’t give you that food hangover feeling were you feel sluggish and wanting to nap all the time. 

I did consider becoming a vegetarian for a while as I could see the great health benefits from it physically and through research, but in the end I decided that I didn’t like being restricted to what I can and can’t eat and wanted to enjoy both.

So… my aim this year is to just eat whole nutritional food that is natural and healthy for you. Some days I might avoid meat more than others but for now I think everything in moderation, works for me.

To conclude this post, I am going to share with you a few pictures of a vegetarian chilli that I have been making, that tastes amazing! It is made with lots of yummy vegetables, spices and beans. I made this batch for my lunch’s during the week, as I go back to work tomorrow from my christmas break. Meal prep is a great way to make sure you eat healthy all week.

The recipe is from the blog Cookie and Kate, here is the link if you would like to make this yourself: http://cookieandkate.com/2015/vegetarian-chili-recipe/

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When I serve this for myself I like to have it with tortilla chips, avocado and cashew cheese but you can choose to have with it what you like.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will try to make this yourself!

Love Kate x

5 Lifetstle tips to start off your day!

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For the past 6 months I have been working in a full time job. When I started I thought it was going to be exactly like school routine – I was totally wrong! Hats off to people who have been doing this adult thing for years – it’s exhausting! I wanted to share a few things that I have learnt so far that makes me start my day in a positive, motivated way.

1.   Wake up early

This may seem like a silly idea, as you would think the more sleep you get, the better you would feel for the day. But I have found the earlier that I get up in the morning the more productive I feel and I don’t have to run around and rush to get ready – I have time to have an enjoyable morning before heading to work.

2. Exercise 

When I was a casual position in retail I was going to the gym every day, sometimes twice a day.  Now there just isn’t enough hours in the day! I have found a great alternative – HIIT Workouts. They are 4 minute high intensity workouts that make you feel like you have been working out for an hour, you can do them in your living room and as long as you do them consistently they work!

Here is the YouTube link for the workouts that I use and work for me: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCag7XoiJLutjBTsM0tAzUzg  – she is really good for beginners.

3. Spend time on your make-up and hair for the day

Now I looooove applying make-up, it’s one of my favourite things to do but after the first few months of working full-time,  doing a full face of make up every morning got really time consuming and I was putting less and less on until it got to a point where I wasn’t wearing any to work at all. I noticed that when I showed up to work wearing no make-up, my hair chucked up messy that I was less motivated to want to work, as I didn’t feel at my best.

Also I should add, I don’t wear make-up because I am self-conscious about myself.  I quite happily don’t wear it when I don’t want to, and it is good to let your skin have a break too, but when I’m going out to work or out to dinner, just like a nice dress make-up gives you that little more confidence and makes you feel like you’re at your best because you have put in the effort and pride to present yourself at your best! Anyway back to the point – If you spend a little bit longer on your hair and make-up in the morning I can guarantee you will have a better day.

4 Have a healthy breakfast

I have always been a breakfast person, I always make sure I eat before I leave the house although I have only recently started eating a proper nutritious breakfast. Instead of just eating one piece of toast I make sure I make myself a meal that will fuel my body, like scrambled eggs and avocado on toast or a green smoothie and porridge. I have recently been reading ‘The Body Book’ by Cameron Diaz and she explains how important the right food is for your body. If your New Year’s resolution is to stop eating so much processed rubbish food then I recommend this book, as you will find out what it’s doing to your body and turn you off!

5. Pack your handbag for the day

I always ensure I have everything I need before I walk out the door. What I mean by this is that I make sure that I have a packed lunch (it saves so much money!), a book or magazine to read at lunch time. I don’t like sitting in the office during lunch hour, it’s really good to get out and go for a walk or read to take your mind off work for a while. I recently bought a new handbag by Michael Kors – I am in love! It makes me excited to go out because I can show it off.  Spoiling yourself every now and then is a great incentive to work as it shows how hard you work for your money.

These are just my tips that I wanted to share. If you have any tips you use please share them in the comments as I would love to read them or if you have your own blog please leave it in a link below! 🙂

Love Kate xxx

Finding the right exercise for you!

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When I was in high school I was always the girl who got hit in the face with a soccer ball in PE or who was hopeless at volleyball because I couldn’t catch the ball or who didn’t like running cross country as I found it difficult. I could go on forever the lists on sports that I was hopeless at. My lack of sporting prowess put me off exercising for years ( I was lucky puberty kicked in and I grew out of my baby fat chubbiness).

I really wanted to be fit with abs and a toned peachy bum. After school finished I joined the gym and was determined to reach my goal. Running on the treadmill was all good for 30 minutes, until I got bored. Doing sit ups was hurting my back because I was probably doing them the wrong way! The gym instructors at the gym I went to were awesome, really helpful, but since I had no knowledge about what I was doing and personal training was not an option as it was too expensive. Overall after going for about 5 months, I wasn’t seeing many results!

As I have explained in previous blogs I watch a fair amount of Youtubers and Vloggers (video blogging). I came across a fitness channel called Lucy Wyndham Read. She is a qualified trainer who used to be in the army and she focuses on HIIT training. This is High Interval Training which is short workout sessions where you give quick intense bursts of exercise that can burn calories for hours after, it only has be 10-20 minutes everyday. This is great if you are like me and have no patience, you can also do it just in your living room! Here is a link that will explain it a lot better than I can:  http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/high-intensity-hiit-workout/ or head to: https://www.youtube.com/user/LWRFitnessChannel and see for yourself!

I have only been following Lucy’s workout plans for about 3 months and I am seeing better results than I ever have before, I have never felt so strong or confident. I actually really look forward getting up every morning and doing my workout too. I want to post a before and after picture, when I feel like I have reached exactly the fitness level I want to be. Also diet is one of the most important things to think of! I have learnt you could be pushing yourself so hard, but if the food you are eating isn’t wholesome and nutritional, you won’t get the results you want! (but I always make sure I get my cupcake treat at the end of the day.)

I didn’t write this post because I think this is the only way to get fit, and  that sport and gym don’t work, I am saying I have found something that really works for me and I think there IS a way for everyone to get fit and healthy, you just have to find a way that works best for you. I would love to be able to work with a proffessional personal trainer one day but for now this is what is working for my lifestyle 🙂

I hope you find the inspiration to get off your butt like I have!

Love Kate xox