New Favourites: Things I Love in February & March

Saturday, April 18, 2015

These posts are often a bit of a round up job as well, but I've bitched enough about moving house now, so I'll stick with the good bits.

1. Getting My Match On
I'm tired. My knee hurts. My hip hurts. But my @hellyhansen trainers match my nails and it's still all about these epic tights. #thisgirlcan
Tights & Trainers both gifted to me by Helly Hansen, Activewear top from Mountain Warehouse & Nails done in Cambs using GelII

STILL loving these Helly Hansen tights and trainers- the tights are perfection for spring both in aesthetic with the beautiful print and design- slightly longer than capri length, perfect thickness to keep out the chill breeze without overheating when the sun is shining on through. But best of all, unconsciously matching my gel manicure to my kit.

2. Glittery & Green
Green Breton stripes for going home from super sunny Hereford. I don't want to go back to reality. There's no 2004 Bollinger in reality.

I continue to live and die in my silver glitter converse, see also green spanish handbag and latterly this long sleeve green & cream breton style t-shirt from Primark. Inventive, no but goodness me is this easy dressing for the supremely busy/lazy.

3. All about that braid
Loved my Linda braid so much that I did my own French braid version today (because Dutch braiding screws with my head)
After getting my hair braided by The Braid Bar, my love for a decent braid (otherwise known as a way to not wash my hair for an additional 2-3 days) was totally re-ignited. For me, braids are actually super practical as well as time saving- originally, braiding my quite long hair was a way to keep it from getting tangled whilst wearing my cycle helmet, and whilst it's super windy at present, it's much the same principle. This is my own version, you can see what the girls did for me in this post about my Braid Bar experience

4. Valentines Vodka
I came across the East London Liquor Co at a food festival, and although I believe they're better known for their gin, their vodka is fabulous. Mine was a Valentines gift from Faceache and it's every bit as good as I recalled. They have a bar round the corner from my old flat. I'm gutted we never made it their whilst we still lived in stumbling distance.
Friday- thanks to @distillingine3 and @fevertreemixers

5. Keeping it real with cocktails
Sensing a theme? It would be fair to say I'm a drinker- I enjoy wine very much, have a love for Vodka so long as it's not flavoured and my grandfather has passed on a love of unusual and/or international spirits and liqueurs. Not everyone will approve, but luckily my mate Stuart, who I hadn't seen since January does. Cocktails and catch ups!
Happy Easter

From Where I Stand: What I Wore

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I can't decide if I do these posts because I don't know what else to do with the instagram shots of my feet and legs or because I need to be reminded to wear something other than denim leggings and a jumper sometime soon.... So here we go.

March running (You can read about my foray into pavement pounding HERE)
FWIS Running Mar 2015
Clockwise from Top Left-
The sun came out and a German Shepherd puppy left some muddy pawprints behind
The sun stayed out and my awesome tights and manicure made it seem like Spring was coming
Matched my manicure with my trainers for a run where I felt like an epic failure
The manicure in question- completely unintentional that it matches my running kit so well, but isn't the colour fabulous? 

March in the office
FWIS Mar 2015 Shoes & Braids
Clockwise from top left-
CAT SHOES- what else do I say really? Except I also bought mouse versions because both pairs were on sale
I had a go at my own version of my Braid Bar braid, and it came out pretty well (read more HERE)
I spent a lot of time in denim leggings and big jumpers this month- gratuitous cat slippers also
When packing for the move, rediscovered this satchel as it had fallen out of the box I store my handbags in

March on the move....

Clockwise from top left- 
MOVE DAY.... subsequently spent almost 2 and a half weeks wearing nothing but denim leggings and jumpers... plus de change.... 
Hereford bound for Easter Weekend, it was super sunny so I wore these awesome sunglasses my mum brought back from the States for me. Incessantly. 
Green, for a change. Loving this easy breton tee from Primark. 
Getting my bike on whilst in Herefordshire. Totally screwed my left shoulder, but it was nice to stretch my bike (and my legs) 

Marching On: 5 More Things About Moving House

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I've bitched, I've whined, I've spent more time and money in Ikea than I really care to review, but I've moved. The whole Adult Moving House thing is actually a bit shit, it used to be kind of exciting when I only had as much stuff as I could fit in my suitcase. SIGH. But we're in.

1. However much you have urged your partner to reduce their crap, they probably haven't.
4 packing boxes of miscellaneous crap... REALLY?!

2. It is entirely possible to get used to camp chairs and sometimes this is preferable to making Actual Grown Up Decisions about which sofa or armchairs to spend yet more money on.

We now have a living room that's useable and a kitchen that's most of the way to being clear too. Have worked my socks off today and now I'm knackered.

3. Purchasing a sofa, on a bank holiday Monday, from Ikea will result in an extremely full car and deranged smiling faces (and the opening of several bottles of wine)

This is our 'we've just bought £600 of sofa and it doesn't quite fit in the car' face. See also the 'oh goodness we have furniture to build to ought' face.

4. Being woken up by Bailiffs looking for a previous tenant. Not cool.

5. Assorted relatives and friend WILL try and offload their belongings on you under the guise of assisting you in your endeavours at furnishing a flat for the first time- some of this will be useful (not needing to buy new bedding when you upsize your bed SCORE), some of this will not (even we don't need 50 wine glasses....)

But hey, we're in. The living room looks mostly like a living room. The kitchen is mostly functioning, except for a dodgy light fitting and some mouse-related issues, and we have an actual grown up bed and some actual grown up wardrobes. Now.... for the broadband to be installed!

Here We Go: 5 Adult Things I've Learned About Moving House

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No Chloe Likes To Eat this week, because I've been living on Itsu crystal noodle cups and vegetable soup. This time next week, T will have had 3 days off and be back at work, we will have moved a lot of boxes and furniture, and we'll be in our new place. I will probably be sobbing into boxes I need to unpack and there may or may not be half built flatpack furniture littering the place. So here's a few things I've learned since realising I have to move as an adult with adult stuff rather than a student and 1 bedroom....

1. Even if you're addicted to decluttering- once you pop, you can't stop, you have still have way more stuff think you think you have- because one doesn't just throw away brand new gift bags or extension cords because they will have to go into a box most likely labelled 'stuff'.

Hoping if I do enough packing that I'll forget that there's wine downstairs.

2. You cannot exercise your usual obsession with list making, timelines and definites, you will have no idea what's going on until it's happening- contracts? Errrr.... Keys don't matter right?  And as for ordering a mattress.... what do you mean some companies take 2 weeks to deliver?

3. It's probably not normal practice for you and your partner to spend a Saturday night making scale drawings of your new flat, complete with scale cut outs of the wardrobes you spent the afternoon looking at in Ikea...

Trying to work out how much furniture will fit in our new flat.
And you thought I was kidding

4. Tea will not make it better. Neither will coffee. Cake might do, just for a second, but ultimate salvation looks like this.

Friday- thanks to @distillingine3 and @fevertreemixers
Vodka is the answer. And a major food group.

5. However simple it sounds on paper- put things in boxes, move boxes from one place to another, unpack boxes.... it will never be that simple. Because apparently it's not ok to live on crystal noodle cups and vegetable soup for 3 weeks because you want to pack the saucepans and kitchen utensils. Apparently.

Let's Go Round Again: Getting Back To Running (again)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I have bitched about running, how much I don't like it, and I've read so many blog posts, articles and interviews about the wonder of running whilst in my head thinking: yeah, whatever.

I feel about cycling how many feel about running- it gives me joy, I feel free, I enjoy working hard. But for reasons unknown, running has never given me such joy. That said, I've tried to like it. And I almost got there. In January and early February, something started to click for me. I suspect it has something to do with having a better base level of fitness meaning that I'm not consistently struggling for breath whilst trying to get to grips with the running bit. Then a chest infection struck and then our house move drama kicked off and I turned to the vodka bottle rather than trainers. I know, I know. Not big. Not clever. But it kinda helped.

Friday- thanks to @distillingine3 and @fevertreemixers

Anyway, moan, moan, moan. Whine, whine, whine. And now it's time to get on and get over it. I know for some people shiny new kit is a motivator- and there's no doubt I've had a fair amount of that in the last couple of months (mostly thanks to Helly Hansen) but it's not always the biggest factor in getting me out there. I've never had a huge desire to run a race, so I'm not sold that signing up for a race or event is the answer either. The biggest factor this time has been stress relief and keeping my diet in check.

I'm tired. My knee hurts. My hip hurts. But my @hellyhansen trainers match my nails and it's still all about these epic tights. #thisgirlcan
Moment of appreciation for amazing tights AND my nails matching my trainers

Exercise (not just running) really helps me to manage my stress and whilst I'm not going to moan (again) about everything going on presently, it has in part been a catalyst to get me back on the road, as much as some of the dramas were preventative. Exercise- be it on my bike or my feet, gives me the head space I need to mull things over, and even if I feel like I'm not getting anywhere with the life stuff, I rarely come home from a ride or especially a run feeling like it wasn't worthwhile, however tough, slow or cold it was.

The other thing that exercise- especially running compared with cycling in fact, is my diet. I am my own worst enemy in that I love all sorts of things that should be enjoyed in moderation and that is especially true when I'm either a. on my own (working away at the moment, and 'cooking' for one) and/or b. under pressure. There's been too much booze (because wine is my friend), too much salt and sugar and too many carbs in the last few weeks. Running always makes me crave the things I know are good for me (and that I love, it's just I love them a little less when garlic bread and primitivo are calling my name) like grilled salmon and roasted vegetables or warm spinach and chickpea salads or veg packed soups. I don't just eat them because I've talked myself out of a cheeseboard, I crave them and love them and only really worry about the cheeseboard on Friday night.

There isn't a magic trick that gets you up off your backside and into your trainers, and it's fair to say I think that the first outing (even if it's after just a short break) is the hardest.As mentioned, I've never been sold on the running a race option because I've always been a bit put off by how seriously all these things are taken and because for me, it'll always be a (proverbial) marathon not a sprint. All that said, in a moment of madness last week, I did this.

#thisgirlcan #werunlondon

This Girl Can as a campaign has gone some way to changing some of my thoughts on sport, women in sport and general participation. I knew the figures relating to young women and teenage girls not being active weren't great but they were still shocking to me- the campaign focuses on encouraging women and girls to be active regardless of how they appear, and trying to break through the hatred of being sweaty, hot, red faced, tired, bedraggled, muddy or anything else, and that's incredibly important and incredibly powerful. But there's another judgement we need to break through, and I've been guilty of making it too.

Being invested in something- whether it's a job, a family, a sport or a TV series is not a bad thing. Making others feel lesser or judged because they don't  share the same version of your commitment or enjoyment, that's bad, but if getting up and running a race every Sunday is your thing, that's cool. If you're cracking out 8 hours a week in the pool, I'm pleased for you. Marathon of Pretty Little Liars on Saturday afternoon- where do I sign up.... But it doesn't make me a bad, lesser, or plain lazy person.

This Girl Can has, for me, set the tone for a generation of young women who will hopefully be more active than ever before and take pleasure in that but more importantly, it's the start of reminding us all not to judge and that's just as important whether we're talking of women judging each other or the world at large.

I'll be happy to cross the finish line on June 21st, because I believe that THIS girl can, but to those hoping to beat their personal best or who are training for something bigger, longer or harder- go for it, good luck, train hard, I hope you'll smile back as you overtake me.