woensdag 30 december 2009

Ten for 2010

 

It’s that time of the year again: the last days of a year where people come op with resolutions they intend but for the most part won’t keep. Now, I am certainly not against resolutions, even New Year’s resolutions. I am even one of those persons who will admit that she likes them haha! However, I don’t like goals that are not very specific and do not have a realistic plan on how to accomplish them. 

Foto found here 

So let’s review this year. Last year I wrote down some goals for 2009. How did I do?

  • Take time for myself : Check. There is still a lot of room for improvement but I am getting better at it and feeling less guilty if I do nothing for a day. I also started to work out a lot more which is great me-time and excellent for stress release.
  • Work on relationship with the Boyfriend : Check. You can not have a relationship if you don’t work for it. Even though we are crazy about each other, our personalities sometimes clash a lot, haha! But on the other side, we can have a lot of fun together too. The Boyfriend works regular day shifts now, which is a major improvement because boy, did I hate those night shifts, we hardly saw each other! We only had to get used to him having weekend on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, because those are working days for me. But we introduced date night again: every week we go and spend some quality time and do stuff that dating couples do. And I also have half a day off, so I planned it on a Wednesday.
  • Win lottery because we have tickets: We didn’t…of course. But the Boyfriend always wants to play the End-of-the-year- lottery, so this year we have tickets again. The grand prize is 27.5 million euro, that is a lot of money!

Now let’s have a look at my list for next year. Since it is 2010 I wrote down 10 things that I want to do, start or improve in the next year.

  1. Finish my thesis, while keeping my sanity that is. This will be my main goal throughout the year. It’s nice to have 10 things on your list, but you can only have 1 major goal, or nothing will come of anything. My contract ends on Dec 31th 2010, and if I don’t have it finished by then I am looking at some lovely volunteer work if I want my PhD degree. I already found a source of support to show me that I am not the only one here: www.phdcomics.com . But I am happy that my situation is far better than in some other countries. At least it is a paid job and it is more like you have 4 years to focus completely on your own project with some things on the side, instead of being your Professor’s slave.
  2. Take it easy. Since I am going to be working hard, I want to take it easy in the rest of my life. This means making sure to get enough sleep and not trying to fit too many things in one day. Avoid stress (meditation, yoga?) and have fun! (hobbies, anyone?)
  3. Move to a new house: we put the apartment up for sale about a month ago. We want to move to a nice house, with a garden in a quiet neighborhood. Because of point 1 and 2 we will carefully pick the house once we have sold our apartment. For example, we don’t want a house that needs major renovations right away.
  4. Become a blood donor: Well, actually I already did this! Last week I signed up because I wanted to do this in the new year, but they called me really soon after, so yesterday was my first donation! I was really scared that I was going to faint. I am not scared of needles or blood, I just tend to get lightheaded they take blood, even if it’s just a few tubes. I was a donor 7 years ago and almost fainted during my first donation (after about 100 ml) and it took me quite a while before i felt well enough to leave the place. But yesterday everything went just fine! The nurse was really nice and chatted with me to distract me a bit. I felt kind of weak for the first couple of hours, but that was it!
  5. The spiritual part of my life deserves some attention. I am going to spend some time meditation and musing, and getting more in touch with my chi. Don’t laugh.
  6. Race. I want to run several races next year. There are a couple in May and September which I really want to do. But I hope to run more. I will focus on 5k’s, but I might, just might, do a 10k before the end of the year.
  7. Read: I love to read, but do not spend enough time doing so. I intend to read for 15-30 min each night in bed before going to sleep to get into the habit of reading again.
  8. Be social. Especially when I am busy and stressed I tend to hide in my home. This year I want to be better at maintaining contact with family and friends. I already wrote about this more specifically in this post.
  9. Cut back on coffee. I made a lot of improvements in my health this year. But one thing I would like to change is to drink less coffee at work. I intend to take some herbal tea with me to work. What if I get sleepy? See point 2.
  10. Nothing, nada. The neurotic obsessive compulsive person inside my head LOVES 10 for 2010. To teach that person a lesson I will leave this spot open. Another reason is that these are more than enough goals for me for now. I wanted to take it easy, remember? I can fill it up later this year if I feel it’s needed.
    But frankly, I am just out of ideas right now.

Tell me all about your resolutions!

Have a great New Year’s eve! I will be back next year.

zaterdag 26 december 2009

Snow fever

Why, hello there!

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Last sunday we had a lot of snow! It had been snowing the whole day and by the end of the afternoon it finally stopped. So we went outside to the park, just before dark.

Look, how beautiful:

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We were all excited and played like kids, lol.

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Monday I had to get through all of that snow to get to work, it was a little less fun then. I got stuck in the parking lot when I wanted to leave work. The whole country was affected: those who could, stayed at home, a gazillion accidents happened, there were hardly any trains and no buses. We Dutch people are so not used to this! A few days before there was some snow too, but in the afternoon so everybody did get out but then had to get back: HUGE traffic jams!

 

 

Christmas eve and First Christmas Day

Good afternoon! How is everybody doing? Still feeling stuffed and with a hangover or not so bad?

We had a great time so far. I spent the day of Christmas even veggin’ out on the couch with the cats, it was wonderful! After I submitted my paper for work I was officially free! I really didn’t feel like doing anything so I just stayed on the couch with my laptop, reading e-mails, blogs and did some random surfing, drinking loads of hot tea. At the same time I watched tv: Two guys and a girl, the Oprah. Oprah was really cool, she asked people of different countries (Denmark, Japan, Brazil, etc) why they are so happy. I liked Denmark most because they do not seem very career-oriented and focus on living a simple life enjoying the people around you. It was a real feel good show, because Oprah only showed the positive side of each country. She didn’t explain that the reason why everybody is riding a bike in Denmark, is because cars are not affordable. And even though important things like education and health care are free, other things are really expensive. Still, it seamed a really nice country I would like to visit. After that I watched a x-mas movie with Whoopie Goldberg and then the Boyfriend came home. He then went to get take out, because in all my laziness I forgot to get the meat from the freezer so I couldn’t make meatballs, lol. We spent the rest of the night watching more cheesy x-mas movies.

I also go my present from the Boyfriend’s boss! It was a huge bottle of perfume, like last year! I immediately put some on my hand to smell it. After the first alcohol-smell evaporated I smelled…..nothing!! several trial later we both still smelled nothing. It turned out that the bottle was a dummy: stores use it for display and it does not contain the perfume, lol. I think the Boyfriend’s boss got a ‘deal’ somewhere haha. The Boyfriend is going to ask his colleagues if they had the same thing. We still don’t know what to do yet. It’s not like I want it replaced because it’s pretty much a useless gift, but I also think that if he was scammed, he should know. What would you do?

Christmas morning we started off with a nice HUGE breakfast and….a white Christmas! It seriously started snowing when we woke up. Everything was still white from the snow we had this week, so it didn’t really matter that soon that snow turned into rain. After breakfast we went to the cemetery to visit the grave of the Boyfriend’s grandma. Even though most of the snow is gone already, the cemetery was still covered in 20cm of snow. Because of that, and because we hadn’t been there for a while, we had trouble locating the grave and spent over half an hour searching and getting soaked in rain and snow. But it was very beautiful there:

 

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Do you agree, or just think I am crazy now, for posting a picture of a graveyard?

Then we headed back home, very cold and soaked. So we decided to make the hot chocolate from the box of goodies I got from my employer ( I don’t know about you, but here in Holland it is normal that every employee gets something for Christmas, traditionally it is a box with different food items, but it can also be a themed box, like last year we got towels and slippers or a breakfast theme including cups and plates etc. This year I had a box filled with things for hot chocolate 2 cups and a serving-thing, a bottle of chocolate, whipped cream, and cookies and chocolate to go with the hot coco):

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We also skyped with my in-laws in Florida for a while. They were just having breakfast, so we toasted with juice (for them) and wine (for us, lol). Then we made some snacks and watched Pride and Prejudice. I have had that movie forever, and today the Boyfriend finally agreed to watch it with me.

Then we turned on some new random x-mas movie and started dinner in the mean time. Our entree was tomato-soup with mascarpone…from a bag haha. We really did not want to make things harder than necessary this year. The soup was really good and also had no artificial flavors etc, yummie! We had the soup while watching tv on the couch, how bad is that?
After that we went on to prepare the main course: roast beef with potatoes, my fav stir fry vegetable mix and italian salad.

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Wow, my face looks weird in this picture! The Boyfriend was in charge of cutting the meat….of course hahaha.PB240200

The roast beef was real easy too. As you can see, it came marinated and ready in an aluminum case, so all we had to do was pop it into the oven and wait until the little thingy popped up out of the meat when it was done. The potatoes were pre-boiled so baking the was easy. The salad came with all the ingredient and dressing in a package and the stir fry was pre-cut too. Talking about an effortless dinner ha!

Desert was Viennetta ice-cake, yum! We had some tea while watching Home Alone (I know…) and digesting a bit. Wow, I felt pretty full, but it could have been worse. Then we went on to watch the rest of Home Alone in bed.

All together, it was a fun, relaxed First Christmas Day. No stress, just enjoy some time together. In case you are wondering: no we did not have any presents, because we already exchanged gifts at ‘Sinterklaas’, another Holiday on the 5th of December. I got my very own heart rate monitor then!

Today is Second Christmas Day. The Boyfriend is working right now and I am not really doing much today. The sun is shining so I might go out for a walk/run this afternoon. Tomorrow I have run planned a few other girls, at leas if the weather is ok. In the evening we will go over to my parents to celebrate Christmas.

donderdag 24 december 2009

Zen in progress and the Christmas spirit

Hey guys/girls! How is everything going? Are you busy preparing for Christmas, or already celebrating Christmas eve? We don’t have very special plans this year. In Holland we don’t really celebrate Christmas eve. When I still lived at home, my mom used to take us to the late night Church mass, but that was about it. The Boyfriend is having some drinks at work with his co-workers and will be coming home soon. I can’t wait, because his boss not only got him a gift, but me too! :D Last year I got a huge bottle of perfume, so let’s see…. Tomorrow the Boyfriend has a day off and we are going to spend the day being cozy and romantic together: watch a movie, go on a walk, play a game and have some good food. Boxing day, which is a real holiday here too, he will be off to work and I will be all by my lonesome self haha. To be honest, I really don’t care. First of all, because I don’t understand why there have to be 2 Christmas days. Really, we call it First Christmas day and Second Christmas day. We do the same with Easter and Pentecost, hilarious! Buy you won’t hear me complain because it means more days off! Second, because on Third Christmas day (made that up, but most people don’t even look surprised if I say it) we will get together with my family for dinner. So a day of rest and normal eating in between will be good.

I am excited about the Holidays. Last year we prepared a 6-course dinner for my family. It was fun, but I really don’t feel like doing that again. We are having a gourmet dinner (cook your own food while chatting away) so the main work is in doing the dishes. Also, my family is not demanding at all when it comes to Christmas. We don’t even get together until after Christmas because that way my sister does not have to race around like a crazy person between her in-laws and us. My in-laws live in Florida, that makes things easier too. But I would really like spending Christmas with my grandma’s too. Hmm, maybe I will visit them on Boxing day, if they don’t have other plans.

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On another note: I thought it would be nice to report on my progress in the Daisy Do Zen project. The meditation part is not going so well yet. I only did one grounding session for a few minutes. Well, maybe it will be better during my vacation.

With yoga I am doing much better. Because I have very little experience with yoga I thought it would be best to search for videos to start with instead of pose guides. I did some power yoga in college, but I never really learned the poses well. So after some searching I did my first video, a beginner video from www.yogajournal.com

My experience? Oh. My. God. I. Am. So. Stiff! Really, I am so not agile and flexible and my muscles had a hard time doing the stretching. Downward dog? I am sure what I did, didn’t even look close to something like that! I really should do this more often,. I guess the fun will come when you know what you are doing.

So I did another yoga session a few days later. I really wanted to go running, but I couldn’t with all the snow and frozen roads outside. So I did another video and I must admit that I liked it better the second time, even though I still really suck at it.
But I am just going to keep up with this, at least for the whole month.

*

I am off to watch a Christmas movie with the Boyfriend now.

Have a great Christmas!!!

zondag 13 december 2009

My First Race

Saturday I did something I never thought I would do, until a year ago:

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I entered my first race ever! I have been running since July and recently finished the C25K program and I really wanted to run a 5k to know what that would be like. As you can see I was very excited and it was very cold outside, about 4C. I was wearing a tank top and a long sleeve underneath the sweater, lol. I took off the coat right before we started.

Here I am at the start line: Find Wally hahaha!

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On the bottom left of the black tent you can see two grey arms coming up, that’s me!

We took off after the guy shot the gun (it sure was a loud gun!) and everybody sprinted away and I was the last one bahaha. I looked around and saw no one else coming and I thought, okay I better speed up a little, or I am going to loose the entire group! In the first corner I passed several people because there was a lot of obstruction with the whole group trying to push through it. But, those people never passed me again! I tried to run calmly, like I am used to do. The area was beautiful and I enjoyed running in the woods for a change. Some of the trails were a bit muddy which made it difficult to maintain an even pace. Still, I managed to catch up with and then pass several runners. There was a group of three equally dressed girls and I had passed two and was passing the third when we ran onto the finish field already. All that was left was like 200 or 300 meters. So I passed the third girl (see the first two pictures below) and then put my headphones away. I want to fully experience my first finish.

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Here I am, sprinting away towards the finish. I also spotted another girl and was catching up with her quickly…PB110172

After I made the last turn I knew I would be able to beat the girl. you can see me running on the right, and the girl, still in front of me on the left.PB110173 I caught up with her and sprinted past her. But then she tried to pass me again. Luckily I noticed in time and accelerated a little more…

PB110174 And I beat her by a couple of meters (=1 sec haha)!!! The Boyfriend that she tried but had to give up and that the look on her face when she noticed she couldn’t win was really funny!

PB110175Poor boyfriend was being supportive and freezing his butt off standing in the cold. But he made all the pictures which I am very thankful for!

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You could not win anything in this race, so I made up a first, second and third place for myself. I figured I would probably run around 32 minutes and I hoped for not being last:

3. Finish under 35 min.
2. Not finish last.
1. Finish under 30 min.

I ended up running the whole thing in 30.15 min! I am so happy about that, I almost got my self-proclaimed first place! And I never even thought I would get close. And the cool thing is that as soon as I have a little more experience running 5ks, I will be able to distribute my energy better and get way better times. I am definitely going to practice on that and do another race in a mile. I had so much fun doing this!

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vrijdag 11 december 2009

I want to introduce my first series on this blog today. You know that it takes about a month to build a habit, or at least get used to a certain thing. Even though I am a woman and I love to multitask I consider it a bad idea to start 10 new habits at the same time. Instead I want to focus on one habit at a time, this will be the focus of the month. Every month I will pick a new habit I want to practice. It may also be that I want to freshen up an old habit.

Because my blog is called Daisy Do! I invented the Daisy Do! series. Every month I will give myself a new command: Daisy, do …! The first edition will be based on my intention to try yoga and meditation.

Daisy Do Zen!

From today until Jan 11th I am going to discover yoga and meditation. During this time I will report here on my progress, and at the end of the month I will evaluate my new habit and pick a new one, for next month.


Do you guys practice yoga and/or meditation? Do you have any advice or tips?

donderdag 10 december 2009

Balance in life

Do you  have that feeling sometimes, that it is all just a little too much? You feel like you have to somehow balance being a good co-worker, a good girlfriend, a good friend, a good family member and also look good ├índ have hobbies? Well, first of all, that is the huge perfectionist in you talking, and second, I sure do feel like that sometimes.

This year I have been working on my perfectionism and I must say that I am doing much better in that department. I don’t feel the need to look like a model anymore, nor to write the most fantastic thesis ever written (although it would be nice if it turned out like that). I am also very comfortable with skipping the gym for an entire week or so and to do nothing all weekend, instead of rushing around doing a gazillion chores and ‘working’ on my hobbies. My main goal is to be happy (that’s also why I have this blog) and not to be perfect.

But, as always, there is room for improvement. Especially since I am not perfect hahaha. I found this assignment on www.sochicken.nl (sorry, it’s in Dutch) where you make a balance of different domains in your life. For each domain you think of how you can make some progress and being all time-efficient, you can pick activities that help you in more than one domain at the same time. I went through all the domains to see where I can improve while keeping my balance. The goal was to come up with concrete things and in the end, make a list of preferred activities that you can do so you make progress in each domain.

  1. Spiritual – (Feel connected, feel love). This was the hardest one for me, since I do not really have a religion. I have not found one that fits me yet. I would like to try meditation and yoga though.
  2. Intellectual – (Learn, challenge yourself) This should not be too hard because I love learning new things! I am working as a researcher so my work already provides many opportunities to challenge myself intellectually. It would be good to make more time for reading, especially non-fiction books. I also like to research things online. Something I would like to be better at is sewing.
  3. Psychological – (Be happy, self-esteem, conquer your fears) I have to be honest here, I don’t put enough energy into this domain. There are a lot of things that make me happy like reading, sewing, sports, music, helping others, pictures, be with friends, my cats. I have to admit that I spend way too much time surfing on the internet lately, instead of doing things I really love. My self-esteem could use some reinforcement too, I have been feeling quite insecure lately. But I think that finding balance in life and doing things I love will solve a lot. Aside of insecurity-related fears, I don’t have a lot of fears. Yes, I am afraid of birds and butterflies and my fear of spiders gets awfully close to a phobia, but I do not feel the need to overcome them (yet), lol.
  4. Social – (Friends, family, relationship) This is an obvious one: I should spend more time with my family and friends. Even if my friends are busy people, I can still text them, or call them more often. I am so bad at that! The Boyfriend and I have reinstituted date night, so that one is covered for now.
  5. Professional – (Goals, work) My goal is to finish my PhD, so if I just keep working as efficiently as possible I am good. I recently discovered ‘lifehacking’, and I am learning all kinds of handy things to work efficiently. It would also be a good idea if I start thinking about what I want to do after receiving my PhD.
  6. Relaxation – (Lower stress, play, discover) This is a high priority domain! Things that relax me are: resting enough, setting limits, practice hobbies and other things that make me happy (see domain 3). Other things that help me relax are: nature, beauty-stuff like polishing my nails and music. I guess meditation and yoga are good too.
  7. Physical – (Eat healthy, movement/exercise, cherish your body) Less coffee! I consider myself a healthy eater, but I could use a little less coffee and a little more water. I also have to watch out for overtraining and injuries because I make my body work a lot with all the exercising. Again, rest and yoga for stretching are needed. And beauty-stuff would work well too for this domain.

So there you go: all the things in my life that need a little attention are there for everyone to see hahaha! But, I am quite content about it all. I have at least the basics in every domain, it’s not like I have no work, no hobbies, no social life and a nasty body image (not to offend anyone, but I personally would be unhappy if that were the case). I just need a little fine-tuning and more balance. So what are the activities that I am going to put on my to-do list?

  • Yoga (domain 1, 6, and 7). I think I am going to this once a week for a month and see how I feel about it.
  • Meditation (domain 1, 6, and 7). Also a 1 month trial-period, let’s say 3 times a week.
  • Spend at least 1 hour each Sat and Sun on my hobbies. (2, 3, and 6)
  • Go to bed early and read for 15 min (3, 6).
  • Talk to my parents every week (on the phone or face to face). The same goes for my grandma’s, only every month (3, 4).
  • Talk to at least 2 friends a week (3, 4).
  • Work efficiently and go home in time (5, 6).
  • 1 beauty thing each week (6, 7).
  • Max 2 cups of coffee each day (7).

Don’t be afraid I do not intend to implement all these things at once, but I will look at this list when I am to choose what to do next during the day, for example: go home, or work a little more? Look on Facebook or do my nails? Clean the house or read a book?

In a while, I will evaluate how things are going.

I would like to know about your balance profiles: What domains need most attention? What activities do you do to keep your balance?

maandag 30 november 2009

Bad Bad Blogger

Wow, am I a bad blogger! I have a lot on my mind these days and a lot of ideas to blog about, but somehow I never manage to start op Live Writer and work on something. That’s bad! And I can’t even promise I will be better haha!

I left a thread open I should have come back to a few weeks ago, but here it is anyway. I wrote that I was feeling bad and that I was going to take care of me the next day. Well here is the result picture:

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As you can see, I did manage to do my nails, finally! Now that wasn’t so hard, I just always procastinate.

What do you guys procastinate about?

I leave you with a picture of Chinta who felt annoyed being fotographed:

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and one of Chick, who did not want to be photographed either

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woensdag 18 november 2009

Things that unleash blind rage in me #1

Look what they did! Again!!

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I said again, because this is the third time in 2 years…and it was in different locations so it’s not that I park in some kind of wacko neighbourhood. And no, I did not leave my navigation in plain view…I don’t even own one, I can find my way around perfectly fine without someone yelling that I need to turn around as soon as I can.

Anyway, I am clearly very pissed off about that. However, I also find it somewhat hilarious. The idiots who did this did more damage than the other two times together and they did not even manage to get in!
They tried to lift the window from the rubbers first, using scissors. You can see the huge scratch that left in the second picture and in the third you can see why it failed…the scissors broke bahaha! I had several pieces of scissors stuck between the rubber and the glass.
Then they tried the lock (first picture), which again resulted in a nice deep scratch and a broken lock. But…the scissors broke again, lol! So now there is still a piece inside, which is good because it blocks the lock untill I can get it fixed. I can’t even open that side of the car using my key haha!

I am very very happy that I upgraded my insurance when I got this car a year ago. The first two times this happened, insurance did not cover the damage, so I could only have the lock replaced and just get used to the scratches (those scratches were not as bad). But now they will replace the lock, replace the black plastic and repaint the whole door for free!

I just really don’t understand why people feel the need to do these kind of things. It just causes a lot of damage and nobody gains a thing. I never leave anything of value in my car, and you can’t easily start it without a key. It’s unfair and they should just keep away from my stuff! If I ever catch someone doing this with my or someone else’s car…hm, I better not say out loud what I would do with them.

Ok, you guys. I have vented a bit, feeling less angry now. Tell me about the things that enfuriate you.

zaterdag 14 november 2009

Happiness vs Sadness – Take 1

I believe that life is all about balance. That is why there will always be sadness along with happiness. I am blessed to be happy most of the time, but today was one of my sad days and I really need to vent a bit. So here we go.

My day was one of those mean energy sucking bad days: I overslept way way too late losing my entire morning. I spend my afternoon at the computer and doing a ton of groceries and not doing all the other fun and useful things I planned to. Because I was late, the stores were supercrowded which is very annoying. Also, I forgot something so when I was making dinner I had to return so I could finish dinner. And they broke into my car again, which really pissed me off (I am still pissed off about that) because I don’t understand why people want to do that (there is nothing of any value in that car) and it causes a lot of damage that I have to get fixed. The boyfriend was home late and also played an online match for his favorite computer game. Therefore I only got to speak to him for 5 minutes when he got home. Because dinner took longer than expected he ate at the computer and I ate alone. After the match finished he stayed at the computer and then he wanted to go to bed and sleep. He was cranky he was very tired. I had hoped to talk and cuddle a bit, but since he was apparently having a bad day too it’s better not to, because we would only end up fighting. So here I am, I made myself a cup of tea and I am going to write to get it of my chest so I can sleep. When I write things down I am better able to analyze what is going wrong and do something about it. I guess it is the psychologist in me, lol. Now, let’s start.

I just feel so blah today! I didn’t have the energy to do anything fun. I tried watching a comedy but it wasn’t funny at all, really not my taste of humor so I just passed my time on the internet, feeling crappy. I guess everybody has those moods that you are just not feeling like doing anything even though you know that if you would just get up and do something, you would feel so much better! I know that if I would have started on the sewing project I have lying around here, things would have been better.

Tomorrow is Sunday, my last day of 5 days off and I feel like I did not enjoy them. They just passed, and I did too much stuff that needed to be done and too little fun things. And yesterday and today I didn’t really do much at all. I hate it when that happens.

So how am I going to deal with this? Ideas, anyone?… hahaha.

I know (don’t you love rational knowledge at times that your feelings are messing with you?) that you have to counter negative things with positive things so I’ll just do that and go from there. Let’s start with today: I overslept…which was good because I really really needed the sleep. It wasn’t even that I was too lazy to get up I was just in a deep deep sleep until lunchtime. I woke up without a hangover too, suprisingly because I drank more than enough wine yesterday. It was a good decision to not try and catch up with all the things I wanted to do today, period. Better to have a quiet day and only do the groceries which really had to be done today. The whole grocery store thing is just a confirmation that I am doing a good thing getting up early on most Saturdays. The car….well, the only good thing about that is that I have insurance so I can get all the damage fixed for a relatively small amount of money. The boyfriend being absent…I knew that he was going to play that match, too bad that I had to eat dinner all by my lonesome.  But I was already looking forward (yesterday, before the bad day mood came over me) to spend the evening alone anyway. Not sleeping…at least I get another blogpost up. I would love to blog more! Still have to find a way to actually do so..

Phew, that feels better already. I am starting to feel like my motto again ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’.

About the big stuff…the feeling that time is passing so quickly and that I am not enjoying it enough. Two things about that: one, I really should not be so hard on myself, you can’t enjoy every second of every day in your life, that is just impossible. Two, I should really make more effort to enjoy my life. I always have the tendency to say:  I have to do this and this and this and then I can do whatever I want and really enjoy it. Fact is, the todo list never ends.

Getting tired now, so I will finish my own therapeutic session up (lol) with how I am going to start with that right now and make the most out of my one day off left.


1. I will go to bed right after finishing this and enjoy curling up under the blankets with the cats at my feet.
2. Set my alarm so I won’t oversleep too much but still be rested.
3. Start doing my routines and then some internet time as reward
4. Work for 1 hour on the stuff I really wanted to get done this week. Not longer!
5. One hour of something fun, no internet ( I spend too much time there, I have other hobbies too)
6. Another hour of work
7. Polish nails: wanted to do that since forever so here you go. Can go on internet during this.
8. prep stuff for monday to prevent monda morning stress. 
9. Rest of the day for fun things only. Choose: baking reading, sewing, working out. Forbidden: work, todo list, house cleaning, computer.
10. Go to bed at a decent hour.
And no matter what, just relax and enjoy the present, not what may lie ahead.

Off to bed!

vrijdag 6 november 2009

Hospital visit

Today we went to the hospital and it was hilarious! Just for the record, I don’t consider hospitals very funny, just how things are going when you need to go there for some tests. We went there because the Boyfriend has something with his hands and we want to find out what it is.

Expected course of events today:
Arrive at hospital. Wait in waitingroom of rheumatology for our turn. Talk to doctor about the problem. Doctor tells us what is going on and what can be done about it. Go home.

Real course of events:
Arrive at hospital. Wait for appointment at rheumatology. Talk to physician assistant about the problem. She asks many questions and then ‘could you please undress yourself?’. Physical examination to assess mobility in all his joints. Physician assistant feels every single bone boyfriend just said that hurts. Poor guy. Physician assistant consults with the doctor. Doctor comes to look at the boyfriend. Doctor is confused. Need to get x-rays and blood test. New appointment in 3 weeks when all test results are in and physician assistant returns from her holiday. Go to secretary for new appointment and forms for x-rays and tests. X-ray scheduled in 5 min. Go to radiology. Wrong form, form is for another hospital. Secretary from radiology cannot do anything. Go back to rheumatology and ask for right form. Back to radiology. Wait forever because all people that were in line behind us, are now first. Get X-rays. Get coffee. Go to blood test department. Realize form is missing. Search form. Back to rheumatology because the secretary accidently kept the form when we returned form radiology. Return to blood test department. Computer keeps giving errors. Secretary has to fill another form out by hand. Receive cup for the boyfriend to pee in. Boyfriend to toilet. Wait for turn. Get blood taken. Go home.

Phew! We were exhausted after that. And we still have to wait for 3 weeks to get the results and prey that they will know what it is.

woensdag 4 november 2009

Opera is not just for grannies!

Last weekend, the Boyfriend and I went on an overnight trip into the countryside to attend an opera. Bahahaha! That sounds really lame..but to be honest, it wasn’t, we actually had a great time! The Boyfriend has been meaning to take me to an opera forever. Last weekend we decided we wanted to do something fun on his weekend off (he works most weekends). After a little research we found that Les Pecheurs de Perles (Pearl Fishers) was playing in Almelo, a town in the east of the country. Since we did not feel like driving for over an hour to get home afterwards, we decided to stay overnight. So we did some planning and off we went! Here I am, driving through the country side.

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We had a blast, we put Petootie Pie by Ella Fitzgerald on repeat and sang along with the cheesy lyrics, LOL. I drove there without using a map and skipping the highways. It took us forever to get there but it was fun driving around and seeing nice places (it is a crazy thing we have together, we both love driving and when we have the time we prefer taking the sightseeing route to our destination because highways are just boring). Our final destination: Almelo! (get your magnifying glass and look at the blue sign).

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We were staying in the most awesome B&B ever! It’s a former prison, a really old one. The owners left part of it in it’s original state, but they did an amazing job redecorating the rooms! Here is the hotel from the outside.

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The inside

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Our room. As you can see, they left the original black cell doors. The stairs are also original. Behind the doors they made the doors to the rooms. Each room consists of two or three former cells.

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The room itself. I am not sure if it shows allright in this picture, but the whole room was grey and white, really stylish.

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We strolled around time for a while after we finally arrived. We had an early dinner and then got ready for the opera. Look at my handsome guy!

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Because my dress was a bit cold I wore it with a shawl on top.

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The opera was pretty amazing! I really enjoy the old fashioned romantic stuff, with the exagerated reactions etcetera. The singing was really really beautiful, especially by the main female singer, wow! Too bad we were in the last row, so we could not see their facial expressions very well. But we are planning to go again in a while and book in advance so we will have better seats.

Overall, the whole experience was pretty funny. We were the youngest people there who came on their own (there were a few that joined their grandparents), the mean age dropped 10 years as soon as we entered the door. When we came inside we only saw people with grey or white hair, lol! We even spotted some walking aids bahahaha. When we walked around during the break some of them were checking us out and you could see them thinking ‘what are they doing here?’. Well, just to make clear one thing: opera is really cool and if you actually see the play on stage while they sing it all makes sense. I never understood opera when I was listening to the radio, but it is like listening to a soundtrack of a movie, without having seen the movie. And I don’t like that either!

After the show we stayed for a drink and then went to check out Almelo’s night life.  It turned out to be nonexistent, lol. They had some nice bars but we were looking to dance. So in the end we decided to just go back to the hotel. But we picked up some mc donalds for the Boyfriend first, because he was hungry. How bad can it get… eating mcnuggets in bed on your romantic weekend break bahaha!

The next morning we went to a tiny village, Ootmarsum, close to Almelo. It is beautiful with lots of historical buildings, but also fun shops to look around.

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we spend half the day there and then headed home, again using the touristic route with no map and no highways. The Boyfriend was surprised how well I was able to find the way home haha. I guess he thought we would end up at the other side of the country or something. We had a lot of rain on the way back, with really low visibility so it was quite challenging.

How do you spend your weekend getaways??

donderdag 15 oktober 2009

Project Snow

Count me in! Where do I sign up? Those were my first thoughts when I read Angela’s post today. She has started Project Snow, which basically means that we -people who are familiar with snow in their backyard- are going to support eachother to keep being active all fall/winter outside. How crazy/cool is that? And how crazy is it, that I am all excited about it?

I already committed myself about six weeks ago to try and find away to keep exercvising outside the entire winter, so Project Snow came exactly at the right moment!

So after reading about it I felt totally motivated to go outside, even though it was already dark outside and after dinner. I usually run before dinner- afterwards I just collapse on the couch unless I go to the gym. But I put on my running gear and loaded my mp3-player with lesson 20 of my couch-potato program and went for it!

I ran 4 x 8 min with 1 min walking intervals in between. And I walked a few min before and after to warm up/cool down. I think I should have warmed up better because my calves were hurting again. I am doing ok now though. Aside of that I felt great the whole run!! I was not tired at all and could just run and run and run! Maybe it was the cold, about 7C, that kept me from feeling hot and tired or maybe I am just in fantastic shape all of a sudden, or maybe I just run better after dinner because I have more fuel. I don’t know, but it was amazing!

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I ran a total of 5.3k (according to mapmyrun), so I am happy with that! I did take some precautions because of the darkness: I did not go into the park, you never know what you encounter there. Instead I chose to run around the neighbourhood staying on the sidewalks and on illuminated roads with enough traffic. This girl prefers to run for fun and not for her life.
When I came back my throat was kind of irritated. It made me cough and it itched. Probably from the cold. Does anyone know what to do against that?

Anyway, this run made me realize three things:

- I will run that 5k at some point!
- I can be a runner, who would have thought!
- I can stay committed to exercising outside all winter!

maandag 5 oktober 2009

Closet Makeover

Yesterday I went through my closet to see what the heck was in there, to clean it up and find out if I have enough stuff to get me through wintertime. Here is the almost before shot:

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I was so eager to start that I already pulled out half of my clothes before I remembered that i was going to take a before-picture, lol!  But the lower two shelves give a good impression of what it looked like before. Oh, and of course there is Chinta again. She loves fabric so she is always trying to get into my closet. Generally, I can’t do anything around the house without having a cat or two ‘helping me out’. Except for vacuuming though…

Our closet consists of 3 parts with sliding doors, as you can probably see. the left part, where the mirror is, is the Boyfriends and also holds the extra set of bed sheets. The middle part is mine and the right part is for hanging clothes and shoes of the two of us.

Here is Chinta again, playing with my little clothes-refresher baggie, it has lavender leaves in it.

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I purged some stuff, including several pairs of shoes. Maybe I will give away more clothes later, because most of what I have is old older oldest. But some of them I still love and for others I don’t have a replacement yet. I usually wear things untill they fall apart or don’t fit anymore. I have had the same size for quite some time, but somehow things shrink in the laundry and also my style has changed. I really hate it now, when shirts don’t cover my back when I sit or bend over. I am also going to give away a pair of boots and some other cute sandals. I still really like them, but I can’t walk in them, they hurt my feet and give me blisters, so out they go. I prefer making someone else happy instead of making myself miserable :)
By the way, I wrote am going to, because I always keep the stuff in a bag for a while and if I don’t miss it within a couple of weeks it can really go.

I ended up taking extra bar for hanging clothes that we were not using and put it in my part to hold my shorter clothes like vests and folded pants. I left dresses etc in the right part. I also got rid of half of the boxes (too many organizing boxed really do not help in the organizing part. I also rearranged the shelves, here is the end result:

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That looks a lot better, huh? It certainly is more practical for me the way it is now. I am planning to hang more stuff too, it is so much easier finding your clothes that way! On the bottom in the center I put my stack of work out clothes, so I can just grab them and go!

So now I can happily go shopping (probably next weekend). I don’t need a lot: I do need new black boots and some accessories and a few tops for cold days would be nice. That is a good thing because it will save me money that I can use to buy my first pair of real running shoes!

zaterdag 3 oktober 2009

Budget Groceries

This morning I went grocery shopping. I do that every saturday, I go to a place called Lidl which is a budget grocery store. They don’t have everything, but what they do offer is cheap! They often only have veggies in season and they have only one kind of PB instead of the zillion you find at the regular stores. You have to be a bit careful though, because even though most things taste surprisingly good, some don’t or are of not such good quality. I send the Boyfriend to a regular grocery store on Wednesdays so he can get the rest. Today I needed a lot of veggies and for some reason I ended up with this HUGE amount of groceries for only 37 euros. Look what I got:

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The picture shows:
bananas (for green monsters and banana oatmeals, yummie!)
grapes
tomatoes
broccoli
cauliflower
peppers
sweet and sour sauce
eggs
cod filet
pizza (there are really 2 in that box, very convenient! they are for the Boyfriend. I am on a no-wheat diet for now, so I can’t :( eat pizza)
chicken schnitzel with a crunchy crust
mushrooms
sour cream
endive
liquid margarine for baking
red wine
leek
deodorant (the other two are in the 2nd picture, they were on sale. happy to have them though. I was using up deo from the Boyfriend, he did not like the smell and I did. but I am glad to be smelling all girly again, lol)

This picture also shows: our stained kitchentable (can’t remove the stain); the dryer, oven and microwavce, the wall I am going to refinish tomorrow; part of a shopping cart the boyfriend still did not return (yes, since Wednesday and yes we live very close to the supermarket so we just take the cart home); a crate I used to carry the groceries in; a cat who wanted to see if there was anything for her; and my teapot.

Chickie was too tired to come check it out. I found her on the couch:

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But I got more groceries! This was my second trip back to the car to get the rest of it

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I also bought:
potatoes
white bread for the Boyfriend
peanut butter!
pears
apples
look, more deodorant!
carrot
dishwasher tablets
instant vanilla cappucino mix. This is one of the most chemical tasting things I have ever had, but me likes it a lot!
more broccoli (they were on sale…and i miscalculated. but that’s ok.)
waffles
some sort of cake thing, typical dutch. It is a healthy snack.
7-up
bottled water
tortilla chips.

Wow, that was a lot of food…and a lot of carrying!

Chickie is checking the bag too see if I did not forget anything

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I was all Mrs Housewife today! I did groceries, washed my car..okay that is more of a male things but whatever, I cleaned the house, cooked dinner and baked a speltbread so I get to eat some bread too every now and then (no picture yet, because it is still baking.

Old news

Let’s start off with some old news. Last weekend I went for a bike ride with a friend. We had a great time and I wrote a post about it. However, I still don’t have the picture that was taken from me that afternoon. So, I decided that I will do it without the picture. I really should start taking more pictures!

Here is the thing I wrote last week…

Yesterday was a great sunday! We slept late (10 am is late for me!) and spent the rest of the morning relaxing a bit. Then I headed for my friend’s house. She lives about 4k away from me, which isn’t so bad, except that from here it is all uphill, and some pretty nasty ones. The good thing is that I got to fly down all those hills on my way home!

I was a sweaty mess by the time I got to her place! I had some water to cool down, while I admired the place. She hasn’t been living there for very long yet. I helped her painting etc a couple of times, but I had not see it finished yet, it turned out really nice! Also, it is a lovely neighbourhood (except for the hills), quiet and with a lot of trees.

Then we left for a little bike ride together. We did over 40k in total, so I ended up doing 50k! I used to cycle a lot, but for the last couple of years not anymore. Even though I plan to, something always comes up. And I also love a lot of other activities. It was a perfect day to cycle, warm autumn wheather, sunny, not too much wind. It was so lovely outside!

When I came home I was extremely hungy! We had home made big macs for dinner, lol! They taste so good!

After dinner I settled on the couch to watch my favorite program at the moment: So you think you can dance. It was good! I love dancing and I really enjoy seeing skilled people do their thing.

So there you go. Now, we can continue with some more up to date info.

Yesterday I went for what turned out to be a great run! I did 32 min and made it almost 3 miles! Now that is not really amazing, but I felt great afterwards! I am still in the ‘from couchpotato to whatever’ program. I don’t remember the name very well, and I find it quite insulting. I am no couch potato! I just can’t run! Therefore I am happy that here in Holland we call it Start to Run, lol. I think the lessons are really amusing. First of all because the program was made in Belgium and therefore the coach cheers on me in this really funny/cute Flemish voice. And second because the course really seems to be working. I have made it until lesson 17 without too many problems now. Sometimes I even think that they are going reallly slow. I has me convinced that I can be a runner! My ultimate goal is to run a 5k race at some point.

Okay, I really have to now. I have a large to do list today, which includes a cruise through my closet to make it winter-ready. Hmm..I might even blog about it! Stay tuned.

woensdag 30 september 2009

Passing the flame

Yes! Internet is working again! Here is what I wrote yesterday.

Hello! Saturday was a busy day for me! Sunday was kind of busy too, but now I finally have some time to blog.
Saturday started off with Aunt-nieces day. My mom has one sister who has two daughters and a sun. A while ago, we decided that we should get together, all the girls in the family. Aunt-nieces day was born! My sister planned the whole day, and she did a fantastic job!


We went to a workshop on making glass beads! You know, those glass beads that make such pretty necklaces and bracelets etc. the place where the workshop was held was called  Passing the Flame. It is in a small village not far away.

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This is the burner we used. The coloured rods are the glass rods are used for my bracelet.

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My mom making a bead. The flame was 900C!! It would go all orange/yellow when the glass melted. But we had to wear purple safety glasses so it would protect you eyes and you wouldn’t be bothered by the coloured flame.

You had to heat the glass so it would melt, then you used another steel rod to wrap the glass around it. To keep/make it round you had to keep turning the rod around. So it involved a lot of turning

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My cousin is rocking the purple glasses!

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This is my aunt wrapping the green glass around the other rod.

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If you zoom in you see the red glowing glass around the rod. In this picture my cousin is about to add another layer of black glass to it (with some help of the instructor). It was also possible to use different colours in one bead, or making patterns like dots etc.

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Here I am, working on my beads.

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And another one where you can see that I am actually doing something, lol! Sorry for the bad pictures, but I noticed that I don’t feature a lot of pictures of myself on the blog and I always love seeing pictures of other authors on their blogs. So I thought I’d just share the only two that were made of me that day.

We had a lot of fun making the beads. At first I thought it was quite difficult, but after lunch I finally got the hang of it! Now, I don’t want to imply that I made the perfect bead! To be honest, none of them was even perfectly round! But since I am a bit allergic to the word perfect, that’s ok.

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These are all the end results together! My bracelet is on the arm with the purple sleeve at the bottom.

After the workshop we went for drinks and dinner in the village where to workshop was too. We had a great time, talking and bringing up memories.
After dinner we all went home again. Because my aunt lives so far away, we did not want to stay out very late. We are definately going to repeat this event!

I finally got home around 9pm, but then I had to just change my shirt, comb my her, spray a little perfume, grab the boyfriend and the present and out the door I was again! We headed to a friend’s birthday. We spent the rest of the evening there, talking and having drinks. At midnight everybody was going into town, but we headed home. I have been feeling exhausted for a couple of weeks now (hence my lack of posts too), and I did not want to waste the little bit of sleep I caught up going to bed early and taking powernaps after work. I don’t know about you, but I am really bad at staying up late. I can, but if I do, I feel horrible for almost a week!

Okay, so that was my saturday folks! I’ll be back with more soon, but now I really have to get to work.