Sunday, 29 September 2013

Feeling Good

So as some of you may have noticed, I'm overweight. I was aware of this but I didn't realise just how overweight I was until I stepped on a scale recently for the first time in almost a year and saw I'd ballooned and was suddenly heavier that I've ever been in my life (including when heavily pregnant). Needless to say this came as a bit of a shock to me and I decided I needed to do something about it.

A week ago I joined Weight Watchers. I signed up with them back in... 2010 I think and lost a bit of weight before getting bored with it and abandoning the plan. But now I think (I HOPE!) I'm ready for some long-term commitment. I've been feeling lethargic all the time, my knees and ankles get sore, and I'm grossly unfit. Its actually really embarrassing for me to talk about, but I figure if I can be honest I have the best chance of remembering why I'm trying to do this in those hard moments.

I've just done my first weekly weigh in and I've lost 2.4kg (which is about 5.3lbs for those of you who are into that sort of thing). I feel super good about that. I know its a lot to lose in one week, but people tend to lose more in those first few weeks on a diet and bigger people even more so because they have so much more extra to shed. I'm really glad to see a good result though, I was sticking to my points but I was really worried that for some reason it wasn't going to work, so its obviously great motivation to see that it is working well. Even just this week there have been hard times for me, I'm a hugely fussy eater, so even with no restrictions or considerations for losing weight its hard for me to choose a meal a lot of the time. Hopefully as I progress with the program and know more recipes and ideas choosing what to eat won't be such a difficult decision.

So I'll be doing this for quite awhile before I get to my goal weight (I'm trying to get back to where I was before I started working in sedentary office jobs and before I had my youngest daughter). I'm certainly not going to turn this into a weight loss blog, but I probably will share my progress if that's okay, because its nice to share :)

Hope you're all well!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Sick! *cough cough*

I've been pretty sick this week. I've had a cold which has mostly been congestion and head/muscle aches but today progressed to coughing and loss of ability to make proper sounds from my throat beyond airy squeaks and honks. I was meant to donate blood tomorrow but had to call up and cancel the appointment and the poor lady who answered my call had a hard time hearing me. Anyway despite the coughing today my muscle aches seem to have gone and my throat isn't as sore as it has been other days, so hopefully I'm on the road to recovery.

I finished up the two business units I had to take and emailed off the assignments for each of them yesterday. Hopefully they're to the lecturer's satisfaction and I can cross them off my list! I'm also still waiting for the grades to be uploaded for 3 other units I've done this term. I'm sure they're all fine and I've passed, but I really need to SEE it there to be satisfied. I'm very much a list person and being able to see the list of things I need to complete get smaller and smaller gives me a real sense of accomplishment.


Monday, 23 September 2013

Trying a New Dye

The other night I decided to try a brand of dye I haven't used before. Normally to lighten my roots I use bleach and then sometimes I use a blonde dye to give it a nicer tone, but I've never tried lightening my roots with a box blonde. Even though box dyes work out more expensive, they're much easier to use, so I thought I'd give it a try to see if it lifted the colour enough. I have to say, I think it did a pretty good job.

I used Live Salon Permanent dye in Extra Light Ash Blonde. It was super easy to mix and apply. It did have a chemically smell and it burnt my eyes initially (the vapor that is, I didn't actually get any product in my eyes), but not nearly as badly as the brand I usually use. It only took a few blinks to get rid of that initial offensive odour which tends to hurt my eyes and leave them watering. The instructions don't say to section your hair off, and it isn't strictly necessary, but I find it makes application a lot easier and helps to ensure its even throughout and there aren't any spots missed. I have fairly fine hair and not a tonne of it so sectioning would probably be more important to those with thicker hair.

I find dying hair much easier when I start at the front and work my way back, but as I bleach regularly, I alternate each time I do it to prevent the hair at the front getting too damaged (wherever you start the dye will be on longer there, therefore being more likely to damage the hair). Starting at the back can be a little trickier but it really isn't as bad with box dyes because you can just massage it into a chunk of hair rather than having to paint it into little sections. Once my roots were completely saturated with the dye, I left it on for the recommended 30 minutes. I then washed it off and used the included conditioner (which smells rather nice) and this was the result:

Left: Before, Right: After

As you can see, my roots didn't go a nice white blonde but have stayed rather yellow. But I don't think it is any worse than my usual results with bleach (although I've been told there's a better brand I should use next time I stock up.) I could probably have left it on a touch longer, but I didn't feel like that would make a great deal of difference as I was checking it periodically and it didn't really appear there had been much change in shade in the final ten minutes; I'm also hesitant to risk leaving a product on longer when my hair is already quite fragile. It should also be noted the pictures were taken under bright white light, so the contrast is actually less noticeable in normal indoor lighting which tends to be more yellow, but under neons or outside in the sun you can definitely see the yellow. The yellowy roots are still an improvement on mousy blonde though! And I will fix them up eventually I'm sure.

Hope everyone is well!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Salty and Spicy

This is called the Salty and Pepper dress from Modcloth. The brand is Hell Bunny, who don't appear to have their own website, but if you google it I'm sure you can find stockists that service your area. I've been a fan of Hell Bunny for ages and have a few of their items so I had high expectations for this dress, and it met them. It fits very nicely, perhaps just a tiny bit loose in the bust but not so much that it would be visible to others. The skirt comes down past my knees, it skims nicely over my hips and swings and flows and the hem. I also love the cute little heart-shaped pockets, adorable and functional! I love these big voluminous skirts, they just feel great to wear.

In other news I went out for dinner last night with some friends. I had a steak and guinness pie which was pretty good. Afterward I went home with my best friend and stayed the night at her place. We tried to set up her karaoke set which wasn't working, then tried playing Lips on the Xbox but there was so much lag it proved unplayable even after reconfiguring the microphones. So we decided to watch a movie, I chose Spice World because I haven't seen it in a million years and , like most girls my age I think, I was crazy for the Spice Girls back in the day. It was everything I hoped it would be, still so much fun. It was a bit strange to see Posh Spice actually displaying some sort of personality. I'm so used to seeing her as skinny, big boobed Victoria Beckham that I had kind of forgotten she might have a personality. But for me it was always all about Baby Spice (I bet you're super shocked), and I owned as many babydoll dresses and platform sneakers as my mother would let me have. That wardrobe phase didn't last terribly long, but it was fun while it did.

So how about you? Did you like the Spice Girls? Who was your favourite?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Minty Fresh

This is one of the dresses I got from Modcloth. This one is quite loose around the top, but I love it so much I can't resist wearing it anyway. I'm hoping it can be taken in somehow so that it will fit me properly, but I doubt I'll get around to having that done for ages knowing me! I put the pro in procrastinate!
The brand is Mikarose, the same as this dress which fit me beautifully. It feels so comfy to wear, the fabric is so soft and flowy and light. It also has hidden pockets! I do love me some pockets. The length is great, I love dresses to hit within an inch or three either side of my knee and this one fits nicely into that gap. The colour is super pretty. I just loved wearing this today. I wore it with my beige cardigan and one of the rings I got for my birthday (I picked the purple one just to add something different into the outfit). I really do need to do something about the top part though, its so loose. Bah! I'll get to it eventually!

You can see up close just how baggy the chest is in the bottom right pic. Its loose around the bust and right up into the shoulders

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Good and The Bad

So lets get the bad out of the way first. I picked up my Modcloth dresses today and out of 6 only 1 fits perfectly :( One is still okay even though its loose around the top, and there are another two which I may be able to get altered to make them work. All in all really disappointing though. I've just gained too much weight recently and my body is all out of whack. I do love the one dress that fits me well though. Its gorgeous, I'll take photos as soon as I get around to wearing it.

Now for the good! I went out with the bff today and she gave me my birthday present. I also did a bit of shopping so between the two I came home with quite a haul! The gifts I got were a pretty lacy bag, a little shimmery coin purse with a birdy clasp, and three pretty rings!
As far as my shopping purchases go, I bought myself two pearly necklaces, one that has a little pendant and looks more fancy/formal and one that could be more for everyday use. I also bought a chunky cold necklace and a smaller silver one both for wearing with audrey dresses and other higher-necked items, and some earrings.

I love the pressies Snow White bought me ^_^ The bag is so pretty, the pictures really don't to it justice, same with the little coin purse, its much prettier when my camera flash isn't washing it out. And the rings are gorgeous, I love the blue/green one. Its really big and chunky, which isn't something I'd usually pick, but It looks great on and is such a pretty colour. Everything was awesome, she knows me too well!
Here are pics of my new pretties!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Birthdays and Business Attire

Yesterday was my birthday. I tend to prefer quiet birthdays to big celebrations, so all I did was take the day off from studying and ordered chinese food for dinner. The real fun comes tomorrow! It looks like my Modcloth order arrived today, no one was home for the courier though so I'll go pick it up tomorrow. Yay for dresses!

I had my mock job interview today for class. I know it was all just pretend but I couldn't help but be terribly nervous. It all went well though! So now I've finished all of my work for those units. I have a couple of assignments for the business units I attended last week, but I've also added an extra unit on. I spoke with my course coordinator and realised that by the end of next term I'll only be missing one business unit and an IT unit in order to finish my certificate. I really don't want to have to carry over into next year if I don't have to, so I got in touch with the lecturer of the business units and she sent me the course material to complete it externally. So I now have a bit over a week to complete those three assignments. Shouldn't be too bad though, I made some decent progress today so each assignment should only take me a day or two of solid work.

I had to dress a little more conservatively for my interview today. My "professional" wardrobe is very limited at the moment, because when I initially came to Darwin it was only meant to be short-term and I wasn't planning on working so all my business attire stayed in Sydney. I'm trying to build up a decent range of work-appropriate clothing now though. I want to look professional and sensible, but I also want to still be myself and have my own style. I'm hoping that isn't unreasonable or unrealistic! I suppose it depends on where I end up getting a job.

I ended up wearing a lot of black for my mock interview today

Tomorrow I'll be spending the day with my dear bestie, and hopefully in the course of our travels we'll be able to make it out to pick up my dresses from the courier! I hope the all fit. I feel so nervous buying clothes online if I'm not familiar with the brand. One dress in particular I'm concerned about because I am rather large and despite being a plus sized dress it seems like it may run on the small side. We'll see though.
Wish me luck!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Books and Birdies

I took the day off of studying yesterday and sat in bed watching Gossip Girl all day. I stopped watching back in early season 4 and haven't watched again since, so now I'm playing catch up because I'm sick of avoiding spoilers and not knowing how everything turned out. I admit, I watch the show with equal parts interest and frustration. I get so annoyed at the characters when they completely fail to talk things out in situations where just explaining themselves would solve everything. USE YOUR WORDS, PEOPLE! But I can't resist finding out what happens. Stupid Chuck and Blair suck me in every time!

So today I was back at it bright and early, went to the library and spent most of the day working on stuff. Unfortunately due to lack of sleep I wasn't very focused and didn't get as much done as I'd hoped. But I'll go back Monday and try to be more productive. I've really only got the two new assignments from the business units to deal with. They seem pretty straight forward, so hopefully they won't be too much work.

Today while at the library I took a walk to the vending machine to grab a drink and made a new friend. This little butcher bird hopped right up to me, only about a meter away and kept tilting his head from side to side inquisitively, waiting for me to feed him something. I didn't give him any food, although he was super adorable and I was very tempted! But I did take a couple of pictures of him being cute. Sorry they're a little blurry! I was using my phone and it obviously wasn't focusing too well.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!


So the past few days have been full of cafeteria food, windy weather and getting very well acquainted with the computer desks at my library. I've finished all but one assessment from my current units, but I also have to start two business units tomorrow which will both require assignments, so I'm sure I'll be feeling snowed under again soon! In my spare time I've been trying to read as much as I can because I've been taking forever to finish this damn novel. Normally it really only takes me a few days, but I've only bee committing little bits of time here and there and it has made it impossible to get through a book.

In much more exciting news, I placed another order for some dresses from Modcloth. I'm super eager for them to get here but I know it will take awhile. I think it took about 4 weeks last time. I'm hoping it might be a little quicker this time as I have a 2 day conference I'll be attending in early October and I really want the dresses here for that! I'm also equally worried about the dresses fitting as I was last time because I still haven't figured out my size. Last time I ordered 2 dresses in a 3X and one in a 2X. The 2X fit perfectly and so did one 3X, and the other 3X was slightly large... so I'm still not sure! But even if I was "sure", they're all different brands and cuts anyway, so it doesn't mean that I could order a dress and be certain it would fit. So I've just done my best to order based on reviews and whatnot and hope everything works out! I tried to make sure I ordered dresses that would take me from work to play easily, because I need to start thinking about looking professional. Hopefully the ones I've ordered all fit well!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Accessory Board

I found this cheap little cupcake memo board and thought it would be handy way to store some of my accessories for several reasons, a.) because digging around in jewellery boxes annoys me, b.) its nice to have things on display, and c.) I'm an extremely messy person so I tend to leave my accessories strewn around the place and can't find them when I need them. So now I'm using this for my most commonly used items and have found it awesome. It encourages me to put things back where they go because its easy and pretty.
The board was only $8 from Kmart, definitely worth it for me! :)

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Last Dress from Modcloth

So this is the final dress from the little lot that I bought from Modcloth. This one is also from Mikarose and its lovely. The fabric is quite sheer and I need to wear a slip under it, but that's alright. The seafoam green overlay is sooooo soft and extremely floaty. It was meant to come with a little sash, but it was forgotten, but it goes fine with the belt from my other dress anyway, so its all good!

I spent the day at the library today again. AGAIN I got given more assignments when I thought I was done! So cue extension of busy beaver mode. Was really hoping to relax a bit this week, but alas! I did get another assignment completed today though, so at least I'm getting through them. Today my bestest buddy accompanied me to the library, so there was plenty of shenanigans in between bouts of productivity.

Top: Bored... draw orks!
Left: My bestie takes only the sexiest photos of me; Right: bathroom selfies ftw

This morning when I took my rollers out my fringe was doing a nice little barrel roll thing. Anytime I've intentionally tried to roll my fringe it has failed miserably, so I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth ad just went with it. I put two bobby pins underneath to hold it and sprayed it with a generous amount of hairspray. It stayed in for the most part, but I did feel very self-conscious about it and had the urge to fuss with it all day. But hey, my hair was willing to let me almost do a faux fringe (bangs, whatever you want to call them) so we'll call it a win.

I've also decided I no longer like my glasses! I got them probably almost 2 years ago and at the time I wanted the biggest frames I could get. Now I feel like these just don't suit my face at all and I need something smaller and more feminine. But glasses are so damn expensive, so I doubt it will be something I can do in the immediate future. We'll see how things go though.

Monday, 2 September 2013

New Camera!!!

For about a million years I've wanted a dslr but for one reason or another I never got one. I used to be big into photography back in high school, just before the world went digital. Its been a long time since I played around with an slr and I've never used a digital one so it will take some getting used to. I played around with it a  little after class today taking pictures around the house and in the yard. I can't wait to take it out and get some nice pictures.

I haven't edited these in any way other than to fit them to the square frame

Using the 'miniature' setting
Left: Auto setting, Right: Miniature setting

And what would it be without a selfie. I tweaked the colours on this one to make it all blue-tinged