29 June 2012

F*cking Fitness

Oh man, am I tired. I just came back from the gym! Then I realised (or, well, the BF just pointed out that I hadn't blogged since Sunday) that I haven't made an outline of my workout schedule. So here we go!

I joined a gym where the fitness instructors are complementary. Wooo, no extra fees! When I joined, I filled out a form with my height, weight, what my goals were, if I had any injuries, etc.. Then I made an appointment with one of the instructors and she made a personalised workout schedule. Once every three or four months (depending on when we remember to ask) we make a new appointment and go over the schedule, and make changes.

My schedule right now is as follows:

- 20 minutes cardio on the stationary bike (I use the cardio setting. This requires you to enter your age, and it calculates the ideal heart rate for you. You start peddling at a set speed and need to keep that speed the entire time. As soon as your heart rate reaches the ideal heart rate, the machine starts adjusting the intensity to keep your heart rate level while you need to keep your pace level. It's pretty intensive, if you do it right!)
- Strength training, several types of lifts and pulls, targeting the arms and legs, followed by several exercises that target the abs.
- 15 minutes of cardio (elliptical machine, rowing machine, stationary bike).

I do this 3 times a week, trying to do it as fast as possible without pushing myself. I think, and my trainer told me this as well, that it's more effective to keep going, than to do some exercises, lounge around for a while in front of the tv, and then go on to do the next, as I see some people *uchemybrotheruche* do at the gym. Now, naturally, I do stop for drinks of water. Always remember to drink your water, kids!

If you are on the fence about wanting to join a gym, or are already looking into joining, I have some advice about what really helped me.

- See if there's a gym near you that offers the help of fitness trainers. At my gym, there's always at least one trainer available for questions or help. I love the fact that I can just walk up to them and ask them about my schedule, or ask them about certain exercises, and they're always willing to explain or demonstrate.
- See if they offer a personal trainer-session. From what I understand, many gyms actually have this service but they don't offer it unless you ask. It never hurts to ask! If they don't offer this for free, it may be worth the money to pay for one. I know that it really helps me, to know that my workout is tailored to my wishes and body.
- Look into different memberships. My gym offers several types of memberships, including one that only gives you access to the gym between 10am and 4 pm. If that works for you, go for it! It might save you some money. Otherwise, if you're like me and want the freedom to go whenever you feel like it, get a general membership. I pay 50 Euro a month for my membership, which gives me unlimited access. I go three times a week, meaning it's a little more than 4 Euro per session. That's perfectly doable!
- ask around! Do you know people that go to that gym? Ask how they like it, or if it's busy at the time of day you want to go to the gym, if it's expensive or not, what the changing rooms are like... Get informed before you make a decision. If you're not enjoying yourself at the gym, you're not going to give it your all.
- Don't be afraid of actually going to the gym! This one might be more personal, though. I was so nervous about getting a membership last year (because of my bad relationship with my weight and body) that I was terrified the first time I went. And I ended up loving it there! I go in the mornings, and there's always the same people there, young and old, but it's never too busy. The atmosphere is great, very relaxed and enjoyable. People make small talk, say good morning, we chat and laugh, I have fun with strangers... Something I never would have imagined I would do. So don't be afraid to open up a bit! It may be a very emotional experience, to start going to the gym, especially if your situation is similar to mine, but that first step is the hardest and it will only get better and more enjoyable afterwards.

Good luck!

24 June 2012

Eating habits

So. One week in. One week without sodas, sweets, crisps, fried foods and bad habits. And it's feeling pretty good so far! I thought I would miss the sweets and snacks, but I'm doing pretty good so far, snack-wise. I even survived my secondary school reunion barbecue without stuffing my face with bread and satay sauce and bad, fattening meats. I did kinda stuff my face with fresh pineapple. (My god, that pineapple. Oh, oh, oh, my, that was one deliciously sweet, ripe, gorgeous pineapple.) But that's a good thing!

I went against the weight loss tips and weighed myself every day, (I know, even against the advice of my physical therapist, bad me!) but I only saw a slight rise in the line on Friday morning, the morning after I ate a bigger meal than I had planned. It was a bad meal, too, with a creamy sauce and a lot of pasta. So far, I have lost 2 kg this week, a massive amount if you take into account that I did not do a lot more than normal, except change my daily food intake and watch my calories a lot more.

I installed a nifty app on my mobile phone called the Calorie counter by Fatsecret, which is really helping me in keeping an eye on what I eat during the course of a day and to keep my total number of calories below the maximum number I allow. I set myself on 1500 a day, which gives me some wiggle room with my evening meals since the physical therapist told me to stay between 1600 and 1800 a day. I know that eating less than I should sounds bad, but I've hardly been hungry this week! The only time it really hit was on Thursday evening, and I had a very unpleasant evening trying to chug as much water as possible while telling my body to sod off and stop asking for food. I know it wasn't hunger, but it sure did felt like it. Oddly enough, this also was the one evening I ate too much for dinner!

Here's a rough outline of what a daily meal plan looks like for me.

Morning: (at 8:30, unless it's a gym morning)
- 1 bowl of muesli
- 1 piece of fruit (usually an apple)
- 1 glass of milk mixed with the muesli and apple.

- 2 crackers with lean cream cheese
- a handful of cherry tomatoes

- 1 apple with peanut butter

- Grilled chicken and green veggies, and a handful of potato-somethings. This week, it was mostly baked potato cubes.

- a handful of almonds

During the day:
- 2 litres of water

Depending on what I eat for dinner, this usually adds up to roughly 1500 calories. I have been trying to find more healthy, low-calorie dinners that will satisfy both me and the BF, but he's a picky eater, so it's making it somewhat more difficult than I had anticipated. Plus, I want him to eat well, but he's being exceptionally supportive of my mission and is insisting I eat what I need to, and he'll just fill up on snacks during the evening if the meal doesn't do the trick. He's got a very active metabolism, and has trouble maintaining his current weight of 50 kg. It is making this whole thing somewhat more complicated. I've got some plans for this week, though, to keep him satisfied (and let him eat some of his favourite foods), where I can just substitute part of the meal with something healthy for me!

I'm thinking...
- Shoarmawraps for him, with shoarma and garlic sauce, like he loves to eat it, and spicy chickpea-wraps for me!
- Grilled chicken with a sundried tomato basil vinaigrette, served with a salad and some baked potato, where I just leave out the potato!
- Roasted veggies (curried cauliflower or broccoli with garlic, for instance), with more veggies instead of potatoes for me!

Any tips? I would love to hear more!

Most dieting tips I see tell me to aim for 3 meals that fill up, and add 2 or 3 snacks during the day, aiming for some food every 3 hours. However, my breakfast always fills me up until pretty much 1 pm, when I eat my lunch. At 4, I eat a snack, and I have one more in the evening if I feel like it. Funnily enough, the snack-habit is the easiest to kick: even with the BF sitting across from me, munching on crisps, I don't feel the need to grab something for myself to snack on.

So. To conclude week one:
 I lost 2 kg (from 112 kg to 110 kg.).
 I had little trouble kicking it off, with one hickup on Thursday evening after a bad meal. I'm pretty sure it was because of that meal.
I went to the gym twice and got good advice from an expert, who will be helping me with my weight loss and will keep an active eye on my progress. 

In the following weeks, I want to learn:
- what are bad 'healthy' foods and what are good healthy foods to have at mealtime, so I can put together a better, healthier, leaner meal that will still fill up me and the BF and won't leave us hungry after an hour
- how to better spread out calories during the day without having to cut in portion size during dinnertime, because I want to eat properly to avoid getting hungry in the evening
- how to include exercise in my everyday routine, including good exercises I can do at home during the day, that won't do any harm to the injury in my leg. I read that doing jumping jacks are awesome, for instance, but I know that doing jumping jacks will hurt my calf.
- if I can go to the gym three times a week. I want to start tomorrow with going in the evening after dinner, and see how that works for me, and to go on Wednesday and Friday morning.

22 June 2012

How to drink those 8 cups of water a day like a pro

It can never be stressed enough to say that you should drink enough water. While the debate on whether those 8 cups or 2 litres a day are actually necessary is still in full swing and seems neverending, it still is important to drink plenty of water. Especially when you are trying out for a healthy lifestyle and exercise a lot, you'll have to keep your body sufficiently hydrated.

But what if you're like me, and you start to hate the taste after a few sips? Or what if you loathe the taste to begin with? How do you work those 8 cups down your throat, then?!

It's easier than you think, actually. Here's a few tips on how I like to enhance the flavour of water without adding any sugar or calories! (remember, I'm not a dietician, nor am I a scientist or have I studied this, so this is based on personal experience and taste.)

- Drink sparkling water. Somehow, the taste of sparkling water or soda water is so different from regular water, yet there's nothing more in there than a few bubbles! Plus, it tickles on your tongue. Double bonus.

My favourite brand of sparkling water is Spa, in particular the Marie Henriette. It's only slightly fizzy, and I love the subtle taste. Plus, the bubbles are caused by natural carbonation, and not added manually. I don't know why this makes such a difference, but hey, it does!

I would say, steer away from the brands with added flavours, like Crystal Clear, but that's out of personal preference. I think they taste like butts and leave an awful taste in your mouth...

- Add fruit. A few slices of a type of citrus fruit will add a ton of flavour, without adding a grain of sugar. A related tip would be to freeze chunks of fruit into ice cubes, and pouring your water over these ice cubes, or even to pour it over frozen fruit! Many supermarkets these days sell boxes of frozen fruit that are perfect for making smoothies (because you can leave out the ice) or to use as a tasty alternative to ice cubes. And on a related note...

- Drink your water cold! The taste of water seems to change significantly when it's nice and cold. Keep a pitcher in your refrigerator (you could add those ice cubes I was talking about before, or cut up a lemon and add the slices to the pitcher) and keep refilling it whenever you pour yourself a glass.

- Drink through a straw. Go ahead, try it. Grab a glass or a bottle of water, stick a straw in there, take a few big tugs, and see how much you already drunk. I always drink way quicker when I drink through a straw!

- Always keep a bottle close. Whether you are on the road, during a commute, or behind your desk, whether you're running or lounging on the couch, always keep a bottle of water within hand's reach and preferably within sight. I always have a one litre bottle on my desk and when I'm sitting on the couch, I have one standing next to the coffee table. It's within reach, and within sight, and I have found that having a bottle near me will greatly diminish the craving for a different type of drink (such as that bottle of coke that the boyfriend keeps on his side of the coffee table...).

- I found this idea floating around the Pinterestverse and love it! Take two water bottles, mark them up in regular intervals, fill them each morning, and make sure you empty each one before the marked time!

In other words, there are plenty of ways to ensure you drink your 2 liters of water, too! Do you have any tips? Share them with us in the comments!

21 June 2012

Blogs I love: summer edition

Today is the first day of summer! And I say this, knowing that outside the temperature is barely rising above the 15 degrees and there's a lot of rain coming my way sometime today. Yes. We call this a "Dutch summer". It's as good as it's going to get.

So why not stay indoors and read up on some awesome blogs?!

- I have posted about her before, but Andy is such a rockstar when it comes to craft-blogging, it bares repeating. Over at Untangling Knots, she has started her new mini-series, "Summer of the Blog"! I'm a big fan of her mini-series, as they are very informative and well-written. This one focuses on the art of craft-blogging, and will contain a ton of advice as well as discussion on what makes a good craft-blog.

- For a splash of colour in your day-to-day life, which everyone would need if the summer will be this grey and dull, hop on over to Creature Comforts for her Color Inspiration Daily! Graphic designs, prints, pictures, these posts are bound to make you happy. I know they make me happy!

- The same thing goes for the entire blog Oh the Lovely Things. The name says it all really. This is one heck of a lovely blog full of colour-inspiration, gorgeous prints, lots of DIY-goodness...

- Crea in the City is a lovely blog for many reasons. 1: She's Dutch. Yay! 2: She makes adorable things. Yay! 3: She has the cutest dog ever who doesn't mind being used as the occasional photo-prop. Yay! 4: I really enjoy reading her blog just for the cozy-factor. And we all know that when you're freezing in your optimistic pair of shorts or summer skirt, cozy is what you need. Lots of cozy.

What blogs do you love to read during the summer? I love to add more to the list!

Happy reading!

20 June 2012

Physical therapy and positive thinking

As you may have read in my welcome-post, my attempt to start running was thwarted by a painful leg injury and I was forced to stop before I even really began. I was able to get a free appointment with a physical therapist through my gym and the conclusion was: no more running. For a while, at least. Needless to say, I was bummed. The cause of my injury was a muscle in my calf that was too tight, causing the connective tissue to get stuck to my bones, which hurt, which caused the injury. I probably made it worse by continuing to run after it started to hurt.
Today, during my intake, he explained that exercise and stretching might help with this problem, but he agreed with me that losing weight would help as well, since my injured leg wouldn't be carrying all that extra weight while running.

So now I'm in physical therapy. He was talking about multiple sessions, adjustments to my fitness-schedule, more cardio (DO ALL THE CARDIO!), specific cardio-exercises... and keeping a close eye on my weight and weight loss. I'm no longer allowed to weigh myself at home, (not that it'll stop me, but hey.) but I'll have to be weighed at the office every 3 weeks, or so. When asked what my average intake of food was, he was very impressed with my meal-plan yesterday. I explained that it was in no way representative of what I ate before on a weekday, since I only just started with the adjustments in my diet, but he told me I was on the right track. He even asked where I found the information on the changes because the types of food I ate (like an after-dinner snack that consisted of berries and nuts) and was surprised when I explained about my fitness-board on Pinterest.

 This morning has taught me several things. One: that physical therapy fucking hurts. Oh, my. It is supposed to make it better, but so far.. Ow. I couldn't even climb the stairs afterwards...

Two: that the internet taught me all sorts of good things about changing my diet and eating habits. Go Internet! Point for you.

Three: that my work situation will benefit from taking regular exercise breaks during the day, instead of one big exercise moment at the end of the day. In other words, because I'm behind the desk all day, I'm better off going for several 15-minute bike rides, instead of going for a 1-hour ride after dinner.

So, in other words: I'm on the right track. And that's making me feel pretty good, just knowing that I made some good decisions. The fact that my progress will be monitored will give me a push to keep going, to stay motivated, and hopefully, to get me to where I want to be.

18 June 2012

Dinner plans

In order to lose weight, you can't just rely on any diet. As someone at the gym told me today, losing weight happens when you focus on what you shouldn't eat, and just don't eat those. (or as my grandmother used to say, every pound goes through the mouth. It's better in Dutch, it rhymes.) Now, I think there's far more to it than that (otherwise, dieticians would not exist), but it's a start. So I have decided that the first four weeks, I will focus on those things that I ate that I shouldn't, and simply not eat those things. No more crisps or bowls of peanuts at 11 pm, or second helpings of lasagna, or cleaning out the pans after dinner because throwing it away would be a waste. No open bags of M&M's within hand's reach when I'm behind the PC, especially when I'm working on a website or gaming. Those geeky hobbies of mine are killer on the thighs...

No, instead, I will be feasting on fresh food. Tomatoes, carrots, apple, cherries... Any craving I can't shrug off (I'm going to focus on that as well) I will quench with veggies and fruit.

But that's not the only adjustment I will make to my eating patterns. I want to focus on healthy cooking, low-fat and tasty without too much fuss so we can commit to it. Because I'm also cooking for my boyfriend, I want to make sure that I don't deprive him of his favourite meals (though I am hoping I can make him some new ones!), but I will make healthy adjustments to them. Add a salad to the lasagna, so instead of pigging out on cheese-covered pasta, I can feast on greens. Leave out the potatoes. Roast meat in the oven, instead of baking it in a butter or oil-laden pan.

I want to know what kind of difference a different eating style will make on my weight. So these next four weeks, I will mainly work on getting fit by reducing the amount of food, and the bad foods, I eat, or replacing them with healthy alternatives.

My first step has been made with tonight's meal: We had a delicious chicken rollatini and a green salad for dinner.

Chicken rollatini (makes 4 small rollatinis)
based on a recipe by Skinnytaste.com

2 chicken breasts
a handful of cherry tomatoes
1 ball of mozzarella (light, if you are so inclined)
3 sprigs of spring onion
oil (olive) to spray or brush on

Preheat your oven to 175 C.
Slice your tomatoes into quarters, slice out the seeds. Slice your spring onions. Slice your mozzarella thinly, or shred it.
Take your chicken breasts and clean them up. Open them up (unfold it) and cut it, lengthwise, in two thinner cutlets. Pound them out until they are even in thickness and, if possible, size. Lay it on your cutting board, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and place slices of mozzarella, tomato and onions on top so it makes a thin layer. Remember, a little goes a long way, and you need to be able to roll or fold! Carefully roll up your chicken cutlets, starting from a smaller side and rolling halfway, then fold up the other end until it meets. Secure with toothpicks.
Place the chicken rollatinis on a lightly oiled baking sheet and spray or brush with a bit more oil. Sprinkle on some more salt and pepper.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes in the oven. And don't forget to take the toothpicks out before you eat!

I served this with a simple green salad.

17 June 2012

An intro into Tecrin gets Fit

Welcome to the new section of this blog, Tecrin gets fit! In this section I will document my steps towards truly getting healthy and fit. As with many health- and get-fit-blogs, a little background always helps a lot in understanding why someone starts such a blog so I will explain my situation. 

Go grab a drink, it's going to be a long one.

I have always been overweight. Well, no, let me rephrase that. When I was born, I was two weeks early and tiny. I think I weighed 2.5 kilos! But I quickly made up for that. Eating became a habit in my childhood, and stealing candy from the candy tin in the drawer became second nature whenever I came home from school. I got an allowance, which I usually spent on more candy and sweets. In my last year of primary school my entire class turned on me and bullied me. While mostly, I could pretend to shrug it off as them being assholes, the comments did stick. I started eating my lunches at home after 3 months and would often come home crying and craving something sweet to take my mind off things. I was 10.

Eating turned into a coping mechanism in secondary school, and the struggle with my weight really began. I had stick-thin friends who stuffed their faces with everything sweet and crunchy in sight and never gained an ounce, but that wasn't me. I ate when I was stressed, and I was stressed a lot thanks to, mainly, school theatre group. Final rehearsal week was especially bad, as we'd be stuck in the auditorium for hours a day with often not much to do whenever a scene was being rehearsed. Having a boyfriend with a metabolism rate that's approaching the speed of light also didn't (and still doesn't) help. A rehearsal day often ended with everyone gathered around a table, emptying bags of crisps and candy.

I also ended up with a rather aggressive form of eczema when I was about 14. It made me insecure, it made me feel bad, it made me miserable, and being miserable made me eat. Thanks to a dermatologist with a tendency to push her patients to trying new things, I ended up doing light therapy, more light therapy, seventeen thousand different types of ointments and creams, even an experimental treatment with medication they normally give to people after a kidney transplantation because at that point, my body had enough of my skin and was trying to push it away. It made me feel bloated, disgusting, and made my skin burn like someone lit a fire underneath. I gained a ton of weight during those days thanks to her 'treatments', even though they never worked, and finally, after almost six years of this, gave up on ever going back there. My skin calmed down considerably quickly after I made that decision. Funny, that.

I don't think I fully realised back then what I was setting myself up for. But I noticed that my weight was always creeping up, and it made me miserable. Being the dramatic teenager that I was (let's face it, we're all drama queens during those years), I considered starting throwing up after meals to do 'damage control', but I never went through with it. The idea itself was too revolting, I guess. Thanks to one of the most wonderful classes in secondary school history, where bullying was not tolerated by the students and teasing never went beyond remarks about one's hair or clothing and mostly stayed within the bounds of grades or strange personal belongings, I was never bullied or teased about my weight again.

I managed to stay relatively in shape during those days because school was a 20-minute bicycle ride away and I played badminton twice a week. Thanks to a horrible coach and a lack of interest in the sport thanks to him, I stopped playing badminton when I was 18. By then, I was in university, and walked a lot. My college is situated in the heart of Utrecht and it was at most a 15-minute walk from the station, so why bother taking the bus? I still lived 30 minutes from the train station, so I usually took the push-bike there and back home.

I think my current weight-issues began when I moved in with the BF. Suddenly, I lived only a 10-minute walk from the station, and I lived together with someone whose idea of a healthy meal was thoroughly muddled thanks to never really having cooked a meal in his life. I gained 10 kilos in the first 6 months. University was also stressing me out. My first year, I chose a program that did not really fit me, and I wasted a year trying to struggle my way through it before deciding to switch to a program that did suit me.

My parents, supportive as they were of my every choice in life, seemed unable to deal well with a daughter that was clearly unhappy with her own body and thought peptalks that only focused on my body and weight would 'help', or that cracking jokes about it, calling me Miss Piggy or poking me in the gut whenever I was eating, would help. I've never told them, but the tons of conversations we had that started with my mother tut-tutting about my weight really broke me at times and I shed many a tear about them because all I could focus on was that I was fat fatty fat fat fat. 

I suppose at this point one could say that I was nursing a slight eating disorder. I would try to 'eat healthy' by not eating at all, only to fall asleep during class or on the train due to lack of nutrition. I would then come home and binge on anything I could get my hands on. Whenever I tried to actually eat healthy, I'd try to live on fruit and nothing else for days. I don't think I need to tell you that this didn't work and eventually, I'd fall back into old habits and eat a whole bag of crisps by myself. I wasn't exercising at all in those days. I would try to talk myself out of eating something, but when I succeeded in convincing myself I wouldn't need that cookie, or that bag of sweets, I'd reward myself... by eating that cookie or diving into that bag of sweets.

Last year I decided that enough was enough. I joined a gym and started working out twice a week. At the beginning of this year, however, I decided that I was going to start my own business as a translator and quit my (somewhat active) job at the local bookshop. I couldn't muster up the time to go to the gym twice a week and it dwindled to once a week, sometimes not even that. I decided to take up running this year, only to have my plans thwarted by short muscle structure in my calf muscles which gave me horrible pains in my lower leg while running that I'm hoping physical therapy will help with.

But despite my efforts, I didn't lose a single pound. Oh, sometimes I did, but they'd always come flying back as soon as I let up the effort. I didn't start a diet, because I only live with my boyfriend and I can't afford to cook two meals every evening, nor did I want to force him to join my diet.

But it really is time for some drastic changes in my life. Enough is enough.

Right now, at the start of this blog, I am a short, fat girl that weighs 112.5 kilos, and it is my goal to lose at least 30 of those before the end of the year.

There, I said it, it's out in the open! No turning back now.

In the coming days, I will document my steps toward a healthy eating plan and will try to lay out an exercise schedule that I can commit to every day. I hope you will enjoy reading along with my journey towards a better, fitter, healthier, happier me.

15 June 2012

Noise? You talk about noise? Try living with two 1-year-olds!

The birds must be turning 1 year old soon. We don't know when exactly, as we were only told they were between 8 and 11 weeks old when we bought them last year in the first week of September. But they sure are growing up quick! I think this might be what we humans call their 'Terrible Two's' since they can be horribly grumpy for no reason at all and like to make a show of angrily throwing things to the ground when you give them something to play with. Especially Al'ar, and she makes quite the show out of it too. It goes like this: I give her a piece of paper, she yanks it out of my hand with her beak, and throws it to the ground. Then she stares at it like she's waiting for it to come back up on it's own accord, and if I'm not quick enough to grab it, she turns around and poops on it.

Giving them snacks has slowly turned into quite the struggle as well: We start with giving Al'ar a snack, then when she's busy, we give Anzu his, but most times Al'ar will drop her snack to steal Anzu's. Only to drop it again when we give Anzu a new one. She's a monster, I'm telling you!

See that face? I'm pretty sure she's contemplating her next step in world domination. "Today, this cage, tomorrow, the wooooorld!"

We've been trying to let them fly around the entire living room area now, and no longer fence off the small part of the room with a curtain when we let them out. It's been quite an experience for them. We've got them trained to recognise a wooden perch as a safe spot, so any time they freak out and fly around in a flurry we can hold up the stick for them to land on. However...

They've also discovered that this brick wall makes for awesome snacking, often leaving a massive trail of brick dust and bits behind on my bookcase below.

Luckily for us, there's also moments when they are the sweetest little balls of fluff you can imagine. They are so relaxed around our hands now, that they'll come and sit on our hands if we hold food next to it inside the cage, and outside the cage, we both had a bird hop on our shoulder to reach food. I know, it's still bribery, but it's a step forward! We're also able to get closer and closer to them while they're eating from a sprig of millet, so close, in fact, that yesterday, Al'ar brushed my cheek, and Anzu my nose, with their foreheads just to get to the millet! (which, by the way, was REALLY SOFT.)

But their cuteness just explodes when they're close to falling asleep. They're extremely aware of my camera, still, so every attempt of catching it on camera I have made today so far has fallen flat because they're wide awake the second I start recording, but this is an impression of what has pretty much been all the sound coming from the living room this morning: Al'ar muttering to herself while falling asleep.

(vertical video syndrome! I know.)
There's even a little videobombing by Anzu. If that didn't make you melt, I don't know what will!

12 June 2012

Planning exciting things

Exciting things are afoot! Or well, one main exciting thing. The other has already kind of happened.

I got sworn in as a translator! This sounds more exciting than it really was. I brought my sister with me to the courthouse but we were so busy monkeying around on the way there that I forgot to take any pictures as evidence. We turn into rambunctious twelve-year-olds when we're together for a longer period of time. Ask my mum and she'll agree that we're impossible to handle when we're together... Anyway, by the time we got to the courthouse and found the right room, it was all over before I knew it! Two minutes inside, three words spoken, and I was out the door again, sworn in as a Dutch-English translator.

Apart from that, I am also planning a reunion of my secondary school's final year! I met up with an old schoolmate in January of this year to talk translation as she is a professional translator as well, and we got to talking about our old classmates, and how they were doing... It's only been seven years, but I'm no longer in touch with any of my old friends due to time restraints, getting degrees, work, in some cases even marriage and children! Now, I found a number of them through Facebook already, but there's nothing like a good old get-together, right? So, after some struggle, we now have a reunion planned for the 23rd of this month and I only have a week and a half left to get everything sorted! EEEP!

I want to keep it low-key, so we're having a barbecue in the garden next to the cafeteria of our old school. We're not allowed to serve alcohol though, so we're off to a bar afterwards to relive some old times and get ridiculously drunk together. I've been using the wonderful world of Pinterest to find some inspiration to keep it both fun and low-budget and so far, my inspiration is mainly 'fooood' and 'pictures'.

Have you ever held a reunion with your old schoolmates? What was your reunion like? Do you have tips on cheap decoration or food serving for me? I would love to hear them!

3 June 2012

Why I love sunsets

They're faded and dull, yet colourful at the same time. And they only grow more colourful the longer you stare out into the darkness, as all lights just fades away into the background and all you're left with, all that you see, is the growing intensity of those hues of blue and pink and orange and red.

(P.s. I have been messing about with my blog again, and have added three nifty little buttons underneath my blogposts: a Pinterest-pin-button, a Facebook-share-button and a Twitter-tweet-button! You know, just in case you ever feel the need to pin, share or tweet about something from my blog. So pin, share and tweet away, my friends!)