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Friday, 10 December 2010

MY Christmas list

Two weeks 'til Christmas. It hit me today how soon it really is - I've been pushing it out but have started feeling festive; half-decorated tree, singing nativity/christmassy songs, christmas lunching and start of party seaon... 2 weeks to go and I've hardly started the presents, need to finish the decorations for the tree and I also need to purchase some Baileys and Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry mmm. 
Leon and I have been singing carols and re-discovering some classics but I'm looking forward to catching up with friends and family. Then it will properly feel like Christmas.

I don't know about you, but at Christmas I often get a selfish streak and find I buy myself a present before someone else... It may be my way of 'warming up' to the big splurge of gift-giving but this year I'm not meant to buy any presents really as we're having a hand-made Christmas (brilliant suggestion from MIL) So does that mean I can splash out more on myself..?

If so, here are some thing's on my wishlist:

I don't have an IT bag and I've used 4 old ones to my hearts content for different uses over the past 5+ years. However I'm yet to find the most practical. Need one big enough to sling enough stuff in and to throw about. But small enough to not get carried away and stuff it full.

I like these. Found this one on Playpennies site. It's The Original Satchel Store

Great for laptop, bottle, nappies and banana
But if I'm going to step away from my youth and plunder into proper ladydom I will opt for a creation from Monica Boxley. Fabulous boutique (coincidentally my neighbour) and I'd choose the Marianne  handbag. Possible in White.

Marianne handbag from Monica Boxley
I don't really need any apart from perhaps a shirt for work - Zara had one for £40 but I can't find it online and want to try elsewhere. Long sleeved white soft blouse with pussycat bow?
Aha found this one from ASOS (have never used before) but all except size 18 is out.
Asos Pussybow Blouse £2
Always delighted to get Socks and underwear for Christmas as long as it's pretty, comfortable and very practical. I like these 70 dernier stockings Trasparenze-sandra-opaque-stockings for £6.50 or long socks from American Apparel £10 a pair.

One that has a weekday starting from Monday with a box for each day. But.... I like these Ink + Wit totem calendars ($44) that show the relevance of animals appearing your every day life such as the designer's experience with snakes. But it come from afar and calendars are something you should try and make. I may just seek out an illustration and draw up the calendar!

2011 Ink + Wit Letterpress  Calendar
"When the animal shows up less, the lesson may be learned or another lesson may be at play. At any rate, pay attention, do some research, and see what comes up for you. Totem animals are different than spirit animals in that your totem animal shows up all the time. Spirit animals may come and go." Tara Hogan

Still fine tuning my flat after living here over a year... But need some sort of storage consultant or shelves, rugs, new champagne flutes, more champagne, long and large candles (Tea-lights don't last long at all!) And a babysitter one night a week. And a massage. And a mothers' help here and there...

Do you ever get yourself a present at Christmas?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Beating the Baby bulge II : 5 Housework Workout tips

11 months post birth and there's enough to keep me on my feet, but I'm not really exercising anymore, have neglected any sort of 'crunch' and I feel, well blobby. My weight is fine - but all skin, bones, fat and no toning anywhere!

I'd love to find an exercise class of a mix between ballet, aerobics, yoga and pole dancing while the babies are occupied in a playpen or something, but don't want to commit to any classes and well - rather have the cash for other things. Buggyfit is brilliant in that you don't worry about what to do with the baby and you don't commit - but I feel like I want to be pushed more and baby isn't keen on staying in his buggy for too long and has a mighty cough that it would be unfair to leave him open to the harsh winter.

I asked my Granny what she did for exercise in the 1950s and her response was "we didn't have all those machines doing the housework for us - THAT was our exercise". I suppose I'd never thought of it like that. So I've made an effort to 'put my back into it' and do the following FIVE housework workout exercises in cleaning my little flat

1. Techno turbo-tidying
Stretch, squat, reach, and suck in that tummy while turbo-tidying allocating 5 minutes per room. Hard-house or dirty beats helps to get you moving and makes it more fun to clear stuff from the tables, chairs, beds, clutter hotspots and BACK WHERE THEY BELONG! (If you don't use it - ask yourself why you have it...) and wiping surfaces.
Added benefit : Preps the home for the rest of the cleaning and gives you space to breathe. Good Chi.

2. SCRUB the kitchen floors
It's all too easy to mop from above but in a small kitchen like mine it won't get you moving. Getting down on one's knees, sucking in your tummy and stretching your body into all those corners can really feel good and you are close enough to see if the floor is really pristine ;) 50 calories for 10 minutes
Added benefit : Can slide around on the floor with socks on and fallen baby food/spoons can be given back to baby! 3-second rule still applies
The secret to Madonna's toned body is really from all that scrubbing
3. INTENSE hoovering
I love vacuuming. The sound of crumbs and crap wooshing up the hoover is so rewarding and the clean carpets make the rest of the house look clean even if not. Hoovering is great for upper body (I imagine) and repetitive lunges makes for better results! Try bouncing on a squat too whilst in the middle of a room and rotate on one foot - this really feels like exercise and is fun! 50 calories for 10 minutes
Added  benefit : Vacuum noise will occupy baby for a while, can roll around with baby on the floor afterwards, know baby won't eat old peas from under table

4. Washing up and ironing Ballet
Seeing as you're not really able to go far; stand tall, suck everything in, check your posture, breathing and in first position (legs together, feet pointed outwards) do a few pliés, then in second position (heels shoulder width apart) a few leg lifts to the side and back. Classic FM often helps and really squeeze in those bumcheeks. 30 calories for 10 minutes
Added benefit : Inner calm, straight back and firm ass

5. Daily Bathroom BLITZ
Some more stretching, squatting, reaching to wipe clean your beloved bathroom for just 5mins a day means it will never get to that grimey stage. 
Added benefit : Sparkling bathroom is always welcome for visitors - and most importantly for you.

Finish this off with a speedy shower and then play with your baby in your squeaky clean home
A few 'Superbaby' lifts with your heavy baby on your legs, or using him as a weight for squat and lift is also rather fun. My baby always laughs when I dance - so get moving!