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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: Year in Review

It's that time of the year again when many of us create our year in review posts. I've thought, on multiple occasions, what I'll say because 2015 has been highly significant and life changing for me. For the last six years I can distinctly remember writing the same post at the end of each year about what a terrible year it's been and how I hate my life. However, I was fortunate enough to finally have a year that was much better. It's been the best I've had in as long as I can remember, at least since I was a child. I will always look back on it fondly and I wish it didn't have to end so quickly. If I'd written this post a week earlier I'd continue to write more praise about the year. However, I received some news late last week which has hit me really hard- it's about a very significant person, who I credit so much of my progress this year towards, leaving my work. I can feel myself slipping back into the all too familiar feelings of depression and anxiety that I've experienced many times over. However, I think I'll write about that separately and say what I would have anyway in this post. 

The main positives this year happened at work. I put so much effort into my job and many times it was my whole life. It was so incredibly satisfying and rewarding to have my efforts recognised. I felt respect and belonging among my team far more than I'd ever felt in any previous contexts throughout my life. In the middle of the year I was offered permanent employment (I'd been a contractor the almost two years prior) and I was offered double to pay, beyond what I could ever have dreamed of.  I learned so much- I'm amazed if I compare my skills set and confidence this time last year to what it is now. I don't say this often but I'm actually proud of myself for what I'v achieved at work in 2015.

The next positive is in relation to my confidence and mental health. For the first time in as long as I can remember I've been comfortable with where my life is and I don't hate it. Similarly, I've finally had some relief from the major anxiety and depression which have controlled so much of my life. I rarely feel paralyzing nerves and I haven't had any days lying in bed crying for a long time now. I learned how to rely on myself more. I have lost friends this year and haven''t always had the support I felt I deserved from others, which forced me to support myself. I've really tried to force myself to keep busy and get out of the house, even on days where there hasn't been much reason to, because I know it's bests for me. As I said above, I can feel myself struggling a little with some recent news but overall the year brought great news in this respect.

I got back into sport this year. I started up running in the middle of the year. It's been incredibly unfortunate that I've been injured so often and haven't been able to dedicate as much of myself to it as I would have liked, but the times I've been able to run have been amazing. I've enjoyed the feelings of success when improving my own personal bests- there's no better feeling than this sense of achievement and I've missed it ever since I gave up sport many years ago. I started up swimming only two weeks ago but already I can see similar benefits and love that I've incorporated it back into my lifestyle. 

I dyed my hair red in May and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made! I love it so much! I had the same hairstyle for yet another year but that suits me. I have no plans to change it any time soon. 

The biggest negative this year was that my sister moved to London in August - I miss her and wish every single day that she would come back. 

Now onto the outfits- I've chosen my top 20 from 2015. 

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Central Coast Day 1

Hi everyone! We've made it from Sydney to the Central Coast and are on day one of our holiday. I'm posting this from the hotel room- two posts from me in 24 hours! Today was taken up by travel, checking out the area and a walk to the beach. The area is very beautiful and there are so many pelicans! The scenery makes the perfect location for outfit pictures. It was a little cold this morning but it's become better as the day has progressed. I just wish it wasn't so windy on the beach when taking the photos. We about to go out for dinner which will be enjoyable and I look forward to wearing one of my new dresses which I received for Christmas. I'm not too sure what we will do for the next couple of days as the husband and I are not really into the beach but I'm sure we will be able to occupy ourselves. Here are the photos from the walk to the beach earlier this afternoon.

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Kitten D'Amour Pretty Ballerina Dress in Lemon
Kitten D'Amour LouLou Handbag in Black
Florsheim Boka Flats in Coral

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Life Lately 003

Swimming
If it wasn't for swimming, I would be mega depressed right now about my ankle injury. Swimming has helped me to remain in training, made me feel productive and provided me with a goal to work towards. I've mentioned a couple of times now that my background in competitive swimming means that so many memories come back to me every time I return to the pool. It's been over ten years since I walked away from the sport but I'm surprised how much of the technique I've retained. The feelings of success and purpose that I used to feel all those years ago from swimming are still there and make me feel good about myself whenever I train. I'm even thinking of joining a weekly swimming club again. I've been pushing myself . This afternoon I swam a 3km training session and now my arms hurt so much!! My husband came to the pool with me this afternoon. Its the first time he's ever seen me swim. He took some videos. 

Juliette Princess Miracle
My little kitty cat has made it onto this list again. It was amazing to spend time with her on Christmas Day and Boxing Day- I look forward to more time with her during these holidays. This is a picture of us together on the 25th.


The End of Work
We made it to the end of another working year! Usually I hate it when it's a break from work as I tend to get depressed when I'm unproductive and I over think things with too much time on my hands. I often get lonely. However, this time I don't mind the holidays. My husband has taken annual leave at the same time as the compulsory shut down period at my work and we have our trip at the coast to look forward to. I'm also very tired from working hard this year so I'm ready for a break. This is me in the lift at work in the last week- great for checking out a look. 


Christmas Presents
I'm not majorly into Christmas but I do enjoy the presents and always receive some amazing treats! I am sure you'll see some of my pretties in coming posts. This collection of presents were the ones which my husband and I bought for my parents- I just had to show you the amazing wrapping paper! My Mum received her gifts wrapped in Disney Princess paper and my Dad received his gifts wrapped in Frozen paper. It's the best paper ever. 

Shopping
I've purchased a few new pieces recently but the best bargain was the Dolce Vita dress from Kitten D'Amour. I'm getting the hem taken up at the moment but once it's ready I can't wait to wear it. It's rather different for me to wear black but the lace cut out detail at the back makes it unique and a standout. I've wanted this dress for many months now but couldn't justify spending $250 on it especially given that I'd already purchased one of the other dresses from the same collection. However, I did the right thing and waited until it was on sale. It often pays to wait! I got it for less than half price- under $100!

New Collection at Kitten D'Amour
This pretty collection of pastel coloured day dresses was released at Kitten D'Amour early last week. I didn't expect a new collection this quickly so this was a lovely surprise. With the extended trading hours it was fun to go and check out the collection after work. The dresses are so beautiful and some spending did happen- more to come later. What I love about the release of a new collection is, not just the new pieces, but the discussions I have with other KDM fans over social media. I've met so many people over the Internet just from our mutual love of Kitten D'Amour clothes and it's been great. 

In other news, tomorrow the husband and I are going on our trip to the coast! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Current Loves

Here are a few of my favourites right now:

Kitten D'Amour Black Coffee Dress
I initially didn't like the whole Black Coffee collection because it was inspired by corporate wear and I don't wear much black or blouses and pencil skirts. However, I tried on this dress recently and it became the exception- it certainly isn't too corporate inspired with the oversized flower and lace. It's such a beautiful dress in terms of quality, design and fit. It would be such a classic piece to have for many years to come. I just wish it didn't cost $329!

Kitten D'Amour LouLou Black Handbag
As you can see from my earlier post, I already have this bag in red. I think I'm going to buy it in black also given how much use I've had from the red version (used it every day since I bought it). I love the patent finish, the structure and the pretty bow. It's also proven to be very practical as it's large and even fits a laptop inside. 
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B.A.I.T Footwear Sindy Flats 
B.A.I.T Footwear have impressed me again with another pair of adorable and unique flats. I have a few different pairs now and seem to be developing the habit of purchasing multiple colours. I was very happy to notice last week the 'Sindy' collection. There's such a lovely range of colours and I love the cutout design. My favourite would have to be the seafoam version. 

Miu Miu Fragrance
I really want to try the Miu Miu first fragrance and add the cool looking bottle to my existing perfume collection. I’m sure part of the reason I’m drawn to this fragrance is because of the pretty black and white cat all over the advertisements.  I often receive fragrances at Christmas so I definitely associate this pretty with the current time of the year.

How unsurprising- another dress from Kitten D’Amour is on my current loves list. I didn’t expect an additional collection to be released at Kitten D’Amour this year given there have been a number of new ones recently. However, this one snuck in without much notice earlier in the week. It was fun being able to check it out in store on a Tuesday night given the Christmas extended trading hours. The dress comes in pastel colours- yellow, pink and blue. I’m especially drawn to the yellow version as the lemon is incredibly pretty. The lace detailing is so beautiful and I adore the lovely silhouette. The dresses remind me of the Angelina Ballerina series which I used to love when I was a child (before it turned into a cartoon and became less good). 
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Glass House Galapogos Candle
The husband and I have developed a love for scented candles this year. We found out from the staff at Peter Alexander that the Galapogos scent by Glasshouse is the candle which is usually burning in store. I’ve loved the scent of Peter Alexander for ages but never realised it was a candle and that it was available to purchase there. I think we will have to go back and get it. 

What's on your wishlist at the moment?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Outfit

The weather this weekend has been insane - it' been 40 degrees for most of it. The temperature gauge up the road from where I live actually clocked 46 degrees this evening. I usually love the heat, even of a rather extreme nature, but this weekend has been different- it was really uncomfortable. I tried to do the Parkrun again on Saturday but the heat made it the most awful experience because by 8am it was already well over 30 degrees. I couldn't keep up with my usual pace and was barely even running as I somehow struggled across the finish line.  I felt like such a failure. It was so incredibly frustrating not being able to properly finish the race when I usually can. On another negative note, it was my first run back after taking an injury break for the past two weeks. Unfortunately, I returned too early and my ligament tear is not fully recovered. I'm so disappointed. I've mentioned my ankle injury many times here before and it's been an ongoing issue ever since I took up running again in July. I cannot find a permanent solution. It's frustrating seeing some potential in my times and distances, but not having the opportunity to train properly. I'd do anything to find a permanent solution.

From a more positive perspective, I've decided to train in the pool especially while I can't run. I hate that when I take injury breaks, even for a couple of weeks, I've lost so much of my fitness level and it's almost like starting again. I'm hoping swimming will help with that. I googled it and apparently swimming is the best possible option for me and greatly improves running. I didn't know how helpful cross training could be- one site told me swimming will be the best possible return on investment. This has made me feel better about the whole situation as, when I swim, I know I'm really training for running. The best news is that swimming isn't hurting my ankle. I started this weekend swimming 1km yesterday and 2km today. I've mentioned a couple of times before on here that, while growing up, competitive swimming was such a huge part of my life. So every time I get in the pool now, it takes me right back! 

Now onto the outfit. Given the weather, I found myself reaching for a cool white dress. I love this dress with the lace and the neckline detail. It was a bargain too- half price a few months ago. Then I randomly added a yellow belt, liked how it looked and decided to make the yellow a feature. I've adored yellow this whole year, despite previously hating it. This is also a new bag from Guess, same as the version I have in red, and I'd been looking forward to styling it. My shoes are another successful purchase from B.A.I.T Footwear. I'm majorly into their flats because they are both comfortable and adorable. I'm planning to do a separate post on my B.A.I.T Footwear collection soon, once my new pairs arrive for Christmas. 

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Forever New Lace Dress
Forever New Earrings
Guess Korry Small Classic Tote
Bow Belt via Ebay
B.A.I.T Footwear Everline Flats in White

Monday, December 14, 2015

Outfit

IMG_2473Hi all. Yesterday, the husband and I went to the park- a location we used to visit frequently but haven't visited at all for the last couple of years. It's lovely there, one of the biggest parks I've ever been to, but isn't as accessible ever since we moved and no longer have a car. The reason for the trip was to celebrate a birthday- that of an extremely important being called Yakamitsu Yak (also known as the husband's toy plastic yak). We've had him for 6 years now. One year we even took him to KFC on the 13th of December. No, we are not weird at all. Yaksmitsu had an amazing day. We quite enjoyed it too. The park always has good opportunities for photos. Pandora, our panda, joined us too- I have to resist the habit of calling her Sue. 

It was amazing to have the opportunity to wear my Cameo dress. It's such a pretty print and colour scheme. I love the neckline and the general vintage inspiration. I randomly decided to pair pink with it and I'm pleased with the way that turned out. The shoes I've had for many years now but haven't worn them in awhile. I've brought them to the front of my wardrobe again. I'd forgotten how much I love them with the floral design and pink detailing. 


I'm sure this is going to be the busiest week of the year so I won't be around here as much. I also need to take an exam for a course I'm doing through work which couldn't have come at a worse time. We've decided to go away for a few days just after Christmas. I'm looking forward to it because the husband and I hardly ever do things like that. I'm not really into Christmas (sorry everyone!) but this provides something to look forward to in the break. 

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Kitten D'Amour Cameo Dress
Wittner Shoes
Bow Belt via ebay

Forever New Imogen Scalloped Bag