Thursday, 30 July 2009

new bits of reading material

I picked up a couple of books from Borders today that I'm pretty excited about!

The first was on sale, and I thought too good of an investment to skip. While we don't plan on having babies for awhile, lots of our friends (and family, soon!) are well on their way to increasing their family, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a crafts book for baby pressies.

find it on Amazon here

It has some super cute things in it, like hooded towels and mobiles. I can't wait to get started on things other than crocheted blankets. Don't get me wrong, I love the crochet hook, but I need some new projects!

The other book will help fill my time now that triathlon training is almost finished (one more swim tomorrow, and that's me until Sunday!!!)

find it on Amazon here

I want to focus on getting my body into tip top shape, so I'm going to start a new exercise regime that centers around units (30 mins), trying to fit in 10-15 a week (closer to 15), and doing at least 3 weights-based workouts a week. This book has a lot of good tips and exercises for ladies, so I'll definitely be getting a bit of use out of it.

In the mean time, I have a few crochet projects sitting around, waiting to be finished, including two bags for friends and a shawl project for my mom (I found the most delish merlot coloured cotton yarn in DK weight, can't wait to get it started!)

Only 3 more sleeps until the Triathlon!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

piggy flu

by Madison Underground Press

I woke up last Friday with a sore throat and thought, 'Oh no, hope it goes away for the weekend'. Wasn't too bad, and I was able to go to London for my friend Janine's birthday and enjoy a curry. But it probably wasn't the best idea to go for a night of (light in my case) drinking, and then walk around in the rain to feed duckies on the Sunday. By Monday, I was feeling well and truly ropey and came home early from work after lunch. By Tuesday, I thought I was a bit better, so I headed back to work, but really really wasn't. After work, I napped until about 7, and then R and I went out to see Harry Potter with my boss. Wednesday, I thought again, I was feeling better, but really had to come home for lunch, and napped again until about 6, skipping my guitar class. I've finally realised I'm not going to get better if I keep sabatoging myself. So here I am at home, watching the Tour de France, and now I think really feeling better, but still resting resting resting.

On Monday, I found out two co-workers' daughters both have swine flu, which they caught last week. As I didn't feel flu-y, just like a cold, I didn't really think much of it. But R's heard on the radio that quite a lot of people have just described it as a bad cold. I would definitley call this a bad cold, since I'm normally not sick for more than a day or two max, and I have felt pretty rough. So maybe I have the piggy flue, maybe not, but it's kind of exciting to tell people I'm part of a fad! (once I'm better, of course)

The really dissapointing thing is the effect this will have on my triathlon. I'm so glad I'm sick this week, rather than next, because I would have really had to consider not doing it. But I had a great week last week for workouts including an open water swim in my wet suit. And on Friday, I picked up a two piece tri suit which I was able in run in on Saturday (a short run, since I was feeling dodgy). But this week, the penultimate week, where I should be pushing hard, I'm not out at all, and it feels crap. I know it will have a big effect on my time, and I feel nervous. But there's nothing I can do but help my body get better. But next week, I definitely need some time getting used to my new bike! Strange to think it's only about 10 days away!!! Fingers crossed I make a full recovery in the next few days.

Friday, 17 July 2009

triathlon coming up!

I haven't been particularly good about blogging about my triathlon training, but at least I've been a bit better about actually DOING the training (sort of). The tri's coming up in just over 2 weeks, so I've started worrying about what I need for the big day.

I haven't received my pack yet, but I've found out my number is 8446, and I'm in the 12.40 wave (so lucky, as I could have been in the 6.30 wave!!!).

I was finally able to get a (beautiful) bike, as my co-worker's boyfriend is a bike mechanic. It's amazing, and a proper road bike!

I also took a trip into Eastbourne today, and got myself a two piece tri suit, with a separate top and bottom, which can be worn under my wetsuit. They're pretty snazzy! I also picked up a number belt so I don't have to fiddle with my 8446.

And yesterday, I went for my first ocean swim in the UK!!! I'm using R's hand-me-down surfing wetsuit, which actually fits me pretty well (it's a little loose, but does the trick). I forgot how tiring ocean swims can be! While the waves weren't too big, the water in Brighton is always quite choppy, and the current was pretty strong. I drank a lot of water, and got a lot of kelp in my face. Blurg. But all in all, it felt good to stretch out in the sea, and practice swimming outdoors. It was good to train in this, as the water will be much calmer and smoother on the actual day, as I'm swimming in the docklands.

Zonko will also be around for my tri, which makes me very happy! This is the first big race I've ever done, so it's great to have some support (R's coming, too, of course!) I'm already planning my big milkshake and burger when I finish. Yum.

(this will be me in 16 days!)

Thursday, 16 July 2009

marriage of les monks

This weekend we got to celebrate R's brother O's wedding to the lovely M. They were married on her parents farm on Saturday in a sheep hut. They rented teepees, which were AMAZING! to have the reception in. There were all sorts of lovely treats like opera singers, a musical saw, a ceilidh band and much more. All in all, it was an amazing day, despite the rain. In fact, the ceremony was particularly romantic with a bit of mist about. I did end up getting horrendously drunk (open bar!!!), but I don't think I was too badly behaved. Just lots of dancing.

The next day there was a BBQ for the guests and we enjoyed a lovely day around the pool. Now they're enjoying their honeymoon in Ecuador! The MCK family really is just so so lovely :)

Some pictures of le marriage of O and M!

Ronan and Eoin

The sheep hut

Marga and Eoin

Eddo playing the saw

The teepees

the wedding couple

Jack and Emma dancing

bride and groom dancing

wedding cake

marriage plaque

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

all by myself...

R's away in Wales for a conference where he's giving a paper (smarty pants). He left this morning. It always feels really strange behing home alone now, especially sleeping by myself. That's probably when I miss him the most (although I love sleeping diogonally).

I've filled my evening with phone calls back home (side note, apparently my cousin is dating a Tunisian dude - my grandma must be wetting herself with excitement! the rest of us are married to white boys!), crocheting and crap property shows - and will probably do the same tomorrow (replace crap property show with fave movie ever, A Fish Called Wanda). I think 2 nights will be enough - nice to be able to be boring and do my boring things, but I do miss my husband tons.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

4th of july

Fourth of July has always been one of my favourite holidays. I've always been a summer girl, and Independence Day was the official kick off to the summer. The weather was always glorious, and we normally spent the day at the beach, or playing baseball, or having a BBQ, before heading over to Culver City high school to watch the fireworks display. Me, my mom, my stepdad and my sisters would pack a light picnic dinner, bring a blanket and get our American paraphernalia ready for the big show. Fireworks always make me feel so happy, even to this day, and I just love big booming music to go along with it. Although I've taken a lot of flak for it, I still play my Stars & Stripes cd every 4th of July!!!

This is the fifth 4th of July I've spent in the UK. Even though I'm so happy it's summertime, I always feel a bit upset that I'm away from home. It's just a strong reminder that something so close to my heart is so foreign here. While more and more places are starting to do a fun UK version of '4th of July', it obviously isn't a big deal here. I guess it just makes me a feel a bit homesick. R's really great, and will do BBQs (even though it's normally raining), and will even wear red, white and blue, but it just isn't quite the same. Oh well! To make myself feel better, I found some various pictures of America, Stars & Stripes and red, white and blue.

the american flag fish! by ~Kim's Picture Gallery~'s

Fireworks over Los Angeles by Naked_Eyes

Red, White & Blue Dog Democrat by Visualist Images

It's funny, but I was never particularly patriotic when I lived in America. I felt the over the top brand of patriotrism (particularly favoured by the republicans) was tacky and tasteless. But living abroad has definitely strengthened my feelings about America. I don't think you can truly appreciate a place until you put some distance between you. I love the UK, and love living here, and there is every chance I may stay here for good, but my love for the US has grown in a way I didn't think possible. I really do feel it's an amazing country and feel proud to be an American.

Sailor Jerry 16 by whoppertan

This is the next tattoo I'm hoping to get. I've always wanted to get a pin up tattoo, but was waiting for the right lady. I think I've found her. I want something to remind me of home and my roots, but something that doesn't take itself too seriously. Maybe for my 25th birthday?