Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Get Back On the Organizing Horse

On the 11th March of this year I announced I would be returning to blogging. Well, that hasn't exactly gone to plan seeing as I haven't posted anything. I've been taking some time to sit back and decide which direction I want the blog to go. For me, sitting down and deciding to get back into the blogging mood, after more that a year without doing anything blog-related, was a tough decision on it's own, never mind trying to come up with more content.

So far I've only come to one conclusion: I want to start fresh, with a clean slate.

At some point over the last couple of years I fell off the metaphorical organizing wagon. I look back to a time when I used my household binder regularly, made monthly meal plans and filled in budget trackers religiously. I color-coded my daily planner and had a healthy (I assume) love affair with Pinterest. Now I look to where I am today, with piles of receipts and bills and random papers sitting on my desk (and at the bottom of my handbag), a half empty fridge and no meal plan, and a budget that runs out before the month is over.

The picture is quite unnerving.

So, I'm guessing one of the best ways to get back into blogging is by getting back into organizing and sharing the process on here with you guys. I'll have to go through all the paper clutter and put my systems back into place. I'll have to revise my meal planning strategy and elaborate some sort of cleaning routine. I'll have to go through our home room by room and make sure everything has a place and create a system for those things that don't. I'll have to clean out my wardrobe and have a major decluttering session.

I have a few posts already up on these topics, so I've decided to repost them with the tweaks I may have made (and hopefully, better photos).

And to prove I'm serious, here's my new blog planner for my...third? time blogging!!!


So, without further ado, I'm going to let my wheels start turning and come up with some great projects to share! 


Have you ever fallen off the organizing wagon?

Sam 
xx



Friday, March 11, 2016

Let's Give This Another Try

Hello, you!!!!

I know, I know. It's been aaaaaaages. It's been almost a year, actually. With starting a new job and becoming an adult, there's been little time to blog. To be honest, I wasn't really feeling that motivated to write either. I felt I had nothing interesting to share. My salary just about covered the bills, so I had no money for projects. But now I feel like giving this another try...

It feels strange, and somewhat awkward, to be sitting here behind the keyboard, typing away. I'm trying to remember how I used to carefully plan by blog posts every week, with a calendar and some sticky notes. It was fun constantly coming up with new content to share with the world wide web.

Now I feel I'm entering a new stage in my life and I'd like to pick up my blog where I left off. Adri and I have been talking about "adult topics" like buying a new car and looking for our new home. I actually have some very exciting news that I'll be sharing with you very shortly in a future post.

This quick post is just my way of letting you know I'm back! I don't know how often I'll be posting yet, or if it will be anything particularly interesting, but I'd like to think I can go back to my Auber-organized posting schedule.

I hope you'll give me a second chance!

Sam
xx


Friday, May 8, 2015

Fitness Friday!!

One of the things I set out to accomplish this year is to start living a healthier lifestyle. That includes more exercise, more veggies and less processed food. I don't usually talk about this stuff on the blog, but lately these small changes are a big part of my day to day. Pinterest is usually my go-to site to look for new healthy recipes (check out my healthy living board and my food board here) and I'm slowly incorporating more vegetables to my everyday recipes, like beef and brocolli on rice or asparragus pasta salud (both delicious!!).

Before jumping in to healthy recipes and workouts, I thought I'd use this first post to tell you guys about myself, fitness-wise.

When I was in second year of uni, I was really good about doing exercise. I started to go running at the beginning of April, starting with about 15-20min about 2-3 times a week with my roommate, but slowly managed to do 40-45min from Monday to Friday. That for me was a great achievement. However, the years passed and days got busier and I got lazier, to be honest. Exercise was probably a 3-4 times a month sort of thing. I did do a lot of walking but not very many heart-pumping activities.

When you're young you don't usually give health too much thought, but suddenly I was diagnosed with two problems. First, hypothyrodism (I will tend to gain weight) and varicose veins, grade II. The first of the two is currently under control and without symptoms, which is great. It will progress over time but as long as I have my regular check ups everything should be okey dokey.

However, the second one is really what got my thinking about exercise more often. I first started noticing darker, greener veins on the back of my calves when I was about 17. Nothing major, just a little green spot. It was when I started working my first Summer job the following year, when it got worse. I was standing up for over 6 hours, so my veins started to show even more. That said, they still weren't very bad. But over the last 2-3 years things have gone from bad to worse. I'm not too bothered about the vein showing, so much as I am about the pain and water retention (edema) in my left leg.

There's nothing I can really do to make these veins go away but there are things I can do to help and stop them from getting worse:

1. Exercise! Which is why I'm writing this post, to share my fitness progress with you. When you move your leg muscles, it helps pump the blood back up to the heart and stops the blood from accumulating in the lower body.
2. Medication. I do take medicine for my veins from April until the end of Summer, which is when they get worse.
3. Hot-cold showers. I like to end my showers with some cold water on the legs to get my circulation going.
4. Lifting my legs as often as I can.
5. Not sitting down or standing for long periods of time. I like to get up every hour or so and give my legs a bit of a shake.

The next thing I wanted to share is my weight fluctuation throughout the year. My average weight is around 54,5-55,5 kg and has been for the past 3 years (I'm only 1,62m tall). But when Winter comes around, and with it cold weather and rain, I tend to exercise less and eat more. So I usually gain around 2kg by Christmas. When Spring is back two things happen: I realise I've gained weight and also realise I've gained about a kilo of water retention. With warmer weather, we usually go out more, take longer walks, eat healthier, greener meals and around July I seem to loose all that extra weight and am back to about 54kg. This never-ending cycle has been going on for the past 3 years. Yes, guys, THREE years. And this year isn't any different.

So, with all that said, I'd like to share my fitness goals and progress for this year. I started about 2 weeks ago and for now I'm doing pretty well with exercise: 30min of eliptic bike, 3-4 times a week. Veggie-wise, we've been adding brocolli and asparragus to a lot of things lately, as well as parmesan cauliflower, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, sweetcorn, etc.

I mean, come on, look at this heatlhy dinner I had on Tuesday:


Turkey, asparragus and potato. Yum!! And for dessert: pineapple!

I'm still not sure how often I'll keep you updated, whether it's once a week or once a month but I will update!

I'd love to hear from you guys, if you're getting bikini ready or if you've already switched to a healthier way of living. Please share your experiences and opinions in the comments below!!


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Days Off

We had a day off this week, so I decided to make the most of it making extra food and sorting out the garden.

While Adri was getting splattered with paint in the bathroom upstairs (we had a bit of a mould problem this winter), I spent my morning in the kitchen. Rice with veggies, fish and potatoes, tsatziki, rice crackers and apple crumble were made in a three hour cooking marathon.



The day before we went to the garden center with Adri's parents, where I had to come to terms with the fact that I may have a serious addiction to flowers. Here are some of the newbies:








I know, I have a problem.

So I spent the afternoon transplanting them and weeding the rest of the garden (it's a very long process).

I think days off are a great opportunity to get those chores done. It's also nice to sleep in every once in a while, but sometimes all it takes is one really productive day to get things under control and organized. Note: I'll be talking about this more in a future post about how I use my weekends to organize my week. 

The only thing I still haven't been able to get under control is my study schedule. I may have one really good day, where I sit down for a few hours and learn loads, but then another two days go by and nothing gets done. I'm going to focus on setting a schedule this month of May and sticking to it. The most important thing is creating a habit and getting used to the routine. Wish me luck!!



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Time

Lately, I've noticed that my weeks just fly by and my weekends are basically non-existent. I don't know what it is about this year that is making it so short!! Maybe it's this new stage of life, having a job and having a home to look after that is speeding things up.

To be honest, sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming. Some days I get up at 7am, go to work, get off work at about 3pm, have lunch with colleagues, have a meeting/course from 4-9pm, get home at 10pm, take off makeup and clothes, shower, change into PJs, snack (or not), and go to bed by 11-ish.

I'm supposed to be making time to study for this important exam again this year and the house doesn't clean itself. Tomorrow's food needs to be made. But when? Luckily, I have a great boyfriend who does help out a great deal and usually does his fair share of work around the house, but even still, with my OCD high standards,I always feel it's not finished.

It got me thinking about breaks again. I've written about this subject quite a few times on this blog because it's something I tend to need quite a lot of. I push myself to breaking point and always forget that sometimes all I need is to stop and breathe. "I can't do it all", I tell myself. I need time for me.

I'm determined to stop stressing so much this year. Most of the time it's my own fault, I just don't know how to say no. If someone needs a hand, Sam is available. Someone needs a database for next week at work, Sam can do it. However, Sam is now realizing she can't. I need to find time to unwind. Time to spend with loved ones. Just time.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Spring Flowers and Garden Landscaping

We are now heading into May and the weather is improving day after day. It's like 30 degrees outside and it's only Spring. Good weather really gets me moving and motivates me to just do things, so lately I've been spending a lot of time in the garden. Last year I showed you guys a before and after garden picture, so you could see the diffence.


As you can see, our garden was looking a little dry at the end of the Summer, but at least it was clean. Over the Winter things got a little out of hand. Loads of weeds. Everywhere. 

So over the past few months I've been pulling at those pesky leaves and planing some nice pretty flowers! Wanna see??

{our very patchy grass}










Aren't they pretty??

What's your garden looking like this Spring? Love to see your pretty flowers! Please share in the comments below!!



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blog Sell By Dates

During my blog absence I've been able to observe two things: simple, down-to-earth blogs that suddenly evolve into elegant, sophisticated and professional ones and blogs that decide to shut down for good (with or without warning).

It got me thinking. When it comes to a blog transformation, it can be good or bad depending on the change. If we're talking about a redesign to make things simpler for the everyday reader, such as fonts and widgets, change is probably a good thing. On the other hand, I used to have a long list of blogs on my roll, but over the past two years I've seen many turn into something I can hardly stand. Most of these blogs caught my attention because they were real people, with real budgets, real (cheap) cameras, just sharing their life experience. And now a lot of them are full time dedicated bloggers with expensive taste, complex project tutorials and staged photos I could never come up with. They seem to have changed their whole concept without even realizing.

So, what makes a blog a good blog? Is becoming professional actually slowing them down?

As for blogs shutting down, I can understand most of them. Life suddenly catches up with them and they have to make a choice: the blog or family? the blog or work? the blog or sanity? The blog seems like the easiest of the two to let go. And they will be truly missed.

So coming back to full time blogging, is that really a good choice? Is it a job or a long term hobby? How long can a blog hang on for without becoming boring or evolving into something no one wants to read? When those teenagers that read about make up tutorials grow up, will the new generations be into makeup as much as today or will they prefer a tech blog? When the OCD neat freaks with kids are left with an empty nest, will they still read those budget friendly, meal planning blogs? What's more, will the writer behind the blog still be motivated to write after 5, 10, 15 years?

I guess my question is only one. When does a blog expire?

I'd love to hear your opinions on this topic, if you'd like to share in the comments below!!!