And So It Begins – Dress Shopping Part 1

I’m getting married next year and whilst I’m mostly looking forward to the whole thing, the one aspect that I wasn’t looking forward to was dress shopping for three main reasons

  1. I don’t really wear dresses
  2. I’ve never looked at a traditional wedding dress and said “wow”
  3. I’m not overly happy with my body at the moment.

The first two were fairly easy to deal with. It’s just something that I need to accept. My fiance has already asked me to wear a dress so I’m going to respect that. But I don’t really like wedding dresses. So many of them are just not me – too much poof, too much lace, too much material, too much bling.

So I went dress shopping for the first time on Saturday and I have to say it was an experience.

There were so many dresses. And such little differences that it was really overwhelming. But the hardest thing wasn’t picking the dresses, it was trying them on. Which brings me to point number 3.

Wow – you do not want to already be feeling shit about your body when you try wedding dresses on.

As luck would have it I was feeling shit about myself. I’ve put on weight, I haven’t been eating well or exercising regularly and to top it all off my period decided to pay me a visit so I was nauseous and bloated to start with.

The sizing of each dress didn’t help either. So many of the arm/shoulder sections were far too tight. I tried on a 14 that wouldn’t zip up, an 8 that fit me perfectly, a 10 that was fine in the bust but not in the waist and a 12 that was fine in the waist and butt but not the bust. I’m also not a visually imaginative person – I find it really hard to picture things when they’re too long, too short, too tight, too loose. I need to be able to see it exactly how it should fit on me to make a decision.

I only went to two stores but by the second I was really over it and really confused. The styles of dresses that I seemed to like did not look good on me and the dresses that I didn’t like looked great on me. Also, despite ivory and champagne not looking terrible on me, I don’t still like the colours. I’m a black/grey/navy girl and most bridal stores don’t carry dark colours which is a real shame.  Even one dark colour would be better than nothing.

Whilst I’m not looking forward to another go, I’m booking another appointment for end of July. One of the stores I went to will have a new range in within the next two weeks and I want to try out another designer that seems to have a lot of dresses that seemingly will suit me (fingers crossed). Hopefully this time I won’t be bloated and nauseous and I’ll have my fitness and nutrition back on track.

My Idea Of Self Care

The Self-Care Sunday trend has really taken off. Personally I don’t care much about Sunday because I usually have familial obligations so the weekend is rarely about me. But my fiance does work night shifts and these are the times that I usually indulge in what I want.

It looks different every time and it does depend on what night of the week it is. If its a weeknight it usually involves yoga with the dog trying to kick me in the face, cooking myself a nice meal that I wouldn’t cook for my fiance (because he’s fussy, not because I don’t want to cook him delicious food) with very loud bad pop music and watching Pretty Little Liars with a glass on wine in hand. Some nights I might stay up to 2 in the morning watching horror movies, waking the next morning whenever my body feels like it. Or it could be your typical idea of self-care activities – long shower, face mask and nail polish.

My self care looks very different to what you see on Instagram. It’s not always about meditation, green smoothies and sun salutations on the rocks at the beach at sunrise. Its about finding what works for you and what brings you peace or whatever it is you seek. Self care can be a nap in the afternoon, a glass of wine with dinner, reading a book via candlelight or watching your favourite show. Its meant to be something that makes you feel good inside, that lets you relax and ease yourself back into the moment rather than having your mind run at a million miles an hour. Just remember that it’s what serves you and not what is picture perfect.

How To Say No To Stuff You Don’t Want

When my fiance and I moved into our new house we were given a lot of things – furniture, cutlery, crockery, towels, rugs, bedding and many other things. It were great to start with as we didn’t have to spend money on things that weren’t that important to us but it meant it became an expectation that any time someone didn’t want something that they would give it to us and we would be grateful. Except we weren’t.

So how do you go from just accepting everything thrown at you to saying no? Well it goes a little something like this –

  • ‘Thank you but no, I do not need anymore cushions/towels/cheese knives.’

If they insist or kick up a fuss –

  • ‘Thank you but again no, I don’t want it.’

If they keep insisting –

  • ‘As I’ve already said, no. Please stop insisting.’

Hopefully this is enough to stop them from continuing but if it doesn’t you may need to ignore it and change the subject –

  • ‘Have you tried that new Spanish tapas place around the corner yet?’

Alternatively you can just tell them to get out of your house for making you so uncomfortable.

I get it. This can be a difficult conversation to have and its mostly difficult because you’ve changed the script that the other person is used to. But that isn’t your problem, it’s theirs. So keep doing what you need to to make yourself clear. Steer away from ending anything with ‘right now’ because it implies that you are happy for them to try again and that is giving mixed signals. Be clear, direct and as polite as you need to be, remembering that its ok to decrease the level of politeness the more you have to repeat yourself.

Intentional Spending

I feel like I’ve been spending so much money lately that I thought it was time to reign that back in. I want to be more purposeful with my spending, to anticipate and plan my purchases instead of reacting to wants and things on sale. This has partly been inspired by my road to minimalism. I’m also going to start keeping track of my purchases again because I find it interesting to see exactly what my ‘I don’t know where all my money has gone’ money is being spent on.

So these are my intentional purchases for this month.

  • 2 birthday presents – $20 for the first and $50 for the second as it’s a 30th.
  • Dinner and drinks out for the first mentioned birthday – $100
  • Half of my eye brow appointment that I already have booked in – $320
  • An outdoor dog bed as the bed now is riddled with bugs and has been destroyed – up to $100
  • Dinner, drinks and parking before a concert – $100
  • Nibbles and food for my birthday – up to $200

I’ve also added a list of additional purchases. They’re purchases that don’t need to be made in a certain month – they’re more for when I’m looking for something but can’t really find exactly what I’m after so I want to keep an eye out for them.

This is my list of additional purchases.

  • Black loafers/shoes for work – up to $150
  • A new water bottle that tallies how many bottles have been drunk, is BPA free and made of glass – $50
  • Single serve bowls that can be microwaved x 4 – up to $50

All those purchases add up to pretty much all my spending money for the month so I’ll need to re-jig groceries as my fiance and I tend to eat expensive even at home. Or, he can pay for it all which to me is a much better system. It’ll also mean no impromptu dinners out, unless fiance is paying and no ‘just cuz’ purchases. To tell the truth even my ‘just cuz’ purchases get forgotten about. I have magazines that I’ve purchased every month this year that I still haven’t read. I have new books that I haven’t even started, I have new nail polishes even though I don’t really paint my nails anymore so it seems that I’m just spending money for the sake of it rather than because I really needed it or thought deeply about it.

I’m hoping that this will help me really think about what I’m purchasing and why I’m purchasing something. Do I really need it or do I simply want it?

Best Time To…

So many articles to read and so little time.

It’s funny that there are so many that focus on the best time to do x. Best time to exercise. Best time to eat breakfast. Best time for sleep. Best time for sex. Best time to shower. But is there really a best time that fits everyone?

I think we all know the answer is no.

Whilst these articles are great, it’s really a matter of finding what works for you. Best time to exercise? Best time to eat breakfast? Most articles would say that early morning is best time to exercise and to eat within 30 minutes of finishing. Well I can do the early morning exercise but I prefer after work. And I can’t eat breakfast that early because my body does not react well to it. This is what works for me despite the advice that I read.iration whilst staying true to my body and what it wants and needs. I now get up at 5.30 am and do a light 20 minute workout and go for a walk before work. But if I’m actually really tired (and not just lazy) or not feeling well I won’t do it. I eat breakfast anytime between 9.30 and noon. If by chance I’m hungrier earlier then I’ll eat earlier. I sleep when I feel the need (except at work unfortunately), same with sex, showering and everything else.

This is what works for me despite the advice that I read. It’s all about finding a balance and finding what is best for your body.

Can’t Get You Outta My Head

I’ve been told I have very odd taste in music. Basically if I like something I like it. It doesn’t mean I’ll love everything that band/musician does nor does it mean that if I hate one song I’ll hate all of them. But people do tell me all the time about how eclectic my music taste is, especially considering I share with whoever is around me when I get a seemingly random song stuck in my head. Usually there is a very logical process but apparently I’m the only one who thinks that.

Anyway I thought it’d be fun to write down all the songs that popped into my head. I didn’t get to write down every single one as sometimes I was driving and didn’t get a chance to write it down but this is yesterdays list.

Nosebleed Section – Hilltop Hoods

Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous – Good Charlotte

Cowboy – Kid Rock

1, 2 Step – Ciara

Youth of the Nation – POD

On the Road – Willie Nelson

All in the Family – Korn

No Scrubs – TLC

Jackpot – Chingy

Move Bitch – Ludacris

On It – Mindless Self Indulgence

Nosebleed Section – Hilltop Hoods (yes, again!)

Everything I Bestow – Mundy

Genie from Down Under theme song

1*15*96 – The Ataris

Mambo Italiano – not sure who sings the version I had in my head but it definitely a remix

Last Resort – Papa Roach

Bree Bree – Brokencyde

Toca’s Miracle – Fragma

In the Evening – Sheryl Lee Ralph

So it’s obvious it’s quite a random selection and to be honest most of them are songs that I actually like and very much reflects my musical tastes.

What sort of music do you like – a mix of stuff or very much one genre?

Goal Update – April

Renovations are well underway now. We’re staying at my fiance’s parents place after I decided that no, I can’t use a port-a-loo all the damn time and no, I don’t want to drive somewhere to have a shower. Lets just say it’s been much easier than anticipated but it’s still frustrating living in someone else’s home that you can’t treat as such.

But moving on, here are my updates

Health

  • To reduce body fat by 5% through exercise and eating well in 6 months
    As I said previously, my heart isn’t into this one anymore. I can’t seem to do it on my own so I made an appointment to see my doctor to help me through the nutrition and exercise stuff. I have no idea if I need a nutritionist, a dietitian, a therapist or what but I clearly need some help and accountability so I’m taking steps to do so. It feels a bit like failure that I can’t seem to do this on my own but hey, I’ve never been afraid of asking for help so I don’t know why this would be any different. I was planning to weigh myself monthly when I decided to stop weighing myself weekly but I haven’t even done that, mostly because I have no idea where my scales are but it doesn’t matter now. Whilst I need to lose weight, the idea is to be fitter and healthier.
  • To not smoke for 90 days
    It’s been 114 days since my last cigarette so I killed this one. I still like the smell of smoke and I still get very tempted but I can do without them and I want to do without them!
  • To exercise 4 times a week for 3 months
    April wasn’t a great month for this one. Most of my home was under tarps and there wasn’t any space to exercise. I have set up my yoga mat and weights at my fiance’s parents place so that makes it a bit easier.

Financial

  • To save $250 a month for 20 months in order to enrol into a life/health coaching course.
    I’ve popped April’s $250 into a bank account.
  • Arrange to pay $200 a month to HECS debt by March.
    I have $600 in an account. At the moment I can’t reach the filing cabinet where my HECS stuff is so I still haven’t actually done anything about paying it off but at least I’m putting money away for it.
  • Only purchase lunch one Friday a month and bring lunch from home all other work days.
    I think I bought lunch a few times during April. But only once the renovations started. We moved out quite quick so for a few days I wasn’t prepared enough so I had to buy something. They’ve been little things that aren’t costly which is good.

Lifestyle

  • Declutter, throw out/donate and organise one space each month for 12 months.
    Haven’t done a new space yet. Again I can’t really get into my house easily so this one will be on hold until renos are done.

Personal

  • To be able to do a split on left and right leg by the end of 2017
    I noticed yesterday that my right has gotten much closer to the ground which is great. Left hasn’t moved a lot but my right leg is sitting straighter on the ground and I’m sitting up straighter also so that to me is an improvement.
  • To be able to do a back and front walkover by the end of 2017
    I need to get a move on this one. It’s already May and I can’t even do a standing back bend. I want to be able to do that by August at the latest.

I feel that so many of my goals are reliant on having consistency and unfortunately this year I don’t have it but change happens and I just have to roll with it.