Bowery Mural

Healthy and Fit, a little old update

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

It's been a few months since I wrote about my fitness routine. To be totally honest, in December it kind of fell by the wayside. I was down to one or two classes per week. This was due to a combination of external factors. Work being busy, rubbish dark weather nights, not 'feeling' it, and generally just feeling out of sorts really. All pretty lame excuses I know but I feel it was an inner voice telling me I needed a little break. And so I did just that. And then I got the worst cold i've had for a while. Typical.

Over Christmas there's a limited timetable of classes taking place at The Peak (my local gym). But I did manage to drag myself along to about three of them and I tell you something for nothing, it really made me feel better. I didn't feel as guilty that I'd been overindulging in all things chocolate related. It really was good to get back into the swing of things too. Last Friday night's spin class was amazingly hard but brilliant feelings afterwards. Exercise where you almost del sick will do that to you.

Yesterday the timetabled classes started afresh for the new year and I'm planning on hitting up my regular classes and perhaps add more actual gym work in a few days too. As the truth is I haven't actually been in the gym part of the building in over a year. I do classes and then go to the smaller gym over at the Forthbank football stadium to do shock fit (HIIT (high intensity interval training) weights class).

So the routine will go something like this:

Monday - Velocity blast (high intensity 30 minute spin bike class) and then Faster, higher, stronger class (30 minute HIIT with agility, strength and plyometric exercises).
Tuesday - Shockfit (50 minute weight and body weight routine class)
Wednesday - Les Mills RPM (50 minute spin bike class)
Thursday - no gym day, but may become a gym session day, we'll see.
Friday - Velocity (1 hour high intensity spin bike class)
Saturday - Faster, Higher, Stronger.

EDIT: Monday's Faster, Higher, Stronger class was cardio heavy so I may swap the Velocity Blast class for a body pump class - with weights.

At the moment I'm giving Sunday a miss.
I might slowly introduce the double Faster, higher, Stronger class back into my early morning Saturday routine. You're done by 10.45am, feel great and you're free to fill the rest of your day as you please.

Anyway, this is my motivation. This below and those rock hard abs above, which are mine by the way! ;)

This was about 2 years ago when I was at my slimmest I'd been for years. Granted it's only about 7lbs less than I weigh just now but still, I know I'll feel better about myself when I get back there.

A funny thing happened last week too. I weighed myself. I know, I know you shouldn't really do that during Christmas but much to my utter surprise I've only gone and managed to lose 2 pounds. I know! I don't know how I did that either. It's a Christmas miracle.

In all seriousness, I think it might be due to the fact I didn't eat as much carbs. I opted for a slice of grilled bacon and an egg for breakfast most days of the holiday. I mean it can't be all down to that but it played a part I think. I'm not a believer in diets but i do think I could eat healthier and that's what I tried to do. In saying that i totally ate loads of chocolate (my great big downfall). I've scoffed one Terry's chocolate orange; two bags of Thornton's strawberry creams; most of a tub of Jacob's cheese lets; ice cream; a bag of chips from the chippy; fudge; a large Galaxy Caramel bar; some Quality Street sweets (all over the two week period)... need i go on. So you'll see, there be no diets going on around these parts. But looking at that list right there I know that i need to cut some of that very bad but oh so tasty stuff down (I'll never cut it right out) and start introducing more vegetables and fruits. So that's one to stick on a list, say, of resolutions, maybe...


2013 In Movies

Saturday, 4 January 2014

I'm a hoarder. That's no secret. I keep receipts for the month until i can check them off against my bank statements, then i throw them in the bin. But not before ripping them into tiny squares.

By the same token, I also keep my ticket stubs from the cinema. I was tidying and arranging them into months and decided I'd do a post about the movies i've seen this year on the big screen, and maybe i'll give them mini one line reviews. Admittedly there's one that I can't remember what it was about. It was in January. I'll have to Google it as I just cannot for the life of me remember it. So here goes...

*breaks* WAIT! disclaimer: I am no film critic. I like what i like. There are no in depth reviews here, just a review of my year in movies. In turn there are no spoilers either. Where I like a film i will say so and where i didn't i will say that too. I watched Film 2013 before Christmas one night and the critics on there just seemed to be over analysing everything about Anchorman 2. I just wanted to jump in the screen and shout "it's not meant to be high brow, lighten up". Maybe it is meant to be high brow? But they just seemed to over-read into things that i don't think were even there! Okay, mini rant on film critics over. Read on, troops.

First movie of the year Les Miserables. I absolutely loved this film. The songs just hit you in the face and by the end I was a blubbery wreck. A great film. If you like musicals, see it. If you don't it's still worth seeing.

Next up Zero Dark Thirty. Based on the story of the capture of Osama Bin Laden. You all know how that went in the end. It starts off with a black screen and audio only of phone calls form the twin towers. Chilling.

Django Unchained. I'd seen the trailer for months and was excited to see this. Blood and gore and swearing and...well if you like that kinda thing you'll want to see this. I liked it a lot.

Beautiful Creatures. I remember I only went to see this as there wasn't really much else on that weekend and I was at a loose end. It was surprisingly good. Better than those Twilight films in my opinion. It's from a teenage novel series I believe and was a pretty decent watch.

To The Wonder. This is the one i'll have to go and Google. Sorry... Ah yes. Ben Affleck. This was soooo confusing at parts. I got bored easily. I wanted it to be great, after seeing Argo a few months previously. It wasn't really. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

Broken City. Wahlberg and Crowe. Dirty cops etc etc. A good Sunday film.

Safe Haven. Cheesy romantic film with Josh Duhamel. I LOVED THIS. It appealed to my romantic side. I dreamed it was me being rescued. I also cried. Cried so much. A weepy.

Oz: The Great and Powerful. Another take on the Wizard of Oz. Great solid Disney fair. Franco is a great Oz, I thought.

Side Effects. Psychological thriller with a great big twist. Jude Law helps things along nicely, ladies!

Welcome To The Punch. James McAvoy in one of the two movies he was in at the time. I thought this one was much better than Trance. Cops and robbers. Car chases. Shoot-outs. Great watch. Mark Strong, bonus.

Trance. Great soundtrack, pretty confusing, twists and turns. Worth a watch, but see also the movie above.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Another Disney movie. A good little Saturday afternoon feel good movie. With Lovely Joel Edgerton in it too - bonus!

The Place Beyond The Pines. Much anticipated. Overall disappointing. I wanted to love it. I liked it, in places. Ryan Gosling just about saves it. Just.

Olympus Has Fallen. Surprisingly fine. Gerard Butler's accent though! Once you get past that it's a pretty good action movie. Aaron Eckheart is so fine in this. In fact, I've watched it again over the Christmas holidays as it's now available on Netflix.

Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr is just electric on screen isn't he? He's just got that X factor. I watched Mark Kermode's movie review on BBC news the other day. He said the Iron Man franchise is the biggest comic book movie franchise, ever! (In terms of earnings i think).

Dead Man Down. Colin Farrell and 'the girl with the dragon tattoo' actress, Noomi Rapace. A thriller. Quite good. I somehow didn't believe her character though. She just didn't suit being girly. That sounds weird I know.

Star Trek: Into Darkness. Now, disclaimer time, i absolutely am not a fan of science fiction or older Stark Trek movies. Somehow something drew me to this one. Zachary Quinto maybe? (Oh dear there's a them running through my movie attendance, isn't there...). Anyway,  it was okay. A weird Alice Eve full body shot that would've pleased the guys, but quite unnecessary.

Fast and Furious 6. The trailer for this had me at first sight. I hadn't watched a FandF movie since about number 2. I think this was more darker, less glitzy. Mostly set in the UK, perhaps that was a factor. I thought it was a great action/car chase movie. The music was great too. Sadly a few weeks before Christmas Paul Walker was killed in a car accident. How apt maybe. Such a shame. I really liked what they'd done with his character in 6.

The Great Gatsby. Perhaps the greatest disappointment for me all year. I'd seen the trailers since about December and they kept putting the date back. Then I heard lots about the soundtrack and how Jay-Z was on board. I thought this would've been amazing. For me the music felt like it was just plonked in as an afterthought. Much of the dancing and pretend singing didn't go in time with the music that was playing. Sure it's a nice story. i think the true love story was between Gatsby and Nick Carraway (of course, Di Caprio and real left bestie Tobey MacGuire). Carey Mulligan, whilst a great actress, I just can't hold any feelings for the characters she plays. That's just a me thing though. Oh, i didn't hate it. But after all the hype surrounding it's release I was disappointed.

The Hangover part 3. I liked this. I wasn't expecting anything intellectual here, but hoped for laughs and that's what i got. It all got tied up at the end too, so to speak.

Man of Steel. Much talked about Superman movie with a way-too-pumped-up Henry Cavill. Good film, I'd love Russell Crowe to be my dad. Well, my dad from the other world. This is the story of how a young boy discovered his powers. Amy Adams really is great isn't she.

Now You See Me. It's all a game, an illusion. And very well played it was too. I liked this film. Isla Fisher isn't in nearly enough films if you ask me. She'll always be Shannon from Home and Away to me though. Great twist at the end that I'm pretty sure you might not get.

The World's End. Fabulous film. Coming to this having never seen any of the other movies in the trilogy i didn't feel left out. I fell for Gary King, hard. It's a bit silly in places but you get over that with the fantastic soundtrack and great lines. I would recommend this one if you haven't seen it.

The Wolverine. I'm a massive Wolverine/X Men fan. I found this good but do admit to checking my watch sometime through it. For me that's a sign it's not holding me. It's a dark one. Hugh Jackman is more pumped than he's ever been in previous Wolverine incarnations. I'd watch it again though. I liked the end teaser for the net X Men!

Kick Ass 2. This was a charity screening i went to see. It cost me money. It was okay. Funny in parts. I wouldn't ordinarily have paid for it.

The Heat. Sandra Bullock back in her comedy role, playing another FBI agent. A real belly laugh movie. Melissa McCarthy great also. A movie that makes you laugh. Sometimes you just need to go and see one of those.

The Way Way Back. Sam Rockwell was in the trailer. Sold! I didn't expect this to hit me the way it did but i think this is a strong contender for movie of the year for me. Really. It was a touching story of a young boy finding himself, who goes to his mum's boyfriends summer house and ends up with one of the best friendships I've seen on screen in a while. Steve Carrell was also great as the villain of the piece. A brilliant little movie, you should see this.

White House Down. Almost identical story to Olympus Has Fallen. Another great action movie. What else can i say.

Prisoners. Dark. Thriller. Who done it type story. You never really know until the end. I really liked this. Including Jake Gyllenhaal's ticks.

Runner Runner. JT and Ben Affleck. I hoped it was better than the last Ben Affleck film I watched. It was. A good Sunday movie, which for me is about a 2.5/5 film.

Sunshine on Leith. Cheesy. A terrible Scottish accent on one of the main characters. But listening to the Proclaimers songs on the big screen was absolutely uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. Sometimes you list to songs and never hear the words. This gives you a chance to take the words in and appreciate what great songwriters those be speckled brothers are. A rather feel good film that made me feel good. Does what it says on the tin.

Filth. Another Irvine Welsh book i haven't read. I did enjoy the film though. James McAvoy was great playing this part. It's sweaty, it's got drug use in it and isn't very pc at parts. Liked this a lot.

Prince Avalanche. If you ask anyone who Paul Ruud is, probably less than 50% of people would know who he was (pre Anchorman 2 maybe). Show them a picture and they'll likely say 'oh that guy'. He's been in lots of movies over the years but I'd be hard pressed to think of a film where he was the only star (The Object of my Affection was where I first saw him, i think!). Anyway, in this film it's mostly just him and Emile Hirsch. Roadworkers who spend a summer in isolation painting yellow lines on the roads. Oh it's a bit more than that really but it was beautiful in parts, especially when he helps the old woman at whats left of her wrecked house. See it.

Thor. Oh god, i said i wasn't a comic book movie fan and here i am again. I really liked the first one. I didn't like this as much, although I'd definitely still watch it again. Hiddleston is great, i liked what they done with his character... And Christopher Ecclestone, one of my all time favourites.

The Counsellor. Hands down the worst movie I've seen this year. Well maybe not the worst. It was all a bit too complicated to follow with the long winded dialogue that was a bit riddle-ridden. I just couldn't take it in at parts. And my goodness, I don't know what it was but all i kept thinking was how old Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt were looking! Anyone else?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I only watched the first one (reluctantly) about 3 months ago on Netflix but i absolutely loved it so i was looking forward to this one. It didn't disappoint. I liked this lots. Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant isn't she. Elizabeth Banks plays a great part too in my opinion. This film is over the top and then it just ended, just at the part where I thought something else was going to happen. Drat. S'pose I'll have to wait until the next one then.

Homefront. Jason Statham. You know what you're going to get here, don't you. All the same i don't mind his films, his accent was real dodgy though. I'd have him fighting on my team any day.

Anchorman 2: the legend of Ron Burgundy. I haven't seen the first one. I don't think i needed to. It was silly, it was funny. Steve Carrell is brilliant. There was a guy sitting in the same row as me. Laughed out loud from the start with one of those 'hey look at me I'm a big fan and I'm laughing so hard and loud' laughs. It wasn't that funny. Okay i laughed but not all of the time. And that's just fine by me. There's a really great part near the end where all manner of people make cameos. Yeezy!

So there you have it. Most of the films I saw this year (I'm sure I missed a few out due to missing ticket stubs). All thanks to my Cineworld unlimited card. Roughly saving myself £115 on the above movies by paint £16 a month. Worth it? yes. I wouldn't go to the cinema nearly as much as I do now. Plus, i love hiding in a huge dark room with a bunch of strangers staring at a giant screen.

Angela x

2013 in my shoes

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

It was some year, so it was. I think I said at the end of 2012 that I wouldn't be doing review posts or new years resolution lists anymore. Scratch that idea. I've come to the realisation that to get things done you just have to write them down. So, for Christmas, I got a brand spanking new crisp clean white squared paper Moleskine notebook. In that notebook I plan on trialling bullet journalling. What's that i hear you cry! Well I didn't know either but I found a pin on Pinterest that lead me HERE. Have a look. It's a bit complicated and non-digital but I'm giving it a go. You gotta give it a chance don't you.

Anyway, 2013. Here's my year...

In January I got two teeth out and had a brace fitted in February. I learnt a new teeth brushing routine complete with mini brushes. Switched from Colgate to Oral B toothpaste. Got a really early or really late Christmas present when mum discovered an all singing all dancing electric toothbrush in her wardrobe from last year. Yay for clean teeth! (and 11 month late presents).

Bought dainty little knuckle rings. Discovered that when you wash your hands they might fall off and get lost in the towel you dry your hands with. Dumped the knuckle ring wearing, for now.

Bought one dress. A yellow one from Zara.

Attended one wedding, at which i wore the aforementioned yellow dress.

Came to realise the only way to watch a TV series is to get on it by indulging in a catch up marathon session (most likely over several weeks but hey it beats waiting years on new seasons to air). Hello BREAKING BAD on Netflix!!

On the other hand I got ever increasingly irritated by the lack of anything in Homeland. Now, series 1 was a grower for me. I ducked in and out, then re-watched the whole series on More4 before series 2 hit. In series 2 there was an episode with Brody and Carrie in an interview room. The scene went for a good 10 minutes without a cut. Just the two main characters of the whole programme right there in a darkly lit room. It was the most special thing I'd seen on TV in a long long time. Then she stabbed his hand with something. Electric. Series 3, well I was really bored and disappointed with it. I even looked for spoilers of the last episode before i watched it. I wasn't that bothered. I don't think I'll stick around for series 4, and that pains me to say because i wanted to love, heck i wanted to even give a damn by the end, but i didn't. For some reason i just didn't.

Hands down Netflix is quite possibly the best thing I've spent money on this year. At time of writing I'm on series 4 of Chuck on Netflix after only 1 week. It's a great little TV show. I urge you to have a look. A few special mentions of TV programmes also to House of Cards (Kevin Spacey is exquisite) and Borgen (AMAZING!).

I discovered what a murmuration was and how very beautiful it can be thanks to @Mark_Bullock_ off of Twitter. Here's the video if you fancy a look.

I marvelled at Commander Chris Hadfield's wonderful shots of most cities and countries on this earth from the ISS. He is just brilliant.

Lifting weights became a thing for me. It really does improve your weight loss, ladies. Forget those shitty faddy weirdo diets, and pills. Eat less, exercise more. It really is that simple.

Saw lots of movies. Like, LOTS! Les Miserables being the first. Anchorman 2 being the last in 2013. I'll be posting about that later on.

Mumford and Sons sound-tracked most of my year. Accompanied by my adorable 4 year old nephew who knows all of the words and melodies. "I'm a genius" he declared on Christmas Day, and who am I to argue with that.

I bought shoes, I sold shoes. I bought some designer gear. It hasn't been on my body yet. Typical me, saving it for a 'good' day. Give yourself a talking to Ange.

Was inspired by various people on the Internet, for varying reasons. A stand out is Moneal. Another is Jules of Sincerely Jules. I also unfollowed a few. I just can't deal with bawheids.

I marvelled at sunrises and sunsets but not nearly enough. Will rectify this in 2014.

I drank too much Coca-Cola (it was that never ending summer search for a bottle with MY name on it!) #shareacoke That being said I also drank lots and lots of water. It works wonders (it doesn't really but i feel better after i do).

Waved off another cousin to Australia, but she's back in 3 months. FaceTimed for the first time.

Ate a McDonalds only twice and a BK once. Upped my broccoli intake though. Swings and roundabouts.

Ate less ice cream, but got a craving for mid year doughnuts. Hello Kripsy Kreme's new hotspot in Edinburgh.

Got a tweet from a hero! Thanks Dario Franchitti. And that is why I still love Twitter.

Glasgow became my second city of choice. Stirling will always have my heart.

Bought a new shampoo, my first new bottle in a year. It's still going strong. Discovered that £1 shower gel does exactly the same thing as those £14 Philosophy ones I used to buy. Daft.

Skirts increased ten fold in my wardrobe. 0 to 10 in 12 months. But I only wore about 1/4 of them though. Skirts will be the new trousers. Well, once a week maybe.

Felt kinda down with the realisation that people 10 years younger than me are buying houses at 10 times my salary. Cheered up a little knowing that I'm not tied to a mortgage and am free to go as I please once my financial situation improves. 2014 I'm coming to get you!

Compared myself to everyone and every situation this year. At years end I told myself STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Must stick to that advice from my inner voice of reason.

Got my hair done twice. Moaned about it twice. Curled my hair with tongs. Decided I'm going for the chop. Disclaimer: I have the right to change my mind at any given moment.

Embraced the brace wearing. Smiled more.

Embraced the autumn/winter tartan trend by recycling an old coat from 2 years ago. It looks amazing.

Embraced the notion that if I want something, I have to go out and fight for it. You really are on your own.

Watch out 2014. I've decided that my time is now.

Angela x