happiness in a headstand

It was a dark and rainy night a couple of weeks ago and I was walking home after a night out with the girls. I had decided to walk the prettier but longer way home, past the Docks, because the calm water never, ever fails to makes me feel happy. Even if I’m on my way to work.

And then there she was walking along. She was carrying a yoga mat. I knew right then that she was the key to my challenge this week.

This week’s challenge: Go to a yoga class. Surrender & breathe deep.

It had been a week since I had cancelled my gym membership and I was definitely having yoga withdrawals. It took me a little while to catch up to her – for some reason she quickened her pace and crossed the road – but when I did she told me all about the most amazing yoga class just across the water. Right on my doorstep.

Monday at 7pm I was there for my introductory class. The instructor was amazing – there was no messing about but at the same time I was completely relaxed and stopped thinking about my to do list. Like what I should be buying for Sam’s birthday which is now only three days away and I still have NOTHING – I’m a very bad girlfriend. An hour and a half later I was feeling more chilled out and happier than I’d been in a while. And I even did my first headstand.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Right up there 9/10 

Caz x

Next week’s challenge (my first double challenge): Put on your favourite pair of high heels & walk up & down your bedroom/hallway doing your best Miss J impersonation. Have a friend or neighbour who is willing to humour you offer critique. “Girl, you walk like a busted-down freight-train.”

And: Write multiple lists of everything you want. Material possessions, relationships, work, lifestyle, everything. Pin them up by your door so you see them all the time.

 

becoming an olympic athlete

Yes, that’s right – I’m going to become an Olympic Athlete – still trying to figure out my sport though but I’m sure once decided there’s nothing to it. Six pack here I come. This week I was lucky enough to go to the Olympics to watch the athletics. I never realised how incredible it would actually be to have the Olympics in my own town. Now that’s it’s here I’ve found myself watching things like BMX Biking, Dressage, Handball and every single kind of Gymnastics possible. Shedding tears with the gold medals winners and screaming my lungs out from the edge of my couch, it’s all been so, so exciting!

This week’s challenge: Buy a new pair of sunglasses or non-prescription frames. It’s a super-easy (& often relatively cheap) way to evolve your look. Plus sunglasses make for excellent on-the-fly disguises.

So where does the Olympics come into my weekly challenge? Well, it was at this very Olympic stadium on Tuesday that my most favourite sunglasses ever broke. Coincidence that it happened in the same week that I was tasked to get new sunnies? Hmm, very suspicious.

Here’s a pic of my cool look at Park Live sporting my broken sunnies minus one sunglasses arm. Lucky, a storm hovered over the stadium so the sunnies weren’t needed for too long.

So getting a new pair of sunglasses means shopping. Won’t say no to that. I started with my favourite place ASOS where I nearly bought the best pineapple shaped glasses, moved onto the Secretsales Ray Ban sale (thanks Florentina) then I followed a great TopShop lead from Emma. I popped down to our local mall (how I manage to avoid this every day is beyond me) but there I was – eyes only on the accessories.

There in GAP (who would have thought) was where I found them – 50% off the 50% price. Perfect. I’m so happy – I’m glad it’s sunny as I haven’t taken them off.

Challenge Happiness Rating: £4.99 Sunglasses Love.

Caz x

Next week’s challenge: Go to a yoga class. Surrender & breathe deep.

getting personal

This week’s challenge: Stick little crystals on something you use every day. (Wallet, light-switch, key-ring, boots?)

In primary school I would always spend the weeks leading up to the start of the school year cutting out all the coolest pictures from every magazine that I could lay my hands on to decorate my books. I was trying to remember at what point I stopped being creative with my personal things. Perhaps it was during that transition from primary school to high school where trying to keep up with all the latest hair trends took up all of my time (I swear that my teased up fringe took an extra half an hour every morning).

More and more, our personal things are becoming not so personal – like our iPhones and Kindles, our Blackerries and Macs – and don’t really reflect our different personalities.

This week I was still on a London sightseeing high from last week. This time I checked out some of my favourite places in Covent Garden. My first point of call though was bead and crystal lovers heaven, Beadworks where I picked up some crystals and some of these:

But I didn’t stop there – Covent Garden has such an amazing vibe especially on sunny afternoons when all the tourists are out. I had to quickly walk past these tasty cupcakes at Candy Cakes. Hmmm.

Sitting at the Seven Dials junction I spotted Matilda – the musical!! Before I knew it I was at the box office buying tickets – they are now pinned to my cork board waiting to be used. Very excited.

I passed Kopapa, which I love but I didn’t stop there. I was meeting Emma at DishoomEven those who aren’t big Indian food fans will love this place. We had the House Black Daal, Mahi Tikka (very tasty cod) and Matter Paneer. I’m feeling hungry again just thinking about it.

Here’s a pic from inside Dishoom – like the old Bombay Cafes – whirling fans, large mirrors and lots of portraits hung up on the walls.

So I know I’ve done a lot of eating, sightseeing and shopping but not much personalising so far.

I ironed some of the hot-fix flat back crystals that I bought from Beadworks onto some of my personal things – like my new bright green kindle case and my filofax that I have been using for many, many years. I love my ‘new’ things so am currently looking around for other things to ‘crystallise’. Hmm, maybe a couple of Sam’s things could do with a bit of prettying up.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Love my new skills and my ‘new’ old things!

Caz x

Next week’s challenge: Buy a new pair of sunglasses or non-prescription frames. It’s a super-easy (& often relatively cheap) way to evolve your look. Plus sunglasses make for excellent on-the-fly disguises.

london – becoming a tourist again

This week’s challenge: Grab a friend, dress up like tourists & go & do all the really schlocky things on offer in your city. Take LOTS of photos, & be sure to flash the peace sign in 70% of them.

It’s not too hard being a tourist in London at the moment. With all the excitement around the games and people dressed in their country colours, you can just go with the flow.

I have to admit something, until recently I’ve been pretty slack in getting through my list of things that I have to see in London. I wrote one about three months ago with the best intentions and have only managed to check off a few things since then. Instead of going to the latest exhibition, I do the washing (yep, this is more true than you think) or I spend my time googling things I could be doing.

So this weekend instead of turning on the computer (until now) or tending to the piles of washing that are currently staring me in the face, I decided to combine checking out some of the Olympics action and being a tourist again.

Watching the Men’s Road Race (with my good British mates Will and Dav) – go Team GB!

Here’s a pic of me on my LOOOONG scenic run through London today with my mate Sacha, checking out St Katherine’s Docks, Tower Bridge and Shad Thames. We didn’t even get lost once.  Next week I’ll be trying out the Sweaty Betty 5km and 10km sightseeing runs, Run Britannia, which are on during the Olympics. Think I’m going to have to work on my peace signs in pics though!

And finally here’s my pocket companion that should accompany any patriotic Australian.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Lots of London Love

Caz x

P.S. And to top off my weekend, I just put on a load of washing.

Next week’s challenge: Stick little crystals on something you use every day. (Wallet, light-switch, key-ring, boots?)

dinosaurs and more

This week’s challenge: Appreciate the dinosaur bones at your favourite museum.

I’m in Germany this week on holiday and thought this might be real challenge. I know where to find dinosaur bones in London – I love the Natural History Museum (and being greeted by the T-Rex when you walk through the door). But where do you find dinosaur bones in Munich? Definitely not at the Hofbrauhaus which we checked out a bit too well one night. And not at the English Gardens, Munich’s equivalent of Hyde or Central Park, where they have a surf beach and nudist area, right in the heart of the city. Another thing on our list of things to see was the Pinakothek der Moderne, the modern art museum where we found this:

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Dinosaur bones with a bit of a twist. Not a bad discovery. My favourite thing though was sitting in the cool rocking chairs checking out the design wall.

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Lesson learned: how to see old things in a new light.

Caz x

Next week’s challenge: Grab a friend, dress up like tourists & go & do all the really schlocky things on offer in your city. Take LOTS of photos, & be sure to flash the peace sign in 70% of them.

paradise

This week’s challenge: Go out for a milkshake.

Yummmmm.

That’s nearly all I need to say about this challenge. I’ve been waiting for this week for a long, long time. I’m not a really big ice cream fan (well, I love it but my stomach doesn’t quite share the same feeling) so I had the next best thing – a Frozen Yoghurt shake.

This completely takes me back to my school days (all those gazillion years ago)  when I bought Frozen Yoghurt at the tuckshop when I had lunch money every second Friday. It had to be one of my favourite treats (besides Cherry Ripes) but when I arrived in this big country, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Until recently. Now there are loads of cool frozen yoghurt places like Yoo Moo, Snog and Frae.

The flavour that we went for (Sam wasn’t going to let me do this challenge solo) was Paradise – a mix a pineapple, passionfruit, banana and vanilla frozen yoghurt. I don’t think Sam got more than two sips. It was pretty darn good.

I still want to try out places like:

I think I might need to go on a milkshake crawl over the next month to judge for myself the best milkshake in London. You can’t say that I don’t take these challenges seriously.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Paradise

Caz x

Next week’s Challenge: Appreciate the dinosaur bones at your favourite museum.

hello mr grey

This week’s challenge: Think back on the last really good sex you had. Think about it for an hour. Then do something else.

So along with the rest of London, I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Luckily I have a Kindle – but if I didn’t I don’t think I would look out of place with the bucket loads of people reading it on the tube this week on the way to work.

I have to admit something right now. I’m actually onto the third book – Fifty Shades Freed. I only started the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey, two weeks ago and haven’t looked back since. In my defence, it is this month’s book club book and I’ve had a summer holiday in that time with not much to do but sit around the pool and read. Although, I won’t mention that I didn’t even make it half way through last month’s book club selection – Roald Dahl’s Someone Like You.

Everyone knows it’s not the best written book but now, I can’t go anywhere without seeing and hearing references to it – funny cards, articles in magazines with titles like ‘what everyone else is doing in bed’ and people talking about their ‘inner goddess’ and ‘biting their lip’. And the big question is, has everyone’s other halves noticed the benefits of these books? My friends asked Sam this very question and his answer was ‘Well…..’.

Anyway (cough, cough), I think that this book ties in nicely isn’t this week’s challenge. Secretly, I think that everyone loves to talk about this book and well, about sex a bit more. And that can’t be all bad. Now, if only I could find my fluffy pink handcuffs.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Strangely Satisfying 😉

Caz x

Next week’s challenge: Go out for a milkshake.

things I love

Well, we are counting down to our big trip to Oz, the long way there, but it’s still important to enjoy those little things day to day, week to week. We’ll look back and realise that we probably should have done and seen a whole lot more. So that’s why it’s important to keep one eye on the here and now and not wish any of these last weeks away. Here are some things I loved recently:

  • Looking a challenge in the face – 10 weeks until my half marathon in Kent – training plan downloaded. Undulating means flat doesn’t it?
  • Sunday Roast – the best thing about a cold summer is that it means that Sundays are still roast days.
  • Doing other things besides work at work – why not join the Dodgeball competition. Surprisingly fun.

  • Fifty Shades (see post to come) – don’t be surprised if your partner gets you this book for your birthday/anniversary/just because it’s Tuesday.
  • Catching up with the girls twice in one week. Priceless.
  • Dinner parties – mid week. And delegating all responsibility (someone has to drink the wine).
  • Amazing adventures – friends that embark on amazing one-year journeys across Europe and Africa. Awesome.

Caz x

a postcard from me

This week’s challenge: Think up nicknames for all your friends, then send them each postcards to alert them.

I love postcards. I seem to collect them – buying them but never sending them off.

I hardly ever send proper mail these days so it was pretty cool to sit down and write some postcards (and then actually remembering to send them off). I finally got to use some of the stamps that I’ve been carrying around in my purse for years. So High Heels, Paparazzi and Lamb Chops look out for a little something in the mail this week.

I know that it’s quicker and easier to send emails these days but it’s definitely not as fun as actually receiving mail, besides those bills and Indian takeaway menus that I usually come home to. There was one point in time when I used to subscribe to different things just so I would get some interesting mail – holiday brochures, clothing stores and different night school courses. (Please send me some mail).

Challenge Happiness Rating: Feeling pretty happy with myself. Can’t wait until the girls get my postcards.

Caz x

Next week’s challenge: Think back on the last really good sex you had. Think about it for an hour. Then do something else. 

P.S. Don’t worry mum and dad (and the rest of you) – you won’t be getting all the details.