Sunday Salon: World Cup and Chores

Sunday Salon

Hello, all!

Since last Salon, I haven’t had time to think about the blog very much. In fact, I didn’t even know the comments were broken and a visitor kindly contacted me about it. Thanks, Susan!

Yesterday, I finally did write a couple of posts on some books I read in May. I have a couple more posts to write then I’ll have caught up for those posts. I am still not reading though. I’ve been too busy.

I’m working at home these days which is not something I have done in awhile. I made progress this week, and did some cleaning and laundry as well. In fact, I still have to clean some more.

Knitting: Haven’t done any in months. I have to be careful otherwise my muscle memory will forget like it did five years ago. I’ll have to make time for it.

Fitness: Started running again on Thursday and I ran this morning. Just 4km each time, and today was better. I’ve got a 5km race in September, but I find running in summer difficult because of the heat. Hopefully I can get back to doing a regular 6km on weekends.

TV: Finished the new season of “Orange is the New Black”. I enjoyed it, possibly more than season one.

Later today, more chores, maybe some gelato, but now, finish the Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup game. I would have posted this post much earlier if I hadn’t been watching. I’ve got a soft spot for the Dutch!

Have a great week!

Sunday Salon: May Break

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone!

It’s been awhile since my last post. I have not been blogging or reading very much the last couple of months. In fact, I’ve been trying to read Kipling’s Kim for over a month now. It’s not engaging me, but I actually do not have time.

I have been preparing for a trip to China. In fact, I will be gone from the blog and most of the internet until June 4th.

The good news is that I have loaded up my Kindle and bought a new book for the trip. I rarely buy new books. I’ve actually resolved not to buy any books until Christmas, but I had to buy these books as they were French! It was special occasion. I bought Balzac’s Pere Goriot and how could I resist the urge to buy the classic Le Petit Prince.

All my other hobbies have fallen to the wayside as well. I don’t knit as much, and I am taking a break from running until I get back. I have been doing some hot yoga though. I still watch a lot of TV shows.

With summer coming – my traditional reading season – I can hit the books more, work out, and have more hobby and outdoor time.

Be back in June. A la prochaine!

Sunday Salon – Veronica Mars

Sunday Salon

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I did a Salon post or even blog. I have been very busy this month: ran my 10km, celebrated a birthday, worked a lot, socialized, and worked out.

The last week was rough as I injured myself so am resting my leg and a bunch of other silly annoying things happened. I’m glad it was done with. Yesterday, I ended it by watching the new Veronica Mars movie. I really enjoyed it and

Today, I went to hot yoga and rewatched the movie and read some fanfiction. I couldn’t resist. I remember watching the show for the first time eight years. It reminded me how addictive I found it. I also downloaded the Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line ebook and audiobook. I’m listening to it now. I’ll put up a review of the book when I’m done. I’ll probably devour the ebook at some point.

I have not been reading very much this month either. I’ve been too busy doing the aforementioned activities. I’ve lost some reading mojo as well. I really need to start my Classics Spin novel: Kim by Rudyard Kipling. Will tonight be the evening?

Hopefully I can read and blog more in April. I know I won’t be blogging in May because I will be in China. I will not be taking my laptop. I’ve loaded my Kindle though and bought a new camera lens.

Now back to some books. Have a great end of March!

Sunday Salon: February Blues

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone!

I have not been reading very much lately. I’ve been too busy and tired to read most days. Some readers like to read to unwind, but I am really active and like a book to take me away for hours and hours. Time of which I do not have lately.

As for my book of today, I am still undecided. I could read my Classics Spin book (Kim by Rudyard Kipling), but I think I will err on my two pile of library books. Goodness, I am glad I have not bought any fiction for awhile. I’m trying to hold out until June as well.

One of my reading goals this year is to read more out loud. I think it’s an interesting exercise as it could help improve my public speaking and normal conversation. It seems a lot of words and stories were written to be read out loud such as poetry. I hope to do more of that this year.

Knitting: Haven’t started. The chart is the most complicated one I’ve encountered yet. I gave up colour coding it. I think I will cast on today or this week to get it started.

In terms of fitness, I signed up for a 10KM next month. I don’t have the proper time to train for it and complete it to the best I could. I am running more though. This week, I ran 6k and 5k. Perhaps by the time the race arrives, I can do that three times a week. Swimming is not going as well as I would like. I can just barely front float and glide. No actual swimming to be done yet. I’ll be glad when the snow starts melting so I can ride my bike again and run more without muddy shoes.

This weekend, I watched season 2 of “House of Cards” which I enjoyed even more than S1. You can see my review of House of Cards season 1 and a review of the British series.

What are you doing this weekend?

Sunday Salon: January Catch-up

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone! It’s been a busy time for me, both with work and personally. I have been recovering from this cough that I’ve had for a month. It was very cold earlier in the month, but we had a milder week. Still, I’ve felt a touch of the January blues with my work load and personal responsibilities.

Today, I am going to read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

Yesterday, I went on my first run in about 5-6 weeks. It felt good, but the last 1km of the 6km was a bit tiring! I hope to get back to shape for my first 10km race in two months time. I started swimming lessons which were really difficult for me. I didn’t go this week, but I really hope I get proficient soon as I want to become at least decent at it.

In book news, I read Georgette Heyer’s The Talisman Ring over a week ago. It was average and had some nice Heyer moments, but nothing worth a blog post.

This week, I watched Netflix’s Norwegian-American comedy show “Lilyhammer” based on a friend’s recommendation. It is quite funny and I enjoy watching a foreign show with a touch of American influence. Sometimes, it was a bit too violent and dark more than funny, but still entertaining.

How is your January shaping up?

Sunday Salon: New Autumn

Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday! It’s been a few weeks since my last Salon. Actually, I’ve become quite busy lately. I am too tired and fatigued to read on the weekdays, and I must run errands or have social engagements on the weekends. I have managed to read at least one book per week, but just barely.

Today, I am reading Marsha Altman’s P&P sequel The Darcys & the Bingleys. I really should be reading my Classics Spin book Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I will start that, but I must consider the over two dozen books from the library. I bought a couple of cookbooks and a calligraphy book the other week too. I still have at least 30 books unsorted in the house that I got this summer.

Books are my addiction!

In fitness news, I ran a 4KM colour run two weeks ago and no running since. Once again, no time, but it was good. I hope to run more as the weather gets chillier. I am biking about 4 days of the week now. I don’t know if my endurance or legs muscles are better, I am definitely faster and more confident on the road. I’m surprisingly enjoying myself. I even bought some lights for my wheels so I can bike in the dusk.

In knitting news, there is no knitting news. Sigh.

Food news, I started my sourdough starter yesterday! I hope to make sourdough in a couple weeks time. Exciting.

What have you been doing this weekend?

Sunday Salon: August cool down

Sunday Salon

This week I was productive in my reading: finished Mansfield Park, Shades of Milk and Honey and Lady Susan.

I am half way through Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After. It’s OK; I could have finished it yesterday, but I opted to read and watch things instead. The weather has cooled down significantly this week so I am back to knitting. Also, I read a lot this week. I will finish it today and the review should be up tomorrow.

Since I have read on four of the books I intended to read for Austen in August. I only now have to read Love and Freindship and PD James’s Death at Pemberley. I have decided not to read Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels by Deirdre LeFaye; I have too much to do this month and want to go back to reading some other things. I will put it in my TBR queue for after the reading challenge. I also recommend it; I skimmed through it and it looks like a very good companion to Austen’s works.

In other news, I need to knit & spin more as well as watch some of my backlogged movies & TV. I will perhaps post on the latter some Sunday Salon as well. I bought a new yoga mat yesterday because I’ve signed up for some classes. It is very expensive to join gyms and classes so I could only do so through group deal sites. I hope to be more active again in the autumn.

Even though there are a few more weeks of summer left, the weather is cooler and when September gets ever close, I just think of fall. It’s my favourite season in Canada, and I’m already thinking about my wardrobe for it.

What are you doing this August weekend?

Fitness Updated: Completed Couch to 5K

After a long time, I have completed the Couch to 5Km running plan on my fourth attempt of the plan. I’ve been interrupted by laziness, injury, laziness, sickness and more laziness, I’m done! I haven’t run (and probably been fit) like this in years.

The last week of the plan was not that fun. I had some inconsistency in the last couple of weeks so it may have contributed to the sheer boredom and fatigue that happened on all three of my 30 minute runs. The runner’s high wasn’t kicking in fast enough, and I would just count down until 30 minutes were up. It wasn’t that enjoyable.

Today, I had great run. I was full of energy. Maybe it was because it was in the morning (usually run in the evenings), the weather was beautiful (it rained overnight but was sunny and just the right temp), and I had finally achieved some consistency from last week. The high was there after the first ten minutes as opposed to the twenty last week. I ran for 35 minutes straight today. I plan to do that for at least another week then up it another 5 minutes, eventually reaching my goal of 45 minutes 3x a week. Then keep that up in the gym or in a field house (ugh) for the rest of the winter. I’m considering running a 10K in May.

I  still do 20min of yoga after every running though I’m in a dire need of a new yoga DVD. I am not doing pilates these days though, but I’ll take up again next month. I’m also trying to work on the idea of doing pushups, lounges, and squats until I do. I can do like 2 push ups, but I need to do some strength training.

The Cult of Lululemon

Lululemon Velocity Gym Bag

A friend and I joke about that Lululemon is a cult. It bases itself on yoga philosophy, and in the beginning, produced all its clothing in Canada. Now, it makes it in China like every other business, but their yoga pants are still like $80. I refuse to to buy their clothing; it’s out of my budget for one thing, and it’s ridiculous how trendy and expensive it is.

But I bought one of their bags today. Namely the Velocity Gym Bag pictured above. For a lot of money. Why? I have a thing for bags. I love handbags. I constantly rotate my bags for the occasion and the “season” as it were. I bought a H&M bag last year for much less to be my book bag, and now this one will replace it. Due the cult of Lululemon, the bag is popular for school, but not as popular as the less expensive Aritzia TNA bag which is of similar size and style.

The bag does look sturdy, and it should last me a few years considering what I paid. The vinyl is waterproof which is a big advantage. My Macbook fits snuggly in with lots of other room. I also do intend to use it as a gym bag. I will use the included wet bag for my running shoes, and the pockets for my H20 and cell. As well as the external straps for a yoga mat. I also love removable straps as I won’t always have to carry this under my arm. It seems to be a great bag for carry-on airplane travel too.

All in all, I can say this is my back to school gift to myself. But I’m just making excuses. Oh why must I adore the bags?

In other news, I am finding it difficult to find a decently priced moisture-wicking tank top that I can wear for running, gym and yoga. The running is great though; I’m back on Week 5 since the illness set me back a few weeks. A few more weeks and I’m going to do my first 5K.

Image from Google Images.

Fitness Update

Tomorrow, I will start Week 4 of the Cool Running Plan. Technically I’ve actually been running for two weeks as I skipped the first week. You shouldn’t skip weeks on the plan, but I had stopped running for almost three months. I did not make it Week 3 in May so I’m starting to feel the runner’s high which is good and makes things easier. I follow my running with 20 minutes of relaxation yoga. My hamstrings are still very inflexible, but once I feel ready for it, I’m going to purchase other yoga DVDs. On the days when I do not run (every other day), I do pilates; I’ve only just upgraded from a single 10 minute workout to a 20 minute. I would do more, but it really burns and tires me especially since I am suppose to take it easy on the non-running days this early in the running plan.

My favourite activity of the three changes periodically which changes my focus and long term fitness goals. Yoga has been winning for the last couple of weeks, but pilates is very useful these days now that I’m doing heavier cardio. Strength training for your core is important for all workouts. Back to flexibility and yoga, I don’t necessarily aim for headstands/arm balancing in my future, but I do want more flexibility and toning in my body overall.

Goals are to still lose some inches, tone my body, gain more flexibility, be in better physical condion, and losing a few pounds wouldn’t hurt either.

Weekend Gone By

Knitting: I got my Ravelry invite finally this past weekend which means I’ve been spending my merry time over there. If you’re on it, add me as I am “athenablue”. For knitting, I am still dismayed by the Swallowtail Shawl, but I cast on Shedir this week using Rowan Felted Tweed. I love the yarn. The yarn is quite dark, so I hope the cables show up well. I’m debating about cabling without a cable needle. I’ve lot both of my cable needles at the moment.

Books: Well, I’ve read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this past weekend. I doubt I will make a blog post for long time. I started Beowulf last week, but have yet to delve more deeply. I also acquired the HP&DH audiobook as you see on the bottom. Chapter 33 is the only one I’ve reread so far.

Movies: Last thursday, I rewatched Roman Holiday with a couple of others who had not seen it. I don’t tend to rewatch movies often, but it was nice to do so. I laughed and found it wonderfully dated. I also watched Kitty Foyle during the weekend, the first new old movie I haven’t seen in a long time. Ginger Rogers was very good in it. She can dance and act it seems.

Fitness: So behind. Did yoga on saturday, intend to run again next month. Will start do pilates again.

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Now playing: Stephen Fry – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Disc 18 – Chapter 33
via FoxyTunes

Here comes summer

A fairly productive day for me as I went to the hygienist for a cleaning (must return next week for dental checkup though). I spent a lot of time reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma; it’s good, and I’m almost done. What really made my day was that I actually ran today in the late afternoon. I like running in the early mornings, but I have yet to get up early enough for it. It was a good run though since it was windy which means I worked a little harder due to resistance, and cooling. It makes me want to run again tomorrow, but that’s too soon. So I’ll do pilates as I did that today too. Hopefully, I can really kick this fitness program.

I finally took out a library copy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to Yours. It’s beautiful. I want to have a four seasons fling with it and all the recipes. Not only does it have a plethora of essential and tasty looking recipes, but there are loads of tips about baking in general and a nice glossry at the back. It’s definitely going to the top of my big cookbook wishlist. Going with it is is Amy Sedaris’s I like you: Hospitality under the influence. Hilarious, but I haven’t looked through it enough yet.

Back to some reading.