#sejtips – avoiding becoming a human burrito in winter

Winter is no longer coming, it is now definitely here – cue the Game of Thrones memes. Apparently people are less social in winter and although it might be tempting to don the onesie and stay in Netflix and chilling every night (or maybe Netflix, no chill if you’re a single pringle), humans are social beings and eventually you’ll need to come out of your cocoon to greet the world. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a helpful list of all the fun things I like to do in the midst of the winter – Kathmandu puffer jacket mandatory. These should help you avoid becoming a literal human burrito (it is very tempting when it’s this cold)

#1 MOVIE DATE

Preferably Gold Class with squishy arm chairs and unlimited amounts of popcorn. This one is for the less adventurous among us, as it’s really just one step up from Netflix and chill and no one will frown upon you if you wear your PJs and ugg boots (particularly if you’re out West). Depending on your mood, head to Hoyts Sylvia Park for a lush experience in their Lux cinema, or if you’re feeling a bit more #basicbitch, then definitely Henderson for $8 movies and non-judgemental staff.

#2 SALSA

We pretty much went from 0 to 100 with movies to salsa dancing, but what better way to warm up and get the heart rate going than some dancing? And what better way to justify the fries and six pack of nuggets you got on the way? Viva dance studio is great for a variety of dancing styles – salsa is pretty lit on a Saturday night, but they also have Zouk, Bachata and for those wanting something slightly different: Bollywood dancing. Get off the couch and get going!

#3 KAROAKE

Keeping up with our theme of racing hearts (does singing Bohemian Rhapsody count as cardio?) in nice warm indoor spaces, head on down to karaoke for what is pretty much guaranteed to be a good time, with some ‘social lubricant’ (many margaritas). You also don’t really know your friends until you’ve drunkenly sung the greatest 90’s anthems together on a Saturday night. Get amongst! My recommendation is Rock Bar, but Queen Street is flush with these beauties. Get googling and book in a great group date night.

#4 FONDUE

Winter is absolutely the time to be bulking and adding an extra layer of fat really helps to keep the electricity bills down. Chocolate fondue is warm, indulgent and a great way to spend a chilly winter evening. A definite step up from inhaling an entire bar of Whittakers’ new toffee chocolate whilst binge watching the new season of House of Cards. For the Shore Kids, there’s the House of Chocolate Dessert Café & Cakery and for the city slickers, head down to Parnell to the Chocolate Boutique. And why stop at fondue? The Chocolate Dessert Café have waffles, deliciously decadent cakes, cupcakes and truffles… Avoid if committing to #junkfreejune.

#5 HOT POOLS

Thaw your frozen bones with a trip to the hot pools. No one knows cold like a frost-stricken Aucklander in the middle of winter and a nice relaxing hot pool mission is definitely what you need to feel your fingers and toes again. It’s also super relaxing and great for the muscles, so it’s practically rehab. Parakai Springs is always a good option, albeit a bit of a drive (stop at the Whenupai Bakehouse Café to justify the journey) – they have a big indoor hot pool and hydroslides for the inner child. Alternative options include Waiwera (they do ½ price for the last 2 hours) or West Wave (see earlier comments re pyjamas and uggs).

#6 ICE SKATING

If you’ve given up and accepted that you will be cold this winter, don another puffer jacket (you can never have too many) and go ice skating. If you’re unco, like me, then you’ll want to go with someone who has slightly more coordination. Paradice Ice are a fairly good bet for a good ice skating experience, but, again in the outer ‘burbs. Aotea Square also has an ice rink open from 16 June. Remember to take your life-proof case so you can Instagram your excellent figure skating #winterOlympicshereIcome.

Also, here is a #winterpun, enjoy:

Image result for winter pun

 

#sejtips Surviving junk-free June (without surviving on celery & kale)

I spent the first couple days of junk-free June firmly wishing it was July. Sometimes, after a long day at work, all you want is a big greasy pizza and a side of chips…and a side of garlic bread and chicken wings. I was strong and dutifully ate my low carb, gluten free, refined sugar free pork chop dinner, but it didn’t stop the cravings. It also doesn’t help that my brother is a burger fiend who snaps #junkfoodJune every second day. This post is to all my #JFJ friends out there who are dutifully eating healthy for the entire month of June (30 days is a looonnngg time- next year let’s do fast-food-free Feb?).

So here’s my top 7 tips (7 being the most powerfully magical number) of how to survive this June:

  1. Don’t do it alone. I managed to bully gently persuade a couple of my friends and work colleagues to give up junk food with me and it’s so much easier with their support. You can hold each other accountable, lament over the donuts in the kitchen you can’t eat and send through motivational quotes (this is a personal favourite of mine). If you couldn’t find any friends willing to take up the challenge with you, then jump online and find some! It’s not easy, but the collective willpower and accountability helps a lot.
  2. Keep a food diary. Speaking of holding yourself accountable – write it down! Or alternatively download an app that keeps track of what you’re eating. It’s not to scold you for eating that popcorn chicken your flatmate brought home (I may or may not be guilty of this), but you’re a lot less likely to stray when you’re writing down what you’re putting in your mouth. Because science.
  3. Plan your meals. It’s so much easier to eat healthy when you’ve got the ingredients at hand and know what you’re eating. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest (my guilty pleasure) looking at healthy eating recipes that I can add into my weekly meal plans. You’ll learn that there are a lot of delicious foods you can eat that are actually pretty good for you (e.g. Mexican quinoa #nomnom). Planning your week is also good for the budget, too.
  4. Pick your restaurants/cafes. Junk-free June doesn’t have to mean, antisocial, stay at home and drink kale shake June. You can still go out, just be clever about what you eat. I’m not an authority, but examples of healthy eating are (for the most part) Mexican (’cause avocado is a good fat and gauc is delicious), Thai food, and the likes of Pita Pit, Habitual Fix and a personal favourite of mine: Sip Kitchen – their refined sugar free/gluten free/vegan slices are actually pretty good when you’re craving something sweet.
  5. Find incentives that aren’t food. I am very heavily motivated by food, as am, I’m sure, many of you. Often the food I like to reward myself with is high in sugar/fat/salt and generally quite junk-filled. Move your motivation to something that won’t impact your dedication to the healthy lifestyle like a facial/massage, bath, or that new pair of shoes that you really wanted.
  6. Similarly, find activities that don’t involve eating out at unhealthy restaurants or going out for drinks – yes I’m sober this June too :(. Catch up with your friends over a walk and a coffee, plan a board games night, go for karoake (although this often inspires a social lubricant known as alcohol…). Do something fun and different! July can be your month for margarita Mondays.
  7. Write a list for later. This one popped up on a podcast I listen to – the Savvy Psychologist and although it’s in a slightly different context, the idea is that you bank your whims/cravings/distractions for later. Every time you feel like breaking your junk-free June to have a cupcake, add it to the list. Once it gets to July, you’ll probably find that the super long list you want doesn’t even look that good to you anymore. Just try not to binge on the 1st of July and undo all your hard work.

And from me to you, here’s a great Nelson Mandela quote #gotyourback:

nelson mandela quote.jpg

 

Being convincingly adult…

I’m currently sitting in a hotel room on the edge of the earth (okay Palmerston North isn’t actually thaatt bad!). Today’s post was supposed to be a riveting read about the wonderful world of Tinder and the promised blog on modern dating. However, after a successful weekend trip to Kmart, buying such exciting homewares as tea towels, bucket and steam mop, I’ve instead decided to write this post about the current bane of my existence: being an adult.

Now I know everyone reading this knows how challenging it is to wake up every morning and pretend to be a fully functional adult human being. When I was younger, all I wanted to be was an adult and now I’m here, I’ve begun to realise just how shit it actually is – there are so many little things that my parents did for me that I never noticed. When cast out into the cruel world of flatting and working full time, the gaps in my knowledge have become painfully obvious (but it’s okay because mum and dad are on speed-dial).

So today’s post is for those out there that need a little more help maintaining the charade of adulting. And because I’m a millennial and millennials like lists, it’s coming to you in the form of beautiful bullets. Here are (a selection of) the things my mum told me, the things I wish my mum told me and the shit that no one bothered to mention because it’s supposed to be ‘common sense’. It’s a fairly broad list, so enjoy:

  • Don’t sign a lease. Don’t do it. Live at home, live in a motel, couch surf – do whatever it is you have to do to avoid being fiscally and responsible for an actual house full of people. Can’t stress this one enough. Always get someone more adult to do this for you and trust me that person isn’t you. So far my lease holding experience has involved ongoing email battles about curtains (yes, curtains), trading gardening for pizza and having the pleasure of locating a new washing machine 2 days before the Christmas break. Last time – save yourself the stress and just don’t do it.
  • If you completely missed the first point and somehow ended up being the lease holder, here are some quick tips for managing yo flat:
    • Create a flat account for expenses so you don’t have to worry about reimbursing for toilet paper and rubbish bags (because no one ever keeps receipts and rubbish bags do NOT cost $50), it’s also handy for outgoing debits of internet and power
    • Highly recommend Flick Electric as your electricity provider. Why? They have an app. Always go with the app. Oh and they’re cheaper too… But the app is super cool and allows you to keep track of what you’re spending. And they bill out weekly, but app!
    • Have a flat Facebook page. Mostly you can post pass-ag comments about who stole your bananas… But really, great way to keep everyone up to date with fun things like flat inspections
    • There’s 100 more tips I could write, but honestly the best one is to probably chill out and accept that everyone works differently and important things will get done and for everything else… (there’s Mastercard) – nah, it’ll happen when it happens!
  • Another sub list coming here – things adults have in their kitchens that you didn’t think about until you were cooking and realised you didn’t have it:
    • Strainer & sieve
    • Tea towels. Heaps. Especially in a flat – you’ll need like 50
    • Dish drainer ($8 at Kmart – what a win!)
    • Goldilocks scrubbing thing so you can scrub off the burn from that recipe that seemed really basic on Pinterest…
    • Tongs, serving spoon with holes in it, serving spoon without holes in it
    • Glad wrap & assorted collection of containers with and without lids
    • Paper towels – for all those times you were mixing pancake batter and spilled half of it on the floor
    • Mixing bowls and measuring cups
    • There’s probably more of these things, but #protip you can avoid buying any of these things if you survive off frozen meals and takeout
  • Baking soda and vinegar will basically clean about anything – suitable to clean your carpet, your white jeans, your towels and apparently one cup of vinegar will clean your washing machine, so chuck one of those in there once a week

In true blog fashion, it has occurred to me whilst writing this that this list could absolutely go on forever. So I’m going to cap it at there for now and consider this to be a part one – covering small elements of flatting/home life. As, after all, this is a blog for/by millennials and the attention span isn’t overly high, because well – have you seen that video of the bunny being rescued?

When gym is not #bae

gym-meme

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a gym junkie. I’ll be the first to admit that I send the odd (okay maybe slightly more frequent…) snapchat of my workouts and I’m definitely not that quiet about it. #Sorrynotsorry for being a millennial. But today’s blog post isn’t for people like me, it’s for those people who just want to go to the gym. Perhaps so you can justify eating an entire chocolate cake as your ‘preworkout snack’.

Disclaimer – I’m not a personal trainer (if was, I’d have that 6 pack by now). I just wanted to write something that the average person could identify with without all the jargon. So here’s some #sejgymytips for the non-aspiring body builders, who just want a work out, for whatever reason that may be:

-My number one tip has got to be: get pinteresting. Pinterest is an amazing resource and I use it to plan 99% of my workouts (the other 1% is bodybuilding.com, but it’s not as user friendly). You can search whatever workout you’d like – for example, I would do a legs, chest and back, or bi and tri workout. Their circuits are also pretty amazing. If you don’t have much of an idea of what you’re doing and don’t want to splash out for a PT, definitely jump on pinterest – but grab one of the workouts with pictures to guide you.

-On that note: if you don’t want to do super serious weight training on the machines, try with circuits. Circuits are great and there are a lot of bodyweight ones if you’re not keen on loading up the barbells. They’re also a fantastic mix of weight training and cardio that I enjoy. This is the same line of thinking as a Kayla Itsines workout, without the pressure of doing 12 full-on weeks.

-Start small. If you’re gymming to lose weight or get that Kim K body (lots of squats!), it’s not going to help you to start with massive weights – trust me, I’ve been there and all those heavy weights do is stop you from being able to manage the stairs at work for days on end. Generic advice I got given here (though take this with a grain of salt) is that you want to be a little bit sore, but still able to use your body and function as a human being the next day. Once you stop being sore, then you can try up your weights.

-If you just want to go to the gym and not think about what you have to do, I highly recommend classes. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more on a world class gym experience (no I don’t actually go here, but used to when I was on a good student rate), then Les Mills is 100% the way to go. If you want to be able to afford daily coffee as well as your gym membership, then try something like Snap Fitness (I like Browns Bay or Constellation), they actually do pretty okay classes.

-My last piece of advice  (I won’t overload you, I could probably talk about the gym all day) is to reward yourself so you actually want to go to the gym. If you’re not going to get high from those sweet cardio endorphins, then chances are you’ll need some other motivation so your membership doesn’t turn into a monthly donation to your local club. I used to reward myself with gold star stickers (because I’m, at heart, a grown child) and once I racked up 5 stars a week for 5 weeks, I’d get a massage. Other motivation ideas could be buying yourself new workout gear or going to all you can eat ribs at Deep Creek (although perhaps counterproductive to those gym goals).

Oh and make sure you stretch- always stretch and if you’re not sure what to stretch, get pinteresting! Good luck and go hard or…whatever pace you want really. Just do you.