Stepping Up For A Bum Of Steel

I’ve been cycling regularly for a few years now and it’s my main form of cardio and aerobic exercise.

However, I suspected that my muscles were getting a little lazy and programed to just work in one way…. so I’ve thrown something a little different into my mix: RUNNING.

On my first running attempt, I walked out of my house and ran down the footpath headed towards my local park. It was only 200m, I was running at a good pace, and it took me less than 2 minutes (I think) to get to the park, but I was sooooo exhausted! My brains were about to explode, my legs were jelly, my ankles felt swollen, and I was literally about to collapse! I was stopped by the side of the road, bent over, holding my knees, red-faced, huffing and puffing… and LAUGHING!

I thought to myself – OMG this is soooo hard! I cycled 70kms a few days ago! I’m supposed to be quite fit?! How can I not be able to run?! This is absurd!

So everyday now, when my husband comes home from work in the evening, I steal 30 minutes away for a quick run. Er, it’s actually more like a “walk around the park”, with a bit of running here and there.

But you know what? I love pushing myself. And then discovering (very quickly the next day!) that I can run for longer distances and for longer amounts of time. And it doesn’t hurt so much anymore.

It’s been 5 days, and I can now run the 200m without any pain in my legs or any exhaustion whatsoever. In fact, I don’t think my heart rate goes up very much now.

Baby steps towards my first 5km run!

Speaking of steps… my girlfriend and I met up to give Jacob’s Ladder a go :)

Jacob's Ladder Perth

Jacob’s Ladder is set of steps at Kings Park – famous in Perth to runners, trainers and general fit people.

There are 242 steps, literally on the side of the 45m cliff. They were first built in the early 1900s as wooden steps, and they were replaced by concrete steps in the 1960s.

On the weekends, it’s a really popular spot for people wanting a kick ass workout.

Jacob's Ladder Perth

The view at the top of Jacob’s Ladder (Cliff Street) is pretty amazing too. You can stand at the top and look out over the Swan River and Perth city.

Kings Park is one of my favourite places to exercise – mainly because of the sweeping views, the lovely parks, the smooth road (with few cars) and the hills (for cycling).

Bike and Pink Shoes

I decided to cycle into Kings Park.

Cycle then climb some steps! Hey I was up for a challenge!

I wore my cycling shorts, with a running top and running shoes. I felt really dorky on my bike. I felt completely mismatched.

Not to mention, I was wearing my cycling pants (which are heavily padded!), while climbing the stairs, so I was feeling really, really dorky! Like a waddling duck with a big puffy bum!

My girlfriend and I were both Jacob’s Ladder virgins. We’ve never done it before. We were a bit scared. But we gave it a good go.

First round: We walked down and up Jacob’s Ladder really slowly.

Second round: Ran all the way down and up. I got stuck behind some people who were walking it… which was a good thing, because I was getting a bit sore.

Third time: I ran down and up again. This time faster, and I dodged the walking people. I was really sore, my legs were burning and I was out of breath at the end.

However, after I walked around a bit, I felt fine. I cycled around the Kings Park hills a few times, before heading home.

All up, I cycled 40kms and did 3 rounds of the ladder. Yay!

Next time no more puffy bum pants! Look out for my bum of steel!

Shopbop Sales: Kitty Cat Studs!

Marc Jacobs Cat Studs

Tee hee, how cute and playful are these cat studs by Marc Jacobs!?

I went a bit crazy at the Shopbop Sale and I picked up a few bits and pieces.

Aaah their sale prices make it close to impossible to resist!

I’ve been thinking that I need to refresh my accessories anyway, as I’ve been wearing the same stuff for months now. I’ve been very attracted to really quirky, but small-sized items.

So these are just perfect :)

Enjoy your weekend everyone xx

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

Eating Healthy: Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

I love clear chicken broth with noodles. It’s pretty much chicken stock with noodles and a melody of fresh vegetables (eaten like pho).

It’s very simple to make, and as long as you take out all the chicken fat, don’t use too much salt and pile on lots of vegetables, it can be nice and healthy too. You can also read What’s a Superfood Powder Blend if you want more healthy food options.

I make this very often for my family and they love it.

I also modify it so I can eat it PALEO style – swap the rice noodles for sliced zucchini and cabbage.

Clear Chicken Broth (Chinese style)
2 or 3 small chicken frames (they are $1 for 3 frames at my butcher)
5 cloves of garlic
3cm piece ginger
1 red onion, quartered
6L of water

1. Rinse chicken frames with cold water and trim away the fat.
2. Place chicken and all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 2 hours.
4. Skim the surface with a ladle to get rid of oil and impurities.
5. Strain through fine sieve or muslin.
(Makes about 3.5 litres)

Try adding extra fragrant ingredients:
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 cup of Thai basil (haha not so Chinese!)
A sprinkle of fried shallots
And a dish of cut chillies for me!

Put it together in separate bowls:
– rice noodles
– chicken breast, shredded
– fish balls (my kids love fish balls)
– bean sprouts
– finely sliced green beans, lettuce, capsicums, zucchini, cabbage, spinach
– then pour steaming hot broth over the top and serve

(In the photo above, these were my bowls before I poured in the hot soup. I usually let them sit for a good 10 minutes before I serve my kids, because I don’t want them to burns themselves.)

Wearing Glitter Tweed

Tweed Jacket by Sarah, via YesStle

I’ve always loved the smart lines of a blazer. Added to any outfit, it brings a polished sophistication, which I’m very much drawn to.

What more, I found this gorgeous glitter tweed blazer by Sarah, a popular Korean label. It sparkles and glitters subtly, subdued by the textured tweed. Unlike a full sequin jacket, I think this jacket has *just* enough sparkle for a blazer, without being in-your-face.

I’ve already worn it a few times. And this particular day, I wore it to a meeting in the city. With harem pants, no less.

After that, I went back to my car, slipped off my heels, wiggled out of my pants and then slipped on a tutu skirt haha!

I had another evening event to attend, and with my tutu skirt, I felt much more in the mood to party :)

The days have definitely been getting cooler. I’m a bit sad that summer is leaving so soon. But now it means – hooray – I can start wearing jackets and jeans again.

Outfit 1
Glitter tweed jacket – Sarah via Yesstyle
Black top – Bamboo Body Top from Ciao Bella Travel
Harem pants – Zanthus
Black suede heels – Betts

Outfit 2
Glitter tweed jacket – Sarah via Yesstyle
Black top – Bamboo Body Top from Ciao Bella Travel
Tutu Skirt – Birdsnest Online Fashion
Black suede heels – Betts

My Littlest Boy Turns Four

Liam Turns 4

My little Liam turns 4 years old this week… and aaah just look at his cheeky grin and his beautiful bright eyes!

If I were to compare all three of my kids at the age of 4, Liam is by far the brightest, most eloquent, and most academically advanced. His teacher told me that he has the learning capability and focus of a 5 year old. He can read simple sentences, he can spell basic words using his knowledge of phonics, can count to 50 unassisted, and can do basic addition and subtraction. Yep, he’s a smart kid.

But what I’m more proud of… is that Liam loves to learn things. Academic things. He likes to talk about maths and spelling questions for fun.

He’s also very confident. He knows what he likes, and he prefers things to be a certain way. He’s particular and a bit precious.

When Liam is by himself – with just me or my husband – he is a wonderful little boy.

He is so warm, polite, sweet, considerate, and funny (really funny!). He’s fun to talk to and actually listens to what you are trying to teach him and he asks really good questions. He’s gorgeously affectionate (more so than his other brothers) and dishes out the sweetest comments and cuddles ever.

He is a *joy* to hang around with. Even my own mum and dad can’t contain their delight when he and I go to visit them, they are completely enamoured by him. His personality just seems to brighten up the room, and everyone’s lives :)

Liam Turns 4

However, on the other hand…

When he is with his brothers…. Liam is really naughty.

He constantly seeks attention, he always ALWAYS teases and provokes his brothers, he’s really loud and shouty, he wants to be where the action is, he wants to be the centre of attention, he has very little regard for their things (or anyone’s things!), he smashes stuff up, he draws on furniture (and walls, carpet, bed sheets!), he terrorises everyone in the house :(

Every afternoon (after school from 3 – 5pm) if Liam is roaming around the house – bored, with nothing to do – my house turns into a war zone. Everyone ends up in tears, including me. No matter how hard I try to organise the afternoon, it always ends up as a disaster.

For example, one time I tried to get my oldest boy (who is very responsible and nurturing) and Liam to put together afternoon tea as a sort of teaching/learning activity… this gave my middle boy an opportunity to start his homework on the dining table. All they had to do was get some fruit, veges and simple biscuits on 3 plates with 3 cups of water.

I left the room for 5 minutes and in that time, Liam had slammed the cupboard door on his older brother’s fingers (on purpose, because he “didn’t like the way he was humming and wouldn’t shut up”) and then he got a cup of water for his other brother and poured it all over his homework and lap because he didn’t say thank you properly. The older boys were screaming with pain and anger. So I put Liam in his room, he screams at me and calls me a stupid idiot and he trashes his room, bangs on the door and and throws things at the glass window – shouting “I’m going to break this window and glass is going to go everywhere and it’s going to be all your fault MUM!”

And this is only 15 minutes after I pick the kids up from school and return home!! Can you imagine this happening EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?!?! The kids turns into a monster whenever he’s with his brothers – it’s crazy!

Let’s just say that – for a few weeks – I cried a lot.

HOW have I been managing it? Immediately after school, I have to stick Liam in front of the tv, or get him to play in his room by himself. He loves his tv shows, especially Playschool. And he loves playing by himself, especially when inspired by an old set of toys that I have hidden away and brought out on rotation. Or if he’s given an activity that he hasn’t done in a while. Basically, Liam is confined in a small, quiet space for 1 hour – for his own safety!

This has been happening for a few months now and it works for us. Phew.

I believe this bad behaviour is simply related to “being a 3 year old boy” and the surges of testosterone that young boys experience at different points in their lives which also comes with a decline at later ages that can be treated with testosterone boosters.  I recall my middle boy was also very naughty, tantrumy and very prone to throwing objects at doors…. and look at him now, he’s a a lovely and mild-mannered 8 year old boy. There is hope beyond BEING 3!

I’m sure of it!

And so here’s to a wonderful new year of BEING 4, my gorgeous little Liam!