Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Little gold statue time!

It is no secret around these parts that I am a movie fan. For a long time we had an unlimited pass to the local UK cinema chain - something I plan on enrolling again soon as it's a fab deal and then I can see crap matinees alone with ease! Last year, being the first time I was in the US for the Oscars since 2008, I threw a viewing party. It was a lot of fun. This year, being back in the UK (and away from home for the weekend), I'll likely end up either watching the next day (and avoiding spoilers) or staying up stupidly late and catching some dodgy European stream (as it's usually broadcast on a premium channel). Less than ideal, but I love the pomp of the night. The dresses! The speeches! The sad "in remembrance" montage. And most years I've seen a good percentage of the films (this year I was admittedly a bit slacking in my viewing).

Will I be throwing a party this year? No. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to. (The closest I got to that this time around was a huge bowl of really good popcorn during the BAFTAs). Regardless, I'll definitely be documenting the awards in my Project Life album. Last year, I created a themed card set freebie for the big movie night and this year I wanted to add to that. The 2013 set is still available and these new cards fully coordinate as I kept with the black/white/gold theme. Classic Hollywood, no?

'I'd like to thank The Academy' card set by Laura Kate Is Crafty (Oscars, movies, Project Life)
download them > > > here < < <

I definitely have my favorites for the night and hope they do well. So many great films and actors/actresses!

Time to pop the popcorn! (The awards are on Sunday night).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Instalife: late winter

Around here, the sun has been shining in equal turns with the pouring rain. In London we're not finding ourselves in the trouble that the west of England has been in with severe flooding and devastation, but the wind and rain in our flat have found the cracks in the very very old windows. We're lucky to have a safe home, however. So many these days are not so lucky.

Sunny days are for exercising outside, walks with the husband along the Thames and through our favorite places, and generally enjoying the slowly changing seasons. Cold and rainy days are for curling up the couch, enjoying the Olympics that much more, and really loving my kitchen adventures.

Our Valentine's Day passed calmly, with a special meal and a lovely night in. We've been finding lots of ways to enjoy time at home lately, as we try to save some pennies toward grander adventures later. As most evenings in the past few weeks have descended into howling rain, this isn't a terrible challenge!

Here in London, the snowdrops are blooming and I even saw a patch of purple crocuses yesterday in Battersea Park! It's not yet Spring here, but the signs tell me it's not too far away. (Winter leaves much sooner here than back home in Wisconsin, and every year I'm still surprised by it). Hopefully there will be more and more days out in the sun soon, but for now I'll keep enjoying the fabulous skating costumes from Sochi.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Remember that time there were giant Blythes in London??

Blythe is no stranger to the world of fashion. Her 00s reincarnation started through an ad campaign for Parco department stores in Japan. A few years ago she was the model for the McQ for Target campaign. Right now, she's the muse of Bottega Veneta.

For their Spring/Summer 2014 line, they've had some beautifully accurate Blythe mannequins made, promoted the venture with an editorial spread in Spur (which you can see here and here), and they're taking the mannequins around the world. One of the cool things about living in a city like London is that it's the type of place to be chosen for such fun stuff. So this afternoon, I hopped on a bus over to Chelsea and walked up Sloane Street and snapped away.

The Bottega Veneta staff that I spoke with post-snaps were very friendly and let me know the mannequins would be there til the middle of next week (a check on their site says the 19th). So if you're in the area and want to check out the giant Blythe girls, head over soon!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Trying to renew good habits

Last year in the late spring/early summer, I started to take better care of myself. I got a Fitbit Flex, I kept a food diary, I begin to walk for fitness. Most weeks I was walking 2-3 miles at a go and walking 3+ days a week. Most weekdays I was getting out and doing at least a mile on calmer days. I tossed in some tv-based yoga for good measure here and there. While the main goal of my changes is to get healthier, weight loss is something that comes with getting fitter and I did have a good start on losing a bit.

Then we moved back to London. Between finding a flat and getting settled in, the warm weather went away and the cold and rainy time (aka: fall/winter) came upon us. I was pretty unmotivated. Some of the pounds came back. Here in London, we're starting to see signs of spring. Some days (like the last 2) bring cold and downpours, but we're getting a fair few days of sunshine (or at least overcast skies) and temps in the high 40s (F). And something about that sunshine got my butt in gear.

I've started walking again; I installed YouTubeTV on my Wii and have been doing some yoga sessions; yesterday I picked up a set that has a yoga mat, some resistance bands, a pair of light weights, and a fitness ball; I've been exploring and starting to use the outdoor gym that is installed in a local park. I am getting back on the horse of good habits! Outdoor gyms are super cool. The equipment at the one I use comes from this company(I wanted to read up on it a bit more) and the strength-type machines use your own body weight as resistance. The elliptical is at enough of an angle that it's a challenge for me and my asthma lungs, but I'm liking it! The airwalker is hilarious, but so good for hips and such, and I've been building up the reps I can do pull downs. While I'd love to have some Michelle Obama arms, I'll settle for stronger and more toned!

On this journey, I have some small personal goals, but really it's about getting healthier and getting stronger. Have any of you embarked on a fitness journey? What things to you love to do to keep fit?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

...like a zebra in the night

photo from last weekend's amazing superhero-themed wedding festivities

Oh, hello February you sneaky little minx. Here I was just getting used to the idea of January and of 2014 and bam! you're on my doorstep with Groundhog Day waiting for the news of shadows tomorrow (p.s. - Cathy Z made a hilariously great groundhog day printable).

My birthday is about 6 weeks away and it has been a couple of months since I checked in my list for the year. Looking at it now, it's clear there are many that just aren't going to happen. Numbers 1, 12, 22, & 24 for certain are out. Number 13 is highly unlikely in the time span. Number 10 just might possibly happen before then, but I've been promised it will happen in 2014 at some point. So I'm not bothered. And even some of the other ones that aren't looking likely don't bother me. This has always been a list of "stuff that would be great" not "stuff that must happen or I will be unhappy." I'm content with where this list is. Would I have liked to see more Broadway shows while we were living < 5 miles from Broadway? Yes, absolutely. But my life continues quite happily! I'll check up with this list again when the deadline has passed, but I don't think it's going to change dramatically between now and then.
31 things to do before 32

1. Do something new/different with my hair
2. Move back to LondonYAY!
3. Get more houseplants and it continues!
4. Start a garden (of some variety respective of living space) (succulents count to me!)
5. Get back in shape. Working on it!
6. Walk a mile a day for at least 1 month.June-July this happened more or less. I've been doing as best I can in the fall now.
7. Attend a NYC sporting event
NY Rangers vs. Winnipeg Jets, 1 April 13
8. Try 12 new recipes (proper recipes, not "I threw this together and it is dinner")  
9. Make a new friend (of the "in person" variety, not just the online variety)
10. Visit Paris again
11. Visit the Statue of Liberty (because I've never been).
12. See 3 Broadway shows. Newsies, 4/13
13. See 2 West End shows.
14. Finish Project Life 2013  I'll share this soon!
15. Get caught up on my scrapbooks
from 2011 & 2012 & get at least most of 2013 done. still working on it!
16. Finish the Valentine socks.
17. Find a job I like (if not love).
18. Learn to embroider19. Visit Boston
20. Put together our wedding album
21. Spend more time outdoors This has been happening a bit since returning to LDN
22. Visit Washington, DC
23. Get a new fishtank + fishies
24. Adopt a shelter dog
25. Sew and/or knit at least 50 items for BlytheCon UK 
26. Put together our mini-moon album
27. Drink (aka: buy) less soda weekly This is still improving. Every little bit!
28. Take a class or long workshop on a subject I'm interested in
29. Volunteer for something
30. Keep in touch better with my girl friends
31. Go on proper date nights at least twice a month Mostly happening!