Busy Month and a Grown-up kiddy bag!

I have been wanting to blog about several things lately, but I seem to have got distracted, and instead of writing about something, I have written about nothing.  This month is a busy one, June already!!  Y has a business trip to Tokyo early next week.  After that, I have two days of class observations at kindergarten, which is a bit of a pain, but then I remember when they used to do them on the same day and mothers with two children would zip back and forth between the classrooms with the youngest ones crying every time they left, so I think this way round works better.  That Saturday, I’ll be meeting up with an ex-work friend in Saitama for drinks and gossip, which is always great fun!  Although we meet every couple or three months or so, this will be the first time before I have to work the following day.  Hmm, better not drink too much then…The following Friday is the kindy trip, but apparently this year it’s a trip to some train museum in Omiya (we have to drive ourselves there) which costs a fortune.  Now I know my children are mad on Thomas, but when one of the other Mums asked me if I wanted to join their alternative day out and picnic in the local area (their children are all girls who obviously like girly things..unlike mine who is a little more exposed perhaps?!?), I immediately snapped up the invitation.  So instead of the kindy trip, we will all go out to either a local mini amusement park with rides for 50 yen, or if it’s raining the local play centre, which is free.  Win win right?  The following Tuesday is L’s 3rd birthday and the summer solstice, then on 24th, we’ll be flying back to the U.K. for a grand total of three months!  This is kind of a busy month in my eyes, especially as 2 friends have asked to meet up for coffee dates, and the children and I will visit another friend in Saitama with her brand new baby girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I keep myself fairly busy, but it’s rare to have so much that’s planned.  All fun things though, so I’m excited.

Like I said in a previous post, I’m trying to have sewing projects on the go.  I made H’s ra-ra skirt, although it’s not really as nice as I would have hoped, and it took AGES!!!  I can never seem to get gathering stitches to pull properly, it’s a bit annoying.  I think I know why the look of it isn’t so great, the space in between the ruffles is too large.  I think just ruffle upon ruffle would look nicer, so I might alter it.  She seems to love it though!  My favourite make of last week however, is my grown-up kiddy bag that I mentioned I would make a couple of posts back.  I used outer fabric from Ikea, and the lining some of my favourite fabric that I think is best suited for lining, but would make a great blouse too.  I’ll have to start on a shirt at some point so I can get some more sewing skills!  The lining was a bit of a pain really.  Making it was ok, I just used the outer fabric pattern, but attaching it was a bit fiddly.  I started to hand sew it, but it was messy, even though I could avoid double stitching on the outside of the bag, and fiddly, so I gave up and shoved it in the machine (thank you machine, I love you x).  I think attaching the handle and adjuster took the most time…and there was even a diagram but it was very difficult to get my head around that!  I used stiff interfacing on the back of the outer fabric, but it was still a bit floppy.  I suppose that’s the nature of the fabric, and had I used quilted material as in the pattern photo, it would be a lot more stable.  I still love it though!  Just right for daily essentials, and it’s been a while since I had a cross body bag too.  I forgot how convenient they are, especially when you have two hands to hold 😉

I just HAVE to mention my weight today.  I am still going to the gym five days/nights a week.  I have full membership for this month, but I still find it easier to go at night, what with housework, chores and the like.  I have started upping my cardio.  I used to half-heartedly do about 20 minutes a session, and sometimes even less and focus more on resistance, but I realised that I was getting nowhere, as my weight hasn’t budged for the past three months.  That’s all very well if it’s your ideal weight, but mine is at least 3 kilos less than what I am now.  I don’t feel comfortable in my clothes right now, and not only that some of them are tight, I just don’t feel confident about my figure.  I know I’ll never be slim with a flat stomach, but when I was at 60 kilos last winter, I felt I looked so much better.  So let’s say that 60 kilos is my new goal weight for now.  I don’t want to go lower than 57 if possible though, so 60 is a good goal.  As well as upping my cardio to harder, faster running for about half an hour (interval training two minutes to one, so not actual running for half an hour), I have been trying not to overeat.  Over the past few months, I have pretty much eaten what I wanted to, gone to the gym, and then maintained my weight.  Now, in just a week, I am a kilo down, and losing weight by the day.  That feels fantastic.  Plus, when I work out really hard, I am more reluctant to eat crap than if I don’t try at all.  “Just think of all that exercise you did, how tiring that was!” I tell myself, and it works so far.

My other two saviours are green tea and nuts.  I try to drink around 4 green teas a day as it helps increase metabolism and lower cholesterol (as well as tons of other benefits).  I think it helps to bitter me up too.  I’m definitely not really craving sweet things lately.  As for the nuts, well when I feel hungry, I would always go for bread first.  Bread is delicious, but it’s a bit rubbish really, especially white bread.  It’s easy and quick and filling, but it doesn’t really last all that long.  The nuts may be high in calories, but have good fats, and if I limit my snack to a handful, it won’t break the calorie bank.  So since the same time last week, when I weighed 64.4 kilos, I am presently 63.2 kilos.  Yay!  You know, I felt a bit foolish to be excited over a mere kilo, but it’s been so long since I’ve actually LOST weight, that I think I DO have a right to celebrate and to try to stay on the wagon.  I’m a bit nervous about what will happen in the U.K. for  three months with yummy food and no gym…I’m hoping to do a LOT of walking.  I was going to convert my license to manual as now I can only drive an automatic,  but I didn’t get around to it, and I also thought it would give me a good excuse to get walking/taking the bus etc.  Driving in the U.K. looks scary…I have never done it as a licensed driver, but the road rules are different, speeds are higher, and other drivers more aggressive.  And my Mum’s car is a volvo estate…bit of a difference.  If I desperately want to rent a car then I can.  The only thing is, the automatics are more expensive, because only the larger saloons have automatic transmission.  The compacts are all manual.  Ah well, never mind!  I’m starting to ramble…Better get off to bed, reward chart treat day tomorrow!

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