Thursday, 17 January 2013

Belated Christmas pt.2

Last year I swore to have as much of a homemade Christmas as I possibly could, in terms of presents. This was my effort, as well as some cards which I forgot to photograph. Not my best, but there's always next year!

Homemade wrapping paper (my sister beat me on this, she cut out Christmassy shapes from tissue paper and stuck them all over cream wrapping paper. I don't know how she had the patience but it was beautiful!), homemade labels, and a homemade giftbox. I tied all the presents with the cream and red ribbon and they looked so beautiful, if a little coordinated for my general state!

Belated Christmas pt.1

I realise that we are over halfway through January, and Christmas is well and truly over (except for the Christmas card weather at the moment; I don't know about the rest of the country but York is stunning right now). But I never blogged the pictures I took of my favourite Christmas presents, which seems a shame, so here you are...

A selection of things from my stocking, the bicycle bell taking centre stage.

The beauty section. I'm going to do a cosmetics post in the next few weeks which will feature some of these, so
stay tuned.

I think I might have screamed when I open these, there are just so many brushes!

I've been after this tea cup for at least a year now, so opening it made me so happy. 

This is just a really cool book to record all sorts of things in, I can't wait to start filling it in.

Kate Mosse is one of my favourite authors - I love the way she mixes modern and historical fiction
without  the contrasting stories jarring with one another. I'm so busy with work right now
that I haven't started reading this, I cannot wait.
So there you have it. I love looking at what other people were given for Christmas, it always gives me ideas for what I might need in my life...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Your pace or mine?

Hello, my name is Serena, and I have an obsession with Nike. Just look at it. How could you not? I also have a bit of an obsession with running. Again, how could you not? (I know a lot of people would disagree with me on that one.) If someone could send me all of this then that would be lovely thank you.

Your pace or mine?

Your pace or mine? by serenarudge featuring nike

The thing is, when I run I do like to look good. People stare at me as if I'm crazy when I say this: do I not go red faced and sweaty and look as though I'm in the middle of giving birth when I run like everybody else? (I've never actually seen anyone running whose face looked like they were in the agony of labour, but I know I've definitely grimaced in that fashion before, so I'm hoping other people have...) Of course I do. Apparently if your face is going to look like a sweaty strawberry/raspberry/beetroot then there's no point in wearing nice workout clothes.

Excuse me, but I beg to differ. There's nothing better than the feeling of looking like you effortlessly knock out a 10k every day, rain or shine, followed by some weights, yoga, and a bit of stretching. Obviously my body doesn't look like it does this, and if I get an effort-full 10k in once a week I'm very pleased, but it makes me feel like I'm a runner. It's the same principle as dressing up to make yourself feel more productive, less lazy and slob-like.

This does, of course, go against everything I argue to people: to be a runner you don't need to be a good runner, you don't need to look good, wear the right shoes, or even run for more than half of your workout. Generally, if you can run then you're a runner. I would never say anything else. But for me, good workout gear is essential.

I'm currently running in these bad boys from H&M:

I saw them before Christmas and fell in love, so got them with some Christmas money. Only £14.99! I've just seen these on their website, which are the current version of mine. I wouldn't mind them as well... H&M might not be Nike, but it does do some decent gym clothes... 

This slogan is from my first and favourite Nike top. They don't seem to sell their slogan tees in the UK as much as they do in America (why not, Nike? Why not?) so I'm holding onto this one.

And, just to round this off, my running shoes.

Although this was when they were new which was nine months ago, so they're definitely more battered now! I tried on my old shoes the other day and they were so uncomfortable. I didn't realise it at the time of course, but I'd had them since sixth form.

I'm by no means a 'good' runner, but I've done it sporadically since I was nine and I do love it. There was no cross country team at my secondary school, although since I left one was set up and both my sisters ran at national championships. I ran when I felt like it during sixth form, started doing it quite a lot in second year of uni, and just carried on. It's something I definitely see progress in: between last Christmas and August I was tracking my runs using Nike+, and my pace fluctuated between 5:25min/km and 6:00min/km, usually falling around 5:35. Last term I stopped running and went to the gym a lot, decided I hated running on the treadmill so did 30 minutes of sprint intervals instead. When I started running outside again I was down to 5:10min/km, and on my last run I did 6.5km at 4:43.

I'm intent on getting faster, doing sprints and tempo running as well as some longer distances and normal 5-6k runs. I'm not always going to run as fast as I want to, but I'm going to try really, really hard to stick to this one, because the more progress I make the more I enjoy it. I just wish I had someone to run with! Any takers...?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Get Up And Go Song: 'I Love It' by Icona Pop

I heard this whilst shopping in H&M, and immediately made a note of it. It's definitely a good January song, it's been making me enthusiastic about whatever I have to do when I hear it.

New Year's Enthusiasm

I always feel that this is the best bit of January: you've recovered from NYE, packed up the Christmas decorations, and tidied the house. Now you can start afresh. I'm always a bit dazed from food and champagne/too wrapped up in Christmas to really begin the new year at the very start of January. I'm sure that once I've graduated and have to be back at work on December 27th I'll be ready for the new year by January 1st, but I have another two terms of university before that happens. Right now, I have a lot of enthusiasm for being productive rather than wasting my time on frivolous activities, and I'd like to keep it this way.

So far, so organised. © ...look closer
I've decided not to make any New Year's resolutions this year. I don't know that I've ever made one before, let alone kept one. No, this year is all about the New Year's goal. I like a goal. Saying it over and over until it sounds like "gowl" (think bowl not owl!) is pretty fun. And also irrelevant. I still associate it with the goal post in netball, and the idea of the ball going through the hoop, or of ticking off or achieving a goal is particularly pleasing to me. I'm not sure why, I hated netball at school. Hockey was definitely more my thing. But I digress. I want my New Year's goals to have tangible effects, and they need to be pretty specific - none of this 'be nice to that girl who annoys me to make her a better person' stuff. Here are my goals:

  • Sort out blog and allocate certain topics to certain days (inspiration from Laura's post about the Company Magazine Blogger Forum).
  • Keep running and stick to training plan (more on this later).
  • Have a sort out of all clothes and sell unwanted ones (or give to friends if no one will buy them. What? I'm a poor student).
  • Pay attention to the state of my nail varnish and don't let it get so chipped that there's more nail than varnish. This is the bane of my mother's life, and perhaps in my 23rd(!) year I'll sort myself out.
  • Really read books. This will apply more when I've finished my degree, but I'd really like to know about the author and context of the book that I'm reading in future. 
  • Keep in mind that until my dissertation is over, there is always something more productive that I could be doing rather than browsing Twitter and Tumblr.
  • Reconnect with old friends.
I think that this is comprehensive enough for now. Things will definitely change once I finish university, but that will come later.