//melly files//

CITY LIMITS I moved to Sydney when I was 20. I dropped out of university to followed my heart. My parents were upset, but I had always been an independent kid. It paid off though, I worked my way up the corporate ladder and I married that guy; my high-school sweetheart.

Sydney
Sydney

MY VALENTINE I’m not really into Valentine’s Day. It’s too commercial to have meaning. Usually my husband will send me roses the day before just to let me know he loves me but he refuses to buy-in on being told to demonstrate his love. We started a tradition a few years ago of seeing a scary movie on V-Day; the bloodier the better. I still remember the year we saw My Bloody Valentine in 3D. It was a total trip! This year we’re going on a double date with close friends The Williamsons to see 50 Shades. It’s not scary but it’ll still be fun! COCKTAIL OF CHOICE I switch back & forth between a good stiff Vodka Martini (shaken not stirred, Grey Goose or Belvedere) the dirtier the better, or a traditional Old Fashioned made with rye whiskey. I’m not a huge fan of fruity or sweet cocktails. When I’m not drinking cocktails I’m drinking champagne. Bubbles baby, bubbles.

Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned

BELOVED ACCESSORIES Everyone knows I’m into handbags (especially Louis Vuitton) and I’m currently obsessed with my Comme des Garcons black clutch and black Alexander Wang Rockie.

Alexander Wang Rockie
Alexander Wang Rockie

DATE-NIGHT STYLE I like to wear a sexy LBD; form-fitting and cleavage with a little edge usually a leather jacket or bronze hardware. LABEL LOVE Im a fan of high-end street with a designer detail; Witchery & Country Road with an Equipment (French label) shirt, mostly monochromatic with black, white & grey, and the odd Leona Edmiston for a feminine hit.  THE OBSESSION candles & fresh flowers are my true obsession. I buy a fresh bunch each week and there is always a good quality scented candle burning. Instagram heaven!

fresh blooms
fresh blooms

ON JEWELLERY I love the edgy geometric bohemian look; lots of bronze and layered. Think multiple thin knuckle rings, dangly earrings with hardlines and shapes and layer bangles. I also have a silver Tiffany’s charm bracelet which I’ve been adding to for year; it’s a timeless classic. BEAUTY PREP I’ve used SKII skincare for 10 years; it keeps my skin hydrated and feeling fresh and translucent. I use Napoleon Perdis primer, Revlon foundation, an assortment of eyecolour & mascara, Benefit bronzer and NARS lip colour in Roman Holiday. Every now and then I’ll rock a red lip for dramatic effect. SIGNATURE SCENT I adore fragrances; I have many which are in rotation depending my mood, but my signature fallback is always CK Escape (which I’ve worn since I was 15) and Coco Mademoiselle.

signature scents
signature scents

GETTING PHYSICAL I go through phases of intense exercise then barely nothing, but this year I’ve sworn to try a balanced approach of daily exercise focusing on fun; long walks with my dog, kettlebell sessions with my husband & trying new classes with friends. ENERGY BOOST I swear by green smoothies. They really are simple to whip up (thanks to my power Vitamix) and I go for the all green approach; kale, spinach, cucumber, apple, celery, mint & coconut water.

morning green smoothies with Jay & Gracie
morning green smoothies with Jay & Gracie

WEEKEND WANDERLUST I love day trips out of Sydney to secluded beaches or remote bushland. There’s nothing I love more than waking early, packing the car with a picnic, playlists and heading out with my husband and hound.

The Williams
The Williams
hiking adventures with the hound
hiking adventures with the hound
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tightening the reins

Remember my New Years Resolution? Well it’s now March and I’m finding general life & eating fairly easy with the paleo way, however, I have noticed a few too many paleo treats creeping in and portion sizes creeping up, so I’m reading and listening to podcasts to realign myself. I have also let my regular intense exercise regime slip; mostly due to my ankle injury flaring up a bit but also because I’ve just been a little slack.

Time to tighten the reins!!!

PB21_Infographic_FINAL

ready to run | week of health & fitness

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For today’s post I thought I’d borrow something from Australian Women’s Health magazine Running Guide from their July 2013 issue.

Before I started 12WBT I couldn’t run 500m let alone 5kms. Although I now scale back and forth with the length and frequency of my runs, for some people running is an exercise that comes naturally and for others it can be really daunting. My friend and work colleague Phil is an insanely good runner. He naturally balances his eating with his exercise and has a runners body to prove it. This is a man who regularly knocks out 10kms in his lunch break in 50 minutes! My ultimate goal is to go running with him one day!

*********all text below from WFH mag*********

Haven’t run since high-school athletics? No sweat. (OK, well a little.) This workout plan designed by coach Jenny Hadfield, co-author of Running for Mortals, will help you build from a walk to a run. By the end, you’ll be able to run 30 minutes without stopping – and you’ll be showing off a rock-hard body under your shorts. Whether your goal is to run 5km or 10km, or drop some extra kilos, in one month you’ll be well on your way.

Your Plan: Run 30 minutes in 4 weeks

For all weeks:

  • Warm Up: 3 minutes. Start easy, progress to a power walk
  • Cool Down: 3 minutes. Gradually dial your pace down to an easy walk.
  • Frequency: Perform running workouts 3-4 times a week, every other day.
  • Cross Training: Add a total-body strength-training workout, and either yoga or pilates on 2 of your days off.

Week 1 – Get Outfitted

The two most important items of gear a runner needs are a supportive, high-impact sports bra and running shoes. Both can be found at your local running specialty store. Make sure they fit well: a poorly fitted bra can reduce breathing capacity and make your run feel more difficult. The wrong shoes can give you shin splints, knee pain and a host of other issues. Get fitted by the experts for these items.

Week 1 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes
  • Repeat 7 times (28 minutes in total)
  • Cool down

Finish with Flexibility

Just 5 minutes of stretching and muscle-release exercises after your run is enough to maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints – and prevent tight muscles, which can lead to inefficient form and injuries. Use a foam roller to loosen up your shoulders, hamstrings, quads, calves and iliotibial bands (outer thigh). Also take a minute to stretch your chest and your hip flexors.

Week 2 – Monitor Your Breathing

Your running pace or speed ca vary every day because it’s based on a lot of variables: how you slept, food intake, stress, your (female) menstrual cycle, whether you went out last night…you get the idea. The easiest way to run at the perfect pace every day is to run by the sound of your breath. Take the talk test: if you can’t say the words to Happy Birthday out loud 4 times without gasping for air, slow it down. You should be able to hold a conversation while you run. Being out of breath and not being able to talk means that your running pace is too fast.

Week 2 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute
  • Repeat 7 times (28 minutes total)
  • Cool down

Think About Your Form

It’s normal to feel awkward during the first few weeks of running, even if you’ve run in the past and are starting up again. Begin every running segment on the right foot by thinking about good running form:

  • Head is balanced over your shoulders and focused forward, not down towards the pavement.
  • Shoulders are relaxed to allow your lungs to expand.
  • Arms are bent at the elbow about 90 degrees and swinging like a pendulum from your shoulders (elbows close to your body).
  • Hands are relaxed and not crossing over your belly button as your arms swing.
  • Hips are under your shoulders and stabilising your legs as they move under your body.
  • Feet are landing with short, light, quick strides under your hips.

Week 3 – Find The Fun

The best way to guarantee running success is to finish with a high-five moment. When you finish your workout feeling as if you can go just a little further, you feel a sense of pride, happiness and success – all of which lead to wanting to do it again and again. Running habits are created as a result of happy running moments, so try to keep it fun, rather than pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion.

Week 3 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute
  • Repeat 6 times (30 minutes total)
  • Cool down

Work On Your Stride

A common mistake that many runners make is covering too much ground with every step. That’s a bit like climbing stairs two or three at a time – it takes a lot more energy and the impact on your body is much greater. Aim for short, quick strides and a turnover rate (the number of steps you take in  1 minute) of 180. To figure out your turnover, count the number of times your left food hits the ground in 1 minute and multiply by 2. To increase your turnover, match your stride to music that’s about 180 beats per minute.  You can download mixes at this speed, and others, at rockmyrun.com.

Week 4 – Learn To Listen To Your Body

If you start to feel aches and pains that don’t go away after a few days, it’s time for active recover with lower-impact activities like cycling, swimming and the cross trainer. In most cases, minor aches will heal with a few days of TLC. Aches may also be a sign you’re pushing too hard. Ease up a bit, and you’ll continue to improve without injury.

Week 4 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 5 minutes, walk 30 seconds
  • Repeat 6 times (33 minutes in total)
  • Cool down

Ebb And Flow

Running is like life: there will be rockin’ fun workouts and also runs that humble you. You’ll make the most gains when you run based on how you feel on any given day. On days when you feel great, take advantage of the opportunity to push a little harder or run a little longer. That way, when rough days come along you can ease back on the throttle and still make progress.

Week 5 And Beyond

Building your running regimen by adding 3-5 minutes to your workout time and decreasing your walking time every 1-2 weeks until you reach your goal.

*************************************

bootylicious | week of health & fitness

I am loving this set of exercises aimed to tone the butt and core. Performed barefoot with 10 slow reps of each exercise; 3-4 times per week. Perfect to do in your house before anyone gets home (looks a little weird)!!!

wall-bridge-600x450

Wall Bridge

Lie on your back with your butt against the wall and arms at your sides. Bend your knees and plant your feet 3 to 4 feet up the wall. Raise your lower and middle back off floor, keeping your shoulder blades on the ground. Hold for a deep inhale, then exhale and slowly return to the starting position.

MAKE IT HARDER


Cross your right ankle over your left knee so that only your left foot is on wall.

MAKE IT EASIER


Don’t use the wall. Keep your feet flat on floor as you lift into a bridge.


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Windshield Wipers

Lie faceup on the floor with your legs against a wall, the bottoms of your feet facing the ceiling. Slowly lower your left leg down the wall like a clock arm toward 9 o’clock, then return to the starting position. Repeat with right leg, sweeping toward 3 o’clock. Continue to alternate legs until you’ve completed all of the reps.

MAKE IT HARDER


Wrap an elastic exercise band around your left foot. Hold both ends at your right hip for added resistance as you sweep your left foot down the wall. Do all reps, then switch legs and repeat.

MAKE IT EASIER

Move your butt 3 to 6 inches away from the wall while performing the move.


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Toe Reaches

Lie on the floor with your heels pressed against the wall, your legs straight. Reach your right hand toward your left foot, allowing your right shoulder to raise off the floor. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left hand and right foot. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.

MAKE IT HARDER


Perform the exercise with your feet stacked toe to heel.

MAKE IT EASIER


Reach toward your knees.


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Wall Scissor

Begin with your butt close to the wall, knees bent, and your feet planted on the wall. Raise your hips up, and place your elbows on the floor and your hands on your hips to support your lower body. Walk your feet up the wall so that your legs are straight. This is your starting position.

From here, lower your left leg toward your head, keeping both legs straight. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.

MAKE IT HARDER


As you lower your leg, pause and pulse 2 or 3 times, moving it up and down an inch or two, before returning it back to the wall.

MAKE IT EASIER

Start with your hips 3 to 6 inches away from the wall.

knee-press-600x450

Knee Press

Lie on your back with your butt against the wall, knees bent, and feet planted 3 to 4 feet up the wall. Raise your butt and back off the floor and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Without moving the rest of your body, pulse your knee toward the wall 20 times. Lower your body, and repeat on your left side.

MAKE IT HARDER


As you press your knee, lift and lower your hips a couple of inches with each rep.

MAKE IT EASIER


Do the move with your butt on the floor.


Pictures & Content from Prevention

a week of health & fitness!!!

weekoffitness

get ready for it!

a whole week of health & fitness posts

something to motivate and inspire you (and me)
and get us both moving!

it’s winter here in Sydney and I’m starting to use that snooze button a little longer than usual. lucky I have Harley who helps get me out of bed while it’s still dark but I’m always on the lookout for inspiration.

whether it’s scrolling Pinterest, reading fellow bloggers food & exercise posts or dog-earring fitness magazines, I thought I’d dedicate an entire week to motivating us all to eat a little better and exercise a little more!

watch out for the first post Monday 17th June

instaweek | my week in instagram

Happy Sunday peeps!

I had a really enjoyable week!
Eating right, exercising regularly, achieving at work, catching up with friends, spending quality time with Jay (the hubby) & Harley (the doggy).

coffee meeting with my cool colleague Mike at Peas Please in Alexandrai
coffee meeting with a colleague Mike at Peas Please in Alexandria
Monday sunset
arriving home in time to see this; Monday sunset
a good workout
a good workout
healthy lunches
healthy (paleo) lunches
healthy (paleo) dinners
healthy (paleo) dinners
Harley hanging his head in shame after eating all my buttons
Harley hanging his head in shame after eating all my buttons
Turkish for dinner club with the Jacksons
Turkish for dinner club with the Jacksons
what I wore
selfie – what I wore
drinks with the girls
drinks with the girls @ Baxter Inn
the girls; clockwise from the left; me, Mel, Mands & Amy
the girls; clockwise from the left; me, Mel, Mands & Amy
Friday flowers
blooms on my table – Friday flowers
fruit from the Grower's Markets; these apples were picked the day before!
fruit from the Grower’s Markets; these apples were picked the day before!
Sunday session in the park
Sunday session in the park

I hope you’re all having a great weekend!

signature2 - melly xox

WOW | Workout Of (the) Week

I’ve got this annoying achilles tendon issue that just won’t go away. I’ve been dealing with it on & off for about 4 months and it’s so frustratingly painful. 

That really has nothing to do with my WOW post but it’s just front & centre in my mind (and body) at the moment so I thought I’d share with you…since we’re friends and all!

After not having done a Kettlebell workout in quite some time (the kettlebells were hiding in our storage cage. Out of sight, out of mind!) I thought I’d break them out of hiding for a session in the park this morning.

20130312072246035After listening to a non-animal-loving-fascist berate me for not having Harley on a leash, we got down to it!

**Warm-up:

  • 600m jog

**Kettlebells:

  • Swing – 3 sets x 20 reps swing
  • Squat – 3 sets x 20 reps squat
  • Windmill – 2 sets x 20 reps windmill
  • Round the world – 4 sets x 15 reps roundworld [all demo photos by Beth Bischoff via WomensHealthMag.com]

**Finish off with Abs & stretching

It really gets the heart rate up and the sweat pouring; everything you want from a morning workout! 

And to cap it all off, 12WBT (assuming this is Michelle Bridges’ support crew) replied to my tweet!

twitter

♥♥♥♥♥

this week | in instagram

IMG_20130224_153624 making Skinny Cow icecream into a pretty treat! IMG_20130224_154113 (1) circa 2010 @ South Coast Bawley Beach; Harley’s first trip away IMG_20130225_210054Jay, my hot Monday night date;
late dinner after seeing an FBiRadio presents ‘The Imposter’ movie IMG_20130226_221222Amber!!! Had to take this picture of Amber Valletta for Coach at the QVB on George St to send to my friend Tam. Amber & Shalom were our supermodel heros in the 90s!  20130226220559155 Feb dinner club with E & Neen at Mexico Surry HillsIMG_20130226_213321 thanks for the pretty paper stars (that I won’t be shredding) Aunty Sheela!!! IMG_20130228_070833 sunrise over beautiful Sydney during my morning jog IMG_20130228_071608 running stairs with Harley IMG_20130302_083244 little monster – Harley IMG_20130301_070652my favourite boat ‘Poppy’. I want. I will also be using this boat to escape the zombie apocalypse (hope the owners don’t live close)! 
IMG_20130227_072741 early morning boxing IMG_20130301_130116 my husband’s cool ensemble IMG_20130301_082421 this week’s Friday Flowers! Australian Natives. IMG_20130301_090040 hello friend. made by Tino @ Mano Espresso IMG_20130302_154251 a well deserved Dirty Grey Goose Martini on Friday night at Darling HarbourIMG_20130302_072608 get ready for colour & debauchery Sydney!!! Mardi Gras!!! IMG_20130302_104549 Saturday Pyrmont Grower’s Market in the rain IMG_20130302_162137 my skincare routine for the last 6 years…it’s the only skin I’ve got so I’m going to take damn good care of it! IMG_20130302_162815 my makeup ritual IMG_20130302_130653 50 shades of grey Sydney style… weekend of wet weather IMG_20130302_152750I finally hung my recently purchased artwork in our bedroom.
The three paintings are by a Swiss artist named Cristina B.
[contact via @CristinaBStudio on twitter]IMG_20130302_203534 Saturday night simple pasta for my date home alone with the couch
& Xbox Live movies!!! I will not admit to eating half a packet of skittles!!! IMG_20130303_160735 “I was going to be good Mummy but there were too many other options”!!! Harley the cavoodle
IMG_20130303_154731Sunday brunch at FFF Glebe.
Mango smoothie & pumpkin, walnut, chicken salad.

How was your week???

signature2 - melly xox

stuff that happened this week | via instagram

another week down.
can you believe we’re nearly in March?

IMG_20130217_134936 (1)Sunday brunch  IMG_20130219_055508 early morning workoutsIMG_20130218_21142412WBT recipe Basil Pesto Spaghetti made with basil from my balcony garden!IMG_20130219_160300getting my shellac onIMG_20130219_205714Tuesday workout & dinner  IMG_20130220_072435Wednesday workout buddiesIMG_20130220_110303coffee meetingIMG_20130220_184557one of my tattoos – Liebe means love in German. My Mum is German.IMG_20130221_065059view from my Thursday workoutIMG_20130221_065633Williams family pawsIMG_20130222_000043Thursday night celebration with colleagues; 12 years at Dimension DataIMG_20130222_000154colleagues & friendsIMG_20130222_000311the food at est. is amazing! what you get from a 3-hat restaurant!IMG_20130222_184507hanging with the coolest chick Elly; my hairdresserIMG_20130222_190145Friday flowers on my table; dahlias & hydrangeasIMG_20130223_085033Harley has two settings: on & off!IMG_20130223_105333Saturday 12WBT SSS sessionIMG_20130223_105812post epic workout; smashed & cant move
IMG_20130224_145504meal planning; 12WBT penang chicken only 300 cals per serve!IMG_20130224_151701my new artwork from Cristina B Studios is ready to hang!IMG_20130224_154113Williams family circa 2011

hope you’ve all had a wonderful week

signature - melly xox

weekly fitness roundup | week 1 | 12wbt

You know that feeling of accomplishment you get from sticking to a punishing schedule? Yes?!!! Well that’s what I felt like this past week being back on Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation program.

My calorie intake is capped at 1200 per day
&
I am doing 6 days training per week.

Here’s my round up….

Monday:

Monday
Monday workout

6am outdoor training session; interval walk/run, running stairs, steps-ups & abs.

brekkie - banana bruschetta
brekkie – banana bruschetta
dinner - fish with chickpea, tomato & spinach salad
dinner – fish with chickpea, tomato & spinach salad

My BFF Gracie stayed the night & loved this dinner too! We’ve committed to doing the 5km Color Run in May in Newcastle! Isn’t she supportive?! Can’t wait!

dessert - fruit jelly
dessert – fruit jelly

Tuesday

Tuesday
Tuesday workout

6.15am Body Pump class at the gym.

brekkie - apple muesli
brekkie – apple muesli
steak with green beans & mushroom sauce
dinner – steak with green beans & mushroom sauce

This is one of my fave meals! The sauce looks creamy but it’s made of Philadelphia extra light cream cheese for cooking, dijon mustard & mushrooms – and only 283 calories – yum!!!

dessert - fruit salad
dessert – fruit salad

Wednesday

Wednesday
Wednesday workout

6am outdoor interval walk/run & abs

brekkie, coffee, dinner & dessert
brekkie, coffee, dinner & dessert

brekkie – avocado & eggs on toast
dinner – potato, spinach & feta frittata
dessert – fruit jelly

Thursday

Thursday workout
Thursday workout

6.15am Pump class

macchiato & brekkie
macchiato & brekkie – avocado, beans & rocket on toast
dinner & Valentine's Day dessert
dinner – beef with avocado & corn salsa & mini-cheesecake bite for Valentine’s Day dessert

Friday

Exercise Rest Day!!!

brekkie, lunch & dinner
brekkie, lunch & dinner

brekkie – banana bruschetta
lunch – mushroom frittata & salad
dinner – pita pocket pizza

Saturday

Saturday workout
Saturday workout

The aim was to burn 1000 calories but this tough workout got interrupted by a thunderous storm that forced us shivering & completely drenched, in white t-shirts, running the 1.5kms back to the car!

brekkie
brekkie – eggs, ham, tomato, cottage cheese & spinach
lunch
lunch – pumpkin, avocado, chickpea salad
dinner - Japanese
dinner – Japanese

Sunday

Sunday workout
Sunday workout

Body Balance class. Jay even came with me & loved it!!!

brunch
brunch – coffee & pumpkin, walnut & chicken salad
dinner
dinner – homemade beef burger & wedges

Keep training hard!!!