Hello September! Welcome back dating!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Spring is here! Last week was still so cold, but just like that, change came along! Warmer weather brings so much change in the environment around you and also ignites change in yourself. Have you noticed that you are just a little bit happier because it is Spring?

With the warmer weather, I am also thinking of the wonderful things to do in the city; mostly looking at some perfect little date nights! I think it is really important in any relationship, whether you are together for ten years, or married for one, that you never stop dating each other. Always try and find something new to do with your person - and if you love it, do it more than once! And always try to find out something new about your person. They are human, changes are bound to be made in their life. Did your guy start with a new gym routine? Ask him about that!




Joburg has about seven lakes and dams in and around the city. Bet you did not know that. Starting in the east, there's the Benoni Lake and Gillooly's farm, both beautiful places to take your dogs on walks and have some lunch. 

Moving into the city, you can go for a row on Zoo Lake! For reals! Check out my friend Tash's post on rowing at Zoo Lake here. Or you can have a beautiful day out at the delightful botanical gardens in the leafy suburb of Emmarentia. Be sure to grab your camera as you tour the terraced Rose Garden, with its many fountains and pools, as an especially romantic spot. You can even arrange for a boat ride on the neighbouring Emmarentia Dam or just watch all the sailboats and canoes passing by.

If you're up for a little more adventure, you could even have a romantic weekend at the Vaal dam, only about an hour's drive out of the city.

For the more adventurous type, there are park runs and mountain biking. I am still trying to convince Flip to go on a park run with me, and although he has agreed, I can't get him out of bed on a Saturday. Little steps. But, I have seen many couple just gently strolling along, holding hands, listening to the birds and just chatting the whole 5 km away.

 If you haven't seen your spouse or significant other for a while, be it because of distance or work, a park run is the perfect way to catch up, without the interruption of a tv or waiters at a restaurant. But, if you are super competitive and want to kick your better-half's butt, then try some mountain biking. Be ready to eat some dirt though, you are more often than not likely to fall.
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Parkrun pic
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The Maboneng precinct must be the perfect place to have an entire date night! Start of with pre-drinks at The Living Room  - they have an amazing Amarula chai tea and some select craft beers. They also have great art pieces made of plants, that you can buy, as well as decor pieces to make your house look amazing.

Follow your pre-drinks by walking around the corner to The Chalkboard, where you can have some fantastic pizza - I promise you, the best - and some whiskeys while declaring your eternal love with love notes drawn onto the chalkboard wall. You can immediately follow this up with an indie movie at The Bioscope. Conclude your evening by booking into the 12 Decades Art Hotel - every room has been decorated differently!

If you plan your date night for a Saturday, you can sleep in and have brunch at the Arts on Main market, which is open on Sundays. Hey, husband of mine, I hope you're reading this! I want a date night like this.

We've only done the mini version of this date night, going to The Living Room and The Chalkboard.
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Maboneng Pic
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I personally love a picnic, and it was one of the first dates Flip took me on. To Emmarentia Dam, no less. But you don't need to have an outdoor picnic. Indoor picnics are pretty romantic too! All you need is a picnic basket, a blanket, a few candles, wine and some good food of course!

With four putt-putt locations around the city, take your girl or guy out for a fun and relaxed date. There are three courses of 9 holes each, a R70 ticket will enable you to play once on each course. The courses are well landscaped, with plenty of birds in the trees, lush vegetation, caves, waterfalls, and ponds full of attractive Koi fish. Some of the holes are very challenging.


 There are so many concerts coming to the city in spring and summer that I almost didn't know how my budget is going to handle it. Have a fun day in the sun, or make out like teenagers at an evening concert - the fun is endless! Make sure to get your tickets for any of the concerts early enough, before they sell out! 
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Concert pic

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Post sponsored by Gumtree






Kayla Itsines Update {four weeks in}

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This is my goal {from Pinterest}

When I was a little girl, I would take a mirror from the wall and hold it against my waist, taking away the view of my feet and replacing it with the view of the ceiling. I would pretend that I am on some adventure and that I could walk upside down. It was outlandish, but it was a change of perspective and it kept me occupied for hours. 

Sometimes, all you need is a change of perspective to see the good instead of the bad, the healthy versus not-so-healthy. I was gaining a little bit of weight back since my wedding and even though I knew it and could feel it in my clothes, I didn't really care about the packet of Nik Naks I just ate, because "I will eat healthier tomorrow" and "I will go back to gym tomorrow".

 I didn't realise that I was tired all the time, that I had no energy; but just changing my perspective towards healthy eating and following the Kayla Itsines bikini body guide, I have learnt so much! 

I learnt to eat more. And more often. So much more than I was used too. There were days where I felt a little bloated even and my cms didnt correlate with the "effort" I was putting in. But I started feeling different, by just eating different. By just nourishing your body, you can make it do so much more for you.

After week 1, I also went out with friends and had one small bottle of champagne courtesy of The Doors on Women's Day - and two shooters. The following day I was lethargic and couldnt even get off the couch. 
That could also be because Flip and I were dancing and jumping like crazies on the dancefloor til two in the morning. Side note: if you know Flip at all, you would know that he never ever dances, so I didn't want the night to end and laughed so much just dancing with him that I didn't care about the time. I swore off alcohol though, I hated how it made me feel. I learnt that you don't need alcohol at all. It is all just empty calories. 

I also learnt that I can push my body beyond giving up. On the first day, I did only one set in the morning and a set in the evening. Besides having time constraints - and running 4 km prior to my first workout - I just didnt have it in me to complete 4 circuits in the morning. Now, even though it is tougher, I push through. I have an untapped source of stamina.

I am loving the guide, pushing myself harder and harder. I am loving the energy - to jump rope for two minutes! I'm eating healthier, more often and I am satisfied. Getting this guide was one of the best decisions I made this year! 

But to be honest, there were days where I just didn't have the energy to do anything. Week 2 to 4 brought on some personal issues that I had to work through and I was drained, but I didn't give up. By Friday, week 3, I couldnt get up to do my workout in the morning, so I postponed it to the evening. I also didn't try to complete my sets in time, I just took it slow and steady as I didn't want to feel nauseous like I did earlier that week. Week 4 was slightly better, but the same happened on Friday, Week 4, I was just pooped. 


I'm taking a break this week from the guide, as I cannot risk getting dehydrated, as it will just worsen some medical issues I'm struggling with at the moment, so I will repeat week 4 when I should be doing week 6 and so forth.

Progress? I have almost entirely lost my lovehandles and my thighs are slimmer. I also saw much more definition in my calves and my natural waist is slimmer. But then good old hormones came along and ruined everything.

As I said before, I will not be posting progress pics on my blog - except maybe for the last one - so if you would like to see some progress pics, check out my instagram account: @waitingformeg



Running apps for women

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tracking your running in terms of time and speed is nothing new. In the pre-smart phone years, people used stopwatches and wristwatches to see how fast they were going, how long it took them to run a certain distance and how they could improve on their time. But you couldn't really measure your heart rate while running - unless you did it the old-fashioned way of two fingers on the wrist. And you couldn't track the amount of calories you burned during your workout, and you couldn't share your times and achievements in an instant like you do today. You had to phone everybody to tell them.

I started running a little more seriously last year and although I haven't participated in any races, except for Park Runs, I still like to track my performance ad that is why having a personal trainer in my pocket is so amazing. I have always used the Nike + app, but since upgrading my operating system, I'm having endless problems with it, so I tried a few other apps to see how they compare.

https://secure-nikeplus.nike.com/plus/products/gps_app/


What I like: the coach, the powersongs, the encouraging voice. This is the benchmark for me when it comes to running apps, as it was the first one I used and I love it. I am used to all the buttons and things, so this is my favourite. 

What I don't like: the encouraging voice, the inaccurate tracking.

The Nike app allows you to 'upload' your shoes and see how much mileage they have performed. It also has a coach option, which coaches you to run certain distances, depending on your preference. The app is also available on a number of operating systems, including Android and Windows. This is the only app of the four that tracks you while you are on a treadmill, just choose the indoor option.

http://runkeeper.com/

It is a lot like the Nike app, but you can pair it with a heart rate monitor, if you have one. It also has an Elite option where you can access all training plans for free and some rewards programme that  I am not yet familiar with, because I haven't run far enough with it yet. You can add your reason for running and what motivates you to run.

What I like: It's like the Nike app, but has a more interactive interface.

What I don't like: The voice wants to make me kill myself, could have more enthusiasm.


http://www.strava.com/running-app


What I like: that it is like the Nike Running app in terms of measuring running distance, calories and time.

What I don't like: the interface, the user-friendliness is not that great, the colours, lacks in tech department.

I think this app is better suited for cyclists than runners. It is also subscription based, which I understand, as companies need to make money, but I feel that it excludes a large audience. It also features a Segment Explorer, showing you what sort of running or cycling activities is in your region, as well as give you the option to plan your route. You need access to a desktop for this though.

http://www.lornajane.com.au/ljapp


What I like: it's pink and pretty!

What I don't like: I dont know how tracking is done, especially on the bike. My music stops when I open the app and doesnt fade when a voice over is playing. It also doesn't have the indoor tracking option Nike app has, so when you run on a treadmill, your map shows that you have run up and down.

If you are a fan of the clothing range and love all things girly and pink, then this app is for you. It's like getting a cupcake every time you exercise, without the bad side effects ;)




Love Locks Come to Pretoria {giveaway}

Monday, August 18, 2014

It has always been on my bucket list. To lock our love and names on the famous - now infamous - Pontes de Arts and then chuck our keys into the Seine. I don't know how and when it started, but there is something awfully romantic about love locks, a reminder of the unbreakable bond that marriage should be! 

Not every one is a fan, as recent campaigns have urged tourists to rahter take romantic selfies than put padlocks on their historic bridges. With hashtags like #notolovelocks, #lovewithoutlocks and #setyourlovefree, the City of Paris is trying to prevent another bridge collapsing under the immense weight of all these love declarations. 

That's what makes the Love Lock 'bridge' coming to Magnolia Dal, Pretoria, in September so clever. It isn't just a bridge but a custom designed architectural piece by Johan and Grete Wentzel from Wdesign that won't damage the integrity of the bridge. 

 Through this project, the organisers of Marriage Week SA (from 1-7 September), INTIEM Tydskrif, in collaboration with Cool Capital, hope to encourage a renewed focus on the institution of marriage. To register for Marriage Week, click here.


Our vision with this project is to see how thousands of married South African couples declare their eternal promises to each other by means of permanently attaching these love locks to this newly constructed bridge,” Says Liezel van der Merwe, Managing Editor at INTIEM magazine and head organiser of International Marriage Week.

The Love Bridge will be inaugurated during a special event with famous couples, and the public can buy their tickets at iTicketsEach couple present, will receive a lock to engrave their names onto and will have the opportunity to be one of the first couples to close their locks onto the bridge.

The organisers of Marriage Week are excited to get Cool Capital involved with this project. The goal of Cool Capital Biennale 2014 is to introduce the public to art, architecture, urban and graphic design, and in this manner, bring visual, perceptual and actual change to Pretoria.

Marriage Week SA is an initiative in collaboration with INTIEM magazine and 1Life, that strives to make people aware of just how important stable marriages are for the wellbeing of our nation. Through this the organisers hope to inspire couples around South-Africa to once again focus on the wellbeing of their marriage.

YOU CAN WIN!

To stand a chance of winning one of two tickets to the unveiling of the Love Lock Bridge in Magnolia Dal, on 6 September, you can just share this tweet: "RT I want to win an engraved lovelock with @intiemtydskrif and The Sun House. cc @waitingformeg #tshlovelocks http://waitingformeg.blogspot.com/2014/08/love-locks-come-to-pretoria-giveaway.html
This competition is only open to people in Gauteng.
 Top Three Love Lock Bridges in the World

1. Pont des Arts - Paris 
The most famous of the lot, the bridge has caused some controversy when it collapsed in June. {image from here}

 2. Hohenzollern Bridge, Cologne, Germany
Not too far from the Paris love bridge, is this old bridge over the Cologne river. {image from here}

3. N Seoul Tower, Seoul, South Korea 

Perhaps learning from the mistakes of Paris, this place of love declaration 
has seven trees to put your locks on. {image from here}


 


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