365 Project 21- 29: Insanity

Ted Baker Mayter

studded shoes

Poppy

Yeah, I know, I know: it’s ANOTHER one of those stupid “photo-a-day” roundups. Right after the last one. With nothing in between them to at least allow me to PRETEND I sometimes write about other things here. SIGH.

Look, it’s not my fault. I HAD intended to have a couple of outfit posts for you this week, but… the weather. I don’t need to tell you about it, do I? Suffice to say the snow stuck around until a couple of days ago, and while it was here, I was dressed like this every day. Well, when I was outside, anyway. I didn’t dress like that at home, although don’t think I didn’t consider it. Did I mention it’s been COLD? Anyway, the snow was here, and then it melted. But when it melted, the rain came. And the rain remained. It’s still raining right now, in fact, which means I’m STILL not leaving the house, and I’m STILL not wearing anything worth photographing, because… the weather. Yes.

Anyway, I may not have managed any outfit photos, but I have been continuing with my 365 project, and I’ve gotten a little bit behind with the roundups, so I figured I may as well play catch-up. Seeing as I’ve nothing better to do, obviously.

365 project

resistance bandsLast week’s set of photos mostly revolved around my attempts at the Insanity Asylum workouts. Other than the photo of the pink sky, obviously. It’s… a photo of a pink sky. Look, I LIKE THE SKY, OK? As some of you may recall, I completed the original Insanity 90 day programme last summer, and really enjoyed it. I mean, I say “really enjoyed it”: I’m fairly convinced Shaun T and I were mortal enemies in some previous life, and that’s why he’s trying to kill me in this one, but still. This is the kind of exercise I like best: mostly high-energy cardio, which gets you totally out of breath and doesn’t give you much opportunity to get bored. Like yoga, say. God, I hate yoga.

So I completed Insanity (Yay, go me!), and for a while I was all, “I will work out every day now, for I have learned new habits which will serve me well throughout the rest of my long, healthy life.” Then December happened. And I ate ALL the things at Christmas. I also didn’t work out at all, and although I did make an attempt to get back into running at the start of this month, that attempt was to prove unsuccessful, because… the weather.

Enter Insanity: The Asylum. Which  has well and truly kicked my ass over the past few days. From the top:

21. Welcome to the Asylum. Apparently I will “look and feel like an athlete in 30 days”. But which one, I wonder? My breath is bated. I bet it’s Tiger Woods. I just have a feeling about it.

22. PINK SKY.

24. Free weights. (Actually, they weren’t free at all: Terry paid for them. Boom boom!)

23. Resistance bands. My favourite is the green one, natch.

(Yes, I mixed up the order of these slightly. Such a rebel I am!)

IMG_3672

25. On Friday, these shoes arrived, courtesy of Sarenza, whose brand ambassador programme I’m lucky enough to be a part of. I love them.

26. On Saturday we went out with a bunch of friends to a birthday party in a local bar. My “out on the town” outfits are rarely documented on this blog because I always leave it to the last minute to get ready, and then it’s too dark/late/Terry is too annoyed with me to take photos of them. I don’t think “tragedy” is too strong a word to describe this sorry situation. (Yes I do.) Instead, you’ll have to make do with this blurry iPhone photo, the capturing of which made me realise there IS actually an art to that whole “I am taking a photo of myself in the mirror” thing, and I am sadly lacking in that art. For instance, I was wearing a really nice jewelled collar but can you see it? No, you cannot! Because I’m holding my phone in front of it! That’s why my face is frozen in an attitude of barely contained anger. It’s either that, or the fact that there was an ice-cream van parked outside my window blaring out the A-Team theme song for twenty minutes. Or maybe that’s just my face.

(It’s totally just my face. I have one of THOSE faces. My “resting expression” is best defined as “pure, undiluted anger”, even when I’m perfectly happy and am thinking about, I don’t know, kittens or something. That’s why people are always walking up to me and saying, “Smile, it might never happen!” And why I’m always smacking them in the face in reply.)

road

27. The road to my parents’ house, where we headed on Sunday afternoon. It’s long. With many a winding turn. OK, it isn’t: it’s kinda short and straight. No one ever writes songs about those kind of roads, do they? Just blog posts. And not even full ones, just, like, a few paltry sentences as part of some stupid photo roundup. Sad for those roads.

poppy

28. This is Poppy. She is a parrot. And I’ll just ‘fess up right now: this photo of her was actually taken by Terry, using the “real” camera, which explains why it’s so much better than the rest of ‘em. (Actually, the top photo was taken by me with the real camera, too, but I included the blurry iPhone version in the roundup itself. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, because it’s not like I’m in a court of law and in danger of being charged with non-adherence to some strict Project 365 Code of Honour or something, but I feel the need for full transparency, apparently.) I DID also take a photo of Poppy with my phone, so this totally counts as part of my project (yes it does, shut up), but mine came out really dark and blurry, so I’m using Terry’s instead. Anyway, Poppy belongs to my in-laws, and unlike her predecessor Pepe (yes, it’s confusing), may God rest his soul, she is notable for being a nice, friendly bird, who has yet to take a chunk out of anyone’s finger. Unlike, you know, Pepe. She is also notable for the fact that we don’t actually know for sure what sex she is, so people walk around saying things like, “Look at Poppy, what a pretty girl he is!” and “She’s such a good boy, isn’t she?” Well, gender is such a touchy subject, isn’t it? We wouldn’t want her to feel like she was being pressured into being one or the other if she doesn’t want to. You just do you, Poppy. Atta girl. Boy. Whatevs.

29. I bought shoes. They are from River Island. I hope one day to be able to wear them, but, well… the weather. GOD.

And we’re all up to date. FINALLY.

24 Comments

  • Toni says:

    I meant to say this on your last round-up post but then my phone went all kaflooey and I never got around to it, but: I LOVE the round-up posts! I can’t use my computer much at all, and if a photo isn’t available within the Twitter app on my phone I usually won’t bother to go to a website to view it because my phone goes all kaflooey (I need a new phone). So with these posts, I get to see all your pictures in one go when I’m actually on the computer.

    (There’s a part of me that thinks the above is kind of condescending – ‘you will do your round-up posts because I LIKE THEM and it doesn’t matter if anyone else does me me me’ – but uhm, I don’t mean it that way…)

    Love the photo of Poppy. I want a parrot. And the latest Sarenza shoes are ah-may-zing.

    • Amber says:

      Ah, I’m so glad to hear that – I know it’s silly, because my blog is just not that important to people, but I really didn’t want to do two of them back-to-back for fear people would die of boredom, so I’m glad you like them! (And you are not remotely condescending, either ;) ) I actually haven’t been posting them on Instagram lately because the photos are pretty crappy in themselves – I’m mostly using them as writing prompts at the moment, but I think I might start using the DSLR rather than my phone for them, to see if I can improve the photography a bit!

      Poppy is a sweetheart…I would never have considered myself a “bird” person (mostly because Bird People sound terrifying), but she will sit on your lap and cuddle for ages if you let her. (She will also poop on your lap if you let her, so it’s not a great idea, but she’s still lovely.)

  • Kim K says:

    I’ve been reading your posts for years and have noted a lot of apologies lately…just wanted to say that you’ve never put up a post that didn’t either give me a smile to get my day going, or give me some pretty piece of clothing to admire, and usually they manage to do both quite nicely. I enjoy the posts for what they are…they’re wonderfully eclectic, feminine and human, and I appreciate the work and vulnerability that goes into creating each one. Carry on! (Oh, and on the “neutral face” looking angry? I read recently that is actually true of most people–me included, and in order to look “pleasantly neutral”, most people need to feel like their facial muscles are giving a slight smile. Thought I’d pass that tidbit on!)

    • Amber says:

      Bless you for saying that :) I’m now having to resist the urge to apologise for all the apologies – I’m the kind of person who, if someone ran me over on the street, I’d automatically apologise!

      I definitely think there’s some truth in the “neutral face”. I went through a stage where the comments annoyed me so much I made a concerted effort to walk around smiling all the time. All that happened is that I ended up with aching face muscles, and everyone who saw me assumed I was mad…

  • Maddy says:

    I love that first pair of shoes so much, they are absolutely gorgeous! xxx
    http://unstitchedd.blogspot.co.uk

  • Tanya says:

    I once had a parrot bite a chunk out of my finger. It hurt like hell and there was lots of blood. And I still have a small scar. So I’m glad Poppy is nice.
    As far as taking your own photos in the mirror, the phone blocking the view is a real and serious problem. Blocking your face with the phone is always an option…
    I’ve missed you on Instagram! All the photos can’t be that crappy and I’m always happy to see more shoes and animals.

    • Tanya says:

      I didn’t mean “blocking YOUR face with the phone”! I’ve been taking my own pictures in the mirror for the duration of my blog so I know what you mean. God, it must be late, I don’t know what I’m saying anymore…

    • Amber says:

      Haha, yes, every angle I tried, I ended up with a phone for a face, which is why I went with the necklace-blocking instead. I think PhoneFace might’ve been a better option, though :)

      The Istagram absence wasn’t deliberate – there just really hasn’t been a whole lot to take photos of, unfortunately: it’s been a pretty dismal month all round :(

  • You’ve completed Insanity?!! {Sigh} I was willing to accept that you are gorgeous, witty, and infinitely superior in all things style related, but now that I know you have the willingness and capacity to subject yourself to not just one workout, but three months of sheer torture…well I’m just not sure we can be friends anymore. {I know, I know, you had no idea…} I have Shaun’s Hip Hop Abs, and though I do put it in the DVD player, it’s just so I can look at his washboard abs. I haven’t actually done the workout. Ever.

    In all seriousness, the 365 project is a very cool way to introduce those candid moments. I enjoy these posts very much

    Sue xo

    • Amber says:

      Ah, you give me far too much credit! I did complete Insanity, but mostly because I have an overly-developed guilty complex, so once I’ve decided to something, I feel horribly guilty if I don’t do it! I’ve heard a lot about Hip Hop Abs – might do that one next, assuming I survive Asylum!

  • Yes. The weather. I swear our building is going to fall over tonight if that wind doesn’t let up.

    And I like the round up posts. In part because they make me feel less self conscious about my own.

  • Tracey says:

    I have always loved your round ups because you write them and your writing makes me laugh.

    //End of stalker person transmission//

  • Dee says:

    I’m just glad that you’re a blogger who actually writes! On top of that, I enjoy the aesthetics.
    On exercise, I tend to get impatient with yoga. However, I detest sweating. Have you ever tried “Ballet Beautiful”? That workout really transformed my legs and there were no annoying bits of chatter the instructor usually feels compelled to make. It’s quick and it works and you feeeel it. If you like feeling graceful when you workout, I’d recommend it.

    TheFashionNotes.com
    twitter: @TheFashionotes

  • Janine says:

    Like everyone else I love your round up posts and it is because of the words you put with them, you always make me laugh (and trust me it was needed this morning, so thank you!)

    That workout sounds a bit hardcore, good luck with it but I am sure you will complete if you have managed it before. I really need to get off my bottom and do some exercise and soon. I am developing middle aged spread and I am only 31! Gosh gosh, who knew growing up was so glamorous!!

    I love the shoes, I keep hovering over the ‘buy’ button for them but I have extremely wide feet (not part of the middle aged spread, I have always had them) and read someone say they were very narrow when you put the photo up, plus any shoes in that style tend to pinch my Frodo Baggins (AKA big flat wide feet) Wow I am making myself sound so glamorous today aren’t I? Haha.

    The asexual parrot sounds like fun, parrots can be quite nasty and scary. We met one in Greece that only liked women and we tested this theory out by getting Mr Bertie to try stroke him first and he seriously regretted that, I never knew you could use parrots as guard birds! He ran away like a little girl. The parrot liked me though and let me go in for the two finger stroke!

    Hope you are having a good week and the weather picks up soon, even I am getting bored of this weather now and I usually love autumn/winter weather. Yeah I am weird (but I do have a reason, I have MS and the heat makes me really poorly so I quite like the cold. What I do not like is being blown away and drowned every time I leave the house haha) come on Mr Weatherman, bring us some good news! Amber needs to wear her shoes and I need to be able to walk to the bus stop without fear of blowing away!!

    Janine xx
    BakeGlueandTrend
    Giveaway Post >>> bakeglueandtrend.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/love-dress-giveaway.html

    • Amber says:

      Well, if it’s any consolation, I don’t see even the vaguest HINT of “spread” on you, middle-aged or otherwise, so I don’t think you need to worry too much about that :) As for the shoes, they do seem fairly narrow compared to others I own, so if you’re worried it might be worth seeing if you can try them on somewhere first, or maybe go up a size? I know someone said they found them very tight – I didn’t, but that might just be me, so a size up might do the trick!

      Parrots can definitely be really nasty… My in-laws last one was the opposite from your Greek one in that he only liked men: he LOVED my father-in-law, and if he wasn’t around, he would tolerate Terry, but he hated everyone else: I think everyone in the family had an injury from that bird at some point! It was kinf of frustrating, because Terry’s mum and I would feed him, clean out his cage, sit and speak to him etc, but he still hated us!I think they’re just like that – they tend to get attached to one person, and everyone else is The Enemy!

      • Janine says:

        What an ungrateful parrot, after you did all that for him too, typical man haha (sorry to any man reading, we know you are all lovely really)

        That has made me feel better that you cannot see the middle aged spread, it means I am thus far hiding/controlling it well so if I hit the gym it will stop it before it becomes noticeable haha.

        Bit of a random one but I am not sure whether you are into Phase Eight clothing? I thought they were a bit, well erm granny to be honest, but I checked them out from a friend’s blog post recently and they have some quite nice pieces and are having a sale with an extra 10% off the sale prices and free delivery (that was a nice surprise when I popped the two tops into my basket this morning for a pay day treat, this is all before the February ban so it is allowed haha) anyway if you do then have a look on their sale section. The only reason I am mentioning it is they have a whole section called ‘long sleeved dresses’ and it reminded me of you (stalker much? ha) and this dress that my friend bought (which started my mini obsession) is lovely, I wish I was tall enough for it, she is 5’10” and only just carries it off, I suppose I could take the hem up;

        http://www.phase-eight.co.uk/fcp/product/phase-eight/Dresses-with-sleeves/Helen-Hearts-Print-Dress/201980920

        Also I am not linked to Phase Eight or anything don’t worry I am not giving you a sales pitch haha, just sending the sales info from one shopaholic to another. I have 3 hours 20 minutes until ‘The Ban’ kicks in, I may have to have one last look….

        :)

        • Amber says:

          Ooh, that’s lovely! I had exactly the same idea about Phase Eight as you, so I’ve never really paid them much attention, but I’ll obviously have to start – there’s some really nice stuff on there! Alas, I just got a Zara delivery today (and, OK, another clothing delivery – the courier is on first name terms with us now…), which means no more shopping for me for now – torture!

  • Suya says:

    I’m just here to randomly flatter you by saying you look SO young at photo n. 26! Ok, that’s it :)

  • Courtney says:

    “Look at Poppy, what a pretty girl he is!” and “She’s such a good boy, isn’t she?”

    LOL!!! Thank you for starting my day with a laugh! :-)

  • Erika says:

    I always look forward to your posts and these have been great! I usually do a photo round up, but at the end of the month with only a few photos; a day by day would be fun to try. :-) I also think taking iphone photos of oneself in the mirror is an art, and some of us just don’t have it down – myself included. I have yet to get a good look-at-me-in-the-mirror photo, lol!

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