2014 Exercise Goals

Today is officially one month since the start of my gym membership!  After one month of waking up early and heading to the gym before coming in to work,  I thought that it’s appropriate to share my status and goals for this year.

Strengths: Waking up early to work out, walking, overnight mountain hikes, Via Ferrata
Intermediate: Climbing, Running, Elliptical
Weakness: Zumba, Lifting, Cycling, Yoga, Stair climbing, Inclines in general, Flexibility

Favorite workout programs: Spinning, because it pushes me so hard
Favorite Gear: My Adidas sports bra, all my dry fit shirts, heart rate monitor from Adidas
Favorite App: miCoach by Adidas

Pace: 11:15-12:30 min/mile depending on how long I run

Goals Working Toward:

  • Maintain a minimum of 210 Minutes of exercise a week (30 min a day) by working out mainly M-F mornings before work
  • Build endurance so I am not even fazed by stairs, let alone long hikes or runs
  • Strengthen back muscles for improved posture and lessen back pain,
  • Strengthen abdomen (lazy gut) for better digestion and boost my bikini self esteem
  • Strengthen lungs for improved general health and strengthening immune system
  • Strengthen legs specifically so I can manage stairs, inclines and hikes better
  • Lower my running pace eventually to under 10min a mile
  • Work on flexibility later on by introducing yoga and/or diet change
  • Finish a second climbing course and go more often in the summer to the mountains

Current schedule:
M: Spinning class – 55-60min
T: Weight Routine – 30 min, Elliptical 15 min
W: Running 6-7k – 45 min
R: Weight Routine – 30 min, Elliptical 15 min
F: Running 6-7k – 45min

It was just a fun survey to fill out, but I’d be interested in hearing your goals and progress too! I’m still really a total n00b at exercising and all of my strengths are loosely defined. They are just my “personal” strengths, but I aim to shift those in the next year!

Do you think it’s important to set goals for exercising? What are yours?

Guest Bath Storage

For the longest time our guest bathroom has felt like the most clinical, cold space in the entire flat. It has white walls, white tiles in the shower area and dark tiles on the floor.

I always felt like it just looks empty, so finally we picked up a VITTSJÖ shelf for 69.95CHF from IKEA to fill the space a bit and to have a place to store our towels outside the pantry.

This was right when we bought the shelf. Since we haven’t gotten our wardrobes built yet, I later stored all our extra sheets in here as well as all of the towels from the pantry. I cleared out enough room in the pantry that I can put my sewing machines in there instead of under my desk in the office.

This room still looks reaaaallly empty to me. Even worse on photos. Especially this corner below which is your view from the throne. I kind of don’t want to paint in this room, but I want to put some color in here because it’s screaming for it.

I would like to put a big, cushy square rug in front of the shower door over there to walk out onto and maybe a nice big picture on that wall. I actually am planning on putting up art or photos at some point.

I tried to convince Kay to go for the taller white FJÄLKINGE shelf offered at IKEA for 119CHF, but he thought it looked like crappy quality and he assured me that he will be responsible for cleaning the glass shelves of the shelf we bought. Hah.

But it’s probably a good thing we went with the cheaper, darker shelf. It contrasts more with the walls and stands out a bit better even though it’s also colorless.

How do you think I should add color in this room without committing to painting?

Making room for Karl

As I mentioned, Karl was actually delivered very quickly, back in December when I ordered him. Kay started putting him together while I was gone one evening so that he would be ready in time for our Christmas party.

Of course I wanted to put the long end of the couch opposite from how Kay built it and after he finished it, he agreed… so he switched and and here is our setup since December. Don’t mind the balcony furniture piled up for the winter outside!

Sure, we could have matched more the size of the leather couch in relation to Karl’s long side, but we set it up like this because Karl seems to encroach on the TV less this way.

It is not a perfect seating setup, but it does provide a lot of seating room and some space for snacks and drinks to share.

I love the cozy nook in the corner. It is my favourite place to curl up with our two old pillows and my mothers comfy afghan.

When I have more time and money, I play on getting a ton of pillows for Karl and making funky pillow covers in bright colors like green, purple, yellow or teal to tie into the color scheme. We’re also thinking about a rug for the sofa area at some point.

Our space lamp arches over into the area and we’ve settled it above the table since Kay stood up into the lamp and broke the new philips hue bulb. (So expensive!) We have not replaced the bulb yet, so none of the LEDs diffuse anymore and it makes for odd color bands cast around the area.

Above you can see at this angle how if we put the long end of the sofa on the wall next to the TV it would be coming just a tad too close. I also thought it made more sense to have the wider part of Karl facing the TV where you would be viewing a movie.

So that’s our lounge area these days. It definitely sort of separates the lounge area from the dining area. I’ll have to see how it works in practice entertaining. It’s a whole lot of sofa!

How much seating have you got in your living room?

Light Freakout

Do you remember way back when, when I finished painting our purple wall? Not a lot else was happening in our living room and it looked kind of really sad. I knew the little lonely light bulb had a lot to do with it, but the light we wanted was very expensive in Switzerland.

What a difference a few months made!

Before we got our sideboard, I mentioned which lights we were interested in buying. In mid-November I actually went on the Swiss Philips site to look up some information for a blog post when I realized that the Instyle 5-bulb hanging lamp was NOT THERE. Cue freakout!!

Kay and I spent months trying to agree on lights and this was one of the two lights I knew we wanted to buy. I did not want to start this search all over, so I began scouring the European philips sites to try and find an online provider in the UK or Germany who would sell us the lamp.

As you can see, I happened to luck out and find our lamp for a super price! It seemed like it was going on deep discount in preparation for discontinuing in Germany, so I got it for around 400CHF instead of 1000CHF. Score!

We ordered the 4-spot light for the kitchen as well since it was also a good price and I didn’t want it to slip away either and before our Christmas party, Kay installed both lights with a little help from his favorite assistant. It was my job to pick up screws off the floor that he dropped and to help him make sure the lights were centered.

We both enjoy this lamp a lot, but I find it really funny that it doesn’t make the whole room super bright, as this is usually one of Kay’s arguments for spots vs other lights. But he likes how the light kind of clusters over the table and makes the table very bright, but everything else around is dark.

It makes for a great mood for a dinner party, but it is still fairly “dark” overall in the living room, so we picked up the two little lights you can see on the sideboard and put some Philips Hue bulbs in there so we can play with colors against the white wall there.

The cables of the Instyle light are still a bit wrinkly from shipping and the glasses covering the bulbs are not scratch free, but I can’t complain I guess. I’m fine with it and I think the wires will straighten out in time.

Yes, I’m a little bit obsessed too.

It feels great having a proper light over the dining room table and guests at the Christmas party commented how this is another non-IKEA purchase that gives the flat a bit more personality. They definitely noticed it was a high-quality light and not a light bulb on wire anymore!

I really do need to polish/windex the glass covers though. Looking  a little grimy below.

Here you can see more how the light clusters on the table. People sitting across from you are properly bright, but beyond them the light falls into darkness. It’s pretty cool.

I promise I’ll take some pictures of the kitchen lighting at some point for an update. At this point, we have no more loose bulbs hanging around and everything is at least fitted with a temporary fixture. This is a success in my book!

Have you ever had some drama with a product that was being discontinued right as you planned to purchase it?

A Sideboard Comes Home

The week before our Christmas party, it seriously felt like we were doing everything at once. Couch, lighting, sideboard = Lots of money and sweat putting everything together.

Kay and I loved the first sideboard so much that we contacted the owner and scheduled a pickup on what I now know was one of the only snowy days this entire winter. (We have not had any polar vortexes in Switzerland this year…)

We picked up the sideboard on a Saturday morning with a rented truck and boy was it heavy! This thing is massive. We were incredibly lucky that it juuust barely fit in our lift, because I was not sure how I would help carry it up the stairs.

Kay was really impressed by how heavy and well-built the sideboard was. It was no IKEA piece of furniture and when we got it home and Kay tinkered with the switch, the lighting worked no problem.

I love it!! It is a little taller than the other sideboard option and so for a buffet, it is maybe a tad too tall for shorter guests, but we’ll see how it goes with dinner parties. We do have a lot of room for serving nibbles on the table and in the kitchen.

And I really like the way the light toned wood contrasts to our floors.  Once we had it at home, I didn’t really want to paint it anymore since the condition is so good, but Kay was unsure.

I set up all our booze in the glass cabinets to show them off. I’m looking forward to not have to dust all the liquor so often now that it is behind glass.

And in the middle we could fill the drawers with excess items from the kitchen like ice cube trays and thermos.

And in the bottom section we can store our less-often-used appliances like the crockpot, fondue pot, toaster and raclette machine.

We are both really happy with the sideboard purchase. It is the first big, non-IKEA item in the living room and I feel like it makes our house look a little less like an IKEA catalogue. 

Now that we have had it for a few months, I think I am getting closer to convincing Kay that it would not be worth all the effort to sand, paint and finish the sideboard in a lime green color. I really like it natural. It looks very warm and inviting. What do you think?