Washboard abs and buns of steel!

OK, so as I posses neither, the title of this blog may be slightly misleading, but the way my body feels today I must be heading in the right direction!

A couple of WODs to post today:

18th March

25 Cal Row
50 Sit Ups
100 Single arm Overhead Walking Lunges (25lb dumbbell)
50 Sit Ups
25 Cal Row

Completed in 16mins 13 secs.

I was so tempted to drop down to an 8kg kettlebell half way through but so glad I powered through. I am not the best at pushing myself beyond my comfort zone so I’m really trying to work on upping my weights at the moment!

A: 10mins of gymnasts skill practice. – For me this was strict pull ups, of which I achieved zero, however, I did lowering yourself down slowly quite well.
B: Within 15mins establish a max load for the following complex:
2 push press
1 Push jerk

Max load – 37.5kg – That felt pretty good for me!

C: 3 sets of:
25 hip extensions
Rest 30s
15 strict TTB
Rest 30s

We were short on time at the end of this session so I did 2 sets of 15 hip extensions and 10 TTB which for me was lifting my legs about 40 degrees.

Monday 9th March = Deadlift Day

Part A – Deadlift 

5 – 5 – 5

Worked up to 58.5 kg which is a PB, but not something I have done a lot of before. It’s nice not feeling too scared to add some larger weights onto the bar.

Deadlifts

Part B – Christine

3 Rounds For Time:

500m Row

21 Box jumps (20 inch box)

12 Deadlifts (35K)

Completed part B in 13 minutes and 37 seconds. The box jumps really slowed me down!

The WOD with all the squats

Just a quick post to keep up with my WOD blogging:

5th March 2015

Part A – Establish a 1RM Front Squat. – Worked up to 45Kg, a PB although I haven’t done many of them before.

Part B – Using part A to calculate the percentages complete for time:

15 Squat Cleans @ 45% = 20.25 kg

12 Squat Cleans @ 50% = 22.5 kg

9 Squat Cleans @ 55% = 24.75 kg

6 Squat Cleans @ 65% = 29.25 kg

3 Squat Cleans @ 75% = 33.75kg

I completely forgot to look at the time when I finished but somewhere between 9 and 10 minutes I think. I seemed to finish before everyone else and as it definitely had nothing to do with my fitness level maybe I need to up the weights in future. My legs today would disagree. evergreen

The finished kitchen

The tiles are up, the walls are painted and we finally have a lovely kitchen and entertaining space! Now that it is finished I thought I would share some pictures of the transformation:

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We love our new open plan kitchen diner, the kitchen feels really spacious and it’s great to chat to dinner guests while we cook (unless you are having a culinary malfunction).

Here are the main features:

Wall colour: Unfortunately I wasn’t very organised and took these photos in the dark so you can’t get a true sense of the wall colour. It is Pavillion Blue by Farrow & Ball which is actually more of a pale green than a blue. It is nice and bright but not at all in-your-face – perfect for this space.

Cooker & Extractor hood: One of my favourite items in our kitchen is this IKEA FÖLJANDE extractor hood. It was a bit pricey but adds a interest to the cooking area. The hood features rails for hanging utensils and storing condiments, we keep ours in draws as we have plenty of space but I really like the idea of having everything readily available whilst you cook.

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We went for a cheapish IKEA LIVSLÅGA hob as we had splashed out elsewhere but the rings are nicely spaced apart and it seems to do a good job.

The oven was another item we splashed out on as we wanted one with a decent usable capacity. This is the IKEA GRÄNSLÖS which has a steam function and a usable volume of 71 litres. I made a lovely roast dinner in it the other day and there was plenty of space to roast the potatoes, veggies and chicken.

Kitchen units & Worktop: The black cupboard doors are IKEA’s LAXARBY range. We were worried that black may have been a bit too bold but we are really happy we took the risk.

The worktop is IKEA KARLBY in Oak. It has a real wood finish but isn’t solid wood so doesn’t need the same level of maintenance.

Tiles: We opted for white Mini metro tiles from Walls & floors with Micromax grout in ‘smoke’.

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Kitchen sink: I love my IKEA DOMSJÖ kitchen sink. It is a double bowl Belfast style and both sink bowls are a decent size, allowing you to put dirty dishes in one side and clean them in the other.

As you can probably tell we are really happy with our kitchen now, it’s great showing people around our house without the ‘it’ll be lovely when it’s finished’ comments.

Ralph enjoys his new sleeping spot by the warm oven too!

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Roast veggies and halloumi

roast-veggies-and-halloumiThis is my favourite post gym recipe at the moment. I always feel like something healthy after a workout but usually don’t get home until 8.30pm so I’m not really in the mood to cook up a feast.

Start by roasting some veggies in the oven, sometimes I use courgette, peppers, red onion and aubergine but recently I have been really lazy and just bought frozen roast vegetables.

When the veggies are nearly ready cut three slices of halloumi and fry on each side for a couple of minutes until golden brown.

I usually have this with cous cous but at the weekend I discovered Jamie Oliver Tomato & Olive Quinoa in Sainsburys . Half a pack is plenty and you can heat it up in 1 min or have it cold.

This is a really tasty and filling post workout dinner which leaves you feeling like you’ve been really good without missing out on a yummy meal.

The WOD that ended my fitness slump

I started Crossfit in October and was averaging 3 WODs a week before we had the kitchen renovated. The results were starting to show and I was feeling great. Unfortunately, when you are left without so much as a kitchen sink for 3 weeks it becomes necessary to plan your evenings around other people and their charitable dinner offerings rather than gym workouts.

While we had fun mooching off friends and family, dining out and ordering takeaways, it did nothing for my gym goals and we didn’t make it to the box once in February!

Now that the kitchen is finished (post & pics to follow) there are no more excuses, especially now that we are in the 6 month countdown to our wedding!

In an effort to bring some accountability to my workout regime, I am going to start posting WOD results, so here goes:

Wednesday 4th March

Part A – 

12min Emom.                                      

Odd – 7 Strict Pull Ups                       

Even – 7  Strict Ring Dips 

I can’t do either of these movements so worked on a scaled version by jumping up and lowering myself slowly down, 5 of each rather than 7

Part B –             

For Time:                                         

1500m Row                                           

150 Double Unders                                 

1 Mile Run 

Finished in 19 mins 34 secs which I didn’t think was too bad considering how unfit I was feeling and how much of an incline there was on the 1 mile run! I did go for single unders as I can only do a couple of double unders in a row!

Crossfit-running

Choosing Metro tiles for the kitchen

Once we had chosen our IKEA Laxarby kitchen in black we started to think about tiles and a colour scheme to offset the dark cupboards and bring some light into the room.

I fell in love with a few different tiles before we settled on the white Metro design:

These ‘Dotty mixture’ tiles are available in a range of colours and would look beautiful in a country style kitchen. You can buy them online from Decorum Tiles but we first saw them in Leeks. Unfortunately, when I was told the price  I nearly fainted and had to admit defeat.

Next on my wishlist were these slightly more affordable Artisan tiles from Laura Ashley:

Tiles

Although I really love these tiles I couldn’t decide between duck egg blue and  Eau De Nil (pictured above).

In the end we decided to go for white metro tiles as they offer the most versatility when it comes to decorating. If we decide to change our kitchen colour scheme in the future we can repaint without the colour of our tiles factoring in our decision.

So we made a decision, hoorah! I then spent days agonising over which metro tiles to choose. I found loads of great blog post about them but no one seemed to be saying where they got them from or which size they went for!

Standard metro tiles are 20 X 10cm,  Crown Tiles seemed to be the cheapest place to buy them at £9.38 p/sqm. This image shows some standard metro tiles I found in B&Q to give an idea of scale.metro-tiles

As the name suggests, mini metro tiles are smaller than the standard range and measure 15 X 7.5cm. It was mini metro tiles that IKEA used with our kitchen in their showroom. We only want a 30cm splashback above the worktop, except behind the cooker, so the painted wall will be visible under the wall cabinates. Mini metro tiles allow us to have 4 rows of tiles in the same space that 3 rows of standard tiles would take up.

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I suffered some extreme kitchen envy when I saw this post on Kate Davies website.Metro-tiles She has used standard metro tiles, but the tiles go much further up the wall than ours will and she doesn’t have any wall cabinets – a look I would have loved if our kitchen was bigger.

One thing I did take away from reading about Kate’s kitchen was the importance of a good grout colour. I knew grout came in white and black but that was about it. Kate has gone for a ‘mid grey’ which looks lovely. We plan to use ‘smoke’ by Micromax, which is available from lots of high-street and online suppliers.

After lots of visits to various highstreet DIY shops and pinterest searching, we decided to go with mini metro tiles from Walls and floors. They were more than double the price of standard metro tiles at £19.95 p/sqm but I think they will be worth it. I have to say I would buy from Walls and floors again. The delivery was quick and so far they all seem to have arrived in one piece.