Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Adventures: Staycation Day 4 + Blog & photo challenges!

The last one... at last!!
A really lazy wake up playing silly games on Facebook, while drinking coffee. These games have saved my life all the summers that I had not been working. Back then there were a lot more, right now I have kept only a couple, when I am home and I want to clear my head...
So I combine two things I like: music and crime (no I am not committing any crime, I just like to solve them !!!)

Song pop is great to play with friends and laugh about the mistakes you made or talk about the songs and what they remind you of...
Maybe I 'll "blog- challenge" myself again and post one song a day with its story.... Good idea? We'll see...
Criminal Case is an observation game - finding objects, solving mysteries....
But enough about the games.
Today was dedicated to the gym and to the kid...
Went to a new gym with the kid who is thinking of quitting kick box and start building his body. I guess it's a good thing. I mean although Kick boxing has killer workouts, I was a bit concerned when the kid has games and has to beat the opponent up. It did build his character and his discipline and his attitude and will never be a bullying victim, but still, the couch insisting on him playing on national level was something I did not like!
We haven't decided, yet. I do trust the gym I took him to - I know that the owner knows a lot of things, he keeps learning and studying and also my friend and ex-personal trainer works there and she is going to keep an eye on him....
So, I spend most of the day with the kid, we had lunch together (I cooked 2 dishes, no 3), watched Hercules and Xena reruns and we had an English lesson together (had to actually, since we have to catch up)
I am really enjoying these moments, I don't see him much lately.
Being a working mum has always made the difference, but now he is a teen and he'd rather spend time with his friends and that makes it more difficult for me to spend time with him.

So the kid is out with his friends - time for me to go to the gym which opens today from their summer holiday!
I chose the bars- lesson.... Tomorrow - if I can move - I'll go to my favourite spinning...

I think I have started to shape up a bit... I have 10 pounds more to go, but I have to try a bit more to "sculpture" it the way I want it....
So I challenged myself - 30 days of gym every single day and when I reach my goal, at least 3 times a week!!! I've set myself a SMILE/ SMART Goal I guess!!! LOL

Another blog/photo/ doing good to myself challenge I read and I am definitely taking part is the #30daysofselfiecare challenge 
I am not doing the whole list, but I think I will do at least one thing that will have a positive affect on myself.  

And with all this... this was my last day of Staycation.... Tomorrow back to work and also starting with some lessons....
No I won't be able to write every day....I guess I have to set another SMART / SMILE Goals to write at least once a week!!
Take care people! Until we meet again!! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer adventures: Staycation: Day 3

Day started really calm - I've spent 2-3 hours reading my book. It's the first time in years that I actually enjoyed doing nothing - well I wasn't actually doing nothing, I was reading, but it's not moving....
After this peaceful moment, day went like hell - I am in a high whining mood and I find everything wrong - everybody is to blame....
It's one of those days I guess...
Day continued with a trip to Mihaniona for coffee. Passed through Peraia and N. Epivates to actually see that people were swimming in the (dirty sea) - Reminded me a scene of the '70's when our parents used to drag us over there and I used to get all these kinds of allergies and infections from the polluted water....
After a walk near the boats in the burning sun, had a coffee over there while I was getting on everybody's nerves...

Mihaniona has not changed at all! I remember years ago I was working at a language school over there and then I was about to buy it. Glad that I didn't - first of all people in villages prefer to go to their "own" schools - everybody's got a cousin, an aunt. etc - I was going to spend too much money on a risky business, plus I would have to move over there...
Having my own language school was actually one of my big dreams for many years, since I graduated from university. I had a lot of chances to do it, but I never risked. I don't know why. Maybe if I had, things would be different right now.
As the years went by, I developed different interests, not that I gave up teaching, I never will, I love my job. But I don't think I would be a good business woman for some reason. Not as a language school owner I guess.
Lost one more pound btw, but looking at my picture I know I have to try more - I am not happy with myself and I feel really bad that I allowed myself to become like this.
I had accomplished such a success a couple of years ago and I have ruined everything because I am not disciplined enough to keep a regular nutrition plan. And now I am trying and I am trying. Lost 7 pounds in 3 weeks and I have 10 more to go or 11...
Starting a regular exercise routine from tomorrow - gym opens again - I promise I will not lose myself again...

The rest of the day found me cleaning, ironing, washing - I washed the garbage bin! And the balcony...
Something is wrong with me....
One more day and then back to work.... At last!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Summer adventures: Staycation Day 2

Woke up really early to give the kid his medicine and could not sleep more afterwards. I was engrossed in my book for a couple of hours - serial killers - psychological problems - some wise words in the middle... Hopefully I will finish it before I get back to work.
"Most of us don't live in the present tense. We dwell in a mental place where our regrets and grudges from our past compete with out fears about the future"
Today it's a big celebration in Greece - it's like he Easter of the summer, the day of Virgin Mary, a lot of people celebrate their name days, almost half the population in Greece. So I spend about an hour writing wishes and making phone calls.  I am sure I am forgetting somebody, I always do, but then again, very few people remember my name day, so I'm ok....

Although it was a holiday, I had to do the laundry twice, ironing, cleaning the bathroom - took out the trash, changed the bed-sheets ( It's really annoying because if I don't do that, nobody else does... I mean the trash could stay days inside if I actually don't do it.....)
So after all the hard work, we decided to go downtown for a coffee.
Aristotelous - Hernest

And a stroll till the port and back - poor me - I decided to wear a dress today, but did not think of the sun!!
Yes, I got sun-burnt - and sun-stroke at the same time!  The dress ... not a good idea... Not feeling comfortable. Still a lot of shaping up to do before I go out to the public in a dress!!!
Continued with lunch at "grandma's" - well to tell the truth I avoid going over there, because I get criticized a LOT! I mean I am NOT a good housewife and for her this is what matters - culture, studies - work are words that a "woman" should never do. I mean work and money yes, but not allowed to actually like what I do. Food is the only thing important in the world!! I really hate not being able to talk back ( not into fights with older people)
I do have to admit that she does cook well, though... The others ate - I just had a grilled burger (just meat) and salad and a couple of glasses of retsina (that's how much I am allowed to drink in a week)
No cheat day for me - although it IS a holiday!

Back home with more laundry, more cleaning and washing (because I cannot stand still)
Today's workout was Zumba for about 45minutes
I discovered a wonderful instructor called Saer Jose, who is actually located in Athens, but has his own YouTube channel with lots and lots of choreographies.

Can't wait to start going to the gym again... Endorphin's on its way!!!
To be continued!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Summer adventures: Staycation Day 1

"Staycation" is a term that my friend Christina is using, when she has a vacation but stays in town anyway.
To tell you the truth I don't see the point of taking time off if you don't have to go anywhere.
On the other hand, I have reached my limits. I have worked all summer long full time, did not get any rest at all and a really difficult winter is ahead. Working full-time has its joys, but working more than 13 hours a day (since I can't desert my existing students) has exhausted me.
The thing is that I am such a workaholic and I cannot really enjoy laziness. I stayed on my couch yesterday evening from the time I got home from the office, slept at 21.15 and woke up really sore - back and legs hurting (because these days I all I do is sit on a chair at the office in front of a computer at work).
So after a lot of effort, I got out of my couch to do some housework!

Too much ironing, cleaning, washing, shopping for groceries and everything real housewives do ( I wish I had somebody to help me out with the housework, when I am at home not working, I spend the day "working" at home!!)
After the "boring stuff", I decided it was time for a workout - I chose a video from the ones my ex-personal trainer  is making (he has a fancy channel on youtube and although he speaks only to "celebrities" right now and not to simple people, I find his advice useful, when I get the chance to watch)
So the workout I chose was really simple. It consisted if 3 sets of exercises (20-14-9 repeats)
  • squats
  • push ups
  • jacks
  • crunches
  • dead lift (without weight)
  • lower abs exercise
  • stair run
  • mountain climbers
It takes about half an hour and it's great for the core and abs - but I sweated all over! I mean I have got "unused" to it after so much time! The thing is - my legs got "unsore" and that's something!
Another nice thing I got today today is have lunch on a real plate (not the plastic bowls I use at work) with my son!!!
It's been a while since we last ate together! It has been a difficult week for him being sick with high fever in the middle of the summer. But everything's ok now and I hope I can spend some time with him (again being a teenager means he wants to spend time with his friends and not with his mum!)

Truth is I wasn't able to stay away from the computer - opened some e-mails from work and answered them - did some research, read about an interesting project and started making plans, started making plans for my students this year...
After all... it's raining guys...
Thinking of continuing the book I had chosen for the beach ... seems I am not going anywhere near the sea this summer anyway....

Starting to get annoyed with people posting pictures of the beach, coffees and cocktails from their holiday - I know I had been doing it too in the past years but I makes me wonder - don't these people have to go to work some time?? I mean, it is acceptable to be away for a week, 10 days, even 2 weeks ... but the WHOLE summer?? Mercy!!!

To be continued...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer adventures: trippin' (3)

I don't know if this is considered "trippin'"
The time has come and Christina came up north!
Our dear friend and colleague Efi had invited us to her baby daughter's baptism, in Serres. This is a town a bit northern from Thessaloniki. Of course I wouldn't miss the chance to spend the weekend with my friends!
Friday night spent at Vicky P.'s place - who fed is and quenched our thirst ( a bit more I have to say!!!)
Saturday morning off we go!!! Bus to Serres with the wonderful company of the girls!!

Really funny event - while we were waiting for the bus, a gypsy comes selling bracelets and stuff asking Vicky if we are her daughters!!! Imagine the fun we had teasing dear Vicky!!!
When we arrived to the church - it was like a TESOL event!!! Just with a TESOL baby instead of a TESOL talk!!!

Godmother : Vicky Loras!
And all these wonderful people from TESOL!!
Efi was a fantastic hostess and mommy - invited us to a big lunch and coffee afterwards, opened her home to us! We all had an amazing time

Big fun on the bus later - could not stop laughing and could not breathe .... listening to Paola's songs as loud as it could get! No more sound pollution please!!!

Monday found us in Thessaloniki - tourist in my own city!

Unfortunately all good things come to an end....
Until we meet again....

Summer Summer adventures: Trippin' (2)

Summer.... everybody's going to the beach....
I am NOT a beach person.
Although this summer I think I have overworked myself - I need some time off!
I've been to the beach once this summer... Just once...

This year I don't feel that comfortable in a bathing suit. I feel really self conscious about my body.
I am really strange ... I mean I don't like it there...
I usually don't have any company - I'm out on the sand all alone reading a book or trying out crossword puzzles... It's boring...
Anyway, this time I went without complaining. I read my book and got sunburned...
I don't think I am ever going to finish this one ... no time no holiday... If I ever do, I'll blog about it!!!
The beach we usually visit on weekends (well not this year, but usually) is called Lagomandra. In the second "foot" of Halkidiki, a bit far from the city, but with wonderful clean blue water and white sand.
If you are a see lover - definitely recommended.
If you are not - everything is solved with a six-pack of beer!
Have a nice summer!

Summer Adventures: Trippin' (1)

June... Wonderful season...
Lessons are over (most of them anyway) and weekends are free!
One of my favourite places is Athens of course...
I love this city both in winter, spring, summer and fall!!!
This time I stayed at "hotel "Chorianopoulou" - No it's not a new hotel, it's my friend's place. Who would have thought that we can be so close even if we live 507 km away from each other?
Visited a lot of wonderful places!

First stop: Monastiraki: Dioscuri.
A wonderful cafe with the company of my sis and dear friend and colleague Chryssa Papalazarou
with cold espresso and beers later on!!!

Second stop: Exarchia: Rosalia with Christina and dear friend Apostoli!
I love this part of town, althout at night it can be pretty dangerous!
Great food great company!

Third stop : Cocktails with Theo and Christina!! The thing is that you would never understand what we were talking about if you are not a teacher!! Teaching methods, jobs, projects, presentations....
But the night is young: Continuing with Christina for a Gkazi night out!!
'cause girls just wanna have fun! (especially if they work their b... off 13 hours a day, 7 days a week!)
After a wonderful breakfast at "Hotel Chorianopoulou" the morning found me at Syntagma square drinking my last coffee in Athens!!!

Until we meet again!!!