Wednesday, January 31, 2007

And a bit more for today

Had a great walk after work, but hell was it windy. Made even my short hair stand straight up on end.

Special big hug and kiss to Emily and Jonny. Looking forward to the arrival of your little one in August.

Taggers - there have been a few of you. Thanks for thinking of me, but I don't usually get around to doing those things, so don't feel insulted.

31 January summary
Breakfast: toast and cottage cheese
Lunch: sushi and soy beans
Dinner: chicken cooked in lemon, garlic, soy and ginger, with brown rice, mushrooms and spinach
Snacks: two peaches, two nectarines, three trim flat whites, capsicum
Extras: bourbon and zero, Jarrah
Exercise: walked for over an hour - and the extra wind resistance must help


Okay, so I'm not cut out for this daily posting malarkey. It worked through most of January, when I was either not working or clearly not working very hard.

Reality has now bitten.

Two trips to Auckland last week, one this week and one next week. Followed by THREE FULL WEEKS in Auckland. With maybe a couple of day trips to Wellington (something arse-about-face there). Sandwiched in between all that - the rest of my life. Like the weekend in Taupo for The Great Lake Relay. A weekend in Kerikeri with Jake so he can see his grandparents before going overseas. The Sevens this weekend. My fast-approaching 42nd birthday. Lots of exercise. Avoiding thinking about Jake going overseas for probably two years. At some stage I might even get to spend some time with Mark.

So, here is my new commitment about my blogging. I will post. When I can.

Tomorrow is the first day of February ('Well, duh!' I hear you cry). That means I am going to try running again, for the first time in over three months. I've decided to start off with the Couch to 5K. Fingers crossed...

Monday, January 29, 2007

I love Eric

The Eric Clapton concert was great. I always love the Mission concerts as the outdoor setting and the whole vibe is so fantastic. And I particularly loved that he played more of his bluesy stuff than his pop stuff. My only small grumble would be that the sound system wasn't quite up to snuff for those of us on the hill.

I weighed in with a very undeserved 100 gram loss this morning. I guess there's something special in the wine you drink with really good friends, so it doesn't always go straight to the scales.

Jake managed to have a great time while we were away for the weekend too, but they did a fine job of cleaning up the house so no harm done.

I have a hectic week looming, but the Wellington Sevens are this Friday and Saturday, so more fun and frivolity to look forward to.

THANK YOU to all of you who've donated to our Paralympics campaign. I've tried to comment on all your blogs, but apologies if I've missed you. Everyone is very impressed at me getting donations from Aussie and Scotland and other far-flung places!

Catch you later.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Catching up with myself

The busy-ness of this week has rather taken me by surprise. One of my guys is off on parental leave and I've just realised how much work he gets through! And I thought I was the only machine around here...

Mark and I had both taken the day off tomorrow (Friday) so we could drive to Hawkes Bay for the Eric Clapton concert on Saturday night. But now I have to do a day trip to Auckland, so I'll fly back to Napier and Mark will pick me up from there. All very well, but the plane from Auckland to Napier is a 50-seater - and you may have noticed how much I hate flying. Hopefully I can get to the airport a bit early and throw down a few large gins before I have to board!

25 January summary
Breakfast: rolled oats with apple juice and grapes
Lunch: ham and roast vege salad
Dinner: steamed dimsim and gyoza
Snacks: three trim flat whites, some mini capsicum, beansprouts
Extras: tequila and grapefruit juice
Exercise: 20 minutes cross trainer, core workout

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Today, I promise...

Okay, I really will get back into my daily posts today. I need to, because that daily reality check really helps keep me on track and honest.

Managed to scrape in with a 200 gram loss for last week - phew, at least it wasn't a gain! I think I'll just have to use the selective memory technique and pretend the long weekend of eating and sitting on my butt didn't happen...

I'll be back later with my proper post including the food and exercise summary for the day.

Monday, January 22, 2007

At least this time I took photos

Had lunch with a few Wellington girls today. And I actually took some photos this time! Well, actually, I took two! Another poor effort, but here they are.

A not very flattering one of the Rachel and Rachel (Karen's little cutie) and one of Helena that I really like.

Back to food posts tomorrow (once I get to Auckland)

Shameless plug - can you help us?

Feel free to roll your eyes and move straight on from this post, but you know I'm not one to ask for something unless I believe strongly in it.

Some of you may remember that the people I work with and some of our clients took part in the Great Lake Relay last year. It's a great event - 18 legs either waking or running the 160km around Lake Taupo.

This year we have 2 teams going (yes, I have nearly 50 people to cook for!), and we're doing some fundraising as well. Because it's a sporty sort of thing we're doing, we are raising money for Paralympics NZ.

Some of their athlete are going to join us in the relay - actually I think they'll show the rest of us up.

So, now it's time for the shameless plug - if you would like to donate to this great cause, here's our fundraising site.

Thanks for reading, ordinary post to come soon.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What a difference a day makes!

Isn't it great how a lovely day of sun can cheer everyone up? Had a nice day at work, great walk with the dog and went down to the beach at sunset - a double treat of watching the sun set over the sea on a beautiful evening and seeing the comet.

Apparently we might get a repeat of the weather tomorrow - that would make a two-day summer for the capital!

Thought I could skip work and just send an email to the boss - 'Summer is here so I'm not'.

PLUS we have a long weekend coming up, with Monday being Wellington Anniversary Day.

18 January summary
Breakfast: poached eggs on toast with a side of grilled tomatoes
Lunch: vege frittata and salad
Dinner: pasta with ham, spinach and chives
Snacks: two trim flat whites, grapefruit, capsicum, blueberries
Extras: a couple of bourbons
Exercise: 45 minute walk

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lighting tricks

Where do they get those special lights at the hairdresser? You know, the ones that make you look ten years older and highlight every little mark on your face. The ones that also make the concealer you used so carefully turn into highlighter?

17 January summary
Breakfast: baked beans on wholegrain toast
Lunch: leftover lemon chicken and potatoes from last night
Dinner: lamb rissoles with minty salad
Snacks: two trim flat whites, capsicum, carrot, yoghurt dip, strawberries, two bananas and a glass of white wine
Exercise: 15 minutes cross trainer, my push-ups on the bar, lower body workout - leg presses, Swiss ball squats (with hand weights), hamstring extensions, Swiss ball frogs, the outer thigh machine and the inner thigh machine

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snack changes

At work, I used to keep a selection of fruit and veges in a bowl on my desk - usually a few days worth. This meant I used to pretty much graze on them throughout the day - more reinforcement of bad eating patterns.

So now I pack my snacks each day. That way I limit my intake and the number of pieces of fruit I take. To make the veges more interesting, I take a little pottle of low-fat yoghurt with some black pepper and coriander in it to use as a dip.

So, instead of grazing, I have morning and afternoon tea, and nothing else.

This week, I've been overcoming my eating urges when I get home from work by having a piece of fruit as soon as I get home - the sugar from that seems to do the trick.

Here I am, almost two years into this and still learning.

16 January summary
Breakfast: oats, apple juice and blueberries
Lunch: turkey salad and a banana
Dinner: Greek lemon chicken and potatoes and some honeydew melon
Snacks: two trim flat whites, yoghurt dip, mini capsicum, tomatoes, strawberries
Exercise: 15 minutes cross trainer, core workout - lat pulldowns, back crunches, oblique bridges (planks), prone bridges and these funny crunch things I do: lie on your back with your legs in the air and knees bent at 90 degrees so your lower legs are parallel to the ground. Lift a medicine ball from the floor behind your head and put it on your upper shins. Lie back down, then crunch up again and take the medicine ball from your legs back to behind your head. That's one rep. Does that make any sense and does anyone have a name for them?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sue on fire!

Watch out world - here comes Sue...

I feel great. I don't know if it's from any physical effects from my mini de-tox; more likely the two days of strict control have made some things click for me.

Here are my high points and observations from today (and, yes, most of them ARE bleeding obvious!).

This is all under my control - and motivation has to come from me (always supported by my lovely blog friends, of course).

I will exercise to feel good, be healthy and hep control my weight, in that order - not to burn off the crap food I ate yesterday. Because I am going to stop eating crap food.

Stuffing around with what I eat is pointless (no pun intended WW followers) - because it just means it will be so much longer until I reach goal.

Treats are good - but they have to be treats, not mindless stuffing of food in my mouth.

Visualisation works. To start with I'm visualising how it will feel to be a 70s girl again next week. Then it will be visualising how 72 kilos will feel.

I am an intelligent, talented person (but not modest). I just need to remember to use my skills.

By the way - 1.4kg loss when I weighed this morning.

15 January summary
Breakfast: rolled oats softened in apple juice, grapes
Lunch: brown rice and turkey salad, a banana
Dinner: grilled salmon fillet with roast corn and mango salsa (yes, this was divine and, yes, I did make it myself)
Snacks: two trim flat whites, peach, carrot sticks, celery and mini capsicum
Exercise: 15 minutes on the arse-breaking cross trainer (4 minutes backwards) and an upper body workout - tricep extensions, bicep curls, shoulder presses, chest flyes and push-ups done men's styles but on a bar at waist height

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Learning the lessons again

Haven't felt so great today - a bit lethargic and headachey - but I'm putting it down to caffeine withdrawal.

What I am feeling great about is rediscovering how fabulous healthy eating makes me feel - and how good I feel about controlling my food intake and making healthy choices.

This weekend has certainly served its main purpose - I have a new focus on how I eat. This includes making veges the main focus of my meals, not the protein. It also will make me think more about all the little extras I slip into my day.

But I won't be giving up coffee!

14 January summary
Breakfast: rolled oats with apple juice and a banana
Snack: celery
Lunch: brown rice with bean sprouts and orange slices, a banana
Snack: vege juice - carrots, beetroot, apple, ginger and chili
Dinner: brown rice with cucumber, tomato, coriander and chili
Snack: rockmelon, grapes and strawberries

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cruising along

Well, what a healthy old day I've had! Feeling good and having a nice quiet time too.

The day has gone like this:
7.30: hot water with lemon juice
8.00: off to the gym for a one hour full body workout
9.30: rolled oats with grated apple
11.30: vege juice - beetroot, carrot, celery, ginger and chili. I've got a juice extractor which make a great job, but I couldn't bear to throw out all that healthy fibre that's left after the extracting. I stirred a few spoonsful back into the juice before I drank it!
1.30: brown rice salad with lots of finely chopped raw veges - spring onion, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, baby spinach, baby capsicum and green beans. Dressed with the juice and grated rind of a lemon and lots of black pepper.
4.00: fruit smoothie - banana, peach, blueberries, strawberries and apple juice
6.30: another rice salad, with some variation in the veges and dressed with orange juice and chili
9.00: some rock melon and blackberries

How's that? I feel great and haven't freaked out too much without caffeine. A few hunger pangs as without protein the meals don't keep me full as long as I'm used to.

In between times I've done my eyebrows, put through four loads of washing, gone to feed my sister's cat and done a major de-tox on my ipod. The boys used it for their roadtrip over New Year and I needed to get rid of all the gangsta - and I don't think I need EVERY Red Hot Chili Peppers song ever recorded.

I've also mooched around a fair bit and watched a couple of movies.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The great brown rice hunt

Have been carrying on an hilarious text conversation with Chris this evening as she hunts through the Palmy supermarkets for brown rice - she ended up going to three before she found it. We've decided there aren't many hippies up there. Just think of the supermarket aisles as exercise...

Not that I've had much more fun with groceries. Went to the supermarket to get all my healthy stuff for the weekend and got through the checkout before I realised I'd left my wallet at home! Got them to park my trolley and went home for my money.

12 January summary
Breakfast: WW cereal and yoghurt
Lunch: chili chicken, blue cheese and walnut salad
Dinner: smoked salmon pasta
Snacks: green beans, tomatoes, two trim flat whites
AND - a Memphis Meltdown Big Bikkie - I've been wanting to try one for ages and finally gave in. At least it's out of my system now.
Exercise: rest day

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The plan goes something like this...

I've planned myself a bit of a weekend.

Inspired partly by Mary, and by some other research I've done, it will be a sort of de-tox weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday I will eat only fresh, raw fruit and vegetables, bulked out a little by some other things.

Each day's eating plan will go something like this:
7am: hot water and lemon juice
9am: half cup of rolled oats, softened overnight in apple juice, with an grated apple added just before serving
11am: fresh made vegetable juice - like carrot, beetroot, ginger and chili
1pm: salad made with half cup of brown rice and lots of fresh veges
3pm: fruit smoothie - banana, berries, that sort of thing. No dairy or soy, just fruit
5pm: roughly the same as 1pm
7pm: fruit salad of melons and berries

Apart from that - just water.

The idea is two days of nothing but natural, healthy food. The two days itself should be good for me, and I'm hoping it will break some of the eating patterns I've fallen into of late.

In between the eating and drinking times, I want to do some de-tox on other parts of my life - clean out my wardrobe and drawers, give myself a pedicure, that kind of stuff. I'll still exercise, but the weekend will be all about making myself feel good.

I have warned the boys they have to fend for themselves. Mark is racing Saturday anyway, and Jake will just slouch at other people's places most of the weekend.

My main concern - going two days without coffee!

11 January summary
Breakfast: bircher muesli with apple juice and blueberries
Lunch: smoked chicken salad
Dinner: crayfish laksa (OMG, so yummy!)
Snacks: apricots, peaches, bean sprouts, two Ryvita, grapes
Treats: two glasses of wine
Exercise: 10 minute each on the treadmill, the bike and the cross trainer

A good eating day, but I think I'm snacking on too much fruit. Need to try and switch some of that to veges.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mucky day

The weather was mucky and so was my food. I'm finding it really hard to stop the 'walk in the door from work and start grazing on junk' urges. It is and always has been my absolute danger time.

Working on a plan to break this cycle, though. Will share later...

10 January summary
Breakfast: yoghurt with blueberries, mango and pineapple
Lunch: leftover chicken pasta, a peach
Dinner: some crackers with pumpkin dip, yoghurt with strawberries
Snacks: two trim flat whites, peach, bean sprouts, 3 apricots, 5 tomatoes
Treats: glass of wine, some chippies and some Milo cereal and two Krispie biscuits (!)
Exercise: 20 minutes bike, 20 minutes lower body workout

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Out of condition

I'm really feeling the effects of this long term injury (and, to be honest, the Christmas over-indulgence) on my fitness.

I was smugly thinking the aquajogging and walking were taking care of things. WRONG! As I start introducing more strenuous (although fairly light by my previous standards) cardio into my workouts, I realise how much fitness I have lost.

I did 15 minutes on the cross trainer this morning, on Level 6 at 60rpm. My heart rate hit 156 and it was just plain hard work. Six months ago I was doing 30 minutes on Level 8 at 80rpm.

I'm actually not worried about this, for two reasons. Firstly, having to build up my fitness again means I won't be pushing my knee too hard. Also, I'm enjoying the challenge of the work involved and it helps me stay in focus on my eating too.

9 January summary
Breakfast: rolled oats with raspberries and orange juice (bunged together and left to soak overnight)
Lunch: chicken (yes, again!) with coleslaw and bean sprouts
Dinner: you guessed it, chicken, mushrooms and pasta
Snacks: 2 bananas, 2 trim flt whites, some green beans, a peach, a martini
Exercise: 15 minutes on the cross trainer, 20 minute core body workout

Monday, January 08, 2007

It's so quiet

The office is such a quiet place to be: no stereos, no TV, no kids, no sisters talking flat out, no motorbikes being tested in the garage...

Still not happy about the shoes, though!

Weighed in with an 800 gram loss this morning - a modest return for a modest effort. I'm feeling more in focus this week - it's easier with the return to a daytime routine.

8 January summary
Breakfast: rolled oats, yoghurt and blueberries
Lunch: chicken salad
Dinner: more chicken, with coleslaw and some turkish bread
Snacks: punnet of strawberries, banana, 3 coffees, some green beans and a couple of crackers
Treats: 8 raw almonds, a candy cane
Exercise: 10 minutes exercise bike, 20 minutes upper body workout, 10 minutes treadmill (I'm hanging out to run on the treadmill instead of walking, but I'll be a good girl and wait till the end of January so I don't hurt my knee)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back to work tomorrow...

As usual, the worst thing about going back to work is - WEARING SHOES! I'm a real barefoot Kiwi girl, and squeezing these wide feet back into work shoes is no fun.

Apart from that, not too worried about going back to work. Mark and I are planning a couple of holidays later this year - one to Dunedin to spend some time with his immediate family and some of my extended family in April, and one to Phillip Island in September to watch some motorbike racing for Mark's 50th. Of course, that will require a few days in Melbourne...

I've planned a fairly light exercise week in case I find work too tiring! Have dropped the aquajogging for this week, as it is in danger of being overused.

The new workout on Sunday is one you can do at the beach. I'll ride over to Seatoun, then there are some interesting moves like triceps dips on a park bench, crab walks and picnic table push-ups.

Speaking of push-ups - my new aim is to learn how to do men's push-ups (I think this is a skill Kathryn mastered last year). Jake's been trying to work out why I can't do them, but he can't speak for laughing at my pathetic attempts. It's either my shoulder strength or my triceps. So I'm going to start with doing them against higher objects (like picnic tables) and work my way down.

7 January summary
Breakfast: cottage cheese and jam on soy/linseed toast
Lunch: none of your goddamn business
Dinner: chicken salad
Snacks: three (!) trim flat whites, peach, banana, juice bar drink (beetroot, carrot, apple, celery and ginger)
Treats: a sauvignon blanc which doesn't really rate a mention
Exercise: 45 minute aquajog

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Can't think of anything interesting to say. Catch you tomorrow.

6 January summary
Breakfast: poached eggs on toast
Lunch: homemade chicken pizza
Dinner: steak, salad and fresh-baked bread
Snacks: about a bucket-full of cherries, a trim flat white, banana, strawberries
Treats: glass of Pinot Gris
Exercise: one hour full-body workout, 45 minute aquajog (yep, pretty tired)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Pollyanna time!

C'mon everyone, it's ages since we played the Glad Game.

We're all feeling a bit down on ourselves for putting on a bit of weight over the festive season. But we've got so much to be proud of/happy about. So let's be corny...

Five great things about being Smaller Sue
  1. Sexy underwear
  2. Catching sight of myself in a shop window doesn't give me the shits anymore
  3. I get to tighten the belt on airplanes
  4. My arse doesn't cover the whole seat of my chair
  5. I can see the groovy pink polish on my toenails

5 January summary
Breakfast: porridge
Lunch: ficelle with roast chicken and green salad
Dinner: Singapore noodles (homemade, no-fat version)
Snacks: yoghurt with pineapple and mango, banana, tomatoes
Treat: glass of Moet
Exercise: rest day

Thursday, January 04, 2007

By request...

...a recipe from me - fits with the WW NoCount plan.

Roast potato and corn salad

Cut 6-8 potatoes (I leave the skin on and use red-skinned ones for colour) into bite size chunks. Put them on an oven tray with 2 cups of whole kernel corn (frozen is fine). Give them a quick spray with oil and bake in a 200 Celsius oven for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally - a bit charred is right for the corn.

Make the dressing from 1 cup of low fat yogurt, the juice and grated zest of one lemon, freshly ground salt and pepper, two finely sliced spring onions and half a cup of roughly chopped parsley. Add half a teaspoon of chili flakes if you like a bit of zing.

Stir the cooled vegetables into the dressing. Cover and pop in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavour develops.

4 January summary
Breakfast: baked beans on toast
Lunch: steamed seafood gyoza and some yogurt with blueberries
Dinner: chicken cooked on the rotisserie on my BBQ, stuffed with thyme and a whole lemon, with potato and salad
Snacks: banana, blackberries, peach, mini capsicum
Treats: my favourite bird (Wild Turkey) with Coke Zero
Exercise: 20 minute upper body workout, 30 minute aquajog

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Brutal honesty is back!

It's scary how easy it is to become complacent about what I eat. Last night I wrote down my last two days, sorted out what truly fit under the NoCount plan and then counted up the points for the rest.

All those flat whites, glasses of wine, bits of this and that - added up to 30.5 points. Under NoCount I'm allowed 21 points of extras per week - so I blew that and a half in two days! Thank goodness for the bonus points from exercise.

I think I know exactly how I'm eating, but slowly more and more extras creep in without me counting them. The coffees are an obvious one - I have two trim flat whites everyday - half a point each.

Another thing I have to watch is sneaking extras into things I make. Like my fabulous roast potato and corn salad - I have been making the dressing with mayo, when I know full well it tastes just as good made with low-fat yogurt (of which I always have plenty, because I make my own). A salad that should fit under my plan suddenly has 2 or 3 extra points.

I don't want to be completely obsessive about counting, but the occasional reality check is useful to keep things under control.

So, brutal honesty is back for the month of January - track and count it all!

3 January summary
Breakfast: bircher muesli
Lunch: tuna pasta, yogurt with a fresh peach
Dinner: pork fillet with dry roasted vegetables and salad
Snacks: two plums, 5 mini capsicum
Treats: two trim flat whites, a small glass of white wine
Exercise: 20 minute core workout, 30 minute aquajog

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Summer (!) and sales

Just in case you think I’m moaning too much about our lack of summer – this morning when I was driving to the pools at 8am, it was 10C. That’s 10 degrees Celsius, people – winter temperatures.

And this morning I had a text from the boss: ‘Summer is going to happen this Thursday until lunchtime. Enjoy’.

But I’m enjoying my time off anyway. It’s nice to just potter about the house doing a few things here and there. Plenty of good movies to watch. And I’ve given the sales a bit of a bash, too.

2 January summary
Breakfast: two pieces of toast with extra light Philly and jam, a Jarrah
Lunch: ham salad sandwich and a peach
Dinner: seared lamb rump with roast potato and corn salad, a yoghurt
Snacks: two trim flat whites, handful of cherry tomatoes, salad of capsicum, mushroom and cucumber, two plums
Treats: two glasses of the most divine 2004 Woodthorpe Te Mata Cabernet/Merlot (okay, I may need to cut back a bit on the wine)
Slips: itty bitty candy cane
Exercise: 45 minute aquajog with sister and niece. New things tried today – the tyre-stepping move (love this one for the legs) and 25m with no flotation belt. You have to work really hard or you sink.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Moet and movies

First day of 2007 is done and dusted.

Went to the gym for the first time in weeks. Did 20 minutes on the bike and a lower body workout. Only had the bike on level 6 and went at 100rpm - still on doctor's orders to take it easy - but still found it quite hard. How quickly we lose that hard-earned fitness! Also taking it gently on the squats and leg presses, hoping to rehab my knee without risking further damage.

Had a lovely brunch with just a few of the family today - the Wellington sister with her oldest daughter and her partner, and their gorgeous 2 year old daughter. Yes, that does make me a great-aunt! I managed to stay away from the croissants at brunch, but wasn't so good later in the day.

Mark and I finally went to see Casino Royale tonight - damn fine movie. And a damn fine butt on that man.

Haven't heard from the boy since he got to Gisborne on Thursday. Presume that means he's having a great time.

January 1 summary:
Brunch - scrambled eggs on toast with one rasher of bacon. Two glasses of Moet. Only the best, sweetie. Oh, and three of the yummy cheese puffs I make. Oh dear.
Dinner - bacon and egg croissant.
Snacks - two peaches, three plums.
Treats - three snakes.
Exercise - 20 minutes on the bike, lower body workout
Not a great day food-wise, but better than most in the last two weeks.

It's fresh, it's new!

Introducing the brand new, straight from the pack - 2007!

Happy New Year, everybody. I hope you enjoyed whatever festivities you had last night - and aren't feeling the effects too strongly this morning.

I have had a completely overindulgent two weeks - more food, alcohol and treats than you can shake a stick at. Unless you're particularly adept at the art of stick-shaking.

No flash new year resolutions for me. It's just time to get back to eating and exercising properly. Back to daily posts to track my progress. Back to looking after myself properly.

I have managed to keep up with some exercise. The aquajogging lanes have been graced with a variety of my sisters and nieces each morning. In fact, they were more frequent attendees than me - I took a couple of days off when my hideous cold got too much for me.

The weight news is - back up to 82.9kg. So I have almost 11kg to lose to reach goal.

Time to get on with it then.

Just to test my self-control - my first meal of 2007 will be the champagne breakfast I've invited everyone over for!