10 Reasons Why Tiger Moms are TOTALLY AWESOME

I almost didn’t click on this, but so glad I did, very entertaining read!

The Ugly Volvo

There’s been a lot of talk about Tiger Moms in the news lately, and by “The News” I of course mean, “My Twitter feed and this one woman at Gymboree who didn’t know me but had very strong opinions.”  Everyone seems to hate tiger moms, but I think they’re great!  Here’s why:

a a tiger moms the ugly volvo

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1.  Their Kids Always Look Adorable in Photos

tiger moms the ugly volvo kids adorablePhoto Credit: Jerry Tillery/Flickr

 The main reason God didn’t give tigers opposable thumbs was to keep them off Instagram.  If tigers could access the internet they would spend so much time compiling Snapfish albums of  their adorable baby tigers that they’d forget to keep reproducing and would be extinct within 6 years.

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2.  Tiger Moms Are Totally Laid Back About Their Kids’ Friends

tiger moms the ugly volvo pigsPhoto Credit: Leo Fung/Flickr

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How a monster hiding in a lake has helped me in my fundraising

It scares me how quickly the weekends seem to come around lately. I get to this time of day on a Sunday (late afternoon) and suddenly realise that I haven’t written a blog post in the past week and if I don’t get something written today I just know I won’t have time to write one until next weekend…. and I don’t want to get in to that pattern! I feel like Sunday afternoons/evenings have somehow become ‘blog time’ and it’s become a little part of my routine. It’s great when I have something in mind to blog about, but sometimes I have a little panic about what I’m going to write! That doesn’t apply to this post however, I’ve been rather busy the past two weeks, and have a story to tell behind my activity, so I have plenty to share!

Two weeks ago I set myself some targets, (see here) for my fundraising, targets which were to be completed within one week, and two out of the three were… I just didn’t have time to blog about it.

Speak to local supermarkets about arranging another coin collection day    

I’m very pleased to say that I have spoken with one supermarket, (I will get around to speaking to others, I promise!) and have another coin collecting day in the diary, so in two weeks time I’ll be counting up the pennies so I can tell you how much I’ve raised.

Make enquiries in to holding a bake sale at work

Again, (feeling a little smug here) I have completed this target. I am holding a bake sale in just under two weeks time. And, I’ve already managed to recruit a fair number of friends, family and colleagues to assist me, by providing baked goods – both home-made and shop bought. I’ve produced posters which are now sitting proudly on the back of the door to the toilets (the only place I’m allowed to put them) and have sent a mass e-mail to everyone working in the building so hopefully I’ll have a good turn out!

Ask friends and family to donate any unwanted Christmas gifts that would be suitable as prizes for a raffle

I can’t feel too smug about this one as I only got around to doing this in the past few days, so a little behind schedule, but hey, it’s done so lets not dwell on that too much. I’m pleased to say that I’ve got some very generous friends out there who have offered bits and pieces and I definitely have enough prizes together for a tombola.

In terms of raffle prizes I have been in touch with friends and acquaintances who work for, or run, businesses to see about obtaining prizes of a higher quality which could be used in a raffle. I’m hoping to get enough prizes together in time for the bake sale, but if not I will save these prizes for a future event, or whenever may seem like a good opportunity to run a raffle.

I’m going to tell you about one of the raffle prizes that’s been donated to me as there’s an interesting story behind it which hopefully you won’t mind reading about!

The Langdale Chase Hotel situated on Lake Windermere in the Lake District has provided me with a voucher for Sunday Lunch for two guests. I just want to say a great big thank you to hotelier Thomas ‘The Gladiator’ Noblett for supporting me in my challenge, I am extremely grateful! Thomas is heavily involved in fundraising for charity, having taken on many challenges himself, and has set up his own charity  named “Gladmiral”, a swimming charity for disadvantaged children.

The Langdale Chase Hotel is a stunning hotel situated on the edge of Lake Windermere, with fantastic views over the lake. My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary here, and we had a lovely stay in the Lake House. The hotel has it’s own boat jetty on to the lake where we sat for ages, just watching the boats go by, all the while keeping an eye out for Bownessie. “Who on earth is Bownessie” I hear you ask, well Bownessie could well be the Loch Ness Monster’s “long-lost cousin”! 

Over the years there have been numerous reports of strange encounters in the lake, one encounter involving Thomas during a training session, (in preparation to swim the English Channel!). It’s all down to Bownessie how I came to be know Thomas, his good friend Andrew ‘The Admiral’ Tighe, and the Langdale Chase Hotel, as I was lucky enough to be included in two searches for Bownessie, invited along by my friend Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard. The first search for Bownessie took place in September 2009, (if memory serves correctly!) and was actually filmed for a TV documentary The Lakes.

Bownessie

Camera crew at the ready!

I didn’t get a starring role in the documentary (thankfully!) but you could see me and my bright blue jacket in two or three shots, which was quite exciting. The second search took place a year later, this search wasn’t filmed for TV but it was just as interesting and just as much fun. Unfortunately Bownessie didn’t make an appearance whilst we were actively searching, but it is a huge lake and I’m sure monsters have much better things to do than to come and say hello to a bunch of humans just because we are there, ready and waiting! It all adds to the mystery too of course, if Bownessie keeps hidden, popping up every now and again whenever suits, rather than all the time, it will encourage people to keep looking!

And that is the story behind my raffle prize, I hope you enjoyed learning all about the monster lurking in the depths of Lake Windermere and I haven’t put you off visiting there!

 

Girls with Guns: Why women should lift weights

ARBodyworks

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Written by Andy @ ARBodyworks, June 2012.

… From experience, talking to women in the gym brings about a number of common themes. This one is the most confusing

“When I workout, I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder”

I see time and time again, women emerge from the changing rooms, wander  aimlessly over to the juice bar, fill up a water bottle and head to the cardio zone for a monotonous 20 – 40 minute hell, which they wholly believe will be enough to extract the choc au pain from their hips that they had for breakfast.  In addition, they then head to the mats and work out their hip flexors for a couple of sets thinking that poorly executed crunches will make their abs just pop up one day out of the mire of their stubborn  tummy bulge.

6 months later…

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I got nominated for an award!!

Wow, I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by Tripping over Pebbles in the Dark, a very entertaining, and well written blog about every day life which gives me a good chuckle.

The Liebster Award is for new bloggers who have a small following, but have a lot of potential. It’s designed to help new bloggers gain a following, and to encourage us to blog more, a bit like a blogging chain letter. I am thrilled to have been nominated, to be honest when I first started the blog I wasn’t sure that anyone would even read it, so this is really quite exciting!

the-leibster-award6

Here are the rules I’ve been asked to follow, if you accept this nomination you can do the same:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
  2. You must answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominee before you
  3. Nominate 10 of your favourite blogs with fewer than 200 followers and notify them of their nomination
  4. Come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer

And if you link back to this post, your response will appear as a ‘pingback’ in the discussion section at the end of this post. I’m not too sure where to ‘pingback’ so I’ll just pop it here to make sure it’s included!

So I’m sure your all dying to know what questions I’ve been asked, and what my answers are! Well, I’ll not keep you waiting any longer….

1. Are you a lark or a night owl.

I’m in the middle I would say, I rarely get to bed early (before 11pm). Most mornings I’m awake by 6.30am, anything past 8am is a lie-in for me and it rarely happens. It’s not as if i don’t want to have a nice lie-in, because I do, I love sleeping late. My problem is once I’ve woke up that’s usually it for the day and I can’t get back to sleep. Sometimes this may happen at 2 or 3am, it’s super annoying. The worst part is, the hubby is the complete opposite and can sleep in until well past lunch time…. if I let him that is!

2. What is your proudest moment?

Conquering Ben Nevis, which I did to raise money for Breast Cancer Research in 2010. I had never done anything like it before, and reaching the summit was the most amazing, and emotional experience. A big thank you to my bestie for taking on the challenge with me, a mere three months after giving birth to her little boy, (and my little god son).

3. What is your favourite place and why?

Walt Disney World, it’s the happiest place on earth! I was ten years old on my first visit to WDW, and the magic just seeped in to my bones. I’ve visited Orlando nine times now, and every visit has included numerous visits to the WDW parks, each visit just as magical as the first. In 2010 I exchanged vows with the most important person in my life, right there at the Boardwalk Resort in Walt Disney World.

4. How do you keep fit?

Until recently I didn’t do a great deal of exercise, but in recent months I keep fit with walking, pole dance classes, Zumba, HIIT and KBX. Find out more in my post here.

5. What is your favourite book/film/piece of music and why?

Favourite out of everything? Wow that’s a tough one, I have so many favourites when it comes to books and films. In books my favourite is definitely the Harry Potter series. Why? The story is amazing, it totally swept me up in to the world of Hogwart’s, Witches and Wizards, Muggles and magical beings. What is not to love?

6. Describe yourself in five words

Crazy cat lady, loves movies

7.  What is your favourite childhood memory?

Gosh this one is a bit tough, I don’t really look back on a childhood memory thinking that it my favourite. I’m going to stop over analysing this one and say the childhood memory that I recall in better detail than any other, the day I was bridesmaid for my aunty Caroline when I was twelve.

8.  What is your favourite hobby?

Watching movies. You may say that this isn’t a real hobby. And if you do, well, in my case you are totally wrong. I love watching movies, I dedicate time to watching movies and movie trailers, I spend a lot of my free time reading about movies, and actors and directors. I have an unhealthy obsession with wanting to know everything that an actor has been in when I’m watching a movie, and it drives me mad if I can’t figure out who someone is. I love visiting the cinema, and when watching the trailers before the start, I get super annoyed if they show a trailer that I haven’t already seen online, because that means I’ve been slacking and haven’t been keeping myself up-to-date with new releases. If that’s not a hobby I don’t know what is!

I just read that back and can’t help but wonder if I have issues?!

9. What would be your superpower?

Telekinesis, or teleporting. Having the power to move things with your mind would be amazing, and save so much time. The same with teleporting, imagine all the places you could visit if you could just teleport yourself there? No travel time, no travel costs, no limits!

10. Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog at the start of my challenge, to raise £3800 for my local Hospice by trekking the Inca Trail. I’m blogging to document my journey as I raise a huge sum of money for charity, and take part in the biggest challenge of my life, to keep my friends, family and anyone else who cares to stop by, updated with my progress.
Now that you know a little bit more about me I think it’s time I started getting to know my fellow bloggers a bit better and start asking the questions!
In no particular order, here are my Liebster Award nominees…

And finally, my questions to the nominees above are:

  1. Who, living or dead, would you most like to meet, and why?
  2. If you won the lottery jackpot, what would you do with your winnings?
  3. Name three things which are on your bucket list
  4. What is your earliest memory?
  5. What can you not live without?
  6. If anything was possible what would you invent?
  7. What would your superhero name be?
  8. Do you know the Muffin Man?
  9. What was the first movie you ever saw, (or at least remember seeing)?
  10. What is your party trick?

No pain, no gain

That’s how the saying goes, and if it’s true then I should be gaining a lot!

I’ve been pretty active on the exercise front this past week, more active than I’ve ever been in my life I daresay.  I’ve taken on two Zumba classes, one pole dance class followed by a KBX class (Kettle Bell Extreme) and a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class, plus walked 15 miles over 5 days. I would have squeezed one more Zumba class in, but it was early morning and I had a hangover to contend with.

In terms of fundraising, I’m afraid I have let an entire week slip by without actively fundraising! Clearly I cannot allow this to become a habit and I need to give myself a kick up the backside and start making plans on how I am going to achieve my target. I suppose the best way to do that is to set myself mini-tasks and share through my blog, so if I am lazy and don’t do anything you can all give me a kick up the backside!

This coming week I pledge to:

  1. Speak to local supermarkets about arranging another coin collection day
  2. Make enquiries in to holding a bake sale at work
  3. Ask friends and family to donate any unwanted Christmas gifts that would be suitable as prizes for a raffle

On a more positive note I did receive some helpful fundraising tips from a fellow blogger, and a kind donation which was most welcome. Mr BDP has set himself an amazing personal challenge, to give 1 billion dollars to various charities in his lifetime. He is not a billionaire, or a millionaire so the money isn’t just coming from his pocket – Mr BDP is just trying to make the world a better place by doing what he can. I think this is such an amazing personal challenge and will be following him on his quest – why don’t you follow along to?

 

How I totally changed my lifestyle in one short year

As it’s January, and (it feels like) the whole world and it’s dog are on a fitness kick, New Year’s resolutions and all that, I thought I’d share with you all what I’ve been up to fitness-wise. I’ve got a lot of time before I start trekking the Inca Trail and climbing up and down hundred’s of steps (possibly thousands, but if it really is thousands of steps I’d rather not know) so I’m not exactly in training mode yet, but I am working on increasing my fitness levels and stamina.

This time last year I did no exercise at all. Well, I would walk from my car to the office and back each day, but that only took 5 minutes or so, so it doesn’t really count. About this time last year I did start calorie counting, using a fabulous free app called MyFitnessPal, which helped me to lose 2 stone in weight. For the first couple of months I just counted the calories and didn’t do any exercise, but still lost weight. In March I took up jogging again (my relationship with jogging is very on again/off again, we don’t really get along) until I got a really horrible viral infection which zapped all of my energy for a good few weeks and ruined the little routine I’d managed to get going. Around that time I finally plucked up the courage to try out a fitness class I’d fancied for years, pole dance classes. In case anyone has the wrong idea, the classes aren’t about stripping or lap dancing or anything like that – it’s more like a gymnastics class with a pole, requiring upper body and core strength, balance (and grace… which sadly I am lacking in, but I think I’m getting better!).

 

The latest move I managed to accomplish - Extended Buterfly

The latest move I managed to accomplish – Extended Buterfly

After I started going to pole dance classes I started working on building up my strength at home, doing lots of push ups, tricep dips, ab work, squats etc, which made a huge difference in class, giving me the strength I need to do certain moves and to keep myself held up. Doing these exercises really helped me to tone up, giving me loads more confidence and helping me to feel good about myself. In the summertime I got into the habit of going for a walk during my lunch break every day. I tend to walk pretty fast, and I was pushing myself to walk off 200 calories in an hour, solely so I could treat myself to something naughty at the end of the day!

I was quite content with my exercise regime of walking approx 15 miles per week and my weekly pole dance class, it suited me quite nicely and burnt off enough calories to treat myself to the yummy junk food I love so much. That was until November, when I signed up to the Inca Trail Challenge and I knew I’d have to start pushing myself more to build up my stamina. And, November is closely followed by December. You know, that month where alcohol, chocolate, yummy savoury snacks and all kinds of naughtiness are available at every turn? So it was time to add something else in to the mix, and I honestly didn’t see this one coming – Zumba!

My mam has been going to a local Zumba class for a while now, and had been on at me for ages to go along to a class with her, and I kept resisting. Why? Because I have no co-ordination whatsoever, and no rhythm or anything else that helps you shake your hips and do salsa moves (unless I’m drunk, and I’m not convinced that I have these skills when I’m drunk, but by that point I don’t care), and I didn’t want other people to see what a mess I was and not being able to keep up. Then, all of a sudden after months of asking me to go along, she tells me that the class is in the dark with disco lights bouncing around the walls and my ears pricked up. In the dark? Well that didn’t sound too bad, if it’s in the dark then surely it can’t be too easy to see every mistake I make? So I finally went along to a class and gave it a go. As I expected I made a lot of mistakes and couldn’t figure out a lot of the moves, but…. it was fun! And it burns a lot of calories according to the good old MyFitnessPal app, so I’ve been along to quite a few classes now and think this could be something that I keep going to ensure I get a good cardio workout.

Last week, feeling a little flush with Christmas money, I paid for a monthly pass to the fitness centre where the Zumba takes place, which gives me unlimited access to all of the classes which they run – which is a lot! In the past week, as well as Zumba, I’ve tried out a KBX and an HIIT class, last week I didn’t have a clue what either of those acronyms meant! KBX stands for Kettle Bell X-Treme, if you’ve done a MetaFit class before imagine that with kettle bells. I haven’t done a MetaFit class before, so it was quite a shock to the system! HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and the class I did today is very much like the Les Mills Grit workout program. I didn’t find this as bad as the KBX class last week, possibly because I was a little bit more prepared and had an idea of what to expect.

So, that’s my little account of where my fitness level currently stands. Looking back over the past year I’m really proud of what I have achieved in terms of weight loss and fitness, and I felt that sharing this with you would give you a better idea of the very lazy lifestyle I once led and how far I have come, and hopefully my future posts will show you how much further I can go!