Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Wedding Dress

I have a guest post from Madam Bipolar today. If you are not already following her blog, you should. She writes amazingly.

It was love at first sight.

I had to have the dress.

It would be my wedding dress.

The dress. The One.



I had been thinking about her since I was five years old.

One day, I took Leah to see the dress and she cried tears of joy. My friends Mon and Kayte loved it, too.

This dress was the first one I had tried on, so you could say it was love at first sight.

It was a long, beaded sheath in the most elegant shade of white. The beads picked up the light and were perfect for a dusk wedding in March.

I still have a sample of the beads in a photo album at home. They are still perfect.

I bought the dress on my lunchbreak, by myself, just weeks after we became engaged.

It was duly placed on lay-buy and I made regular payments towards my dream.

As perfect as it was there was just one thing missing, a wrap for my arms because it gets cold in March.

I found the perfect item in, of all places, a hippie store in Byron Bay.

Paid for, wrapped and bagged, it was all mine.

Three months before my wedding I had the outfit ready to go. It hung in a one-of-a-kind garment bag and was the subject of much oohing and ahhing.

I would often sneak inside my wardrobe and have a peak. She was beyond beautiful and the wrap was her perfect match.

Even though the dress is almost 10 years old, I still long for her.

She now belongs to another.

I sent it to America to Brides Against Breast Cancer, an organisation which resells wedding gowns to raise money for breast cancer.

In 2004, I packed the dress up lovingly to be prepared for its new home. This dress and I had been on one long ride together.

I still love her, even though I never wore her.

While the dress fit, the groom did not.

She never got out of her garment bag.

--
If you would like an update on Madam Bipolar's love life and marriage state, just go here:

Never Enough
I am enough for him

Madam Bipolar
Living with and supporting others with bipolar disorder. Bipolar resources and bipolar advocacy.
Blog: http://www.madambipolar.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @SawHole



Madam Bipolar

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Birth Order?



For a whole variety of reasons, not least my own children, I have been pondering a fair bit recently on the idea that birth order among siblings impacts on personalities, and in turn, on family dynamics.


Whether I am thinking of my own three children or other families I know, it seems that there is perhaps, a pattern?


Whether I am over analytical about children or adult personality traits, does birth order have an impact, d'you think?


I am one of five. I have three elder siblings and one younger brother. In theory then, I am the fourth born.


Which, apparently, means I carry the following traits:



  • entertaining due to the ability to imitate many personalities.
  • feels 'not big enough' thus isolated and has a desire for belonging.
  • analyzes things from many points of view and can come up with ingenious and balanced ideas.
  • is thoughtful, understanding and empathetic of others
However, amongst my elder siblings we have twins, so does that mean that I am really a third born type?

  • acquainted with feeling vulnerable and can be clingy.
  • thinks in comparative ways, giving rise to new ideas and even practical inventions.
  • is sympathetic with others who are vulnerable and very protective.
  • has challenges being cooperative with others due to having to survive by being rebellious.
Equally, there is a large age gap of nine years between my elder siblings and I - and as such, the elder three were always know as "the big children" when my younger brother and I were always known (and treated like) the "baby children". So would that make me adapt to "last born" traits? Which are, apparently -
  • Social and outgoing
  • Financially irresponsible
  • Attention seeking lovers of limelight
  • Manipulative and spoiled
And to throw a spanner in the works, my elder siblings were very much doing their own thing by the time I  came along, and I have a younger brother; (who, I hasten to add in case he is reading along, does NOT display last born traits...) So I wonder, so does the age gap simply make me more of a first born type?

 

  • has the challenge of gaining the lost affection from parents when a baby brother/sister comes along, by waiting for attention.
  • covers up the deep longing for love by being tough.
  • is an over achiever and has perfectionist traits.
  • finds it challenging to share thoughts and feelings.
Far out, it's a minefield! You can see why I am spinning out, thinking and reading about it all.


How about you?


Have you read books on birth order?


Any truth in it all for you?


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Monday, 29 August 2011

Fake it 'till you make it...


So, today I will:

1. Weigh In (and add the result to my ticker at the bottom of my blog)
2.  Got to personal training at 6am and work out hard
3. Drink 2 litres of water
4. Eat when I am hungry. And only when I am hungry.
5. Eat supportively and cleanly
6. Go to bed early
7. Listen to some weight loss hypnotherapy

That's all...

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Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Deli...




The shopkeeper watches her. From behind the counter of his old fashioned parade grocer that has turned into a gourmet deli, he is a providore of small goods and wine, tobacco and fresh artisan produce. 

He smiles a sad smile.

He has known her for over a decade.

He has known her mother even longer. These women, they used to appear together, and similar. These days, not so much. He has not seen the mother for a number of years. She has shrunk, from the local community, from life, into herself.

He keeps an eye on the girl as she moves around the small store, fond. He observes that she has lost weight, but still has tired eyes. Her movements are efficient. He wonders if she knows that despite the economy of her actions, she still displays a generous amount of care and worry?

Her children are not with her this week. Nor have they shared this chore for some months now. They are at school now. A useful protection from new and sadder memories.

The girl chooses quickly, from a list. A list, he notices, that is part of a further reaching diary of things to do.

Today's component of the list that gets shorter each and every week.

A list that used to pretend to be full of the promise of nutrient rich meals, a list of normality. Now they don't bother with pretending. Dog food, coffee, and the staples.

The staples of cigarettes and wine. Great volumes of both.

The fruit has disappeared from the list.

She still buys tomato juice and vanilla yogurt. And hopes that last weeks healthy produce may have been eaten. She will sadly realise, next week, that there is little point.

The point of the shopping, of the chore, is just the substance exchange.

She strides, still quick, taking note of crusty breads, rich mature cheddars and succulent pâtés. Creamy dips, some camembert, some gourmet crackers. Tropical juices, like nectar. Full fat iced coffee in a carton with some free chemicals, some cheesy chips with their divine orange crack dust. Her brown eyes flicker over the wares that are enticing.

She throws a block of chocolate into the basket. It will satisfy, perhaps. In the heart of her mind, she actually knows it won't help. The temptation is easier to fulfil that abstinence.


She pays him. Her card, the total cost of real food to substances is in poor ratio. The cost is high on her card, on health. Regardless of the cheap red wine, the volumes required come at such a cost.

She hauls the shopping bags from counter to car.

The providore watches her still.

He knows she will unpack the majority into her mothers larder. The wine is left out on a drinks tray, for convenience. She will clean up, feed the dog, deal with garbage bins and recycling. He recalls she deals with her Mothers post, with her bills, these days. He can hear an echo of the chatter they used to indulge in. Do they chat still? Or does resentment fill the guilty silences?

And then she is back in her car. And she sighs. Exhales. Relieved that the chore is complete for another week.

She sits for a moment without driving off. She wonders how long it will be before the time of day is justified for a glass to fill with red wine. Her Mother will feel the relief as she takes that first sip, as she swallows it to stuff down all the other stuff. The stuff that is too hard to deal with.

She reaches into her bag and breaks a chunk of chocolate and mindlessly eats it. It turns her brain off, momentarily. She swallows it, to stuff down all the other stuff...the stuff that is so hard to deal with.



We are all addicted to something.



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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Writing + Weight loss = same/same

A guest post today, from Allison of Life in a Pink Fibro. (Her blog is my absolute fave.)

Allison is a wonderful writer, whose blog is full of gems of advice for bloggers and writers. If you are not following her, you should be.



I know what I should be doing. I know how it goes. Little by little. Bit by bit. One step at a time.

Only I’m not doing it. Writing, that is.

I have this plan. I’ll write 500 words a day. That’s not too much to deal with, right? Baby steps. I do the 500, I write it down. I see my results on the page. Just like deciding I’ll do a little bit of exercise every day. Write it down. See my results on the page.

I’ll avoid the bad stuff. The ‘naughty’ stuff. Like Twitter and procrastinating and Pascall’s Chocolate Eclairs (I swear these are writing fuel… no, really). But I don’t. Instead, I sit down and think ‘I’ll just have a tiny bit, surely that won’t hurt’. Before I know it, the whole afternoon is gone. And so I give up for the day. “I’ll start tomorrow,” I swear to myself. Sound familiar?

Four weeks ago, I started a weight loss challenge. I was full of good intentions. I would exercise at least three times a week. I would stop drinking chocolate milkshakes with my boys. I would find a way to cook their dinner without eating enough for three people during the process. But then life got in the way. The boys got sick, work got busy, we started renovating a house. I didn’t take stress into consideration when I was planning my virtuous, lolly-free existence. I haven’t finished the damn challenge. Kind of essential for success.

As for writing… let’s just say that the novel I started writing 18 months ago remains stuck. In the middle. The sagging, stodgy middle. I didn’t take life (or blogging) into consideration when I was planning my best-selling-author future. I haven’t finished the damn book. Kind of essential for success.

There are so many areas in life where our intentions don’t quite meet up with our actions. A little slip in the time/space continuum and, whoops, there goes the plan. Budgeting is one area. Raising tidy, quiet children appears to be another (or maybe that’s just me).

But all we can do is to keep trying. Start every day afresh. Start thinking that this will be the day that’s different. What’s the alternative? To give up? Quitters don’t write novels. Quitters don’t get fit and healthy.

I’m no quitter. I’m starting again. Tomorrow.

I hope you enjoyed this guest post? Make sure you pop over to the The Pink Fibro and say g'day!


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Friday, 26 August 2011

Followers, love and "fame"...


I generally try and do a "grateful" post every Friday, and link to Maxabella's Grateful linky.



I am going to use this weeks grateful post to also give some other shout outs too.

So, in no particular order, here are a mere selection of the things I find myself very grateful for this week:

1. Followers - whether you count their numbers or not, all bloggers love engagement, and so I am very thankful for all of the followers and return visitors I get.

My first ever follower was a young lady by the name of Melissa. She is a legend. She writes the blog Suger Coat It. She is my blog designer. She is my Skype chick. She recently wrote a brilliant post about women. Go have a read. You will adore her.



2. Encouragement. I had been blogging for a number of years when Sarah over at Just Me, encouraged me to "go public". I am so glad she did. Blogging has become my best and fave online activity. Sarah, on so many levels, you rock. Your quiet kindness in this world does not go unnoticed.

3. "Fame". A Current Affair, for reporting on a story last night with some level of sanity. News it was not, but they represented Mum Bloggers very well. It was my TV debut. In which I talked about speed and vomit. Classy. As my lovely husband said to me, Oprah has nothing to fear. If you missed it, the video clip is here.

4. Love. My lovely husband. Who comes home early, clinking with the sound of a bottle or two of wine, with a grin, to our weekend.

What are YOU grateful for today?



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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Clairvoyance?



Today I came across some old papers, from a number of years ago:  prolific notes made for me by a well respected psychic clairvoyant.

I felt the crackle of coincidence as I read her words, eleven years after she penned them.

She was a rough diamond, cigarette in hand, sitting behind a run down shopfront.

For not much more than the price of a bottle of wine, she read me. Read me like an open book.

She told me how my father had died, right down to specifics of limbs and dates.

She told me how many children I would have, gave me their birth order, and the colour of their uniforms they would wear.

She hesitated, concerned eyes, brows pulled together, over the name of William, and I now know why.

She told me of living in the tropics, of who and what I needed to be wary of.

She told me of ailments my mother would suffer, and how to try to ease the pain.

I read the notes now, on their thin paper. I am comforted, not spooked, by the amazing accuracy of her words. The coincidence or truth, whichever I choose to believe, drains tension from my shoulders.

I am not sure if I have acted upon her words. I recall the visit well, but I had forgotten the detail.

So now I am still unsure of her vision, of her third eyes authenticity.

Did she forecast all this? This life? And did her words act as a catalyst for my subsequent choices and actions?  Or did she indeed see the future, my future, and have a vision of the life I now lead?

It is a beautiful life. If she saw that and forecast it; or if indeed I created all this as a result of her words, no matter.

What about you? Cynic or believer? Have you ever been to see a psychic or clairvoyant?

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

6 Ways to Get Happy...


What makes your happy list?

My lovely husband asked me, last night, as we dulled and muted the adverts on the TV, "You're happy, aren't you?"

I grinned and responded positively.

He grinned back and asked me why I was happy. It made me ponder.

There are a million reasons why I'm happy, but when he made me narrow it down to a mere five  six* things, this is what makes my list -

1. Have someone in your world that thinks you are special. A partner, a child, a parent, a friend. Someone who knows and tells you via word or deed or touch that you are incredible and sensational, to them.

2. Work at something you love. Be it your paid job, or the work you do for your family at home, or volunteer work, or a pursuit that needs a little persistence (like blogging!). Work and play toward goals.

3. Eat and drink well. Not for gluttonous sake, but for well being. Eat for hunger,  rather than stuffing down emotions. Eat what your body needs. Drink lots of water. This makes me really content, this one. Health and vitality means all my energy can work towards love and fun and laughter rather than fretting over my ailments.

4. Laugh. Laugh at a joke on Twitter, at your dog, at funny photos, at your children. Laugh with others. It is deliciously infectious.

5. Move. Walk. Run. Swim. Box. Yoga. Pilate's. Lift weights, skip, stretch. Just move. Your body and your heart and your mood will all thank you for it.

6. Sleep. Get an early night. 9.30pm bedtime for some loving, some reading, or some meditation. Relax into the utter bliss of an early night. Tomorrow you will wake with a smile.

* I could not make it a list of five. Six is it!

It is tempting for me to think that material things, or money, or fame or fortune will make me happy.

But they might not. In fact, they probably won't make me happy, unless I have my top six in place already.

So I will revel in the things that really do make me content.


Tell me, what makes YOUR happy list?


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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How we look, versus how we feel...

I found myself looking at some photos of myself yesterday.


They are well taken shots with a good camera.

The photographer was engaging and took a myriad of snaps of me in my natural environment - chatting and laughing and sharing with other women, other bloggers.

My lovely husband and children saw the photos and were singing my praises.(Bless them - such unconditional love!)

I have a niggle in my head though. Fat. I still look fat. Self critical. I still have a double chin. Why does my neck look chubby, still? I have no waist. That incessant insecure chatter in my mind. I wish it would quieten.

I have lost a lot of weight over the past few years. Slow and steady. But I tell myself I still look fat. What's with that?!

As quickly as these insecurities gushed into my head, then I force them to seep rapidly away.

Losing weight, for me, has never been about how I look. It's about how I feel.





So regardless of how I appear in a photo; regardless of how much weight I still have to lose, I will remind myself of how good it feels to lose nearly 40kg.  Nearly 90lbs of weight has gone, never to return. I am fitter and healthier now that I have ever been.

My vitality, now, in comparison to when I was at my heaviest, is so vastly improved. That is what I must recall when I realise that, in photos, I still don't look like a supermodel.

My skin is clear, as is my conscience. Through plenty of whole foods and water, I glow.

My eyes are brighter, simply because I am happier.

I have more energy, more zest for live, more joie de vivre than I have ever had.

So I shall try not to stress over photos that depict me as "cuddly" and still plump. I shall take steps just to remember how much weight I have lost, how much health I have gained, and how amazing this makes me feel.

Tell me, do you like photos of yourself? How do you deal with insecurities? Share with me?


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PS A lot of people have asked me how I have lost weight. I have eaten less, and moved more. But most importantly, I believed I could, and so gradually, I have lost weight. The Think Slim audio series has helped me immeasurably.

Monday, 22 August 2011

31 Days to Build a Better Blog - A Giveaway!

I believe in sharing the love, and I know that everyone love love loves to win.

If you have big dreams for your blog but have been putting improving it in the ‘one day’ basket, then this giveaway is for you!


Have you heard of ProBlogger? Darren Rouse? If you're a blogger, I am pretty sure you have.

Darren Rowse has been blogging since 2002 on over 30 blogs. He’s been earning a full time living from his blogs since 2005. He is Australian. He is tops. He really really knows his stuff.

Have you heard of his book, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog?

By working through the book, by the end of the 31 days you’ll have:

  • written a variety of different types and styles of posts
  • learned techniques for coming up with new post ideas
  • promoted your blog in a variety of ways
  • built relationships with readers 
  • reached out to and developed working relationships with other bloggers
  • developed an editorial calendar for your blog going forward
  • discovered ways to be more connected to your niche/topic
  • designed a plan for the next month of your blogging

And I have a copy of ProBlogger's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog to giveaway to one lucky reader!

All you need to do is:

1. Make sure you are following my blog.
2. Leave me a comment. telling me your blogging goal, and include a link to your blog so I can come and visit you!


Open to all bloggers, the world over.
Giveaway closes Monday 5th of September at midday CST
Winner will be chosen via Random.Org
Winner will be notified via their blog/email
Prize will be delivered electronically


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ETA This giveaway is now closed. The winner is announced here.

Welcome to today!

Welcome to today. Another chance. An opportunity to grow, to change, to shrink, to smile.

All those plans and dreams you have?

The ones that make you smile as you fall asleep?

Why not let today be the day that you start to makes those gorgeous things happen?


All those plans and dreams are exciting. They are what make me me, and you you.

If you start today, tomorrow will be even more exciting.

If we were to make a list of all of the ideas and plans and dreams we have, all of the things we'd like to achieve and be? How long would that list be? How much potential!

Drop a dress size, change the world, get the to the bottom of the ironing basket, write a novel. Start a family, get fit, change your job. Paint a picture. Change something about yourself.

Welcome to today. Another chance. Feel free to change...

Tell me your plans? Big or small, what are you going to do today?

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PS I have just found out that this blog of mine has been added to Blogs of Note - I'm thrilled and honoured - so, if you're a new reader, hope you follow along and enjoy the ride!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The one Kelloggs didn't ask me to post...

Last week I spent some time in Sydney, and went to a brunch hosted by Kelloggs.

It was not a brunch for Kelloggs to push their ideas or products onto me.

It was, amazingly, a genuine call from a large company to really find out what parents want from a product.

They did not expect or ask us to blog about anything at all.

And the humility and modesty quietly illustrated by Kelloggs with respect to their philanthropic nature impressed me enourmously. It demonstrates a long but unflashy committment to integrity which appeals to me.

I realise I have been a loyal user of their products since I was a child. I remember this advert jingle getting stuck in my head in since the mid 1970's...




So in response, I tout my children to you in a unscripted vlog, filmed around our breakfast table in our grubby kitchen the morning after I returned...enjoy.




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PS If you do want information on Kelloggs and cereals in general, it's here - Love Your Cereal.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Doctor

This week I am grateful for a squillion things.

But the one echo of this busy week is that I should be most grateful to our family GP.



Based in a practice, in a suburb a long way from where we now live, we have been seeing him, on and off, for over eleven years. (I sense that it is credit to him and his empathy that we still choose to attend this practice, despite its inconvenience?)

From upset tummies to smoking cessation to weight loss to depression, we have visited Dr Chris.

For unexplained infertility through to eventual antenatal care for babies, we have visited Dr Chris.

For septic arthritis in Olivia, to a hundred appointments for Charlie and his dodgy ears, as well as all the usual vaccinations and immunisations, we have called upon Dr Chris.

He has, quite literally, saved life and limb for us.

So today I am grateful to family general practitioners. To the ones who really care for families, who build a relationship, who work long hours, who are underfunded by medicare, who make house calls, who know their patients. To the ones that really give a shit, I thank you.

And particularly those GP's who know and sense that the last question a mother asks as she leaves the surgery is often the real problem - I am grateful, so grateful to you.

Do you have a good GP? Or do you struggle with an impersonal medical centre?

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Friday, 19 August 2011

Best.Job. Opportunity.In.The.Whole Wide.World.


A Job with a Difference: Sealy offers $10,000 Employment Contract to Literally “Sleep on the Job”



Blogging and sleeping. And get paid for both. 

Are you the sort of person who has a habit of drifting off by morning tea, taking nana naps when any opportunity arises or grabbing 40 winks whilst on the couch with the kids? Then Sealy has got the perfect job for you. Australia’s leading bed manufacturer is recruiting for a unique new position within the company – a Sealy Sleep Ambassador – whose sole responsibility will be to sleep on the job!

The successful applicant – who will receive a package worth approximately $10,000 for a month’s work – will be required to keep a sleep journal, reporting back findings on different sleep routines, offering product feedback, as well as blogging about their experiences for Sealy.

In return they will receive $100 per night ‘sleep salary’ for 30 days, along with a top-of-the-range Sealy Posturepedic Queen Size Ensemble to sleep on, a Manchester package and return flights to visit Sealy’s head office in Brisbane.

“The job is 100% genuine,” says Daniel Robinson, Sealy’s training manager. “It will involve a legally binding contract for 30 days with a detailed job description. Overall the ‘package’ is worth around $10,000 – not bad for sleeping on the job!”

The newly created role is designed to coincide with the Sealy Posturepedic Diamond Jubilee - celebrating 60 years of great sleep.

“We’re always receiving feedback from customers about how much they love their Sealy Posturepedic beds, but they wish they had more time to sleep on it! So we decided to give one lucky person the chance to have this dream come true by offering them a job where they are paid to enjoy more sleep on a top-of-the-range Sealy Posturepedic bed”

Interested in applying? Australia residents over the age of 18 can apply from Monday for the role via Sealy’s Twitter page, www.twitter.com/SealyAustralia, stating in 140 characters or less why they would be the perfect Sealy Sleep Ambassador.

A judging panel at Sealy will sort through the applications and find the most unique, interesting or clever response, producing a shortlist of five people. Sealy’s online Twitter community will then vote on who they think should be the successful applicant with the role starting on 1st October 2011.

Job applications open on Monday 22 August 2011.

Will you apply?


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Thursday, 18 August 2011

At Home Circuit Training

The other day, a lovely blogger and loyal commenter made a remark about home circuit training.

Which I have been meaning to write a post about for a while.

So I pounced upon her straight away and asked for a guest post...

The lovely Jodi of The Scribble Den indulged me - so read on for a brilliant way to work out free, to work out well, to work out conveniently:



When Lucy asked me to guest post today I was very honoured indeed, and then as I read on and realised I was to be guest posting on my personal at home circuit training I had a bit of a chuckle.

 You see, I am a very haphazard exercise junkie meaning that I love to exercise and keep fit but can never stick to anything for very long. I get bored, tired or just plain lazy really. Also I hate the gym. The idea of working out, sweating all over exercise equipment, feeling like I have to keep pace with the long, lean freak on the treadmill next to me whilst others perv glance around the room just makes me nauseous. So I have learned to be an ‘at home’ exercise junkie.

I have a fabulous collection of tragic wonderful DVD’s including Aerobics Oz Style, Denise Austin, Tracy Anderson, Windsor Pilate's, 10 minute trainer (yes I get sucked into late night TV shopping), and even a Paula Abdul dance DVD. (?)

But, my favourite type of exercise and the one I always come back to is Circuit Training. Why?

  • It's challenging, but fun
  • It works every muscle in your body, including your heart
  • You can change the routine each day[Soft Break]
  • You can adjust time limits at each station to suit how you feel each day
  • You don’t need any ‘special’ equipment
  • You don’t the latest, tight fitting exercise clothing: just trackies & a T-shirt

 So here is my At Home Circuit Training for Dummies Mummies.

What you need:

 Light hand weights, (soup or dog food cans will do), an exercise mat (or carpet area), a skipping rope (any rope will do), stairs or steps, some space, a clock (preferably with a second hand) and your favourite music. And a water bottle to keep hydrated – very important.


Set up 5 stations as follows:

 1.Hand weights (works arm & shoulder muscles)

 2.Sit ups/crunches (works abs, core strength & that pelvic floor)

 3.Skipping area. Make sure you have enough room to actually skip without knocking over the crystal. (works heart and aerobic capacity)

 4.Lunges & leg work (works on toning legs & butt)

 5.Stairs or steps (works legs and heart/lungs)


Now set your music to your favourite CD or play list. You will be doing each station for one minute to begin with so keep an eye on the clock or better still you can set up an iPhone app to alert you at each interval.

Decide how long you will do the circuit for: 20 minutes is a good starting point.

It is always good to start with a short warm up of some light stretching of the major muscle groups to prevent injury and warm up the muscles ready for the onslaught.

 When you are warmed up GET STARTED! Simple as that. Work at your own pace, you don’t need to be going ‘hell for leather’ at each station. Do what you can and your own speed. The challenge is to push yourself a little further each time you revisit a station.

 Here’s what to do at each station:

 1.Hand weights:
Here simply lift those weights. You can do bicep curls, triceps, shoulder raises. Sets of eight on each arm at a time.

  2.Sit up/crunches.:
Use this minute to tone those abs with a combination of crunches/curls and side twists to work both lower, upper and side abs. Traditional crunches lifting your head and shoulders off the ground and back down. You can then do the opposite and keep your shoulders down, put your legs in the air and raise your butt off the ground a little by squeezing your abs. You can then do a combo of both the upper lift and bottom lift together. Then works side abs by lifting shoulders off the ground and twisting left and right. Remember to breath in when you are contracting your muscles and out when you relax.

 3.Skipping:
Yes just like at school. Grab the rope and skip to whatever level you feel comfortable. It might be a running skip, a double jump or a fast single jump or a combination.

 4.Stairs or steps:
If you have stairs run up to the top and back down for the entire minute. If you only have a few steps, use them like a step class. Alternate a gentle step up and down for ten seconds, followed by ten seconds of running up and down.

 5.Lunges/squats:
The good old lunge & squat. Start with both legs together then step the left leg forward as you lunge down. Try not to over extend your knee and keep upright lunging down till your knee is close but not touching the floor, return to standing position and repeat with the right leg. Alternate five times and then do some simple standing squats, leg together and squatting up and down as if you are about to sit on a chair.

 Once you have done the circuit and are back to the beginning, push yourself a little further for the next time around. When you are nearing your time allocation of time use the last circuit as a bit of a cool down and take it a little easier.

 Remember that this is all done at your own pace, there is no one there to impress or judge you. If you need a break for a minute – take it. If you need to just walk around the room for a minute do it. If you feel crap, stop and try again tomorrow.

 Also it is best to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regime and if you feel feint or light headed during the workout please stop. (Disclaimer courtesy of the many exercise DVD’s I own!)

 Oh and one word of advice don’t try and out do yourself on the first attempt. I did and could barely use my calf muscles for three days! Not. Worth. It. But all the other benefits ARE worth it!


 Jodi is a passionate blogger, freelance writer and aspiring author. Jodi loves sharing business inspiration, social media & online marketing tips from her business background and is also studying graphic design. A loving wife and also mum to 4 girls, Jodi is cycling mad, loves travel, music, drama, theatre, crazy dancing and people who have the courage to be real and follow their dreams.

Blog: www.jodigibson.com.au/the-cafe/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/thescribbleden
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thescribbleden






create.write.share.inspire








 
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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ironic

Last night I wrote a funny post about how shit hot I was at all things IT. It took me an hour.

Seriously.

I waxed on and on about how I had managed a whole range of IT feats by myself.

Big noted myself to the extreme.

Then I went and totally LOST the post.

It got eaten by my iPad or something.



It is only this morning, now I am over my frustration, that I see the irony in this.

Have a good day everyone...

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Monday, 15 August 2011

In Flight...

I love airports.

My lovely husband thinks I am mad.

He hates airports with a passion.

But I really do love the space, the vibe, the light, the noises and the smells of an airport.

As a child I would travel up to Heathrow and meet realtives off planes. I loved the excitement then, and despite having travelled a lot since then, I still love a busy airport. Their size blows me away. Even tiny airports are impressive.

I love to get to the airport early and check in early. And then I can shop a little - perfume usually.

And then I can peruse the book stall. Airport bookshops are overt in their promotion of the trashy novel. They have whole shelves dedicated to"In Flight Reading". How I love the promise of an embossed cover!

Coffee from one of the many stalls.

Toilets where the lighting shows up every wrinkle, but is also brilliant for the middle aged business of plucking.

Minimal chit chat.

Time to read, to think, to people watch.

The anticipation of a snooze on the plane.

Peace. Solitude.

What's not to like?

Am I the only one? Airports: do you love them or hate them?




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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Leek and Potato Soup

We marketed today. Adelaide is blessed with some of the best produce markets I have ever had the pleasure of shopping at. Leeks were in abundance - small tender white leeks. Divine.



So for our Sunday supper, the lovely husband (with his helper: Charlie) made the most delicious leek and potato soup.

He made a huge batch, so I can enjoy it again tomorrow too.

Leek and Potato Soup



Image from here


1 tbs olive oil
20g butter
3 leeks, pale section only, halved, washed, dried, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1kg potatoes, peeled, chopped into small cubes
1.5l of chicken or vegetable stock
150ml light pouring cream
Fresh herbs, finely chopped, to serve

Method

Heat oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes until soft.

Add the potato and stock to the pan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, 30 minutes or until potato is tender. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

Transfer one-third of soup to the jug of a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with remaining mixture.

Place the soup over low heat. Add the cream and warm through. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle among serving bowls. Sprinkle with herbs and serve immediately with crusty bread.


Enjoy. These winter days and the desire for soup will soon diminish for the year...


Saturday, 13 August 2011

La Luna


Today, I am just grateful for the moon.

La Luna, in my mind, is a woman, without a doubt.

Her ebb and flow; her influence over tide and mood: she is remarkable.

On a practical note, she lights my way some mornings when I run. She highlights kangaroos in my distance. How did I get so incredibly lucky to be able to run by early morning moonlight amongst wildlife?

Her placement, her influence on mood and magic and opportunity, I realise, is incredible. I am trying to maintain a sense of awareness of the moons influence.

There has been a positive shift in my world recently.

I cannot pin point why or how; so I shall credit the moon and her rising. I suspect I am susceptible to the spiritual influence of the Moon. I shall run with that, literally and figuratively.

I am grateful to her.

Tell me, do you believe in the power of the moon?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Go somewhere...


All this talk of weekend conferences in  Melbourne and Blog Her in the US...has given me itchy feet.

For a long many years, I travelled at whim.

Growing up in the UK, the proximity to Europe was opportunistic - and made for very cheap holidays.

Before children, we had the disposable income to flit off whenever we pleased. New Zealand, Asia, the US...I was a butterfly who landed anywhere easily.

And for the past eight year we have been consumed by children and home. Our travels have been camping trips in the same state. Which have been delightful...

I have had the odd weekend in Perth and Sydney, which have fed my soul.

But...

I have a yearning to plan a trip again.

My itchy feet need a little scratch.

Do you travel?

Love it or hate it?


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A day off...


I took a day off yesterday.

There were piles and baskets and more piles of washing to be sorted, folded and ironed. And enough work at my desk to last me a week.

But nothing is that urgent.

So I decided to just have day off.

I dropped the kids off at school and kindy, quite happily.

And then I was free.

I stopped at the bakery.

And then dropped in on a friend, for coffee.

She is a warm and wise soul who I can chat to for hours. I find comfort in her kitchen, in her home, in her presence.

She worked a little, I pottered around the internet, on her blog and mine.

She cooked and chatted over her shoulder as I edited some photos and played around with words.

We laughed and shared.

We compare notes over the subjects of children, husbands, the future, the past. Family, practicalities, renovations and dreams. Local and school chit chat combined with a lighthearted banter of how we could rule the world if only we had time...

She has a crackle of energy about her, my friend. A spark. Industrious always, taking her world on with open arms and a wink. A woman with plans all ripe for fruition. An optimism born through determination and hope.

A coffee turned into the way I spent my whole day off. Such a glorious and abundant use of time!

I came home eventually to the same piles of washing and the same work at my desk. It all waited for me.

But I can tackle all that today richer in spirit and energy at having shared the day with a friend.

Do you take days off, ever? Can you?

What would you do with your truant time?


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

When resistance is not futile...

I ache.



Not through lust or flu, this ache comes but can I tell you how badly my muscles are crying out today?

Really, I ache. So badly.

I can barely type at the keyboard, and I am fretting over how I am ever going to be able to raise my arms to drive the kids to school.

When you have worked out on resistance strength training for an hour in the gym: you know if you have done a good job or not by the ache you get the next day.

Resistance exercise feels quite hard at the time, but not impossible.

I am not lifting olympic sized weights here. Just a few 6kg weights, and then just using my bodies own weight to create resistance and the push pull and lift has worked my muscles in a different way.

Squats, lunges, crunches, sit ups. Push ups and butt lifts. Jumping jacks and a little cardio at the end.

And whilst I do really really ache? It feels great...

Resistance exercise helps to prevent osteoporosis. Resistance training helps to maintain good flexibility. Resistance training also provides functional benefits. Stronger muscles improve posture, provide better support for joints, and reduce the risk of injury from everyday activities. Resistance training makes your body toned and you look better.


What's not to like?! Resistance is not futile...

Do you do any strength or resistance or weight training? Tell me what works for you?