Thursday, 28 February 2013

to be thankful

There are moments in our lives that we just don't forget.. I am sure we can all recall where we were and what we were doing when we heard about Princess Diana's death, 9/11 plane crashes, and other tragic events in our lives. Some of these moments happened so many years ago but we can recall them as if they were yesterday (ask me what I actually did yesterday and I'd probably forget!)

After September 11 Alan Jackson released a song "Where were you when the world stopped turning"... I love that song but for me the world did not stop turning that September day like he says in that song, it was a few years later, in fact it was on this day 7 years ago....

28th February 2006 was the day my younger sister Kathy passed away, just 2 hours before her 23 birthday.  Kathy lost a 15 month on and off battle with cancer that started on her tongue and recurred in the lymph nodes in her neck. Without going into all the horrible details I remember the day she passed as if it was yesterday.

Kathy was 4 years younger than me. If you've read my about me (or actually know me) then you'll know that I grew up on a property out of town and went away to boarding school for high school, I joke that I moved out of home when I was 11 as I only went home for holidays, went straight from HS to Uni and straight from Uni to Far NQ to teach. So Kathy would have been 7 when I 'moved out of home' so sometimes I feel like I never really got to know her, when she finished HS she moved to NSW to complete Uni and it felt like we couldn't be further apart.

But this post is about being thankful, so I am thankful for the moments and the memories I do have. A lot of my memories about Kathy are from when she got sick and the battle she endured. Some of them are not the most pleasant memories but they are ones that I will hold on to forever. I am also thankful to the friends and family that she had that loved her dearly and looked after her and continue to love and cherish her memory today and every day.

(I am thankful for my other sister Renee for creating this little photo montage)

"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
Thomas Campbell

Linking up with  Leigh from Six by the Bay again for Thankful Thursday

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

another outfit update

So I am still winning at the 'not wearing the same thing to work twice challenge!'

4 weeks down 5 to go.....

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys and Twinkle in the Eye for Wordless Wednesday

My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

for week 3 weigh in...

Tomorrow is weigh in day for the 12wbt and I am not feeling too bad. I feel like I have had one good week this last week, there were a few things that challenged and tempted me (Staff morning teas, a student giving me a Mars Bar as a "thanks for teaching me" gift) which I calmly and proudly refused.

I learnt from my lessons in the previous week and sat down over the weekend and got super organised for the week ahead. I studied the menu guide carefully and re-worked it to suit me and my week and will hopefully minimise some of those issues I was having! I even weighed and measured out little snack bags of almonds so I know exactly how much I'm eating.

On Friday I had a PT session at my gym. I am not going to make it a regular thing at this stage as I feel that I am doing well on this and there really isn't anything that she can offer that I am not getting from Mish. She did remind me of the fact that muscle does weigh more than fat so I am not expecting big things in tomorrow's weigh in. I know that I don't have a lot of weight to lose so expecting big numbers is unrealistic. I think the true test will come next week when we measure. I don't know how I am going to go, it is still early days but I do know that I am feeling great! I don't have that 'full in the belly' yucky feeling.

Saturday was my first SSS workout and I must admit I was a little perplexed by it all. The SSS, for those not in the know, is the Super Saturday Session. It's where we are meant to push ourselves to burn at least 1000 calories. I decided to work through the 'At Home' version that Mish has on the website. I printed if off Friday afternoon and studied it well so I knew what I had to do. It involved A LOT of push ups, different styles and actions. It was interval type training with knee ups inbetween sets of pushups.... I am certainly not known for my upper body strength (if you've looked at pics of me closely you've probably already figured that so the thought of all of these push ups did not excite me but I went into it determined! So Saturday morning I woke up early, hooked up my brand spanking new Heart Rate Monitor and got to it! It was killing me, I was puffing and sweating and making sounds that would make a beached whale proud and was determined not to give up... I will admit I didn't finish all the sets and skipped the last 2 but instead jumped on my treadmill and did some interval sprints. I felt like I had given it everything I had, was sweating more than I ever had. So I pulled up stumps after 48 mins and checked my calories burnt.... 320.....WTF??? I could not understand it. How could I have worked that hard and only burnt that many calories... I jumped on the facebook page for some advice and support and to ask if theis seemed right. I guess I would have thought that since it was the program that Mish had written then it would burn the calories she expected us to burn... another lesson learnt. Feedback from my post was that most of the girls found they needed to exercise for about 2 hours to get to 1000 calories..... :-/

A little disheartened I had breakfast, showered, cleaned and then got ready to go to Body Balance, which I desperately needed. I decided to continue to monitor my calories to see if I had any hope of burning more. The best way to describe Body Balance is a mix of stretching, yoga and mediation and after an hour long class I managed to burn another 236 calories.... I am still a little confused as to how I could burn that much in quite a relaxing slow paced class but only 320 with an average heart rate of 142 earlier when I was huffing and puffing like there's no tomorrow. Anyway I am not going to dwell on it but it is again a lesson learnt and I will know what to expect and prepare for for next week.

Saturday also meant treat day. If we skip snacks and keep our calorie intact down we can have a treat meal Saturday night. I had saved 600 calories by dinner so got myself a burger from a fave burger place in town. I had been thinking about it and looking forward to it all day! I was so hungry by the time my sister arrived with it that I feel like I enhaled it! And afterwards had that "full in the belly yucky" feeling :-( Not sure I'll bother with a full treat meal from now on as it's amazing how your body gets used to eating well that the moment you don't, you regret it.

Anyway as I said, I feel ok about tomorrow and looking forward to seeing what it brings.....
Stay tuned...

Linking up today with Essentially Jess for IBOT

I Blog on Tuesdays 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

to give thanks

This week I didn't think I was going to link up with Leigh for a Thankful Thursday post but after the morning I had I think I must!

I woke up bleary eyed, rolled over and fumbled around the bedside table for my phone to check the time... 4:35am....doh! The alarm was set for 5:10am to be at my pump class at 5:30 so I was a bit annoyed as I could have gotten a bit more sleep. So anyway I decided it best to not fall back asleep and started to wake myself up properly..... and that's when I started hearing the strange noises. I coud of swore I could hear someone in my unit. I live alone in a townhouse and swore someone was downstairs, the noises were so loud and I was starting to freak out.

I tiptoed to the bathroom and tried to peek outside but it was still so dark I couldn't see anything. All manner of scary thoughts were going through my head.... what are they going to do to me?...maybe they are just going to rob me and go?... I can't afford a new TV?.... How long would it be before someone noticed I was missing?.... Maybe it's the roof guy coming to fix the roof? (oh seriously Zita it's 5am, why on earth would he be here now!)

So I had 000 ready to go on the phone and grabbed the first thing I could that I thought might do some damage (the airfreshner from the toilet! lol.. at least they'll smell pretty!) and crept down the stairs to........nothing!

So I have no idea what the noises were perhaps possums, perhaps the neighbour, I don't know but I am SO thankful that it was not what I thought it was....

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

for a mini break

As I mentioned in my previous post over the last weekend I flew up to NQ to help one of my best friends celebrate her 30th birthday on the beautiful Magnetic Island....this Wordless Wednesday post is happy snaps from my amazingly relaxing weekend with amazing friends..... 
She will hate this photo but I love it! It encapsulates her infectious laugh I reckon!

Cocktails by the pool!

The birthday girl!

Love this girl!

Of course I am linking up with My Little Drummer Boy today!

My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

for week 2

So week 2 of 12WBT has begun...

Week one ended with quite a few red flag days as I flew up to North Queensland to help one of my best friends celebrate her 30th birthday party.

Generally speaking I think I was pretty well behaved. There was no exercise involved in the weekend but I did try and eat as healthy as possible and limited the cocktails and drinks as much as socially acceptable (it was her 30th afterall and will only happen once!).

Am not expecting big numbers this week and wouldn't be surprised if perhaps my numbers go up slightly. I am mentally preparing myself for this.

Week one has also taught me a few lessons that I need to sort out as I go deeper into this program..

First and probably the most important is that I need to get more organised (I can hear Mish saying....durrr I told you that!). I feel like I have been pretty organised but since starting I have realised I need to look closer at the meal plans and perhaps make a few adjustments. Last week I went gung ho and bought all the stuff on my shopping list without really giving it much time and thought. The result was I ended up with far too much food that went off before I got a chance to cook it and then had to go re-buy stuff.. Felt like such a waste of time, food and money (none of which I can afford to lose right now). I don't want to have to go to the shop every afternoon so I think I need to really study the meal plans and maybe re-jig things around so they suit timings better. Lesson learnt..

Am also considering a herb garden of some description. It was something that Mish talked about in pre-season but I thought it easier to just buy what I need when I need, however that failed me last night as I went to the grocery store and they didn't have any fresh basil! Lesson learnt...

The other thing that is grating on me a little is the fact that I am doing this solo and all the recipes are for 2 serves. In some cases this is great as it means I can cook the 2 serves and have one for lunch the next day, fantastic! In other cases it's slightly annoying and another reason I need to look closer into the recipes. Last nights recipe called for 200g of Pumpkin (so 100g for me), now you can't buy 100g of pumpkin so what to do with the rest when no other recipe this week calls for pumpkin.....Lesson learnt... Time to get organised!!!

I also had yet another fail in the exercise department both yesterday and again this morning. Turned up at 5:55am for my 6:00am PT session yesterday only to have no PT arrive! Annoyed doesn't begin to describe the feelings I was having. I was SO tired from only arriving home from my weekend away at midnight but thought JFDI and dragged myself out of bed. So I got on some cardio machines and gave it a good crack but feel so disappointed it wasn't the workout I had planned or hoped for. Even more disappointed that I left a message for the trainer to find out what happened but they never got back to me. Today I turned up at 5:25am for the 5:30am Body Pump class only to find it had been cancelled, apparently they put something on their website...Lesson learnt, check website the night before! On both occassions I could of done with that extra half hour sleep in!

So I think I will play catch up this week, learn from my lessons and as I have no plans for this weekend I am determined to smash out a big SSS, get organised and give week 3 my all!!!

Today I am linking up with Essentially Jess

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

for Wordless Wednesday

I moved towns a few months back and a ruthless friend of mine helped me sort through the endless suitcases and bags of clothes I have....far far more than one person needs she tells me.
So she has set me 2 challenges.

1. I am not allowed to buy any new clothes during term 1 (2 weeks down 7 to go!)
2. I have to wear a different outfit to work every day (and as she lives a long way away I have to send her a pic every day!)

So far so good....

Today I am linking up for the first time with My Little Drummer Boys and Twinkle in the Eye for Wordless Wednesday!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

to begin the 12WBT

So it has begun!

Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation. If I was a brave person I would put up my before photo so you could see what I'm working with.... but right now I am not that brave.

Yesterday was day 1 and I must say, so far so good. Banana Bruschetta for Breakfast, Yoghurt for Morning Tea, Roast Beef, Avocado and Cottage Cheese Wrap for Lunch and it was meant to be Grilled Fish for Dinner but not being a fish fan I looked through the tonnes of substitute recipes and made Asparagus and Sweet Potato Soup (YUM!). Also thought this would be good to have in the freezer for those nights when I get home and don't feel like cooking (I know they will happen!)

I was so strong at morning tea as it was a staff members birthday over the weekend so there was cake everywhere! But I held strong and sat away from it and munched down on my yoghurt.

The lunch was delicious although it was made at about 6:30am and not eaten until about 1:15pm it was a little soggy! Another downfall of being a teacher..

My difficult time is always that stretch between when school finishes and dinner and today I will say I was starving! I got home from work and had a couple of slices of the Bega Light Cheese that is on the allowable snack menu before changing and heading off to the gym for a Zumba class....or so I thought...there lay my first fail. I turned up an hour late! On the class sheet they gave me it has that Zumba was a 5:45 so I turned up at 5:30 only to discovered that it had just finished. :-(
So instead I jumped on the tready and the bike and tried the best I could. I know that I would not have burnt as many calories as I would have doing the Zumba class but I like to think of that saying "Even if you are walking you are lapping everyone sitting at home on the couch!"

So it's early early days but I am feeling good, fingers crossed I can keep it up!

Today I am linking up for the first time with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Sunday, 10 February 2013

for an award!

A little while ago Marleisa from This is who I am nominated me for the Liebster Award and asked me to answer the following questions.
  1. Your dream holiday? Anywhere where I can relax and read a book and sleep and drink nice wine away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday. I'm thinking somewhere with amazing sunsets and beautiful long days!
  2. Wine or beer? Wine..hands down no contest here! Preferably a sweet white!
  3. Favourite celebrity and why? I would have to say Ellen DeGeneres. I not only think she is funny but I think she does amazing things with her celebrity status while many of them just take it for granted. I love her positive outlook on life and how she stands up for what she believes in!
  4. Your most viewed blog post was? It's funny because it's the one I wrote about having a lesson in blogging but yet no-one has commented
  5. Favourite pastime (besides blogging) Scrapbooking is a loved hobby of mine although I never seem to have any time for it anymore! :-(
  6. Dream occupation? If I knew the answer to this then maybe I'd be doing it!!! Perhaps a photographer of some description, maybe wildlife (African Safari style, not birds! lol)
  7. Favourite social media and why? I had always been a big Facebook fan and user but this year have explored Twitter and obviously now blogging so too early to tell which one I like the most. I guess I'd still have to say Facebook though as that's still where most of my friends are.
  8. TV show addiction? Far too many to chose from.... Revenge, Greys, Bones, Criminal Minds, Dexter, Homeland, Hart of Dixe, Sons of Anarchy, Smash, Dallas, Downton Abbey...the list really is endless!
  9. Early riser or night owl? Sadly at the moment I am both! But given a choice I'd say Night Owl
  10. How do you like your eggs cooked? Poached! But I can never get them right
  11. Favourite childhood memory? Playing 'houses' down at the creek.. lol..
And now for my nominees, sorry if any of you have been nominated before but I have enjoyed reading your blogs so hope you don't mind!

Six By The Bay
My Journey - Am I there yet?
Colours of Sunset

And now for my questions
1. Favourite quote/saying?
2. Entree or dessert?
3.Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life and why?
4. Favourite holiday of the year?
5. Childhood hero?
6. What book are you currently reading?
7. Guilty pleasure?
8. Why did you start blogging?
9. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be and why?
10. Diamonds or Pearls?
11. What do you know about blogging now that you wish you new when you first started?

Look forward to reading your responses and thanks again Marleisa for the nomination!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

to give thanks

Today I am linking up with Leigh from Six By The Bay for Thankful Thursday..

I have been wondering lately whether I am in the right career. As you may know I am a teacher and have just returned back to the classroom after a 3 year break doing a specialist role. Well, being back in the classroom has well and truly smacked me in the face! So much to do in so little time!

Anyway this post is what I am thankful for so I guess I am thankful for the opportunity of a good education for it has allowed me to be in a profession that creates all other professions. I am thankful to my parents who allowed it to happen. 

I am thankful to co-workers new and old who have supported me in my 12 years of teaching, but especially the ones who are helping me at the moment while I struggle and feel like a beginning teacher all over again!

It is so easy for us to get caught up in all the things we don't have or that are going wrong in our lives but I guess we really should take the time to be thankful for what we do have.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

to have a lesson in blogging....

I feel I need to make that disclosure on this post! Lol...

Today I had the wonderful Marleisa from This is Who I am come over for a blogging tutorial. Being such a newbie to this I felt I needed some guidance and after about 3 hours of widgets and gadgets and linking and designing and adding and googling and youtubing and drafting and saving and gosh knows what else I feel slightly more at ease with this whole blogging business. (Don't even ask about the twitter button!)

It has been so great reading and looking at other peoples blogs to gain inspiration and I feel some sort of comfort in knowing that they were all newbies at some stage as well.

I have added more pages so be sure and check them out!

How did you get started? What helped you? What's something you know now that you wish you knew when you first started?

Feel free to offer any advice on blogging below!