Tag Archives: Life

Blog Relaunch!

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Life has been a lot more focused on progress with my health this year and so I haven’t been posting much at all on this blog. I’m not in a much better place to be writing again so I’m going to get writing posts, and shall resume blogging here on October 1st.

I’m switching the focus of my blog a little and concentrating a little more on the book side of things, there will still be some beauty posts and things. I just want to make this little place on the internet a little more focused.

Big thank you to my followers that have stayed with me this year. Stay tuned for more.

End of Year Update (2013 Review)

Note: Bare with me, I need to cover a few things in this post.
I’ve been dragging my feet a lot with blogging lately, there’s just been a lot of (stressful) things going on in life that I just don’t have the energy to blog or to do anything interesting to blog about. My reading has been really slow – apart from one book, the reviews here are actually up to date.
I’ve also been steering this blog into a more “bookish” direction, but I must admit, I’m missing blogging about other things (or I would do if I was doing anything interesting). So I think I’m going to go back to mostly books but also more “me” in here.

2013 has been a rather rollercoaster year for me. I’ve had some great times but it’s been stressful and challenging.
I don’t talk about this a whole lot here but 2013 has been the year I’ve had to take a step back and look at what I need. This has meant I’ve had to give up work/looking for work after realising that it’s too much for me to handle, I’ve spent years trying to hold down a job and feel okay/comfortable in a work environment and it’s just not happening. So I have to step back and take time to deal with my Depression, Anxiety and PTSD (and whatever else I discover along the way!) and start seeing a psychologist which is mega exhausting.
I’ve also spent a huge amount of time stressing over many communications with the government to secure some benefits whilst I get on my feet – they’re not very understanding about mental illnesses. This is still going on and won’t be resolved until mid-January (please pray and hope that things go in my favour, I don’t know what I’ll do if they don’t, I’ll be stuck!).

Anyway, onto better things. I was a failure at most of my goals for 2013 but I did do two of the things I planned. I visited Maaike in Holland and whilst there visited an old Library. Visiting Holland was most definitely the biggest highlight of my year and a huge achievement – my anxiety didn’t get the better of me (although it tried on the plane over there as I was flying alone). Thinking back to it still makes me smile now.

Right now, I’m holding off making plans for 2014 until this whole situation with benefits is sorted out – so there won’t be a post with goals and plans, etc until after then as things are just too uncertain. I do have a few posts ready in my head to write though so as long as I’m not super stressed out like I have been lately, I’ll still get a few up in the early half of January.

Hope 2013 was good to you!

Race For Life – I Did It!

So a few days ago now, I did the Race for Life – which is a 5k (3.1 run/jog/walk) to raise money for Cancer Research UK. To be honest, I feel a little silly writing about it as I don’t feel there is too much to say about me running and sweating my way around 5k. However a few people have asked me if I’m going to write a blog about it, so here goes.

My Number Plate and Back Plate
My Number Plate and Back Plate

So I posted about my reasons for wanting to do this race back in March when I signed up. So I won’t repeat myself on that.
I had also planned to be training some so that I didn’t walk the whole 5k, I wanted it to be a bit of a challenge. That part didn’t go as well as I wanted too – I had a lack of motivation, but taking up Zumba did help with that.

I didn’t plan on running the race so that meant I started with the walkers (runners are let go first to avoid accidents). There was 4 thousand women taking part so it took 15 minutes to get everyone through the start line to begin with and for short while it was a little crowded.
After it thinned out we were able to power walk past some of the walkers as we warmed up to be able to jog some of it.
Some parts were narrow so even our power walk had to be slowed down a little, so we probably jogged about 40% of it in the end.
5k seems a lot longer when you’re actually running the race – but the back signs, that everybody is wearing saying who they’re running for, or why they are running the race – make you want to keep going. Many of lost people to cancer – even the little girls racing with their signs saying “For my Daddy”.
In the end we finished the race in about 45 minutes.

Race for Life Medal
Race for Life Medal

After crossing the finish line we were given a medal, bottles of water were available but I already had a big bottle with me and they were also giving out brioche with chocolate spread in (if I knew that I would have run faster!). But my legs by this point were a little wobbly and my friend I was running with – being borderline diabetic, really needed to eat. So we left and headed to the closest Mcdonalds (as all food places on site where packed).

Annoyingly I was exhausted, almost fell asleep in the car on the way home – but I was so hyped at having done the race I wouldn’t sleep when I went to bed.

The final total I raised was £120 (tho people can still donate for another 4 weeks I think). I’m not sure if I’ll be doing the race again next year – not for lack of wanting too but with money being tight for many people right now, it was a struggle to get sponsors.

Ultimately though, our biggest chance against cancer is early diagnosis and treatment. So please take 10 minutes and visit this guide on spotting cancer early. And if you’re worried, go to your GP. Please. Mine and other people’s money can’t help you or anyone else if you don’t spot the signs and go to your doctor.

50 Random Facts About Me

  1. I hardly watch TV, for the most part I just watch my favourite shows online the same if a show is recommended to me.
  2. I love clean, fresh smells.
  3. I have a few scars from being rather a tomboy as a child.
  4. Not only do I love animals. I also have “the gift”, I can make friends with 99% of the animals I meet. Some even follow me when I haven’t done or said anything!
  5. I suffer from Vasovagal Syncope. Triggered by pain (although not every time I’m in pain thankfully!).
  6. I once brought 44 books in one go from a shop I worked at.
  7. I’m the youngest of my siblings by 16 years.
  8. Besides the UK, most of my friends live in The Netherlands.
  9. I’m currently obsessed with making my own smoothies.
  10. I love the combination of either chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate and pretzels.
  11. The only game I currently play regularly is Marvel Avengers Alliance.
  12. I used to collect badges – I still have them all.
  13. Although it’s sunshine that makes me feel better – I love having 4 distinct seasons and although there are a few places I may like to live someday that don’t have this; I couldn’t live the rest of my life without 4 individual seasons.
  14. I’m creative and it drives me crazy if I can’t do something creative.
  15. My favourite sound of the summer is the swifts calling as they fly around the estate.
  16. I love trying different flavour ice cream.
  17. I’m short (5’1″)
  18. I went to a concert in another city when I was 13 without my parents or any other adult.
  19. I dropped out of university due to illness.
  20. I used to have my own small business.
  21. Photography is a big love of mine.
  22. I campaign for animal welfare and conservation but I’m completely against PETA (they’re violent and hypocritical).
  23. I love to be around nature. It de-stresses me and I feel at home there.
  24. I’m slightly obsessed with nail polish.
  25. I love watching documentaries. My favourites are nature/animals, science and people who are different in some way.
  26. My favourite show is The Big Bang Theory.
  27. I’m still pissed that Fringe got cancelled.
  28. One day, I want to own an Astin Martin.
  29. Speaking of cars… I want to learn to drive and I really wish I’d done so when I was younger.
  30. Christmas is my favourite holiday and I always make sure I do all my own little traditions of the season.
  31. I don’t like tea or coffee. Yuck.
  32. My parents were going to call me Sally, but changed their mind when I was born.
  33. I like ketchup and mayonnaise… together.
  34. I’m a great aunt. This makes me feel old.
  35. I love the music in old Disney classics.
  36. I’m very nostalgic about toys, cartoons, food and games of my childhood.
  37. My nails and hair grow really fast.
  38. I was a sidekick on a Christian radio show for 4 years.
  39. I love looking for old vintage things on eBay.
  40. I would love to go on a Ghost Hunt.
  41. My dog is my Best Friend.
  42. I currently have writers block in terms of what to blog about.
  43. I once got 98% on a maths exam.
  44. I love to watch funny animal videos.
  45. I cannot stand the feel of velvet, I can’t even watch someone else touch it.
  46. I’m short sighted.
  47. I’m a geek.
  48. This has taken me ages to write – well more think of 50 facts!
  49. I have really weird dreams.
  50. It’s Friday evening and now this is finished, I’m going to live out my rock n roll life and have a hot bath and read a book.

Does anything on my list surprise you? Anything you didn’t know about me before?

Zumba: First Class and First Impressions

For maybe a year now I’ve been wanting to do some sort of fitness class that’s fun and the right balance of challenging so that I definitely get a workout but that isn’t too intimidating.

Did I ever mention I hate gyms? I’m pretty sure I have, but if you didn’t know already – I hate gyms.
Although I’m not exactly hugely fat, I’m not skinny either and I’m rather self-conscious of it, so all those fitness freaks and skinny mini’s hardly breaking a sweat but going 90mph around me – does not appeal to me.
Also gyms are expensive – whichever way you look at it, whether you get yourself a membership or pay for individual classes. Add to that the fact that my motivation is pretty rubbish, I’d end up out of pocket and eventually I just would probably just stop doing.

So when my mum mentioned her friend at “fat club” (aka weight watchers) had invited her to a Zumba class and she asked if I wanted to go with her, I was a bit skeptical. Luckily my mum is much like me with the above sort of fears and she’d already asked “They don’t all look at you like you’ve got 3 heads if your new do they?” (subtlety isn’t always my mum’s strong point!) and all her fears had been calmed that this wouldn’t happen. So I agreed.

Seriously. But who cares?

Our Zumba class isn’t at a gym, it’s at a local working men’s club (they hire out rooms for community things). No gym definitely a plus! And at £3 a week it’s really affordable.
I suck at meeting new people – luckily after a medical form was filled and we’d paid our money, the instructor came and introduced herself.
The class lasts about 30 minutes, but what a workout! I did manage it all, but it was challenging enough to give my body a good workout. The moves are simple and it wasn’t so fast as you couldn’t keep up as a newbie. The only thing I sometimes struggled with was when the moves were off beat – I’m so very used to following the music! But I soon overcome that by following the 8 or 6 count in my head.
In this particular Zumba class they also do some body conditioning – so every week they work on a different part of the body – arms, legs, stomach, etc which is fantastic for me as this is what I need.
Most importantly I felt was the relaxed atmosphere – can’t keep up or do that particular move – no problem, just keep moving. Need a rest? No problem, have a rest. There were “ordinary” people there – not toned, skinny, young things with a face full of make up. And everyone was going at their pace, and well… being themselves really.

This was a week ago now, and I’m returning this week so wish me luck! I’d definitely recommend you give Zumba a try – every Zumba class is a bit different, so find one thats suits you. It’s definitely more fun than running on a treadmill for 30 mins!

Here’s an example of a Zumba workout, this is similar to the pace of my class: