Monday, 11 April 2011

It's almost over!

There are just 4 days to go before the challenge is over, I can't believe it's been two months already! So even though the Facebook group has taken over from this blog I thought it only right that I do one final post to share what I have got over the last couple of months!

  1. Every day I am doing things I love and I was already doing this with out necessarily consciously realising it. Just making paying attention and noting it down though has made me feel grateful for the life I already lead. 
  2. Creating a life you love doesn't have to be a huge effort, even the smallest things like sitting in the sunshine lift my spirit and make me feel alive. It is totally possible to do something that makes you smile each day.
  3. Having the intention of creating a life I love over the past couple of months has actually led me to take this challenge even further. I am now really going for it with plans to write a book and take my business on-line whilst travelling around India for 6 months, something that was always some day one day and I never imagined I could combine it with work. I am putting any fears or doubts a side and just doing everything I can to make it happen.
  4. This challenge has sparked an idea for a book about a new year long challenge to set myself .....details to follow soon!
  5. In life we often face set backs to our goals, sometimes we set out to do things and then something completely different happens. The thing is never to give up, be flexible, there will always be a way of making something happen even if it doesn't end up looking the way you imagined it at the start. Anna is a great example of this, what ever happens with her charity she will help people affected by cancer.
  6. It's so great to hear what makes other people smile, it triggers ideas and memories of what you love to do to! I loved the giving of random hugs and sharing of cooking delights! Sharing things that touch you creates a deep connection with people, which is lovely! I'd love to read some more of your experiences of the challenge.
Hope you can make our celebration drinks on Thursday night, 7pm, Elysee Restaurant and Bar on Percy St, just off Tottenham Court Road. We will be on the roof terrace!

and finally there is just one more thing to say......


Monday, 28 March 2011


Happy Monday Everyone!

I am loving the new Facebook group and how we are all sharing on there, it's fab! I can only apologise for not setting one up sooner. It's amazing how we can just have a blind spot sometimes and not see something so glaringly obvious until we chat to other people, the Facebook page to make it super easy for everyone to share came out of a pub conversation with a friend last week!

I have decided this is going to be a theme for me this week with the challenge. I am going to call friends I have not spoken to in ages every day this week. I have so many friends that I have just got behind in catching up with, there is always this voice in the back of my mind thinking "I really must call x" but I just get so busy with daily life I put it off. The worst thing is I had an awful wake up call last year (a year ago next week in fact) when a friend I had been meaning to call actually died, I promised myself  I wouldn't do that again and yet hear I am. So this is the week, each day I am going to reconnect with my friends!

To add to this I am also going to make an effort to do some more networking to connect with new people, for my business, so I plan to do this at least 3 times this week.


To mark the end of this challenge and share with each other how we have all got on with it I have booked us a table for drinks on a fab roof terrace in central London! It is at Elysee bar and restaurant on Percy Street, nearest tube Tottenham Court Road. This is the website. I have booked the table at 7pm.

I will also be doing the prize draw for everyone entered into the challenge to win the full Create Yourself package of an image consultation, life coaching sessions and personal training.

Please let me know if you plan to attend!

Have a great week everyone


Create Yourself

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Living the Life - new to this post

Hello there,

I joined and almost immediately got a nasty virus which left me in bed and not really participating. I am currently writing a screen play called Unimaginable Adventures On the Path To Love and it is based on the blog of the same name. You can see how the adventures are unfolding at The gist of the work is three women looking for love who agree to be human experiments and take on any tasks given to them by the others to stretch, expand, transform and reveal the path to love. I am one of the women and our agreement is that we have to say Yes to any task. So life has become a bit of an adventure and for the next two weeks I have to praise men and be aware of all the wonderful things men do and are.

I just wrote a piece on my father who is a botanist and as I look into doing one thing I love, today I went into my garden and saw the new shoots on the roses he helped me plant and felt the sun on my face and had a wonderful moment of loving this life.

Sally Griffyn

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Life in Pictures!

Instead of writing I thought I would show you a few of the things I have been up since I last wrote.....

Thursday afternoon "business meeting"!

Visiting my friend Fabio's new place of work.....McQueen Bar in Shoreditch, it's fab!! 

As for today well....simply enjoying the spring time! Am about to head out for a long walk to enjoy the sunshine.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

The power of sharing!

One thing I love to do is to have a really great and open conversation with someone, where you are both really sharing what is going on for each of you. Something really powerful opens up when you share, you feel even more connected to that person and it changes the energy around what ever you are sharing. The more I share the more access to power I have to make my goals happen, I feel like something opens up in my heart and mind and it makes me feel alive.

I haven't always felt like this, I grew up quite shy and as an only child I am very programmed to dealing with things on my own and not needing anyone else. I remember in relationships when I was younger I was never very expressive of how I felt about people and don't think I expressed to friends how I was ever really feeling about things. I definitely never told my parents! Actually as I am writing I have just realised that the only place I used to really share was in my diary, I have written one since the age of about 10 and 3/ my earliest one states!! That must be why I love blogging so much, it's something I have always done in one way or another.

Over time though I have managed to grow my self confidence, by pushing through fears, and I have learnt how important it is to share what is going on for you with other people. Not only for you but by sharing people have the access to see things for themselves in what you are going through as well. There have been my times where I have been coaching people or just listening to others speak about what they are going through which has then resonated with me. Where I can hear my dilemmas, fears and goals through other people. From hearing someone else speak about it a new perspective opens up and you also realise you are not the only one going through such an experience.

I am talking about all of this as this week I have been privileged to meet up with some fantastic ladies at my networking group, More to Life Than Shoes, and we all really shared what is going on for us. I also had a great catch up with a good friend yesterday who I hadn't seen for ages so we had lots to share. Many people I am meeting at the moment are going through a state of change, I am not sure if it is to do with the economy or if it's something else but everyone seems to be questioning their lives and looking at making big changes.  So if you are sat in this space now please know you are not the only one!

So in the spirit of sharing, here are a few things that are going on for me right now;

  1. I am now running my business 100% full time and planning to work/travel around India for 6 months in October.....this is very exciting but also I have the fear every now and then of "where is my money coming from?" Instead of paying attention to this though I am instead focusing on having a fantastic profitable business and having an amazing time in India!! Also constantly consciously bringing my mind back into the present moment, where everything is great.
  2. I have a new relationship, since last year, we spent 4 great months getting to know each other and then he went back to Australia. I will see him again in June, after 6 months apart. It could be tough as there is the natural fear that we will be apart for longer than we have been together, anything could happen. As it is though I am choosing just to take each day as it comes and to enjoy carrying on getting to know him. As a result of this I actually feel like our relationship is growing stronger even though we are not together, which is really cool!
  3. I really hoped for 200 people  on this challenge and am still way off achieving this, with just one month to go, I feel a little disappointed as I want to raise lots of money for Anna. This is not going to stop me though. Over the next few days I am really going to share about it and hopefully get some more people to join in the fun!
  4. I am often in a rush, running around fitting everything in, feeling a sense of urgency to get things done and making myself tired. In this state of mind there just isn't any space to just be, to relax and also to really focus when speaking to people or on tasks I need to get done. So right now I am taking on "There is plenty of time, I am on time and there is space to be in the present moment".
So sharing is my focus this week for the challenge as I find it's easy to revert back to being insular and dealing with things on my own. I feel I expand so much more and feel so much more connected to people when we share with each other. Plus I feel touched and moved when someone chooses to share something with me, which is a great feeling to have!

Finally I have a little request....if you are enjoying the challenge or even just reading the blog please can you share it with your friends just incase they would like to sign up too! The more we spread the word the more people can be doing things that make them smile each day :-) The link to sign up to the challenge is create a life you love

Thank you!!


Monday, 14 March 2011

This week

Another Monday has been and almost gone. This month, gosh no, this year is moving at a break neck speed. So many things have been happening. I decided to take some time out last week to go somewhere that has been on list of places that I 'must' go, Cornwall. I visited the lost gardens of heligan and saw the beautiful beaches at Trebarwith. It was a whirl wind trip, but worth every moment. I even had a three hour nap on the afternoon of my second day there (can a 3 hour nap, still be classed as a nap). A nap that long is considered decadent in my usual day to day, but felt so right on holiday. I am sure I could have been out visiting a hundred other beautiful places in Cornwall, but taking time out for me is just as important as 'trying' to see everything.

I hope you enjoy my photos of magnificent Cornwall, just as much as I enjoyed taking them. The picture below is of a tree that had fallen with moss covering it. It reminded me of a dinosaur skeleton, although everyone has seen it has seen something different. It's like watching clouds - always a different shape. What do you see?

Step away from the laptop :-)

Happy Monday All!

The reason I have not posted anything for a few days was part of my challenge was to step away from the online world for a bit......I have found since fully working for myself I have spent the last couple of weeks more glued than ever to the screen. So this weekend I shut it down, went outside and enjoyed the spring sunshine. It was lovely.

What are you all getting up to?! I'd love to hear!


Thursday, 10 March 2011

My new "mix tape"


Just to report I have made my new "mix tape" as promised......was so much FUN!

If you'd like to have a trip down memory lane.....or just a laugh at my extreme cheesy taste in music you can check it out here on Spotify!



How do you like to play?

I was reading yet another interesting blog this morning that I feel really relates to our challenge; The Happiness Project. Today Gretchen Rubin is discussing how playing has a huge part in feeling happy. Thinking about our challenge of doing something we love every day and what things we are picking to do I am sure a lot of them are things we loved to do when we were younger. The things I loved to do when I was growing up are all the things that make me smile now; baking cakes, being by the sea, seeing my friends, dancing.....and even roller skating (not that I do that very often now)!

Hmm just thought of another one, I used to love making mix tapes!! Ok so that is my thing for today, I am going to create a play list (oh, how times have changed!) of all my old favourite songs from when I was 15 and this is going to be fun! I hope I can find Mel and Kim on Spotify!! (if you have not yet discovered Spotify it is an amazing tool for downloading free music).

Gretchen mentions a book by Stuart Brown Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul in which he lists various different "play personalities".  Going through the various options I think I must be a director, as I love to plan events/parties, and an explorer as I love going to new places and meeting new people. It helps to become present to what you are as then from there you can get ideas of things to do that will make you happy!

So I am taking on my director hat today and am booking the venue for our party on 14th April - I hope you can make it!

What is your play personality?

....and if you are stuck for things to do each day to make you smile, what would you have done when you were 8 years old?

Have fun! x

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

What do you "know" about Love?

As planned I had a fantastic weekend catching up with various different groups of friends. The photo on the right is of a couple of killer tigers I came across at the of an old school friend!

One thing that I consciously shifted over the weekend was the conversation I have with myself and others around money, or more specifically the lack of it! I made a decision not bring that into any discussions and instead to focus on all the plans I have ahead of me. This may sound slightly random but it left me feeling excited about my future rather than having any concerns. I realise this is not technically "doing something I love" but it did make my time with friends all the more fun and has helped create a new empowering outlook for my future.

Another thing I love to it to take photos, since May last year I have been taking a photo every day (well very nearly) to depict my life. I have set up a photo album per month on Facebook where I upload them. It's been fantastic to do as looking back at them now I can really picture what I have been doing over the past year, and friends seem to love seeing themselves in them too! The iphone Camera + app is great for taking photos then adding effects to them.....the photo below is just from a cake tin at my friends house!

I have been following a fantastic blog by Judy Clement, she is spending 2011 loving fearlessly and this week she has posted about what she has learnt about love so far. She opened the question out to her readers to find out what they know about I am throwing it out to you too!

To get you started here are a few things I posted to her blog about what I know:

  1. I know it gets easier the more you share it, the more I tell people I love them and what they mean to me the more open I get and easier it becomes to say it. I used to be very closed when I was growing up.
  2. Romantic love can be a bit scary but beautiful.
  3. The more you speak about love and tell people you love them the more you feel love.
  4. Consciously planning to do something you love every day lifts your spirits and energy.
  5. Love is what has supported me through making changes and decisions in my life, the love I feel from family and friends is the most important thing in my life. I know what ever happens to me I will always have the support and love of all the wonderful people in my life.
  6. Finally loving yourself really is key. Treat yourself like you treat those you love.
I look forward to hearing what you know about love!


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Love and Connection

Hi All!

Hope you are all having fun doing things you love!

This weekend I am focusing on catching up with people I have not seen in a long time. I have been really focused on my business these past couple of weeks so I have arranged to see as many people as possible this weekend to feel that lovely sense of connection with the people I love!

One of my best friends is coming down from Liverpool today so we are going for lunch soon. Then straight from that I am going down to Sussex with an old school friend to stay with another school pal, I will be armed with Pretty Woman, Grease and Sex and The City DVDs for a proper girlie night in! Tomorrow I am catching up with another fab group of friends in The Calf pub in a good Sunday Pub session, yipppppeeeee!

Love and connection is one of our 6 human needs which just shows how important it is to make time for it no matter how busy you are.

Have fun weekends!


Thursday, 3 March 2011

This weeks post

It's funny, well strange really but the action of focussing on creating a life you love gives such a new and renewed perspective of life.

I have started writing again - a paragraph here, a word there. No pressure, but in focussing on what I love, what I want to do it is almost like a calmness has descended upon me. As if life is clapping it's hands and applauding me, saying yay, finally. Little creatures are pushing me toward the door for me.

Don't get me wrong, life hasn't all of a sudden become perfect, but it feels manageable, positive, happy. I'm starting to recognise myself, see the glimmers of light in the dark days. I think I closed my eyes there for awhile and fell asleep to what I want, autopilot is so easy. It's the little things that are so important - a smile from the person sitting next to you at work, a seat on the tube in the afternoon, lunch with friends, a great song.... I could go on. I love reading what inspires others, i love that feeling of being a part of something - more posts please.

Have a lovely day.
Listening to Loreena Mckennitt

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Law of Attraction

The past couple of days have been spent working from home so not a huge amount to report aside from I have been trying out a new law of attraction process that a friend showed me......and it's definitely been making me smile! So I thought I would share it with you incase you'd like to give it a go!

1) Look in the mirror and tell yourself "I love you" (yes quite cringy this bit!)
2) Read out a statement with lots of energy about who you are in the world, what you are a stand for, what your purpose in life it.
3) Look at some photo's/pictures of what/who you want in your life. This is really to help anchor in what you want.
4) Put on some uplifting music and jump around reading your goal out aloud like you already have it, read this a few times, fast and loud as if you are celebrating achieving it.
5) Then read out aloud what your life is like a year on from achieving your goal, to really get present to the impact in your life the goal will have in the future
6) Jump around a bit more....even have a little dance :-)
7) Sit down and write a few things you are grateful for in your life.

I know this might sound slightly insane.....but honestly after you have done it you feel so energised and positive it just can't be a bad thing to start the day off with!

Go on.....give it a go......I dare you!


Monday, 28 February 2011

Hot Hot Hot Tamales!

Continuing on from my Mexican obsession, I made fresh tamales.  Only took me about 4 hours in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon!  Tamales are these delicious parcels filled with Masa Harina (corn flour) and savory filling.  In this case, slow cooked pork (carnitas) in spices and herb and chili guajillo chili peppers.  It was my first time attempting this time consuming dish and while Jez was cursing upstairs watching Arsenal losing to a not so great team...I was busy wrapping up these little suckers!  The result?  Could be better.  The meat was great but the dough was too 'doughy' so definitely need to do it better next time! 

Still made me smile though!

Sunday, 27 February 2011


Yesterday after an uplifting morning of mediation, yoga and focusing on my goals I dug out an old Ibiza Classic's CD and had it on full blast until I went out to the pub. It was great to listen to all my old favourite dancing songs and really left me feeling very excited about a trip to Ibiza for my business partner's stag do in September. We have not been for years and I know it's going to be fun fun fun!

Today I have allowed myself to be lazy, I cooked some nice food and sat in the sunshine to eat it. I wandered around the garden listening to the birds and admiring the crocuses and snowdrops that have popped up in the beds. I would never have spotted them from the house and just spending time looking at them in the garden really brought me in the the present moment. Then I allowed myself an afternoon nap and now am reading through some of my favourite blogs; Zebra Sounds, Zen Habits and Unimaginable Adventures. I can wait to start my new blog that I have been plotting over the past few weeks......will reveal all as soon as it's ready!

And how about you? What have you been doing that makes you smile? Would love to hear about it no matter how small!


Friday, 25 February 2011

Double posting today! More food!

Okay, so I have been craving Mexican food like crazy.  I blame my friend.  Him and his wife opened a new taco joint in Taiwan where I was born and he's been plastering photos of food on my facebook page!  I know there are 'faux Mexican food' in London but notice the's just not the same!!  Well, since I'm being all healthy and stuff...(ignore the brownies, I made them for my bf's work!) , I've been coming up with healthy recipes.  I decided to make Turkey fajitas with homemade corn tortillas and fresh salsa!

The turkey fajita was so simple.  Again, I didn't want to buy the packaged powder because you never know what kind of preservatives they have in there for the shelf I made my own.  You'd be surprised but most of the ingredients are stuff in your cupboards already!  Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, celery salt, chicken stock cube and one key ingredient, cumin! 

The tricky was going to find the right flour for the tortillas.  Corn tortillas are made with a type of corn meal flour called Hasa Marina.  Shockingly I found some in Muswell Hill in a small specialty food shop!!  I was psyched! 

Anyway, long story short, I successfully made the tortillas!  The house smelled amazing!!  The pico de gallo (fresh tomatoes, onions, coriander and lime juice) was perfect!

I think I should open a taqueria! 

Have I gone mad?!

Today the thing I have done to make me smile is spring clean my bedroom and fill it with isn't usually something that fills me with joy but the after effect of having a nice clean room attracting lots of new spring energy is definitely making me happy!

Off to a candle lit yoga class this evening to finish off a lovely spring day!


New brownies creation!

Chipster topped brownies i.e. Chocolate cookies topped brownies...

Calorific?  Yes.  Gooey mess?  Yes.  Delicioso?  Absolutely!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Today I simply allowed myself to stop, I sat in the garden for just 15 minutes in the sunshine and listened to the birds. It felt great to just be in the moment in the middle of a crazy day!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

This is just the beginning.......

I was just sat here pondering what to do today for the challenge and realised actually with out awareness everything I have done today has been something I love doing and that I am actually totally in the middle of creating my dream life right now, it's happening all around me, it just doesn't feel quite like it just yet. Sounds a bit cryptic, let me explain.....

I started this challenge to raise money for Anna's amazing charity and event plans in November. My business is all around helping people go for what they want in their lives so it is already my passion. The week before the challenge started I found out my key stream of income, coaching and training part time with in a business, has dried up. They are cutting costs and I no longer have regular work there. Luckily for me I still have my own business and clients but it still isn't a guaranteed income. Anyway this shift has caused me to think, well maybe now is the time to radically shake up my life, I help other people do it and now it's time for me!!!

As a result of this I am currently consumed with "what's next?". It is incredibly exciting but also incredibly scary as it feels totally out of my comfort zone.  I know I have been playing a  bit small though and I think now is the time to start to play for my dream life! I may even be leaving London for a while and following my dream of spending 6 months in India. How perfect is the timing of this challenge, and I promise I had no idea this was around the corner.

I will reveal what the new plans are as soon as I have actually decided on them but in the mean time things I have been doing that I love over the past couple of days are:

  • I ran my last time management course for team leaders yesterday and I received some great feedback after it, it feels amazing to have hopefully made a bit of a difference to someone's day.
  • I went on a last team lunch yesterday and we ate somewhere new that I had always wanted to try, it was delicious and of course I had fab company!
  • Last night I had a good cry and then enjoyed putting the world to rights over a bottle of wine with a great friend from college days.
  • I was up at 6 this morning working on my new ideas, sending emails, checking social media - love all that!
  • I chatted to my boyfriend who is in Australia, what a brilliant invention Skype is!
  • Had a very hot and sweaty yoga class
  • And now the afternoon is for blogging and learning more about my new business idea.....which actually is all about blogging and making money online.
So all in all it's a very exciting time!


I just called...

Today I was up against it time-wise and I know we all know what that's like and what we let slip when we have little time... ME!

How often do we say we didn't have time to do something for us? Or perhaps we put the things we love doing last as the to-do list is bulging with things that must be done (as if me-time isn't something that MUST be done!).

Well for me, today was one of those days... BUT as I'm consciously doing something I love with this challenge I made the time I needed to touch base with someone I've not done so for a while. In fact I made a concerted effort to post 'hello' messages on Facebook, to send Tweets saying 'hi' and also emails to people I've not been in contact with in a while.

I know because I've already got some messages back with little bits of news and one that just said 'I needed that'.

And all that took was a few minutes of my time and a little thought. Really must 'drop by' more often on people to say 'hello', 'hi', 'how you doing', 'thinking of you' or whatever. Knowing someone is thinking of you is, sometimes, all you need.


Peaceful but squelchie

Sunday 20th February we set out for Loch Lomond. My brothers, their families and I put on our walking boots (or in my case my not sooo walking boots), wrapped up warm (in my case, added a scarf) and headed off to a hillside overlooking Loch Lomond. OK OK so I should have taken proper sensible walking boots and a coat. OK OK so I shouldn't have listened when my Scottish brother swears blind that the footpath will be clear and easy (in February!). OK OK so I should be old enough to work these things out for myself... but I wasn't and I didn't... so there!

The path up through woods and up the hill (probably a Scottish word for it) but steep hill or hillock will do. Anyway it was steep and just a few metres into the woodland was very muddy and squelchy with little room to get round without loosing a foot to the mud. I wasn't best pleased and was certainly getting grumpy when further up the pathway we approached what appeared to be an entire field of mudbath... and the path that we needed restarted the otherside! Yes OK I know I should have been sporting a pair of wellies but I wasn't, OK?

I know that there will be a few of you reading this waiting for the splash as I fall into the mud or perhaps to hear the line when I tell you that I lost a boot in the mud or something... well I didn't do either! Much to the great annoyance of brothers and nephew who were constantly taking the michael about me and my girly ways (which by the way I forgot to add that I was also sporting a definitely London, not walking in mud, LK Bennett handbag!)

But the climb to the top was worth it.. you can see the view that we got overlooking Loch Lomond in the photo below.

.... then we had to get down again!!! ;-)

It's all about the hair!

Saturday 19th February and the arrival of my older brother and his wife, son and daughter.

The day started early with the arrival of Scottish niece climbing into bed with me for a morning cuddle and announcing 'I'm so excited'. When I asked why, she simply said that her cousins were coming and asked how long until they arrived - it was v early! But so as not to disappoint we set about texting my nephew to ask for an ETA. When we heard nothing in response, Scottish niece was besides herself as she announced 'if there's no answer, they must be on the plane'. And they were. No more sleeping for me, just a constant reminder to check the time, check my phone for return texts and a great deal of snuggly wriggling!

Shortly after 8am the cousins appeared. There was much stomping up and down the stairs so that Scottish niece could show them the new house and particularly where all the hiding places were.

After breakfast, Auntie Anna and her posse of nieces, nephew and dog went off to the chemist to purchase 'hair pretties'. Hehehe we came back with an armful of clips, bands and of course multicoloured hairpieces. How colourful and fab did the girls and I look when we later headed into Edinburgh town?

Scottish niece modelling:

I also love cooking with my nieces... particularly if you're able to get messy doing it and still end up with something edible too. However my younger brother was in charge and did a marvellous job of making bread with nephew and little Scottish niece. Then there was homemade jelly with gelatine and fruit by older Scottish niece and English niece. I think between both culinary attempts we managed to create a mess... yay!

Crazy Nails

Friday 18th February saw me attend a meeting with pink nail varnish with purple spots/splodges on top! My niece had reminded me that last time we spent time together I had painted her nails. How wonderful that she remembered this time (it was over a year ago) and also how she smiled when she talked of that time and held beautiful memories about it.

So, just so as not to let her down and also to continue with the 'crazy Auntie Anna' that she has come to expect, I purchased two nail varnishes - pink and purple (her favourite colours). Lots of mess and giggling ensued as we painted our fingers nails and her neighbour (aged 8) called round and had her toe nails painted in similar colours!

How cool are these?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Breast cancer event and why...

On Thursday I headed out for meetings in Glasgow. Met some truly amazing people at a cancer centre and spent quite some time speaking with different people at different stages of their journey. I'm always inspired by the people I meet whilst putting the breast cancer event today and also their enthusiasm for the event and willingness to help make it a success.

I also went to one of the main cancer hospitals in Glasgow and met some of the staff there. Again I'm honoured to meet so many kind and caring people and am constantly impressed by their sense of compassion. Most of all I love that they smile and have a vast energy and belief in the people they are looking after. This was so evident in the hospital and a tribute to everyone who works there.

I met with patients who are terminally ill but put many to shame with their positivity and ability to look on the bright side.

Most of all, I wanted to share with you that today what made me smile was the beautiful, kind, compassionate and giving people I met. They make me smile... thank you.

16 Feb - Getting messy

Firstly, I shall apologise for a fast and furious upload of blog entries from last week. The joys of being away and having very little signal on the phone let alone an internet connection that remains stable. However, I've been doing some fantabulously silly things... (and some sensible meetings for our breast cancer event in November too)... but I just know that you're more interested in the silly stuff!

So, where have I been? I've been based in Edinburgh staying with my younger brother and his family. What a treat to be able to spend some quality time with my bro, his wife but most of all my deliciously gorgeous nieces. The oldest of which is 4.5 and just loves her Auntie Anna and 'doing stuff'.

On Wednesday 16th February, I arrived in Edinburgh and was greeted by the bestest hug ever... you know the sort... when a small person totally wraps their arms around you and nuzzles into you neck.. well that was how my older niece greeted me. Awww now that in itself is something I love, so I was truly blessed.

We unpacked my bag and she waited expectantly for her belated Christmas presents to be pulled out of the bag. When I revealed a package containing coloured card, coloured foam sheets, pots of glitter and glittering flowers and some glue, her eyes widened and her grin spread from ear to ear. It wasn't long before we were sat at the table doing 'cutting and sticking' but mostly doing glitter everywhere!

And the results are in the photo below.. how chuffed does she look with her card?

Nom nom nom brownies...

It's been a few days since I contributed, sorry about that.  I have been keeping up with my fitness blog but it's a lot of whining and complaining about the workout regime so wouldn't want to bored you guys with that! 

I hardly say this but Monday was a great day!  I wanted to shake up my routines a bit instead of just focusing on working out so I went out for a long walk in the morning, went to the local market and came back with loads of fresh fruit and vegetables.  When I got home, I spent 3 hours in the kitchen playing around!  It's been so long since I spent any good time in the kitchen just for myself so this was greatly therapeutic. 

I got the new Glee vol 4 songs on my Mac (yes...Glee is my guilty pleasure...), blasted on the stereo then I proceeded to clean the kitchen, made a pot of Japanese braised vegetables, prepare fruit salad for rest of the week, roast a beer joint and made some After 8 Mint Chocolate brownies!  All of the above done with dancing and singing in the kitchen...the cats were not impressed...

Since I'm being all health nut and stuff, I only had one small slice of the brownies to taste, the rest I packed up and sent to Jez's work place...they better appreciate...shockingly I didn't take any photos!  Just take my word for it, they were decadent!

I still did my workout, I'm 7 days away from completion so I just need to suck it up and finish the program!  I can do it and THAT will make me smile!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Simple things.....

Today a few simple things made me smile....
  1. Playing the feather game with my cat, has been lovely to see her after a weekend away
  2. Bumping into our plumber and then a friend in Balham, love the feeling of community when you know people in your takes a while to find this in the big sprawl of London
  3. Pushing myself and improving my postures in bikram yoga
  4. Listening to 2 inspirational podcasts on successful bloggers and getting excited about some potentional life changing plans around this! 
  5. Eating my chocolate cake :-)

Today, yesterday and the weekend

It's Monday again, I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm not going to let the 'Monday blues' take hold, so today it is even more important to do something I love!

Yesterday I spent the day hawking. It was amazing, being, being out in nature. The birds were amazing - we flew owls, vultures and hawks. After, we went for a lovely pub lunch - a roast on a Sunday is such a warming, delicious thing to do.

Back to today - it's a bit early to feel inspired, I'll be thinking about it on my journey to work and see what others have been doing.

I'm musing it over now..... What does the life I love look like today?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A new experience!

Wow! I'm finally in the 21st century! I've become a blogger! Since the launch of the Challenge I've been more aware of the small things-- in my life that make me smile ----
drawing my curtains in the morning and seeing the sunrise through the pine trees, roof top views over to the sea, a black bird on our bird table, the first clump of snow drops in the garden, chirpy children's voices next door and seeing my new photo passport with the face of a grim looking lady staring at me sternly, is that really me?!
And finally, baking a cake with my dear daughter, whose tidiness standards are not quite my own and whose little face couldn't wait to get in the bowl and lick it!

A successful afternoon of baking :-)


Beach time!

I've been having a lovely weekend down with my parents, and then catching up with a good friend I haven't seen since last summer! Below are some pics I have snapped from last nights sunset and a walk on the sand this morning.....bliss :-)

Next on the agenda is baking a chocolate cake with my mum this afternoon.....I don't think we have done that together since I was about 10!!


Friday, 18 February 2011

I bought me some shoes...and I worked's a good day

Didn't post yesterday because it was just a bad day all around, however, today is a new day.  Below is my blog post on Myfitnesspal so if you don't mind, I will copy/paste here. 

Day 20 of Slimdown - Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!  Yep, that's how I felt when I finished today.

This week has been hard.  Really really REALLY hard!   I've finally admitted to myself and to the rest of MFP that I'm burnt out.  I really didn't want to admit it because it feels like I've failed myself.  But I wasn't happy doing the workout anymore.  To be honest, this probably has to do with me not working right now.  My new job doesn't start till 7 March so I'm lucky that I have all this time to take care of my body.  However, for the last 3 months, that's all my days have been about.  Wake up, prep lunch for bf, feed cats, eat breakfast, meet Jillian, eat lunch, do dishes, do laundry, prep dinner for bf, tv, sleep.  Lady of leisure?  Maybe..boredom?  Hell ya!  I stopped talking to people, like verbally.  Apart from updates online, I hardly say a word to any human being during the day.  When my bf comes home and asks me 'what's new?' I have nothing!  Of course, everyone says, enjoy this time and I really have but when Jillian Michaels become the only 'person' that you're talking to...there are issues!

I'm very lucky to have found MFP.  This morning I posted at note on the forum filled with defeat.  I really wanted to eat junk food but instead, I just decided to type.  After I typed up my post, I decided to leave the house and NOT do the workout at exactly 12pm as I have done in the last 50 days.  I shut off the computer, got dressed and went out window shopping in one of my favorite areas in London.  It turned out to be exactly what I needed!

I didn't wear my heart rate monitor as I've been when I'm out walking.  I wasn't concerned with burning calories, I wasn't concerned with raising my heart rate, I was just...walking!  I checked out shops that I haven't been in a while, I tried on shoes and bought myself a new pair of winter boots, I even went to a Mexican joint (seriously though...Mexican food in London is so disappointing...) and had some rubbish tacos...ate the meat but not the really wasn't that great...but that wasn't the point!  Then I spent some good time in my favorite book store looking at new cookbooks.  Finally in weeks I took a breath and not gasping for felt so nice...

Took a long bus ride home and just thinking about everything.  It was the same bus I used to take to school 6 years ago when I first moved to London.  I was at my goal weight then and it was nice.  The long bus journey got me a bit emotional but in a really good way.  When I got home, I didn't turn on the tv, I checked MFP and I couldn't believe the overwhelming responses I got for my post!  People that don't even know me are supporting me and pushing me on and teaching me!  I couldn't ask for better teachers...I felt very blessed and I cried a bit as I read the comments.

I took a short nap...then I decided to see Jillian.  Not because I had to, because I wanted to.  The workout was...I'm shocked to admit this...GREAT!  And this was the hard DVD!  I said to 2 circuits and see how I feel.  Then I said to 2 more circuits then see how I feel.  Next thing you know...we're at cool down.  And this time, i didn't collapse on the ground and feel like I was about to she always wants you feel.  I felt amazing.  I can feel the endorphins flowing through my body and I just felt so great!  Even during those damn standing mountain climbers!

Tomorrow is my weigh in day also my rest day.  I get to reunite with my scale and see the damage...I'm also really going to enjoy my rest day.

I really love MFP and I love all of your supports...thank you..

Motto of the day:  With all the hatred and anger happening in the world, I'm lucky to meet like-minded individuals who support me and love me for who I am, no matter what.  I hope to provide them with the same love and support for this long journey.  Smile at a stranger today, they just might smile back =)

Send out LOVE today!

Just a little post to let you know (if you believe in this kind of thing) that today's full moon brings a focus to the heart. This mean's it's a great time to focus on those you love, send out love to everyone around and to our world and it's also a time for self love.

When I was at the ashram in India in January one thing I learnt about mediating was to slow your breath down and focus either on your heart, if you are a person of love and devotion, or if you are more of an intellectual nature then the point in between your eyebrows. (Little photo below explaining this from the hall in the ashram) A lovely mediation to do is to sit and focus on your heart sending out love to everyone you know, focusing on one person at a time and saying "I Love You" or "I send out love to you" What ever works for you. You might simply like to repeat "I am Love" over and over like a mantra.

Doing this really has a lovely effect and sends out lot of positive vibrations to those you care about.

Thank you all for joining this challenge!

Lots of love to you all


Thursday, 17 February 2011

What is it?

>>> It's a new day and time for me to start thinking about what I love, what makes me smile and what does a life I love look like.
>>> The discovering of life and who I am in that life is been a pretty exciting and interesting one until now and sometimes rather difficult, but I count myself lucky to have met some amazing people who have shown me what it is to be human.
>>> So, what makes me happy, hhhmmmmm...
>>> 1. Coffee - ok those out there who know me won't be surprised by this. I have a real obsession here. It isn't just coffee or even good coffee. It's the experience of going out for a coffee, the buzz, the sound of the milk being frothed. The environment - a place for meeting people, that constant din of laughing and smiling people. Coffee also has it's roots in one of my earliest childhood memories, a rare day out with just my mum and I. She would order a cappuccino and let me have the froth from the top.
>>> 2. Trees - being outside and walking amongst trees. I love the feel of the bark under my fingertips, that rough, worn gnarly texture that makes me think of things that trees have seen.
> Ok - two things I love. More to think of.

What did I do today that I love - I spent time on me. I got early and preened and poked and prodded until I walked out of the house with a satisfied smile and the thought 'I don't look too bad'. What a satisfying morning - isn't it just going to be a glorious day!

Operation beautiful!

Inspired by the AMAZING Operation Beautiful I just sneaked into my friend's (and flatmate!) room and left a note on her mirror saying she is beautiful, I love her and thanks for being such a fab friend. It feels really lovely to express how you feel about someone, especially when they least expect it, he he :-)


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

lovely day

today I spent time with my neice and her beautiful baby boy Luka, who is 3 months old. Such a lovely child, and it reminded me how quickly my two boys have grown up. It made me remember how we should live in the moment, holding Luka was so good and he smiled at me. Perfect! x

Day 3....allowing myself to stop!

Before I start I just have to say.....Tiffany your cats are GORGEOUS!!! I tried to add a comment but for some reason I couldn't write anything, hope that fixes itself soon! But they really are so beautiful, awww!

Well my first little treat was a Cadbury's cream egg today, the first one of the season! I try to leave it as long as possible usually and once the seal is broken there is no turning back. It was indeed very yummy, although must say Maltesers Bunnies are big competition this year :-)

After scoffing the egg I spent my lunch break on the search of someone to compliment, I just thought it would be a nice thing to do, it was fun I felt like I was on some kind of make over show running around undercover checking out what people were wearing!! When I did find my lady she looked rather chuffed to be told how lovely she looks.

I've ended up going for a triple whammy and have decided to give myself a night off tonight, instead of planned yoga and then work I am going to turn the laptop off after this, have a long soak in a bath and then read my book....(and not feel at all guilty!).....bliss.

Good night! x

Day 3....meow

I have lovely cats...they make me smile everyday.  Even though I'm not their favorite cuz they're both pathetically in love with my boyfriend, I still love I took plenty of pictures of them and that made me happy...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

You can't wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug. ~Author Unknown

Today was a particularly busy day for me, getting lots done but mainly in the office in my own company.... so what did I do to make me smile today?

This evening was a scramble to do it all, I dashed to drop off some papers at the charity lawyers, then off to the Cancer Partnership meeting and later followed by a More to Life Than Shoes meeting and now home....

So what did I do to make me smile today?

Well actually lots of little things made me smile today... even when I was filling out endless forms. Not sure quite why but little memories or triggers today seemed to make sense and create a picture. But that wasn't enough.. on my challenge journey I want to make others smile too.

So what did I do to make others smile today?

Well I figured that I had a great opportunity today. This particular cancer partnership meeting is made up of a range of people, ages and professions themselves affected by cancer together with medical professionals and charity representatives. Just before the meeting began a gentleman walked through the door. A man of 'distinction' (err queue Shirley Bassey singing in your head) and a gentleman of stature. He's wearing a tweed jacket and has a trilby hat perched on his head. But there was something instantly about this gentleman that said to me he was a little tired and perhaps showing a brave face. I'd met this gentleman before at a cancer conference and somehow tonight he seemed, despite his stature, to have lost his mojo a little. We talked briefly and he mentioned that his treatment was having side affects and as he spoke I felt his pain and saw it in his eyes.

So... I decided it was time for 'Mission Hug'... I put out my arms and said "I think you need a hug". Initially he looked a little bemused and surprised - I'm not sure he's the hugging kind or indeed I'm not sure he often has strange birds with their arms outstretched suggesting a hug. But he did. A little tensely at first. Hug. As we separated I saw him smile. I also saw a little twinkle in his eye had returned, as he'd had the first time I met him. And as we all said our goodbyes at the end of the meeting he suggested that we hug next time we meet too.

So I leave you today with a quote I found:
A hug is a great gift - one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange. ~Author Unknown

Day 2

So delightful was Day 1 I didn't get time to post. I was enjoying the lift that the first ray of sunshine of spring gave, getting out for a lunchtime run in what felt like the first time in an age, and getting home without having the pressure of an evening's hard marathon training. Did my colleagues baulk at my cheek of taking an hour out of my day? No. Did the business crumble around me? No. Did I feel guilty for taking the lunch hour I'm entitled to? Yes. One to work on I think...

Today I'm thankful for feeling the dark gloom that has engulfed the last few months starting to properly lift, starting to feel myself again and starting to gain the confidence back that seemed to be shattered by recent events.

I've been reading 'The Magic of Thinking Big' by David Schwatrz, recommended by someone I admire professionally. This is the third or fourth in a series of books that straddle the line between 'professional development' and 'self help' that I've read of late, none of which have managed to switch the glass-half-empty attitude I'd found myself adopting to the much more satistfying and productive glass half full approach. For anyone who wants to develop professionally and develop their own 'brand' at work, it's highly recommended... I've been putting some of the tips regarding positivity, optimisism and making things happen by thinking big into practice and, whilst the results won't be immediately visible, it's certainly helping to get me back into a positive place.

A good day and a strong start to creating a life I love again..? I think so.

Thank you note....sshhh!

Today I posted a Thank You Card.....ashamedly the first proper one in a very long time. I've got so used to just sending texts/emails or saying thank you in person but there is something special about saying it via post. Also I only ever usually send thank you cards after Christmas and birthdays so it felt really  lovely to be thanking someone for all they do for me all the time and for being such a great person in my life. I am not telling you who it will ruin their postal delivery in the morning.....sssshhhh! :-)

Day 2 of Creating the life I love

Yesterday was Valentine's Day.  Bf took the day off and it was the first time in nearly 5 years we actually celebrated this day.  I'm a romantic and I've always been.  Bf...not so much...well, after you've been living with someone for 6 years and dating for 4 1/2, romance does get sidelined...but this year, since our Goa trip was a fail, we thought we would at least make an effort. 

Yesterday, Day 16, was Shred Level 2.  I did it first thing in the morning and I wish I could say it's gotten easier but it really hasn't.  I think because I'm not doing the same routine everyday, I don't have time to get used to it which may very well play in my favor.  You are suppose to keep your body guessing to avoid a plateau, right? is guessing everyday!  I am always a little sore everyday.  Not sore enough that I can't function but sore enough for me to go 'oooohh' whenever I raised my arms.  Anyway, got Level 2 out of the way and I was out the entire day overindulging on everything butter, cream, wine, olive oil and chocolate.  It was amazing...but I was so stuffed!  I didn't even finish my main at lunch!  I ate half and I threw in the towel...dinner was just as scrumptious.  Loads of sushi, we were literally little piggies!

I wish it felt nice to eat so much but it didn't.  I went to bed feeling quite sick..and my stomach was so bloated!  It was so uncomfortable and just as I would say everytime suffering from a hangover, I said, 'I will never eat like this again!'  You know what, I meant was so not worth was really yummy but portion control really is key.  I need to learn that I can eat what I want as long as I only eat a small portion of it.  So needless to say, I went wayyyyyy over my calorie count yesterday, I didn't even log the sushi!

So today, of course, we go back to a healthy week.  Few mini goals for the week:

1. No weigh-in till Saturday.  Boyfriend's hid my scale and he said it is somewhere I can't reach...well, I looked but I can't find it so I have to find something else to be obsessed with...

2. Burn 500kcal a day.  I'm doing good with my 30 Day Slimdown program but I'd like to burn at least 500kcal a day so I will be incorporating a bit more daily, whether it's Dance Central on Kinect or more walking...whatever it takes, 500kcal.

3. No more food after 8pm.  Last week was bad.  We've been having these mini film nights and while I have always been within and most time under my calorie count, I've been munching away at night knowing that I have extra calories left...that is no good cuz that is just a slippery slope! more!  Only water will enter me past 8pm.

So far so good today.  Day 17, No More Trouble Zone.  It just doesn't get any easier!  I tried to mix it up with the 5lb weights but JM is right!  I can't lift these for 5 minutes I had to go back down to the 3lb weight.  Her tricep circuits are killers and I always  sweat beads going through them.  My left knee is not feeling all that hot but I'm still okay to do lunges and squats, just not going deep enough.  I still burned an impressive 350kcal today but it is definitely a bit less than before since I am getting fitter.  Such bitter sweet news...I'm fitter so my heart's working better but I'm burning less calories so I need to push myself more!

Working out is is so so so hard and I don't know why some people say they love it because most days, I really hate it.  I only love it when I'm done because I'm proud but during, I hate it.  But I have to do it because I want to get healthy, I want to feel better, look better and I want to come out a winner.  So hatred aside...I will do it.

The remaining 12 days are going to be brutal. There are days where I will be working with JM for 1 1/2 hrs...I don't know what's going to happen to this space...

Motto of the day: Scale is not your friend, hide it.  Junk food is not your pal, get rid of it. Exercise is not easy but nothing worthy ever is, right?  Get off the couch and do it! 


I'm sending this from my phone for the first time so fingers crossed it works.

As per Lou's instructions I thought I'd introduce myself first. Hi, I'm Mel, I've been lucky to meet such an inspiring person as Lou at work and it Is that day to day smile on her face that has reminded me that even in the depths of work that there is more to life than.......uummm, this. It's funny the habits that you can get in to, doing the day in day out feels safe, normal. After all it's what everyone else is doing. So after careful thought, lots consideration (procrastination) and plenty of time living the status quo, it's now time to create a life I love.

So hello. The life I love involves lots of smiles (real ones) from me and the people around me.

What am I doing today to create the life I love? I left my desk at lunch and now I'm sitting in a coffee shop typing this blog. It's the small things that matter that make the big things so great.

Thank you Lou for your inspiration and to those friends I haven't met yet. I look forward to journeying with you along the way.


A delayed first post...but better late than never!

Yesterday was a great day.  I woke up early, did my Jillian Michaels Shred Level 2 which by the way is probably the hardest of all three levels!  I hate her...but I love her, too...and seeing her daily does bring a smile to my face...follow by some hissing at the tv screen...

It felt great to have finished the workout in the morning so I can be free to do what I wanted.  This is Day 16 and just 14 more days to go, I will have completed another one of her brutal 30 day regime. 

The rest of the day was amazing.  Bf took the day off so for the first time in 5 years, we actually decided to do something for V-day.  Long story short:  a wonderful 90 minute couples massage, followed by a calorific but satisfying lunch at La Petite Auberge on Upper Street in Islington and ended with a game of Super Mario on the Wii and sushi delivered to the house.  Who says video games are not romantic?  I'm pretty sure we bonded over destroying turtles and collecting coins for 2 hours...

Yesterday was a wonderful day.

I will be doing the No More Trouble Zone dvd today and will later post my experience.  Since I am also blogging my journey on another site called Myfitnesspal, it will be copy and pasted here so it may contain a lot of moaning, a lot of whining and a lot of nonsense about jumping jacks...

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 14 February 2011

first day of creating a life I love

had the day from hell at work today which I will not bore you with. But I did go swimming which was lovely, really enjoyed it. And I got a lovely text from someone I work with telling me I am a great boss (I needed that!) so much so it made me cry.

Day 1.....pamper pamper

For my first day of the challenge I had planned to have my hair done at a new hairdressers, it was wonderful.....I even got given a manicure whilst my hair was being cut, I felt very pampered! As an extra bonus I decided not to go to my usual Bikram yoga class but do the yoga I learnt in the Ashram (In Jan) as I have been missing it, the sun was pouring in the lounge as I was doing sun salutations, it was bliss.


Ahem.. Shhhhhhh

Hello everybody,

Wanna know what I did today?

Well I'll tell, but you've got to promise to keep a secret... OK?

I've been plotting some misbehaving. In a few days time I'm going to be seeing nieces and nephews (well and their parents too) and just in case you don't actually know me, I love spending time with the many small people in my life... I think it's because i can behave like a kid, that I love nothing better than making a mess.. oh and making something creative at the same time... but mainly just making something. I love finding crazy new crafty things that the kids don't know about and then sitting for hours making, cutting, drawing, sticking and doing.

So what's the secret... well I'm armed with a whole heap of shrinkles for starters. If you don't know shrinkles you haven't lived! They're sheets of plastic that you draw or write on, make shapes with or a hole in and then, an adult (errr don't look at me) then puts it in the oven and it shrinks. [NB 'Older' people reading this, remember when you did that to a crisp packet?] I've also got a strip of magnet and some chains and some clips so we can make all sorts of fridge magnets and keyrings and stuff... Guess what the parentals will be getting as presents?

AND I've also got a box of assorted flowers, glitter, feathers AND a stack of coloured card...

Do you think we're going to get messy? Yeah definitely. Do you think I'm going to be in trouble with the parentals? Most certainly... Watch this space and I'll upload some pics for you all to see.

But I love love love the plotting and planning, the buying and then the bestest bit ever is the creating stuff and watching the kids faces as we get messy and they love it cos Auntie Anna is the one in trouble, not them!

Mwah Happy Valentines. Hope you're having fun.

Message from Louise Burke

Louise has been having problems posting so I am passing on what she gets up to! She is in Sydney so already at the end of the day there.

Discovery of the day, Quattro Formaggi deli at the Mall sell authentic Herbes de Provence, made proper french style ratatouille this arvo, house smells fantastic!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

I've never blogged before and I don't know what buttons I'm looking for...I have literally no idea what I'm posting this to. Still - if it works, then I shall have a better idea of what I'm doing from tomorrow onwards... :-)

Hello on the eve of the start of the challenge

Just thought I'd drop by and say how excited I am about this challenge and also excited to read what each and every person signed up to the challenge will be doing. What do you love doing? What makes you smile? AND will your doing something you love and that makes you smile be infectious and make others join in too? I truly hope so.

Thank you for joining the challenge and do encourage others to join in too. What fun you can have doing fun things with friends, colleagues and family. Imagine a workplace when you're trying to out-smile the others.. it's gotta be worth a try?


Oooh and one of my all time favourite poems that I reference often:

Smiles Cost Nothing by Anon

A smile costs nothing, but gives a lot.

It enriches those who receive it without making poorer those who give it.

A smile takes only a moment, but the memory of it can last forever.

No one is so rich, or so mighty, that they can get a long without a smile.

And no one is so poor that they cannot be made richer by a smile.

A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business and is the
counter sign of friendship.

A smile brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the
sad and is nature's best cure for trouble

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen
for it is of no value to anyone until it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give a smile so give them one of yours as no one needs a smile so much as he who has no more of his own to give.

Brief intro and testing testing!

Just a quick intro and also to say I am so happy to be part of this.  My mother being a cancer survivor and also myself having had a breast cancer scare last year, I am so happy to see an organization like this because there is nothing more valuable than support from others to help you through some of the difficult times.

For the next 60 days, I will be blogging my workout regime!  Not if that'd be interesting as it is mostly me moaning and complaining about the pain...but it is something I have found to enjoy doing every single day, shockingly.  I have finished something called 'Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred' which is a 30 minute circuit workout split into 3 levels that you finish in exactly 30 days, 10 days on each level.  It changed my body significantly in just 30 days!  I am now doing her second program, 30 Day Slimdown.  I am currently on Day 15.  When I finish this program, I will hopefully be starting a running program called Couch to 5K (C25K) accompanied with more of Jillian Michaels' torture boot camp, also known as Ripped in 30.  I will be blogging my progress and I hope this will inspire people to get healthy and start moving! 

For those that are not familiar with Jillian Michaels, she is the evil female personal trainer on the US version of The Biggest Loser.  Since I stopped working in December, I have been focusing on getting healthy and feeling better and as much as I hate her, JM has jump started my journey.

Anyway, good luck to everyone and happy blogging!


1 day to go - can't wait!!


Just one day to go until the challenge starts, I just can't wait to see where it all takes us, what we get up to and what comes out of consciously planning to do something that makes us smile every day. Knowing that it is about to start I have been thinking about what I am going to do for my first week, I am a planner and like to get things planned in for my week ahead!

I had a fab idea yesterday whilst going through someone's wardrobe (I am an image consultant) of how lovely would it be to go up to random people on the street and give them compliments. It's so nice when someone comes up and tells you how nice you look or comments on something you are wearing, it really gives you a little lift. I often see people and think how fabulous they look but never actually say anything to them for fear of them thinking I am slightly odd! So I think I will do that on a few of my days in the challenge.

Another I idea I have had is to send people thank you cards, this idea came from reading about this fab book 365 Days where the writer sent thank you cards to people every day for a year. Every day I do think about what I am grateful for but this is one step further and again like the compliments idea it's touching other people.

After just spending a couple of weeks in an Ashram  in India I am addicted to yoga now so making sure I do bikram yoga will be another thing this week.

And finally I am going home next weekend to see my parents so I think I might bake a chocolate cake with my mum and enjoy licking the bowl afterwards (with no guilt!).....used to love doing that when I was younger!!!

Looking forward to hearing about what you all get up to!

Louise x

Saturday, 5 February 2011

50 things that make me smile!

OK here is my list of 50 things that put a big smile on my I started I wondered how I would think of 50 but as i got going more and more kept springing in to mind! Now I just want to go do them all :-)

I look forward to reading all of yours!


  1. Walking along the Thames
  2. Going into nice cosy old London pubs with open fires in the winter
  3. Visiting Brighton
  4. Going down to the New Forest to see my parents, love seeing the ponies wandering around
  5. Running along the cliff top/ sea wall where my parents live
  6. Roller skating
  7. Dancing
  8. Bikram Yoga
  9. Reading a good book, love Paulo Coehlo
  10. Cooking a roast for a big Sunday lunch with friends
  11. Hosting a dinner party
  12. Throwing a party
  13. Looking around shops
  14. Baking Cake
  15. Being spun around salsa dancing
  16. Tooting bec lido in the summer
  17. Writing my blog/diary
  18. My cat
  19. Lying in a hammock
  20. Eating fresh fish by a beach in Thailand/India
  21. Kyaking through crystal clear sea
  22. Snorkelling
  23. Chatting to friends abroad on Skype
  24. Planning a holiday
  25. Having a really great open conversation with someone I care about where you really share yourselves and learn more about each other
  26. Kissing :-)
  27. Going for coffee and cake with a friend for a good catch up
  28. Going to the cinema on my own in the middle of the day
  29. Going to the Tate Modern
  30. Sitting somewhere peaceful and meditating
  31. Running along the Thames
  32. Borough Food Market, going saturday morning and wandering around feasting on everything!
  33. Saturdays at Portobello Market with a friend and glass of vino after shopping
  34. Pie and mash after a good nose around Spitalsfield market on a Sunday
  35. Going to seminars that inspire me and help me to grow
  36. Seeing my friends children, they are all so cute!
  37. Taking photos, I aim to take one a day
  38. The feeling at the end of a personal shop where the client is excited about all his/her new clothes
  39. The energy I get when I am coaching someone and they start to make the changes they desire, to see their confidence and excitement growing is a true gift
  40. Waking up in the arms of my boyfriend
  41. Ordering food in a new restaurant
  42. Eating delicious food
  43. Listening to music up LOUD!
  44. Dancing round the lounge to a great song on full blast
  45. Playing Wii with friends
  46. Visiting somewhere new and exploring
  47. Long windy walks where your cheeks are pink and you feel wind swept by the end of it
  48. Swimming in the sea, even in UK!
  49. Getting dressed up with friends to go out, music on, wine open!
  50. Going to concerts/gigs

Friday, 4 February 2011

It's time to sign up!

I can't believe how much the time has flown and the time is here for everyone to sign up for the Challenge! I have just spent a wonderful 5 weeks doing things I love every day in India and feel even MORE excited about the impact I know this challenge will have on all those doing it. Just consiously planning to do something that makes you smile every day really does shift your thoughts and feelings for that day.

To sign up please go to this site and donate via the paypal link. Then I will add you on to this blog so you can start contributing. Some suggested tips to get you started are:
  • As soon as you recieve an email from me to say you are added to the blog write a quick post just to introduce yourself to everyone. I am sure people would be interested to get to know a bit about everyone doing the challenge and who knows you might get to know some people who can help you/ you help them etc
  • Then before the challenge started on Valentines day you may like to post an idea of the kind of things you will be doing. A great exercise to create some ideas of what to do is to write a list of 50 things that make you smile, then you can start to plan to do them. They might be things you like to do now, things you haven't done for years or something you have always wanted to try.
  • On Valentines please start posting what you do every day, it doesn't have to be long just a quick few lines to share ideas and experiences with everyone.
  • It's perfectly ok to copy other peoples ideas!! That is one of the reasons for this blog to inspire each other.
  • Above all HAVE FUN!

Once I have an idea of how many people are on the challenge I will then book a venue for the party to celebrate the end on 14th April.

Again the site to sign up is:

Over the new week I will post my list of 50 things that make me smile too :-)

Thanks everyone for your support!!

Louise xx