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Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

PutnamcountyspellingbeealbumcoverI DID IT! Two weeks ago, I auditioned for my first musical at The New Octavians, a local community theatre in Hammond. The show that I auditioned for is called The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and it will be directed by Rachael Knaps. It is a musical comedy centered on a fictional spelling bee held at a middle school where six oddball teens will compete, and three unconventional adults will run the show. Well (drum roll), my name made its way on the cast list. I was offered a role, and I accepted it! I will be playing Mitch Mahoney, who happens to be an ex-con assigned to the spelling bee to fulfill a community service requirement. HA! I’m SUPER excited about getting cast and cannot thank my voice coach Laura enough for all of her help preparing me for the audition. We worked intensively together for two weeks preparing me to belt out “The Kite” and the hard work paid off. Go, me! The performances will be in November.

In addition to coming clean about what I have been doing with my singing and acting, I’ve also been reading about eating clean. #8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. This month I read The Clean 20 by Ian K. Smith, M.D. I learned about Dr. Ian K. Smith and his approach to eating clean and intermittent fasting on Molly Kimball’s podcast Fueled: Wellness + Nutrition. I liked what he had to say, so I decided to check out his new book Clean & Lean and discovered the book he wrote previously, The Clean 20, that focuses on 20 clean foods that are incorporated in a complete 20-day clean-eating program. The program includes menus, recipes, exercise suggestions, motivation, and the benefits of eating these clean foods. Therefore, I am starting the program on Monday (Labor Day). It will require food prep and planning, as well as following “The Clean 20 Rules” of which there are fourteen. Some will be easy to follow (dairy is good, no alcohol, canned and frozen are permitted), and others will be much harder (no added sugar, no soda, no frying, careful with condiments). Along with reading the book, I joined Smith’s Facebook group Cleaner Get Leaner. The group was created as a companion to his Clean & Lean book; however, since I will eventually be reading that book in the near future, I decided the extra motivation and encouragement could be beneficial. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with the clean eating program.

In Other News:

I dropped my gym membership. I thought going to the gym at least once per week this year (#5) on my 19 for 2019 list would be easy, but it has not. I went ONE time in July and walked on the treadmill. Since Andrew can exercise at the Rec Sports & Wellness Student Activity Center at SLU and I’m not going to the gym regularly, I decided to save some money and cancel our membership.

It’s Labor Day weekend, dear reader, and for many of you that means an extra day off from your job. I hope you will be able to enjoy the additional downtime. Happiness!

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the essence of life — joy. We get so bogged down in the process of “doing” that we forget about the state of “being” and how important it is to enjoy where we are and not always look to where we want to be.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M.D.

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to think about different areas of my life (health & fitness, home, acting, family, finances) and wrote down a few goals I’d like to work on in each of these areas this year and beyond. One would think after losing weight, exercising on a regular basis, and eating clean 90% of the time there wouldn’t be a need for more health and fitness goals. This couldn’t be further from the truth for me. While I like routine, I also like variety.  And, I like challenges. My challenge has been to drop the 7 pounds I gained from the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, I haven’t been too successful. Not sure exactly why. However, I have my suspicions it has something to do with the weather and getting dark early. Daylight savings time is just around the corner (10 March), and spring isn’t far behind. I’m hoping the combination of warmer weather and longer daylight hours is the answer to shedding these unwanted pounds.

This is my list of Health & Fitness resolutions:

  • Continue to exercise on a regular basis (shoot for 5 days a week).
  • Try new classes/exercises to challenge muscles and keep it fresh.
  • Run a 5K.
  • Run a 5K with zombies in it. (June 2013)
  • Continue to eat clean, and shoot for 95% of the time. More veggies and 8 glasses a water each day.
  • Try new recipes even though cooking is not my favorite thing (shoot for 3 new recipes a month).
  • Make the time to prep food/plan meals ahead of time (shoot for 3 days a week).
  • When the weather gets nicer, walk my dog (Comet aka Tooty) on a more regular basis (shoot for 4 times a week).

On Saturday, I registered for the Hammond Rotary 5K Shamrock Run being held on the SLU Campus on Saturday, 16 March. Of course, my main goal is to finish; however, I want to run the entire race in 30 minutes. Pray for good weather.

Here is an interesting blog post from Leo Babauta of zenhabits about health & fitness: Create the Habits of Being Lean, in 7 Years

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #7 total was 169 points. I earned 169 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points for not eating after 9PM was doubled this week. According to my scale Monday, I gained 3.5 pounds (REALLY!) which makes my weight 135.5 pounds. I weighed myself again this morning with 133 pounds. Still a pound gain! I want to kick that scale to the curb. Moonius Maximus earned 105 points. He earned 100 for making healthy choices and 5 points for maintaining his weight loss. His weight is still 184 pounds. We have one more week to complete this challenge. Moonius and I will NOT give up. We are determined to finish this challenge with a positive attitude. Happiness!

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” ~ Andy Warhol

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I’m on Day 9 of the North Cypress 14-Day Challenge, and I’m actually having a terrific time. This challenge, like the T-Shirt Challenge, has given me the opportunity to try new classes. On the first day of the challenge, I let Shelly talk me into taking a P.U.R.E. class. Intense! The class reminds me of the Insanity DVD program/Jackie Warner’s Power Circuits. You go through a series of stations led by personal trainers. Each station has a different exercise that is performed for about a minute or two depending on the exercise. I left the class thinking “I’ll never take that class again.” WRONG! I took it again  Monday night, as well as last night. On Friday evening I had my training session with a personal trainer. One trainer session is included in the challenge. My trainer worked me hard. My body felt it the next day. After my run on Saturday morning, I took a Barre class with Shelly who had just finished a spin class. The Barre class is a combination of principles of ballet, Pilates, and yoga. It targets the core, hips, thighs, buttocks, and arms. Out of all of the classes I have tried since joining North Cypress, this is my least favorite. In all fairness, I plan on taking the class again; however, it will be on a day or night separate from any other activity and not after a trainer session. Shelly and I both went into that class sore AND after just working out for 45 minutes. Also, Shelly had her trainer session on Friday morning. We’re NUTS! I was stiff, sore, and uncomfortable. It even hurt to sit. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to walk Sunday morning. I did take Sunday as a rest day. Alas, Shelly and I prevailed, and we are both back at it for another week  of the challenge.

In addition to new classes, I’m trying new foods. I’ve added raw spinach to my salads. I’ve incorporated balsamic vinegar into a few of my meals (salads/pasta). The eating plan calls for Caramel Corn Rice Cakes by Quaker Oats. One rice cake is 0 fat grams; 50 calories, 3g of sugar, and 1g of protein. They are pretty good. The plan calls for spreading some Almond Butter on it; however, I’ve been eating them plain or with peanut butter. I haven’t tried Almond butter, yet. It is something I plan to try very soon.

For anyone interested in the Meal Plan for the 14-Day Challenge:  Meal Plan   (This is 1,550 calories per day.)

For anyone interested in the Workout Plan for the 14-Day Challenge: Workout Plan

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #6 total was 156 points. I earned 181 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points for no sweets or sugary treats were doubled this week. I lost 2.5 pounds (YAY!) which makes my weight 132 pounds; however, I earned 0 points for weight loss because my lowest weight was 131.5 pounds.  Moonius Maximus earned 112 points. He earned 107 for making healthy choices and 5 points for maintaining his weight loss. His weight is still 184 pounds. We have two more weeks to complete this challenge.

Recently, I had the opportunity to write down some goals for different areas of my life. I’m hoping to write a post or two about them soon. Some of the goals are for 2013 while others are something I would like to accomplish in the future. Every day brings opportunity. Sometimes, the opportunities enrich the journey you’re presently on. Sometimes, the opportunities open new doors and lead you in another direction…a direction that may bring you more fulfillment, define your purpose, or  just make your life flow smoothly. Whatever the day brings, be PRESENT so you don’t miss the opportunities.  Happiness!

“You know. Life’s short. If you don’t try new things, you’ll never know what you’re best at. And you can only make time for new things by quitting the things you know don’t work for you.” ~Meg Cabot, Teen Idol

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Mon frere, Moonius Maximus, and I entered an agreement to complete an 8-Week Healthier Lifestyle Challenge inspired by Six Sisters Stuff. We have two friendly competitions at work: 1) We both lose at least eight pounds in eight weeks. 2) We want to see who will earn the most points for making healthier choices. We agreed to do this strictly for fun. It gives him some motivation to exercise and eat better. It allows me to drop my holiday weight.

Our challenge includes seven areas where we can earn points each day for making healthy choices. We mutually agreed to eliminate keeping a food journal. We discussed what we consider sweets/sugary treats. And, we changed our weigh-in to Monday mornings instead of Sunday mornings. We also adjusted our point system a little to allow for points to be earned for any effort given in certain categories. The seven categories include: contacting teammate, drinking water, stop eating before 9pm, eating fruit, eating veggies, no sweets/sugary treats, and exercise. For week #1, we had the potential to earn 170 points plus points from weight loss. You receive ten points per pound lost plus five points for maintaining lowest weight.

My starting weight was 133 pounds. Mon frere’s starting weight was 186.6 pounds.

My week #1 total was 140 points. I earned 120 points for making healthy choices and 20 points for weight loss. I lost 1.5 pounds which makes my weight 131.5 pounds. Moonius Maximus earned 122 points. He earned 101 for making healthy choices and 21 for weight loss. He lost 1.7 pounds which makes his weight 184.9 pounds (rounded to 185 pounds). As you can see, we are both off to a very good start.

I’ve signed up for another challenge at my health club. If I attend at least three Les Mills classes (Body Pump, RPM, Body Flow, Body Combat) next week, I can win a free t-shirt. I’ve only taken Body Pump so it will be fun to try out the other Les Mills classes. I will definitely take a Body Pump class, and I’m thinking about trying Body Combat and RPM. I’ll let you know if I get my t-shirt.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Yesterday was the big day! And, I missed the mark by one measly pound. Yep, I weighed in at 126 pounds.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I did my best considering my circumstances the last couple of weeks. Ming was the priority. I may not have exercised every day; however, I stayed on track with my running/walking and managed four days of cardio. I’ll get back on track with my strength training this week.

 My new challenge:  How many days will it actually take me to lose this one pound? I plan to weigh myself every morning until I weigh 125 pounds. I start tomorrow, Tuesday 4 December. Let’s have fun and turn this into a contest. Leave me a comment on my blog with the number of days you think it will take me to lose one pound. It will ONLY count if you leave the number of days on my blog. The person who guesses the number or is closest to the number wins a prize.   

I’ve added something new to my pantry:  Kashi Go Lean Crunch! Cereal (1 Cup contains 3g fat; 190 calories; 13g sugar; 9g protein; 8g fiber). I eat it with Almond Milk: Silk PureAlmond Original (1 Cup contains 2.5g fat; 60 calories; 7g sugar; 1g protein; 1g fiber). You can cut out 7g of sugar by getting the unsweetened Almond Milk.

So, as the week progresses indulge in a little relaxation. Take a bubble bath, read a book, listen to some fabulous music, take a stroll, etc. Enjoy whatever makes you happy and brings you joy. Life is meant to be lived. Happiness!

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ~ Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

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I had a busy weekend despite the rain. Barry and I attended a wedding Saturday night in Mandeville. My hubby is friends with the groom. I should have taken a picture of myself. I wore a dress and heels. It is rare for me to wear a dress. I don’t even own the dress I wore. Thank goodness my BFF from the 3rd grade has a well-stocked wardrobe. And, since I have lost weight, I can actually fit in more of her clothes. Hee Hee! As for the heels, they actually do belong to me. I bought them for a scene I did for a showcase for one of my acting classes. I managed to not break an ankle. Anyway, we had a terrific time socializing. The bride was gorgeous, the music was rockin’, and the food was yummy. I did eat a little something healthy before the wedding, so I would not be tempted to overeat. It also allowed me to eat the delicious wedding cake cupcake. The bride and groom did not have a traditional wedding cake with multiple tiers. They had one standard size cake at the top followed by four to five steps lined with giant cupcakes to make it look like a huge wedding cake.  They were so big, Barry and I had to split one. YUM!

On Sunday, I spent the day with my parents. We went to the movies to see End of Watch. It’s a movie about two young cops whose lives are changed after making a bust involving money and guns belonging to a notorious cartel. The three of us enjoyed it. Afterwards, we had lunch at Applebee’s. Before leaving my house that morning, I made a list of acceptable dishes I could eat to stay on the right course. I ordered the Weight Watchers Cabernet Mushroom Sirloin. It included steamed broccoli and new potatoes (15g fat/460 calories).  If I wasn’t so disciplined and could afford to SUPER splurge, I would have ordered the Oriental Chicken Salad. Ready for this…the regular (crispy chicken) with salad dressing is 98g fat and 1,390 calories. OOOF! Now, you can order a half-size, which would bring it down to 49g fat and 690 calories. Unfortunately, that is still too much, especially for a salad.

I have completed my 11th week of eating clean and exercising on a regular basis. Due to eating salty fried appetizers and a bowl of gumbo at the wedding, as well as nature NOT calling before my weekly weigh-in, I am back to 136 pounds. I know it is just a pound, and I know it isn’t a fat pound; however, I dislike not seeing a loss. It’s expectation. I’ve only had one other time on my weight loss journey where I gained, and again it was water weight. Never fear, I’m already over it. It’s a new week with lots of potential. My run/walk schedule for this week: Walk 10 minutes, run 9 minutes. Walk 1 minute, run 9 minutes (repeat twice). I’m so close to running a full 30 minutes.

Hope you have many wonderful blessings this week. Try to be as PRESENT as possible. It helps to keep stress away, and allows more room for happiness. Currently, I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book called Happier at Home. Rubin decided to dedicate a year to another happiness project, but this time focused on her home. I have a feeling my happiness project will be resurfacing after reading this book. Happiness!

“The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.”            ~ Maya Angelou

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My hubby and I worked concessions with Andrew and some of his fellow troop (Boy Scouts) members last night at the SLU football game. It was fun, but busy. My duties consisted of filling nacho trays, wrapping hamburgers and hotdogs, pouring soft drinks, and waiting on customers. I even had to squeeze the cheese bag to get the last bit of cheese out of it. Come to think of it, I also had to squeeze the chili bag, too.

Today will be another fun and busy day with my family. My hubby is cutting the grass, I’m blogging, and Andrew is about to hurl my little dog out the door. Comet aka Tooty just wants to go outside and get in Barry’s way, so he is whining and whistling, and well…being a tad bit obnoxious. This is aggravating Andrew because he cannot hear whatever he is listening to on the computer. After lunch, we have tickets to attend the play “The Nerd” at the Playmakers Theater. One of my acting friends is part of the cast. It is suppose to be hilarious. Who doesn’t need a good laugh? I’m excited because my hubby agreed to go with us. He is not big on plays, so this is a big deal. 

My weight loss journey continues. I lost another three pounds this week bringing my total weight loss to 18 pounds. I now weigh 135 pounds. Just ten more pounds to go until I reach my goal weight. Then it is all about toning and maintenance. I’m repeating my run/walk schedule this week, which is to Walk 10 minutes, run 8 minutes. Walk 2 minutes, run 8 minutes (repeat twice). I feel like I can increase my run time; however, I don’t want to risk injury. I’m also riding my bike more during the week. My hubby bought me a light for my bike. I’ll get to test it out on Tuesday morning.

Now that my blogging is done, I must take care of the laundry and clean a toilet or two before eating lunch. Wishing all my readers a terrific day…do something to create some positive energy. Happiness!

Check out Leo Babauta’s blog zen habits. He wrote a wonderful post about 20 Simple Strategies for Getting Healthy.

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  ~ Roald Dahl

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Finally, my weight is in the 130’s. Woot! Woot! I lost three pounds this week for a weight loss total of 15 pounds. I’m officially 138 pounds, and more than half way to my weight loss goal. I have more marbles in my “pounds lost” container than my “pounds to go” container. YES!

I completed my ninth week of eating clean and exercising on a regular basis. I have been using a food journal from a book by Kathy Smith that I’ve had for years. After the tenth week (starting tomorrow), I will have to make more copies. I am thinking about copying another ten weeks. During the next ten weeks or 11 weeks if you count this upcoming week, I will start creating menus. I have not been able to plan my meals in advance, so I want to work on that as a mini goal for the remainder of my weight loss journey. I also continue to struggle with drinking enough water. I want to be more consistent with my water intake. So, this will be another mini goal.

I feel like I am doing really well with my eating in social and restaurant/take-out situations. Once a month from January through November, I play Pokeno with ten other women. Each month one person hosts dinner and dessert. The hostess for the month is also asked to provide plain and peanut M & M’s. Thursday night was Pokeno. Our hostess for the month prepared Chicken Parmesan, Caesar salad, and bread for dinner. She brought a chocolate bundt cake and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream for dessert.  Even though my treat meals are generally on the weekend, I decided there is no reason I cannot have my treat meal on Thursday night in lieu of having one on Saturday night. I ate both dinner and dessert in moderation. I will confess I ate too many peanut M & M’s because I adore them. The portion I ate would be equivelant to a small bag you can buy at a checkout counter at a supermarket. I don’t regret it. The last time I ate peanut M & M’s was at last month’s Pokeno. The way I look at it, I get to indulge once a month.

My hubby and I ordered Chinese take-out on Friday night. Again, I made the decision to eat a treat meal on Friday instead of Sunday. I ordered as sensibly as you can when it comes to Chinese food. I had Shrimp with Lobster Sauce (5 medium/large shrimp & 1/2 cup of sauce), 3/4 cup of white rice, one eggroll, and a fortune cookie. In the past, I would have ordered a pint of shrimp lo mein, crabmeat delight, an eggroll, and a fortune cookie. It’s all about making choices and eating in moderation.

Yesterday, I went to visit my parents. I called my mother ahead of time to let her know that I would be bringing my lunch, so we would not have to order out. As far as I was concerned, I already had my treat meals for the week. And, I’ve eaten clean all weekend with the exception of one peanut butter/chocolate chip cookie I enjoyed at my little guy’s Scout Court of Honor ceremony. My hubby baked them for the reception afterwards. It is unrealistic for me to think I can eat clean 100% of the time. However, it is realistic for me to think I can eat clean 93-95% of the time. Food is a big deal with socializing. I’ve learned these last nine weeks to make better food choices when socializing and eating out at restaurants.

As for fitness, I’m right on track with what I want to accomplish and have been getting the right amount of cardio and strength training per week. Although…I did skip my workout Tuesday morning because I was on the phone Monday night until 11:30PM with my oldest son who is stationed in Alaska. I didn’t get to sleep until about midnight, so I had a hard time getting out of bed at 4AM. I’m not going to apologize for taking a rest day, especially since I had the opportunity to talk to my son the night before. However, I will admit I felt kind of off all day. I really look forward to my morning workouts.

My schedule for this week is to run/walk on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday (bonus day). Walk 10 minutes, run 8 minutes. Walk 2 minutes, run 8 minutes (repeat twice). I’ll walk/bike and strength train on the other days. In the next few weeks I will start researching races. I would like to run a 5K soon. It has been almost a year since I ran my last 5K. It would be nice to have a fitness goal.

Looks like rain and cooler temperatures this week. Hope everyone has a wonderful week full of happiness and endless possibilities.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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What a pleasant surprise I received when I walked out my door this morning! Cool weather. Sixty-two degree weather. Goosebumps on your arms and legs weather. I walked, ran, AND rode my bike this morning. Happiness!

Good News: lost another pound. I’m now 141 pounds. Last week was a little more challenging because I worked as a substitute all week. I subbed for a 3rd grade class on Tuesday and for the librarian Wednesday through Friday. I had to make sure I worked out, showered, dressed, ate breakfast, packed lunch/snacks, and took care of pets before walking out the door at 7AM. To stick to my exercise plan for the week, I got up each morning at 4AM. It is not easy, especially after having my routine disrupted by Mother Nature the week before. Thankfully, I do not have to get up so early on the weekends; however, I still try to get on the road by 6AM.

I’ll follow my same routine as last week for strength training. The only thing I may change is biking on a couple of the days that I do not run/walk. I’ve also decided to repeat my run/walk schedule from last week. Walk 10 minutes, run 7 minutes. Walk 3 minutes, run 7 minutes (repeat twice). I felt a little soreness in the inner part of my shins this morning. I’m trying extremely hard not to get injured.  

This morning I made chocolate chip pancakes. I used Bisquick Heart Smart Pancake and Baking Mix. I sprinkled in 1 tsp of Nestle semi-sweet mini chocolate morsels for every three pancakes. After cooking, I spread a minimal amount of yogurt margarine on the pancakes and topped them with 1 tbsp of pancake syrup. YUM! This was definitely a treat meal, but with less fat and calories.

I also discovered Whole Wheat tortillas at the grocery store. I’m using two brands: Mission 100% Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas (medium size) – (1 tortilla contains 3g fat; 130 calories; 2g sugar) and LaTortilla Factory Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas (large size) – ( 1 tortilla contains 3g fat; 80 calories; 1g sugar). I will use both, but I prefer the Mission brand. 

I will be substituting for the librarian again this week. It is the annual Book Fair at the school. For an entire week the school gym is transformed into a mini bookstore. Andrew and I are looking forward to attending Family Night tomorrow evening. Lots of excitement! Besides being in charge of the library, I get to teach an advanced English class to eight 8th graders. We are working on writing a resume this week, as well as discussing the novel Nothing But the Truth by Avi. Good stuff!

“Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” ~ Plato

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Note: This post was written on Thursday, August 30th. Internet service went down before this post was published.

It’s Thursday mid-morning here in inky black Louisiana, and it appears that Hurricane Isaac is over. My subdivision is still without electricity; however, compared to many people we are very lucky. I’m not complaining. I still have my home, clean running water, working toilets, a generator, phone/internet service, and plenty of food. Our roof lost two shingles, and there is tree debris in the front and back yards. Nothing at all significant. This is not the case for many in surrounding areas. Unfortunately, for many people, Hurricane Isaac is not over. My thoughts and prayers are with those who are less fortunate. 

I went for a walk/run this morning to stretch my legs and get some much-needed fresh air. It felt wonderful. I am still eating clean despite the circumstances. We have plenty of fruits/veggies, and we are eating what we have in the freezer. This is not an excuse to eat poorly or indulge in junk food.

I’m hoping things will get back to normal this weekend. Also, I’m hoping my friends and family caught up in this storm are safe. Again, thoughts and prayers with those who are being severely impacted by this storm.

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”

~ Emily Dickinson

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