Tag Archives: challenge

30 Day Breakfast Challenge

I’ve always struggled with eating breakfast.  I find it especially challenging on mornings when I go running.  You see, I love my bed and hate getting up any earlier than I have to so going for a run at 8.30am when I’ve only got out of bed at 7.30am doesn’t give me a lot of time for a good breakfast.  Especially when I’m running around making packed lunches too.  Anyway, during May I am making a conscious effort to eat breakfast every day.  This doesn’t mean I’ll be eating a lot but a banana counts!


So, how have I done so far?

  1. Weetabix, berries and milk
  2. Porridge with berries
  3. Banana
  4. Bagel with banana
  5. Banana
  6. 0% fat natural yogurt with honey
  7. Forever Ultra Shake with berries

What do you have for breakfast?  I need some ideas for quick, easy and light breakfasts.  Bananas can get boring.


Motive …

Yesterday was day 1 of Yoga with Adriene’s new True 30 day yoga programme with the theme of Motive.  If you sign up to the programme via the website, you get a daily email to help you get the most out of the practice (today’s theme is Trust).  In yesterday’s email, and through the 24 minute practice, Adriene asks:

What is your motive for joining True?

Now, I hadn’t really thought about it but, having followed 9 days of one of the previous 30 day challenges in the past, I know that daily yoga helps me in so many ways.  It isn’t only the stretching, although that certainly helps, and it is more than the self reflection.  It helps my mood, my running, my posture, my body has less aches and pains.  It’s time for me to concentrate on me for anywhere between 24 and 40 minutes before I go to fight with Adam about bedtime.

I also find that yoga practice also complements, and maybe even enhances, all the other changes that I have made/am making to my life.  I am, usually, careful about what I eat.  I don’t eat “clean” but I don’t overeat and I don’t eat cakes and chocolates as much as I would love to.  I exercise on a regular basis with running or walking most days, if not every day.  I am aiming to add strength training back into the mix too but at the moment the yoga will have to fill that void.

However, this time round, I think my main goal/motive is to get further than day 9 and, maybe, even get to day 31!

If you haven’t done yoga before, or even if you have and haven’t found Adriene yet, check out her youtube videos.  The runners’ post run practice is a must for me and, when I have time (and I’m not doing a 30 day challenge) the runners’ yoga is great too.  What I really like is that Adriene tells you to do what feels good to you, you don’t have to stay and hold a pose with out moving, if you want to wag your tail while doing cat/cow then do it!

Day 1 of True was completed last night.  Bring on day 2 this evening.

Going to Make 2018 … HAPPY!

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on 2017 over the past few days while I’ve been sitting, cooking, walking and running.  The main thing I can claim about 2017 is that I was happy.  Sure, I set goals and met some of them but the vast majority of the time I was happy and enjoyed my life.  I did things that made me, and my nearest and dearest, happy.

So, how am I going to build on this going into 2018?  First, I am going to do more of the stuff I was doing towards the end of 2017.  Namely, running with a great group of people on a Tuesday and Thursday morning, continuing with parkrun (I only missed 2 of the York parkrun events this year and either ran or volunteered at the rest), continue in a job that I love and which is flexible enough for me to continue to be my son’s primary carer, continue to be a Tupperware lady 🙂 it will probably never pay the bills but I have enjoyed the fairs and parties I have done this year.

I have also been scrolling through Facebook and Twitter, as you do when you have time off from work and not a lot of stuff to do, and found Action for Happiness’ HAPPY New Year Calendar – January 2018 so I’ve printed that off.  There is one simple task every day so let’s see how far I get through the 31 days …


I have aslo signed up for Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day yoga journey – TRUE which starts on Tuesday 2nd January.  I have done Adriene’s 30 day challenges/journeys before and loved them.  I regularly do her yoga for runners and found that it has helped with my running.

A final goal for January is to continue the “exercise every day” streak which I started last week as part of the REDJanuary.  The goal is to run, or do some form of exercise, every day.  My goal is to run 3-4 times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) as well as walk 1-2 times per week and practice yoga every day.  That will give me at least 20-30 minutes of exercise/activity every day.

What do you do to make you happy?  Do you exercise?  Do you meet up with friends and family?  Do you take time for you?  Do you volunteer and help others?

Happy Birthday, Becky!

I was getting bored with just putting the days in the titles of these round-up posts so thought I’d be a little different today.  Except, today isn’t Becky’s birthday that was yesterday.  As this post is the round-up of how I got on with my challenges yesterday, I thought I could get away with wishing Becky “Happy Birthday” again.  I’m sorry that I couldn’t be with her for her birthday.  I would have loved to have been there for her and to have seen her face when she opened her card and present.  Maybe I’ll organise my time better next year so we can get down south.

So on to my round-up.

It was Day 7 of the Clean 9.  I’ll be so glad when it is over and I can eat a sandwich!  However, I have learned a few things this week.  I do not need to have a snack pack of biscuits while watching tv in the evenings.  I do not need a packet of wotsits or other savoury snacks with my lunch, a sandwich will be fine.  My dinners are actually, usually, the recommended 600 calories or less.  By recommended, I mean the amount of calories set by the Clean 9 (and many other meal replacement programmes) as being the amount you should be eating for dinner.

It was also day 7 of the Skinny Jeans challenge and I smashed the 30 minutes of cardio requirement with a walk to town (and back again) to get College supplies for Adam.  That was a first!  In all his years of education, I have never had to buy Adam back to school supplies as all equipment was supplied by the school.  When Adam went to his enrolment meeting at College last week he came home with a list of stuff needed for his course.  So we went shopping for an academic diary (found for £1 in Poundland 😀 ), highlighters and calculator (also Poundland), a USB stick, extra wide file dividers and pad of paper (Rymans using my business account to get 10% off 🙂 ).  We also had to buy an apron for cooking.  Where do you get an apron suitable for a young man?!?  Fortunately, we have Barnitts!  Barnitts is a fab old-fashioned hardware store which also happens to have a cook shop and a work wear department, which includes catering, so we found a nice plain navy catering apron for about half the price of the girly ones we saw everywhere else.  Adam also needed 2 lever arch files (already have those for business so gave him a couple), plastic pockets (of course we have those!), pens, pencils, coloured pencils, pencil sharpener and eraser (already had all those too).

We also bought Adam a new phone which he can put his photos on.  This was at the suggestion of one of the student advisers at College who suggested that it might be easier for Adam to talk to someone about his family and his hobbies etc if he could show them pictures.  Fab idea!  When we got home, I put the numbers he might need into it and asked if he’d like to phone Becky to wish her a “Happy Birthday”, so we did.  We also downloaded the BBC weather app as he is obsessed with weather!  I have, however, turned off the data so that he can only connect to the internet when he is connected to wi-fi as it is a pay as you go phone.

After all that walking, I got my 2,500 lifetime miles award from SparkPeople.  This is for the miles which I have actually remembered to record on SP since 2008.  As I can go for weeks without logging any of my exercise on there I have done a lot more.  I got the last award for 2,000 miles last September and I know I’ve done an average of at least 75 miles per month.  Still, it’s nice to get an award.  I’ll have to remember to log my miles more often 🙂

September – Day 4

I’m a bit late with my update for yesterday.  It’s been a hectic couple of days.  I’ve been writing my updates in the evening and then scheduling them to post the following morning but I was at work last night and didn’t really want to do it when I got home.  Then, I was due to go to work this morning and Adam woke up with a migraine, great!  So, my first full day at work in a week went out of the window.  Fortunately, Adam was fit enough to come to work with me and sit in the staff room with the iPad so I managed to work for an hour and a half.  Not the 5 I was hoping for but better than nothing.

Anyway, on with my review of Day 4.

The Clean 9 is getting easier but I’m still needing a glass or 2 of diet coke to get me through the day.  In my defence, I had been drinking a lot more than 2 or 3 glasses of diet coke before I started the detox and I don’t drink tea of any kind so couldn’t mix up the water with drinking herbal/green tea.  The shake tin says that it is “New and Improved” but if this is new and improved I dread to think what it was like before, it is really bitty.  It may be just me and that fact that I don’t really like chocolate, I’d rather have strawberry, but given the choice between vanilla and chocolate I chose chocolate.  Yes, I know, me the chocoholic doesn’t really like chocolate milkshake.  What’s with that?  We all have our foods that have to be consumed as intended or not at all and for me, chocolate is one of those.  One thing that I think is really working for me this time round is having my main meal at lunch time instead of in the evening.  I didn’t even need any fruit to keep me going 🙂


For the Skinny Jeans Challenge I did the 6 minute hips, glutes and thighs workout and walked to the post box to post some letters.  Not much but enough.

Short and sweet catch up today.  Hope you are all doing well.


Adding Another Challenge to September

As if I don’t already have enough to do, I am adding a 30 Day Blogging Challenge to my “To Do List” for September.  I’ve already signed up for SparkPeople’s Countdown to Skinny Jeans 30 Day Challenge and am on day 4 of my Clean 9 detox.  My son is still at home as his college course doesn’t start until the 15th and I have to fit in work (employed plus 2 soon to be 3 self-employed jobs), learning support appointments, giving blood, talking to my husband – I guess he needs to fit in somewhere! – and I can’t even remember what else.

Anyway, I can do this.  All it takes is a little time management and wanting to do it.  I’m just going to have to start making daily to do lists, prioritise and carry stuff over.  Today’s to do list looks/looked something like this:

  • Exercise for Skinny Jeans Challenge
  • Ironing
  • Stay in waiting for the water board to carry out a survey for a water meter and, maybe, fit a water meter – will be here between 10 am and 12 noon
  • Create a Virtual Tupperware party for Tupperware York
  • Schedule Facebook posts for Be Youniquely You with Fiona
  • Complete the first challenge of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge
  • Make dinner
  • Speak to husband
  • Get through another day of Clean 9
  • Do bookkeeping work
  • Go to work for 3 hours
  • Find some time to relax, just 5 minutes!

I will make it, I may not complete everything on the list but I will make it through the day.

September – Day 3

Day 3 of the Clean 9 was a lot easier than days 1 and 2 although I was a bit shaky when I woke up but once I’d had my Aloe Gel and shake I felt a lot better.  

My son went to enroll at college this morning and we walked down there as it is so close.  When we got there, there were a group of students from my son’s course waiting in the Reception area as they were all going to be taken to the classroom to fill in the forms.  The teaching assistant told me that it would take a couple of hours and, as Adam was happy, I left him to it.  This was great, it meant I could walk quickly home and then go to work for an hour.  It would have been better if I’d known I could leave him before we decided to walk as I would have been able to get to work quicker if I’d driven to college.  Then again, it is a mile to the college and we took 20 minutes to walk there (with a detour to say hi to Adam’s old passenger assistant from the school bus) and I took less than 15 minutes to walk home 😀

I am also following SparkPeople’s Skinny Jeans Challenge for September and today’s task was to do 30 minutes of cardio – done, thanks to walking to and from college – and read about foods that keep you full.

After I picked my son up from college, we came home and I had my main meal at lunch time as I was due to go and help out at the Weight Watchers meeting and knew I would be out from 5.30 pm to 7 pm-ish and didn’t want to cook before I went and certainly wouldn’t want to cook when I got home.  It was a great idea as it meant I wasn’t hungry and wishing that I could eat something between meals.  I mean, I know that shakes are full of all the essential nutrients and stuff but they really don’t fill you up or make you feel like you’ve eaten anything.  Having said that, if I was following the Clean 9 properly and taking the tablets as well as the gel and shakes it might not be so difficult as one of the tablets is an appetite suppressant.  

I took my Day 3 measurements this morning and have lost 6 lbs in 2 days!  I’ve also lost about an inch off my hips (bottom), belly (you know, that bit that causes the muffin top in line with hip bones) and waist.  Awesome!  Let’s hope it stays off until I finish the Clean 9.

Finally, I have signed up to the pre-launch of Younique in the UK.  Why?  Because one of the blogs I follow, Motivating Mum UK, blogged about it and put forward a good case.  I decided that there wasn’t any harm in finding out more about it during the pre-launch and if I decide to go ahead with it the starter kit includes a heck of a lot of makeup for a fraction of the retail price so even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll still have some lovely mineral makeup 🙂  I’ll let you know how it goes or you can followi my progress on my Be Youniquely You with Fiona Facebook page.  Hopefully this will go nicely with my Tupperware business which I re-joined/started in July.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I’m feeling the pressure.  I shouldn’t be feeling the pressure but I am.  Why?  Because Nancy, Sam and Helen are all putting their goals for May out there in the blogosphere.  Admittedly, Nancy hasn’t posted her’s yet but she will.  So now, since getting to know these girls through their blogs, I’m feeling that I should put my goals out there too.  Maybe I’ll actually accomplish what I set out to do if I post them.  I’ll have at least 3 people to be accountable too plus anyone else who’s read this post.

I am not going to promise to exercise every day in May.  Oops!  Actually, I think I am, when you see my goals you’ll see that.  What I mean is I’m not going to promise to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes or anything like that every day in May.  I am posting both exercise and personal goals here:

  1. I have signed up for #MayMiles with SparkPeople.  Every day in May I will walk, run or swim at least 1 mile (1.6 km).
  2. I will exercise for more than 250 minutes per week.  I got my 1500 minutes trophy from SparkPeople for the second time in April and I would love to get another one in May 🙂
  3. I started a 30 day plank challenge on Facebook on 28 April, I will finish all 30 days.
  4. I have less than 6 months to finish my Self Assessment Diploma.  To help me to do this, I will complete at least one lesson of my course every week.
  5. I will swim or run at least 1x per week, not including parkrun.  I’ve been doing a lot of walking and PT but not a lot of running or swimming.
  6. I will read/finish at least 2 books.
  7. I will continue to post photos for #100HappyDays.

Another Blogging Challenge?


Thanks Zero to Hero, as if I didn’t have enough to do.

Today’s challenge: Find a blogging event (try our Blog Event Listings) and throw your hat into the ring.

As I’m already doing BlogHer’s January NaBloPoMo, I guess in theory I already have this covered but the idea is to have a challenge to keep me blogging after the Zero to Hero challenge ends and my NaBloPoMo challenge also ends on 31 January.  So, I’ll have to find something else.  I don’t want another daily challenge as I know that there are days when I just won’t want to get my laptop out at 9 o’clock at night to try to draft a quick, and probably not very good, post just to meet the daily challenge.

I checked out the Blog Event Listings and found that some blog events haven’t been posting new prompts for a while and others just didn’t interest me at all.  I have, however, found a couple that I liked and I’ve decided to start with one, but maybe not every day or week.

The first one I’ve decided to join is Share Your World from Cee’s Photography.  This is a weekly challenge, which is so much more manageable for me, in which Cee asks 4 random questions for you to answer.  Plus there’s a cool badge to put in the widget bar and/or posts 🙂



I’m also going to continue with the Weekly Photo Challenge from the Daily Post but, again, not necessarily every week.  Sometimes it just doesn’t interest me or I can’t find a photo or photo opportunity to do it.

Zero to Hero: Day 1

I must be a glutton for punishment, not only did I say I was going to blog every day as part of NaBloPoMo (January 2014), I’ve also decided to take part in Zero to Hero.  I know it is a daily blogging challenge but I’m not going to worry too much if I don’t do it every day.  I do, however, have to complete each task in the order they are assigned.  So, on to Day 1.

zero-to-hero-badgeToday’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.


I wrote my initial WordPress “Hello World” introductory post back in March 2010.  A lot has changed in nearly 4 years but at the same time not much has.

I am still an administrator/bookkeeper but I now work for a small local charity as well as being self-employed.  I am still married to a driver trainer, he says he isn’t an instructor as he doesn’t teach learners.  I have a son with an undiagnosed disability which presents itself as a learning disability with developmental speech delay.

My blog is a mish-mash of a variety of topics including travel to Disney, driving, disability (not too much), fundraising, exercise, diet, challenges…  I try to blog regularly but don’t always succeed.  To date I have written 338 blog posts but only about 305 are published as the ones pre-2010 were written as a private journal on MSN’s blogging platform and then transferred to WordPress when they merged (?).  As they were written as a private journal, I don’t want them available to the world at large but I want to be able to look back on them myself.  So, I made them private rather than deleting it.

If you want to know more about me, check out my About Me page.