Tuesday, 28 April 2015

#YouAnInspiration - Amanda Grace





So, its that time of the month again to meet another #YourAnInspiration

This month, I'd like to introduce you to Amanda Grace. When I was looking for people to take part in #YourAnInspiration series, Amanda jumped at the opportunity with great passion and positivity. On reading our correspondence, I loved her energy and passion. So without further adieu, I'd like you to meet Amanda Grace. 




1. Why is inspiration important to you?


To be honest, I find life challenging, emotionally. I’m very sensitive and I have a tendency to get overwhelmed with all that’s wrong with the world, particularly in relation to humanity. I have a strong sense of, compassion and respect for humanity and spirit.

Sadness for me stems from a lack of or injury to that. Too many people feel alone, unwanted and unimportant, we need to feel loved. I believe each person has a responsibility to love, or at the very least, to be kind.

I think inspiration is connected to hope. Without inspiration, I would have nothing to drive me and I would get lost in hopelessness. It is possible to make a difference to humanity, we have to believe and persist in that.



2) Who inspires you?


Lovers and dreamers, artists, creators, helpers, nurturers and up-lifters. What they have in common is a connection to ‘something bigger’. They are kind and compassionate and they go out in the world with positive intent, a sense of calling and duty to make it a better place, even if it’s just to reach one person.

They are people I know in my own life, my parents, family and friends and those I encounter indirectly, through their work.



3) What inspires you?


  • Nature - I love the ambiance of a forest, tree tunnels, the chorus at dawn, the sound of the sea, the stillness of a lake, a humble country road or the majesty of the Cliffs of Moher. Ireland inspires me that way, I’m so lucky to live here. 
  • Love. I can’t even express the importance of love. It is sacred to me, the most powerful force we have. 
  • People living and sharing their life purpose. 
  • Smiles. Big, genuine, open hearted smiles that radiate from the soul. Medicine to me. 

4) Who would you love to meet and have a chat with? 


So many people. Right now, I’m gonna say Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets. From what I've read about him, he was a man who lived his heart and soul purpose. I’m a huge fan.


Brad Fraggle muppet.wikia.com


5) What was the best news you received in the last 12 months?


I've a couple of friends who’s pregnancies I’m really excited about and a family wedding that’s just been announced!



6) What’s the one thing that puts a “silly” grin on your face?


My fella. Always… his love is a dream come true and I just turn to mush when I think about how lucky I am. Silly face? I’m defo thinking about him.



7) What’s your inspirational Quote?


It’s the quote from Goethe, albeit disputed as his..nevertheless. It is more than a quote to me, it’s a

It’s the quote from Goethe, albeit disputed as his..nevertheless. It is more than a quote to me, it’s a belief. I have experienced this as a life truth. 




8) What advice would you give to others in the hope of inspiring them?


To pursue happiness is not a crime. Whatever it is in you aching to be done, felt, achieved or expressed, is a clue as to what your soul came here to experience and whatever is stopping you from allowing that is what you’re meant to overcome. When you tap into that yearning and follow your heart, you turn the key to unlocking your true purpose.

That decision will take you on a journey that will enrich your life in ways you have only ever dreamt of, in fact, it will exceed your dreams. Experiment, be curious, work with what you have and accumulate the baby steps.

Don’t let fear stop you, don’t let others hold you back, acknowledge your fears, find your voice and your tribe, be brave. Embrace and express your authentic self.

Don’t worry about measuring up, focus on showing up and never give up on yourself, ever.


9) Anything you’d like to add?


Nothing else except a big thank you to YOU Eimear! I so appreciate being part of your inspiration series. I hope everyone who’s reading is loving it and if even one person is truly inspired to follow their heart, then our job is done! 



I'd like to say a big thank you to Amanda for taking part in the #YourAnInspiration series. Its lovely getting to know everyone's inspirations and sharing their thoughts ! 

You can follow Amanda on 


Monday, 27 April 2015

Review: The Story Bus

On Saturday I was invited to get on board The Story Bus with Abracadabra School for Creative Kids. You may have already learned in my review of their Chrismas Show 
(which you can read here) in December that Abracadabra is all about interactive learning and experiencing. When I received the invitation to review The Story Bus I must say I was quite excited.

The Story Bus is aimed at 2 years plus so with that in mind I thought it best to let my daughter stay at home and have some fun with her dad (she's just 15 months) and myself and and my son could have some "Mum & Son" time! 
   

So, what is The Story Bus?


Image from Story Bus

The Story Bus is about a journey into the literary. You hop on a bus and from their the experience begins! Our Story Bus was about a trip into the Fairy StoryWhen I told him what we were doing that day he was very excited and our departure time couldn't some quickly enough! 

"Come and meet the fairies, learn about their habits and life! 
Discover your own calling and how to follow it."

We met the bus at the Ibis Hotel, Dublin at 2pm and once we set off the story and interaction began. The journey began with a song and some music and then the Storyteller (Katie) brought us into the magical world of the fairies as we travelled to Russborough House




Images from Story Bus


Throughout the journey their was audience participation within the story which was quite fun. Even my son who's 3 while he was distracted by the view out the window still took part with his "chirp, chirp" of the birds and shaking of the bushes within the story. 

Without spoiling the Fairy story in brief it is about how the fairies needed to stop the Witch from taking their food and their teacher! 

When we arrived at Russborough House, it was time for us to get our maps and find where the fairies lived and also the witches broom! While the day was wet it didn't dampen our spirits as we followed the trail. We were well wrapped up and ready for some fun. 

Image from Story Bus



 



As we followed the trail, I loved watching my son as he splashed in the puddles as all 3 year old boys do as we were on the hunt for fairies! Along the trail there were the fairies watch towers before we crossed the bridge to where the fairies lived. There was great excitement from all as they discovered each fairy house and of course the witches broom. 

We spent sometime playing about and looking at the fairies houses before we ventured back to get a well earned drink and nibble in the coffee shop before our departure. On a drier day there is a lovely playground for the kids to play in,  a picnic area and the Maze too. The adults aren't forgotten either with various Artisans you can visit such as the Forge,a Wood Turner and Artists to name a few. 

Image from Story Bus


On the journey home their was music once again and the Storyteller spoke of our trip and about discovering you calling and following it. Each child received a feather and as they blew the feather, it would give them the power they needed to follow their own calling. When you didn't need it you placed it somewhere safe until you did. 


In all the journey is four hours with departure from the Ibis Hotel at 2pm and arrival back at the hotel at 6pm. This then gives you about 2 hours to hunt for the fairies houses and walk around the beautiful grounds of Russborough at your leisure. 




The Story Bus will begin their first official Fairy Story Trips this weekend 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May and the tickets can be purchased here
I must say I really enjoyed the day as did my son. He's still humming the fairy song we heard on our journey and delighted to tell all about his journey on the bus. 

While I'm not 100% as to how the price compares to similar events, I will leave that for your to decide. The tickets are currently €25 each of €80 for a family ticket (This is for 4 and can be a combination of 1 Adult and 3 kids etc)
You can visit The Story Bus Facebook page too here where you can receive a 25% off offer. 

You can read Abracadabra's review of the day here


What are you plans for the May Bank Holiday weekend? Will you hop on board The Story Bus? 






































Friday, 24 April 2015

I am the Mum Who .......


  • loves watching my son and daughter play together
  • enjoys going for walks with my family
  • loves to cook and experiment
  • has rediscovered my confidence over the last few months
  • has no time for negative people
  • believes what comes around goes around
  • loves listening to my children laughing
  • loves that my son asks questions and dislike the amount of them at the same time
  • loves watching my husband with our children
  • is very glad I asked my husband out nearly 11 years ago
  • misses the option to lie on in the morning
  • misses waking up naturally
  • loves messy food such as Steak Sandwiches and Burgers with LOADS of sauce and cheese! 
  • is a big rugby fan and planned our wedding around the 6 Nations
  • laughs as I listen to my son as he "chats to the guys" as he goes to bed  - The "guys" are Bluey, Larry & Ozzie his teddy's!! 
  • is glad our family began in our 30's
  • feels younger now than I did 10 years ago
  • loves to laugh 
  • loves to sing even if I can't!
  • loves to dance and I don't do it enough
  • enjoys discovering new things
  • enjoys going on mystery tour drives
  • is trying to discover my "Green Fingers" in the garden
  • misses sitting down to read a newspaper without distraction
  • dislikes when I get something for me and my son tells me I've to share.... parenting teaching payback
  • looks forward to my son starting pre-school in the Autumn yet I know I will miss him
  • is a list person ..... everything needs a list
  • follows a routine and dislike straying from it unless it suits me!!
  • quite likes scoffing things in secret from my kids
  • fears my daughter has inherited my "tantrum" streak! 
  • loves discovering myself again
  • hates Rollercoasters and dreads when my children want to try them
  • lonely sometimes as a Stay at Home Mum and yet wouldn't change a thing as I feel so lucky to be
  • feels very blessed for my husband 
  • feels so blessed for our family

I'd like to thank Where is my mind? for nominating me. I really enjoyed this, is was a bit of fun. 

I'd like to nominate the following:
Dee-Termined to Glam and Glow












Monday, 20 April 2015

#BeTheBestYou - The Results!


Wow, already the 6 weeks of the #BeTheBestYou Lifestyle change is complete and I cant believe how quickly it flew! 
So, lets not "beat around the bush" and get straight to it! The results, how did I get on?!


Date: 3rd March
Date:
16th March
Date:   
 30th March
Date:
13th April
Date:
20th April
Body Part
Inches
Inches
Inches
Inches
Inches
Bicep
11.8
12.2
11.61
11.81
11.81
Thigh
21.65
21.65
21.25
21.65
21.25
Calf
14.17
13.77
13.77
13.77
13.77
Waist
40.55
39.37
37.79
38.58
38.38
Hips
42.51
40.15
38.77
38.97
38.38
Chest
41.33
39.76
40.15
39.37
38.77






Weight lbs
166.5
165
162.4
161
161


So, as you can see from the results, overall I lost 5.5 pounds and about 9 inches all over which I must say I'm quite pleased with considering the last few weeks I've had which you can read about here and here

A little refresh!

Some of you may already know I'm not one for fad diets. While I've tried some in the past with no success due to restraints with foods and also collapsing on my last "Fad" attempt (That's another story!!) to me it's always been important to make changes that will help you achieve your goals but also maintain your goal weight.



After starting my weight loss journey in June 2014 I began by making changes in my life and I could see a difference quite quickly. As time progressed though and through different challenges along the way I could see myself falling back into traps and and wasn't sure where to turn to boost myself. When Claire from Volta Fitness was seeking some volunteers to take part in #BeTheBestYou, I knew that this was for me. I was already following Claire on her Blog Volta Fitness and also her Facebook page, so I was looking forward to the information I would receive from her and the journey that lay ahead. 

Over the last 6 weeks through Claire's plan and guidance and the support of the other fabulous ladies who took part, I can see how I can still have "my cake and eat it". When you actually see the plan and understand the "Do's" and "Dont's" better, it all makes sense. 

When I began my goal was to loose 10 pounds by the end of the 6 weeks. While I didn't reach this goal I achieved a lot more. I learned a better way to balance food and exercise in my life. As we all know life can throw some challenges our way which in turn can throw us off course when it comes to our healthier lifestyles. I'm now better equipped to try and make better choices for myself when these challenges arise and know too that even if I do go off course, its ok, I can get myself back on track. 





If I'm honest, I'm never going to be a salad eater on a daily basis, I'm not going to stop having a drink at the weekend and when I'm out (which is rare) I'm going to have what I want. As a stay at home mum of two, sometimes its these little indulgences that get me through the week so if I'd like a night off sometime, I will still treat myself to the odd takeaway!
In saying that, I do want to maintain following #BeTheBestYou. All along this was about a lifestyle change and that is what I've always believed in since my weight loss journey began. 

For me I still have goals I want to reach the first being to get myself under 11 stone / 154 pounds! I would like to do this 8th June 2015. That gives me 7 weeks to lose 8 pounds putting me under 11 stone! I know that this is very achievable and it allows too for life's little tumbles to get in the way such as my children throwing me off course with sleepless nights and the bank holiday weekends!!  





I would,like to thank Claire from Volta Fitness for this opportunity. It has opened me to a new way of thinking and taught me a better way to follow a healthy lifestyle to lose weight and maintain into the future. 

If your not already, please follow Claire on her blog Volta FitnessFacebook, and Twitter to get some great tips and motivation to #BeTheBestYou



Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where I will keep you updated on how I'm going. 




























Saturday, 18 April 2015

Celebrate #Ziaja25years



Today I was delighted to have a little "Me" time and have the opportunity to get to know more about Ziaja products which I have read some fantastic things about recently.  
When I arrived at Walsh's Pharmacy in Celbridge, Co. Kildare, I was met by Emma from Mastering your Makeup and Peter from Ziaja Ireland. Within minutes and a twist of my arm I treated to some goodies while I learned more about Ziaja!




After some questions Emma guided me through the vast range of Ziaja products available that would be suitable for me. 
One thing I was also on the search for was a new hand cream to try. You may have already ready read I'm not too kind to my hands! You can catch up here ;-) Emma opened a sample of Goats Milk Hand Cream and I must say, it felt just lovely. There was no greasiness and it absorbed quickly making my hands feel very smooth. The smell too was very refreshing. 
I was amazed at the amount of different products available and even more surprised by the great value. 




Emma was great telling me about the variety of products and learning I've two smallies, she spoke to me about the baby and childrens range available. These aren't currently available in Walsh's Pharmacy but can be viewed and purchased here
I was asking her too about the prices and the most "expensive" product is about €15 but I will confirm this when I review the lovely goodies I received in the coming weeks. 

Ziaja kindly gifted me with the products below which I must say I'm really looking forward to trying. My husband too even got a little something to try so I'm curious to see what he thinks of the Shower Gel as he has very sensitive skin like me. 




There was a fantastic range of samples available and of course I picked up some to try and didn't forget my husband as I chose through the range!!  




I must say on viewing the range of products available in Walsh's Pharmacy, I wanted to try them all but held back as I knew I'd some things already to check out and didn't want to overwhelm myself. A little purchase I did make though on Emma's recommendation was the Rose Butter Micro Peel at €4.79 and the Rose Butter Rejuvenating Mask which was €0.70c!!



I'm really looking forward to letting you know how I get on with the products I received and purchased over the coming weeks. Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what I'm trying out over the coming weeks! 





















Wednesday, 15 April 2015

#MeetTheBloggers - Squidgy Moments



1. Why did you begin Blogging?


I began blogging as a way to give myself an edge in interviews as I was fresh out of college. Starting my own blog was a big deal because four years ago, bloggers were unheard of in Ireland. I was an early adopter! I quickly found that my blog became my own little happy online space to house my writing and creativity skills.


2. Describe your blog style in five words


Fun, Conversational, Relate-able, Giggly, Positive


3) Have you any other blogs?


I don’t. I did have two other sideline blogs years back but I’ve merged them into the one blog. The only other blog I write for is my professional work blog which is all about travel! I love it.


4) What makes you follow / read other Blogs?


I love personality! Show me your personal side and you will have me hooked! Design, images and honesty are all very important to me when it comes to following a blog.




5) What would prevent you from following / reading another Blog?


It might sound harsh but bullshite. There is nothing worse than reading /following a blog that you know is built on lies and dishonestly. We all know these exist. Be real people, it makes your blog sooo much better!


6) Who would be your top three Blog recommendations?


Aw do I have to chose!? I have so so many! Some include The Make Up Monster, LilliWhite White Rose and A Yellow Brick Blog.

7) What advice would you give to new bloggers?


Don’t follow the trend, be different and blog for you.:)


8) A fun thing your readers don’t know about you?


Eeek I think my readers know everything about me lol! I’ve gotten hugs from both Olly Murs and Paolo Nutini! ;) Lucky me eh!