Outdoor Pursuits

15 May

20:16 4/10/06 Bangor, Wales

I have to admit that I was a little nervous about doing outdoor pursuits. I’ve never been one to be a big outdoorsy person and so I was a bit hesitant of whether or not I would enjoy the activities. However, after meeting our instructor for the course I felt much better. The first activity we participated in was the low ropes course. This was just to get us ready and prepared and comfortable for the high ropes course that we would tackle later on. Our first activity was to rope swing from one platform to another. I went first and I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about the whole thing because I imagined myself falling right off. However, I managed to make it safely across, as did everyone else. The other activities we did were to push each other over a log that was at three different heights. The first log was about a foot over my head (so perhaps 6 feet) and we had to help everyone get over onto the other side of it. The first go round was a bit difficult because none of us were quite sure exactly what to do to make sure everyone got over safely. However, as the difficulty progressed, it was actually getting a bit easier to help each other over the logs as we had learned some techniques to do so. Our last course was to push each other up a wooden wall and onto the platform on the other side. This was a bit more difficult because you had to figure out another way to help everyone over that was different than the logs. Doing these activities helped us all to realize how much we would need to work together in order to have a successful and fun outdoor experience.


After this we moved onto the high ropes course. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but was prepared for anything. We also learned how to manage the ropes and spot each other. This was a little hard at first but after doing it several times I was able to get the hang of it. First thing we did was to walk up a diagonal log while attached to a rope and harness. This wasn’t too hard for me but there was one area that was very slick and I kept sliding and I felt myself getting a bit frustrated. After we’d all had a turn there we went to the two catwalks. The catwalks were a bit scary for me at first, especially the taller one, but after being a gymnast for so long, it was something that I was more comfortable with. Regardless, though, it was a bit nerve-racking to realize that you were so far off the ground and only attached to a rope to keep you from falling. Next we went to the trapeze. This was the scariest course for me out of all of them. When I made it up to the top and saw how far away the trapeze looked, I literally froze. It took me quite a while to gather up enough confidence to jump. The first time I missed it and this was quite scary for me. For a moment it feels as though you are free falling and that was terrifying. I went up a second time though and was able to catch the trapeze. I felt very proud of myself for going up there again after being so afraid the first time.

After eating lunch we went back to the ropes course to work on the obstacle course. First we did a practice one where we just worked on clipping and unclipping our gear to the wires. I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure I would get the hang of it because it was hard for me at first. I also wasn’t sure about the zip line and how exactly to operate that as well. After completing the practice run we went to the actual obstacle course. I really enjoyed it. The hardest part for me was crawling through the net as it took a lot of strength and patience to make it through. I found myself sometimes getting very frustrated when I got stuck anywhere. I also had a bit of trouble lowering myself down from the zip line and this was a bit nerve-racking as I was quite high off the ground and did not want to unlock something that wasn’t meant to be unlocked. I did, however, manage to make it down safely. The last activity we did was repelling. The climb up to the top was very hard and took a lot of strength out of me so by the time I made it to the top I was out of breath. Chris hooked me up and then simply told me to sit down in my harness and go down. I think I must have looked at him like he was crazy and hesitated for a while before actually doing so. I was quite sure that I was just going to crash to the bottom. After I got the hang of it however I found that it wasn’t as difficult as I had originally thought. It was still scary for me to lower myself down though because I knew that I had complete control over how fast or slow I could go.

Throughout the day I had mixtures of fear, excitement, hesitation, enjoyment and overall exhilaration. I really enjoyed myself, even though I thought I might have an awful time. I know that sometimes things will be difficult and scary and part of the learning is pushing through those moments. I’m still a bit hesitant about some of the activities but I’m willing to try them all and see how everything goes. What a great day!


Chester & Liverpool

5 Apr

15:35 5/10/06 Bangor, Wales

Today is a fanciful day for writing as the weather outside is rainy, windy and altogether a bit dreadful. So, for this reason, I have wasted my day sleeping, and now, writing in my blog. Which is not really necessarily wasteful after all, is it? Now is the time to describe to you my adventures in Chester and Liverpool, England.

We left a day after returning from our tour of Wales (a Thursday to be exact) and took the train to Chester, England, which is about an hour and a half ride. We arrived in Chester and proceeded to our hostel, which was quite nice indeed. Then we were off to explore the town. Chester is an old Roman city and is really wonderful. We headed off to the city center, which is surrounded by an ancient city wall and on which you are literally able to walk around the outside of the entire center. There is a magnificent clock tower which stands right on the entrance into the walls and it is just marvelous. Walking through the city we came to the Rows, which is where you have the top half of the buildings decorated with the white and brown striped plaster. I really loved this part of Chester as it was full of a type of “English” feeling and I really loved it. We then walked to the Cathedral, which is AMAZING. It is very large in size and is just amazingly decorated. Unfortunately we were unable to go inside and see, as we are poor college students on a budget and waived the entry fee to get in.

After browsing through the Cathedral’s shop we headed off to find the Roman Amphitheatre which is something that is quite well known throughout Chester. We had expected to find a magnificent Roman circle with steps and seats and a huge lawn, etc. When we reached there, however, there were just a couple of stones sitting in a circle and a very small area uncovered. Needless to say we were all a bit disappointed. Later, though, we found out that only a quarter of the amphitheatre had been uncovered and they were currently working on excavating other areas of it as well. We walked to the visitor’s center and had a read about it and it is really quite interesting. It is the largest Roman Amphitheatre in all of the UK. After this, we decided to walk around the city walls and see a bit of Chester. The city walls themselves are about 15 miles around and we managed to walk most of it. Chester is such a beautiful city with so many older buildings and Roman aspects to it. It’s a little hard to explain but I enjoyed it immensely. After walking the city walls we booked a ghost walk for later that night and walked back to the hostel.

The ghost walk itself was interesting but it was a bit difficult to hear some of what our guide said as the traffic was very noisy at that time of night. She took us around Chester and pointed out buildings and areas where ghosts or spirits had been seen and then told us a bit of history about the town and the ghosts. My favorite part of the ghost walk was when we walked to an old church in town and past some church ruins. There she described to us an old monk who was often seen around the church. The atmosphere was very eerie and I kept getting chills standing there. It was all very exciting. After that, we all decided that we would like to come back to the church the next day.


As decided we headed to the old church and its ruins the very next day and walked around the corresponding park there as well. As soon as we sat down 6 or 7 squirrels and a parade of pigeons waiting for food surrounded us. It was very funny! The squirrels would literally come within inches of you and sniff your hand to see if you had food. I’ve never had a squirrel that close to me before! I found them quite adorable and even managed to get a snapshot of one of them before they ran off. We also walked through the gardens which were just beautiful and a very peaceful place for us to take a break before we were off exploring again. Next, we went to the suspension bridge, which connects Chester over the waterway and had a fun time making it move by jumping on it all at once. I’m sure many people could tell we were tourists at that point!

After having a filling dinner we went back to the hostel and got ready for our next day in Liverpool. In the morning we took the train to Liverpool, which is about a 45-minute ride. Liverpool itself I thought was dirty, although we didn’t get a chance to see the entire city so my interpretation of it is very limited. We had a wonderful time going through the art museum and the world museum where we were able to see an aquarium, exhibits on Ancient Egypt, bugs, prehistoric life and world cultures and we were also able to see a show in the planetarium there as well. It was really fun. We then walked around Liverpool and lastly stopped at the Liverpool Football Club Official Store. There was a game that day and everywhere we looked, people were wearing Liverpool footy shirts (that’s what they call jersey’s over here, an English girl told us), and it was really fun to see everyone all excited after the game!

After this we took the train back to Bangor and rested up for our next week of orientation. I’ll update you all again soon, I will be heading off to Bath this weekend.


24 Mar
  • 21:51 28/09/2006 Bangor, Wales
    Yet again I have procrastinated beyond all reason in updating you on my time spent here in Wales. This entry will be solely dedicated to informing you of my travels around the northern part of Wales. Wales is an amazingly beautiful country. Here in Bangor we are bordered by the majestic mountains of Snowdonia on one side and the Welsh coast on the other. It is truly magnificent. I have walked around Bangor quite a bit since arriving and have managed to see the majority of the town area as well as the pier, which is tremendous. Otherwise I have not yet wandered far off the paths of Bangor and am looking forward to perhaps doing so in due time. After arriving back from Ireland we had only a day to recover before we were off again and I was also beginning to catch a virus as well, which you will hear about later on in this entry (it was dreadfully awful).Day 1
    On our first day touring Wales we walked through what is called the Devil’s Kitchen in the Snowdonia Mountains. The area is so referred to because of the darkness of the rock and the howling sound the cracks in the rocks make during very windy weather (which seems to be more often than not on most days). We walked a bit up a trail until we reached a small lake at the crevice of the Devil’s Kitchen. Unfortunately it was very cloudy and misty that day and so we had a hard time viewing the mountains. Tecwyn says that Snowdonia is absolutely breathtaking on a clear day. I hope I will be able to see it myself that way before I leave. We then headed to Swallow Falls in Capel Curig, which very much reminded me of the North Carolina Mountains. The falls were very beautiful and we were able to go almost all the way down to the river’s edge to view them.

    We then headed off to our first visit to a Welsh castle called Dolwyddelan. It was situated up on the top of a hill and provided a very picturesque view while one stood at the bottom of it. Side note here: Many of the castles standing in Wales are Norman castles not Welsh castles. In 1282, King Edward I murdered the last native Prince of Wales, Llywelyn. This was a devastating blow to the people of Wales as Llywelyn had managed to unite the colonies that existed within the country and had he not been killed, Wales may have been (in my opinion) a country of its own today. As you might know there are “Prince’s of Wales” today, namely Prince Charles, William and Harry but they are not the true Prince’s of Wales and the Welsh people do not recognize them as such. After Llywelyn’s death, King Edward I mocked the people of Wales by making all other princes to come, the princes of Wales. The castle itself was very interesting. There was one wall that stood standing on one side and one tower, which we were able to go into and walk around. It was amazing to know that I was standing in the very same room that people centuries before me had lived in…I was able to touch the very bricks which their hands touched. I also had the opportunity to walk up to the top of the tower and walk around and this allowed me to see much of the Welsh countryside, which is unlike anywhere I have ever been. There are rolling hills, spots of forest, sheep EVERYWHERE (lovely too, I have taken quite a liking to them, although I have yet to find one that will pose in a picture with me), and scattered cottages dotted along the cliffs.

    Our next stop was to the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, which was where we took an underground tour of a slate mine at Llechwedd Caverns. I particularly enjoyed this as the narration included the voice of an historic slate minor and the story of his life as such. It was all very fascinating. We walked through several different caverns with high arching ceilings and large chambers. You could still see the singe marks, which had been formed from the explosions of the rock so many years ago. Slate mining was a huge industry in Wales for many years and many villagers made their living solely on it. After the slate industry dissipated there was depression among many of the small villages in Wales and thus slate mining is a large aspect of Welsh history.

    We then stopped for the night in the beautiful coastal town of Aberystwyth and stayed in a hotel right on the ocean. I kept my window open all night and literally fell asleep to the ocean waves pounding against the bank of the town. It was an amazingly peaceful feeling. In Aberystwyth there are castle ruins, which sit right on the peak of the town and are really amazing to walk through. There are stairs that at one time led to some great room I’m sure, but instead would stop short at any moment. I must say I used my imagination quite a bit trying to place the castle the way it might have been so long ago.

    Day 2
    Before leaving Aberystwyth, we took a tour through the National Library of Wales, which holds all books, maps, newspapers, videos, etc., that have been produced in, written by or written about Wales or Welsh people. It was a really fascinating place and had I had enough time there you would have been able to find me thumbing through the centuries old books that litter the library.

    After this we stopped at one of the most ancient churches in the UK, Llangelynnin that was just amazing. Inside there were two Celtic stone crosses displayed that were really quite interesting, and like all of the churches and cathedrals I have visited in Ireland and Wales, the most beautifully made stained glass windows.

    We then headed to Caernarfon Castle, a Norman castle, and walked around the area. Caernarfon Castle, unlike the other castles I visited before, was still quite intact and you could walk up any number of towers to the top and wind through any number of rooms and hallways that you could find. In fact, I will admit that there were times that I could not find my way down to the ground because of all the twists and turns I encountered in the castle. It was really quite amazing actually being able to walk through such a large castle. The spiral steps are something else entirely and you could be walking up and down one for several minutes before reaching your destination, which can make one feel a little sick by the end of it.


    Day 3
    We first headed to Conwy where we visited Conwy Castle, another Norman Castle, which is also still quite intact. I did not however, explore this one quite as extensively as I was beginning to feel very sick and had no desire to climb step after step, unfortunately. We then headed to the town of Llandudno where we took a tram up to the Great Orme to visit the Roman Copper Mines. This was also a very interesting experience for me, and I actually found myself wondering if it would be possible for me to change my major to geography and take up exploring caverns and caves as a career. The Roman Copper Mines are said to take back perhaps 3,000 years, as evidenced by articles found within the mines. The mines were discovered quite by accident after the city wished to clean up the area…and the rest is history as they say. We were able to take a short 10-minute or so walk through the caves and it was quite a tight fit. I loved it though. There were crevices and chambers and holes all over which I wished I could hop down into and explore some more. I do wish I had the opportunity to go exploring in a place like that, crawling through small holes and squeezing through tiny cracks, I find it all rather fascinating.

    By the end of this day I was officially sick. My eyes were puffy and my throat was hurting something awful. Next day, I woke up to find my throat covered in white infection and had to head off to the nurse to see if I needed to get some antibiotics. She said it was just a sore throat and to take medicine to lessen the swelling and the pain. It was dreadful! It was much like having strep throat for 3 days straight. For at least 4 nights in a row I woke up in the middle of the night having to take more medication and then having to stay up for an hour for it to kick in before I could go back to sleep. But, my sore throat did clear up and I am feeling much better. I tend to think that there are strains of virus’s and infections over here that my body is not used too and that is why I got so sick.

    On Thursday through Saturday I went to Chester and Liverpool, England, but that my friends is for another time!


20 Mar

September 16, 2006

I have made the grand and wonderful mistake of waiting an excessive period of time to write about my adventures since I have arrived here. Up until now I have not felt the urge or need to discuss my travels, mostly because my mind itself was so cluttered with other worries and apprehensions. It has been a hard week or so adjusting to this new place. My first couple of nights here I found myself distraught at the fact that I had just flown 3500 miles to another country with no idea what to expect in my future here. It was awful. Now looking back I see that my fears and anguish were somewhat to be expected. This is a huge step for me and I know that it will at some times be difficult, but in the end it will be worth it. The final note here is: I am here and I am staying here until December 18th and that is that. Make the most of your time here and do not wonder about what might happen but enjoy being in the moment. The latter I am working very hard on.

Moving on to my last week here. My goodness, I have much to write and it may take you several days to read it all…and several days for me to write it but that’s no matter. Where shall I begin? I think I will skip over my first couple of days of arrival as they were not very good times and I’d much rather like to leave them in the past. So off we go to Ireland.

We left Holyhead, Wales to take a ferry to Dublin port about 9:00 in the morning. At this point I was very apprehensive as this was my first real traveling in Europe and I had only just arrived in Wales a couple days before. We stayed at a very nice hostel called the Globetrotter’s Hotel and the group of us 10 girls shared a room together. Dublin! What a city. It reminds me somewhat of Philadelphia but I won’t compare the two, as that’s what Americans seem to be very good at. (And did I mention that I feel very American here?) Tecwyn took us on a walking tour of the main sites in Dublin which included a walk down O’Connell St. which is the main thoroughfare through Dublin, riddled with clothing shops, fast food restaurants and the well known post office where bullet holes can still be seen carved into the large columns from the 1916 uprising. A tall spear sits in the midst of the street, which has become a staple image for many native Dubliners. We also took a stroll around the River Liffy, which is the main river, which runs through Dublin. Here we also strolled through the famous Trinity College, founded by the Queen of England in the 1500s. Here we would also visit the Book of Kells exhibition, but that will be discussed later on in my writings. After this we strolled through more of Dublin, stopping by the infamous Temple Bar as well as glancing a glimpse as a very amusing Oscar Wilde memorial and a very provocative statue of Molly Malone…who the people of Dublin admire.

After gathering our bearings of Dublin we stopped for lunch at Supermac’s, which, as you may have picked up by the name is an Irish version of McDonald’s. I stopped by a gift shop on the way back to the hostel where I picked up some gifts and then rested a bit until dinner. For dinner we ate at the Gin Palace where I had some very good soup (which I didn’t know what it was because I couldn’t understand quite what our waiter said) and some bread. Thus ends my first day in Dublin.

Day 2
Starting off the day we went to the Book of Kells exhibition which is a very old illuminated manuscript… the manuscripts themselves are amazingly beautiful with handcrafted bounding and tremendous lettering. After this we walked through Trinity library, which looked like, at least to me, the very type of library you might find in Harry Potter. Floor to ceiling was covered with an assortment of books and the ceilings were vaulted. It was breathtaking. After this we headed to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which surprisingly enough is not a Catholic cathedral, but a Protestant one. Especially strange as Ireland is a Catholic country (and also not part of the UK as Northern Ireland is…usually Euros and participating in the EU). The inside of the church was magnificent and scattered throughout were memorials and statues dedicated to well-known Irish families and dignitaries. Our next stop was the Guinness Brewery Storehouse where all the Guinness in the world is made and shipped. The brewery itself was very interesting and provided a plethora of information on the way Guinness is made and it’s ingredients. Our ticket allowed us a free pint of Guinness but I opted out, having tried a bit of Guinness in the tasting room and not finding it to my liking. The place where we received our drinks was at the very top of the storehouse and provided us an outstanding view of all of Dublin.

From here we ate lunch at a diner called Eddie Rocket’s, which was decorated like a 1950’s American diner and served food of the like. We walked around the rest of the day and rested at the hostel before grabbing dinner at the local Spar (grocery store) and heading to the famous Abbey Theatre to watch “The Importance of Being Earnest,” a well-known Oscar Wilde play that was very funny and providing us all with quite a bit of laughter and amusement.

Day 3
On our last day in Dublin we took a couple of hours to walk around one last time and ate at a very nice place called the Bagel Factory. I would also like to mention that for breakfast I had beans and toast which was very good and have eaten it quite a bit since my arrival here.

About midday we left for Galway, Ireland on the west coast for more sightseeing and historical areas. We stayed at the Sleepzone hostel, which was very nice indeed, and Tecwyn took us on a walking tour of Galway to familiarize us with the area. Galway is much smaller than Dublin and I took to it much more. It is still a city but the area itself is very beautiful and there is much less noise and many less people than in Dublin. Downtown itself is littered with various musicians, playing anything from the guitar to the Irish flute. The atmosphere here is like nothing I have ever felt. Just walking the streets provided me with more of the Irish culture than I had felt in Dublin. We walked by Galway Cathedral, which was magnificent! I did not take pictures here as I felt as though this place was meant only for worship and reverence. I prayed here in the pews as I had in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and found myself in amazement that I was able to do so. We ate dinner at a pub called The Front Door and then sat by the river running through Galway for a very long time. The air was just perfect and the river provided a constant rolling sound which was very peaceful.


Day 4
On this day we traveled to the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland and took a ferry to Inis Mor (which means Big Island in Irish). Here we took a bike ride through the whole of the island to Dun Aengus which is a prehistoric fort located at the tip of the island. Here we hung our heads over 600 foot cliffs, which was an absolutely exhilarating feeling! Looking straight down into the ocean and with nothing between us and the United States but water. We ate lunch on the cliffs, which we had bought at the local grocery store and then biked back to the port. I bought a 100% Irish wool sweater at the Aran Sweater Market before departing back to Galway for the evening.

Day 5
On our next day in Ireland we traveled to the very well known Cliffs of Moher. On the way we stopped at a very old tower house and also a very scenic area overlooking the ocean. Here we were able to climb down the rocky cliffs at the edge of the water and try our might with the massive waves crashing against the rock. The Cliffs of Moher are the highest cliffs in the whole of Europe, measuring 1200 feet in height. The view was fantastic and yet again I was struck with the sure absurdity of actually being there at all! Imagine standing on the very edge of a cliff which nothing between you and the water below and a view stretching for miles. For lunch we traveled to a small town where we gathered some sandwiches and ate lunch on the beach. We stopped on the way back to Galway at Bunratty Castle which also had a folk park. The castle itself was very interesting. The spiral steps were tiring to climb but proved to be worth the work as we were able to enter small enclaves and various rooms by them. The folk park showed Irish life has it had been with thatch roofs and gardens. Later on in the evening we went out to a pub called Monroe’s where I purchased my very first pint (Stella Artois), which was later, traded to a Foster’s and then later went to a smaller pub where we stayed for a little while.

Day 6
Our last day in Ireland. We left very early in the morning to head back to Dublin to catch our ferry to Holyhead and lastly to travel back to Bangor.

And there is my tale of Ireland. Not very detailed because I waited quite a bit to do it. The past two days I have been touring Wales and I will hopefully post soon my accounts here. I hope I didn’t write too very much and I do hope you managed to read most of it! Please do excuse any misspellings or odd sentences…I’m feeling quite sick at the moment and can’t be bothered to proofread right now.

Off to Wales!

8 Mar

Off to Wales!September 6th, 2006

I am currently one day away from one of the most important decisions I have made thus far. I’m going…to another country…for three and a half months. That’s strange for me to write. Up until this point in my life I have never done anything that I could look back on and feel proud. I am terrified. I am scared. I am completely unaware of what is about to happen to me. But I am so proud. I never thought I could do something like this. I never thought I had the ability, the strength or the courage to leave everything that is familiar to me and go someplace that I’ve never been to with people I have never met. But I am. I am amazed. How did this happen? What person inhabited my body and enrolled me in this adventure? I am that person. It’s hard to fathom. My whole life I have been so afraid of change, so afraid of stepping out of my perfect little box that I am so comfortable in. And now I’m going some place so far outside my boundaries that I can’t even fathom how all of this came about. Pinch me. Am I really doing this?

The fear I feel is not just fear. It is anticipation of something. I don’t know what. But something that is going to change me, mold me and stretch me. It’ll be hard at first. I know I will be homesick, missing my life back in North Carolina, but I know this is something I am meant to do. This is something I need to do for myself. This is where God wants me to be, where He wants me to go. I literally made the decision to go abroad the week before the deadline to apply. The program had come to my school to share information about future study abroad options. And I stopped by, asked questions, grabbed some leaflets and went on my way. Then I sat down. And all of a sudden, as though from outside my own head, I decided to do it. The school told me it was too late to apply to study abroad, but I pressed on. I begged, I explained my desire to go outside the country and I asked for an exception. And I got it. Within a few days, the year ahead of me was changed drastically and instead of applying for classes at Peace, studying for the GRE and signing up for work-study, I was going to Wales. Another country for goodness sake!

I’m ready to do this. I’m ready to put myself out there and to grow. To learn, to develop friendships and understandings that would have otherwise been unavailable to me. It’s going to be hard, scary and overwhelming. But I am ready. I am ready to experience an amazingly beautiful country. I am ready to go out on my own. I am ready to meet as many people as I can. I am ready to grow. I am ready to stretch myself, to push myself outside of what I think I can handle. I am going to Wales as Courtney, a senior at Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina who has never been away from home for more than 2 weeks at a time and who is so terrified of change that she almost let it take over her life. I am going to come back as Courtney, the person who experienced a life outside of herself, who took a chance that many people never do and who will know that she can do absolutely anything she sets her mind to. And the fear will not be able to hold her back any longer. It is an empowering thought, to know that I am giving myself the opportunity to become the woman I always wanted to be. That I made the decision to do this. That I didn’t hold myself back. I’m scared. But I’m ready. I’m ready to grow. I’m ready to be molded into the person God wants me to be.

Please keep me in your prayers. I will need the strength and the courage to embark on this adventure and throughout my stay abroad. But I also ask that you pray that I don’t let anything hold me back. That I don’t let the fear overcome me. That I grow. I will miss North Carolina. I will miss my friends and family and my life here. But I know this is something I need to do.

Wales Blog

8 Mar

Posting my old travel blog for nostalgia and to have all my writings in one place (plus I don’t even know what happened to the blog site I used – it’s been eaten up by Google probably).

Enjoy 🙂

Transcribe Me!

25 Aug

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to TranscribeMe.com for allowing me the opportunity to make extra money on my time and in the comfort of my own home. I know that there are a lot of sites out there that tell you that you can make $30,000 in a month doing something easy and cool, but most of those sites are fake or money making schemes. Transcribe Me! is a legitimate site, that lets you work a contract position (and you actually get paid real cash!)

I work 40 hours a week, so the thought of adding on a part-time job seemed overwhelming. Transcribe Me! allows me to transcribe a variety of files at my own pace, when I can, and doesn’t ding me for not working every day of the week. As we all know, life gets busy and sometimes we just can’t make it to the computer to get things done. I really appreciate that Transcribe Me! understands today’s society and working adults, and gives us the opportunity to earn, save and spend money, while still being able to enjoy our lives on our time.

So, thanks Transcribe Me! for giving me this great opportunity, I love being a part of the team!

If you’re interested in applying for a position at Transcribe Me! go to: https://workhub.transcribeme.com/Account/Register

#Zzzquil #SleepLover

2 Jul

I am a verified, certified sleeper. I love to sleep. I love to nap. I look forward to sleep as soon as I have to wake up. So it was extremely frustrating when, over the past few weeks, I found myself waking up every two hours, on the hour, and taking at least 20 minutes to fall back to sleep. I was tired, I was groggy, and I was irritable. I needed something to help.

I went to my doctor and she prescribed a sleep aid. Unfortunately, it was a not so good experience. Don’t gt me wrong, I definitely slept through the night. But I discovered that I could not breathe through my nose (a side effect of the medicine), I was so dizzy I could barely walk, and I was still tired! So tired that it almost impossible to function.

So when I received an email saying that I would be getting a sample of Zzzquil in the mail from Influenster for testing purposes, I knew that my hopes had been answered! Zzzquil is non-habit forming, which is something that I wanted in a sleep aid. It’s not for pain, it’s just for sleep, and it helps you to fall asleep in less than 20 minutes (yay!) I woke feeling refreshed, not groggy, and I could definitely walk straight. Also, I could breathe through my nose, so that was a huge plus!

Make sure, however, that if you do take Zzzquil, that you make sure you can get 7-8 hours of sleep. So, if you’re looking for a sleep aid that doesn’t make you feel worse the next day, and actually does what it says, then you should give Zzzquil a try. Sleep lovers unite!



Yay Olive Oil!

21 Feb

This year I have been attempting a lot of new things (see posts below about gymnastics!) and have included trying to eat healthier to that list.  It’s been a journey, mostly discovering that the food I was eating wasn’t really food, but food-like.  I wasn’t getting the nutrients my body needed, and despite my calorie counting I wasn’t losing any weight, gaining any muscle, or feeling any better.

After cutting out a lot of processed foods and added sugars, and incorporating more fruits, vegetables and organic foods into my diet, I am feeling so much better. I don’t feel as tired as I used to, I have more energy, and I’m not hungry all of the time.  I’m starting to listen to my  body and what it needs, instead of stuffing it full of “food” that it doesn’t.

I was super excited to get my first VoxBox from @Influenster (www.influenster.com – check out their website to become an Influenster and get cool stuff too!) which was the Filippo Berio Robusto Olive Oil.  Olive oil is a staple now in my kitchen because it is a healthy oil, and a great substitute for butter, canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.

I love grilled cheese and decided to brush my bread with the olive oil instead of frying in butter. I was amazed at how much better it tasted.  Sometimes I felt like my bread was soaked in the butter and it was all I could taste, but the Filippo Berio olive oil tasted amazing, and cooked faster and more even.

So if you’re looking for a good olive oil that is not out of your budget, I would definitely suggest the Filippo Berio brand.  And grill all the cheese you want!!



*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.*

Mindfulnes and Gymnastics Part 2

20 Feb

Some of the most rewarding things in life are being able to do those things that you thought were lost to you forever. But really, the thing that was lacking wasn’t strength or size or muscle, but belief in myself and my abilities.  I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do my glide kip again, a very complicated gymnastics skill that took me several months as a 7 year old to learn.  I thought to myself that there was no way I’d have that kind of strength or stamina again, especially at my age.  The truth is, all I needed was the confidence in myself to just go for it.  And yes, for several months, that glide kip did not make it above the bar, but instead of being frustrated or down on myself, I decided to push myself.

I started doing 3-minute plank holds (not all at once!) to build up my ab muscles, and working out with the intention of building myself up for my kip.  All of those things were key, of course, but it was my very specific and basic intention that made the difference.  I would get my kip by the end of 2016.

Mindfulness gave me the confidence and self-love to pursue those things that I may not succeed at immediately.  I am human and I am fallible and that is a huge gift. And all those times I failed at the glide kip (and still do from time to time), I don’t get angry at myself, instead I reward myself for a job well done and an attempt worth made and move on to the next trick.

Also, it is very possible to do those things you never thought you could do again – go ride a bike, try a basketball league, paint a picture!  None of these things are lost to you, only hidden away, waiting for you to make them an intention again.


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