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The end is in sight…

Today is the last day of my dechox journey and I am so proud to say that I have now not had any chocolate what so ever for 31 days!! So what have I learnt? I’ve learnt that the first week is most defiantly the hardest. I don’t actually need chocolate to survive (but it does help) and I can do anything that I set my mind to.Like I have already said, I’m so happy to have completed it and to have raised some money for British Heart Foundation along the way. I would like to thank everyone that has sponsored me and those such as the other half for supporting me (he mostly gave up chocolate too!). 

I’m now looking at my next challenge which is Born Survivor in May. For anyone that doesn’t know, it’s a 10 km obstacle course. I would not have dreamed I would be doing this a year ago, but we will see how we get on. 

I thought I would be signing off and going planning what chocolate to eat tomorrow, but I think I’m going to keep going until Easter! Bye for now. 

When will the cuts end?

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Over the past few weeks I have been reading more and more information about the educational budget cuts. I know that education is not the only sector that is affected by the lack of money being put into the public sector, but as a teacher it is the area that impacts me directly. Last weekend many teachers, parents and students took to the streets of Shrewsbury (Shropshire) to protest. They were not just protesting that in Shropshire alone there will be shortfall of £394 per pupil by 2019, which is equal to 360 teachers. They are protesting that the loss will take the form of increased class sizes, over worked teachers, lack of provision for the arts, less TA’s, the list goes on. This will all lead to an impact of students education. Students will not receive the support they require, they will be forced to take subjects that they may have little interest in and leave school with lower attainment.

The other aspect that confuses me, is that all students now have to stay in education of some form until they are 18. Yet funding for further education is also being cut. It is expected that there will be a funding drop of 6.5% over the next few years. This means that funding for 16- to 18-year-olds is no higher than it was almost 30 years ago (theguardian). How can further education provision improve for students if we are investing no money into it. Are all students actually going to be any better off then if they went straight into a job? Some students will do well in college and it will help them to achieve their potential. For others it just seems like an enforced holding pattern until they can get a job. Some of you may say that they can get an apprenticeship rather than going to college, but from my experience there are not always that many on offer. We need more money in colleges so that more courses can be offered and students can learn practical skills that can help them to attain a job in the future.

Sorry, my rant is now over. If you want to find out any more click the links below.

http://www.shropshirestar.com/education/2017/03/11/shrewsbury-march-over-school-funding/school-cuts-11-jr-26-jpg/

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/feb/27/schools-to-be-hit-with-first-real-time-funding-cuts-in-20-years

 

International women’s day

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In light of international women’s day, one of my wonderful personal trainers (yes I am lucky enough to get to work with 2!) posted this picture and talked about how so many women do not realise their own strength. I am definitely guilty of this. I started my weight loss and weight lifting journey believing that there was no way that I could do much at the gym and I would never be good at it or even stick to it. Well, after a over a year of hard work, I have lost over 4 and a half stone in weight and am stronger than I ever thought possible. I have lots of people around me to thank for all their support, but I also need to remember they have helped me (a lot!) on my journey, but they haven’t done it for me. I have put in the hard work and I am starting to see my own strength. That’s not to say I don’t need any help or things always go my way. It’s just having the strength to keep going when things are tough and asking for help when needed. I now keep a dumb bell charm in my locket to remind me of the journey I have been on and how far I have come physically and mentally.

Finally, just a big thank you to all the people who inspire me and have helped me along my journey. You know who you are and I could not have done it without you!!

Thanks!!

DeChox Journey

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It’s the 6th day of my DeChox for British Heart Foundation and I’m going strong! There have been a few moments when I have wanted to eat chocolate though. At the end of last week I went away to the Birks in the Lake District with sixth form for a Geography field trip. Although is was cold, we had a great time studying rivers and climbing mountains. The students were great and really got stuck in. I even enjoyed not having any mobile signal or internet whilst we were gone. However, the students came armed with much chocolate and were very generous when offering it out. This is lovely, but does make it harder to say no. Once they knew what I was doing however, they were more helpful in ensuring I didn’t break.

My biggest challenge however, came after I got home. In the kitchen, were some left over chocolate crispy cakes from Matt’s hockey match. I almost ate one without even thinking about it. Luckily I remembered in time and was able to ignore them. Now I’m back a work this week, there will be new challenges, but I am determined to do this!

If you would like to donate click here

 

DeChox for British Heart Foundation

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People that know me well, will know that I LOVE chocolate. I have lost quite a bit of wait over the last year, but still been able to get my regular chocolate fix! This month however, I have bravely signed up to give up chocolate to raise money for British Heart Foundation. It is a charity close to my heart and even though I may not raise much money, I would love to be able to give them some towards the wonderful work that they do. For anyone that doesn’t know they are the nation’s heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research. Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer but they are leading the fight against it.

It’s day 1 of the DeChox today and so far, so good. But the first day was always going to the the easiest. I will up date my blog as to how  I am getting on and any trying situations that I may be faced with. I have ordered a new charm for my necklace to try to remind me of what I am doing this for, which is the red ribbon, which symbolizes, as well as other things, heart disease. 0008275_red-ribbon-heart-disease-charm_300

If anyone would like to sponsor me my just giving page is below.

Natleberry Just Giving Page

The cursed child

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I have wanted to blog for the last few days, but haven’t found the time. Now, as I sit at my desk to write I do not know where to start. I have had a busy and wonderful half-term week. I have been to my first wedding fayre, which just reminded me how much weddings cost. However, it has also caused me to become more creative to try to keep to our budget. I have also seen some different venues. A venue that is far, far out of our price range and still not our favourite, two beautiful venues that I love and one that just wasn’t very inspiring. This has left us with lots of thinking to do and still more venues to look at.

Following this was our trip to London. I enjoy being in London, but not getting there. The traffic was awful on a Thursday at 12 noon, how is that possible. Then again getting around Birmingham was just as bad. Anyway, I digress! The main reason we went was to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We saw the plays over 2 nights and after reading the script before the plays I had high expectations. I’m glad to say that my expectations were not high enough. It was amazing! I cannot explain how good to was. The story line was great and the way they did the magic on stage was truly magical!. Scorpius Malfoy has to be the best character in the play and the actor that played him was superb! The play was incredibly witty, but also had some heartwarming and emotional moments. Overall, I would highly recommend it and would love to see it again! I’m off to watch the rugby! Swing Low!!!

The first social

16583281_1241235445912471_281665217992065024_n1I posted a blog a week ago worrying about my first jewellery social that I would be hosting last night. I was going to blog yesterday before it started with an update, but things were just too busy. Now I have been to the gym and gotten some jobs done, I have the time to reflect on the evening. I was a little downhearted after a few people canceled on the days running up to and on the day of the event, but decided to make the best of it! I’m glad we went ahead, because I had a great night. I could not remember the price of anything! But Denise (my wonderful mentor and friend) was amazing and showed me lots of hints and tips ready for when I’m let loose on my own.

Time flew by and all of my guests got on well. I had lots of fun and it was great to hear what people thought of the jewellery. My guests all seemed to have a great time too and plenty of wine was drunk. I’m now feeling much better about doing socials on my own and excited about what the future may bring. Loving Mialisia!