DAWN14163   21,457
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DAWN14163's Recent Blog Entries

Hello friends!

Monday, June 03, 2013

It's been almost a month since I last blogged here. I have a confession - I've turned to the other side....

I have opened a My Fitness Pal account, which has resulted in me not using SP quite so much. I'm using it for tracking food and exercise, the main reason being that MFP is more UK friendly. To be honest, I've struggled at times with SP, the talk of cups/ounces and a multitude of food brands that are totally alien to me. MFP has a HUGE British food data base and uses the more familiar measurements. I find it much easier.

On the down side, I've yet to discover the community spirit found on SP. I've said before that the best thing about SP is the people, and the tremendous support offered by total strangers who quickly become virtual friends. I've missed you!

So with your permission, I'd like to take the best of both sites, using MFP to keep me within my calorie limits and popping in here now and then to keep up with my pals and "chat".

May weight loss = 6lbs! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIS193 6/5/2013 12:27PM

    Don't feel bad about using another site for tacking food. I use FitDay because I find it much easier for the way I eat. You are right about the community though - SP has the BEST people!!

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PMRUNNER 6/5/2013 6:03AM

    What? you mean you would rather use MFP than convert your kitchen and eating to cups and ounces and converting your shopping to find U.S. brands? I guess that makes sense! I have some friends who have had a lot of weightloss success with MFP. I haven't tried it but imagine that it would be hard to beat the supportive community aspects of SP. I like that it is ala carte and flexible enough to use the features that you want to use and that work best for you.

Good luck on your continued journey!

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WILSONWR 6/4/2013 11:25PM

    Sounds like a great plan to me! Good to hear from you again!

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DR1939 6/4/2013 10:36AM

    Glad you found something that works for you. We just have to take the good parts of things and move forward. Glad you wanted to be with us.

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FISHER011 6/3/2013 8:08PM

    emoticon on your weight loss! Do what works for you! I ~LOVE~ you beautiful tulips background! emoticon

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RUNNING-TURTLE 6/3/2013 4:06PM

    I don't see why not. The important thing is you are still going for your goals.

emoticon on the May weight loss.

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JACKIE542 6/3/2013 3:36PM

    You do have to do what works for you, and wow! you have had a 6lb weight loss that is very good.
Still miss you and I really hope that you stop by often and chat, and do some of those great blogs. emoticon Jackie

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UNSWEETMAMA 6/3/2013 3:07PM

    You have to do what works for you! If it's not too much hassle to use both for their different strengths, then it sounds like a good approach. We're here for you.

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1BEACHWALKER 6/3/2013 2:49PM

    Have missed you! I wondered where you were-now we know. Don't feel bad about that...so many here do that or have diet plans like Weight Watchers, etc. We want you here -we will cheer you on no matter what! You are part of our SP family now! Please stick around Dawn-we like your blogs too!
Wow-6 pounds! Good going!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
Have a successful week! emoticon

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    Congrats on the weight loss!

I know plenty of people who use both sites, I doubt anyone would begrudge you that! Welcome back!

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May holidays

Monday, May 06, 2013

One of the pleasures of living here in Belgium is that they have more National Holidays than most of the other countries in Europe - 11 to be precise! If the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, often a Bridge Day is added to make a long weekend. 3 of these holidays fall in May, the kids love it as they rarely do a full week at school this month!

Today has been an odd one for me though. It is a Bank Holiday in the UK, so I have been reading facebook posts about friends and relatives enjoying the sun in the garden or at the beach. However, it isn't a holiday here, so I have spent the day in a hot, sweaty gym, not working out but supervising the Grade 12 kids battling through their IB exams. Our next day off isn't until Thursday (Ascension Day) - they've thrown in Friday as well for good measure.

Last week, my parents were over from England. Wednesday was a National Holiday (Labour Day) so we travelled over to the beautiful city of Ghent. As well as admiring many fantastic buildings and sampling the local beer (well this is Belgium!) we were surprised to be entertained by a huge Labour Day parade. This marching band made me smile!

Some of the buildings

We plan to spend this week's days off touring the tulip fields - we are just a few miles from Holland and we don't have to go far to find them!

In other news, Day 2 of the healthy eating plan has gone well...... emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIS193 5/7/2013 4:49PM

    Great pictures! Have fun at the tulips fields (Keukenhof?)

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LEASIM1231 5/7/2013 4:35PM

    Yes, I am loving these holidays! It was lovely that the 1st was such good weather! Unfortunately they are predicting not so nice for this weekend. I wanted to go away, but it looks like we started planning too late. Everything is booked!

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WILSONWR 5/6/2013 9:22PM

    Thanks for sharing the great pictures! Glad you're getting back to healthy eating.

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KPACE7 5/6/2013 8:37PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures! emoticon

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    Beautiful pictures!
Yes, the holidays here in France are something I really enjoy! This week we have Wednesday & Thursday and most of my coworkers have taken Friday as well (unfortunately I have meetings scheduled with Asia & the US so I am working). My daughter is also loving the time out of school.

In the US the first holiday of the year is not until the end of May, for Memorial Day, and it is only 1 day. Almost 6 months is a long time to wait for the first holiday!

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JACKIE542 5/6/2013 4:32PM

    What fun, thank you for taking the beautiful pictures of the buildings, spectacular.
I sure can't wait to see those tulip fields. emoticon
Congrats on staying with your healthy eating plan. emoticon

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DR1939 5/6/2013 3:56PM

    We were in a spa town in The Czech Republic when a men's chorus was singing. We sat and listened and really enjoyed it. Afterwards we learned it was a political event for a conservative party--not our cup of tea.

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1BEACHWALKER 5/6/2013 2:43PM

    I love marching bands too!! That looks like a castle in that 3rd photo! I love castles!!! I love tulips too! Love the background photo! Love all your photos! Hope to see more as you go on your holidays! Have fun!
emoticon on the healthy eating! I need to get back on track after my vacation last week-ate too many bad foods and too many calories!

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UNSWEETMAMA 5/6/2013 2:23PM

    emoticon for sharing those lovely photos.
emoticon with the healthy eating plan.

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Back in the room...

Sunday, May 05, 2013

I have been AWOL for the last few weeks. I've been popping on to the site most days, having a quick look round, then sidling off again. I confess to having had little motivation to think about my weight loss journey and have failed to track exercise or food. It's been an effort to write supportive comments on friend's posts. I've been doing * a bit* of healthy stuff, but my heart's not really been in it. I've been a bit of a miserable so-and-so all round, to be honest.

Today I'm back in focus. I've edited my sparkpage and reset my goals. I've adjusted my ticker to show the (ahem) 6 pounds gain. I've planned a week's menu and been up to Holland to buy the necessary groceries (shops being firmly shut here in Belgium on a Sunday, where it is still regarded very much as a Family Day). I even found time to reacquaint myself with the gym.

I'm hoping I can keep the momentum going this time! Spring finally seems to have arrived which raises my spirits and brings a smile to my face. The photo I've used as the background for my page was taken last week. It shows the beautiful tulip fields we stumbled upon on a drive through Hulst, Netherlands, just a few miles from where we live. Time to start counting my blessings again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIZZYCOCOA 5/17/2013 10:00PM

    I'm getting back on track this month too! emoticon

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LIS193 5/7/2013 4:51PM

    Good to see you're! back! Enjoy the nice weather. My DD has been visiting my mum on Terschelling and they had a blast. (Ok, so I'm a little jealous.. being so far away)

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WILSONWR 5/6/2013 9:09PM

    I'm having the same problems, Dawn. With all that's been going on in my life recently, I've lost much of my motivation and have even gained a few pounds. Good luck with your re-energization - I hope to find mine soon...

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STRONG_SARAH 5/6/2013 2:52PM

    Welcome back!

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MICHELELYNN777 5/6/2013 8:29AM

    Glad you're back! I struggle with motivation, too, but we just have to keep moving forward. Love the tulips~what a gorgeous sight! Have a healthy, focused week.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUENOSE63 5/5/2013 11:08PM

  I absolutely love those tulips...the color is spectacular

Glad to see you back

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DR1939 5/5/2013 4:59PM

    Glad you're back. The tulips are spectacular.

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JACKIE542 5/5/2013 3:57PM

    Nice to hear from you again Dawn. I just love those Tulips I could just sit there all day. Have a great new beginning. emoticon emoticon

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UNSWEETMAMA 5/5/2013 2:59PM

    Nice to see you here again. emoticon
The tulips are beautiful! emoticon

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1-D Fun

Friday, April 05, 2013

Despite serious reservations, I actually enjoyed the concert. We met up with my sister and her daughter, who had travelled down from Lincolnshire, and had a Very Nice Day Out. Average age of the audience was, at a guess, around 10, which meant there were plenty of mums and dads there too - a fact not overlooked by the One Direction boys who very politely thanked all the parents for spending their hard earned cash on allowing their kids to come. What nice boys they are! It was, all in all, good family entertainment. I spent half the time looking around the audience and smiling at the faces of these wee kids - pure joy. My daughter loved it and I am, for now, her best friend forever.

After the concert, we made sure my sister caught the right train home , then we spent the night at a Premier Inn - a budget hotel chain, excellent value for money and recommended to anyone wanting somewhere affordable and comfortable to stay whilst visiting the UK. The next morning we had about 2 hours before needing to catch the Eurostar so had a quick dash to Oxford Street, Hyde Park end, where the Marks and Spencer flagship store is situated. Essential knicker shopping done, we grabbed a couple of packs of sandwiches and made our way to the train.

Just 3 hours later and we were back home! I love London.....

One Direction!

Telephone box

Red London Bus

London taxis

Marble Arch (Hyde Park)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUENOSE63 4/25/2013 6:35AM

  I am a hair under 50 and I really like One Direction music, so much so that I bought the CD.

Such a wonderful thing you did for you DD. She will remember that for the rest of her life and you made another step to Most Awesome Mom Hall of Fame.

Thanks for the pics

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SQUIRRELLYONE 4/16/2013 2:56PM

    Great that they acknowledged the parents in the audience :)

Glad you had a great trip!

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ALIHIKES 4/6/2013 9:34PM

    Thanks for sharing your blog! Sounds like a really fun adventure and I am glad you went with your daughter.

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1BEACHWALKER 4/6/2013 2:14AM

    So nice to be able to hop countries just like that!!! That was so nice you did that for your daughter. Sounds like it all worked out and fun was had by all! They are a talented group, they performed on X-factor not too long ago-much to the pride of Simon Cowell who discovered and sponsored them! emoticon

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SYNCHRODAD 4/5/2013 6:23PM

    Nice blog. Nice to see old folk mingling with youth. If I'd have been there, I could have brought the average age up to 11. Thanks! for the fun blog.

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WILSONWR 4/5/2013 2:42PM

    Sounds like you had a great time! I didn't realize it was so easy to travel from Belgium to England!

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JACKIE542 4/5/2013 10:52AM

    I was wondering how that went. I am glad you had a good time. Great memories for you and your daughter.
Loved the pictures of London, always liked those red telephone boxes.
Now you can relax. emoticon emoticon

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STRONG_SARAH 4/5/2013 10:37AM

    How nice! And that was nice of them to thank the parents too. I love London. I'm a big Harry Potter geek and so I want to go to the new HP museum. Next time I guess.

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IAMWINNING 4/5/2013 10:31AM

    Dawn, first, I'm glad you and your family enjoyed the concert. Did you need/use the earplugs? emoticon I'm also glad you got a breath of England, even tho' it wasn't for many hours. (My family and I lived over 2 years in England......a long time ago. DH and I would love to get back there).

Thank you for the pictures. They warmed my heart and reminded me of the days I'd take a train down to London and spend a lovely day by myself.

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The Perils of Alcohol - Part Deux

Monday, April 01, 2013

I've just read Chicchantal's latest blog and decided, cheekily, to nick the title. I am currently sat here, almost head-in-hands, lamenting "why oh why" to myself, whilst ruing the day last April that my husband persuaded me to join him in a light libation. From what I remember, it was a sunny, warm Sunday afternoon. We'd enjoyed a pleasant Sunday lunch during which we'd shared a very gluggable bottle of red. We were both feeling decidedly mellow - and that was when our daughter struck. She knows just how to pick her moments....

Fast forward to today. Another very pleasant Sunday in April, only this time I'm stone cold sober and wondering how I ever agreed to take her to a One Direction concert. Tomorrow we will be setting the alarm for 5.30am in order to catch the 6.30 train to Brussels, transferring on to Eurostar for the journey under the sea to That London. From there we will be joining the throngs on the tube to the O2 Arena where we shall be part of a 15000 strong crowd of screaming teenyboppers (chaperoned on the whole by their mothers, I suspect, as under 16's aren't allowed in unaccompanied). Joy.....

She's asked me what I'm wearing. Apart from earplugs, I'm not sure yet.

Edit: Of course I realise that it's Monday today and I'm not in the slightest bit confused by the Easter weekend.....(senior moments? Moi?)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 4/3/2013 2:05AM

    Oh my goodness.... emoticon A One Direction concert! Be prepared to stand the whole concert if you want to see anything for one thing and ear plugs are good. Wear comfy clothes and shoes or maybe steel toed boots, in case of trampling of feet from rushing teens! emoticon The wine may be a good idea afterwards, just a little to calm the nerves! emoticon
Concerts are fun, but they make me a nervous wreck! I suppose that is why I haven't been to one in 12 years!
Have fun and good luck! emoticon

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STONECOT 4/1/2013 5:36PM

    Good luck!

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UNSWEETMAMA 4/1/2013 12:44PM

    You are going to need another bottle after that concert. emoticon

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JACKIE542 4/1/2013 12:32PM

    Oh boy! Yes our kids sure know how to strike at the right times, lol. should be quite an adventure, can't wait to hear about this.
Yes, wear earplugs.. I think it's kinds nice to be there and share with her, have some fun. emoticon emoticon

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JLEMUS1 4/1/2013 12:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIS193 4/1/2013 12:07PM

    Earplugs sounds like a great idea! When in doubt, let her pick your outfit - parents can be sooo embarrassing! LOL

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 4/1/2013 11:33AM


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