MARIASPARKLE's SparkPeople Blog MARIASPARKLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 2 Year Smoking Quit (Saturday 6th Feb 2010)! All I can say is "Who'd a thunk it?"!! <BR> <BR> I feel so much better - I no longer smell like an ashtray, I can walk up 3 flights of stairs to work without collapsing in a heap, I don't feel worried about my health or guilty all the time, there are no longer mysterious burn holes in my clothes, I no longer get horrible coughs and lingering colds, I have saved a small fortune, my cat won't get emphysema, I have more energy (most of the time), I'm sure I'll have fewer wrinkles as I age (wish... Mon, 8 Feb 2010 05:38:33 EST My SECOND SparkPeople anniversary (11nov09) - THANK YOU S.P.! Two years ago, I joined SparkPeople. I weighed 166lbs. I had recently separated from my husband and I was in debt up to my eyeballs. Not good. <BR> <BR> Today, I weigh 155lbs, I've lost 11lbs - it's not exactly earth-shattering, but my time with SparkPeople has been so much more than merely a weight-loss journey. <BR> <BR> I quit cigarettes with the first-rate support I found with the No More Smoking Team. Those amazing people were with me through the good times and the bad, they saw me th... Mon, 16 Nov 2009 05:49:01 EST Update on my Halloween Challenge On the 30-Somethings Team, we've started a "Lose 10lbs by Haloween" Challenge, so I've signed up. <BR> <BR> Here are my stats:- <BR> <BR> Starting Weight Monday, August 31: 159 <BR> <BR> Goal weight Monday, September 7: 157 <BR> Actual Weight Monday, September 7: 161.9 (oops) <BR> <BR> Goal Weight Friday, September 11: 156 <BR> Actual Weight Friday, September 11: 157 <BR> <BR> Goal Weight Friday, September 18: 155 <BR> Actual Weight Friday, September 18: <BR> <BR> VACATION FOR ONE ... Fri, 16 Oct 2009 08:37:20 EST Motivation! It's just so weird. Usually I need to drag myself off the couch to go for a walk, but for the past week or two I've been really motivated. I'm going to Portugal on vacation next week, so I'm really hoping I can keep up the momentum while I'm away. Any hints or tips for me? PLEASE??????? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 15 Sep 2009 08:53:24 EST Looks like it was just an increase in my salt levels & water retention Well, this morning the scales read 158.4, so the weekend's debauchery wasn't as bad as I thought. I nearly got a heart attack yesterday when I saw 161.9 on the scales.... <BR> <BR> I went for a nice long walk after dinner last night - I just got home before the rain started. And it's still raining this morning. Argh. <BR> <BR> So, I'm back on track - hopefully I'll have some good news on Friday when I weigh in! <BR> <BR> Thanks for the support girlies! <BR> <BR> xx Maria Tue, 8 Sep 2009 05:14:36 EST Piled on 4.3lbs in 3 days!!! YIKES! Last Friday I was 157.6lbs. Today I'm 161.9lbs. HELP! <BR> <BR> I fell off the wagon spectacularly! <BR> <BR> Friday - lots of food and loads of beer (friend's birthday) <BR> Saturday - tons of food and loads of beer (wedding) <BR> Sunday - roast lunch, greasy fry for supper, lots of chocolate watching tv <BR> AND VERY LITTLE WATER ALL WEEKEND. <BR> <BR> So, back on track again today. I'm off for a nice long walk after dinner tonight - rain hail or shine! <BR> <BR> The good thing is I k... Mon, 7 Sep 2009 11:32:33 EST Halloween Challenge On the 30-Somethings Team, we've started a "Lose 10lbs by Haloween" Challenge, so I've signed up. <BR> <BR> Here are my stats:- <BR> <BR> Starting Weight Monday, August 31: 159 <BR> <BR> Goal weight Monday, September 7: 157 <BR> Actual Weight Monday, September 7: 161.9 (oops) <BR> <BR> Goal Weight Friday, September 11: 156 <BR> Actual Weight Friday, September 11: 157 <BR> <BR> Goal Weight Friday, September 18: 155 <BR> Actual Weight Friday, September 18: <BR> <BR> VACATION FOR ONE ... Wed, 2 Sep 2009 04:22:34 EST 18 months smoke-free! The freedom is unbelievable - I feel 100% healthier & fitter, a little richer, more optimistic, and so proud of myself. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> --- <BR> 1y 6m 11 hrs 54 mins smoke-free <BR> 8,210 cigs not smoked <BR> €3,058.23 saved (eh?!!) <BR> 4w 12 hrs 10 mins of my life saved. <BR> Thu, 6 Aug 2009 08:54:32 EST Big birthdays.... <BR> I hit a milestone birthday last Thursday (the, ahem, big four-oh) and, for my prezzie, my BF whisked me off to Rome for the weekend. I nearly died of shock when he handed me the tickets. I doubly nearly died of shock when I saw the date. All my friends were in on the secret. I was plotting a few drinks on Sat night and they were all emailing me back saying "Yep, I'll be there" and "No problem, babysitter is organised" etc. Sheesh!! <BR> <BR> ROME - what a city!!!! The sights, the piz... Tue, 28 Apr 2009 07:47:47 EST Maria the (ahem) jogger?? <BR> My nutty (super-fit) Irish buddy, Ellen, lives in Colorado. A few of us will be turning 40 this year and she wants to come back and mark the occasion in a special way. Her notion of "special" is to enter herself and four others innocents as a relay team in the Cork City Marathon here in Ireland on 1st June. HELP! Ellen has completed lots of marathons, but us remaining four idiots are complete novices. <BR> <BR> Thankfully, she gave me first choice and I picked the shortest stage (3.2... Wed, 4 Mar 2009 07:22:58 EST BERLIN TRIP! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm FINALLY getting around to telling you about my Berlin trip (two weeks later!). <BR> <BR> Arrived at 10am, it was snowing and f-f-f-freezing. Got to the hotel, checked in and decided to have a look around the area. We tried a currywurst from a roadside fast-food booth, not bad. It was LASHING rain so we took one of those city tour buses, the hop-on/hop-off ones. Only we didn't hop off. It was a great way to see t... Sat, 28 Feb 2009 07:21:47 EST I DID IT!!!! TA-DAAAAH! ONE YEAR QUIT!!! Well, I did it and I'm heading to Berlin in Germany next Tuesday for 5 nights to celebrate! <BR> <BR> WOO HOOOOOOOO!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 6 Feb 2009 12:04:21 EST OLD AGE! I'm falling apart! AAAGH! <BR> <BR> Last Wednesday, my right foot started hurting. Next morning I couldn't put any weight on it and the side of my foot was bruised. I have no idea what happened, maybe it was from my sudden return to walking. I've been limping around ever since. Also for the past 2 years I'm like an old woman in the mornings getting out of bed, I can't put my full weight on my feet and I kinda hobble around for a few mins. That can't be normal so I made a new years resolution... Sun, 11 Jan 2009 13:20:09 EST Back on track after the Christmas debauchery! I'm slowly getting back on the wagon, it was pretty difficult after all the excesses of Christmas, but I just HAD to do it. I went for a lovely lunchtime walk yesterday and a brisk walk in the frost after dinner last night. It really woke me up and I felt alive after it! Exercise seems to be the only thing to keep me on track. It motivates me to eat healthily and drink all my water. <BR> <BR> I think I'm going to have to buy some kind of cardio machine for home use. Whenever the weather g... Wed, 7 Jan 2009 05:42:12 EST Eleven months quit!!! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Woo hoo!!! Another month down and only one to go before I'm a whole year quit!! <BR> I've tipped off my life insurance company already, can't wait for my premium to be HALVED!! <BR> <BR> Here are the stats:- <BR> <BR> 11 months smoke-free <BR> 5,027 cigs not smoked <BR> €1,872.56 saved (huh????) <BR> 2w 3d 10:55 life saved <BR> Tue, 6 Jan 2009 05:25:53 EST A new year Oh groan....The Christmas holls were a total pig-out-fest. I think I stayed in two nights out of ten, ate all round me, sat on the couch for hours watching crap tv. Astonishingly, the weather has been dry here for the past month, so I can't use bad weather as an excuse to not exercise, unfortunately. I've put on 5lbs in 2 weeks, purely from mindless eating. I'm almost looking forward to going back to work on Monday!! Almost... <BR> <BR> Right so, it's time to get off my (very comfortable) co... Sat, 3 Jan 2009 11:14:54 EST Coughing and spluttering.... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been knocked out with a cough and cold for the past week, I'm feeling really miserable and had to take a couple of days off work. Thank goodness for my laptop!!! I'd be totally bored without the internet! <BR> <BR> Hopefully, I'll go back to work tomorrow. <BR> <BR> The gym is a distant memory, sob..... <BR> Mon, 15 Dec 2008 09:58:34 EST 10 months (and one day) quit!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I actually FORGOT about my quitaversary, I'm no longer counting the days/weeks/months of my quit. <BR> <BR> Anyway, here's the blurb.... <BR> <BR> I have been quit for 10 Months, 1 Day, 14 hours, 19 minutes and 13 seconds (305 days). <BR> I have saved €1,707.51 by not smoking 4,583 cigarettes. <BR> I have saved 2 Weeks, 1 Day, 21 hours and 55 minutes of my life. <BR> My Quit Date:06 Feb 2008 <BR> <BR> Sun, 7 Dec 2008 11:32:15 EST First day at the gym.... Well, Saturday was much better than I expected. Some of the exercises were difficult. The elliptical nearly killed me - fifteen minutes at different resistances, phew. The sweat!!! I used muscles on Saturday that I never knew I had. My trainer had a program prepared for me - I did 60 mins cardio on various machines (bike, treadmill, rowing, elliptical) and 20 mins using weights. I'm to follow this for the first 3 weeks, then we step it up a notch. Eeeek! Help!! <BR> <BR> I was a little sore... Mon, 17 Nov 2008 04:46:14 EST Fitness test <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I joined my local gym last Friday and have been to terrified to go. I signed up for a fitness test at the time and, at 6pm last night, I got a call from one of the instructors asking me to call at 8pm for a fitness test. EEEEEEK!!!! I was absolutely sh*tting myself with nerves, but it went fine:- <BR> <BR> My BMI is 28.4 so I'm overweight but not obese (phew). She's going to prepare a fitness program, focussin... Wed, 12 Nov 2008 06:35:17 EST 9 months quit today! Yippeeeeee! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Here are this month's stats:- <BR> 9months 07 hours 13 minutes smoke-free <BR> 4,111 cigs not smoked <BR> €1,531.35 saved <BR> 2 weeks 06 hours 35 minutes of my life saved <BR> <BR> I'm soooooo delighted with my quit! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> Thu, 6 Nov 2008 04:23:58 EST 8 months quit today! <BR> Time Smoke-Free: 8 months <BR> Cigarettes NOT smoked: 3,650 <BR> Lifetime Saved: 1w 5d 16 hrs 10 mins <BR> Money Saved: €1,359.63 <BR> <BR> YIPPEEEEEEE!!! <BR> <BR> <BR> Mon, 6 Oct 2008 08:19:16 EST Recession <BR> Doom and gloom....Our company announced yesterday that everyone has to take a 20% pay-cut, starting next week. <BR> <BR> I offered to do a 4-day week with Fridays off, so I can keep my options open and try to get a second job for Fri/Sat. <BR> <BR> My budget & savings plan will have to be looked at later. <BR> <BR> Hopefully this will just be short-term. Fingers crossed everyone. <BR> <BR> Recession, recession, recession... <BR> <BR> <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 1 Oct 2008 04:42:00 EST Just when I'm getting myself organised! Right so - the house is nearly signed over to me, my new lodger is installed nicely, I'm starting to get back on track with my healthy eating and finances.... all seemed to be well in my little bubble. <BR> <BR> Eddie and I went for a 60-min walk after dinner last night (nice and healthy!!) and we got home to find water pouring down from my ceiling onto my dining room table. And I mean pouring! The screaming and cursing was something else. I ran upstairs to the bathroom and there were 2 inch... Wed, 24 Sep 2008 08:12:38 EST 7 months and 3 days smoke-free! Time Smoke-Free: 7 months, 3 days, 11 hours, 21 mins <BR> Cigarettes NOT smoked: 3245 <BR> Lifetime Saved: 1 week 3 days 6 hrs 25 mins <BR> Money Saved: €1,208.76 <BR> <BR> Tue, 9 Sep 2008 08:22:52 EST Six months smoke-free!!! YAAAAAY! <BR> <BR> Time Smoke-Free: 6 months <BR> Cigarettes NOT smoked: 2733 <BR> Lifetime Saved: 1 week 2 days 11 hrs 45 mins <BR> Money Saved: €1018.04 (I really would love to know where that money went!!!) <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Wed, 6 Aug 2008 06:36:54 EST 5 months without a cig! YAAAAAY!!!! WOO HOO! Another month down - smoke free for 5 months! <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> That equates to:- <BR> <BR> Smokefree for: 151 days <BR> Cigarettes NOT smoked: 1812 <BR> Money Saved: €677.95 (still not jangling around in my pocket) <BR> <BR> <BR> Sun, 6 Jul 2008 07:27:40 EST I've been 4 months without a ciggie! <BR> WOO HOO! Smoke free for 4 months! <BR> <BR> That equates to:- <BR> <BR> 5 days of my life saved <BR> €542.36 extra in my pocked (huh?) <BR> 1,456 cigarettes not smoked <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fri, 6 Jun 2008 08:37:51 EST How to motivate yourself to exercise <BR> (1) Have fun. If you hate running, don't go to the track for exercise. Find something you like. The list of different kinds of exercises are nearly endless. The only really important thing is to get your body moving and your heart rate up. <BR> <BR> (2) Be A Kid Again! Not sure what would be fun? Think about what you enjoyed as a young child. For instance, if you loved Little League, find a softball league in your area. If you spent hours in the pool, maybe you'd enjoy water aerobics,... Wed, 4 Jun 2008 11:43:35 EST How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits <BR> Choose nonfat milk, avoid cheese and butter (or margarine with trans fat) most of the time, and eat plenty of lean meat. Saturated fat is very bad for your heart. <BR> <BR> Get plenty of protein, but limit your meat intake. Eat only lean meat (preferably white meat). The FDA recommends 0-2 servings of meat per day. It's best to gain protein from beans and nuts. Unless you are on an intensive workout routine, you should probably be eating about a gram of protein for every pound you wei... Wed, 4 Jun 2008 10:24:07 EST And now.... my BECOME DEBT FREE plan... So much debt, so little time.... <BR> <BR> I'm following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover Plan. <BR> I read his book about a year ago and it has been a revelation. <BR> <BR> MAY 2007 to MAY 2008: <BR> €13,000 paid off in credit card and other debt. <BR> <BR> END MAY 2008: <BR> I've saved €1,000 in my baby emergency fund. <BR> I have €1,875 saved in my big emergency fund (BEF) and I am thinking about renting out a bedroom in my house - an extra €100 per week to put int... Fri, 23 May 2008 11:18:28 EST Kinda getting there.... <BR> This week.... I've definitely thought more about every morsel that I've eaten, rather than just scoffing everything in sight. Since Easter (Mar 22) I've been a disgrace - my daily walks turned into twice-weekly ones, my 8 glasses of water turned into 3 or 4, my careful menu planning went down the swannee! This week was much better, I planned ahead and made sure I had fresh fruit & veg in the kitchen. What a difference! And since Monday I've lost 4lbs. Dunno how, but I did! <BR> <BR> Th... Fri, 23 May 2008 08:24:06 EST A NEW START!!! (again) Okay so... <BR> <BR> I weighed myself this morning - now 160.8lbs - nearly fell of the scales with the fright! I've put on 8lbs in 6 weeks. Talk about a total lack of motivation! I hadn't realised how I'd let myself go. I kept making excuses "I'll get back on track after my exams / everyone puts on weight after quitting cigs, etc".... Well, the exams are now over and I'm going to lose the flab for once and for all. <BR> <BR> So - enough, enough, enough!! <BR> <BR> I've made a pact with my... Mon, 19 May 2008 04:37:48 EST HELP! I'm falling off the wagon!!! Please, please please....I need a boot up the ASS!!! <BR> I've put ON 2lbs this week. <BR> <BR> I seem to be going back to my old ways - not drinking enough water, falling behind in my exercise goals, eating too many calories per day (and not really caring!).... <BR> <BR> I need to get back on track FAST! <BR> <BR> HELP!!! Thu, 10 Apr 2008 05:11:29 EST Day 59 - almost 2 months smoke-free and feeling great!! <BR> Wow, I can't believe how much healthier I feel. The cravings are practically gone, the only time I feel the "urge" is in the pub with my smoking buddies. But, that too is getting easier. <BR> <BR> I've definitely turned a corner, I can now objectively see how nasty cigarettes are - smelly, deadly and expensive. Why would I choose to have them in my life?!! <BR> <BR> Fri, 4 Apr 2008 09:22:00 EST Day 29 - four weeks off the cigs Good for me! <BR> I'm going to venture out to the pub on Sat night, this will be the test. It's my friend's birthday so I HAVE to go. I know there will be a good few drinks involved too. I'm certain I'll be able to resist the cigs but I HOPE TO GOD I won't be too traumatized! I'm kinda dreading it really..... Wed, 5 Mar 2008 08:45:15 EST Day 14 - Two weeks off the cigs Today's update... I'm not feeling too bad this week, after a horrendous weekend of cravings. That's 174 cigs not smoked and I've saved myself at least €65 (I don't know what I spent it on, but it's not jangling around in my pocket!). It's enough motivation to keep me off them. I got a lovely text from my BF yesterday "Did I tell you that you're the best. And that I'm very proud of ya for being able to stay off the fags." Shucks. That makes it all worthwhile! Tue, 19 Feb 2008 11:10:14 EST 2nd Weekend off the cigs - torture I don't know what happened, but I was very close to ditching my quit smoking decision on Sat and Sunday. I was unbelievably unmotivated, felt tired and emotional (not PMT), I was starving all the time and felt totally deprived. I wanted nothing more than to run across the road to the shop for a pack. Thankfully I didn't and I'm back on track today (Monday), but I never, ever, ever want to go through a weekend like that. It was hell. I think it's because I was left on my own too long - all da... Mon, 18 Feb 2008 11:49:22 EST Reasons to exercise 1. To increase endurance (walking up that hill after work) <BR> 2. To boost my immune system and make me less susceptible to disease (no more horrible coughs & colds) 3. To strengthen my lungs, heart muscles and to lower my risk of heart disease (no more palpitations) <BR> 4. To improve my complexion (windswept instead of winded) <BR> 5. To reduce tension and help me to handle stress better (I can think things out while walking) <BR> 6. To help me lose weight and keep it off (belly fat, ... Mon, 18 Feb 2008 11:03:41 EST Smoking & Cancer (from Irish Cancer Society website) Smoking Related Cancers <BR> <BR> LUNG CANCER <BR> Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in Ireland. Approximately 1,500 people develop lung cancer each year. <BR> Lung cancer in women is increasing every year because of smoking. <BR> Smoking causes 95% of lung cancers. <BR> Non-smokers who breathe in other peoples tobacco smoke (passive smoke) have an increased risk of lung cancer. <BR> <BR> MOUTH and THROAT CANCER <BR> Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancers of the oral cavi... Mon, 18 Feb 2008 06:05:09 EST Days 8 & 9 - This is easy! It's getting much easier. The cravings are not as strong as before. I've also cut down on chomping lollipops, so I should have a few teeth left for my old age! The only cig I really miss is the one after my dinner, so I'm jumping off my chair and doing the wash-up immediately. <BR> <BR> I just got bunch of flowers from my BF delivered to work, I was called to the front desk and had to walk back to my office with the flowers. The walk of shame. Oh, the slagging!! Mortified....(but thrilled!!... Thu, 14 Feb 2008 06:22:28 EST Day 7 - staying strong It's getting easier, it really is. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I honestly didn't miss cigs at all. I suppose it's because I stayed really busy and only sat down to watch tv at 10pm. <BR> <BR> Here's to more days like that! <BR> <BR> Tue, 12 Feb 2008 07:53:04 EST Day 6 - Monday and the first weekend down FRI - Went to the cinema with buddies at 9pm. Didn't miss the cigs much. <BR> <BR> SAT - Shopped for lots of healthy food. Bought lollipops for the cravings. Ate four.... <BR> Went for a walk after dinner in an effort to stay busy. Met buddies on Sat night, drank mineral water and sat on my hands to stop fidgeting. <BR> <BR> SUN - Went for a walk before heading to Hic's house for Sunday lunch. Roast beef & all the trimmings. She joined WW after Christmas and has lost a stone, she's a great ... Mon, 11 Feb 2008 05:26:15 EST Day 3 - Still off them - tips to help me STAY off them REMEMBER YOUR REASONS FOR QUITTING <BR> * Prolong your life. <BR> * Improve your health. Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer, throat cancer, a lung disease called emphysema, heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers, gum disease, and other conditions. <BR> * Feel healthier. Smoking can cause coughing, poor athletic ability, and sore throats. <BR> * Look better. Smoking can cause face wrinkles, stained teeth, and dull skin. <BR> * Improve your sense of taste and smell. <BR> * Save mone... Fri, 8 Feb 2008 06:56:57 EST Get more calcium THE BEST SOURCES OF CALCIUM ARE:- <BR> <BR> dairy products - milk, yogurt, cheese <BR> fish - sardines and salmon with bones <BR> veggie foods - tofu <BR> fortified foods - cereals, orange juice, breakfast bars, etc <BR> green vegetables - broccoli, kale, spinach, peas, etc - STEAMED <BR> other veg - acorn squash, turnips <BR> fruit - figs, nuts <BR> beans - lima, kidney and navy beans. <BR> <BR> Make sure you get enough vitamin D, which facilitates calcium absorption. A great source is fro... Thu, 7 Feb 2008 11:00:14 EST Healthy lunch ideas - bring to work <BR> <BR> (1) PASTA SALAD - Pack a cold pasta salad and a plastic fork. Make your salad with lean meat or low-fat cheese (so it has some protein), lots of vegetables to boost fiber and nutrition, and use a whole-grain blend pasta. Then just drizzle some light vinaigrette over the top and toss. <BR> <BR> (2) PITA POCKET SANDWICH - Pack your whole-grain pita pocket with chicken salad, or any other lean meat or cheese mixed with vegetables and dark green lettuce. <BR> <BR> (3) FRUIT AND... Thu, 7 Feb 2008 08:31:49 EST Day 2 - cigarette free Yesterday wasn't as traumatic as I had expected. I had one or two cravings which kept me reaching for my cigs in my handbag, but giving up the cigs was not as harrowing as I had imagined. <BR> <BR> My only problem now is that I certainly do feel deprived, It's like there's something "enjoyable" missing in my life, so I'll have to find a way to overcome that. Time to surf the net to find a cure for that. <BR> <BR> One website states "Keeping a diary of how you feel when you crave a cigaret... Thu, 7 Feb 2008 08:05:29 EST Day 1 - Ditching the fags for good! Ok, ok - alright so. <BR> <BR> It's Ash Wednesday, time for me to give up the demon weed again. I've told everyone for months that I'm gonna do it, so this is it. No more stalling, no more excuses, no more cigs!! <BR> <BR> I found it really easy last time, I honestly can't remember feeling terribly deprived, all I remember is feeling liberated and thinking that all smokers are idiots (yep, there's nothing worse than a reformed smoker!) <BR> <BR> MY REASONS: <BR> 1. Cancer / stroke risk... Wed, 6 Feb 2008 11:19:33 EST Motivation Quotes Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can. <BR> <BR> That which is bitter to endure may be sweet to remember. <BR> <BR> The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. <BR> <BR> The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph! <BR> <BR> You may delay, but time will not. <BR> <BR> You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be. <BR> <BR> Your goals, minus your doubts... Thu, 22 Nov 2007 08:45:19 EST Reward ideas - Take a hot bath with some scented bath oils, candles and a copy of your favourite magazine <BR> - Take a friend and have a day out. Get a train to another city for day of shopping, or just have a trip to the pictures <BR> - Go to your favorite coffee shop for a skinny latte and take some time to catch up on some leisure reading <BR> - Take advantage of the great outdoors! Take a walk in the country and breath in the lovely fresh air, or if you’re the outdoor type, go camping for the week... Thu, 22 Nov 2007 08:03:33 EST