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Running / fitness
Run Larne Half Marathon
Run Iceland Marathon
Run Great North Run
Run 5k in under 30 mins
Run 10k in under 60 mins
1 new walk a month
1 zumba a month (at least)
Plank challenge here
Progress photo of body - one a month

Health / Happiness
Hit target weight & maintain

January - dry!
February - caffeine free
March - vegetarian
April - gluten free
May - sugar free
20 things that make me happy every month
Wear make up every day for a month! (even when in the house)

1 classic book a month
1 classic film a month
1 new album a month
Read 50 new books
Review all books
Go to 3 new shows
Host potluck / board game night!

Clear UB card
Half Halfiax card
For one month buy nothing new
Budget month - £1 a day.
Budget month - £10 a week
Raise money for charity
Put £1 aside for every new recipe completed

Complete nanawrimo
Submit two short stories
Finish one colouring book
Complete latch hook rug
Blog 365 recipe challenge
Complete 365 recipe challenge
1 aesthetic per new book
Learn how to take selfies
Take a picture for each letter of the alphabet (put scrabble letter in picture)

Send dvds to musicmagpie - donate what they won't take
Send books to webuybooks - donate what they won't take
Sell - iphone, ps3, xbox 360, wii
Buy new hob

Roadtrip to marble arch caves
Visit 5 tourist attractions
Watch sunrise on the beach
Go horse riding
12 Geocashing
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I've reached the big 3.0. Crazy, right? A year ago, I thought I would never make it and now the past thirty feel years feels like a taste immortality, and the future mortality. Back to front possibly but I felt like I had forever to do things.

The day itself has been fun. There were flowers and presents that I didn't expect. Dinner was...awful but I was out with my parents and in the end that is all that matters.

Some people forgot until they were prompted, but I am okay with that. Nothing is perfect, I am learning to live with that.
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How is my driving?

Sometimes, we want a little a feedback on how we are playing our characters, perhaps the character's voice has been slipping or we've done a canon update and want to know how it is going! This is your opportunity to ask for feedback and to help other players out. It is completely voluntary!

Now we know that people are worried that this will cause negative emotions and hurt, so we've put some rules in place:

* The mods will monitor the HMD.
* Anon commenting is off
* Give critique, and do not leave nasty comments. For example:

Bad: I hate how you write.

Good I really enjoy writing with you and I think you have your characters down perfectly. Sometimes I find your posts a little hard to read because there are no breaks and would find it easier to read if the tag was broken up into paragraphs. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

* Remember the critique can be positive and you can people what they are doing well with the their characters!
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* Fill out the form below for your character, and let us know what your character has been up to.
* Go around to other characters and discuss ways your characters may have interacted in handwaved settings. This could include what happens in the living arrangements and what kind of roomie your character is, drinking, sparring interactions or anything you can think of!
* For example, a couple of characters could be having a secret poker game every Friday night!

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I saw the film the first day it came out. If I had reviewed it then, it would have gone something like this:

adghgkhglhdllflsl elves adghgkhslglsl dwarves adgghgkhlslgdllsl scenery afgghkfgkllfglfkgkfk EVERYTHING

So uh that wouldn’t have been a particularly helpful review.

I went to see it again with my parents yesterday and I am a little more coherent now. Her goes. It is faithful to the book(s). Okay I am counting it as books because Peter Jackson has pulled details from the greater history of Middle Earth. The riddles in the dark were perfect. They didn’t skimp on it and showed the Gollum/Smeagol thing beautifully.

It had the feel of the kids book, the dwarves had plenty of comedy and the battles were more fun rather than OMG EPIC. And the scenery was so pretty. asfggksl. I want to go back to New Zealand and tramp through those spots again.

I was disappointed by a few of the jokes, they referred to crochet and golf which is far too modern. Tolkien imagine Middle Earth to be England’s own old folklores and it didn’t fit in.

But overall I heart dwarves + wizard + hobbit adventuring over Middle Earth.

Oh and see it in 3d. [personal profile] halfbloodly saw it in 2d the second time and she said it didn’t look right!
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I have grown up with my parents listening to the Archers on Radio 4 at 7pm every day. The program is about a farming community and lasts about ten minutes. I’ve never got the fascination with the setting or how they could get addicted to such a short program.

Well now I have my own ten minute program:

House of Anubis. It’s a Nickelodeon teens program and its cheesy as hell. For these very reasons I should hate it but damn it’s addictive. It’s an Egyptian horror mystery set in a boarding school. And I swear. At the end of every episode there is a cliffhanger. e.g. They are on the point of solving part of the mystery and the episode ends. Then you are duty bound to watch the next episode to see how it resolves itself. It is a vicous cycle and before you know it you are addicted!

An example of the pure cheese. They need to get the Headmaster out of his office so they can recover something from within it. So they send him on a wild goose chase. Literally. They release a goose into the school corridors and the Headmaster ends up chasing after it to catch it. Honestly I laughed.

In the first series Nina the main character is charged with finding the pieces of a cup before the evil adults find them first. Hint there are a lot of wonderfully evil adults in the series! Most of the mystery takes places in their boarding house ‘Anubis’. They are given riddles as they uncover each object to get to the next. It’s a race against time and the adults and its thoroughly enjoyable.

I have seen series 2 and it’s wonderful and dark. The gang are haunted by an Egyptian ghost who wants them to recover an artifact for her. She’s a little bit crazy and pushes them through the clues with death threats and punishments. Again the whole thing is corny but utterly addictable.

Have a trailer of series 1 so you can see what I mean!

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Week 1: Drink Water
This was a horrible start to making changes for me. It wasn't a small change, it was a massive change. I hate the taste of water, and ordinarily wouldn't drink it alone! On the first day I tried to drink nothing but water (and one coffee!). I was most unimpressed and the next day was ready to pack it in. Since I'd committed myself, I didn't want to do that, I settled on drinking 3 glasses of water a day. This I feel I can keep up for the full year.

Adding in the three glasses has been surprisingly easy after that awful first day. It feels like a success every time I finish it and there have been some added benefits:

i) I don't snack as much. It isn't so much that I feel full up, it's that the cravings for chocolate and the like are cut right back.
ii) Much softer, clear skin. It's amazing what a difference a few days can make!
iii) I will spend much less money on fizzy drinks, so saving as well!

What Week 2 Will Bring
I looked up Week 2 the morning of the second week and groaned. If possible this week looks harder. I need to:

Get more zzzzzzs. In other words sleep 7-8 hours a night and starting going to bed at the same time each day to establish a routine!

I maybe acting like a dramalama but OMG this is horrible. I RP so I tend to stay up late into the night and it varies depending on the day or the people around. While I am not in work, I am going to start by getting the 7-8 hours sleep a night. When I get back into work I can see about a routine with maybe a sacrifice on the hours of sleep I get. There is no way I am going to start going to bed before midnight if I work!

Next update shall be next Wednesday!
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16 moons, 16 years
16 of your deepest fears
16 times you dreamed my tears
Falling, falling through the year

After I bought the book I heard it was being hailed as the next Twilight. It was with a groan that I started reading it two days a go. I was prepared to want to hurl it against the nearest wall or to rip the pages out in frustration. Instead I found myself hooked.

The story is set in the deep south of America that is still obsessed with the Civil War. Our main heroes Ethan and Lena, like any good YA novel, have feelings for each other. Ethan is mortal and Lena has the powers of a Caster (think Witch but without all the pointy hats and cauldrons). Lena is cursed, and on her 16th birthday fate will either make her a force for good or evil.

What's great about the story is the rich history around the curse that enfolds like a good mystery. The story is told from Ethan's point of view and the story draws you in as you share his hopes and fears as he struggles to help free Lena from the curse.

The whole story is dark and twisty. If you like that and you enjoy a supernatural read pick it up. I promise it's no Twilight and there are no sparkly vampires.
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There is nothing like watching a film with old British actors with old British family! Since they will hopefully never find this and read it, I don't mind calling them old!

The word for this film is sweet. It's set in India. A young guy runs a hotel (badly! He's a cute guy really!) and the cast end up staying there. It's a gentle romantic comedy that tries to teach you life lessons. When Judy Dench says 'Those who do not try, gain nothing' it doesn't sound that silly.

They cover all the romance including the gay one. It amazed me how well they handled that plot. My dad didn't once start snorting and ranting about 'poofters.'

I highly recommend it for a quiet evening with a glass of wine.
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Fault In Our Stars by John Green was in the sale. It wasn't why I picked it up though! Two awesome friends mentioned it in passing on Plurk. The book needs to come with a warning, it will tear your heart out. It won't do it because you are reading a story about a girl with terminal cancer. You will because of the descriptions on the world and her thoughts on how she and others see their places in the world. It's funny too, the book challenges you to laugh and look passed all the pain and look at the good things in life and how people try to protect each other from pain.

There is love, teenage angst, a washed up writer, a guy who smokes cigarettes without smoking them and hope.

It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important then they had been hours before.
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Bring on 2013, insert determined icon here. I am going to make it my year and put myself first. Part of it is learning how to say no!

I went a little nuts on the Kindle book sale, I think I bought over twenty books. One of the random books I picked up was 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You. The title is pretty much what I want out of the year.

I like the idea there is one goal a week. A small manageable one! Like Week One is to drink more water. The book explains why it's good but it's probably a lot of bullshit. I am going to ignore what I should be feeling and experiencing, and blog anything I find interesting!
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Christmas day was awesome! I spent it with mum and dad. We vegetated in front of the television in our pjs from 5.15 in the afternoon. There were no regrets for doing this!

Today, we are preparing for family coming to visit at the end of the week. I am putting up the end of the year meme now in case I don't have much time to do it while the family is here.

I really hope everyone had a great Christmas!

2012 in summary )
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October and November are my months of big changes. Some dramatic turn comes in them every year. This year, its buying my own place!

The move in date is at the end of November, and omg I can't believe how big the preparations already are! I've been to four carboot sales and raised enough to buy my new bed outright. It's got memory foam on it and I'm sort of proud I'm managing this! And now I'm eying up recovering a sofa amongst all the packing.

I've got to read over all the scary documents this week, like my mortgage offer that has all the details of the repayments and the contract for buying the flat.

Thankfully, my new job in work has a set schedule so I am able to plan around it to get things done.

And the new team I with are awesome. I look forward to going and having a laugh with them.
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"Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed."

- George Burns
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My fate is my own
I make my own mark
My destiny's not written
It lies in the dark
I build my own path
I craft my own way
I don't care about the status quo
Or what other people say
But if luck plays a part
In this world filled with doubt
Well... I wouldn't protest
If it helped me out.
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“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”

― Marilyn Monroe
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"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

– Lao Tzu.
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