Girls (and boys) in Peacetime Want to Dance

You may remember from last year, that Nate is a big fan of Belle and Sebastian’s new single Party Line (if you don’t remember, check out this awesome video of him dancing). We picked up their new album this week and it is great. It’s different than some of their earlier albums, much more mature and disco-y (but the ground for electro-pop was always there especially in songs like Electronic Renaissance – a favourite of mine to dance alone to in my college dorm, how times do change). I am in love with Nobody’s Empire, it’s an earworm in the most beautiful way. The boys get a kick out of the second song on the album, Allie, because we have our own little Ali (and that’s about all the lyrics they understand thankfully).

But none of it compares to the joy Nate gets out of Party Line. He is obsessed. When we had friends over on Friday, he slyly turned on the stereo (and kept turning it up). This is how we listen to the album: Party Line, Nobody’s Empire, Allie, Party Line, first 10 seconds of track four, Party Line, Allie, Party Line, Allie, Party Line…”Okay listen boys stop touching the radio and let mommy listen to the entire album”…Party Line…”Fine, I’m turning it off until you guys stop fighting. Pick up your toys and I’ll put Belle and Sebastian back on.”

Nate loves Party Line so much that he drew a picture of it. This is Nate’s interpretation of the song. There are a bunch of people dancing outside under a moonlit sky. Looks to me like they are all jumping on queue as Natey does. There are also two monsters and giant pirate (he’s tall, a giant obviously, and has a square pirate hat on his head). There’s a bit of an abstraction in the middle, which is Nate’s crayon dancing along to the music. I love this so much, I could eat him up.

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Slim with Tina

Move over my adored cake cookbooks, there’s a new girl in town. Her name is Tina and she’s here to slim us down! Along with everyone else, or at least every female if you’re to believe what the telly tells you, one of my resolutions is to get healthy this year. Healthier at least.

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I’m not interested in dieting or diets, but definitely want to learn more about nutrition and making healthier decisions for myself during my very busy days with the boys. And let’s be honest, after spending nearly a month in Texas making up for lost time without the world’s best worst food, I have a few pounds I’d like to shift. What I’m not doing is focusing on rapid weight loss or even significant weightloss. I’m a 30-something mom of two and I’m pretty okay with my body (and face and clothes and hair) looking like I’ve lived the life I have. Despite magazines insisting that women (and more and more men) look like they are in their early 20s forever, I really don’t need to bully myself into feeling shameful that I don’t look like I did with my go-go teenage metabolism.

Mostly I want to change how I feel. I want to have energy to keep up with my boys as they grow up. Now that I’m gaining further foothold into my 30’s I can see my body responding differently to stress and weight. Now is a really crucial time in setting up a healthy lifestyle for the future. I don’t think I’ve had the healthiest food and body image role models in my life (except for my Oxfam friends who introduced me to a wide world of vegetables), so it is time to make a new friend.

Meet Tina, creator of the successful Run with Tina programs in Dublin and London, and my new nutritional guru. Tina’s Slim with Tina Kickstarter programme is designed to teach women how to develop a healthy approach to life so that they can be manage their weight in a sustainable way. It’s not a diet, it’s not cutting out any major food groups (thank goodness, because I love them all), it’s not shaming you skinny. Basically it’s teaching you how to unlearn all the unhealthy myths about food and our relationship to it that marketers and models have been filling our head with for years.

The four-week course takes place online via a private Facebook group and I’ll also be reading her book, Slim with Tina, to see if I pick up any new ideas. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m also starting yoga again on Thursday after over a year without going. I’m hoping what they say about muscle memory is true and I can get my bendy back soon. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tina Murprhy very kindly invited me to join the Run with Tina’s Kickstarter course for the purpose of review. However all opinions and experiences are uniquely my own. For more information, visit RunWithTina.com

Happy New Year!

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Not really the best start to my ambitions of joining #meandmine for this year but there’s no where to go but up as the year progresses, right? We’re gearing up for a year of changes as we have to move house sometime in the next few months and Nate starts primary school in September. It’s a very slow ushering in of a new era for us as we become parents of school age children. I’m slowly getting used to the idea that I won’t have my sidekick by my side all day and I’m hoping that Alex gets over his thunderous Terrible-Twos soon so that he’ll take Nate’s place. It’s a year full of unknowns without any clear plans put in place. We still don’t know where we’ll live or which school Nate will attend. We have no big travel plans (yet) so the year is looking a bit scary at the moment. Instead of making a laundry list of resolutions, I picked a word to guide me through the year: fearless. I take a little gasp each time I say that word because I am quite fearful. But not any more, not this year. So if you hear me making excuses or generally freaking out in the next 12 months, remind me please to be not so much like 2014 me. Because everything that freaks me out is just noise, what really matters to me are these guys.

A Year in Books, Yes Please!

I’m going to attempt to keep track of all the books I read this year because I have a pretty terrible memory lately. I know I’ve read a ton of great books in the past few months, but without scanning my bookshelf I have no idea what they were actually about. It feels like I’m cheating if I can’t remember the books, but then again I was always pretty terrible at book reports.

A photo posted by Lauren (@daresie) on

My first book of the year (that I started last year, but finished today which is the first fine day of 2015) is pretty appropriate for kick starting an awesome year (cause that’s what it’s going to be right?). Yes Please is Amy Poehler’s memoir-slash-big-sister-gabfest. It’s funny, insightful and a great read to usher in the new year (I finished Rosemary’s Baby on Christmas Day, so I needed to balance things out a bit). I’d forgotten all about Amy’s tenure on Upright Citizen’s Brigade and it totally made me want to go back to re-watch all those great last century sketch shows like Kids in the Hall and The State and made me miss hanging out at the late night improve clubs in San Antonio when I was in high school. (I crushed hard on our semi-famous, small town comedy heroes) There were some great nuggets of hometruths in the book, which are somehow expected in memoirs. I suppose if someone has it together enough to get a book deal, they must have the secrets to the universe. (Fun fact: I have a lot of trouble saying the word ‘memoir’) If I were to compare apples and oranges, which we know is a pretty bad idea, I’d have to say that I enjoyed Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? slightly more. It felt like a more cohesive writing style and a voice I recognized as being closer to mine (seriously, me and Mindy would be totally BFFs). I think I need to add Tina Fey’s book to the pile this year as well.

Books I’ve read this year: 1

2014 Project – the last weeks

I neglected to post my weekly pictures of the boys the past few weeks, but wanted to wrap up the year with the last few pictures from our 2014 Project.

Week 47 – My little Thanksgiving turkey. He cut the circle out himself and was the only kid in his preschool class to pick the googly eyes. He knows what’s up.

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Week 48 – Two little book lovers reading to each other in the great outdoors, for about 5 minutes

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Week 49 – We took a little train to meet the big guy. They were suitably impressed. It has been all Christmas all the time around here and I’m really loving the season now that both the boys are excited about Christmas magic.

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Week 50 – Just two little clowns. For some reason Alex has started falling out of the chair a lot. He just can’t keep still and we can’t keep up with the bumps and bruises.

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Week 51 – To get into the Christmas spirit, we’ve gone on a lot of adventures into Busy Town (as the kids call it) to visit the Christmas markets, see the lights and trees, ride trains and ride lots and lots of buses. Of course, Nate always dresses for the occasion and Alex has remembered to bring his keys!

51_52_2014Week 52 – Nothing to see here, just some juvenile polar bears mugging in front of the Christmas tree. Isn’t that part of every celebration?

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