Everyday Small Things

1 Comment

How many muscles are in the human body? [Everyday Small Things]


WOOP!  Such a nerd!  As you know I am studying to become a qualified Pilates instructor at the moment.  Part of my course requires me to learn a fair bit of anatomy and physiology.  Luckily I just so happen to teach (as a secondary science teacher) a lot of the physiology – phew – so that hopefully won’t require too much of my time.

The anatomy on the other hand may just need a fair bit more time devoted to it – especially all the muscles!

FACT:  According to Wikipedia there are at least 640 muscles in the human body (depending on who you speak to).

Luckily many of them work in pairs so that brings the list of names needed to know down to 320.  Saying that I am slightly daunted by this task is certainly an understatement.  So I have enlisted the help of two books:  The Concise Book of Muscles and an Anatomy Colouring Book.

I have always wanted an excuse to learn human anatomy.  Having studied zoology at university I could recognise all the bones of crocodile, koala or Panda’s skull at one stage, but never learned muscles.  Now is my chance.  Learning is something that I really enjoy.  It gives me a strong sense of accomplishment and improves my own self identity/confidence.  My aim is not just to ‘learn’ the muscles in order to pass the exam, but to truly learn (most) of them.  This will 1) satisfy myself that I have truly accomplished this challenge and 2) make me feel more confident understanding the relationship between the body and Pilates when working with clients.

As I teacher I gave myself a long, hard look in the mirror telling myself that I have an enormous toolbox of strategies for learning so I would be pretty (extremely) foolish not to use them.

I know that I learn best through writing in context, use of colour, pictures and then verbalising.  What does this mean?  Well basically putting the information into my own words or format, using lots of colours and pictures where possible, then explaining to someone else.  Yes that requires more effort… but that is exactly why they work!  Hence the colouring book.  Plus you need to have some level of enjoyment to learn as this means that your brain is engaging in more areas and therefore greater learning is occurring!  So felt tips (textas) and coloured pencils are at the ready.  Watch out muscles… here I come!

Do you enjoy learning?  How do you learn best?


Leave a comment

Everyday Small Things: Fresh Orange Juice

Orange juice 4 Orange juice 3 orange juice 1

Our friends in Bristol last weekend came home with a whole box of juicing oranges which meant that we of course came back home with an esky (that’s an ice box for you non-Aussies out there) full of oranges!!!

In Bristol we had gotten all the kids around the table and juiced by hand what felt like hundreds of oranges and had freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast!  We were all covered from head to toe in orange juice stickiness – hilarious!  The oranges were super sweet with just a tiny tangy hint so the juice was just divine.  D.I.V.I.N.E.  The juice tasted so much better after labouring through the sweat of juicing them all!

So what was I going to do with our box load of oranges?  Well I could make them into some sort of dessert or make preserves… there were plenty of options.  But I am starting an elimination diet today (I will fill you all in in another post shortly), so these were the last things I wanted in my house.  So I thought I’d also make juice and use them all up in one flash move!

Another positive was that the tennis match of the year was on TV – Andy Murray vs Fernando Verdasco – it was the final fifth set and I had run out of ‘jobs’ to do in front of the TV.  So I thought I’d bring the juicing to the match.  I got the bath mat (actually freshly washed) in  front of the TV and set myself all up.  Perfect!

I managed not to drink (too much) juice before dinner so it was a really special treat to share with the BF!!!  I love getting your hands dirty making something as you enjoy it so much more afterwards!  My mother always said “the dirtier you come home, the more fun you’ve had” and this is so true! (You can read all about why I think Mum’s are special here).

Orange juice 2My little set up in front the of tennis!  Life is good to me too often!

Leave a comment

Everyday Small Things: Window shopping Wishlists & Reading

Weekly wishlist links_1

Here are some links for some interesting reading this weekend or window shopping:

If you are new to blogging, this article can be really helpful by Michael Hyatt.

Feel like trying out a new recipe?  Try the Moroccan Chicken Tagine from The Paleo Network.  Every recipe I have tried from this website has been super quick and super duper tasty!

What to learn more about Vitamin A?  The Paleo Network had another interesting article on this topic – click here.

For another quick and easy Paleo recipe (that I’m actually going to go an cook up right now), Swiss chard with raisons, pine nuts and porkito go to this page on Nom Nom Paleo.

I’m getting into wearing natural waves in my hair more often, so this post came at just the right time from How-to-Hair Girl.

Daily Fitness Inspiration what you need?  I love Mark Raynsford’s Daily PT.

Interested in learning how to keep your body the well oiled machine it evolved to be?  Go to Mobility WOD (workout of the day) and learn how to look after each joint in your body.  Kelly posts a new 10 minute video each day so there is a huge library of information to look through if you are looking for specific treatments.

Here are the links to my Window Shopping pictures above:

1.http://www.puloma.com/en/style/classics/evening/turquoise-flat-clutch.html – have had my eye on this bag for a while now.  The website supports local French designers!!
2.http://www.toms.co.uk/kitty-tortoise/e – I really agree with Tom’s philosophy.  When it comes to glasses, for every pair you buy they do an eyesight saving operation.  A brilliant excuse for a new summer pair of sunnies!
3.http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-heritage-sewing-machine-limited-edition/p231671150 – really missing my sewing machine in Australia at the moment.  Thinking of getting a simple cheapy to satisfy my creative urge.
4.http://www.fitnessfoodie.com.au/?page_id=20 – I’m just salivating looking at this recipe!
Have a great day! xx

Leave a comment

Everyday Small Things: Best Friend Gifts & Happy Tears


Look what came in the post today… a belated birthday present from one of my oldest and bestest friends in the world, Kate, from back home in Tasmania, Australia!


I’m actually crying!  Happy tears of course!  Kate was always renowned for taking photos, covering her entire bedroom walls with photos (that’s right floor to ceiling on all four walls) and making the best cards with these photos.  And that is what she made me!  We’ve known each other for over 20 years, having lived across the road from each other until we finished school.

The photos and her words reminded  me of so many happy days growing up.  On the weekends we used to get up at the crack of dawn to produce and rehearse a show on our bikes for our families!!!  We learned to row together, made tree houses and did all the cheeky things you do as teenagers for the first time together!

I moved around a lot as a child so forming solid, long-lasting friendships was sooooo important for the development of my own identity and sense of worth!  Since living on the other side of the world I’ve relied on Kate’s friendship through some really tough times and for that I can never repay her!

Kate thank you so very much for our wonderful 20 years together!  Your present was such a beautiful gift from your heart!  Hand-made gifts are the best.  I feel very loved.  Thank you for giving me this moment today to remember lots of good times forgotten and how much my friendships mean to me!  Thank you for re-motivating me to foster my friendships daily – today I will get in touch with those people I have been meaning to for months!  Thank you for just being you!

Do you work daily on your friendships?   What do you do to foster friendships?  What magic things have your friends done to make you feel loved?  Do you make presents as gifts?

Leave a comment

Everyday Small Things: Beach day!!! Weston-Super-Mare




We got fresh donuts!  Yum!! And the seagulls wanted them!


Grand Pier – I’ve learned to love the British seaside for its attractions and bunting!

Weston super mareYesterday we were visiting friends in Bristol. The sun was shining so we bundled their kids and our sore heads (from the previous night) into the car and headed off down to Weston-Super-Mare.  What a great name!  I wanted to make a short home movie of the trip, so mostly took short videos but ran out of storage (mental note for the future to be more prepared!).  So these are a few of the pictures I took.  And I got sunburnt!!!!  I thought I had enough sun cream on for the soft British sun, but apparently I have been living in Europe (out of the strong Australian sun) for six years!

I thought the name might mean something to do with it being a brilliant seaside… but it actually means ‘Settlement on the Sea” according to Wikipedia.  I think I like my version more!

Here are five fascinating facts about Weston:

  • There is one of the largest tidal ranges in the world here, so when the tide goes out… out it goes for a whole mile!image
  • The locals therefore lovingly called it:  Weston Super Mud!  🙂
  • During the 19th Century it became very popular with the Victorians.  Here is a photo I took off the wall in the restaurant from 1897:
  • Grand Pier apparently ‘accidentally’ burned down in 2008.
  • There is a huge gaming archade at the end of Grand Pier.  We went twice because we got to play some wicked ‘modern’ games, but also some really traditional British archade games.  In particular I had always wanted to tick of a Coin Pusher machine.  If you don’t know what I mean Click here.  We just used 2 pence coins and ended up winning quite a bit twice (and then losing it all….).  Bucket list item #52:  tick.  Done.
  • There are donkey’s you can ride on the beach!  Gotta love a donkey!
  • You can get fresh donuts everywhere!!!  And ice cream!!  And lovely fish and chips!

I think Weston-Super-Mare might be my favourite beach in the UK (not quite the world).  That title would have to be held by my local beaches at home in Tasmania, Australia!!!!  If you are ever in this corner of the world I definatley recommend a trip here for a great day out!  Could be a romantic destination or ultra-kid-friendly!!!!

Where is your favourite beach in the World?

Leave a comment

Everyday Small Things: Kids forever


Today I randomly did a day of cover (or supply or emergency depending on where you live) teaching in a primary school!  Now I have been a secondary teacher for years so I must admit I was a little apprehensive to be in front of a group of 10 year olds all day.  What would they be like?  How mature would they be?  Could I reason with them?

But I had a lovely day.  I had nothing to worry about.  So much more relaxed than secondary school!  So much!!!!!  And the students were so grateful and happy to have me.  I just had to share this little thank you one of the girls made me.  Really sweet and too cute!!!

Young kids are just so happy and willing to learn and do the right thing!  They are so generous with their love and patience.  What makes them temporarily ‘lose’ these traits?  I left so chilled and happy.  One of our girls had to get up and speak in front of assembly at the end of the day and my heart just swelled with pride… and I’d only met the class today.  It was just a really nice reminder of how important it is to foster our youth forever….

What are your favourite kids traits?


Leave a comment

Everyday Small Things – Wisdoms

You are today where your thoughts have brought you.

You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.

– James Lane Allen

I think of this quote as the adult version of “The World is your Oyster..” quote which just added to my anger as a teenager because I couldn’t be a rocket scientist if I wanted.  I just wasn’t smart enough.  That was cool with me.  But the fact that everyone says this just frustrates me.

Whereas the quote above is more realistic to me.  It reminds me that it is only I who sets the limits to my life.  Now I know you are probably thinking this is pretty similar thinking to the oyster quote, but this is more about the choices, decisions and mindsets that I choose each day.

Sometimes in your life (like being a little isolated and lonely overseas) you need a little reminder that it is only you who chooses to be happy.  No one else.  The choice doesn’t just find you.  You are the choice.  I’ve found this outlook so helpful when facing food demons, and enjoying my exercise (rather than feeling guilty when not doing it), and just appreciating the everyday small things!!!!

Are there any quotes that really annoy you?  Don’t speak to you?

What quotes really do speak to you?