Saturday, 18 December 2010

From the Cell to the Cage




Right all, here is our documentary! Please let us all know what you think. It's on youtube so you can view it, like/dislike it, comment on it here; Click here to watch the video on youtube

A LOT of hard work went into this so I really hope you all like it as much as we do!

Directed, filmed and edited by Luke Bilson, Stef Hamlin, Clement Huang, Catherine Lux, Michael Palmiero and Rosa Viggiano.

Special Thanks to Nick Chapman, Mike Wood, Wayne Harry and Guildford Lido and a big thank you to Brunel University's media technician team for all their help and guidence.

Copyright Stressed Cat Productions 2010

Monday, 13 December 2010

Home

Hey All,

Sorry for not posting for a couple of weeks, I flew back to Perth last Tuesday, *sigh* I'm finally home. I'm just glad to be away from the cold, snow, ice, grey skies, pollution and over-crowding. Instead, I've been soaking up the sun under clear blue skies, whilst relaxing on a boat on the swan river, watching dolphins swim by. Perfect :)
It's so good to be back, my head is clear for the first time in months and I can finally just relax and forget all my worries. Every time I come back here it reminds me how lucky I was to live here for almost 2 years, and how much I want to move back when I finish Uni. I'm so grateful to my parents for giving us that experience and giving me my own sanctuary and place I can escape to :) I'm in love with this country and have finally found somewhere I can call home and feel at peace. Not only is it because of everything about this beautiful landscape, but also my amazing friends, and my incredible boyfriend...and of course the moments and memories I shared with my family when we lived here. All I need is my family here and everything would be completely perfect. I really do miss them already, and it's only been 6 days! We're so close and it's going to be weird not spending Christmas with them this year...It's especially weird because it's not very Christmassy here haha...Chris and I got his parents a 6ft xmas tree because they just had a small minature tree...they don't have many decorations to put around the house so I think I might buy them some to get everyone in the Christmas Spirit :P make it feel more homely and Christmassy :) lol
I'm sorry but I can't post what I spent and ate during my last week in the England because I left my notebook with it all written in at home. So I'll put it all on when I get back beginning of January.
If I'm not able to post again until I get back to England first week of January, then I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

x

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Less than 4 weeks until Christmas!

So it is now less than 4 weeks until Christmas!!! I have now finally finished my Christmas shopping! I leave for Australia 1 week today, so I guess this is my last full week of my £10 a week challenge until the New Year :)
But don't worry, I won't go crazy and spend loads of money while I'm away....I wouldn't be able to anyway as I only have 20kg of luggage allowance this time instead of my usual 42kg with Emirates :( So I'll only really be spending money on going out to eat, movies etc.

Last week was a busy week, I went home Tuesday because I had a shadow shift at the Spectrum Energy Level Gym, so I was home Tuesday and Wednesday morning. I also spent most of my week in the editing room editing our documentary :) On Thursday we were in there editing for 7 hours!!! It looks pretty awesome though and we're really pleased with it so far :) Hopefully we'll be finished either tomorrow or Friday, so when it's all done I'll put it on here to see what everyone else thinks of it! I really hope we get a good grade and I also hope Nick likes it! We're going to see his 'Kings of the Cage' MMA fight this Saturday up at the Troxy in London, we're so excited!! Luckily he offered to get hold of some tickets for us in return for doing the documentary, because we wouldn't be able to go if we had had to buy them full price, being poor students and all...so a big thank you Nick, and we're all really looking forward to seeing you WIN on Saturday night! Everyone look out for it on Sky Sports this Saturday night, because it's being broadcast live!

Because I didn't need to buy any food last week thanks to my big stock up the week before, I went out for breakfast and Waffles with some friends, treated myself to some tiger bread and also caught the bus after our late night editing sessions :)
My Dad took me to a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Reform Club in London last Friday. I've always wanted to visit the club, as I have heard so much about it from my Dad and Grandma through the years, because my Dad's Godfather was a member when he was alive. It's also been used in loads of films, including James Bond and the newest Sherlock Holmes film. The architecture is truly incredible and I fell in love with the place! So thank you very much to my Dad for treating me to a once in a lifetime experience like that :)
It was a fantastic evening and was a chance for me to meet other young people who belong to London clubs, as I belong to the Royal Overseas League. I really enjoyed it, the food was pretty good too, apart from the Clam Chowder :S I don't like Clams lol...luckily I wasn't the only one though, as the very nice man sitting next to me didn't like it either...so I didn't feel so rude not eating it haha! Now that I think about it, I really wish I had told everyone there about my £10 a week challenge...maybe they would have donated *sigh*. I should have left some of my free business cards lying around lol :P

So far I've raised £123...but with an overall aim of at least £4000, I've still got a loooong way to go, and I really don't want to let the charities down. So please, if you have any spare money at all or would like to do anything to help change people's lives this Christmas, please donate and help these amazing Charities. We all either know someone, or have been directly affected by issues connected to these 4 charities (child poverty, hardship, miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, Lupus, Hughes Syndrome), so every penny you donate will go to help either you or people you know, either soon or in the future.


__________________________________________________________________

Budget:

Waffles from the Uni canteen - £2.60
Breakfast from the Uni canteen - £1.40
Tiger Bread - Tesco's - £1.30
Bus fare - £2
Bus fare - £2

= £9.30


Diet:

Monday:
Brunch - Waffles from Uni canteen
Dinner - Jacket Potato and Tuna
Snacks - Banana

Tuesday:
Brunch - Cereal - Porridge
Dinner - Was at Home
Snacks - Mince Pie :)

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Was at Home
Lunch - Cheese sandwich
Dinner - Soup
Snacks - Tiger bread and butter lol

Thursday:
Breakfast - Homemade smoothie - 3 bananas, frozen blueberries and natural yoghurt.
Lunch - Tiger bread and butter :P
Dinner - Soup
Snacks - None

Friday:
Breakfast - Crumpets
Lunch - Tiger bread and butter (i don't like anything on/in my tiger bread because it takes away the flavour...so i just have butter with it and it tastes A-mazingg!
Dinner - Reform Club Dinner
Snacks - Mince Pie :P

Monday, 22 November 2010

Re-Stocking

So it's been 2 months today!!! Only 7 more to go :P
Remember if you feel I'm doing well, or you would like to support any deserving charities this Christmas, please please sponsor me to do this by donating to one or more of the charities I have chosen to support! You can find out more information on the charities by clicking on my Just Giving page links, which are just to the right of this page ------->
It really doesn't matter how much you give as I know how difficult it is for everyone what with the recession and Christmas coming up, but every penny counts so please please give anything you can afford to help these amazing charities!


Last week I had to make a trip to Sainsbury's to re-fill my fridge and some cupboard bits etc. Also because I hadn't spent any of the £10 budget from the week before, I used it to treat myself to going out for coffee and breakfast with my friends throughout the week, which was lovely :)
I had a pretty uneventful week to be honest, apart from filming our documentary! On Saturday my production group and I travelled down to Guildford to film our 5 minute documentary, about Nick 'Headhunter' Chapman, a pro MMA fighter. We got so much footage that we're not only planning on doing our 5 minute Uni project, but after Christmas when we have more time, we're going to attempt to make a full length documentary with it all. It's really exciting and this is definitely my favourite module! We started editing today, and even though we were just logging it was still exciting seeing what we'd filmed, even if it was slightly stressful when we thought we'd wiped it all :S 
I'm really looking forward to Wednesday when we start editing properly, and of course seeing the final product in about 2 weeks time. When it's finished I'll put it on here so you can all tell us what you think :)
Special thanks to Nick, Mike, Wayne and of course the Guildford Lido for letting us film at their Workshop Gym! 


I would also like to thank my mum for giving me a bag of bananas and a box of mince pies :)
Now that it's Winter I've been eating a lot of cup a soups and porridge, I'm ashamed to say I haven't had many vegetables this week, but I've been making up for it with fruit and multi-vitamins! And I always have loads of vegies when I'm home at weekends :)
Also, just an interesting fact to throw in, did you know that we're actually supposed to sleep more during the winter because it's cold and dark, and it's something to do with hibernation, that hundreds of years ago we would have slept for most of the day during the winter...I can't remember where I heard that. I'll try and find out because I don't think I've explained it very well lol!

__________________________________________________________________

Budget:

Basics tomato pasta sauce - 35p - Sainsbury's
Basics cheese pasta sauce - £1.29 - Sainsbury's
Basics eggs - 63p - Sainsbury's
Basics bread - 47p - Sainsbury's
Basics digestive biscuits - 23p - Sainsbury's
Crumpets - 56p - Sainsbury's
Basics mozzarella cheese - £1.15 - Sainsbury's
6 pears - £1 - Sainsbury's
4 jacket potatoes - 49p - Sainsbury's
Tomato&Mozzarella  pasta - 99p - Sainsbury's
Milk - 45p - Sainsbury's
Basics mushrooms - 89p - Sainsbury's
Soy Sauce - 89p - Sainsbury's
Basics natural yoghurt - 44p - Sainsbury's

= £9.83


Diet:

Monday:
Breakfast - Banana
Lunch - Crumpets
Dinner - Soup
Snacks - Pear

Tuesday:
Brunch - Cereal - Porridge
Dinner - Jacket Potato with cheese
Snacks - half a pot of blueberries

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Banana and Pear
Lunch - Crumpets
Dinner - Pasta with cheese sauce and mushrooms
Snacks - a mince pie

Thursday:
Breakfast - Crumpets
Lunch - Soup
Dinner - Jacket potato with tuna
Snacks - the other half of the pot of blueberries

Friday:
Breakfast - Banana
Lunch - Baguette with cheese
Dinner - Soup
Snacks - None

Monday, 15 November 2010

Reading Week, Reflecting Week.

I had a reading week last week, so I went home for the week and took advantage of home comforts, and of course extra work shifts at the Lido. I didn't spend any of the £10 budget....so I'm trying to decide whether to put it into fuel for my car...or something else. I just don't know what to spend it on lol!
I'm glad I went back for the week because it gave me a chance to just get away from Uni...and the 'delights' of Uxbridge, and just have a week of rest! I also made the most of being able to go to the gym, and with some of the money I had saved from the previous week (I saved £4.02), I went to the gym twice (it only costs me £1 per session).

Unfortunately the week took a sad turn on Wednesday, when I attended Brenda's funeral. She was a friend of the family from church and unfortunately died quite suddenly. My family and I had been parishioners of St William of York Church in Send since I was 2 years old, and we went almost every Sunday without fail, until Bishop Kieran decided to close us down in 2006. My brother and I were alter servers from a young age, and my dad was a Eucharistic minister and choir member (Brenda was the leader of the choir). Our church community was so small that we were like a big family, I grew up surrounded by the other parishioners and they were there to help us celebrate poignant and special moments in our lives, from myself and my brother receiving the sacraments (from baptism to confirmation), to our parish picnics, bbq's, nativity plays and eventually our final mass as parishioners of St Williams. Wednesday was not only a time to say goodbye to Brenda, but also to reflect on how important a role the members of our church had played in my life. Brenda's brother Joe was especially close to our family, he taught my brother and I everything about alter serving, and when he died shortly after the church closed in 2006, everyone from our church gathered in St Williams for his funeral. It was the first funeral I had ever been to, and the first time anyone I knew had died. That was the last time I ever alter served...I just didn't want to do it without Joe, and I didn't want to do it in any church other than St Williams. I think it was a nice thing for my brother and I to do, to serve one last time after the church closed, for Joe. since Joe died in 2006, 10 more people I know have died, 5 of those were family members, and 4 were under 18. And even though I didn't know some of them very well, it still effects you, especially when some of them were so young, and you see so many people go in such a short space of time.
Ever since St Williams closed I never really enjoyed church again, it was such a huge part of my life, not just the bricks and mortar, but the parishioners, friends and memories. I wanted to get married there and have my children baptised there, unfortunately that will never happen now, and I'm not being stubborn or anything, but I am never getting married in a Church that doesn't feel like home, so in the future, if I can't get married in St Williams, I will get married outside, in the surroundings God created.
Bishop Kieren promised us he wouldn't close us down, and when he broke that promise, it destroyed my faith in God. And each time someone else died, my faith gradually disappeared, until I was questioning everything I had ever believed and been taught. It has only been in the past few months that my faith has been restored, and I am so grateful for that. Since May/June I have realized how privileged I am to of been brought up in the Catholic faith, and to believe in something greater. It has helped me through tough times, and sometimes it has been one of the only things that has kept me going. Brenda's funeral on Wednesday, although sad, made me truly appreciate the beliefs and values I have been brought up with. Death is not the end....only the beginning of the next stage of our lives. Brenda's funeral provided me with closure for everyone else I have lost, and it made me realize that without faith you have nothing. It was also lovely to see everyone from St Williams again!
Most of you probably didn't know my beliefs, but that's mainly because I think everyone has a right to their own opinions, and I respect other people's beliefs...I'm not one of these people who forces religion onto those who don't believe in the same things as me. I'm also not one of these strict god fearing preaching 'Bible bashers', and I don't agree with everything that's said in the Bible. But I really do think that it helps you through life's most challenging times, and without it I really don't know where I would be today. I was confirmed 4 years ago, just before the church closed, and the parishioners of St Williams gave me a book called 'I Am With You', it is filled with bible passages for different times in your life...and I still turn to it when I need some guidance and understanding.

On Thursday I did the majority of my Christmas shopping, which I'm very proud of! Even though the majority of people voted for me to not include Christmas gifts in the £10 budget, I'm not taking advantage of that and spending a lot like I did last year. I saved quite a bit by buying a few gifts from Boots and using my advantage card points, and of course shopping around to find the cheapest deal, which meant buying some dvds my mum wanted off the internet instead of in-store (did you know that HMV online are cheaper than their shops...and it's free delivery!). I have to say it was quite nice being able to go round the shops and spend more than £10...even if it was all for other people. My Christmas shopping has satisfied my withdrawal symptoms, and now I won't be venturing to the shops again until the January sales...hopefully they'll have some bargains that will agree with my budget :)

Also if you go to Brunel University pick up a free copy of LeNurb, the student newspaper, as I am on page 4 :)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Tube Strikes

Sorry for the delay in posting, I've got reading week this week so I'm home for the week and have been pretty busy so far! I will tell you all about this week on Sunday though.
Well last week was certainly eventful! I've been saving up since I started this to go into London to visit one of my best friends, Emma. She's studying at Goldsmiths, so we had planned for me to visit her last Wednesday. Unfortunately the night before we realized that tube strikes were planned to go ahead the next day, but I was determined to get out of Uxbridge and into central, seeing as I had been saving all those weeks! 
I walked into town after my morning lecture, and got lunch for £1.98 from Greggs, before heading to the tube station. It was a lot quieter than usual in there and there were still loads of Metro newspapers in the stands at 1pm!!! Usually they've all disappeared by 10am! Anyway, luckily I had a loyalty card for 'Happy Days' which had enough stamps on it for a free regular milkshake...Chocolate Orange is definitely the best flavour! So after picking up my free milkshake I went to get my travelcard. The ticket office was closed so I had to use a machine, which meant it cost me £7.50 instead of £5 because the machine can't tell if you have a railcard or not...but luckily I got a £2.50 refund from an open ticket office in central. I have to say, the workers who weren't on strike were very helpful and I don't know what I would have done without them telling me exactly where to go! I eventually got to New Cross an hour and a half later, which I thought was pretty good for a tube stike. AND I discovered New Cross is WORSE than Uxbridge....yes...worse!!! I forget the amount of times Emma pointed to an alleyway and said 'a guy got mugged at knife point there last week'. She also introduced me to Iceland...I was in heaven!! Quote of the day from Emma..'I love it because the prices are simple...they don't have any pennies so you don't have to be clever to work out how much it all comes to'
I spent £3 in Iceland on 3 items...a huge carton of juice, a bag of 7 pears and 2 ginger cakes (2 for £1)! Bargain!

When the time came for me to head back to Uxbridge, I assumed the journey back would be as easy as the journey in...I was so wrong. I headed to Canada Water, where I had to get the Jubilee line to Waterloo...from Waterloo I wanted to get to Green Park to stop off at the ROSL clubhouse for a bit before I headed back home, but because Green Park was closed I had to get the tube to Picadilly Circus and then walk to Green Park from there. A stop before Picadilly Circus they announce that it has now closed, so I had to get off at Oxford Circus and then get a bus from there. What I didn't realize was the amount of people outside Oxford Circus. I exited the tube station to find myself amongst thousands of people...I couldn't see what direction I was going in so decided to walk to Green Park instead of trying to get on a bus. Unfortunately I walked up Oxford Street towards Selfridges instead of down Regent Street to Picadilly...oh dear. I eventually got to the club after about half an hour to 45 minutes of battling my way through thousands of commuters. And even worse than that was having to lug my huge heavy Iceland bag with a big carton of juice and 7 pears in it, all round London. I walked into the club a dishevelled mess...so I'm not suprised I got a few hard stares from some of the older members. After using their toilets, moisturiser, water and free internet to find out what was going on, I headed to Green Park station which was now open, to get the train back up to Oxford Circus...I had no idea what I was going to do when I got back to Oxford Circus...but luckily I was saved!! I was standing staring at the maps at Oxford Circus trying to work out how to get back, when I head my name being called...I looked around to see Alix walking towards me! I actually don't know what I would have done if she hadn't of found me...I probably would of ended up going back to New Cross and staying at Emma's. So we caught the tube to Paddington and the overground to Hayes...where Tom picked us up and drove us home :)
So I would like to say a huge thank you to Alix and Tom for saving me!!! Also because I agreed with Tom that in exchange for them saving me I would mention them on here :P


So that was my eventful day in Central...after that kefuffle I am NEVER travelling into central when there is a tube strike on!! I also found it very difficult to not just jump in a Taxi, and not buy anything while I was on Oxford Street! I was pretty much running past the shops and refusing to look in them because I knew that if I did I would be tempted :(

__________________________________________________________________

Budget:

£1 - Iceland - Tropical Juice
£1 - Iceland - Bag of 7 pears
£1 - Iceland - 2 Jamaica Ginger Cakes
£1.98 - Greggs - Lunch 
£1 - Hot chocolate at work
= £5.98

With the money I saved from last week I'm using it to go to the gym this week :)

Diet:

Monday:
Breakfast: Cereal - Blueberry Wheats with milk
Lunch: Mushroom cup a soup
Dinner - Sausages with Vegtables
Snacks - None

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry wheats with milk
Lunch - Mushroom Soup
Dinner - Pizza
Snacks - None

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Porridge
Lunch - Greggs 
Dinner - Party Food (there was a party going on at the house when I got back from London)
Snacks - Pear

Thursday:
Breakfast - Porridge
Lunch -2 Pears
Dinner - Mushroom Soup
Snacks - a slice of ginger cake

Friday:
Breakfast - Porridge
Lunch - Cup a soup
Dinner - At home
Snacks - Pear

Monday, 1 November 2010

Freedom

Last week I was plagued by illness. The common cold really is cruel! Not only did I lose my appetite, and want to just stay in bed all week, but it also meant I had to spend half of my budget on cold&flu tablets!! On Monday I missed my lecture, I had come down with a cold on Saturday, and overslept Monday morning much to my disgust, as I actually enjoy my Monday lectures! Unfortunately I couldn't stay in bed all day after this happened though, as I had to go into Uni and hand in an Essay that was due that day, so I also used this time to make a trip to the Pharmacy to get some flu tablets...where much to my shock and horror the pharmacist suggested some at a price of £4.99!!!! I think she saw the look of horror on my face and so suggested some cheaper ones at £3.99. I only wanted them for the night time tablets to help me sleep, so after paying for them and going home, I discovered that I had paid £3.99 for only 4 night time tablets, and 12 day time tablets!!!!! And seeing as you have to take 2 a night, they only lasted 2 nights! They did actually work though, as my cold had cleared by Friday and had instead turned into a cough....whenever I have a cough I always wish I was young enough to have 'Tixylix' again...mmmm yummy.


Being holed up inside the house all week not wanting to brave the cold and rain, and only venturing out for lectures, I've felt very trapped. I've been feeling claustrophobic for a while now, maybe it's because this is the longest time I've gone without going back to Perth, for the past 3 and a half years. I just always feel suffocated when I'm back here...even when I do spend all day outside, I still feel suffocated and claustrophobic. Yesterday I realized how much I'm looking forward to getting back to Perth in 5 weeks....I long for the freedom to do what I want when I want, to not have to worry or stress about everyday life. Just to be able to run down to the beach and feel as though I'm sitting at the end of the world...as though at that point in time, nothing else matters. I've always found that as soon as I sat down on the sand and looked out at Rotto and the huge expanse of ocean beyond, I feel all the weight on my shoulders lifting, all my cares and worries disappearing. I can't wait to be able to feel that again! I miss being able to go there and feel it whenever I want. It frustrates and angers me to feel so trapped here, in this huge city, knowing that wherever I go, my worries follow me. I'm a different person when I'm in London, and I hate that person. I want to be me again....to feel alive again, instead of feeling as though I'm just another number in the system, trapped with no way of escaping. I really hope that one day I can move back there, and although I've tried really hard to make a good life for myself over here, I don't think I will ever be completely happy and content with my life until I am back in Perth for good. Despite what everyone says about Perth being too small and there being 'more to do' in London, it really depends on what you choose to do. And at least in Aus there's thousands of miles of open space around it to escape to, beautiful scenery, and the most relaxed way of life you'll ever live. I just long to feel free again. There's no place like Perth.

After expressing my thoughts, lets move on to this week's budget. You may have noticed that I haven't been shopping in supermarkets....that's because the nearest one is a 45minute walk each way...and I haven't had the motivation to walk there, do the shopping, and then walk all the way back...with the shopping...yet. I will obviously have to pretty soon, but it's just so cold! I have a reading week next week so I'll be back home for the week, so I might put that £10 on my oyster card so I get cheap bus fares instead of it being £2 each way! That way I won't have to walk back in the cold with heavy shopping bags. I have a horrible feeling I'm going to have to do this at some point though...so I'm just getting myself motivated for it!
I've had a much healthier week this week, and I've also been taking multi-vitamins every day.

__________________________________________________________________

Budget:

55p - Cornflour - Costcutter
£1.85 - Lasagne Sauce - Costcutter
48p - Bananas - Costcutter
£1 - 2L Milk - Martins
£3.99 - Sudafed night&day flu tablets - Brunel Phramacy
= £7.87

My mum also sent me back to Uni with a couple of yoghurts from her fridge that needed eating up as she had too many.

Diet:

Monday:
Brunch: Yoghurt and Banana

Dinner - Homemade Lasagne: Mince, stock cube, lasagne sheets, garlic puree, tinned tomatoes, lasagne sauce, and half an onion.
Snacks - 2 Jammie Dodgers

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry wheats with milk
Lunch - Milk, Banana and blueberry (frozen blueberries) smoothie (homemade) 
Dinner - Leftover Lasagne from last night
Snacks - None

Wednesday:
Brunch - Cereal - Blueberry wheats with milk
Dinner - Pizza
Snacks - Apple (Last one leftover from the other week...they last ages!) and a yoghurt

Thursday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry Wheats with milk
Lunch - Pitta bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Dinner - Rice and Chicken with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and peas.
Snacks - Yoghurt and a banana

Friday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Porridge
Lunch - Cup a soup
Dinner - At home.
Snacks - None

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

1 Month Later

So I have survived my first month, only 8 more to go! Last week was a lot healthier than the previous weeks, although I did cheat slightly because I went home Thursday lunchtime instead of Friday, but that was due to my 'little' brother's 15th (ahh I feel old) birthday. I was supposed to go home on Friday but my mum phoned me and asked if I would be able to go back on the Thursday because he got upset over the thought of me not being there for the second year running :P I felt so loved when she told me that!
I also snacked a lot less this week, and only spent £7.49....which included a trip to the cinema! I usually love going to the cinema and usually go all the time, so I've found it difficult not being able to go whenever I want. I went with one of my best friends from Aus, Caitlin, who is travelling at the moment, and we went to see 'Life as we know it', it was a great film and I would definitely recommend it, it's just a classic feel good cute comedy :) It only cost us £3.20 each because we went on Wednesday and used 'Orange Wednesdays' (buy 1 get 1 free on Wednesdays if you're with the 'orange' phone company). It was great to get out and we even treated ourselves to a Mcdonalds....unfortunately because it was the only thing we could afford to eat, not because we wanted to! How sad!
So I mainly ate freezer and cupboard food last week, but I did realize that I didn't have ANY sweet food whatsoever, just savoury, and with my sweet tooth I went and bought some Jammie Dodgers and Shortbread. I was also very proud of myself last week because I used my slow cooker for the very first time (I've had it over a year!), I cooked a sausage casserole...and it would have tasted delicious, had I put 1 vegie stock cube in...instead of 3! The recipe told me to use plenty of stock!!!
And I'm happy to say that I have lost another kilo, it must be thanks to all this having to walk to uni and back every day! I have been very tempted by the bus a couple of times though, especially today because it was pouring with rain and I left my umbrella at home at the weekend :( BUT I resisted the comfort, warmth and shelter of a bus....and instead ran home!
I also have a cold this week, but as this is to do with this week, I'll tell you all about that next week.


__________________________________________________________________

Budget:


£1 - Large pack of Jammie Dodgers - Poundland
£1 - Large pack of shortbread - Poundland
£2.29 - Maccas happy meal
£3.20 - Cinema
= £7.49


Diet:

Monday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry Wheats with milk
Lunch - Pitta bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Dinner - Sausage Casserole with vegie stock, chickpeas, lentils, garlic, tomatoes, sausages and rice.
Snacks - Rice Pudding

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry Wheats with milk
Lunch - Small jacket potato with cheese
Dinner - Tuna and potato fishcakes with green beans
Snacks - Apple

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry wheats with milk
Lunch - Maccas happy meal :(
Dinner - Gnocci with creamy sauce and green beans
Snacks - Jammie Dodgers :P

Thursday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry Wheats with milk
Lunch - Went Home

Friday:
Was at home.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Hughes Syndrome

So after thinking long and hard, I decided that after telling people that I was raising money for FOUR charities, I really should choose another charity to support, but of course one that actually has a Just Giving page to make it as easy as possible for people all over the world to donate. 
After SARAID failed to set up their Just Giving account, I was therefore only supporting three charities, and seeing as everywhere says I'm supporting four, I decided to choose a charity very close to members of my family's heart. As you will know if you have read the second post on my blog, my step-aunty Nakita, died in August this year. She was just 36 years old. I am already supporting Lupus UK, in memory of her, but I have made the decision to also support Hughes Syndrome, as she suffered from both Lupus and Hughes syndrome, which combined, caused her early death. Hughes syndrome is also known as 'sticky blood', and can be fatal if not caught and controlled early. I have chosen to support this charity as I believe people need to be more aware of what Hughes syndrome is and what it does, as it is not a very well known disease. We need to raise awareness, as Nakita's sister Petrina said, 'to stop any other family go through what we've been through'. 


'Hughes syndrome is an autoimmune disorder which can present many clinical features, some of which can be life threatening, including strokes and thrombosis, and it can also be the cause of recurrent miscarriage. The good news is that, once diagnosed, Hughes Syndrome is potentially treatable; the bad news is that, as the condition is relatively new, it often goes undetected or misdiagnosed. With your help we hope to raise the profile of Hughes Syndrome so that we can discover more about its causes, prevalence and treatment.'


So to not only raise awareness of this relatively new and rare disease, but to prevent any other family losing a loved one, please dig deep and sponsor me generously by donating to the Hughes Syndrome Foundation!


You can find out more about the charity from their website; 
http://www.hughes-syndrome.org/index.htm


Listen to Nakita's sister Petrina's radio chat;
http://splashfm.com/splashstory.asp?id=2689


And of course donate;
http://www.justgiving.com/Catherine-Lux


My target is to raise AT LEAST £1000 for each charity! That is £4000 in total...so please please invite your friends, colleagues, family members etc...send them the link, tell them what I am doing, and of course donate yourselves! It doesn't matter what the amount is, it can be anything from £2.50 upwards....every little helps!! I would rather lots of people donate a small amount, than just a few people donating a larger amount. I am grateful for every penny that is given! So far I have raised just over £90, so we still have a long way to go. Please help these very deserving charities by donating any amount you can :)
And if you are a UK tax payer you can Gift Aid it for free!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Tommy's - National Baby Loss Awareness Day

You know how you get these page, event and group suggestions on facebook? And you know how most of the time they don't relate to you, so you just ignore them? Well I was sent an invitation to an event that happened a few days ago, and I didn't really take any notice of it until today...I clicked on it just now, and realised that it relates to my fundraising. It was an event invitation to 'Wave of Light' 15th October National baby loss awareness day, I don't know if this 'National' awareness day is in the US or UK, but it seems that people from all over the world have joined this event, and this obviously relates to the fact I am fundraising for Tommy's, the baby charity who raise money to fund research and awareness into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature births. I never truly realised how many women actually lost babies, until I clicked on this event page....there must be thousands of comments on there, all women and men paying tribute to not only their own 'Angel Babies' but to friends and family members' babies too. Seeing these tributes brought tears to my eyes, it terrifies me that this is so common! Parents should never have to lose a child, and I hope that in the future, when I myself am ready to have children, and when my children have children, that this will be more of a 'less common' occurrence. I scrolled down the page, reading the comments, and there was a video link on one. I clicked on it, and after watching it I decided I needed to post on my blog about it. I hope to write more posts on my blog about all of the charities, not only to raise awareness, but so that people know I haven't just 'picked' these charities for the sake of it...they all mean something to me and they all deserve so much help! I know so many women who have lost babies, and after seeing what they have been through, seeing all of these tributes on this event page and watching that video...I feel Tommy's need all the donations they can get. We need to help cut down the numbers of these 'Angel Babies', and help raise the number of 'Living Babies'. No parent should have to lose a child no matter how small, and it seems that it is the most unbearable pain and loss a person and parent can go through, just reading the tributes breaks my heart, and I hope more than anything that in the future miscarriage and stillbirth will become 'rare' instead of something that most woman go through at some point in her life. So in memory of all those babies named on the facebook page, and all of the 'angel' babies in the world, please give generously to Tommy's! After all, like Dr Seuss said...'A person's a person, no matter how small.'

Facebook Event Link

Youtube Video Link

Donate to Tommy's Link

Week 3 - A Week of Chocolate

I really need to start writing my weekly write up at the end of the week....not at the start of the following week! So in case you're confused, this is for the week starting 11th October.
I'm sad to announce that I have made the decision to not support SARAID anymore...when I started planning my challenge over 2 months ago, I asked them to set up a Just Giving account to make it easier for not only myself but for people who are donating as well. I have given them plenty of time to do this, and I haven't heard much from them since then, and they still have not set up the Just Giving account. This may seem harsh, but I did ask them to complete it all before I started my challenge, 3 weeks ago, and I feel that if they really appreciated what I was doing they would of set up their Just Giving page a lot sooner, as I'm sure it doesn't take 9 weeks to do so. So if you are sponsoring me to do this challenge, I am asking you to choose one of the charities on my Just Giving page.
http://www.justgiving.com/user/22970483
I will continue to help raise awareness for SARAID and I will also put a link to their website on my blog so if people do wish to donate via their website, then they can, but I am no longer asking people to 'sponsor me' by donating to this charity. SARAID are a well deserving charity, and save many lives. They are 'a British charity dedicated to trying to save the lives of innocent victims of disaster, as well as relieving human suffering around the world regardless of color, creed, religion and political persuasion...It is staffed entirely by volunteers and funded solely by public donations, S.A.R.A.I.D is on call 365 days a year, always ready to provide trained Search and Rescue personnel, free of charge to any country in need of assistance.'
http://saraid.co.uk/index.html
So if you think they deserve your help, please donate to them, as well as sponsoring me and donating to the charities on my Just Giving page.

Well onto how my week went! I have to say I've done VERY well this week with my budget, but that's mainly because I've had such a bad and depressing week, that I've pretty much been living off chocolate....chocolate....icy poles...and more chocolate. So I've spent most of this weeks spendings on....you guessed it...chocolate!
I don't think anyone actually realises how difficult long distance relationships are....apart from people who have actually been through it. After 2 years of not being able to live like a 'normal' couple, and then being told we have to keep doing it for another couple of years instead of less than a year, it feels like the whole world is against you and no one wants you to be happy...but after lots of thinking (over a glass of chocolate milk), I decided it will all be worth it in the end...hopefully. And anyway, it just means another 2 years of travelling to Perth twice a year...sitting on a plane for 24 hours, while catching up on a years worth of movies and being waited on hand and foot...and of course accumulating all those frequent flyer points! I'm also hoping that concentrating on this £10 a week challenge will help keep my mind of it all :)
So after a week drowning my sorrows in chocolate...I only ended up spending £7.19! So I'm putting the leftovers in a pot to put towards my 'day trip to London' fund.

I also spent this week watching Romy and Michele's High School Reunion to cheer me up...and watching the entire Season 7 of NCIS...as you can tell I didn't really go out this week apart from walking to and from my lectures...and going to the shops to stock up on chocolate. I'm also enjoying reading my books more, I finished 'To Kill a Mockingbird' this weekend, and it still remains one of my favourite books...I hadn't read it for a couple of years so enjoyed it immensely and had even forgotten some parts of it. I'm now onto a book by Chris Rojek, called Frank Sinatra. I'm only on page 35 right now, but I love it so far...I never knew he was such a nasty character (racism, communism etc etc) and to be honest I have lost a lot of respect for him as a person, I still love his voice though and still respect him as an artist. I actually feel sorry for him, because so far it sounds like he had a pretty miserable life.
I'm actually enjoying this £10 challenge so far, because it's making me actually sit down and read again! I've raised over £80 so far...but these charities need a lot more than that, so dig deep and please please donate whatever you can! It doesn't matter if it's £2.50 or £250! It all helps...and remember if you are a UK tax payer you can gift aid it for free.
__________________________________________________________________

Budget:


2L Milk - Martins - £1
Chocolate - Martins - £1
Chocolate - Martins - £1
Chocolate Milk - Martins £1
Pasta Sauce - (Local store) - £1.99
Skittles - (Work vending machine) - 60p
KitKat - (Work vending machine) - 60p

= £7.19


Diet:


Right....this week I PROMISE I'm sticking to a healthy diet!!! After last week's chocolate and rubbish...this week will be filled with Stir Fry's and other healthy dishes, so make sure you read next week's post!

Monday:
Breakfast - French Toast (Eggy Bread)
Lunch - Scrambled Eggs (The eggs needed eating up!)
Dinner - Uncle Ben's Mediterranean Rice (Ew. Never again!)
Snacks - Yoghurt

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Banana Smoothie (Home made of course, and it included 5 bananas, some fruit juice and some 'Freedom' ice cream...so it was actually very healthy!)
Lunch - Strawberry Jelly
Dinner - Pizza
Snacks - Icy Pole

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry wheats with milk
Lunch - Chocolate
Dinner - (My mum and younger brother came up to cheer me up...and took me out to dinner)
Snacks - Chocolate and Chocolate Milk

Thursday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry wheats with milk
Lunch - Bacon&Egg sandwich (I was still trying to finish the eggs)
Dinner - Gnocci with a creamy sauce, mushrooms and green beans
Snacks - Yoghurt, Icy Pole

Friday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Blueberry wheats with milk
Lunch - Leftover Gnocci
Dinner - (Went home for the weekend so had dinner at home)
Snacks - Brunchbar



Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Motivation Messages

I've had a bit of a bad week this week, so my motivation has been pretty low...but nevertheless I have stuck to it and it's mainly thanks to re-reading all the messages of support from everyone. I thought I would post them on here in one post so I can read them when the Sales are making me have withdrawal symptoms lol! 
I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you listed below, who have offered such kind and encouraging words of support...thank you!!


'I'm sure nakita is very proud of wot yr doin x x ...most people wouldn't even attempt sumfin like this. yr heart's in the rite place x x' - Paula Burton


'well done for doing such a amazing thing for these charities. This is a wonderful gesture.' - Eva-Maria Catina

'What a great thing to do. Good luck.' - James Cousins

'Good luck in your fundraising and thank you for choosing to support Tommy's.' - Tommy's Charity


'mum reckons your doing a good job! 8D xx' - Jennifer Eland


'i think it is an amazing thing you are doing.' - Claire Connor

'I'm following this with interest Catherine - remember you can come to us for a meal or whatever whenever you are in Guildford xx' - Claire Whitbourn

'Good luck from John, Sarah, Hannah, Emily Parker' - Parker family

'good of you to do this well done' -  Esther Wielopolski

'well done to you and I hope that you do well' - Suzanne Pettit

'what you are doing is really great :) not everyone is able to do such thing. Is definitely better to give than to receive :) God bless you!' - Zozo Triano

'I personally would like to wish you all the luck in the world with your attempt... I will try to follow progress as you go, and will certainly be making a personal donation in support.' - Dawn Barnett



'thats good. well done all the best and you're doing a great thing. xx' - Eleanor Hughes

'Good luck and please let me know how you are travelling with the challenge.  An amazing “seek justice” inspiration to others...Well done Catherine. We are all so proud of you.' - Anna Gingell


'You go girl!' - Robin Rathbone