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

Monday, 11 October 2010

Week 2


This week has been a bit weird, I haven't really been eating that much. I really am going to have to add more vegetables and meat to my diet! This week I'm going to have to try and eat more healthily.
I've still been finding it difficult to not buy everything in the shops whilst the sales have been on, and also to not buy snacks and a hot chocolate in between my lectures! I have found solace in making my own hot chocolate and reading magazine articles online instead of buying magazine. I think this week I will have to buy a flask to put my hot chocolate in for lectures..I wonder if Poundland sell them!? :P

To prevent myself from being lured into stores and their sale rails by the huge 50% off signs plastered all over town, I've decided to stay in while the sales are on, only venturing to the shops when I need food, and have found comfort in various things that have become strangely enjoyable to do every day. Luckily we have Sky, so I've recorded all the episodes of NCIS, Monk, Desperate Housewives, CSI, Criminal Minds etc. I've also gone back to reading quite a lot (you can find out my favourite books under the titles; 'Order of Favourite Books'), and today I re-discovered The Sims 3! Luckily I also have a large stash of dvds, so last week I watched a few of those. It was good to be able to watch Devil Wears Prada in English (I've only ever seen it in German before). I've had the dvd for a few months now, but just hadn't got round to watching it. 

I've been talking to my boyfriend on Skype and instead of texting we've been using MSN (I get both on my phone for free, as does he), we've had to put up with the awful signal with Skype, but with calls to Australia costing around 20p a minute, we don't really have any other option!
Oh, and I've been walking everywhere instead of getting the bus! It took me about 45minutes to walk into town the other day, and it takes about 20 minutes to walk to Uni. It is really scary when it's raining though, those cars go flying around the corners and there have been a couple of times when I thought they were going to skid right into me!

                  ______________________________________________________________

Budget:

£1.10 - Bananas - Unifruit
£1.10 - Apples - Unifruit
83p - 1L Milk - Costcutter
£1 - Shampoo - Poundland
£1 - Conditioner - Poundland
£1 - Cereal Bars - Poundland
£2.55 - Posted a small package to Australia (at that price I won't be sending any more until June!)
60p - Galaxy bar - Work
60p - Skittles - Work

= £9.78

Diet:

Lol! My diet this week was even worse than last week :S
This week I am determined to make it more healthy! So watch this space :P

Monday: 
Breakfast - 2 crumpets with butter
Lunch - Nothing - Wasn't hungry
Dinner - Rhubarb Crumble (Amy: 'You're having that...for dinner?') lol!
Snacks - TimTams

Tuesday:
Breakfast - 2 crumpets with butter
Lunch - Creamy pasta with cheese, mushrooms and salami
Dinner - Same as above (leftovers)
Snacks - Apple and a yoghurt 

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Natural Yoghurt with banana
Lunch -  Apple
Dinner - Creamy pasta with cheese, mushrooms and salami
Snacks - Nothing

Thursday: 
Breakfast - Apple
Lunch - Pitta bread with olive oil&balsamic vinegar
Dinner - Bologneise (beef mince, tinned tomatoes with their juice, garlic, beef stock) with Penne pasta.
Snacks - Brunchbar and a yoghurt

Friday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Apricot wheats with milk
Lunch - Apple and yoghurt
Dinner - (Went home Friday so had dinner at home).
Snacks - Nothing

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Ten Pound Pom - Surrey Times Article!

Well well well...I'm in the Surrey Times, the article is all about my £10 a week challenge! You can read it if you click the link below, which will take you to the Surrey Advertiser website and the article :)


Enjoy!
Surrey Times Article - Click Here!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

1 Week Down - 39 Weeks to go!!

Sunday evening, the end of my first week...only 39 to go!
I think this week has been very successful, but I have to admit my mum did help me by buying me a shop the week before I started. This week has broken me in gently, I've only really had to buy last minute things I forgot to buy before Monday, and a couple of sneaky treats as well :P
I did find it very hard to walk past stores advertising their sales and not go in and spend money, whereas usually I would just walk into a store and most of the time I would buy something. Even if I didn't like it that much, I would buy it because it was on sale and then take it back later and get a refund when I'd realized how stupid I'd been. So in a way I guess this is going to be good for me :)
                   ______________________________________________________________

Budget:


£1 - 3 bottles of water&1 can of Vimto - Poundland (4 for £1 deal)
£3 - 2 tupperware containers for my cereal and pasta and 1 wall chart. - Poundland
£1 - Sainso's lemonade (it was cheaper to buy lemonade from Sainso's and get parking there for free than it was to pay for parking in a car park in Ux.)
60p - bag of maltesers
£2.19 - Maccas happy meal (I was up in Central for an interview and needed something cheap!)
60p - Yorkie chocolate bar at work
£1 - Car park fee

Total = £9.39


This week is going to be tougher because I need to re-fill my fridge with things like milk, juice etc so I won't be able to waste money on chocolate, maccas and tupperware containers! I think it'll be good to break myself in gently so hopefully in a few weeks time when I need to fill my freezer it won't be such a shock.

Diet:

My diet hasn't been very good this week, I've found it hard getting back into cooking after 4 months of not having to cook. I'm also more of a fruit person than a vegetable person, and I have a VERY sweet tooth, so I have been taking my vitamins everyday as well!
So here is my shockingly poor diet;

Monday: 
Breakfast - Cereal - Apricot Wheats with milk
Lunch - 2 fried eggs in breakfast muffins
Dinner - Jacket Potato with butter&cheese
Snacks - tub of blueberries, and a couple of party rings left over from last week

Tuesday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Apricot Wheats with milk
Lunch - 2 crumpets with butter
Dinner - 3 Pork&Apple sausages with Carrots, Beans, Peas, Sweetcorn and Cauliflower.
Snacks - Banana

Wednesday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Apricot Wheats with milk
Lunch -  (I had breakfast very late)
Dinner - Jacket Potato with butter, cheese and a can of Tuna
Snacks - Banana

Thursday: 
Breakfast - Cereal - Apricot Wheats with milk
Lunch - McDonalds Happy meal - Nuggets&Chips with a coke
Dinner - Can't recall eating dinner?
Snacks - 3 TimTams

Friday:
Breakfast - Cereal - Apricot Wheats with milk
Lunch - 2 crumpets with butter
Dinner - (Went home Friday so had dinner at home).
Snacks - Dried Cranberries and Macadamia nuts (which I opened in the middle of a lecture and half of them flew all over the lecture hall!!)

Also, do you think I should put each week what my weight and BMI is to see if I lose or gain weight!? And, do you think it would be a good idea to put my blood pressure and pulse rate on here at the end of each week to see if that is effected?
Please let me know what you all think!