Friday, June 21, 2013

Irish dance diet - Summer is the perfect time to be healthy

Summer fruits
Photo: Flickr/Mrs. Magic

If you are paying attention to my Irish dance diet, you may have noticed how slooowly the weight is coming off. I am not discouraged though, because I've been converting fat to muscle. Go me! I'm getting so close to my goal and you know what that means? A solo dress! My oldest son (who is also in my Irish dance class) says that he can't imagine me in a solo dress. That's ok, buddy, I can!

Month: 7

Weight: 142.5

Weight lost: 12.5 pounds

Muscle gained: 12.17

Total fat loss: 24.67

Here are three ways that the warmer months can help you with your healthy lifestyle:

1-Summer is a great time to get in good shape. 

It is easier to exercise in the summer because the weather is nice and we are more likely to get outside and be active.  The sun sets later, and there are more hours in the day.  It is easier to drag yourself out of bed in the morning if it is light outside. Swimming, hiking, biking, walking, running, dancing, whatever you love, get out and do it!

2-Summer fruit is such a luxury and can feels like a treat to the dieting you.  

Strawberries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, apples and cherries!  Is your mouth watering yet? You do  much better on your healthy eating lifestyle if you feel satisfied, and fruit can help you fill that void.

3-Summer-wear can motivate you to keep on target. 

You want to fit into your swimming suits when summertime comes around, not to mention those cute workout shorts that help you cool off while you are working out. Use those goals as an incentive to motivate yourself to stick to the routine and nutrition that helps you look and feel your best. 

How does summertime motivate you to take better care of yourself?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Young Chefs by Christina Dymock

You know that I love cooking, and books, and well, cookbooks. So I'm thrilled to show you this fun cookbook that is just in time for summer cooking fun with your kids!

Young Chefs
by Christina Dymock

Young Chefs by Christina Dymock is full of great recipes that you can make with your kids, and some they can make on their own!

I looked through the cookbook on my own and appreciated how colorful and well-designed the layout is. Each recipe has color photos, a list of tools needed, and easy to follow instructions. Right now I'm following a diet that balances carbs and protein, so I appreciated that there were many healthy recipes included. I can't wait to add some of those recipes to my menu!

Then I let my kiddos take a look. My little ones loved flipping through the colorful pages and pointing out which foods they want to sample. My ten year old appreciated the snippets of facts and background the author provides about the recipes. He did tell me that I should tell the author to correct one recipe that calls for Twinkies, as he had heard that they are no longer in production. I'm sure a hungry child could come up with a way around it. :)

So big thumbs up on this cookbook! I highly recommend it for summertime fun!

You can purchase Young Chefs here

* I received a copy of the ebook and this is my unbiased review

Monday, June 10, 2013

Irish dance school in Utah hosts the first WIDA open Irish dance competition in North America - PHOTOS

Irish dancers enjoying themselves at the first WIDA open feis in North America. 
                                Photo:  Sharon Summerhays

On May 18, 2013, Irish dance schools in the Western United States came together for the first WIDA (World Irish Dance Association) competition in the United States. 

WIDA is a fairly new Irish dance organization, based out of Europe, and focuses on organizing workshops, competitions, and examinations to help promote interest in Irish dancing, language, music, and culture. In recent years, schools involved with WIDA have popped up in North and South America. The Utah Legacy Open Feis is the first competition to be held in the United States. 

Roisin Robson, TCRG, with members of the Tir Ruaidh Irish Dance Company
Photo: courtesy of Roisin Robson
The open feis, held in Syracuse, Utah, was hosted by the Legacy Irish Dance Company. An open feis encourages Irish dancers from any organization to attend. Victoria Lambourne, TCRG (certified Irish dance instructor) at Legacy Irish Dance Company is amazed at how smoothly the event pulled together. Lambourne says, "The competitors were extremely supportive and encouraging of each other which lead to a positive, relaxed, yet competitive feis atmosphere."

Victoria Lambourne, TCRG with members of the
Legacy Irish Dance Company
Photo: Christy Dorrity
Lambourne recently attended the WIDA World Championships as an adjudicator in April of this year. Her perspective on teaching, coaching and dancing changed after attending this international event. "My whole perspective on the dancing completely changed after judging, especially such a huge event with such talented dancers," Lambourne says. "It gave me a greater, more in depth appreciation for the dancing."

When the Legacy Irish Dance Company joined WIDA in 2012, they began making plans for hosting a competition near them with the help of Tir Ruaidh Irish Dance Company in California. Soon, a date was set. Girls came by the busload to compete at the pioneering event. Parents and students all agree that the feis was a very positive, calm and fun event. 

An Irish dancer proudly displays her ribbon
at the Utah Legacy Open Feis 2013
Photo:  Christy Dorrity 
Solos in all age groups were held at the Utah Legacy Open Feis, including a Jump 2, 3 competition for toddlers, and Championships for older ages. Adults were thrilled to be included in the competition according to the level of their ability. Premierships by age level, and a treble reel competition motivated the Irish dancers to do their best. 

In thinking about the future of Irish dance in the United States, Lambourne hopes that many of her students will go on to open schools in the future. "I would also love for the surrounding schools to be more involved with each other,"says Lambourne. "We can be more unified, regardless of what organization, to help promote the dancing that we all love."

Plans are already in place for hosting the Utah Legacy Open Feis next year, and the Tir Ruaidh Irish Dance Company will be hosting a competition in October, 2013.

Friday, June 7, 2013

I, Spy by Jordan McCollum

We're celebrating the launch of I, Spy, and I'm thrilled to be on the blog tour. Read on to find out more about the book, get a cool spy tip for your daily life and download a free gift! Then find I, Spy on Amazon, Kobo, and!

About the Book

Canada is probably the last place you'd expect to find an American spy. But even idyllic Ottawa has its deadly secrets and so does CIA operative Talia Reynolds. She can climb through ventilation shafts, blend in at the occasional diplomatic function, even scale buildings (small ones). But there is one thing she can't do: tell her aerospace engineer boyfriend Danny about her Top Secret occupation. It worked for a year, keeping Danny in the dark, keeping him away from danger, keeping her secrets. And then Talia finally catches a hot case: Fyodor Timofeyev. Russian. Aerospace executive. Possible spy? She can make this work, too until Danny needs her at the same time her country does. And when Fyodor targets Danny? Suddenly her schedule isn't the only thing suffering. Now to save her secrets and her country, Talia must sacrifice the man she loves. More about I, Spy | Add I, Spy to your Goodreads to-read list!

Advance praise

The edge-of-my-seat undercover operations kept me turning pages, and just when I thought the story would go one way, plot twists sent it down another path. Thrilling, adventurous, and romantic, this book has it all for an Alias fan.
ó Jami Gold, award-winning author
Jordan McCollumís debut novel is a delightful combination of mystery, action, and romance. Taliaís CIA training and almost OCD caution feed her quirky humor while exposing her very human fears and insecurities. Add in her boyfriend Danny, and it's enough to twist your heart.
ó Donna K. Weaver, author of A Change of Plans
Clever, suspenseful, and charged with political intrigue and romance, I, Spy is the perfect combination for a fun and captivating read!
ó Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of Monarch

About the author

An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can't resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don't want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most, she's a mom. Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah.

The clue!

As part of the debut of I, Spy, Jordan is hosting a contest to figure out the song that inspired the story. Collect clues at each blog stop and use your spy skills to piece together the clues to win a $25 Amazon gift card! How to enter The clue for this stop is:
Two cover versions of the I, Spy song were released within a year. It would be over 30 years before another cover version was released.

The freebie!

Thanks for participating in this launch tour! As a free gift this week, Jordan is giving out free copies of Mr. Nice Spy, an I, Spy prequel novella. Simply to go You can also get 40% off I, Spy!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Change of Plans by Donna K. Weaver

A Change of Plans
by Donna K. Weaver

Do you just love this cover! It's fantastic! I love the emotion and the sense of impending doom. I'm tickled to be on the A Change of Plans blog tour for Donna K. Weaver. I can't wait to read this book. Pirates, romance, a cruise? Sounds like fun.

When twenty-five-year-old Lyn sets off on her cruise vacation, all she wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a diversion uncomplicated by romance. What she gets is Braedon, an intriguing young surgeon. He's everything her fiancé wasn't, and against the backdrop of the ship's make-believe world, her emotions come alive. Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship—on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic. But it's hard to get away from someone when you're stuck on the same ship. Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions. Then paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped, and Lyn's fear of a fairy tale turns grim. 

~Published June 1st 2013 by Rhemalda Publishing

About Donna K. Weaver:

Donna K. Weaver is a Navy brat who joined the Army and has lived in Asia and Europe. Because she sailed the Pacific three times as a child, she loves cruising and wishes she could accrue enough vacation time to do more of it with her husband. Donna and her husband have six children and eight grandchildren who live all over the world. At fifty, Donna decided to study karate and earned her black belt in Shorei Kempo. After recording city council minutes for twenty years, Donna decided to write something a little longer and with a lot more emotion--and kissing. Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Rhemelda publishing is giving away 5 copies of the ebook to five lucky people. All you have to do is enter:

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