Tag Archives: Liebster award

Liebster love

26 May

Wow! It’s another two Liebster nominations, this time from Amanda at A Year in the Life and Cassandra at Powered by Bling – THANK YOU!

New Liebster Award logo

For those of you who haven’t heard of this award, it’s an award given by bloggers to bloggers and was created to recognise relatively new blogs or those with <2000 followers.
There are variants on the rules, so I’m just going to merge the two sets of rules as I’m a little short of time now!

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 10/11 questions that were posted by the blogger who nominated you
  3. Share 11 facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 10/11 blogs with less than 2000 followers for the award
  5. Create 10/11 questions for your nominees to answer
  6. Go to their blogs and notify the nominees.

So, here we go with my facts and answers to both sets of questions!


The first set of questions that I’m going to answer are from Amanda at A Year in the Life.

A year in the life

A year in the life

Amanda’s blog covers an electic mix of topics, including playlists for running and her efforts to become a professional writer.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

That’s a tricky question… it would depend on whether it would be a permanent move or just for a year or two. For a long time, I was desperate to work in Japan, but I never made it there. I spent three days in Tokyo in 2008, and am planning to go back there next year for a cycling holiday. However, I think the pace of life in Tokyo would be too hectic for me and I couldn’t cope with the tiny accommodation. I enjoyed visiting my brother and sister in Australia and really liked the laid-back lifestyle in Melbourne. I also really liked Barcelona when I was there. In reality, I hate change, so I’m quite happy where I am in Southampton… but I wouldn’t mind a larger house with a big garden and a swimming pool!

Favourite clothing brand?

Hmmm…. that’s another one that I’m not sure how to answer. I like Brooks shoes for running; and I wouldn’t exchange my TeamSOAS kit for training/racing – their tri shorts are the most comfy ones that I’ve ever worn on my bike. I wear a lot of Gap clothes for work and I love Ted Baker clothes. I also love my two pairs of Corral boots.

My favourite Corral boots

My favourite Corral boots

Favourite movie?
It might take me all night to answer these questions. I used to teach Film and Media Studies, so I’ve seen a lot of films. Films that I like include La Haine, Chungking Express, The Happiness of the Katakuris and Unforgiven. I like most of Clint Eastwood’s movies. I also enjoy musicals, with the exception of Chicago.

Favourite TV show?
I quite like Big Bang Theory and used to love watching Big Love.
Favourite book?
One of the books that had a big influence on me as a teenager was The Outsiders by SE Hinton. It was sent to me by my German exchange partner, Alexandra, and I love it so much that I memorised huge chunks of it.
Favourite physical activity?
I really enjoy a good yoga class and dancing makes me happy.
Favourite song?
If I’m on my turbo trainer, I find Wake me Up by Avicii to be quite motivational, but I’m a huge fan of Luke Bryan (who is relatively unheard of in the UK as most people here don’t listen to country music). I’m torn between choosing Do I and Someone Else calling You Baby. I can often be found singing along to those in my Fiat 500.

Favourite celebrity blog?
At last – a question I can answer. I don’t read any celebrity blogs!
Favourite colour?
Favourite season?
I love summer as I like being able to spend more time outdoors… but I run better in winter, when the air is cold, and I don’t overheat.
Favourite beverage?
I drink more water than anything else, but like to indulge in hot chocolate. I very rarely drink alcohol, but I do like the taste of gin….and now onto the questions posed by Cassandra. Please check out her blog, Powered by Bling. Cassandra is a super-inspirational blogger who has overcome cancer and is now a triathlete – way to go!

Powered by Bling

Powered by Bling

What is the last good book you read?
I’ve just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which had me hooked. I’ve not seen the film.
Why did you start blogging?
I wanted to change my life and thought that writing down my goals and making them public would make me feel more accountable.
What is on your bucket list?
Completing an iron distance triathlon.
What is one of your greatest life or fitness accomplishments?
That a tough question. I’ve achieved quite a lot academically (11 GCSEs; 4 A-levels; HNC; BA (Hons.); MA; PGCE…), but I’ve never found studying particularly difficult. I’ve never been very good at physical activities, so I was hugely proud when I won a progress award at my dance school, and followed it up by getting my highest ever mark in my next tap exam, which was also higher than the rest of the class’s marks! Logically, I should say that it was either competing in the British Team Gymnastics Championships, as I’d only been doing gymnastics for 2 years at the time. Or, it would be one of my karate achievements: winning national tournaments, achieving my black belt or competing internationally.
What is your favorite blog post that you’ve written? (Provide the link so we can check it out!)
I don’t have a favourite blog post, so it’s probably easiest if I say which posts readers have liked best. Unsurprisingly, the About page on my blog is that one that has received the most traffic, with the other pages also being visited fairly frequently. Aside from those This might be the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me is the most popular post that I’ve written. Should I change my name? also received a lot of comments, both on my blog and on Facebook.
Name one thing/item that you could not go a day without.
Aside from oxygen, water and food, that would have to be Stuart, my amazing husband 🙂

What is your life motto?

I've achieved fame on the Team SOAS website!

I’ve achieved fame on the Team SOAS website!

What goals do you have for the remainder of 2014?
To finish Challenge Weymouth 70.3
If you could go on an all-expense paid travel for a month, what would you do?
I think I’d probably have to put my private jet to use, as there are so many places that I’d like to visit. I’d want to visit my brother and sister in Australia and would hope that my mum and my husband could come along. I’d also like to spend a few days in Japan as well as relaxing in the Caribbean for a few days. I like country music, so I’d want to visit Nashville. It would also be good to pop over to Geneva to visit a school-friend. I’d like to see Moscow and would hope to be able to take in a local parkrun and catch up with Elena and Alex, who I met on my last triathlon holiday. It would definitely take me a lot of planning!

Tell us something we might not already know about you that you would like your followers to know about you.
I try to be completely honest in my blog posts, but negativity is never motivational, so if I’m feeling down, I tend not to post.

Facts about me (some of these may be repeats, but I’ll try to share some things you may not already know):

  1. I love pugs, but don’t have any pets.
  2. My parents bought their house in 1975, just after my older sister was born and my mum still lives there, so I never moved house when I was growing up.
  3. I’m a Professional Specialist in Learning Design.
  4. I did karate for five years and reached black belt level.
  5. Both of my siblings have emigrated to Australia.
  6. I don’t have any children, but have 4 nephews, 2 nieces and a god-daughter.
  7. I never have baths as there’s too much of a risk that I’ll faint and drown!
  8. I was recently diagnosed as asthmatic.
  9. I wear Brooks shoes for most of my running (PureFlow, PureCadence or Vapors), but wear Salomons for trail/cross-country running.
  10. I’ve run 5 marathons.
  11. I had dancing lessons from 5-21 and was particularly proficient at tap dancing.

OK, so here are my questions for my nominees:

  1. What advice would you give to your sixteen year old self and why?
  2. What’s the best fitness hack/training tip that anyone’s ever shared with you?
  3. What’s your most annoying habit?
  4. What one thing would you change about your job and why?
  5. What’s your favourite recipe?
  6. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  7. Are there any sports that you’ve tried and hated?
  8. What are you afraid of?
  9. If you had £1million to donate to charity, which one would you choose and why?
  10. Do you make and keep New Year’s resolutions?

Drum roll, please… here are my nominees for the Liebster Award:

Please check out these awesome blogs and follow them if you like what you see 🙂


Running on Clean

13 May

Woohoo! Nicola at Running on Clean has nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you, Nicola! Please check out her blog where she posts about health and fitness. Nicola is a fellow Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador and member of #TeamStellar!

Liebster Award

So, what is a Liebster Award? It is basically a form of recognition from fellow bloggers. Once you have been nominated you have to answer 10 questions from your original nominator and go on to nominate another 10 bloggers yourself.

Here are the rules:

1.) You must link back to the person who nominated you
2.) You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
3.) You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award (with a small following)
4.) You must create 10 questions for your nominees
5.) You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

So, here are my answers to Nicola’s questions:

  1. How did you start your fitness journey?
    That’s a tough question to answer… I had dance lessons from when I was 5 until I was 21, but I was never especially fit and healthy. I was ‘up a year’ at school, so I was a year younger (and hence smaller) than all of my classmates, so I struggled to keep up with them when it came to sports, which made me feel disheartened. When I was 20, I took up gymnastics and absolutely loved it. I used to train several times a week, including for six hours on Sundays. When I was nearly 30, I took up karate, so that I could do a sport with my husband. I also took up running to increase my fitness levels and it’s gone from there.
  2. Why did you start your blog?
    I wanted to document my five-year challenge – I intend to complete an iron-distance triathlon before I’m 40. I thought that writing down my goals in a public way may make me feel more accountable.
  3. What activities/sports are you most passionate about and what do you gain from doing them?
    I love doing yoga as it’s very calming and gives me an opportunity to relax and de-stress. I also love running, although I’m finding the pressure of competition a bit much at the moment as I’m failing to reach my own targets.
  4. Who is your fitness inspiration?
    I’m a great admirer of Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah. I also think Chrissie Wellington is an inspirational woman.
  5. Do you meal prep? If so, when and do you have any tips?
    I tend to do all of my meal prepping in the evening. I tend to cook in bulk (curries/chillies/pasta meals that serve six), so that I don’t have to cook every evening. I know that I each much more healthily when I plan ahead. When my evening meal is cooking, I make my lunch for the next day, which is always a salad (usually with 40g smoked cheese, but sometimes with humus or chickpeas). I also try to weigh out my porridge for the following day’s breakfast.
  6. What is your go-to breakfast recipe?
    It’s always 30g oats, but with various extras. One of my current favourites is ground almonds, dried apricots and some vanilla extract. I don’t drink milk, so I always make it with water. 2 minutes in the microwave and it’s done 🙂
  7. Finish the sentence. When I’m not running I’m…
  8. Imagine this, you are on a self-directed race and get lost. You find yourself beside a lake with no one else around. What do you do?
    I rarely run with a phone, so I wouldn’t be able to call for help, so I guess it depends on how remote the location is. If I haven’t run far, I might retrace my footsteps to a place that I recognise, or if I’m feeling confident, I might run around the lake looking for signs of where I should go.
  9. List your top 2 short and long-term goals
    My top 2 short-term goals are to rest and heal my sprained wrist and shoulder and to follow the plan my coach has designed, so that I start regaining my fitness.
    My top 2 long-term goals are to complete Challenge Weymouth 70.3 and to finish an iron-distance triathlon.
  10. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
    I enjoy connecting with other people and also receiving feedback from others. I really appreciate that people are willing to spend their time reading what I’ve written. On a personal level, my blog reminds me that however slow it may seem, I am making progress towards my goal.

Here are my 10 questions:

  1. How would you summarise what your blog is about?
  2. Which of your blog posts has generated the most discussion and why?
  3. What tips would you give to anyone thinking about starting to blog?
  4. What challenges/races/events have you got lined up for 2014?
  5. What has been your greatest achievement in life?
  6. What skill do you hope to master over the next year?
  7. What is your favourite gadget and why?
  8. What’s the furthest from home you’ve travelled for a sporting event?
  9. Describe your philosophy for life in a six word sentence…
  10. What is the most important advice that you can give to readers?

…and even more importantly, here are my 10 nominated blogs:

  1.  Heather at The Tri Road
  2. Marc at Run, Hemingway, Run
  3. Danielle at Damn, Girl, That’s a lot of Fattitude!
  4. Leanne at Leanne Nalani
  5. Fat Guy 2 Tri Guy
  6. Erica at Chronicles of a SAHM
  7. Mike at Fat, Beared & Tattooed Cyclist
  8. Stephanie at My life sucks, I think I’ll become a triathlete
  9. 2 Cups ‘N Run
  10. Chris at Or Die Trying

I previously received the Liebster Award back in March – here are my answers from then: http://fatgirltoironman.co.uk/2014/03/01/liebster-award/

Liebster Award

1 Mar

I was recently nominated by Dawn at Sneaker Therapy for the Liebster Award! Some people dislike ‘awards’ like this and view them as an annoying ‘chain letter’, but my personal view is that it is a way of making links with the blogging community. I’ve found some great blogs by following links on blogs that I already read and like and hopefully it has led some people to my blog. Thanks for the nomination, Dawn – I appreciate it and love reading your blog!


The Liebster Award rules are to share 11 random facts about yourself, answer the questions provided by the nominator and then pass it on.

Here are my 11 random facts:

  1. I adore pugs but have never owned a dog.
  2. Both of my siblings have emigrated to Australia.
  3. I’ve had hair long enough to sit on as well as having it cut to an inch long. It has also been a range of colours, including blue.
  4. I had dancing lessons for 16 years and was quite good at tap.
  5. I moved in with my husband the day before we started going out with each other.
  6. The main subjects that I studied from 15-17 were German, History and Theatre Studies.
  7. I’ve been three miles underground (and I hated it!)
  8. I’ve walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  9. Rolf Harris got changed in my Gran’s garage once.
  10. I’ve been a vegetarian almost all of my life.
  11. I left home at 17.

Questions from Dawn

1. Favorite indulgent food?

Gosh, that’s a tricky question. I think it’s probably ice-cream. I try not to eat it very often, but I adore it. I’m not picky – Haagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerrys, Carte D’Or – any ice-cream will do!

2. A kitchen appliance you can’t live without?

My enormous stainless steel Le Creuset shallow casserole. (Does that count as an appliance?) It’ great for cooking enormous chillies and curries, so that I don’t have to cook every day! If that doesn’t count then maybe I could include a gadget rather than an appliance – I love my Chef’n garlic zoom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9XvEVoJ4_4 It’s a nifty little device that I roll to chop garlic (or ginger).

3. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would buy?

A house. I live in a fantasy world where my house would have t least 4 bedrooms, a swimming pool, a gym, a conservatory and bay windows. Or maybe I’d just pay off my mortgage and stay living in my tiny two-bedroomed terraced house.

4. What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever had to memorize?

At primary school (when I was about 8 years old), I had to memorise ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death,
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldiers knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

I’ve also learned lines for a number of plays, and entire chunks of text for London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts exams. I also learned an entire essay when studying for my A-level German exam. Twenty years later, I cna still remember the opening: “Der Aufbau von Der Richter und Sein Henker ist vielleicht nicht derjenige von einem konventionellen kriminal-roman. Das Hauptthema war eigentlich nicht die entdeckung des Mord von Schmied oder wie Schmied ermordet worde…”

5. What feature/ personality trait do you love most about yourself?

Probably my tenacity and unwillingness to quit… although I guess that can also be perceived as stubborness!

6. Favorite condiment?

That’s an easy one. Coarse ground black pepper complements most savory meals!

7. If you could start another blog, what would it be about?

I already have a couple of other blogs: http://declutterandgofaster.wordpress.com/ which I’ve neglected for the last two years and a work-related blog ‘Developing Education in Professional Practice’ that I started as part of my PGCert in Education Practice when I was working at Bournemouth University – it’s not public, but I do still write in it and may make it publicly available one day.

If I had enough time to really keep on top of my housework and my training (as well as working) then I’d go back to my decluttering blog, but something’s gotta give!

8. What’s most important when you’re buying shoes – comfort or fashion?

Comfort. I cycle to work every day, and spend a lot of my free time running, so function beats style! I also have syndactyly (conjoined toes), so I don’t like wearing shoes that reveal my toes!

9. If you could learn one skill or language instantly, what would you pick?

I would choose to be able to swim. I can swim now, but cannot do butterfly and am not very good – technique is everything in swimming!

10. What’s one way your life is different now than it was 5 years ago?

I no longer spend all of my free time doing karate.

11. Favorite race distance? (of course I had to ask a running question :P)

Probably half marathon (13.1 miles) – tough enough to require some training and stamina, but not so long that it takes over my life!

Without further ado, here are my nominations:

You all are among my favourite bloggers – I love to read your blogposts. If you want to play along with the Liebster Award, here are my questions for you!

1. What’s your favourite festival/holiday?

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

3. What’s your biggest accomplishment in life?

4. What’s the one item you can’t live without?

5. What’s your healthiest habit?

6. What sport would you like to try?

7. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

8. Who would you like to be stuck in a lift/elevator with?

9. What’s the strangest situation you’ve ever been in?

10. What’s your claim to fame?

11. What motto do you live by?

(I would also love to ‘interview’ you for one of my regular Friday posts – please let me know if you’d be happy to do that!)