geekery

Goodnight Pond - a parody book for the next hopeful companion

Last week James Hance, the brilliant mind behind Wookiee the Chew, and I announced that we co-authored a book called Goodnight, Pond – a parody book for the next hopeful companion. James, obviously, illustrates this mashup between Doctor Who and the adored children’s book Goodnight Moon. I’m genuinely amazed and impressed by his ability to take an idea and illustrate it in such a way that the image actually moves you.

If I tried to illustrate anything it would look like a series of decapitated and otherwise mangled stick figures surrounded by blobs. The blobs wouldn’t even be impressive.

James Hance is an artistic genius who causes geeky artistic viral waves of radness on Facebook and Tumblr... and I make toddler scribbles look good. I’m totally okay with this.

Neither of us really know how the idea unfolded but as soon as that spark lit we created something that seemed like it was meant to be. Something every Whovian out there would want to read to their children and create a generation of mini-Whovians who would rather put on a bowtie than a cape.

Okay, maybe not to that extent but we freaking think it would be brilliant! (I say that word now because of his British ways and watching too much BBC)

I’m not going to give you spoilers on Goodnight, Pond. I’m not even going to explain why I love using the word spoilers so much! Okay, maybe just a few…

I’m not going to try to give you a sales pitch on why it’s a must have (because you just HAVE to get it). I’m not even going to threaten to send my ninjas after you if you don’t buy it (though, I totally would). I’m not even going to explain what Doctor Who is (Netflix it, Start watching it, I’ll talk to you in a week my soon to be newbie Whovie).

I’m just going to say that it is truly brilliant (there that word is again) and the subtle little geek references that you may or may not catch the first reading made us squee actual squees while writing Goodnight, Pond.

I will also say that while the, Relentlessly Cheerful and absolutely adorable James “Wookiee the Chew” Hance paired with the somewhat scary Ninja Kicking Life’s Obstacles to happiness no matter what Leila “Don’t Speak Whinese” Miyamoto, duo of geekery creativity may seem like two polar opposite ends of the geek spectrum, we aren’t. Well, we are. But, collaborating on this project was a seamless process and the end result is something we hope you all love as much as we do.

And… there are many more projects already in the works. More books and collaborations and projects… No, no spoilers. Sorry!

After I announced the co-writting collaboration of radsauce lots of my friends reacted with, “OMG HOW AMAZING!” and “CONGRATS!”(I love my people)

But… there were a lot who said…

“When did you write a book?! Didn’t you break your ninja kicker foot?!”

I always try to turn a negative in to a positive.

At the very least I try to turn a negative or unavoidable self inflicted pain with something funny. This happens often.

After breaking my ninja kicker last month my creativity went in to sonic boom hyper drive. I couldn’t walk for weeks. I couldn’t do much physically. This was all very difficult for me… honestly, it was one of the most miserable experiences. Me not being able to take on the world, do everything and even NEED help was torture.

But, I started working on projects that have been on the back burner and I needed an excuse to take things easy. I decided to not focus on all the things I couldn’t do and focus on what I was going to accomplish… while needing to completely distract myself from the inability to walk so I didn’t go mad. It also had a lot to do with timing. It wasn’t planned but this idea was something we jumped on, rolled with it and are excited about.

So, there. I broke my foot and wrote a book. Seemed to be the thing to do.

My life is kind of strange. Having said that… I’m very thankful for this crazy whirlwind of geekery awesomeness. I’m thankful for every single person who has supported me and even those who have doubted because that just makes me try harder.

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When I was a little girl I wanted a pony… actually, I wanted a Unicorn from the movie Legend… and I also wanted to be Lily when she is dressed up in all black and crazy looking.

I also used to daydream during road trips that I’d own a bunch of land, raise my unicorns, farm and hunt… while dressed up as the Dark Queen of the Universe.

Point is no matter how weird your childhood dreams were, most kids wish they had a pony, horse or unicorn.

Horse Haven is a new Facebook game from Ubisoft that is the kind of game that will suck you in, have you reliving those little daydreams you had as a kid… minus the whole Dark Queen of the Universe part.

Though, the kids and I did create an all black horse and named it Midnight so I got that going for me.

The thing that caught my attention immediately is that money from this game is donated to Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue that rescue horses who are destined for slaughter for human consumption. They also help horses who are neglected and abused.  I like games that directly benefit some philanthropic efforts.

Like most Facebook social games this is an addictive amount of fun. You inherit a ranch that your, apparently lazy, uncle let go and it’s up to you to rebuild it.

One can never inherit a ranch in perfect condition, huh?

The game has three primary focuses: build up your ranch, train your horses to win competitions and breed horses to improve your stock. All of these focuses involve social aspects with friends who have the game. If you go to your friend’s ranch and pet their horses or pull weeds you will get energy packs or special items.

Yes. My Ninja Farm!

This is the sort of thing in a game that will get me riled up and play more. I'm that competitive.

You can gift your friends everyday and hopefully your friends return the favor. If they don’t then burn down their farms!

Kidding, of course. That totally isn’t an option… and if it was… I, uh, wouldn’t do it.

Anywhoooo…

The other social aspect of breeding is that your horses can… uh, fancy your friend’s horses and then they can make beautiful babies together. This makes the immature side of me internally teehee.

See? Teehee... I'm very mature.

There are some flaws in it when I play on my Mac but I find less glitches on my PC. I tend to close out of it and when I refresh the page all glitches vanish. The Horse Haven community forum is a great source of information especially for the known bugs for the game. If I found a glitch a quick search on the forum usually turned up any info I needed.

I really wish this was an app on the iPad!

Ultimately, this game is a lot of fun. My kids really like the game (ages 5 and 10) and we regularly fight… err.. decide who gets to check on the horses. I win that argument since I keep telling them I have to review it. So, go get addicted to a new game, friend me on facebook and give me some goodies, relive childhood fantasies and help a non-profit in the process.

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #UbiChamps

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Get Firm this February with Gaiam TV

by Leila on February 10, 2012

Post image for Get Firm this February with Gaiam TV

I’ve been very vocal about the fact that I dislike the gym and would rather workout in the comfort of my own home and on my own time. Sometimes I only have free time at midnight and want to burn some calories while the kids sleep so finding something that works around my crazy schedule is difficult.

I can’t get that in a gym.

I’ve often stared at the Fitness DVD’s feeling completely overwhelmed and not knowing what to try. It can be a big investment to buy a workout DVD and end up hating it just to try another one.

If you don’t find that right one then you can waste money and become frustrated.

Or maybe that is all just me?

Either way I was really happy to be introduced to GaiamTV which has over 2,000 titles, Gaiam TV, it’s like a netflix for health, wellness, yoga and fitness, delivering hundreds of hours of online yoga, Pilates and cardio classes.

I was happy to see it has videos of top instructors like Rodney Yee, Seane Corn, Jillian Michaels, Mari Winsor and Kathryn Budig. I actually recognized these people which I think says something since I am not a fitness junkie!

It is REALLY easy to use. You login, browse titles that are categorized nicely and you create playlists. I even found some yoga videos I really liked. I’ve been meaning to really check out yoga after I tried it on my Your Shape Fitness Diary!

There are a lot of self help and spiritual videos as well. I watched an amazing documentary this morning about a woman from Germany who was living happily without money. There was even a Swing dancing movie I found that I watched while I made lunch the other day (I multitask a LOT).

I’m a big believer that being healthy isn’t just about having rock hard abs and a booty to bounce things off of. It’s also about the mind and emotional wellbeing. You will find so many titles in GaiamTV that help with just that. It’s really the ultimate feel good go to website that gives you a healthy recharge.

Gaiam TV offers a free 10-day trial to prospective subscribers which is something I like. It stresses me out to sign up for something and not know what I am getting into. Gaiam TV’s $9.95 per month subscription fee allows subscribers to stream unlimited content. The subscription to Gaiam TV is no strings attached; there is no commitment, and members can cancel at anytime which again is great for a commitment-phobe like me!

Gaiam TV is going to be part of my regular workout routine. I also like the idea that if I am traveling I can access my favorite workouts on the go!

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Post image for The Fresh Diet: A Review and Why It’s Better than a Houseboy

You know what is second to having your own hottie personal chef at your command? Having delicious gourmet meals and snacks delivered to you daily by local chefs. All you have to do is reheat and enjoy! No fuss, no mess… just good eats that also help you lose weight. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. I tried it with the Fresh Diet.

Sure I don’t get to ogle over a man slaving over my stove in the kitchen but I did get to wake up every morning to a full days worth of amazing food!

Having food delivered to me is actually a better fantasy. As much as I joke about wanting to have a houseboy and personal chef I would feel extremely awkward having someone do all of that for me.

There ya have it… I’m so fiercely independent I can’t even truly fantasize about someone doing things for me!

Anyway…

I was excited to learn about The Fresh Diet because who wouldn’t be after seeing the food porn below?

 

This is a Full Day's Worth of Food from The Fresh Diet

Portobello Mushroom stuffed with Shrimp!

Asparagus Omlette and Ninja Coffee (Ninja not included in The Fresh Diet)

Seared Tuna Salad... Nom NOM NOM!

When you sign up you can pick your meal options and it will give you a heads up if you are picking out of your target calorie range or if you are loading up on the carbs. This is a diet that does not suck… you can pick options like cheesecake! Cheesecake makes everything not suck. The online menu system is an absolute breeze. Most of the menu options you have include pictures. I tried so many new things that I fell in love with (like broccoli mash) that I never would have made myself.

All of the food was delicious. I didn’t have a single complaint about the portions or quality. Not to boast too much and make me sound like an obnoxious ass but I’m a fantastic cook! I love making high quality, tasty and delicious meals… so I was honestly apprehensive that I would get food that met my high expectations and these surpassed it!

During this week I dropped a pound… and I wasn’t really even working out! I wasn’t feeling well the entire week I had this service which made life even easier. So I think the diet was the reason I dropped a pound since I wasn’t getting off my sick ninja butt to workout like I should have been.

You can learn more about the benefits about The Fresh Diet in my first post if you want more information. Check out their website and you will drool over all the food options. I find that the price for the program is comparable to what you would spend to dine out… but the quality is better and you can’t beat the convenience.

Start today for $29.99 per day and get 3 days free with the purchase of a 31 day plan. You will get a 6 day supply of Hint Premium Essence Water and a fitness DVD from Jessica Smith as a rad bonus with this current deal! See, it is better than a houseboy!

Go to www.thefreshdiet.com/single to take advantage of this special offer. You can also call 866-FRESH-50 (866-373-7450) and use Promo code: singlejan3

Disclaimer: This is based on my experience. I was given a week’s worth of food from the Fresh Diet to sample. I was compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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At some point we all wish there was more time in the day. Life gets busier as we get older and it just zooms on by leaving us wondering where we even put our todo lists… Parenting means you have little to no free time. When you are a single Mom time seems to not even exist.

But, we do what we can and many things get taken off the priority list.

The man thing that is often neglected is eating healthy. Oh sure most of us try! But there are so many times when we leave one of our kid’s after school activities and we have to grab some fast food while on the way to the next.

It’s just easier… but at what cost?

I’ve put on more weight than I’d like to admit this past year and I’m not exactly sure how I got to that point. Life gets insanely busy, I cook less and grab food on the go to give myself more time in the day. I’ve tried fad diets and I’ve tried many things to lose weight quick…

I always gained the weight right back and the need to eat on the go is still there.

So I realized I just needed to make logical changes in my life to be healthy again. I have to eat right and exercise. I need to push aside the fast foods and ignore the convenience of it all.

This is much easier said than done because I still have little free time on my hands. On top of my daily life of ninja kicking hurdles out of the way what about making time for a personal life? That is even more of a challenge.

I’ve had many conversations with other single Moms who feel they can’t even date because they are unhappy with how they look and feel or don’t have the time to date… or both!

See the cycle?

Then I was introduced to The Fresh Diet and kind of fell in love…

Isn’t that delicious? And it’s a DIET!

After my recent fitness kick I thought some of you would love to know about this delicious program. This is the busy person’s dream and especially single Moms. It’s a calorie controlled diet that is made fresh from local chefs. Best part? It’s not a starve yourself kind of diet! You can have your cheesecake and healthy foods too!

You get three meals and two snacks per day and there are hundreds of menu items to choose from. They are also delivered right to your door every day with no delivery charges. It’s like having your own personal chef. The price is also comparable to dining out each day.

There are so many busy times when I have joked about wanting my own personal chef (as well as a house boy and a pool boy!) so The Fresh Diet is a rad alternative.

So if you want to lose some weight eating right but having the extra time to do fun things like, (gasp!) go out on a date or have a girl’s night, then this is right for you.

Because I am doing this review and The Fresh Diet wants to let other Single Ladies out there know how beneficial this is they are doing a special promo: Start today for $29.99 per day and get 3 days free! Use the promo code is: singlejan3

Click to Learn More About the Promo!

If you try this out please let me know! I’ll be doing my followup review on the foods I try out and I can give you some suggestions on what my favorites are. If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook then you will have seen a peek at some of these yummy foods!

Disclaimer: I was given a week trial of food for the Fresh Diet so I could give a full review. I’m being compensated for writing a review. All opinions are my own.

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Post image for Final Week of My Fitness Diary aka I Heart Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012


Thank you to Ubisoft for providing me with a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 and sponsoring this fitness diary series. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

This is my final week of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 diary but I am going to continue to talk about my fitness progress with this game.

When I started this I thought it was going to end up requiring a lot of work and I was worried that I wasn’t going to see results.

I mean really when you think about losing weight with a video game that seems silly… too good to be true! Right? Wrong.

So very wrong.

In my first week I let you all know I started at 167lbs… this is the heaviest I’ve ever been without a baby brewing inside me. Actually just before this I was up to 171lbs. I knew I needed to lose weight but wasn’t making the time for it and wasn’t making the right lifestyle choices.

So this began a couple days before thanksgiving and I continued to make the time for Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 during the holiday madness.

Honestly it was a rad outlet. I had so many days when I was really frustrated. I was able to box out my frustrations, wind down with yoga, get my booty handed to me in a bootcamp and workout with my kids all from the comfort of my own home and on my own time.

It didn’t feel like I was working out. I was just picking the activities that I needed most at the moment and for the time I had.

It was glorious.

Earlier this week I have friends over who wanted to check out the game. We played this game for almost an hour! The multiplayer games are much more fun than I anticipated especially with a group of VERY competitive people. They will soon be owners of this game because they liked it so much.

We were all very sore the next day because we over did it but that is also a sign of a great workout!

This game has a fitness track for everyone. The best recipe for success is going to be determined on the player. Also, don’t let more than two days pass without playing… just make time for it! When I stopped thinking about it as a fitness program and more like a game… one that I had to win a lot of points like a greedy little point gnome.. I was flying through it.

My pants are falling off of my butt and I’m glad I have extra Christmas cash to get some new clothes. I’m down 11lbs and in the 150′s again… I also feel great. Like, really great. I honestly think I would have lost more weight had I not done this during the holidays when I spend a month eating with my family and friends!

I’m stoked to be starting the new year ahead of my New Years resolution!

Want to win a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012? Comment on any of my fitness diary posts and I’ll be picking a winner at random!

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I’ve been very happy with my progress with Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 the last three weeks… but now it’s gained so many points in my book involving my kids. There are multiplayer functions in many of the activities and the kids have even more fun than I do.

We are also very competitive so Your Shape: Fitness Evolved gets us pumped.

Yes, I am not above trying to outscore my kids in any game.

I love what Humana and Ubisoft did with this part of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved! “In partnership with Ubisoft, Humana is offering a cutting-edge way to teach children habits that can help to prevent obesity, help seniors stay active and mobile, and give people of all ages tools for lowering their blood pressure – three ways people can significantly improve their health and quality of life,” said Raja Rajamannar, Humana’s Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer.

Strengthen Your Heart – Focused on lowering high blood pressure

Active Kids – Targeting at preventing childhood obesity

Aging with Grace – Designed to help seniors with mobility and aging

My Kids and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012

Both of my kids really liked playing Active Kids and their ages are nine and four.

My nine year old daughter has mild arthritis so staying active is very important for her. I usually try to find her games that keep her active so she doesn’t feel like she is doing physical therapy but she didn’t mind this program at all. Not only did she feel like a grown up by participating with me but she enjoyed it.

My four year old son is the most active little ninja monkey on the planet so he LOVED this! Anything that helps him expend that energy is a double bonus for me.

This game went from being an amazing outlet for me and the only way I’ve been able to ninja kick my butt in gear to being a huge asset to my whole family.

Want to win a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012? Comment on any of my fitness diary blog posts and a winner will be selected at the end of my five week fitness program!

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Thank you to Ubisoft for providing me with a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 and sponsoring this fitness diary series. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

This is week three of my Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 ninja training aka working my booty off aka tossing out the muffin top! I’m still loving this game!

In the first week of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 I dropped 2lbs and get in the swing of things.

The second week of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 I dropped 5lbs and spent a lot of time focusing on my abs and glutes.

 

I lost an additional pound this week… and while that doesn’t seem like a lot I am beyond stoked about it! I had to start wearing a belt! YES! This means either my pants somehow grew while I was sleeping or I am slimming down.

It’s not just a slight difference.. It’s like when you wear pants too big and you have that bubble around your butt that makes it look like you pooped yourself.

Yes, I am excited about the fact my pants don’t fit me right thus making it look like I dropped one in my pants.

 

This past week I obsessed over getting metals and awards. Each time I would try something new on the game (like an activity or class) I would not move on until I beat my scores and got a metal. This is a huge part of the game and one that keeps me motivated.

 

I’m flying through the Cardio Boxing classes. It’s like I am martial arts training again but from my own home. It will give reminders like keep my elbows loose, keep with the beat and let me know when I am not doing something correctly. Which then in turn makes me punch harder! It seriously kicks butt! My kids join in with me when I am doing Cardio Boxing since they are both in martial arts class. They have a lot of fun with it… especially when I get told I am doing something wrong!

 

Week three on this all in all is a huge success. It’s become a part of my routine instead of something I feel like I have to do. As I build up my endurance I am enjoying the more challenging levels of all the classes. Every day I’m able to do a little more and get a higher score… and that is really rewarding!

 

Plus spending time every day punching, kicking and upper cutting the air with my kids is just ninjatastic!

Who is that ninja on the right??

 

Remember every person who comments will be entered to win a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012!

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Thank you to Ubisoft for providing me with a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 and sponsoring this fitness diary series. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

 

I can’t believe that I’m noticing the difference in my body after only two weeks of this game! I’ve down 5lbs and I still think that is huge considering I still eat like crap and Thanksgiving was in the beginning of this. I’m converting a lot of fat in to muscle so I expect to see less of a weight drop but hope to define my body more.

And by defining I mean toning up and not by calling myself a muffin top!

This past week I’ve been focusing on my abs and glutes. After two kids the elasticity in my stomach isn’t really there so I know that will be a challenge. I also can’t stand doing situps. I’ve found a few of the programs on Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 that help me target my abs without just doing a ton of situps. The Cardio Boxing is my overall favorite class (I am a ninja after all). I also love that I can pick body focused workouts that really challenge me.

My glutes are a story of their own. I lived my whole life with no butt. I had a completely flat booty, no hips with thin legs! After my youngest was born my booty and hips kind of just took off! I went from being the twig I used to be to a much more curvy person. It was a weird adjustment to realize that I am not physically the person I’ve always been. I used to hate it and it made me self conscious. I wanted my old frame back because I was used to it. Well, now I am embracing the curves and the body I have now. Once I can tone my body and feel healthy again I will really embrace it.

Until playing Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 and I really didn’t know what to do in order to shape and tone specific parts of my body. I was just a wild active monkey and burned off calories like crazy. Now? Well, I just don’t have that same lifestyle… so I really love that this game helps me learn what I am supposed to do without me having to go to a gym and hire a personal trainer.

The only bummer with this past week for me is a personal error. I kept logging in to the wrong account and I lost a few days of stats because of it. I guess waking up at 6am to get my Your Shape: Fitness Evolved on before having coffee means I am going to make some silly errors!

Over the next week I’m going to push myself more and try to get a work out in every day and alternate between hard workouts and workouts like Yoga and stretching.

Wish me luck!

Every person who comments will be entered in a giveaway for a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 by UbiSoft. It requires the Kinect and in all honesty is worth getting it!

 

 

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Fitness Diary AKA Ninja Training on the Kinect

by Leila on December 4, 2011


Thank you to Ubisoft for providing me with a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 and sponsoring this fitness diary series. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

I’ve been saying for longer than I want to admit that I want to get back to the gym… but that is easier said than done.

Sure I’ve made it a few times this past year…

Um, okay maybe a few times over the last few years.

But, I have done many power walks and had some trainings in between!

Life as a Mom just isn’t as carefree as it was before. I need to schedule time to take care of myself which always seems like a luxury!

I’ve found games like Just Dance for the wii being an amazing way to workout and have some fun. But, I needed more.

Then I heard about Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 by Ubisoft and I thought it was too good to be true. A workout program that not only tracks all of my progress but it also has a competitive point system?

It is pretty amazing!

In the past week I have made a bigger effort to workout since I am able to do it from my own home. I am also able to target specific areas of my body without having to have a personal instructor tell me what to do… well, I do have one… it’s just on my Xbox!

The female voice on this game will ask you why you are leaving when you exit the room and she welcomes you when you return. I may have said a few curses to her as I crawled out of the room seeking more water.

I spent a lot of time focusing on the warm ups this first week. The Hu-la-la warm up really helps get a good core workout. Plus I am insanely competitive so I kept going back for more to beat my score. It was a lot of fun, the kids even joined in with me! I also discovered that my arms are not the beasts they used to be when I was doing arm circles during the “Hurricane” warm up.

I also kicked my butt on the jump rope activity! It is a lot of fun but I think I pushed it too far because I was walking with a pimp limp the next day. This was a reminder that I need to stretch more often.

The Tai Chi Cool Down is one of my favorite parts of this program because it is so relaxing and takes me back to my days in Kung Fu and Tai Chi training.

I’m on a mission to get my body to where I want it to be and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 by Ubisoft is going to be the jump start. Right now I am at the heaviest I have ever been… well, not counting how much I weighed when my kids were born. I started this at 167 pounds (I can’t freaking believe I am admiting that and that I am that heavy right now) and I am happy to say that in this first week I am down two pounds. That may not seem like a lot but I started this right before Thanksgiving where I know I packed on some pounds!

Over the next month I will be posting my diary on this mission. It’s time to kick my Ninja Butt in gear! Wish me luck!

 

Every person who comments on my Fitness Diary series will be entered to win a copy of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012!

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