Scottish actor Sam Heughan becomes Scotland President for Bloodwise

Please read this inspiring blog post by a member of the Bloodwise staff.

https://bloodwise.org.uk/blog/scottish-actor-sam-heughan-becomes-scotland-president-bloodwise

The blog states, “It is hoped that Sam’s role at the charity will continue to raise awareness of blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.”  I joined My Peak Challenge in 2015 and 2016.  I was thrilled to walk in the Light the Night 5k November 3, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the US and Canada.  It was my first time at that event.  Sam’s success as a supporter of Bloodwise encouraged me to find ways to help in the United States as well.  I look forward to My Peak Challenge 2017 and am honored to support Bloodwise from Florida!

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For more information about Bloodwise, you can also follow them on Twitter @bloodwise_uk, Instagram @Bloodwise_UK, or their Facebook page Bloodwise.

Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jennifer McAfee – Facebook

Fall in Florida

I’ve been enjoying all the pictures friends are posting on social media featuring beautiful fall foliage, the leaves ablaze with red, orange and gold.  The screen grabs of weather apps proclaiming cooler temperatures is admittedly a foreign concept to me.  I do love fall in Florida.  The children and I go to the pumpkin patch and choose the perfect pumpkin.  Their Halloween costumes have been planned for months, but I have been known to procrastinate and scramble to put together a costume at the last minute.

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I have mentioned in previous posts that I moonlight in PR, and one client that is especially fun to work with is Goodwill of Northeast Florida.  Goodwill is a non-profit organization that accepts donations of clothing, shoes, books, and housewares.  The money generated from the sale of those items in their stores helps people with disabilities and special needs receive job training and meaningful employment.  For more information, go to www.goodwilljax.org.

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In October, they showcase Halloween costumes that have been purchased at the Goodwill store.  These costumes are purchased for a maximum of $10, and purchased at the last minute.  Several lucky models appear on a live morning television segment to show off the creations.  I am one of those lucky models when my schedule permits.

In a blog post written in June, I promised to share the story of how I accidentally flashed Jacksonville viewers.  October 2014, I dutifully reported to the television studio “bare faced” at my call time of 7:00 a.m.  Goodwill teams up with make-up artist Jay Woodley to complete the looks the stylist has shopped for at the store. I was dressed as a princess inspired by the Disney movie Frozen.

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Jay applied “ice crystals” to my face, shoulders, and hands.

“What are those?” I asked.

He said, “You know when you buy a new pair of shoes or a new purse, and they have the little packets that say Do Not Eat, I opened the packets.”

“Ah ha!”

I’ll be honest, my strapless dress was too big, but all parties involved felt it was the best look.  We decided I wouldn’t be shot from the back.  I was also wearing heels 3 sizes too big.

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We shot the segment outside that particular morning.  The camera man announced, “The bump shot is in three or four minutes.”  According to Wikipedia, the bump shot or bumper shot is an element that acts as a transition to or from commercial breaks.  I was prepared to smile and wave for the camera as they teased the Halloween for Less segment.  Thinking I had time, in an attempt to avoid a wardrobe malfunction, I turned to the side, facing the mirrored windows of the station.  I bent over, and was doing a shimmy of sorts, my upper arms pressed to my side, pushing up and together…well…the “girls”, while at the same time pulling up the top of the dress with my hands.  I heard startled voices.  I wouldn’t have wanted to be the person on the other end of the camera man’s headphones.  I don’t know exactly what he said, I just knew that based on his tone, something was amiss.  When I realized what had been captured for the bump shot, I couldn’t help but ask, “What was on camera? I know what I was doing.”  I was immediately reassured with, “Don’t worry about it.  It was fine.  It was fine.” Okaaayyy…the show must go on.   For your viewing pleasure, here is the link to the actual segment below.  My part starts about 50 seconds into the clip.

www.news4jax.com/news/morning-show/more-goodwill-costume-inspiration

Just to review, I flashed the audience before the segment aired.  Please be kind when you watch, although I realize I won’t be quitting my day job to pursue a career in television.  I teach preschool, and after the segment, I drove to my four-year old classroom to surprise my students with a visit from “Elsa”.  Some were convinced that I was Elsa, and some were quick to declare, “That’s just Mrs. McAfee in a wig!”  The look on their faces was priceless.

On a side note, for my Outlander, Sam Heughan fans that read my blog, this appearance inspired me to work out.  In my opinion, my look was more like Elsa from the future where she’s found her true love, gotten married, and is expecting the royal heir of Arendelle.  My Peak Challenge was unveiled the January after this appearance.  I signed up as soon as I could.

I haven’t dressed as a character from Outlander for Goodwill, but I dressed as Catelyn Stark from Game of Thrones in October of 2013.  Jay Woodley applied fantastic wound make-up for the realistic Red Wedding look from the show.  The process took about 45 minutes to complete.

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I don’t have a video link for that segment, but I did receive some interesting and some nice feedback, “Jenny, your knife skills?” and “I like the way you stayed in character for the whole segment.”

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At the time, I hadn’t seen Game of Thrones, but based on the summary I was given, Catelyn wouldn’t be acting happy about the decision she made.  I’m now caught up on all six seasons of Game of Thrones.

I did not go to my classroom after this segment.  I drove home, and immediately took a shower. The red water droplets scattered on the tiles looked like something out of the movie Psycho.  I knew the blood wasn’t real, but it was disconcerting none the less.

Jay Woodley is on Facebook at Woodley Special Effects LLC, https://www.facebook.com/woodleyspecialeffects/. There is still time to go see him to bring your Halloween ideas to life.  Check out his schedule on his Facebook page.

I am dressing as a monkey for the Halloween Parties in my Preschool classroom.  Sadly, I will be in the classroom when the Goodwill Halloween segment for 2016 airs.  I need to figure out where to wear this pirate outfit though.  Hurricane Matthew swirled too close to Savannah for me to go to the Outlandish Gathering this month.

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Please share photos of your Halloween creations with me.  Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jennifer McAfee – Facebook

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Outlandish Gatherings 2016

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I didn’t realize two years ago when I started watching the television show Outlander that I would have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and take part in unforgettable experiences while doing something meaningful to help others.  In less than one week, I will attend the Outlandish Gatherings in Savannah, Georgia.

In April, I traveled to New York to represent the Cooklander To the Stove cookbook, and marched in the New York City Tartan Day Parade.

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When I was in New York, fans were talking about the Outlandish Gatherings in Savannah.  I live in the Jacksonville area, Savannah is an easy drive from North Florida.  I started doing research about the Gatherings, went to the Eventbrite website and thought I was putting my name on a wait list; I was pleasantly surprised when I was directed to a field to purchase a ticket.  Hurrah!

I messaged April Steele, one of the organizers of the event, to inquire about representing Cooklander.  April sent me some wonderful information regarding the history of the event, and I knew Cooklander would be a perfect fit as a vendor.  From the information she sent me, I read, “Outlandish Gatherings was the first to organize a “for fans, by fans” gathering for Outlander fans and has grown to be the largest four-day Outlander fan event in the world.”

As I prepared for my trip, I called to make a reservation at the hotel where the event is headquartered.  Here is the conversation with the reservationist:

R: Are you attending with a group?

Me: Yes, Outlandish Gatherings

R: Oh My God! I love that show! I started reading the books too.  I’m reading book 8.  Is anyone good from the show going to be there?

Me:  I think so.  Grant O’Rourke who plays Rupert and Stephen Walters who plays Angus.  Gaelic consultant Àdhamh Ó Broin will be there as well.

R:  When do you think season 3 will be televised?

Me:  I believe they are filming now. Maybe Spring 2017? Are you going to be working the weekend of the event?

R: Oh! I’m not in Savannah.  I’m in central reservations in the Midwest.  I’m going to finish reading book 8 over the winter when we get snow.

Me: Sounds like a good plan.  It’s nice to talk to another Outlander fan.  I’m looking forward to meeting more fans at the Gatherings.

R:  Have a great time! Enjoy your stay.

The theme of the Gathering this year is a nautical one based on Diana Gabaldon’s third book in the Outlander series Voyager.  The adventure takes the beloved characters to the high seas.

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Appropriately, the Outlandish Gatherings in Savannah coincide with the Tybee Island Pirate Fest.  Over the course of the Gathering, several activities are planned to help fans get to know one another better, and give fans the opportunity to meet the special guests from the show.   “Popular Outlander cast members Grant O’Rourke (Rupert) and Stephen Walters (Angus) will both make appearances at the Gathering.”

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Multi-instrumentalist/singer/actor Elias Alexander will be providing entertainment with his band Soulsha.  I was so fortunate to meet Elias in New York at the Outlanders United Season 2 Premiere Event.

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Outlander Gaelic consultant Àdhamh Ó Broin will be attending.  Elias and Àdhamh are both making a return visit to the Gathering.

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The Gathering is raising money for World Child Cancer for the third year in a row, “This will be Outlandish Gathering’s third year raising money for the London-based non-profit that provides diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care for children living in developing nations. Outlander star Catriona Balfe (Claire Fraser) is a patron of the organization, which has enjoyed support from fans around the world.”  The goal is to raise $15,000 through all of the activities at the event.  If you are unable to attend the events, please see the online auction at http://outlandishgatherings2016.eflea.ca/.  The auction features over 100 exclusive Outlander themed items. The auction is open until 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2016.  The Gathering’s JustGiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Outlandish-Gatherings1.  It means so much to me to be representing Cooklander at this event.  One third of the proceeds of sales of Cooklander To the Stove are benefitting World Child Cancer.

Vendors at this year’s event include Hamilton & Young (http://www.hamiltonandyoung.co.uk/), The Scottish Mill Shop (http://scottishmillshop.com/), Things Celtic (https://www.thingsceltic.com/), Cherry Picked Signs (https://www.etsy.com/shop/CherryPickedSigns), and Cooklander (http://www.cooklander.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html).

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I’m thrilled to be sharing a vendor table with Cherry Picked Signs.  I’ll have information about the new Cooklander Triple Play Promotion.  Jessie Barbara of Cherry Picked Signs makes Outlander inspired decals for vehicles or any hard surface including wall decor.  Jessie will also have Outlander inspired quilts created by her friend Susan Leidy, as well as steering wheel covers, t-shirts, key fobs, and clocks.  Come say hello to all the vendors.

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Outlandish Gatherings 2016 Roll Call! I am traveling with my River City Sassenach Sister @Fidgitywidget.  I would love to meet fellow Peakers participating in My Peak Challenge, ThePeakPosse members, and Cooklander Club members.  (I am SO excited there is a Cooklander Club!  Follow them on twitter @Cooklanderclb and on Facebook at Cooklander Club.) I look forward to meeting Outlander friends old and new in Savannah.  Here’s a sneak peek at my pirate outfit, I’m not finished yet, need a hat and some bling. 😉

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I ordered my outfit from Aunt MJ Creations.  Mary makes hand-made ladies Celtic and Renaissance clothing.  I met her at the Jacksonville Beach Lannadoo Festival and Northeast Florida Scottish Games and Festival.  Check out her website http://auntmjcreations.com.

Press inquiries about Outlandish Gatherings 2016 may be directed to April Steele at april@outlandishgatherings.com.

Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jennifer McAfee – Facebook

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

 

People are People

By day, I teach two year olds. Friday marked the last day of school.  As I was packing up my classroom, I was thinking about the other jobs I have held.  I haven’t always spent my days singing Wheels on the Bus and helping children learn to play nicely with others.  In my past life, I worked at The Spa at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, and currently moonlight as a consultant at a local PR company. In both of these situations, I have had the opportunity to meet professional athletes, politicians, and people I consider celebrities.  I have learned from these encounters that celebrities are real people.  I am very grateful for that fact as I have had my fair share of “open mouth insert foot moments.”

I worked at The Spa on and off for 11 years, and wore many hats.  I was a receptionist, locker room attendant, served mimosas and wine spritzers, trained new employees, and worked as group coordinator when large groups came into The Spa.  I moved up to the management team, and was the Front Desk Manager. One Sunday, I was the only manager in the building, and answered the phone at the front desk.  Here’s the phone conversation:

Me: Spa Ponte Vedra, this is Jenny, how may I help you?

Client: Do you have any openings for a shampoo and blow dry?

Me: I’m sorry, we are fully booked.  May I add your name to the wait list?

Client: Yes, please.

Me: Last name?

Client: Bush

Me: First name?

Client: Barbara

Me: As in George Bush?

Client: That’s right!

Me: I will call you as soon as there is an opening.

Needless to say, Former First Lady Barbara Bush came into The Spa that afternoon for her hair appointment. Secret Service came in prior to her appointment so that I could be vetted.  I felt funny charging her for her service, but company policy stated we treat VIPs the same way you would treat anyone else.  Asking for a photograph or an autograph was definitely out of the question. She was so gracious and very nice.

I am no longer on the payroll, but would highly recommend vacationing at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club.  Relaxation, privacy, fine dining, and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean are guaranteed.  On a side note, I also worked at The Gym on property.  Again, front desk, I handed out towels.  I was a trainer for a few days at the gym.   I trained employees on the new computer booking system.

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image via taxslayerbowl.com

My most recent embarrassing moment occurred at a Silent Auction fundraiser at the school where I currently teach.  Have you ever played the telephone game as a child?  The following events remind me of playing that game.

One of my parents donated a four course meal to the auction.  I knew that he was from New York, and that he was a celebrity chef.  The piece of information I was missing was the name of the celebrity.  While I was volunteering at the event, the chef and his wife came over to say hello, and thank me for everything I was doing for their child.  Here is a snippet of that conversation.

Me:  You’re welcome! Thank you for donating to the auction! Oh!  Next week, I want to ask you about New York.  I have my flight, but wanted to ask you about where to stay, etc…

Him:  What are you going to do while you are there?

Me: I’m going to the NYC Tartan Day Parade. (My last name is McAfee, they didn’t question why I was going.)

At this point, they start talking to me about Matt Lauer.  In my head, I’m thinking, they must really like Matt Lauer.

Both: We can hook you up with Matt Lauer.  You can walk down the parade route with

Matt.

Me: I don’t care about Matt Lauer.  If you really want to hook me up with someone…

(Insert conversation about Sam Heughan, Outlander, and Starz)

I finish my shift selling gift cards, and finally have a chance to look at all the auction items.  Sipping a glass of wine, I discover the item donated by the parent.  The description of the meal included a wonderful bio describing him as Matt Lauer’s former personal chef.

Fast forward to the end of the evening, I am behind the check-out table.  My favorite parents come to say good night.

Me: I owe you an apology.  I am so sorry!  I would love to meet Matt Lauer!

Both: Start laughing

My co-teacher still giggles about my conversation.  PR gal tuned fangirl fail.  The sweet Mom and Dad were genuinely interested in my New York trip.

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After I told them about my adventure, they shook their heads, and joked, “My child is in your class.” Not to worry, I have my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.  I’m certified by the state of Florida to mold young minds.  Stay tuned for more news about this talented chef.  He is opening a restaurant in Neptune Beach, FL this summer.

Those awkward slip ups aren’t the norm for me.  I have actually been described as “most professional”.  I’m able to do PR work during events and shows when school is not in session.  I’ve never been to a Comic-Con or any Con, but I have worked as a “celebrity handler”.  The Home and Patio Show and the Southern Women’s Show come to the Prime Osborn Convention Center in Jacksonville in the spring and in the fall, and feature a celebrity guest.  In between their scheduled speaking times, they go off stage and into a different room.  This is where I came into the picture.  If they needed anything, I made sure they had whatever they needed.  Whether it was a bottle of water, lunch, a picture taken, or a Sharpie, I made it happen.  I researched plane tickets taking into account when some needed to fly “first class because I have long legs, and need more leg room.”  Easy enough.  I respected their privacy, and took my cues from them.  I’ve met John Gidding, Peter Walsh, Angelo Surmelis, Matt Muenster, and Joey Fatone.  All were incredibly nice, very talented, and unique.  Some wanted to talk to me and others working with the show, and some wanted to quietly read a book in between their scheduled speaking times.  I admit to fangirling a little bit about Joey Fatone.

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One of them even took me and my children into the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios with him and his VIP guide.  He was presenting at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.  Have you seen the VIP guides on Disney property? In Florida, they wear a plaid vest.  The children and I had so much fun!  My nine year old daughter now thinks that every time we go to Disney we will have a VIP guide.

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Image via smallworldvacations.com

Epcot flower and garden

Image via cdn.wdwmagic.com

In addition to the Home and Patio Show and Southern Women’s Show, I’ve been involved with Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, and the Monster Truck Show.  In Birmingham, Alabama, I met James Spann.  He’s a weatherman, and a celebrity in his own right.  He was doing live shots from the rink at Disney on Ice, and children were lined up to get his autograph as well as those of the Disney princesses.

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I was thrilled to get an “elphie” with this beautiful girl.  She is enjoying her retirement with all of her elephant friends in sunny Florida.

Jacksonville, Florida is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars football team.  I met players and their wives while working at The Spa.  Some of the children of the players go the school where I teach.  Jacksonville also hosted the Super Bowl in 2005, and there were several parties and functions.  I worked at one of the parties, one of those “your dress code is a black suit” kind of parties if you were doing PR.  Senator John McCain was speaking at the sit down dinner.  I was his celebrity handler.  He was very dignified.  I also met former head coach Jack Del Rio that evening as well.

To quote “Us Magazine”, “Stars are just like us”.  They make their own hair appointments, enjoy a nice dinner, relax and read a good book, and drop their kids off at school.  Even though I now spend my days in the classroom, to this day, I still carry a Sharpie in my purse.  Maybe in my next blog I will share the story about the time I was on live morning television dressed as a queen inspired by Disney’s Frozen and accidentally flashed Jacksonville viewers.  The camera man told me there were three or four minutes until the bump shot.

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Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jennifer McAfee – Facebook

 

 

Michelle Monkou’s Outlander Recap on Romancing the Genres Blog

Check out Michelle Monkou’s Recap of Outlander, Season 2, Episode 4 on http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.com. Debra McGill is a guest on her blog to talk about Cooklander to the Stove. For more information about Cooklander, go to http://www.cooklander.com. Thanks so much Michelle and Debra! I got a shout out! I had so much fun in New York marching in the NYC Tartan Day Parade! #jennyfromtheblock

Jenny Mc

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

New York or Bust

Tartan Week has kicked off in New York City, and runs from April 2nd through April 9th.  To find a list of all the events, go to http://www.scotland.org/whats-on/scotland-week/.  I found a great article from the Daily Record, “Well plaid in Manhattan for New York’s annual Tartan Day Parade” by Katrina Tweedle. Read more at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/well-plaid-manhattan-new-yorks-7629486#QeCxqc4q68PVhU9q.99. The article is a great resource for those of us, like myself, planning to make the trip to New York for Tartan Week for the first time. I will fly from Florida to spend two glorious days and nights in the Big Apple.

This is my first “Outlander” event, and I want to make sure I’m prepared for the adventure.  I have been a fan of the television show since the first episode aired. Sam Heughan will be the Grand Marshal of the New York City Tartan Day Parade.

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I feel honored to represent the Cooklander cookbook at New York Tartan Week.  Please look for our representatives throughout the week.  We will be one of the vendors at the Outlander Screening hosted by Outlanders United on Saturday.

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What should I pack?

Checking the weather this morning, I discovered that on Saturday in New York City, the high will be 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Finding a coat and sweaters in stores in April in Florida has been quite a challenge.

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I have the T-Shirts covered, however, I am thinking I’ll  need to wear turtlenecks underneath. I’m trying to figure out how to wear my Heughan’s Heughligans, My Peak Challenge, Outlanders United, and Cooklander shirts in the space of two days.  I also have buttons to accessorize.  A Cooklander, My Peak Challenge, and ThePeakPosse button will adorn a plaid scarf.

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As I peruse Twitter and Facebook, a flask also seems to be a necessary item.  I’ll have to add that to my To-Do list.  I don’t have one yet.

One of my friends suggested bringing a back-up in case my phone battery dies.  I told her that was very smart thinking because I plan to take an abundance of pictures.

What should I do?

I have been to New York City one time, and spent one day walking all over the city doing touristy things; I visited the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and toured NBC Studios.  The parade is definitely on the agenda.  I am really looking forward to meeting friends and fans from all over the country.

I look forward to your suggestions for what to pack and what to do while I’m in the city.  Follow my travels @jennymcinspired on Twitter.

Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Jenny Mc – @jennymcinspired Twitter

My Top Ten Reasons to Attend the Northeast Florida Highland Games and Festival

The 21st annual Northeast Florida Highland Games and Festival will be held Saturday February 27, 2016 at the Clay County Fairgrounds, in beautiful Green Cove Springs, Florida @ 2497 State Road 16 West. The festival will begin at 9 AM and run until 10 PM.
My Top Ten Reasons to attend the Northeast Florida Highland Games and Festival
10. To listen to Scottish music
Albannach, Cleghorn, and Cuttin’ Bracken will be performing at this year’s games.
9. To watch Scottish Athletics competitions
According the official web site, http://www.neflgames.com, the competitions will include
“Clahneart or “Stone of Strangth” (16 lbs. Stone)
22 Lbs. Hammer Throw
28 Lbs. Weight Toss
56 Lbs. Weight Throw
56Lbs. Wright Toss for Height
Turning the Caber/ Caber Toss
Sheaf Toss (16Lbs.)”
8. To discover ancestral heritage
Clan MacPherson is the honored clan at this year’s games, but several clans attend the games and set up displays in the Clan Tent representing their clan.

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I wonder what my McSpadden and Martin ancestors would think of me in the picture below from last year’s games.

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7. Whisky

From the Northeast Florida Scottish Games & Festival Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Northeast-Florida-Scottish-Games-Festival-68490250131/,

“Whisky Tasting
Friday February 26, 2016
Tickets are $25 per person. Purchase them in advance
http://neflgames.com/Whisky_Tasting.html

Check-in at 6 PM Tasting starts at 6:30 PM until 7:30 PM.

The Hilltop Club
2030 Well Road Orange Park, Fl 32073
(904) 272-5959″

6.  Adorable Animals

I took these pictures last year when my family attended the games.

Hi, we are the baby coos, Annabell and Ella who will be at the NEFL highland games . Please come visit us.

5.  Irn Bru

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I learned something new while reading the official site researching this post.

“Scotland is the only country in the world, that Coca Cola is not
the best selling soft drink. Irn Bru made by the Barr Company is
the best selling soft drink.”

4.  Bagpipes

I have blogged about my love of bagpipes in previous posts.  I absolutely adore the sound of bagpipes.  The Jacksonville Firefighters Pipes and Drums, pictured below, played during the games last year.  Clay County Sheriff’s Office Pipes & Drums will be playing throughout the day during the games on Saturday.

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3.  Haggis

I have hunted for haggis in the Jacksonville area for months.  The NEFL games and the Lannadoo Celtic Fest in Jacksonville Beach are golden opportunities to try Scotland’s national dish.

2.  Men in kilts

There will be men in kilts at the Northeast Florida Highland Games and Festival.

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Personally, I have been spoiled by the Outlander television show.  Jamie Fraser has set the bar high for kilt wearing men everywhere.  I had a conversation with a friend on Twitter, originally from Scotland now living in the States, on this subject.  I shared my experience from Lannadoo Celtic Fest.

Me: At tonight, man leaned over to me and says, “beware of a man wearing a kilt and holding a pitchfork.” Sound advice

J:  NEVER be wary of a man in a Kilt holding a pitch fork…. It could be your James Fraser

Pitchfork= Strong, Hard Working, Owns Land, Lives Off that Land. While Kilt= Awesome & Dead Sexy

Me: Saw said man later at Fest. He was in a kilt carrying blue pitchfork, wasn’t scary, but was no  😉

J: Sadly, much like a kettle, there many many degrees of hotness. ! !

Speaking of Outlander fans, continue reading for the number one reason to attend the Games.

1. Stones Stop Photo Op

All donations from this experience go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  A basket including 1st edition signed copy of Drums of Autumn, Outlander the Musical CD, signed copy of Outlander, a Cooklander To the Stove cookbook, wall calendar, and Walker’s shortbread in Outlander box will be raffled.

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Thank you so much for reading!  For more information about the games, go to http://neflgames.com/.  Follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Northeast-Florida-Scottish-Games-Festival-68490250131/, and on Twitter @NEFLGames.  I hope to see you Saturday!

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired

Meet Bear Strength – The Gents Behind The Growl!

Fantastic blog post! I’ve written about Bear Strength Clothing Co. in past posts. I really enjoyed reading about the brothers from Wales who founded the company. I cannot say enough good things about their clothing, the Bear Strength team, and their willingness to support various charitable endeavors.

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Whether you are new to MyPeakChallenge or tackling round two, one thing is certain – you’ve fallen in love with Bear Strength active wear. But did you ever wonder about the gents behind the growl? Today we’re thrilled to have Andy Shear, co-owner of Bear Strength here for a chat, and to tell us more about the business side of the Bears – and what drives their success.

Thank you for joining us today, Andy. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and Bear Strength Clothing, Co.

Me and my business partner (and brother), Gareth started Bear Strength mid-2013. It is very much a family run business. We also like to employ local graduates in a bid to help with the local economy and take on university leavers and create a career for them. We are located in Cardiff, South Wales.

In the Posse we are big supporters of

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My Peak Challenge

Inspired by My Peak Challenge 

***Updated 2/3/16***

I posted “Inspired by My Peak Challenge” originally in the early morning hours of February 1st EST.  Sam Heughan, Fight Camp, and Bear Strength Clothing Co. created the My Peak Challenge program to motivate individuals to reach their personal goals while at the same time raising money for Bloodwise.  I wish I had waited until the My Peak Challenge Prep Program went live to write this post.  Talk about inspiring!  Wow!  The amount of work that obviously went into creating this program is astounding!  It’s Day 3, there is still time to join if you have not already done so.  I may not go back to Titan Up Fitness.  Nah! I’m just kidding!  The MPC Prep Program complements what I’m doing at Titan Up Fitness, and my trainer says he’ll put on a kilt for Halloween. 

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Image via Twitter

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Image via Twitter

Thanks so much for reading! Jenny Mc

February 1, 2016

I began blogging in October 2014.  After reading the first three books in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and watching the first eight episodes of the television series, I was “inspired” to write.  More than a year later, I am still inspired.  I am inspired by Sam Heughan, Bear Strength Clothing Co., Fight Camp, The Box Magazine, and by all of the My Peak Challenge participants.

MLK

Image via sosleadership.com

According to Merriam-Webster.com, inspire is defined as follows.

inspire

verb  in·spire  \in-ˈspī(-ə)r\

Simple definition of inspire

: to make (someone) want to do something

: to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create

: to cause (something) to happen or be created

: to cause someone to have (a feeling or emotion)

Full definition of inspire

in·spired in·spir·ing

transitive verb

a :  to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration

b:  to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on <was particularly inspired by the Romanticists>

c:  to spur on :  impel, motivate <threats don’t necessarily inspire people to work>

d:  affect <seeing the old room again inspired him with nostalgia>

a archaic :  to breathe or blow into or upon

b archaic :  to infuse (as life) by breathing

a :  to communicate to an agent supernaturally

b :  to draw forth or bring out <thoughts inspired by a visit to the cathedral>

:  inhale

a :  bring about, occasion <the book was inspired by his travels in the Far East>

b:  incite

:  to spread (rumor) by indirect means or through the agency of another

intransitive verb

:  inhale

Synonyms: bear up, buck up, buoy (up), cheer (up), chirk (up), embolden, hearten, encourage, inspirit, steel

According to Merriam-Webster.com, inspiring is defined as follows.

inspiring adjective

: causing people to want to do or create something or to lead better lives

: having an animating or exalting effect

Synonyms: breathtaking, charged, electric, electrifying, exhilarating, exhilarative, galvanic, galvanizing, hair-raising, heart-stopping, exciting, intoxicating, kicky, mind-bending, mind-boggling, rip-roaring, rousing, stimulating, stirring, thrilling

First Known Use of inspiring 1717

in·spir·er noun

Walt Disney quotes

Image via disneyquotes.wordpress.com

Do these definitions and synonyms sound familiar?  Do they remind you anyone you know?  I am reminded of all the incredible people I have “met” through my own My Peak Challenge journey.  I participated in My Peak Challenge last year, and was fascinated by the positive and overwhelming response.  In a blog post from February 20, 2015, I wrote, All of the participants of My Peak Challenge are amazing!  The sense of community, positive attitude, strength, and tireless energy to work together towards the common goal to Beat Blood Cancers are awe-inspiring to me.

There is still time to join My Peak Challenge.  Go to http://www.mpc2017.com. The organizers of My Peak Challenge this year have teased bigger and better, and they have delivered.  I joined the My Peak Challenge Prep Program January 18, 2016.  By joining the MPC Prep Program, you have access to a private Facebook group.  I am not surprised by the bravery and positive energy of this group. To join go to www.mpc2016.com/products/my-peak-challenge-2016.  All profit from the MPC Prep Program and the Supporter Packs goes to Bloodwise.

MPC Prep Program

Image via My Peak Challenge Photos Twitter

If you would like to participate by ordering the Supporter Pack go to http://www.bearstrength.co.uk/collections/my-peak-challenge.

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Image via Bear Strength Clothing Co. Twitter

Personally, I am working on a more specific goal for the challenge.  I reread my posts from last year.  In January 2015, I wrote, My excuse has been that I don’t have time.  I think that as Moms we do tend to put ourselves last on the priority list.  A good friend of mine told me recently that if you give all of yourself away, you don’t have anything else to give to anyone.  With that thought in mind, I made a promise to myself to carve out time for exercise, to recharge.  I still need to carve out time for myself.  I joined a gym this year in Jacksonville Beach, Titan Up Fitness.  I need accountability.  So far, my goal is to “tighten up at Titan Up”.

I completed the first week of their 13 challenge on Saturday.  I attended Boot Camp.  At the end, one of the trainers asked me how I felt.  I said, “Good, it gave me ideas of areas to improve on.” She said, “Are you breathing heavy?”  I said, “Yes!”  She responded, “Then you did great!”  It struck me as I researched definitions of inspire that she was absolutely right.

Origin of inspire

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French inspirer, from Latin inspirare, from in- + spirare to breathe

First Known Use: 14th century

I am so grateful to all the My Peak Challenge participants for inspiring me.  I am looking forward to the launch of the My Peak Challenge Prep Program February 1, 2016.  Thank you so much for reading!

Princess Diana

Image via shaunynews.com

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired – Twitter

My Peak Challenge 2016

Happy New Year!  I’m learning I should also wish readers a Happy Hogmanay! I am getting ready for My Peak Challenge 2016. I participated last year, and am very excited to set new goals for myself for 2016, physical and non-physical goals.

Sam Heughan, Fight Camp, and Bear Strength Clothing Co. created a program to motivate individuals to reach their personal goals while at the same time raising money for Bloodwise. The success of My Peak Challenge was overwhelming.

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I went to http://www.mypeakchallenge.co.uk to register my interest to participate in My Peak Challenge 2016. My Peak Challenge launches in January, and I will receive an email alert to the email address I provided to web site when they’re ready to go.

Information for My Peak Challenge can be found on various social media platforms. #MyPeakChallenge is the dedicated hashtag.

Follow: @MyPeakChallenge @BearStrength @F1ghtCamp & of course, @SamHeughan on Twitter To reach YOUR peak.

You can also follow #MyPeakChallenge on Facebook and Instagram.

https://www.facebook.com/MyPeakChallenge?pnref=lhc – Facebook

http://instagram.com/MyPeakChallenge – Instagram

Bear Strength tweeted that welcome packs will be available January 5, 2016 for pre-order. The web site, http://www.bearstrength.co.uk, is user friendly, and converts to your preferred currency. They ship to the United States, and internationally. I have had a wonderful experience every time I have ordered from the company.

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When you order the welcome pack, you receive information, Peak Gear, photos and a % of your purchase goes to charity.  This is last year’s pack. The bears have tweeted there is a new shirt this year.

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I am proud to be repping Bear Strength in Florida.  Through the miracle of Twitter, I met an Outlander Fan that lives in my neighborhood, so I have my workout buddy. You might find some of our FL adventures by following RiverCity Sassenachs @saltlifesassies.

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I look forward to seeing and hearing from all of the #MyPeakChallenge participants!  Bear Strength, Fight Camp, and My Peak Challenge accounts  have teased bigger and better things for 2016.

I’ll just leave this tweet from The Box Magazine here.

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Thanks again for reading!

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@jennymcinspired – Twitter