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.

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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

To Be a Fan Girl, or a Cougar, or Go Shopping for a Billionaire, That is the Question…

*Spoiler Alert*

I am going to discuss the Shopping for a Billionaire series of books by Julia Kent and how they relate to Sam Heughan and Outlander.

I first blogged about these books in my post, https://inspiredbyoutlander.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/twitter-teslas-tartans-and-time-travel/

Here is an excerpt from that post:

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Image via http://www.starz.com/outlandercommunity/home.html

I watched Outlander every week, and enjoyed every minute as the story unfolded.  As each show aired in the U.S., Sam started popping up on my Facebook news feed, Twitter, and Pinterest account.  When he appeared as a Pop Culture reference in a book I was reading on my Kindle as “Sam Heughan”, curiosity killed the cat so to speak.  The book is not related to Diana’s books in any way, and he is described in a most complementary fashion.

At this point, I’d like to expand on what I wrote in November. The book I referenced above was book 4 of the series. Sam also appears in book 1.

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Book 4, however, was my motivation to Google Sam for the first time. I was minding my own business reading, as I do every day, when I came across this passage that even today I can’t bring myself to quote directly. My apologies to Julia Kent and to all of you dear readers.

“Power walk or ice cream. Power walk or ice cream. That’s like asking if you want to have ­­­­____ with Sam Heughan or just use your ________, Amy.”

I thought to myself, “Wait? What?” All I had ever seen of Sam at that point was his work in Outlander. In my head, he was “Jamie”. Of course, very attractive as Jamie. I stopped reading, and Googled “Sam Heughan”, 516,000 results came up in 20 seconds. Ahhh…my inner dialogue was in Shrek’s accent, “Hold the phone.”

I’ll pick back up here with my November post.

Naturally, I started following him on Twitter.  This begins the period I refer to as “the week I lost to the Twitterverse and the World Wide Web”. I spent more time on Twitter that week than all the combined time spent since I joined three years ago.  I was sucked into the Outlander fandom.  In my humble opinion, he is a social media genius.  I especially love the witty conversations between Sam Heughan and Diana Galbaldon.  Diana describes his fans on Twitter as, “taking the bait, hook, line, and sinker.”  We do. 

I discovered Julia Kent’s Shopping for a Billionaire while browsing through the “Free Book” options on my Kindle. I saw the series categorized as Literature and Fiction, Humor and Satire, Romance and Romantic Comedy, Women’s Fiction, and Humor and Entertainment. In my opinion, it is intended for a mature audience. The books are very funny, the protagonist finds herself in many hilarious predicaments. I read all the time, and look for original stories to read. I would recommend reading these books, I’ve read the first four books in the series, and will leave a review on Kindle and iBooks as soon as I publish this post. In my research, I found two titles to add to my “to-read” list, Christmas Shopping for a Billionaire and Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee. My impression is that this author is also a fan of the Outlander book series. Geillis Duncan gets a shout out too.

In my post, “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award”, https://wordpress.com/post/77250966/284/, I responded to ten questions regarding books. I also I posted this picture, and I think it is appropriate to post again. I pinned the picture on Pinterest via Misty Star.  It can be found on www.eatsleepreadlove.wordpress.com.

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I’d like to share my response to question 4 because I feel it is applicable to this post as well.

How do you feel about eBooks?

I read books on my Kindle and “traditional” hardback and paperback copies. I think I have read more books because of the eBook format than I would have if I were reading only hand-held copies.  I could spend my whole paycheck on books. I have discovered new authors through the “Free Book” feature on Kindle.  However, I would like to offer some tips I’ve learned along the way as my Kindle is now a constant companion.

Pro Tip 1 – A Kindle Fire’s graphics are so much more detailed and prettier than the basic Kindle.  My husband received a Kindle Fire for his birthday one year, and I was happy with my original black and white version.  When I downloaded Accidentally Married…to a Vampire, by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, I honestly couldn’t see the thumbnail version of the picture on the cover.  My husband said, “What are you reading?” as he showed me a picture of a shirtless man who could be Fabio’s twin on his Kindle Fire.  Oops!

Pro Tip 2 – Do Not share a Kindle account with your husband.  Between vampires and grey silk ties, I answered the question, “What are you reading?” frequently.  Unfortunately, my husband’s device suffered an untimely death, not by my hands.  He chose not to replace his, and I am the proud owner of a Kindle Fire.

For some reason, I feel compelled to share that I also have Pride and Prejudice on my Kindle. Please read “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award” to see more of my favorite books. I am a huge fan of the Outlander book series and television show, a married mother of two who works part time in a preschool.  I’m a soccer mom who is involved in the PTA, and my daughter’s Girl Scout troop.

I don’t wish to have framed restraining orders as possible momentos of meeting anyone involved with Outlander.

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I don’t have an area in my home like this dedicated to Sam Heughan. I respect him in a married woman kind of way, I promise!

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Image via my-muppets-show-app.wikia.com/wiki/File:Shrine.kermit.tina.jpg

I really enjoyed the Facebook and Twitter posts and chats this weekend about the Shopping for a Billionaire series!  Thank you again so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

Reflections on Episode 116

I don’t usually post about the specific episodes on my blog because my point of view is going to differ from others because I am seeing the episodes from my own lens.  By nature, opinions are going to be subjective. I responded to a tweet last night right after I watched the episode, just finished watching, overcome with emotion. Want to say more, hopefully coherently, can’t right now. The tears didn’t start to flow until after I watched the entire episode.

Truthfully, I watched episode 115 two weeks ago with a Crown and Coke in my hand, tissues, and chocolate.  My husband also watched the episode with me.  For episode 116, not for any particular reason, I didn’t have any of those things.  I sat cross-legged on my bed watching the episode clutching a pillow in my lap, shouting, “No! No! No!” at my TV.

I expected to feel heartbroken, sadness, despair, and sympathy.  I did not expect to feel anger.  Anger at the characters, anger on behalf of the actors portraying the characters.  Anger at the show runners for making the decision to go as far as they went with the material.  I am still sitting with the anger.  I need to percolate about that more.

Through all of these emotions, I also could not help but feel proud of the actors and show runners.  I read the book three years ago.  I knew what was going to happen, what needed to happen.  I cried when I finished reading those chapters in the book.  When I started watching the show in August, I wondered how the actors were going to prepare for these episodes.  I don’t have any acting experience, I haven’t taken any drama classes, I don’t have any frame of reference, but I watched something so brave on my television screen last night.

My husband didn’t watch this episode, but asked me, “Are you so upset because it happened to Sam?  Would you be so upset if it was someone else playing Jamie?”  In answer to the first question, I said, “No. Yes.”  In answer to his second question, I said, “No.”  My hope is to explain coherently, so let me clarify.  I was so upset because it was happening to Jamie.  Sam is Jamie in this show.  Sam’s performance, not only the delivery of the dialogue, but the emotions conveyed on his face affected me so much that I couldn’t sleep for hours.  I don’t think another actor could have brought the sensitivity he brings to the material, so therefore in my opinion, no, I wouldn’t have been so gutted if another actor played those scenes.

Something that resonates with me about Sam as Jamie is the fact that he is a good listener.  Access Hollywood has done two interviews with or about Sam Heughan that are my favorite interviews that I have read or seen.  In the September 2014 interview with Jolie Lash, Sam says, “There was one show I was doing — there was a woman… she was a fantastic actress and she had a quite emotional scene and I used to go down like half an hour before my call and just sit in the wings and listen to her, and I’d love, somehow, the sound of people listening. There’s something about the silence of people listening to someone, or watching someone — I just… I love that.”  Read the entire interview at http://www.accesshollywood.com/outlander-getting-to-know-sam-heughan_article_99012.  Duncan Lacroix did an interview with Access Hollywood where he describes Sam, “He’s a very good actor at listening”.  Read more at http://www.accesshollywood.com/outlander-qanda-duncan-lacroix-on-murtagh-fitzgibbons-fraser_article_107390#BtlEVUxPI5rYHXhs.99. I feel this quality brought so much depth to those scenes.

I started to reread Outlander at the end of the first half of season one.  I still haven’t finished the book.  They have gotten married in my reread, and I thought about skipping to the Wentworth chapters to prepare myself.  I didn’t, but after I watched the show last night, I reread the last chapter, “From the Womb of the Earth”.

I am Catholic, again my lens, and I sat during Mass this morning thinking about the show and books.  Coincidentally, the Mass centered on the Feast of the Holy Trinity.  I was reminded of Diana Gabaldon’s piece “Jamie and the Rule of Three.”, http://www.dianagabaldon.com/other-projects/the-cannibals-art-how-writing-really-works/the-cannibals-art-jamie-and-the-rule-of-three/.  I was soothed as I thought of Jamie and his motivation for his actions.  The scenes in the show regarding Claire’s confession were beautiful to watch.  The message of second chances and redemption so powerful.  I was left feeling grateful and thankful.

I am grateful and thankful for a show and books so amazing that they make me think, feel, and try to empathize and sympathize with others and the challenges in their lives.  I will be thinking about episodes 115 and 116 for many days, weeks, and months to come.  I started writing this blog in October because I was inspired by the words in the books and the writing in the adaptation on the television screen.  I feel so appreciative of the journey that I have taken due the blog.  It is gratifying to stretch my brain in a different direction, and I am so thrilled about the opportunity to meet new people because of this experience.

Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, and Sam Heughan all deserve Emmys for their performances last night.  The whole cast and crew deserve Emmys for their work and dedication to the show.

Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jenny McOutlander – Facebook

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

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I would like to thank Susan Kicklighter, my Twitter friend and writer, for tagging me for this Sisterhood Blog Hop. Check out Susan’s blog at http://www.writing4kix.tumblr.com, to find out more about her and the projects she’s working on.  Follow her on Twitter @writing4kix.

The rules for this blog hop are:

  • Link your blog back to the blogger who tagged you
  • Post the Sisterhood logo in your blog post
  • Answer the 10 questions you were asked
  • Nominate up to 10 bloggers to answer 10 questions of your choosing

I am thrilled that Susan tagged me for this blog hop.  I love to read, and I have been told I write a lot, and talk a lot.  My friends sometimes say, “Don’t get her started about books; she’ll go on and on.”  I pinned the picture below on Pinterest via Misty Star.  It can be found on http://www.eatsleepreadlove.wordpress.com.&nbsp; I have been waiting for the right blog to post it.

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Below are my answers to the questions Susan asked in her Sisterhood Blog Post. Enjoy!

1. What’s your least favorite book?

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is my least favorite book.  Callie discovers she is a hermaphrodite, and I felt that she was portrayed as a freak.  I wanted to know more of the history of her grandparents and the setting of the story as the author took us from the Ottoman Empire to Detroit and the Motor City.

2. What’s your favorite book from childhood?

There are so many it is hard to choose.  The ones that came to mind are Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart.  I read all four books in her Arthurian Saga.  The story continues with The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, and The Wicked Day.

3. What author(s) inspired you to become a writer?

I would like to thank Diana Gabaldon and the writers of the television series Outlander.  I started my blog because I was inspired by the Outlander book series and television series on Starz.  Reading is second nature, but it never occurred to me before October to write anything.

4. How do you feel about eBooks?

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I read books on my Kindle and “traditional” hardback and paperback copies. I think I have read more books because of the eBook format than I would have if I were reading only hand-held copies.  I could spend my whole paycheck on books. I have discovered new authors through the “Free Book” feature on Kindle.  However, I would like to offer some tips I’ve learned along the way as my Kindle is now a constant companion.

Pro Tip 1 – A Kindle Fire’s graphics are so much more detailed and prettier than the basic Kindle.  My husband received a Kindle Fire for his birthday one year, and I was happy with my original black and white version.  When I downloaded Accidentally Married…to a Vampire, by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, I honestly couldn’t see the thumbnail version of the picture on the cover.  My husband said, “What are you reading?” as he showed me a picture of a shirtless man who could be Fabio’s twin on his Kindle Fire.  Oops!

Pro Tip 2 – Do Not share a Kindle account with your husband.  Between vampires and grey silk ties, I answered the question, “What are you reading?” frequently.  Unfortunately, my husband’s device suffered an untimely death, not by my hands.  He chose not to replace his, and I am the proud owner of a Kindle Fire.

5. Are you a compulsive reader or do you take your time getting through the story?

When I read, I read every word.  I don’t usually skip ahead in the story.  If I’m really interested, I increase my pace.  I’ll reread if I think I missed something important.

6. Which book(s) have you reread the most?
I started rereading Outlander to get ready for the beginning of season 1B which will air April 4th on Starz.  I read the first three books in the series three years ago based on a friend’s recommendation.  I’ll reread in order before moving on to the rest of the series.  I’ve also reread all of the books in the Twilight series.  I really enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  I reread that book as soon as finished it the first time.

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7. If you could live in any world depicted in a book, what would it be?

One choice would be 18th Century Scotland with Jamie Fraser.  As evidenced by my response to question 2, I would also like to be transported to Camelot.

8. If you could kiss any book character, who would it be?

Obviously, I would kiss Jamie Fraser.  I must quote Diana Gabaldon from Outlander, “Where did you learn to kiss like that?” I said, a little breathless. He grinned and pulled me close again.  “I said I was a virgin, not a monk,” he said, kissing me again. “If I find I need guidance, I’ll ask.” As Jamie is Claire’s, I am also intrigued by Eric Northman from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series.

9. Do you communicate with your favorite authors on Twitter?

I follow Diana Gabaldon, @Writer_DG, she is so witty.  I would also recommend following Denise Grover Swank, @DeniseMSwank.  I am a huge fan of her books, and was so surprised when she followed me back.  I’m always looking for new books to read so I follow several authors on Twitter.

10. If you could have dinner with four literary characters, who would you choose?

I would be thoroughly entertained at the dinner table if Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Skeeter from The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and Vivi Abbott Walker from The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells joined me for the evening.

I know I am only supposed to nominate 10 bloggers, but I now nominate any sister bloggers to join me in this Sisterhood blog hop by answering the questions above on their blogs. I love talking about books, and getting recommendations for new books to read.  I look forward to your responses!

Thanks for reading!

Jenny Mc

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

12 Days of Christmas with an Outlander Twist

I had a very fun Twitter conversation today which became the inspiration for this short blog.  I am starting with the last verse of the song.  Be very grateful that it doesn’t come with my vocals.  😉

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Twelve Drummers drumming

Eleven Pipers piping

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Ten Plates for dinner

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Nine Shortbread cookies

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Eight TV episodes

Seven Sam Selfies

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Six Plaid Pajamas

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Five Golden Rings

Four Outlander books

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Three Ornaments

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Two Plaid tree skirts

and a Santa with a kilt and bagpipes

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Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

J Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@OutlanderI

Something for Everyone on your Christmas List Inspired by Outlander

I found lots of inspiration on http://www.outlanderstore.com.  I saw several items for my own Christmas List.  For friends and family, I’ll start with the most obvious. For the book lover on your list, I would most definitely recommend Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. There are now eight books in the series. I have multiple copies of the first three books with versions on my Kindle, iBooks, and in paperback. My local bookstores are Books a Million and Barnes and Noble. Diana autographs books at her local bookstore, The Poisoned Pen, www.poisonedpen.com. Diana’s web site is a great resource if you have questions, www.dianagabaldon.com.

If you are in the Cape Cod area, I discovered some fantastic bookstores on Chatham Island while I was on vacation. Where the Sidewalk Ends featured Outlander as a staff pick.

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For the music aficionados on your list, I would recommend the show’s theme song composed by Bear McCreary, “Outlander – Main Title Theme (Skye Boat Song) [feat. Raya Yarbrough]”. My other recommendation would be the album Unravelling by We Were Promised Jetpacks, FatCat Records, 2014. The group is based in Glasgow, and the alternative album is produced by Paul Savage. Both are already in my iTunes music library.

For the chef in your life, you can surprise them with A Taste of Outlander, by Theresa Carle-Sanders. She is professional chef and a huge fan of the Outlander book series. I have made Theresa’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe, and both of my picky children gave it a two thumbs up review. “Mom, you should make this again!” Information to purchase the cookbook is on her website, www.outlanderkitchen.com.

For the Exercise Enthusiast, I will direct you to Bear Strength Clothing Co. I have ordered a shirt and a vest, and they are so soft! The web site is user-friendly, and converts to US currency. You can find them at http://www.bearstrength.co.uk, and they ship to the United States. I had a wonderful experience the first time I ordered from the company. They carry men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel.

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I haven’t forgotten the children on your list. If a Scout Elf visits your house from the North Pole, Elf on the Shelf has designed a Tartan skirt and boots combination. This Claus Couture Collection piece can be found exclusively at Target.

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While shopping on Chatham Island, I stumbled upon the most adorable store. Ducks in the Window carries more rubber ducks than I have ever seen in one place.

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As you can see, a duck in a kilt is a must buy. It was the last one, so of course I bought him. I have also seen similar items on the Oriental Trading web site, www.orientaltrading.com.

For the fashionista, it can be tricky; however, plaid seems to be a safe choice. I don’t think it is just my selective attention at work here either. I am seeing plaid everywhere. These two items made it into my shopping cart at Target. Notice the teal and black, in honor of the Jacksonville Jaguars fans on the list.

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I found this Cashmink acrylic scarf at Stein Mart.

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If you are feeling brave, you could also visit www.auntmjcreations.com. The company makes hand-made ladies Celtic and Renaissance clothing. They are also coming out with a children’s line. I met some very nice representatives of the company at the Lannadoo Festival last weekend. My husband asked me what colors I preferred. He said, “If I am wearing my kilt to the NE FL Highland Games, you should also have something appropriate to wear.” I wouldn’t be surprised to find one of their creations under my tree.

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For the person who has everything, you might consider a subscription to Starz. I firmly believe the show Outlander is worth the price of subscription. If you have children, our cable bundle also includes the Starz Kids&Family Channel. We all enjoy watching movies together.

On a different note, look what I found while shopping at my school’s Used Book Sale.

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The second and third pictures are from the book, The Cooking of the British IslesThe Crofter and the Laird, by John McPhee, according to the description on the back of the book, “gives us a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides.”  My husband will thank me for this book about his clan that I never would have found if not for my “obsession”.

I’ve made shopping for me easy on my family considering I have already purchased most items on this list. I know all of you are on Santa’s Good List, I hope you find an Outlander Christmas under the tree! Happy Shopping!  We have 17 weeks until April 4th, and 26 shopping days until Christmas.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Jenny Mc

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com

@jennymcinspired

Twitter, Teslas, Tartans, and Time Travel

As I am new to the Blogger World, I would like to take this opportunity to share a little bit about myself.  I am a married, mother of two who works part time in a preschool.  I’m a soccer mom who is involved in the PTA, and my daughter’s Girl Scout troop.  I am a huge fan of the Outlander book series and television show.  I just wanted to provide some insight as you read further into this post.

The first time I saw Sam Heughan was on my television screen August 9, 2014 in the starring role of Jamie Fraser in the television adaption of Diana Gabaldon’s book Outlander.  I read the book three years ago, and therefore had a picture in my head.  My first impression was that he is perfectly cast in the role, and he does in fact match the picture I have in my head.  It was his acting prowess that first caught my attention.

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I watched the show every week, and enjoyed every minute as the story unfolded.  As each show aired in the U.S., Sam started popping up on my Facebook newsfeed, Twitter, and Pinterest account.  When he appeared as a Pop Culture reference in a book I was reading on my Kindle as “Sam Heughan”, curiosity killed the cat so to speak.  The book is not related to Diana’s books in any way, and he is described in a most complementary fashion.

facebookTwitterPinterest

Naturally, I started following him on Twitter.  This begins the period I refer to as “the week I lost to the Twitterverse and the World Wide Web”.  When I Googled “Sam Heughan”, 516,000 results came up in 20 seconds. I spent more time on Twitter that week than all the combined time spent since I joined three years ago.  I was sucked into the Outlander fandom.  In my humble opinion, he is a social media genius.  I especially love the witty conversations between Sam Heughan and Diana Galbaldon.  Diana describes his fans on Twitter as, “taking the bait, hook, line, and sinker.”  We do.  I’ve only tweeted him once though.

profilepickilt Outlander Inspired @OutlanderI   Oct 29

1967 Corvette Stringray convertible I drove one in dark blue once.

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As I repost, I am utterly mortified to find a typo…*Sting Ray…I guess that’s what I get for tweeting while I may or may not have been at school.  My colleagues weren’t fooled though.  My excuse that I was checking the weather app prior to playground time was pretty flimsy.  Confirmation came Friday afternoon when one teacher said, “Goodbye Tweet, have a good weekend!”

I am not proud to admit I neglected my own husband and children.  My reality check moment occurred when my son leaned over my shoulder as I was watching a certain LA pool antics vine on my phone.  Sorry, I can’t bring myself to repost it.

poolLA

My son:  Who is that?

Me: No one you know.

My son: Can you please turn that off, it’s loud, and I can’t hear my show on TV.

I was so engrossed in reading the comments; I didn’t even realize the sound was on.  Feeling sufficiently chastised, I did turn it off, and placed myself on Twitter Restriction which lasted all of 40 minutes.  Surreal indeed!    I couldn’t help but think, “I hope he’s O.K.”.

I have since pulled my head out of the Scottish mist, but from the standpoint of anyone involved with Outlander, my week wasn’t totally unproductive.   I talked to all who would listen about the books and the show.  I even spread the word to Irish viewers.  I have a friend that still has family in Ireland, and we commiserate over the fact that they are now watching the new season of Downton Abbey while we have to wait.  I told her to tell them they could also watch Outlander on RTE2 starting October 21st.

I also expanded my world view.  Here are some things I’ve learned from following Sam Heughan on Twitter:

1.  I now know what a #TweetConvo is, as well as a #TweetFest/#TweetFeast.

I didn’t know you could read the replies posted under a tweet. Imagine my surprise when I accidentally clicked on one of his tweets.  As I write this blog, this is the juncture where I lose the ability to form a coherent sentence.  WOW! Just WOW! I can’t even…the responses to his tweets range from very sweet to things that made this blogger blush.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal, but I’m still…speechless…the sheer volume of responses is staggering.

2.  I can now speak intelligently with Publix employees about a Tesla.

One Sunday afternoon, a very outgoing young man was helping me and my children out to my car with the groceries.  Here is our conversation as we walk to the car:

C: Is yours the Suburban?

Me: No, but can I tell my husband you think I should have one, trying to convince him I need a new car.  Mine’s the Toyota.

C: You know what kind of car you need?

Me: What kind?

C: A Tesla.

Me: … laughing… Really? Do you think so? (Immediately my mind flashes to this image)

tesla

C: … his eyes light up … You know what one is?

Me: Yes, it’s a smart car, right?

C: And what is cool is that it is like a Prius, but it doesn’t look like a Prius.  Have you seen one? (Opinions expressed by C do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this Blogger)

Me:  Just pictures.

C: Really? I’ve seen one in this parking lot.

Me: Good to know. (It is good to know that Florida’s First Coast is on trend.)

C: Do you know if the Jaguars have scored?

Me: No, I didn’t check Twitter while I shopped.

I Googled “Tesla”, and found a Tesla Service Center in St. Augustine, Florida.  I didn’t find a dealership, but found an article on Jacksonville.com complete with slideshow.  “Smart Car” is definitely an understatement on my part.

3.  San Francisco has a MLB team, the San Francisco Giants.

At a recent Thursday trivia night at Culhane’s Irish Pub, I contributed two answers to this bonus question: Name the 4 teams still in the MLB Playoffs.

Me: San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles

My co-workers (team building trivia) look at me with shocked expressions on their faces, “How did you know that?”

Me: Twitter (Not that I would be totally clueless in a conversation about sports, my husband and son watch ESPN 24/7, mainly focusing on American football.)

I also correctly answered this question, who sang the song, “Ghostbusters” from the 1984 movie of the same title?

Me: Ray Parker Jr. (This was pre Sam pic with Ecto-1 however.)

Ghostbusters

4.  I can go see Mr. Heughan in the film “Emulsion” on Monday, November 17th

7:30PM – 9:22PM at AMC Orange Park 24    1910 Wells Road, Orange Park, FL, US, 32073    $11.00 General

For more information, go to www.tugg.com/events. The deadline for ticket purchase is November 10, 2014.

5.  Sam’s fans are very creative, clever, committed, entertaining, funny, industrious, loving, and loyal.

6.  I am only six years older than Sam.

Now that we have 21 weeks before the second half of the season 1 airs, I could advise you to spend some time on Twitter to ease the Outlander Withdrawal.  I must caution you before you follow said advice.  If I had started following Sam this month, I might be passing out pizza on paper plates for Thanksgiving dinner.  I will post a list of fun Twitter accounts I have found to follow on this site.

As always, I look forward to your comments, but if I don’t hear from you this week, I will understand.  I’m off to go look out the window for the mailman, my Bear Strength order shipped!

Maybe it was a little longer than a week lost?

J Mc

@jennymcinspired

inspiredbyoutlander@gmail.com