Five Minutes With… Must Hike, Must Eat @snuffymusthike #Blogging #FiveMinutesWith

Welcome to Five Minutes With… a new feature where I invite bloggers of all genres to tell us a little about themselves and their blogging journey.

Today’s blogger is Shannon Cunningham who blogs at Must Hike Must Eat.

Shannon Must Hike Must EatQ1: When and why did you start blogging? Which platform do you use?

I write on WordPress and I started in January of 2016 when I found out I was going to be laid off from my job of 16 years.  It was a way for me to process that change and begin to look at other directions in my life.

Q2: What topics/themes do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?

Well, you can guess that I write about hiking (spending time outdoors) and eating (a Paleo diet) but my posts are not limited to that.  I write about traveling, restaurants that serve healthy food, mid-life parenting, my faith in God, social issues, book reviews, volunteering and just about anything that happens in my life!

Q3: Which of your blog posts is your favourite and why do you like this one so much?

Oh, I have several favorite posts but I think Definition of Courage will always be dear to my heart. I think it really sums up who I am and what I hope to accomplish with my blog.

Q4: Do you have a top tip to share for any new bloggers that might be reading?

Often we start blogging because we want write to express ourselves but it is important to remember that blogging is about community and connection, too.  Try and find yourself a writing community to join whether is be online or in your own circle; it can make all the difference!

Q5: What’s your favourite social media platform?

My favorite social media platform is Instagram, although I have more followers on Facebook.  It just has less clutter and feels more intimate.

Find out more about Shannon by connecting with her via the links below:

Blog Link: http://www.musthikemusteat.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/musthikemusteat/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/snuffymusthike

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musthikemusteat/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/snuffymust/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pursuecourage/

I hope you enjoyed this feature. Be sure to check out Shannon’s blog. If you write a blog and would like to be considered for Five Minutes With… then please send me a message via the contact page.

Blog Signature

It’s Not a Midlife Crisis – It’s a Midlife Makeover! #PersonalDevelopment

zc8jcI find that I’m reading articles and books on a variety of midlife topics at the moment. I’ve devoured Jonice Webb’s book, Running on Empty, nodded my way through Miranda Sawyer’s Out of Time, and wept bucket loads over Diane Esguerra’s journey to scatter the ashes of her son at Machu Picchu in her memoir, Junkie Buddha.

What do all these things have in common? The passage of time, getting older, travel, getting out and about more, discovering who we are, learning to love ourselves at later stages in our lives.

Midlife, according to the experts, tends to hit men at the age of 43, and women around the age of 44. I can, therefore, confirm that I am well and truly in the middle of my life cycle. The family genes are fairly strong so I should last out until I’m around 90 all being well. That means I have another forty-five years left to tick off all the items on my bucket list, and that’s only if my body doesn’t seize up, my bladder continues to work, my eyesight remains semi-decent, and nobody takes my driving license off me!

I recently convinced myself that I was having a midlife crisis. No, I didn’t get botox or shave my head, and I already have tattoos. I didn’t start dating a younger man (although I’m not going to rule this out altogether!) and I haven’t started frequenting strip clubs. What I have done is start a saving plan to buy a VW T2 Campervan, which is something that’s sat on the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember.

It’s perfectly agiphycceptable for a man who is going through a midlife crisis to buy a motorbike, or sports car, so why can’t I have a camper?

It was as I sat behind the giant wheel of a type 2 that I realised my midlife crisis wasn’t in fact a crisis at all. It’s a shift in dynamics, a change in fortune and circumstance. My three children are all older and reasonably capable of looking after themselves. I’ve been a single mum for thirteen years so I’m pretty savvy at looking after myself, my family, and my affairs. The road is calling, freedom beckons, and I’ve decided to embrace this time of my life as a midlife makeover rather than a crisis.

I hope that next year is the start of a journey of discovery. I’m still searching for the perfect camper that will become a part of our family, but I’ve already got the road trips mapped out for when it does arrive in our lives. Watch this space…

What do you dream of doing but think you’re too old set in your ways to achieve? Are you in the middle of a midlife makeover? Share your tips and stories in the comments and feel free to join me in a VW convey if you spot me on the road 🙂

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog.

Any Excuse For a Party! #VenueReview #AfternoonTea @MalmaisonHotels

IMG_1117My wonderful mum celebrated a ‘special’ birthday recently and as our family is well known for throwing a party to rejoice pretty much anything – even the opening of a new bridge! – it was only right that mum’s 70th received the full treatment.

Born and bred in Leeds, but now living in the West Midlands, my mum is a Yorkshire lass through to the bone, so it was always going to have to be a northern bash to enable family and friends to attend without the added cost of them travelling to Birmingham.

Using my Yorkshire contacts (thanks, Auntie Vicky!), we decided upon a surprise afternoon tea at the Malmaison Hotel in Leeds which I booked for 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon. I organised everything with help from the lovely Aimee in events and then sat back and waited for the date. Read more

How Do You Cope With The Tough Times? #SelfHelp

How do you cope with the tough timesWe all experience tough times at certain points on our life journey. This may be due to health issues, financial problems, grief, pain, or loss. However, it’s how we deal with them that defines us.

Too many people disappear into victim mode when presented with a challenge. Whereas others find an inner strength that helps them forge through the anguish and hopefully come through these tough times with more wisdom, clarity, and vigour than ever before. Through my books and blog, I hope to share with people all my tough times – the gritty side of life – and then show my readers how I was able to emerge from the pain as a better version of myself. Read more

6 Tips for a Perfect Summer Holiday

6 Tips for a Perfect Summer holidayThere’s a Billy Crystal film called City Slickers that was a firm favourite of mine back in the 90s. The basic plot was about three friends who take an annual trip together without their wives. Each year the trips get wackier. In City Slickers they travel to the Southwest to drive cattle on a supervised vacation. The legendary Jack Palance plays the tough cowboy, Curly Washburn and Billy Crystal plays Mitch, the man on the edge of a midlife crisis.

It’s a fun film to watch, but it also has a few valuable lessons mixed in amongst the humour. One of my favourite parts is when Curly explains ‘vacation’ to Mitch. ‘Y’all spend fifty weeks a year getting knots in your rope and then expect to come up here and unwind them in two weeks.’ This pretty much sums up the basic work/life balance of the twentieth century. We work long hours sometimes risking our family time and leisure activities and then expect to fully relax when herded onto bus, plane, and coach on an all-inclusive trip to Spain! Read more

Trek to the Top Challenge #Fitness

Trek to the TopAll of my friends appear to be taking part in a fitness regime these days.  The hugely popular 30 Day Abs Challenge, created by mum of eight, Robyn Mendenhall Gardner, has changed my sedentary pals into crunchers, plankers and leg lifters.  If I knew how to crunch I may have joined them.

Not to be outdone by my toned up, trimmed down friends, I decided that action was needed to be taken if I wanted to get that summer body I craved.

I may have hung up my running shoes after completing my half marathon back in 2012, but there is nothing stopping me from dusting them off and putting them to good use once more.  Running is out of the question as my knees creak louder than my floorboards these days, so I wanted to keep it simple-ish! Read more