Art vernissage for charity

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Last Friday it was time for our next charity event at the Benezra Art Gallery in La Quinta. The art vernissage was an exhibition of some exquisite paintings and sculptures by international and local artists and theme was horses.

Any paintings bought from the visitors will benefit Maiti Nepal with a 10% cut. During the event we also had a raffle with prizes donated from local businesses and our sponsor Wine Golf and Gourmet invited all the guests for cava a volonté. We also had the pleasure of listening to upcoming singer Veronica Malka with her new single Flawless She will be the opening act for Michael Bolton during his concert at the Puente Romano Hotel in July. We also had fantastic guitarist and singer David McLaughlin on stage performing.

It was a fantastic evening with so many kind people supporting us to help stop human trafficking. A big thank you ❤

Please enjoy all these beautiful photos from the event taken by LeMa Photographers

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Buggy ride in the Marbella mountains

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This week I was out for a fantastic new experience.  A day out on a buggy ride in the mountains above Marbella. It was so much fun. Behind Marbella you find a huge nature park called Sierra de La Nieves and it is absolutely breath-taking.  My friend owns several fast buggies (1000 cc) that he rents out for track rides. We started behind Nueva Andalucía in La Quinta and from there you can just drive forever amongst wild animals and totally unspoiled nature. We stopped for lunch at the beautiful hidden away Cerro de Hijar Hotel  and from there we continued down past Istan village.

We also made a stop at the famous over 1000 year old chestnut tree; Castaño Santo . The tree is 15 metres thick around the trunk and the roots go over 22 metres deep.

All in all an amazing day filled with nature, history and lots of fast fun crazy driving. I can really recommend you to give it a try!

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Success! Charity event at La Sala!

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This past week was been full of happenings and Friday, we hosted our first big charity event at La Sala Banus . It was a big fashion show lunch with the latest collection from Gunnel´s Fashion and Caroline Azzi jewellery. The response was fantastic and already 3 days beforehand we were fully booked with a waiting list! We had a big list of sponsors that donated some lovely prizes to our charity raffle. One prize many had their eyes on was the private golf lesson with golf pro Michael Campbell.

We raised over 3000€ for Maiti Nepal at the event and both myself and Claudia were both over the moon. The aftermaths of the event has been equally great with so many thank you e-mails and phone calls along with a huge spread on social media from happy guests. It feels amazing to have such support here in Marbella. Check out our new hash tag: #maitinepalmarbella for info on upcoming events and photos from past events!

Below is an article published this week in SUR in English and a link to a TV interview with myself and Claudia on Estepona TV: Café y Thé interview

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Pose training

3C20D983-4EC1-448A-B3E0-CC21BF7A9DFEFirst week of serious diet has passed by very fast. I am lucky having a fast metabolism so as soon as I cut the fat out, my abs start showing through. I need to stay very vigilant as I don’t want to get too lean either. I can easy be stage ready a week or two to soon and that is not good at all. Last competitions I was way to dry with only 4 mm fat on my belly. I want to get down to 6 mm this time to not have my veins popping.

This weekend I have spent both Saturday and Sunday pose practising. As everywhere in life, first impression is very important. The first step up on that stage is everything. The posing is not at all as easy at it looks. Believe me. It takes hours and hours of hard work to get it right. Hit every pose and wait a few seconds, fast is not good. Bum out, belly in, no breathing, big relaxed smile at all times and a nice flow between the pose changes. It need to look completely effortless. I watch many youtube videos from the big IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) championships over and over again. Then I adapt my ‘favourites’ poses to make them match me and my personality. After that it is just to do them over and over… and over again until you can hit those poses sleep walking. My main issue is the relaxed smiling while holding my stomach in and not breathing more than through my nose in tiny sips haha. Give it a try and you see just how easy that is lol.

And the hands, another important part. Hands that are placed wrong will cover muscles and ruin the whole pose. Also hands that are very tense and in awkward angles will take the focus off the body. Relaxed hands that follow the body flow is what I want to achieve. They tend to tense by accident when I can’t breathe properly haha. Everything is so damn syncronised that your mind does things automatically. I am working on breaking those patterns. And I will improve since last competition. That is what it is all about! Practise makes perfect ,-)

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Good bye candy

So this week I have been clearing out my drawers of any hidden candy or chocolate. Finishing off the strawberries and raspberries in the fridge and emptying the last of my elderflower lemonade mix. Last week the cheeses, sauces and milk went. I am now 8 weeks out and that means serious changes to my diet. My only fat source will be almonds and the odd spoon of peanut butter. I will also remove all fruits apart from kiwi and any vegetables that contains a lot of sugar, like tomatoes and carrots. My main protein source will be chicken, salmon and tuna and of course my egg whites for breakfast. White fish is good but unfortunately I am allergic to it. Red meat I will eat occasionally. No pork meat but I never eat pork so that is nothing new.  I love salt so I use Himalayan pink salt because it doesn’t retain liquid the same way as normal salt. But I guess in a few weeks that has to go too. The scales will come out tomorrow as I start weighing my food.

The question I often get is…Is it hard? Difficult question to answer. It is like a mindset for me. I don’t give myself any option. I just decide and get on with it. Its like fuelling a car. What I find most difficult is to keep the balance for the coming 8 weeks. Eat just right. If I eat to little I will be too lean and may lose muscles. All fitness athletes worst night mare is to peak early and get deflated for competition day. I have worked so hard on improving from my last competition season and I am not prepared to lose those leg muscles by cutting my food short during prep. It will be a few interesting weeks ahead. Thankfully I have been through this before so I hope to improve on previous mistakes  and I also know how my body respond to the dieting. Determination mode is on.

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Maiti Nepal at the Swedish Church

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This past weekend our first fund raising event for Maiti Nepal took place. We were invited to join the Swedish Church in both Fuengirola and Marbella for their Sunday service. It was such a beautiful day filled with many fantastic and genuine people.

We started at 11 am in Fuengirola, the main home for the Swedish church on the Costa del Sol. Even though this Sunday was the important skiing race, Vasaloppet on TV, live from Mora in Sweden, the church was almost full. The service went on for about one hour in which we gave an introduction of what Maiti Nepal stands for and how they help in the fight against human trafficking.  We also enjoyed beautiful live music and the priest gave a nice ceremony. We had a fantastic response after the service with questions and interest. It felt very rewarding and the collection from the day was more than double of that on a normal Sunday. Thank you all so much for the support!

From there we raced down to Restaurante El Gamonal in La Quinta for the Marbella service, together with priest Michael and his wife Lena who plays the piano and has an amazing voice. In Marbella there will be a church ceremony held every 14 days. The number of visitors were higher than expected so we had to get extra chairs brought out for everyone to have a seat. Again a great service with lovely response and we had the pleasure of listening to my friend Peet Rothwell ( www.peetasbuble.com ) singing two songs from Michael Bublé. Especially the song “I wanna go home” gave a beautiful message to the audience. The wish of all the young women and children that are held as sex slaves somewhere out there, is to be able to go home. Together we can help make that dream come true for some of them .

Donations can be made on: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/marianne-steneholm

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My burglary experiences

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That moment we all fear, when you are awakened by a strange noise in the middle of the night. The noise of someone trying to force enter your home. That is exactly what happened to me a few nights ago.

At 4 am I suddenly wake up from a strange noise, metal against metal tapping noise. A bit drowsy,  it took me a few seconds to realise the sound was coming from my balcony. I jump off the bed and rush into the living room, still half naked in the dark. On the outside of my sliding balcony doors I see the contours of a person hunched over, trying to open my lock with a tool. ,You never know how you will react until you are put on the spot like I was that night.  As my week had been very emotional due to Davidson being ill ,  I went absolutely berserk.  I just screamed from the bottom of my lungs and started running towards the window waving my arms up and down. The burglar looked up straight at me with his face covered in a balaclava. Judging from the surprised look on his eyes, he probably thought I would run straight through the window haha. As I reached for my key to open the door, the burglar realized I was coming out there. He suddenly turned around and escaped by jumping down to the garden below me. I continued screaming as I saw him disappear across the communal gardens below. Once he was out of site I called the police 092. They were very quick to come and checked the perimeters of the urbanization.

Break ins happen all over the world and the burglars get bolder and bolder. I chased a burglar out of  a previous home about 8 years ago too. Same scenario but I had left the safety lock open so the access was much easier. However Davidson was well in those days and thankfully he alerted me! We work so hard to make a living so to get some lazy people intimidating you in your own home at night makes me go furious. I will not feel scared in my home. Following morning we put in additional locks and made other safety improvements. Some people may think it´s not a good subject to blog about, but at the end of the day, who doesn’t know that burglaries happen?

 

 

 

 

So much more than my dog…

getfileattachment-10When Davidson was given to me, only 5 weeks old, I could never have imagined how big part of my life he would be. For the past 12 years he has been my one firm point in life. People have come and gone, given me promises and expectations, disappointed me, hurt me and continue their lives but he has always been there. My little shadow. Wherever we are, even home, he still want to be able to see me and all is fine. He will limp after me to the bath room and sit on the bathroom carpet and wait for me. He comes along to the gym, and lies on his blanket, watching over me. If I disappear behind a pillar and he loses sight of me, the crying starts. My every day starts with his morning walk and ends with his night walk.

He has had quite a few health issues over the years but we have pulled through them all. He is so strong. He never complains. He is so kind. Everybody loves him. He has this charisma that I never saw in a dog before. People come up to us everywhere and just want to know him. The kids call him Scooby Doo 🙂

Now that he is weak and old, he still only cares about me. He tries his very best to keep me happy and his heart is still so strong. I look at him and his tail is wagging. It is painful.  Who am I to decide between life and death. How will I be able to know what to do and when. Two more vet visits today, and what will be the outcome. I can see he trusts whatever decision I make. He is entirely in my hands. I want what is best for him.  This is a shit position to be in but I must be strong, for Davidson, my best friend and the closest I have to a child. I owe him that. I just wonder, how do you prepare yourself. How will anything be normal again.

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Healthy hair is also important

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Many girls these days wear hair extensions and about 2 years ago I wanted to put some in. My hair dresser told me a big NO and also one of my closest friends, after her own bad experience. I was told that all “permanent” extensions will damage your hair badly. Some less then others but they will all eventually leave you with very little hair of your own, creating a viscous circle of more and more extensions and less and less natural hair. So I decided against permanent extensions. My natural hair may not be crazy thick and reaching down to my butt, but believe me, few girls have natural hair like that. It is extensions most of the time. So after being scared off from that, I started looking into other options to keep a healthy and shiny hair and get it to grow a bit longer than it used to be. I came up with two things:

I use Olaplex treatment in my hair each time I have my high lights and low lights done. Olaplex reconnects the broken sulfur bonds the hair. It is called a bond multiplier which basically limits any damage to your hair when coloring or high/low lighting your hair. It is absolutely fantastic and my hair is so shiny and soft since I started using it. Reflections Hair salon at Centro Plaza work with Olaplex treaments for those of you who would like to try it. My second secret is a natural complex I eat as part of my daily routine. It is called Nourkrin and is made in Denmark. It contains a type of fish extract called Marilex that after clinical studies has shown to have fantastic effects on hair growth and general maintenance.

My hair has improved so much over the past 2 years. After my first competition diet my hair got very damaged in the process and it is now fully recovered.

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