Earning the All Aboard Medal from Virtual Runner UK

I’ve used Virtual Runner a few times in the past but then I let me fitness slip completely and didn’t bother anymore. Now as part of my 2017 goals to take charge of my health I decided to enter a couple again.

The All Aboard medal can be earned by walking or running 5K. I would be walking it but this is the longest I’ve walked in a while.

This morning I really didn’t want to go out. I’d woken up with a really bad headache but this medal had to be earned 2nd-8th January and since it’s back to work tomorrow I knew today was really my only chance so I made myself get up and out of the door.

I decided to walk the Lee on Solent parkrun course as it’s a sure cert to be a 5k route! I walked it and yes my back hurt, then my leg hurt, then my back hurt a bit more but by the time I got 3km in to the walk all the pain started to ease away and I was able to finish feeling pretty good. sun over the sea at Lee on Solent

Picture from our walk. It was lovely weather for a January day and there were loads of people out walking. I completed the 5K in 1:03:25 not particularly fast  but I have a starting point now. I’ve submitted my result so any day now this medal should be on its way to me.

London Bus Medal

Image courtesy of Virtual Runner UK

Next I’ll be earning my Unicorn medal.

How are you doing with your goals for 2017?

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December Roundup

Happy New Year Everyone!

December is that month that comes and goes in a flash. Before you know it the New Year is here and Christmas is over for another year.

So what did I get up to in December?

December started with a visit home to Sheffield to spend some time with my Mum. I was there for 4 days. It was so nice to be able to spend some quality time at home and visit Meadowhall, the shopping centre there. Meadowhall is so much better than West Quay but I actually didn’t find anything to buy!! Typical!

A photo posted by Rebecca (@bigmugoftea) on

A much needed coffee whilst shopping.

Blogwise I completed a Christmas Haul series of posts. I worked hard on these and liked how the pictures turned out.

A photo posted by Rebecca (@bigmugoftea) on

 

December also had my work Christmas Party. It was at Saint Mary’s Stadium. The venue was nice but the room was hotter than hell which made it an uncomfortable evening! I did my second attempt at gel nails for it and added nail glitter. I was pleased with how they turned out.

A photo posted by Rebecca (@bigmugoftea) on

 

We went and met up with some friends from Sheffield who were en route to visit family for Christmas. We’d originally planned to meet in Costa Coffee (of course) but with it being Christmas Eve they closed at 3pm to enable them to set up for their Boxing Day sale! We went to Starbucks instead which meant I got to try their Toffee Nut Latte. It was beautiful.

A photo posted by Rebecca (@bigmugoftea) on

 

Christmas was spent at home and was a quiet affair just the way I like it. Since then I’ve been trying to be good and have been out for a walk or a bike ride almost every day. I am a bad blogger though and haven’t actually taken any pictures whilst I’ve been out!! FAIL!

I hope you’ve all had a good December.  If you feel you’ve missed any of my posts through December, here they are below:

Christmas Haul Part 1 – Cath Kidston

Christmas Haul Part 2 – Garsons Garden Centre

Christmas Haul Part 3 – John Lewis

Christmas Haul Part 4 – Finishing Touches

What I Got For Christmas

parkrun – That time when 552 runners turned up

That’s all from me but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have supported this blog since I launched it in February. Here’s to a successful 2017 for us all

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2017 Goals

2017 Goals

I’m not usually one for making goals, but maybe this is why nothing ever changes for me? I’m not setting myself specific targets but goals I’d like to work towards throughout 2017.

Health

In 2017 I want to continue taking charge of my health. I started this in the latter part of 2016 by preparing healthy lunches to take to work. During the week between Christmas and New Year I’ve made sure I’ve done something active every day be it a walk or a bike ride. I hope to continue getting in a bit more activity.

Read more books

This is a goal you see a lot. I love reading but I tend to spend more time reading blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. when actually I could read a book. I’ve read lots between Christmas and New Year  and I hope to keep this up through 2017. Once upon a time I used to keep track of all the books I read in a year. Maybe this will add an incentive to keep reading.

parkrun

It’s time to complete one…and maybe a second if I enjoy it! I love volunteering at parkrun and to date have volunteered 70 times! (71 on New Years Day) Yet I’ve never completed a parkrun. It’s time to change that.

be me

I need to embrace my inner me. I sometimes feel like I have to accept every invitation that comes my way and whilst that’s ok sometimes, fact of the matter is I like being at home. I’m not in to going out and having a wild time anymore, that just isn’t me and I need to learn to be comfortable with that.

So that’s my goals for 2017, what are yours?

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parkrun – That time when 552 runners turned up

parkrun Christmas logo

It’s been a while since I did a parkrun post so I thought I’d tell you about Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve started off really jolly. There were a lot of runners in fancy dress ranging from a simple Santa Hat to full on costumes of elves carrying runners like this one!

christmas parkrun fancy dress

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

When it started we knew there were more people than normal. I filmed the start and it took 40 seconds to get everyone through rather than the usual 15 seconds, but it never occurred to us just how many people there were or why there were so many. Was it because we’d planned Reindeer pacers for the event starting with Dasher at 19 minutes?

parkrun pacers at lee on solent parkrun

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

According to the parkrun page our parkrun has an average of 290.4 runners each week. We usually sit around 300-350. I’m going to let you in to a little secret here. We only have enough finish tokens for 500 runners in the box we keep at the finish funnel.

parkrun runners

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

I’m not even sure that picture does justice of how many people there were!

I knew it was busy as when I was barcode scanning I was asked to move further away from the finish funnel. That doesn’t usually happen. I then got asked to move another 3 metres away from the finish funnel. Apparently the finish funnel was getting so crowded the time keepers were having to move forward as the funnel was full and they couldn’t click the runners coming in to finish.

We were all kept in the festive spirit though by these lovely people playing Christmas Carols!

brass band at lee on solent parkrun

Photo Courtesy of Steve Wood

Then we hit it, the magic 500 and we ran out of tokens! Imagine the panic that filled people. Some clever soul had the idea of writing the finishing numbers on the runners hands. They then went to manual entry and had their details taken that way.  Luckily the runners at Lee on the Solent parkrun are a friendly bunch and straight away we had people offering to help take down people’s details and asking what they could do to help.

Afterwards we had a little time to reflect. Our parkrun is so successful and it’s going from strength to strength. However some lessons had to be learned and so a longer finish funnel and more finish tokens will be ready at the end of the run on New Years Eve. I can’t wait to see how it plays out, especially as I am Run Director. I have excited nerves! And hopefully I won’t have to enter the 52 people by hand that I did last week!

Never been to parkrun? Be sure to find your local and register here. New Year is a great time to start.

Want to read more parkrun posts? They’re all listed below for you

I Am Team GB

Volunteering at parkrun 50 times

parkrun – More than meets the eye

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What I Got For Christmas

I know some people don’t like these type of posts so feel free to skip by. I however love seeing what other people got. It gives me ideas for presents to ask for with my Birthday being on the way. I’m not going to detail all of my presents but below are some of my favourite presents.

Mickey Mouse Purse and Mary Poppins Bottle

My friends know I love Disney. These were part of my presents from two work colleagues. The drinks bottle is hard to photograph but it’s Mary Poppins and on one side has Mary’s silhouette and the other says “Practically Perfect In Every Way” I love Mary Poppins, it’s one of my favourite movies. My friend popped a coin in the Mickey Mouse purse so hopefully now it will never be empty.

Minnie Mouse Watch

How cute is this Minnie Mouse watch?! My mum got me this as a present I could open. I ask for vouchers from my mum a lot. My birthday is right after Christmas so all my gifts come at once. If I ask for vouchers I can then get myself things through the year. It helps stretch out the presents a little more. It’s from Avon and has a rubber strap which I like because in my work I can sometimes get messy and rubber straps are much easier to clean!

A gift from my keyworker

Speaking of work, here is part of a present one of the children from work got me. I absolutely love it. It’s very chintz and Cath Kidston-esque so it’s perfect for me, and the statement is all true hehe.

Cath Kidston Leopard Flower Backpack

Whilst we’re talking of Cath Kidston it’s time to bring on the big guns. Here’s one of 3 Cath Kidston bags. It’s the Leopard Flower backpack. I was lusting after this a while ago  but it went out of stock quickly. I saw on Twitter just before Christmas that it had come back in stock and dropped a few hints to my husband. It has so many pockets, this is going to become my new work bag.

Disney X Cath Kidston Mickey Mouse London Backpack

Now for one of my absolute favourites. The Mickey in London Disney X Cath Kidston backpack. I love it. I was gutted when the pre sale took place and I had everything in my basket but the website was so busy I couldn’t check out and so I sat watching things sell out and one by one disappear from my basket. My husband got the email there was more in stock whilst I was at work and got straight on it and ordered this and…

Disney X Cath Kidston Spot Mini Satchel

This! The Disney X Cath Kidston Minnie and Mickey Mouse spot Mini Satchel. It’s perfection. I absolutely love it. It’s just the right size for when you’re popping out and don’t want to take a big handbag with you.

So there you have it. I’ve been one lucky girl this year.

What was your favourite Christmas present you recieved?

How did you spend Christmas this year?

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Christmas Haul Part 4 – Finishing Touches

This is the last in my Christmas Haul series. Why not read Parts 1, 2 and 3 to catch up?

This haul is all from Finishing Touches is a lovely gift shop right here in Lee on Solent. It has two branches, both are gift shops but as the season approaches one becomes a Christmas shop and it is literally crammed full of the loveliest Christmas decorations.

Finishing Touches

Taken from Google Maps

In the next two pictures is everything I bought:
Reindeer Christmas Decorations Wooden Reindeer Christmas Decorations

And now for the close ups!

Firstly the Reindeer Tea Light Holder

Reindeer Christmas Tea Light Holder Decoration

He is so cute with his little fur hat and his little black lantern. I couldn’t resist.

Next it’s the round Reindeer decorations.

Reindeer Christmas Decoration

This is actually really similar to some Reindeers we got from Debenhams years ago so I got two of these to compliment the ones we already have.

Then we have the two wooden tree decorations

Wooden Reindeer Christmas Tree Decoration

I got two of these too. They’re going to look adorable on my Christmas tree, just look at their happy little faces!

Then finally the four wooden reindeers. I got two large and two small.

Wooden reindeer christmas decoration

These are gorgeous solid wood pieces and although I got them from the Christmas shop I think these will be going in to our bedroom all year round afterwards to go with our Woodland theme. I think I can get away with them as they’re not overtly Christmassy!

So that brings my Christmas Haul to an end. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these posts as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. I’m well and truly ready for Christmas now!

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Christmas Haul Part 3 – John Lewis

I’ve really enjoyed writing these posts so I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. If you missed Parts 1 and 2 they can be found here and here

By now I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen the John Lewis Christmas advert set in Buster’s Garden. If you haven’t here it is:

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I have foxes in my garden. If you didn’t know be sure to take a look at my Fantastic Mr. Fox post.

Read it? Ok so I’m sure that post has pretty much explained why I had to pick up these two beauties from the Buster’s Garden collection.

John Lewis Foxes from Buster's Garden Christmas Advert

Meet Olivia and Otto! How cute are they?! I know they aren’t super Christmassy but after Christmas is done I plan on relocating them to the bedroom to add to our Woodland theme in there. They’re so lovely and super soft.

These were £12 each but 10% of each goes to The Wildlife Trusts which is such a good charity. I’m glad they’re helping a charity with their advert.

Tomorrow will be the last of my Christmas Haul Posts but if you’ve missed Parts 1 and 2 they’re available for you here and here. I hope they help to get you in the Christmas spirit.

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Christmas Haul Part 2 – Garsons Garden Centre

I hope you liked yesterday’s post with my stunning Cath Kidston Snow Globes. Today I’m showing you the items I bought from Garsons Garden Centre. The Garsons I visited was the Titchfield store near Fareham.

Here’s a little something you might not know about me. I love Reindeers and approximately 95% of my Christmas decorations are Reindeers. There’s a couple of other things that I’ve allowed to sneak in. So naturally everything I bought at Garsons has something to do with Reindeers.

Here’s everything together.

Reindeer Christmas Decorations

Now for the close ups! The first thing I picked up is this gorgeous wooden Reindeer Tea Light Lantern.

Reindeer Tea light lantern christmas decoration

This comes with a glass holder for the tea light to sit in. I bought two to go either side of my fire place. They’ll be lovely lit, giving a warm glow whilst watching Christmas movies! So cosy!

Last year we had a large Christmas tree and definitely didn’t have enough decorations so when I saw these cute felt Reindeers I knew they were what we needed to extend our decoration collection!

Felt Reindeer Christmas Decoration

These were in two colours, red and white, so I bought two red and two white. They were only £1.49 which is a bargain!

Last but not least I got two of these happy little faces.

Felt Reindeer Head Christmas Decoration

I couldn’t resist! I like the way this looks home made but looks a lot better than anything I could ever make!

Don’t forget to pop back tomorrow to see what else I’ve been buying! Can’t wait until tomorrow? Why not take a look at yesterday’s post?

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Christmas Haul Part 1 – Cath Kidston

So it’s officially December and now the Christmas posts can begin.

I’ve been well and truly getting in to the Christmas spirit lately by doing a little Christmas Shopping. So over the next few days I’m going to bring you posts about what I bought. I’m going to start with Cath Kidston.

Cath Kidston is easily my favourite shop. I own over 50 Cath Kidston bags so I’m always browsing their catalogues and website. When the Christmas Catalogue came I was browsing through and instantly fell in love with two snow globes they had to offer. I ordered them right away.

The first one is the blue London Snow Globe.

Cath Kidston London Christmas Snow Globe

I love Cath Kidston because it’s so quintessentially British and it doesn’t get more British than Big Ben and a red London bus!

The second one I ordered is the red Billie Snow Globe.

Red Cath Kidston Billie Christmas Snow Globe

A nice little surprise that I didn’t know when these arrived is that they’re also musical! They play We Wish You A Merry Christmas in the same plinky plonky way a jewellery box did when you were a child.

I absolutely love these and know they’re going to look lovely with all my other Christmas decorations.

Look out for my other Christmas Haul Posts.

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