Category Archives: Life

2017 Goals – How I did

2017 Goals

Health

I’ve done ok with this. I’ve lost just over 2 stone in 2017. My weight has plateaued since November but people are telling me on a regular basis I’m looking trim lately so I guess the exercise is paying off. I’m enjoying running and spin classes. My lunches during the working week could be better. As I said in my last update we get a free lunch at work but it isn’t the healthiest even though it’s supposed to be! Something to improve on in 2018?

parkrun

For my parkrun goal I said 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”

I completed my first parkrun on 13th May in a time of 58:24. I’ve now got that down to 44:40 and I’ve completed 14 runs. When I wrote the post I’d volunteered 70 times. I’m now up to 130. I’m really proud of that number. I’ve also engaged in a bit of tourism!

Read more books

I think I could have done better with this. I’m currently on my 19th book which for some people will be a lot but for others is barely any! This is something I’d like to work on more in 2018.

be me

This is something I’ve done well with. I’ve only accepted invitations to things I really want to go to. I’m going to be honest, it’s mainly food related. I’ve enjoyed spending time at home doing things I enjoy rather than going out and doing things I enjoy less.

It’s time to start thinking about my 2018 goals.

How did you do with your 2017 goals? Keeping myself accountable on my blog has definitely helped!

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Snow Day!

I hate snow! Now don’t get me wrong if I don’t have to leave the house for a week and a fresh blanket of snow comes down of course it looks lovely. It’s always nice if it’s around Christmas time too. However my memories of snow are mainly of the huge inconvenience it causes. One of the reasons we were excited to move South was that we’d barely see snow again!

January 2015

The above photo was taken a week before we left Sheffield for the South. There’s a car under there somewhere! Note it’s still snowing in the picture and the snow covering the road too. This is at the top of the steep hill I lived at the top of. (January 2015)

As a child of course snow is fun. Sheffield is very hilly and my school was at the top of a mile long hill (No word of a lie) This meant the first hint of snow and school was closed! Perfect! However as an adult when you can’t drive because the roads are impassable and the buses aren’t even running, walking to work all downhill is a slippy and hellish inconvenience but also so is walking home all uphill where you take one step forward and slide two steps back!

December 2010

This is my husband knee deep in snow. We’d just walked back from work after they’d both closed due to the weather. We went and bought emergency supplies on the way home because SNOW MEANS PANIC!!!!! (December 2010)

January 2010

It does make the street look pretty though (January 2010)

Sometimes the snow would remain for well over a week and when they eventually sent ploughs round it’d stay even longer as it was a giant snow boulder/moutain!!

There was also that time we landed back at Manchester Airport to heavy snow. We were the last flight to land before they closed the airport. The journey home should have been around an hour and a half and it took 4 hours! We then had to dig our way in to our car park. Not the best way to end a holiday!

March 2013

Have you experienced bad snow before?

 

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Why I Love Winter

Autumn/Winter are my absolute favourite seasons. I love Autumn for many reasons but I also love Winter. Here’s why:

Christmas
Duh! Christmas is my favourite holiday. I even got married at Christmas so I could have a Christmas wedding. I love the excitement of the build up to Christmas, decorating the house and getting that perfect gift for a loved one that you know they’ll just adore. I love that we get time off work so we can spend time with our loved ones. Also the presents! Who doesn’t love getting presents?!

My Birthday
My Birthday is in Winter too. It’s a couple of weeks after Christmas so even when the big day is over, I still have something to look forward to. Sadly though, it’s a long old wait between my Birthday and Christmas rolling round again!

It’s cold!
I hate hate hate being too hot! I don’t handle heat well at all. I’m fair skinned and I get hot easily. The sun is not my friend but the cold winter days are! I like being able to layer up and go out on winter walks and when I can’t be bothered doing my hair, I can hide it under a hat! Perfect!

Winter Warmers
Winter is the time when my slow cooker is at it’s busiest. I make up big batches of stew, soups, chillies and curries to warm our cockles. We also indulge in hot chocolate. Sometimes we’ll get a hot chocolate from Costa Coffee but I also make a pretty good fake Costa version at home too.

Dark Evenings
As much as I hate dark evenings, I love driving home from work when everyone has their Christmas lights up and it’s all pretty and twinkly!

Do you like Winter? What do you like about winter?

Things I Am Thankful For

As today is Thanksgiving over the pond I thought I’d do a post about the things and people in my life that I am thankful for.

My parkrun Family
parkrun volunteers

This lovely bunch have provided me with friends, a community and amazing support.

 

parkrun in general
parkrun logo

I never thought I’d run again after 2013 but thanks to parkrun I’ve now got back to running and I can now take part in a free timed 5k run every Saturday at 9am pretty much anywhere in the UK

 

Home
I’m such a home person. I love being at home. I have a nice home that I love spending time in. My home contains my bed, my favourite place in the world!

 

Where I Live
I’m lucky to live in such a beautiful part of our country. We have the beach less than a 5 minute walk away. I live in a small town that has nice little shops, coffee shops and quaint gift shops.

sunset at Lee-on-the-Solent

What are you thankful for?

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October Roundup

October felt like the month of illness. I had a cold and bad throat then started to get better, had the flu jab and got worse all over again!

October started with a visit to Sprinkles in Southampton and as a result, another ride on the Southampton Wheel! We went on it just as the sun was setting so it made for some lovely photographs.

Southampton Wheel

October 7th was parkruns 13th Birthday. They’d asked people to post photographs of them in their apricot t-shirts so they could try and get a picture of every parkrun location. So here is me and my parkrun family celebrating parkruns 13th Birthday and also Kieran’s 50th parkrun and 25th time volunteering! Also worth mentioning we didn’t know the lady with the dog, we just grabbed her for a photo because she was wearing an apricot t-shirt! I think she thought we were a bit crazy!

parkrun

I’ve been enjoying my spin classes at the gym I’ve joined. It’s such a good workout and really makes me sweat. I took a picture of the screen at the end of the class. Just look at that calorie burn!

Spin Class

On 22nd October I was a marshal at the Great South Run. If you haven’t already read my blog post about it, please do: Marshalling at the Great South Run

At the end of October I went on holiday to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. There’s a blog post about that too! My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro

The famous wave pattern on the pavement at Copacabana Beach

In October I worked really hard to have a blog post every other day to take me in to November so I didn’t have to worry about blogging whilst I was away. If you didn’t see one, or want to revisit a post, they’re listed below and all open in a new window:

September Roundup

My Favourite Things About Autumn

Autumn in Scotland

2017 Goals An Update Part Three

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

If I Were Prime Minister

October Memories Through The Years

What I Don’t Like About Autumn

My Favourite Halloween Movies

My Favourite Autumn Quotes

My Favourite Movie

Marshalling at the Great South Run and Runner Reviews

How To Prevent Getting Sick in Autumn

What I Do When I Get Sick in Autumn

How I Earned My Golden Ticket Medal

How I Earned The Halloween 5K Medal

Halloween Memories

I think that’s the most I’ve ever blogged in a month! Not sure I’ll be able to keep it up in November but I’ll definitely try! Happy November everyone!

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Bonfire Night Memories

It’s a shame I don’t have any photographs to go alongside this post but growing up my family just didn’t take many pictures. However, we always had a Bonfire Night party and they were awesome.

My mum would have the oven on with potatoes slowly baking. The aroma would fill the whole house and I’d impatiently wait for it to get dark and our guests to arrive. We’d have hotdogs, potatoes with beans or chilli and bonfire toffee a plenty.

My Dad would have been prepping the bonfire for a couple of days before, burning whatever pieces of wood he had left from his woodwork projects. A few days before my Dad and I would have walked to the firework shop a couple of miles away from my house. We didn’t have a car back then so we pretty much walked everywhere. It felt like it took forever and my Dad walked so quick I’d have to do a little quick step to keep up with him. For every step he took I had to take three.

We’d also have the nightmare of coaxing my two cats in to their safe place of the cellar. The cellar sounds awful but it was more like a workshop as my Dad did his woodwork down there. Please, if you have pets, make sure they’re safe on Bonfire Night.

On the night there’d be the nip in the air and everyone would be bundled up in their winter warmers. My Auntie and Uncle were regular guests along with my best friend and her parents and some of my parents friends. We’d have music on and my Dad would be in charge of stoking the fire and setting off the fireworks, only once getting caught out by a rogue firework and nearly joining it screaming way up in to the sky!!

I’d always go to bed late that night, tired, full of yummy food and with a smell of smoke in my hair.

Do you go to Bonfire parties? Have you ever hosted your own?

 

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November Memories Through The Years

I hope you enjoyed my post October Memories Through The Years last month. I’ve decided to make this a regular feature of my blog so without further ado, here are my November Memories Through the Years.

November 2005

On 21st November 2005 I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BA Honors in Early Childhood Studies. Random fact about my graduation…Malorie Blackman, the children’s/Young Adult author was given an Honorary Doctorate at my Graduation ceremony.

November 2010

As the weather turns more wintery in the North, snow comes early. Here’s a picture of the heavy snowfall we had in Sheffield. I took a picture of the tree to show just how much had stuck to it. If there was that much on the tree, you can imagine how much was on the floor! Knee high snow is something I don’t miss since moving to the South.

Snow on tree

November 2013

Not going to lie, I’m a huge Disney fan and going to see Disney on Ice was something I always looked forward to. I think I went 4 years in a row. Two years we were front row and I managed to get a decent picture of Minnie and Mickey. It’s hard to get pictures as they’re constantly moving so everything comes out a blur!

Disney on Ice

November 2014

November 2014 gets two pictures. The first, as we were still living in the North we were enjoying walks planned by Activity Sheffield. We met so many different people and got to explore some new parts of Sheffield we were yet to discover evening after living there for over 30 years! Below is a picture of Rivelin Valley. I absolutely love the lighting in this picture. There’s no filter here, just lovely Autumn sunshine.

Rivelin Valley

However, November 2014 was the start of us moving to the South and we went to explore the area. Below is my first glimpse of Lee-on-the-Solent where I’m now happily settled.

November 2015

Our first Christmas in the South and I’m afraid I’m that person that has their tree up by the end of November. We had a real 9ft Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree

So there you have it, my favourite November memories. Here’s hoping I make new memories this November

 

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Halloween Memories

I remember as a child not going Trick or Treating. My parents saw it as a sign of begging and back then Trick or Treating wasn’t as big as it is now.

However when I was 9 I was allowed to go! I went with my best friend and another friend of ours, her older sister and her older sisters friend. We had a blast. We got dressed up, we received so many treats as well as toothpaste samples! The lady told us they were for after eating all our treats! Actually a neat idea! We also had some tricks played on us, the one I remember was a lady answering her front door but her husband running out of the back door in a ghost costume! We screamed so loud, much to his amusement, but he did give us some treats afterwards.

My best friend and I both dressed up as witches. I remember borrowing her Mum’s shawl! We’re also wearing bin bags as dresses! And for some reason we decided to both wear trolls around our necks. I have no idea why but I’m sure there was a reason at the time.

Halloween

Afterwards we went to our friend’s house where we watched a show called Ghostwatch. It was made to seem like live TV and at the time we thought it was. There were presenters in a studio and then a crew that had gone to investigate a house with a Poltergeist called Pipes. It actually scared us all silly and I remember when I got home I demanded my Mum come to the bathroom with me so I could brush my teeth as I was scared Pipes was in there! It sounds ridiculous but I was only 9 years old! I’ve just noticed on the cover art it’s rated a 12. Weren’t we rebels!

Ghostwatch

What are your Halloween memories?

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What I Do When I Get Sick in Autumn

On Tuesday I posted my How To Prevent Getting Sick in Autumn post. However, it’s inevitable you might get sick, even with the greatest of intentions not to. Here’s how I go about tackling a cold.

Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
So now I’ve caught those germs, it’s essential to keep washing my hands or putting on anti-bacterial hand gel after coughing or blowing my nose.

Tissues with Balsam Oils
When I’m blowing my nose every two seconds it gets sore so I like to make sure I use tissues with balsam oils to at least try and prevent it getting too sore. Although it inevitably still does so I also use…

Vaseline
Every time I blow my nose I dab on some Vaseline to stop my nose getting too sore from all the blowing and wiping with tissues.

Vicks Sinex Micromist
This nasal spray is literally a godsend. If you have a blocked nose, even if its really blocked, this nasal spray will clear it. It’s supposed to last 12 hours and it usually lasts most of the day for me. I use it in a morning and before I go to bed at night along with…

Olbas Oil
I dab Olbas Oil on to my pillowcase at night. I’m sure on the instructions it says to put a couple of drops on to a tissue inside your pillowcase but this doesn’t work for me. Instead I out 5 or 6 drops on to both edges of my pillow so which ever way I face I feel the benefit. I swear by Olbas Oil and used to really like the plug in vaporiser they sold but I haven’t seen these in ages.

Whiskey/Rum
I know some people say to have hot lemon, or hot honey and whiskey but personally I prefer a big measure of Whiskey or Rum just as it is. It’s perfect for numbing your throat if you have a tickly cough and unblocking your nose.

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How To Prevent Getting Sick in Autumn

Autumn brings with it a change in weather, and for whatever reason, that turn in weather brings with it illness and germs. So how do you keep healthy in Autumn?

Here’s some of my tricks.

Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
At work I am constantly using antibacterial hand gel or washing my hands. This is because I am constantly wiping noses or getting coughed and sneezed on! I work in a baby unit and of course, they don’t know to cover their mouths or how to wipe their own nose. This is also useful to have with you when at the gym!

Vitamins
I’m not the best at eating enough fruits and vegetables through the week. I can nail it at weekends when I have more time to cook but I fail in the week. To compliment my diet I take Vitamins. This ensures I’m always getting enough of the vitamins I may lack through my diet, especially Vitamin C and Zinc which are well known to boost your immune system.

Flu Jab
I get the flu jab for free at work every October. More work places are offering this now and it’s also available on the NHS or at places like Boots. The flu jab protects against Swine Flu, a particular strain of flu that affects the elderly or people who are more vulnerable by having a long term illness and Influenza B that affects children.

Sleep
I always try to make sure I get 8 hours sleep a night. This isn’t always possible, and actually I feel much better for having 9 hours sleep a night. Sleep deprivation is known to affect your immune system so plenty of early nights ensure I manage to stay fighting fit.

Exercise
Making sure I exercise regularly is something I strive for, not only for weight loss, but to help boost my immune system. Moderate exercise is proven to improve your immune system.