Category Archives: Monthly Review

November Roundup

Apologies that this post is a little late. I’ve kind of being feeling a little burnt out when it comes to blogging. I’ve had no inspiration or motivation but this post should really write itself so lets see how it goes.

I started off November in Brazil, or more specifically Rio De Janeiro. If you want to read my post about it, it’s here: My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Below is a picture I didn’t share on the post, but did on Instagram. This is taken at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. There was a huge wall covered in this graffiti. I know sometimes graffiti can be menace and look unsightly but when it’s done like this, it’s marvellous.

Graffiti from Sugar Loaf Mountain

When we got back from Brazil my husband and I received our iPhone X’s. My old iPhone 6 plus had been running slower than an old dog so I was glad to be able to upgrade. I’ve enjoyed playing with the portrait feature on the camera. I like how it blurs the background on pictures.

Coffee

I also went to lots of parkruns and still tried (unsuccessfully) to break the 45 minute 5K. Getting closer though!

parkrun time

Staying on the fitness note, I’m still really enjoying the spin classes at the gym. The calorie burn is epic and I come out of the class buzzing. I’ve started going twice a week now.

spin class

A funny moment that occurred at Stokes Bay junior parkrun in November was a lost dog. One of the rules of junior parkrun is that dogs aren’t allowed on the course, unlike the adult parkrun where you can run with a dog. We spotted a dog running loose and at first assumed it was with one of the spectators but we soon realised it wasn’t. Our wonderful team rallied together and caught the dog and hooked him up to a makeshift lead! Luckily he was wearing a collar with his owners phone number on so we made contact. As I was RD I was left holding the dog whilst the rest of our team returned to their volunteer roles. His owner soon arrived and was very thankful. Apparently he’d come quite a way and crossed over a busy road! Thank goodness he wasn’t hurt!

dog

The core team of volunteers at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun had a team night out in November. We went to a Chinese buffet in Fareham. The only problem was they sat us on a super long table so it was difficult to talk to people more than a couple of seats away from you. They’d seated another large group on a round table which looked a much better way to chat but we couldn’t have got a “down-the-table-selfie” as easily had we of been sat there.

Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun core team

I think that pretty much sums up my November. I managed to get a few blog posts out before I burned out too, in case you missed any, they’re listed below:

November Memories Through The Years

Bonfire Night Memories

My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

October Roundup

Disney Mickey Mouse X Cath Kidston

More Christmas Items

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse

I Am A Broken Runner

Why I Love Winter

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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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September Roundup

September has been and gone. As much as it’s sad to see the Summer over, Autumn is my favourite time of year so I’m not entirely sad that we find ourselves with darker evenings, cooler days and a carpet of freshly shed leaves.

In September I managed to complete 4 parkruns! That’s the most in one month I’ve completed. I’ve gone from starting September with a time of 56:19 after coming back from injury to setting a new PB on the last day of September of 45:25.

parkrun finish token

I also ran my first 5K race in 3 years! I got a PB, beating my 5K PB from 2012! I’ve since smashed this PB at parkrun (see above)

5k bib number and medal

At the beginning of September this fella was still spending his days in the garden but as the month progressed we’ve seen less of him. I guess he’s finding warmer places to hide now the weather has cooled off.

fox

I also discovered a fabulous shop in nearby Wickham called Whiff of Wickham that sells bath bombs, melts, soaps etc. I bought a load of bath bombs by Bomb Cosmetics and Paws for Thought was my favourite. Not only was it cute to look at but it smelt divine too.

paws for thought bath bomb

I also went to Southampton with friends in September to go to Sprinkles. When we got there, there was a huge big wheel so we went on it. The views from the top were awesome. Check out West Quay shopping centre with a huge cruise ship behind it in the picture below.

View from Southampton Wheel

And finally a picture of a tree I took last week. It couldn’t look more Autumnal!

Autumnal Tree

So now we’re in to October and the countdown to Christmas can truly begin!

Missed a post from September? They’re all listed below!

Earning the Run in the Sun medal

Returning to parkrun

I’ve joined the gym

I was shouted at by a race marshal

My New Running Plan

My First Race in 3 Years

What I Read This Summer

How My Week Went From Bad To Worse

I’ve Started Preparing for Christmas Already

Stokes Bay junior parkrun

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August Roundup

I feel like I say this at the beginning of every post but how quickly has August flown by? The time really flies as an adult but as a child I remember a week feeling like a life time.

At the beginning of August my friend Susana, who owns her own balloon decor company, sent me a balloon in a box. Balloon in a box is a service she’s thinking of trying where you can send someone a balloon that will be personalised to your requirements. Susana personalised mine just how I like it, a good Walt Disney quote and a bit of Minnie Mouse. This was a such a lovely surprise and over three weeks later it’s still flying! Susana’s website is here if you fancy having a look: Balloon Zest

bubble balloon

August has seen our resident fox spending a lot of time in our garden. He’s getting way more confident and has tried to come in to the house when we’ve had the door open in the warm weather. He’s getting a lot closer to us too as though not afraid at all. As a result I’ve managed to snap some good pictures. I’m trying not to become a fox bore on Instagram but it’s difficult when he’s just so cute!

Fox

Fox

At the beginning of August it was my husband’s Birthday. We went to Weymouth for the day and afterwards drove over to Portland, then on to Portland Bill lighthouse. It was very pretty there and a good chance to see Britain’s rugged coastline.

Portland

On 19th August I volunteered at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun for the 100th time. I was the RD for the day and had 100 balloons tied up around the finish funnel. I’ve now volunteered for parkrun including both the Saturday parkrun and the Sunday junior parkruns a total of 112 times.

parkrun volunteer

I’m ready for a bit of a rest now and hopefully concentrate on my own running, if this injury subsides.

August Bank Holiday was lovely and hot. My mum came down for the weekend so we went to the beach and out to eat. The weather was perfect and we had a fun weekend.

Let’s hope September maintains the weather although we’re now coming up to my favourite season, Autumn!

Want to read my other blog posts from August? They’re all here:

July Roundup

Disney’s Peter Pan X Cath Kidston

How I earned my Mermaid Challenge Medal

How I earned my Wonder Runner Medal

How I earned the Kidney Research 5K Medal

 

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July Roundup

I know this post is late but to be honest I’ve had some problems with webhosting and wordpress that just put me in to a bit of a blog funk and I didn’t want to update it. However, I finally seem to have it all fixed so hopefully now I’ll feel like updating a little more!

Now, on to July. July was a good month where I concentrated on my running and felt like I was coming on in leaps and bounds. However, now injury has struck and I find myself in a running funk! More on that in another blog post.

July started off with our 2nd Birthday at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. We had a fancy dress and cake theme. I was joint RD along with the Event Director Maggie. I did the run brief up the ladder and that’s where this picture comes from. Taken by Kieran.

parkrun RD

On 3rd July we went for an evening walk and I managed to grab this shot. There’s nothing like a car park full of seagulls taking flight as you walk through to remind you that you live at the seaside!

seagulls flying over Lee-on-the-Solent

In June I took part in one of the challenges on Virtual Runner to earn the mermaid medal. I completed 25.5km throughout the month and my medal arrived at the beginning of July. I must do a blog post about this! But for now, check out the medal. Super cool!

mermaid medal

In July I completed two parkruns and this picture shows my current PB.

parkrun finish token parkrun PB

Probably one of the most awesome things to happen to me was that Starbucks UK featured this picture on their Instagram after I posted on mine and tagged them.

Starbucks Caramel Frappucino

Finally in July the USS George H W Bush came to visit Stokes Bay which attracted people in their droves! It was a huge boat. I took this picture of it from Pebbles Café after we finished up at Stokes Bay junior parkrun. It actually doesn’t look that big in the photograph!

USS George H W Bush

And finally it wouldn’t be my blog without a sunset picture! So to finish, here is a sunset picture!

sunset at Lee-on-the-Solent

Let’s see what August brings!

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May Roundup

I’m starting this post on a rainy Bank Holiday weekend. Those words go together so well don’t they? Rainy Bank Holiday!

In May I continued discovering new places. I’ve heard of Old Portsmouth from a few people so we went over one evening to have a look round and explore. We went on the walls around the Square Tower and Round Tower. From the top you can see the ferries coming in to dock at Portsmouth. We were so close to this Brittany Ferry I could hear the announcements being made about how to disembark.

Brittany Ferry

In May it was my Mum’s birthday so we took her for a surprise trip to Weymouth for a Birthday treat. We had lunch at the Red Lion pub who do really good seafood. We wandered around the Harbour and down to the Beach. It was a great day.

Weymouth Harbour

Donkey at Weymouth Beach

How cute is this fella? He was the only donkey left behind. Maybe he was glad of the break though?

As you may know from this post I completed my first parkrun. I’ve completed another one since and a practice run. It all came to a halt this week though as I’ve hurt my foot.

parkrun finish token

Also in May my lovely Winnie developed a problem! I was driving home from work and when I turned corners, the steering clunked. She got towed away to Smart of Portsmouth who fixed her up. Her steering rack had failed! I was pretty disappointed that this would happen in a car less than a year old!

I think that’s all for my May Roundup. I’ve done much better with blogging in May so why not read one of my other posts?

Coffee Update

April Roundup

My First parkrun

parkrun Number 2

Stokes Bay junior parkrun test event

A bit of parkrun practice

parkrun tourism bucket list

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April Roundup

I know I’m getting to this April roundup a little late. In fact, we’re almost half way through May already but hey, better late than never right?!

In April I went to the cinema for the first time in over two years. Of course it was to see Beauty and the Beast! I was dubious about the remake, wondering if it would be as good as the original animated cartoon version from 1991 that I remember watching over and over on VHS as a child. In truth, the remake was wonderful and every bit as magical as the original if not more due to the progression in film making. I was enthralled from start to finish.

I also left my job in April and one of my leaving gifts from my colleague was this wonderful chip cup!

Chip from Beauty and the Beast

I got lots of lovely gifts from my colleagues and the children and I got lots of flowers! I had 7 vases brimming with beautiful blooms! Below is just one of them. I love tulips, they’re so pretty and vibrant.

Tulips

Of course in April I’ve also taken some beach pictures when I’ve been out walking. I’m still determined to keep gaining fitness by walking more often.

Lee-on-the-Solent Beach

Lee-on-the-Solent beach

I love how the sun is reflecting off the wet sand in the second picture. Sun set at the beach is the best. As I’ve been doing lots of walking I’ve also discovered some new places in and around where I live. Below are photos of Fort Gilkicker that was built in 1863 and is soon to become “luxury homes” and the Haslar sea wall where you can see across to Portsmouth Harbour.

Fort Gilkicker

Haslar Sea Wall

As I’ve been doing lots of walking I wanted a new way of recording my walks as for some reason, despite having a full battery my phone will die when using apps like Strava and say it has no battery, thus losing my data. Then, annoyingly, when I get home and plug it in my phone shows a full charge again! I hunted high and low for my old Garmin Forerunner 410 but despite being sure I brought it from Sheffield with us, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I researched a few different tracking watches and settled on the Garmin Forerunner 35. It’s simple to use, tracks heart rate and has GPS. I’m pretty pleased with it and am loving tracking all the stats again.

Garmin Forerunner 35

I’ve also continued to volunteer at my local parkrun. I decided to go back to marshalling as I usually do a funnel role. I loved being back out on the course cheering everyone on. I was put back in my old marshalling spot of the playground which just so happens to have a café right at the side of it so it was coffee and marshalling for me!

parkrun marshall

Speaking of parkrun we’ve also had confirmation of the junior parkrun we’ve been setting up. Stokes Bay junior parkrun will start on 4th June! We’re all so excited about this. The trial is on Saturday afternoon for us to try out all the equipment and make sure everything works before we do it for real. Afterwards we have to have a training session on being an RD at a Junior parkrun. I’m guessing this will cover some safeguarding aspects with it being juniors.

I think that’s it for my April update! I have some exciting news too but that’s for another post!

Not had enough? Why not look at my other post from April…

My One Year Plan

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February Roundup

Another month in 2017 over already. February seems to have gone by in a bit of a blur! So what did I get up to?

At the beginning of February I went with some friends to the new Watermark at West Quay shopping centre in Southampton. We went to Cosmo, which was my recommendation having already visited the restaurant in Sheffield. Thankfully it lived up to my expectations and we had some lovely food as well as a good catch up. When we got there they had decorated with red lanterns for Chinese New Year.

 

Red lanterns Chinese New Year

One Sunday afternoon we went for a drive out in to the New Forest and ended up in Lymington. We found the harbour and went for a walk around. It was lovely, and very quiet as it was so chilly. Afterwards we went to Milford on Sea which seems to be the closest point on the mainland that you can get to the Isle of Wight. The waves were huge so naturally I took a picture (which really doesn’t do the waves justice) but you can see the Isle of Wight in the background and also The Needles. One day I’ll get myself over to the Isle of Wight and explore!

Lymington Harbour

Milford on Sea waves

Another Sunday afternoon we went for a drive out to Southsea. As we drove along from Southsea to Eastney we saw these beach huts and I had to get out and take a picture. They look a little dishevelled, like the Winter hasn’t treat them well. I’m sure they’ll look splendid in the Summer. I love the colours.

Beach Huts at Southsea

Blog posts in February:

January Roundup

2016 – A Review

Earning my Unicorn Medal the hard way!

Volunteering at Waterlooville Junior parkrun

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January Round Up

So January has been and gone. I haven’t blogged a lot in January but to be honest I haven’t done a lot and I only want to blog when I have something to blog about. In January I’ve been working really hard and this has taken a bit of a toll on my health. I’ve had a constant cold and sore throat as a result of being run down. It feels crazy to be run down when we only just had the Christmas break but that’s where I’m at.

So on to the round up. In January it was my Birthday. I received some lovely presents from family and friends and celebrated with plenty of yummy food. Whilst at West Quay for my birthday lunch I found these gorgeous Kilner jars in John Lewis. I have never seen jars with the coloured lids like these. So I snapped up two of each colour. They were reduced in the January sales too which made them even sweeter.

Kilner Jars

I also did gel nails for my birthday. My nails are seriously weak though after removing them 🙁

Gel Nails

During January I also worked hard on achieving the unicorn medal I mentioned in my previous post I Am A Unicorn way back in November. This should have been easily achievable but with a malfunctioning treadmill and a phone dying instead of  recording my walk I actually had to do a lot more than the given 10K distance. There’s a review of how I achieved it coming up but here’s a picture I took on one of the walks.

Sunset

I thought I’d see how I was going with my 2017 goals too. Hopefully by revisiting them each month it’ll keep them fresh in my memory.

Health – Taking charge – I’m now taking both healthy breakfasts and lunches to work and I have stuck to this throughout January. I’ve also cooked a lot more in an evening so these meals are healthier too. I’ve mainly been using Joe Wicks Cook Books.

Read – Lots More Books – I’m on my third book of the year.

parkrun – I haven’t completed one. I have completed 3 5K walks in January though. Still suffering terribly with the leg pain that stopped me running in the first place though.

Be Me – I turned down the opportunity to go out out and confidently said “That’s not me” and it was ok!

Pretty pleased with how I’m going with my goals so far. Looking forward to seeing how I get on in February. I think my first goal will be helped by lighter evenings and warmer weather!

And to finish, if you missed any of my posts during January here they are again:

2017 Goals

December Roundup

Earning the All Aboard Medal from Virtual Runner UK

parkrun – Thoughts from the finish line

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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!

Coffee

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.

Christmas Haul

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.

Gel Nails

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.

Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte

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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