Tag Archives: beach

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!

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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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2016 – A Review

For some reason this post didn’t publish when it was meant to and I didn’t even notice! Bad blogger! So I know it’s late but I thought I’d put it out there since I went to the effort of writing it and collating the pictures so here’s my late review of 2016.

January

Best Nails:

French manicure

My first ever attempt at a French Manicure turned out surprisingly well.

Favourite Photo:

Sunset at  Lee on the Solent

The sunset at Lee on Solent.

February

Best Nails:

Rimmel Let's Get Nude

These nails actually don’t look that good at all *blush* but it’s the best from February.

Best Photo:

Sunset at Stokes Bay

Sunset at Stokes Bay. No filter was needed for this photograph.

Best Blog Post:
February saw the launch of this blog. I’m choosing How I became a parkrun Volunteer as my best blog post. parkrun is something that means a lot to me so it’s a reflection of who I am.

March

Best Nails:

OPI Princesses Rule

I love how pink, sparkly and girly OPI’s Princesses Rule is

Best Photo:

Sea and Pebbles

The Solent. I remember taking this photo. It was such a warm day for March.

Best Blog Post:
It’s another parkrun post I’m afraid. I got some good feedback on my Becoming a parkrun Run Director post.

April

A Memory:

parkrun pacers

At the end of April Giles, one of the founding members of parkrun and chairman of Gosport Road Runners passed away. People were asked to wear their club vests to the run. I’m not a member of a running club but parkrun is the club I belong to. I didn’t know Giles well at all, I only met him a couple of times but he was adored by many.

Best Picture:

Ice Cream 99

First ice cream of the year. April was so warm!

May

Best Nails:

OPI Hello Kitty Spoken From The Heart

The Hello Kitty/OPI collaboration. This is Spoken From The Heart

Best Photo:

Weymouth Harbour

Weymouth Harbour

Best Blog Post: I got a lot of good feedback on my post parkrun – More than meets the eye People just don’t get to see this side of parkrun and people told me this made them appreciate their parkrun teams even more.

June

Best Nails:

New Look Pure Gel Nails

New Look Pure Gel is the best home gel nail varnish I’ve found.

Best Photo:

Spinnaker Tower

Spinnaker Tower taken from the Gosport Ferry

Best Blog Posts: In June I did my own Travel Guide for London, Scotland and Florida. I tried to include some of the none tourist sites so there were new things for people to try.

July

Best Nails:

Rimmel 60 seconds nail varnish

Best Photo:

parkrun 25 volunteer

I reached my 50 milestone for volunteering at parkrun.

Best Blog Post:
This is the blog post that has the most views on my blog – It’s the information post of when the Disney X Cath Kidston collaboration was announced.

August

Best Nails:

Gelish gel nails

In August I learnt to do my own gel nails.

Best Photo:

Sheffield Millennium Square

In August I passed my driving test and drove myself to my home town, Sheffield!

Best Blog Post: My only blog post in August was a catch up post called Let’s Have Coffee…

September:

Best Photo:

Super Low Tide

Super low tide at Lee on Solent

Best Blog Post: I did well with blog posts in September but I think my favourite was Fantastic Mr Fox I miss these guys now it’s Winter.

October

Best Photo:

Hot Chocolate at Costa Coffee

To be honest I’m surprised I made it until October before posting a picture of a Costa Coffee!

Best Blog Post: I wrote a post all about my holiday to Wales I’d never visited Wales before.

November

Best Photo:

Dusk at Lee on the Solent

I know I know, another sunset at the beach picture. I just can’t help it!

A Memory:

Reindeer

I love Reindeer and in November I got to hand feed one!

Best Blog Post: This blog post felt like a collaboration. I decided to write about marshalling at the Gosport Half and was blown away by how many people were willing to help me.

December

Best Nails:

Gelish Nails

I did my own gel nails for the Work Christmas Party.

Best Photo:

Kilner Jar

It had to include a Christmas tree I suppose for December and I didn’t want to bore you with another sunset beach post, although I did have one!

Best Blog Post: It has to be What I got for Christmas. I love looking at what other people got!

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September Roundup

September seems to have been and gone in a flash and as a result I don’t feel like I’ve done much but never the less. Here is my September roundup!

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Firstly in September I won a competition! I’ve never won anything before in my life so I was pretty amazed when I won this gorgeous palette on a giveaway over at Sophie’s Blog

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One evening after work we decided to go to JoJo Gelato in Fareham. I had this scrummy Nutella and Cookie supreme crepe. It was so good, especially after a hard day at work.

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We also visited the Waitrose Farm Shop. Here is the post about our visit.

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In Lee-on-the-Solent there was a super low tide on 18th September. I’m still discovering new things about living by the sea and this was one of them. The photo doesn’t do it justice but the sea really was a lot further out than usual.

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At the end of September we went to Wales for 4 nights. I’ve never visited Wales before so it was nice to explore somewhere new. There’s a more detailed post to follow.

In September I did 8 blog posts which I think might be a record for me! If you missed any, they’re linked below:

Smart ForFour

August Roundup

Learning to drive with AA Driving School

I Am Team GB

The Waitrose Farm – Leckford Estate

Fantastic Mr Fox

Disney X Cath Kidston – Winnie The Pooh

Gelish by Nail Harmony Review

Now we’re in to October which is my favourite time of year!

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I Am Team GB

As tomorrow is parkrun day I thought I’d tell you about a few Saturdays ago at Lee on Solent parkrun.

Saturday 27th August was #IAmTeamGB day. Team GB, ITV, The National Lottery and parkrun were joining forces to create the Nation’s Biggest Sports Day and we embraced this with open arms at Lee on the Solent parkrun.

I was Run Directing on 27th August and we had a lot going on. We had balloons and bunting on the start line and finish funnel, we had t-shirts to wear and stickers to give out. People were encouraged to wear red white and blue to celebrate the achievements of Team GB which they did and they also brought flags to wave. We really got in to the spirit of things. We also had pacers to help people achieve a new PB ranging from 19-34 minutes. We were also given selfie signs for people to take pictures with and upload them to social media, tagging them #IAmTeamGB

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Rob was our 19 minute pacer. Photo courtesy of @lotsparkrun on Instagram

There was a lot to fit in to the Runner’s Brief. I needed to tell people the usual rules as well as letting them know what today was all about, who the pacers were and what the signs were for as well as giving our own social media a plug so our runners knew where to find us. I tried to make it amusing to keep people listening and judging by the amount of compliments I got afterwards I think I achieved this.

The run was great and we had a whopping 364 runners in attendance. This is our 7th highest turn out since we began in July 2015. I received compliments on my briefing, people said how much they had enjoyed the run and lots of people took great selfies and group photographs with the selfie signs. It was a brilliant day all round.

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Maggie, Fiona and Dee were kept busy barcode scanning. Photo courtesy of @lotsparkrun on Instagram.

 

I also got to meet Roger who I have chatted to on Twitter and I also follow his blog IRunOffRoad It was great to meet him and finally put a face to the name. Be sure to check out his blog if you’re local or in to running.

And finally Louise posted this selfie of us all in the finish funnel. I love this picture as it includes some of my favourite parkrun family members.

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On Saturday 27th August we were all officially members of Team GB and it felt great! parkrun really is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you want to walk it or if you want to run it as fast as you can. Go and join your local parkrun and I promise you won’t regret it. Not a runner? Then why not volunteer? It’s a great way to meet people and help your community.

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August Roundup

I know this post is a little late. Really?! It’s the 12th September already!! Time sure is flying and I’m glad September is here. I love the Autumn. It’s my favourite season and not just because this is when Starbucks start serving their Pumpkin Spiced Latte again! However apparently this week is going to be a heat wave so maybe it’s not Autumn just yet!

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So here’s my August in pictures

Top Left & Middle Left: Now that I’ve passed my driving test I gave motorway driving a go and drove to Sheffield. I felt like a tourist in my own city and took pictures of pretty buildings and architecture. In the top picture is Millennium Square that has the car park that is affectionately known as the cheese grater! The middle left is Millennium Square again facing the Winter Gardens.

Bottom Left: A new rule was introduced at work where you can no longer wear nail varnish but gel nail varnish is ok. As I like my nails to look pretty it was time to decide. Do I spend lots in the salon or buy the kit and do my own gel nails? I decided to buy the kit and did my own gel nails. The first attempt came out pretty good. I was really pleased.

Middle Bottom: My lovely car. I picked her up on 5th August. There are other posts about her on here though so I won’t go on.

Bottom Right: Just another lovely beach shot taken from parkrun. So lucky to have this view on my doorstep.

Large picture: I was Run Director on the #IAmTeamGB day. There’s a blog post coming up on Friday about the run so be sure to check it out when it goes live at 8am!

 

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parkrun – More than meets the eye

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For most people parkrun is an hour out of their Saturday, maybe a couple of hours if you go for a post run coffee or team it with a longer training run. When you’re a Run Director its a little more than that. This isn’t a martyr post, but more a behind-the-scenes look at how your weekly 5k becomes possible.

After the results have been processed what happens next? Well here’s what happened to make parkrun number 49 possible at Lee on Solent.

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First of all the bibs were checked over to make sure they were ok and then they were sent for a spin in the washing machine and put in to the airing cupboard to dry.

Midweek it was time to begin charging! I charged up the laptop used to process the results. I made sure there were no updates needed and that everything to access the parkrun servers was in full working order. It was! I charged two of the three barcode scanners and cleared last weeks scans from them. As these take a couple of hours to charge and there is only one cable I charged the remaining one Friday evening. I also got new copies of the paperwork ready for the funnel manager and the manual entry. I also added a new piece of paper in to the new runners brief folder to write down tourists on (of which there was just one, from Birkenhead!) and then ensured everyone had a pen to use!

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On Friday night I also reset the stopwatches and cleared off last weeks markers in them. Friday night I also double checked the tokens that had been sorted in to numerical order by our token sorters the week before. They were all there bar one which was replaced with a spare before the ran began. Everything was then packed back in to the box ready to go for the morning – bibs, scanners, stop watches, tokens and cones. It was then checked and double checked!

Finally it was time to print off the list of volunteers. I didn’t compile the list, that was taken care of by our wonderful volunteer co-ordinator. I then checked which of the volunteers had done their role before and who would require training in the morning. Only a couple needed training this week as we have a healthy quota of volunteers who thankfully come back time after time. I then added details of what each marshal needed at their post and then triple checked the box!

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parkrun number 49 at Lee on Solent saw 309 runners and walkers complete the 5km course along the beautiful seafront thankfully without a hitch. As run director I did the run briefing and sent the runners on their way. As they passed us again I cheered people on, reminded runners to keep right now and asked one person to shorten their dog lead, which they did. As the runners began to return it was now turn to help with the finish funnel. The funnel manager did a stella job ensuring the timekeepers and finish tokens were all in sync, that people kept in order and kept moving through they funnel. As the tail runner returned in a time of 45:57 it was time to pack everything up and off to the café to upload the results, add in the manual entries and whizz it all off to the parkrun servers before handing everything over to next weeks run director.

So there you have it, after starting your weekend off right with a parkrun, that’s what happens from a run directors perspective. Ever thought about becoming a volunteer at parkrun? Then check out the parkrun website here to find your local course or read about how I became a parkrun volunteer here. If you’ve already volunteered and are thinking about becoming a run director then read about how I did it here and finally if you want a little peek at parkrun or Lee on Solent then this video sums it up perfectly.

Video courtesy of Mike

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March Roundup

As we’re coming to the end of March it definitely feels like Spring is in the air now and I think this months pictures reflect this. All of these photographs are taken from my Instagram feel free to give me a cheeky follow! Now on to the roundup!

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  1. I won employee of the month for February and the prize is a £100 Debenhams voucher. One of the things I treated myself to was a new OPI. This one is called Princesses Rule and is so pretty, pink and girly! I love it.
  2. This month I have become obsessed with having fresh flowers in the house. This is the Spring Bouquet by Tesco. I still have these a week later and they’re looking as perfect as when I bought them.
  3. Someone complained that my Instagram is all beaches, nails and sunsets. I won’t apologise for living in a very photogenic location.
  4. We went to London this month but unfortunately I was too ill to enjoy it fully. A lovely Costa Coffee helped cheer me up whilst we were there though!
  5. More fresh flowers, this time from the local florist. I love tulips, they’re one of my favourite flowers.
  6. I’ve been doing lots of reading up on how to make a good blog, one tip was to have a recent photograph of yourself and so here you have it. I used a snapchat filter to make my skin look better! Not got me on snapchat yet? I’m @bigmugoftea on there too.
  7. Daffodils are a sure sign of Spring and I think they look fantastic in my Kilner jars. I’m currently obsessed with Kilner!
  8. Just another beach shot. It’s been so warm lately I’ve spent a lot of time down there.

April brings with it even better weather (hopefully) and lighter evenings!

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February in Pictures

I’m a little late in posting this but here is my roundup of February in pictures. I can not believe it’s already March! It only seems two minutes since Christmas was here but now there’s a definite feel of Spring in the air and I’m so ready for warm evenings and new blooms.

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  1. February saw some great sunsets. This picture is taken at Stokes Bay, the next bay along from ours.
  2. I got two new candles from a local shop with a 25% discount! I’ve never used Village Candle before. Review to follow!
  3. In February we went to eat out a couple of times in Portsmouth which houses the Spinnaker Tower. I thought this angle was different to how you would usually see it.
  4. There were some gorgeous days in February where we saw sunshine and blue skies. I enjoyed getting out and about!
  5. I made a good effort with my nails in February, something which has fell by the way side so far in March. I must try harder!
  6. Whilst walking along the beach I found a heart shaped stone. I pocketed it and brought it home to add to my little seaside display in the hall.
  7. Despite February having some lovely days there was also strong winds and rain. When I took this photo I was trying to capture the waves crashing in. Usually the Solent is reasonably still.
  8. One last sunset to finish off 😉

Here’s hoping March turns out to be just as pretty.

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