Tag Archives: lifestyle

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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parkrun – Thoughts from the finish line

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As you know I’m a regular volunteer at my local parkrun. One of the roles I really enjoy doing is timekeeping which means I get to see every person cross the finish line and also means I get to see how each person crosses the finish line. Let me explain, I’ve whittled them down in to categories.

The over shooter

This is usually reserved for the fast people at the front. They run the whole course at a 6 minute mile and they don’t  slow down as they enter the finish funnel. This usually results in them sprinting straight past the lovely volunteers waiting to hand them their finish token who then have to shout “Token!!!! Come and get your token!!!” frantically before the next over shooter enters the funnel and chaos quickly descends.

The Hunter

The hunter enters the finish funnel and so begins the hunt for their barcode. They know they have it on them somewhere but where did they decide to put it at 8.30 before they left the house?! In their pocket/bra/that funny little pocket on the back of running trousers?! It has to be somewhere! Ah here it is, in my phone case…definitely don’t remember putting it in there!

The Vomiter

This is also usually reserved for the fast people at the front. They enter the finish funnel where they stop, bend double and begin to spit furiously. Are they going to vomit, will they? won’t they? They then move quickly to the side of the funnel and vomit over the edge like a sea sick sailor. Oh dear think the volunteers who now have splattered shoes!

The Mo Farah

Is that a photographer at the finish line?! Once the Mo Farah spots this, the moves begin. They pull the Mobot, then the lightening bolt, then the double thumbs up, then the arms in the air. One of them has to be good for a new FaceBook profile picture right?!

The You Go First

That awkward moment when you get to the finish funnel at the same time as someone else and so begins the “You first, no you first, no I insist” So very British!

The Celebrator

The celebrator takes on many forms from the “It’s my first time and I’ve just completed a parkrun” to the “I’ve just completed parkrun hungover and didn’t die” but you can always spot them, both arms in the air and a huge smile on their face.

The Last Minute Sprinter

So they’ve walked the whole course, yes you can walk a parkrun, but now they’re feeling pretty happy with themselves and decide to make the last 10 metres a full on sprint. This always gets a huge cheer, give it a go!

The Plodder

There’s some people who cross the finish line incredibly slowly. They plod those last 10 metres and as a timekeeper you have your finger hovered over the button and…then…you…just…wait…for…them…to…cross!

So, which category do you fit in to?

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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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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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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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July Roundup

roundup

July has been and gone in a flash! This Roundup is very parkrun focussed! Starting with the top left and centre picture is the cake and card I received for volunteering at parkrun 50 times! When people run it 50 times it’s something of an achievement. I wasn’t sure volunteering counted as much but it turns out it sure did as my friends gave me these wonderful gifts.

The top right picture is when my nails were looking good. This must have taken 10 coats to get a good solid coverage but they looked beautiful once done. The colour is Alaska and it’s part of the Rimmel 60 second shine collection.

The middle left picture was taken at the graduation ceremony at work. The purple cap and gown ties in nicely with the purple in the parkrun pictures! At the graduation it was time to say goodbye to our little ones going off to school in September. I had to split myself in two this day as it was the graduation ceremony and party in the afternoon and on the same day it was my local parkrun’s 1st Birthday so there was the run in the morning and the picnic in  the afternoon. I decided to attend the graduation ceremony in the morning and the picnic in the afternoon.

As you can see from the remaining two pictures, the 1st Birthday was commemorated with cake and cupcakes! It was so lovely to get so many of us together and I even received a certificate for the most tasks performed at parkrun!

The end of July has certainly seen the weather perk up. Summer is finally here.

Before you leave and we head in to August why not check out my July blog posts?

Volunteering at parkrun 50 times

Disney X Cath Kidston

Moving 250 miles

Gel Nail Polish Review

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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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Village Candles Review

Village Candles

The small town I live in has some lovely little gift shops and it was in one of these I picked up two Village Candles. I’m usually a Yankee Candle fan through and through and I’ve seen Village Candles a couple of times but never taken the plunge in buying one. That was until I was browsing one of the little gift shops and saw they had 25% off Village Candles, how could I resist? Now seemed the perfect opportunity to buy them and so I chose two:

Summer Slices – Juicy Watermelon, refreshing Cucumber

Brownie Delight – Butter, Sugar, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla

The one thing that annoys me about Yankee Candles is the fact the large jar candles only have one wick that often ends in the candle becoming tunnelled, even with all the accessories that are supposed to help like the shade and wick trimmer. However the Village Candles come with a double wick. I was intrigued to see if it would burn better and all the way to the edge and lo and behold it did! Brilliant.

I was worried the scents on the candles wouldn’t be as strong on the Village Candles. Yankee are great for fragrancing the whole room and there’s nothing worse than buying a scented candle for it to have little effect. So imagine my delight when burning the Brownie Delight candle on a cold February evening as it began to fill my living room with a warming Brownie-baking-in-the-oven fragrance.

I tried the Summer Slices candle on a warm March afternoon when you could just feel Spring starting in the air. I know this scent will be perfect in the Summer. It’s a light smell and not too heavy for the warm Summer air. I can not wait to burn this on warm Summer evenings with the French doors open. Bliss.

So Village Candles, are they a patch on Yankee Candles? They’re a very strong contender and I might just be a convert 😉

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