Saturday, 28 February 2015

#CountryKids Kendal Winter League Sedbergh Fell Race

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Another Sunday another cold, wet muddy field for a fell race!

After registering we had a quick look at the course:

My son sensibly decided he didn't need to walk all of it as he would have plenty of people to follow to get around the race. It is an under 12 event and he is only 8. Back at the start there was a very helpful weather report:

Friday, 27 February 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: Surprises and other things #R2BC

Ojos World

Thanks to Jo at Ojo's World for hosting again this week back to me next week so I will have to be organised! Its lovely to read everyone's happy posts each week. Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) A rare night out

With my children away and no school I managed to get down to the Jazz session at the Brewhouse at Burgundy's:

A mellow night even when not drinking in the company of my artist friend.

2) Hair Cut

I realised I hadn't had my hair cut since October so just managed to fit in a much overdo cut and blow dry:

It makes such a difference and I have to re-learn how to look after it. I must make an effort not to go so long between cuts next time..

3) Proud Mummy

My son had his latest fell race at Sedbergh school this weekend. Despite the wintry weather he was very happy whizzing around the course:

4) Operation House

I tackled my daughter's room this weekend. It looks so much bigger now things are contained and not all muddled up. She has a lovely little area for her special things:

What is making you smile this week:

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Toad in the Hole

I posted a photo of Sunday's dinner on Facebook and it sparked a lively debate on the best ways to make toad in the hole. So I thought I would see what other folks think!

Being me I couldn't find the recipe I wanted to adapted the one I could find from a different book:



300 ml milk
2 eggs
4 1/2 serving spoons of plain flour (couldn't be bothered to weigh 4 1/2 ounces)


2 sausages per person
Oil for pan

Monday, 23 February 2015

Muffin Top Monday: Week 4

Well this week was proof that scales are not a good way to measure getting slimmer! For whatever reason I gained a whole 0.4 pounds.. Oh my what a disaster - well it would have been at one of the Weight Watchers meetings I used to go to. Instead I am relying on the more obvious Lycra photo test:

So apart from my face and neck looking thinner I can see a reduced muffin top and a much looser running top. I am still getting comments from people I haven't seen for a whilst about how good I am looking too.

This week wasn't my best food wise with it being the school holidays and I was home around temptations all week. However I kept myself active either doing house sorting or running and ate a lot less than I would normally do when at home all day. The 90 Days of Sober even coped with a night out when I tried alcohol free wheat beer!

With a busy half term ahead and lots of pressure lets hope I can keep this up...

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: Half Term #R2BC

Ojos World

Thanks to Jo at Ojo's World for hosting again this week and welcoming back the founder Michelle. Its lovely to read everyone's happy posts each week. Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Charts

A really pleasant surprise to have gone up in the world on the Tots 100 Index with a rise of 32 places to be back in the 100s:

Obviously the quality of my posts in making up for the quantity!

2) Getting Healthier

As shown in my race post and Muffin Top Monday I am not only getting slimmer but fitter! Definitely a reason to be cheerful.

3) Student Life

I actually had a day on campus this week. It was lovely to feel like a real student and its a beautiful location in Lancaster:

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

#40Acts 2015: Lent begins Generous on Purpose

We all know how hard it can be to give things up even if its just for the 40 days of Lent. I have already committed to giving up alcohol for a longer period (90 days of sober) so I don't really want to lose anything else! Instead I have signed up to 40 Acts campaign for 2015:

Instead of giving things up I will be encouraging my children to think of others whilst leading by example. None of this should cost us a lot of money but it will be good for all of us to be less self-centred. We have started by creating a generosity jar to collect our loose change in:

Monday, 16 February 2015

Muffin Top Monday: Week 3

Well things are still going well with my combination of running and Thinking Slimmer slimpods. On the whole I am making healthier eating choices and stopping when full. My energy levels have rocketed as proved by my race on Saturday

There are 4 other ways that I can see how things are going:

  1. Scales - down another 1.5 pounds and I am now just fat not obese!
  2. Tape measure - this week an inch off my hips
  3. Other people - several people have commented on my weight loss this week especially from my face
  4. Photographs - I have put my Saturday pre race photo next to my kick off photo and I can see the difference myself:

So let's see if a week off school with being at home with temptation turns out to be a positive test of the slimpod..

Single Parent Pessimist

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Lancaster Valentine's 10k Race

Today started off looking perfect for my first 10 k race of the year:

I picked up my running buddy Richard and we headed down to the Salt Ayre Sport Centre for the Lancaster Valentine's 10K race. He had persuaded me to sign up despite the fact I hadn't really been aiming to do the distance until April! I only had 10 days in which to try to increase my stamina instead of working on my speed... I was pretty nervous when we got there though it didn't really show:

They had made a real effort to get the race looking romantic:

Friday, 13 February 2015

#CountryKids at South Lakes Safari Zoo

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

After our exertions at Parkrun we headed for the South Lakes Safari Zoo for a value £5 visit. We only go in the winter when its discounted entry as its an expensive visit otherwise. When we go we have our favourite animals but also also enjoy seeing what has changed. This time we started with the giraffes:


Then we wandered past the rhinos and bears before spending ages admiring the baboons:

baby baboon

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: End of Placement #R2BC

Ojos World

Thanks to Jo at Ojo's World for hosting again this week. Its lovely that so many people shared their happy posts last week. Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week"

1) End of teaching placement

My second teaching placement ends this week. It was very different from my first one once I got used to working with younger children. I have been working with a super team of teachers and teaching assistants. They have given me guidance, support and advice which has seen my teaching progress in leaps and bounds. I am going to miss the staff and children that I have got to know since September but it has been an amazing experience. 

2) Getting in shape

As I posted on Monday my fitness campaign is really starting to pay dividends. I am feeling better and looking better. Being complimented on a visible loss of weight really made it seem like its paying off. My running is certainly benefitting too:

Monday, 9 February 2015

Muffin Top Monday: Week 2

It's been a bit of mixed week with some days better than others but I was extremely pleased to have lost another 1.5 pounds! Even better than that I am feeling slimmer and this was proved to me in my update photo:

There is definitely less of a muffin top on the left than there was! The shrinkage was confirmed by the tape measure when I found a 3 inch loss on my waist after 2 weeks. I have even lost an inch off my neck - not sure how that happened..

My energy levels are really boosted and this is showing in my running. I worked out how to use the virtual pace function on my Garmin and seem to have found a current optimum pace which is improving my overall speed. This showed in yesterday's Parkrun when I knocked another 40 seconds off my PB and kept up a great pace:

With my fitbit I am recording my general activity levels and the challenge was upped this week. Over the week as a whole my average number of steps is hitting the target. I may have days when I am under but with running, walking and dancing I have done OK:

So I will keep listening to the Thinking Slimmer slimpod and keep on running until I get to where I want to be..

Saturday, 7 February 2015

#CountryKids Triple Parkrun

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

It was a beautiful clear morning up in Cumbria today:

My son and I were intending to do our first Parkrun of the year and I was surprised but pleased when my daughter said she wanted to run too! So a bit of a frantic panic to get her barcode and find all three of our kit to get out the door. Turned out my son's running trousers were at the grandparents' so he had to make do with shorts... When we reached Fell Foot it was just above freezing and the ground was frosty and the lake like a mirror:

My daughter was advised not to go off too fast but of course she didn't listen! I couldn't keep up with either of my two or my son's friend for the first 1.5 km. I did pass my daughter when her energy ran out but she did eventually cross the finish line.  She managed a sprint finish:

As for her little brother he smashed his course PB by 4 minutes and was waiting with his friend when I finished in my own new PB of 31:37 which was 40 seconds faster than in 2014. We were all very happy to head to the cafe for refreshments:

Friday, 6 February 2015

#CountryKids An active outdoor Sunday

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
On Sunday my daughter was invited to go on a bike ride with Gramps from Kendal to Staveley. The longest and toughest ride she has done since she got her grown up bike for Christmas. Whilst they were gone my son and I headed out for run together:

It was a freezing cold day but the sky was pretty blue. My son set a good pace but he needed some well earned walking breaks as we went round. There was even time for a family selfie whilst he got his breath back:

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: Feeling Fab #R2BC

Ojos World

So glad to have handed the hop over to the safe hands of Jo at Ojo's World for the month! Like me she understands the value of focussing on the little things that have made us happy in the week. Any way here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Operation House

I put in a lot of time to sorting out my kitchen on Saturday. This included sorting out some of the storage which has meant for clearer worktops. Still some way to go but even my daughter was impressed with the way it looked:

2) New vacuum

As part of Operation House I was pleased to receive the prize Miele at the weekend. My daughter has claimed it for her own and was the first to try it out. She loved the quietness and was able to easily clean the stairs:

Monday, 2 February 2015

Muffin Top Monday: End of Week 1

I am joining with Kate on Thin Ice for Muffin Top Monday this week. For most of January I have been trying to lose weight but only moving very slowly with about 0.5 pound a week. Not very impressive after giving up booze for the month in aid of charity. So last week I started listening to a Thinking Slimmer slimpod again. As the programme is all about your body shape and not your weight I bravely took a photo of myself which I posted earlier this week.

After a week of listening to the slimpods and noticing that:

a) I was making healthier eating choices
b) feeling more energised
c) my clothes felt looser

I stood on the scales and found out I had lost 3lbs! At last a proper weight loss after all the efforts. To show how it looks on me I created a side by side montage. The photo on the left was this week:

The muffin top is noticeably slimmer! I have also run a fair distance this week with all that extra energy. I have been chipping away at my personal bests of various sections and notched up a few:

So onwards and slimmer wards I hope!