Monday 30 November 2015

Half Marathon Training Update - 30th November

Well with my first winter 10 k race of the season this coming weekend I am not too pleased with my training runs these last couple of weeks! It was going well when I did this lovely chilly and hilly run up around the Helm:

Wrapped up warm

Its a lovely route and so peaceful:

I even squeezed in a run to take the long way to the shops:

Then with all of the events taking place over the last week or so I've not been able to get out... So today despite the horrid weather I went out. I had to change my planned route due to the conditions so went in front of the Helm instead of behind:

Shame there wasn't much of a view:

I also needed to take avoiding action due to flooding:

As the route came up short I took the longer way back via one of the estates and wiggled around a bit until I got back to familiar territory and the end of the canal path:

I was cold, wet and relieved:

Things are not looking fabulous for even coming close to equalling my course PB on Saturday ...

Saturday 28 November 2015

#CountryKids Arnside Knott Fell Race

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Last Saturday my son and I headed over to Arnside Knott for the final race of his club's junior championship. It was a perfect day for a race in a stunning location. I got to appreciate the view across Morecambe Bay when we walked the course:

Each age group had a different length route so they had a distinctive turning point:

Once we had surveyed the route it was time for the warm up with club coach Lorna:

Thursday 26 November 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: Blogfest and Proud Mummy #R2BC

Ojo's World

A big thank you to Jo at Ojo's World for being the hostess with the mostest this month! Hope I can do as good a job in December.. Any way here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Blogfest

I have already written about Blogfest fully but the main reason is made me smile was finally meeting the gorgeous Michelle who started this linky and saved my sanity back in January 2011

2) Proud Mummy #1

My son ran in the last fell race of his club's junior championship at Arnside Knott (follow link for more photos!). A beautiful day to be out in the countryside and he did pretty well finishing 10th in a field of 21 under 10s:

3) A decent run

It's been so busy or I have been ill and hadn't managed a proper run so I went out for a lovely chilly, hilly 4 mile run on Monday:

4) Proud Mummy #2

Monday 23 November 2015

Coca-Cola and the UK Government's Responsibility Deal

Sponsored Post

One of the first things explained to us at our breakfast symposium was how Coca-Cola are responding to the UK Government's Responsibility Deal from 2011. They made certain commitments to making the 96 products in their portfolio as healthy as possible for their consumers:

• Reduce the average calories per litre of their sparkling drinks by 5% by the end of 2014

• Reduce the calories in some of their leading soft drinks by at least 30%

• Increase the money they spend on marketing our zero calorie colas by 25%

These were impressive targets to reach and as messing with people's favourite beverages can lead to turning consumers away! However it appears that they have more than met their aims:

• They have reduced the average calories per litre in their sparkling drinks by 5.3%

• They reduced the calorie and sugar content of Sprite, Dr Pepper, Fanta Fruit Twist and glaceau vitaminwater by more than 30%. They have used stevia extract to replace some sugar instead of using artificial sweeteners. This has been done in partnership with the 

Global Stevia Institute. If you want to learn more about Stevia then this video is full of fascinating information:

• They increased their marketing investment in their zero calorie colas by 52%

So how did they manage to achieve their aims?

  1. They made sure all of their major brands have a widely available no-sugar, no-calorie or lower calorie alternative
  2. They invested £15 million in reformulating some of their best known drinks in order to reduce the calorie and sugar content between 2012-14
  3. In 2014, they launched Coca-Cola Life in Great Britain, their first lower calorie cola with a third less sugar and fewer calories than Coca-Cola. They also launched a new bottled water brand, glacéau smartwater, made from British spring water
  4. This year they are adopting the Department of Health’s voluntary front-of-pack labelling scheme which combines nutrient amounts and percentage Reference Intakes with colour coding to show how much energy (calories),fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt are in a product

Sunday 22 November 2015

My whistle stop #Blogfest15 tour

On Friday I headed up to London thanks to Coca Cola for my trip to Blogfest. I had a train ride on my own which felt like luxury! Luckily I struck a conversation with another mum on a weekend pass to keep me company. Once I got to Euston I had a walk through the city to my hotel near King's Cross station:

I had arranged to finally meet up with the lovely Michelle who I have chatted to on the Internet since 2008 but have never met. Whilst settling in to my lovely room I noticed that Kerry had posted a pic from the same hotel so invited her to join us:  

After dinner we took a while to find somewhere not too astronomical for a drink. Finally we ended up at King's Cross Station and I got a chance to do my Harry Potter pose:

Friday 20 November 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: Monsoon Season #R2BC

Ojo's World

As our lovely host Jo at Ojo's World has said it is hard to be cheerful when there has been so much tragedy around the world this week. This makes it even more vital that we find some things that have made us smile even whilst our hearts are heavy. Here are mine:

1) No Serious Flooding

Despite dire warnings and the evacuation of residents along the banks of the River Kent the water mostly stayed in the river although a few houses were flooded and paths temporarily vanished:

2) Fascinating Family History

My grandfather was great at keeping all sorts of family memorabilia but we hadn't looked at all of it. This week my mum pulled out this postcard that had been sent to my great grandfather Charles Band in 1909:

A fascinating insight into our ancestors lives with one little cousin suffering from scarlet fever poor thing. The other side is a picture of my great, great grandmother and her home:

4) Rainbows:

5) New Hairdo:

Its such a luxury to go and get a cut and blow dry with Becky at Hair Bazaar: 

I know feel fit enough to mingle with my fellow bloggers at Blogfest and have dinner tonight with the fabulous Michelle who started this linky. Right better shoot off now as I have a train to catch..

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Family Fun on a Rainy Day

Storm Abigail meant that outdoor activities were curtailed this weekend as the River Kent and other places were inundated with water:

We were invited to my parents' for Sunday lunch with my dad's cousin and after eating had to find ways to entertain 3 generations. My 9 year old decided it was the perfect time to dig out Granny's rainy day games chest which comes with plenty of games to play. First up I played marbles with my children which caused much hilarity:

Then my cousin was roped in for tiddlywinks. We first of all tried on the bare wood but went back to the mat to get a bounce. 

I had forgotten how technical it is to tiddle your wink:

Thursday 12 November 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: a soggy one #R2BC

Ojo's World

The hop is being hosted by the lovely Jo at Ojo's World who like me has found that sharing the little happy things makes everything seem better! Here are my reasons this week:

1) Parkrun Photography

As it was my son's birthday I volunteered to be official photographer on what turned out to be a monsoon kind of day! It could have been a reason to be miserable but when regulars like Conrad (who is in his 80s) take the time to smile and wave at the camera it lifts the spirits! (More photos on Facebook)

2) Running in the dark

Birthday boy was dead chuffed that the National Trust laid on a Night Run at Fell Foot on his birthday! He invited a running club friend to come and join him running around the park in the dark. His friend's dad used to work with me so he and I trailed behind the boys in a very much fun event:

3) Proud Mummy

It was my son's first parents' evening at his new school this week. Apparently it is like he has always been in the class as he fits in so well. So glad he is finding friends and continuing to do amazingly well at maths.

4) Clever/Lucky Mummy

I'm a bit of Words with Friends addict and scored my highest ever single word score this week with 144 for this turn:

What is making you happy this week?

Wednesday 11 November 2015

A tale of 2 sleepovers

I was looking for inexpensive birthday parties for my children this year so agreed they could both have sleepovers. They turned out to be very different affairs! 

12 year old "Hunger Games" sleepover

My daughter helped to create individual district invites for her 5 friends with the use of the Internet. She wanted it all to have shades of the book series. The sleepover was mostly outside (thank goodness for a mild October) and they pitched tents in the garden:

They did have sheepskins to keep them nice and snug overnight! I had hidden the food and drink around the garden in containers and they had to hunt it all down before they could eat. It was all cooked by them on the BBQ and I was able to let them get on with it.

After eating they came inside for a while to watch one of the Hunger Games movies before heading out to the tents. They did make use of the WiFi to watch YouTube videos for quite some time and there were giggles until about 1 AM. In the morning they were up bright and early and being obviously sophisticated they even made a pot of tea:

Saturday 7 November 2015

#CountryKids at Kendal Castle Fireworks

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
We have lived in Kendal for 5 years but had never walked up to the castle on Bonfire Night as it was just not practical. Now we live only 20-25 minutes walk away I had no excuse! My son and I put on warm clothing and waterproof coats, donned our hiking boots and headed over...

Of course we forgot our torches so it was a spooky walk through the cemetery and pitch black the route my son chose up to the castle. It was also rather slippery under foot.. We reached the viewing point and there were already plenty of folks standing around waiting:

My son was wandering around and excited by the fireworks going off around town plus the large bonfire on another hill. He reckoned it was a meteor strike! The weather wasn't at all promising and quite a few folks had their umbrellas in use:

I bumped into a boy that I have been teaching and he let me experiment with taking photographs of his spinning light toy:

Friday 6 November 2015

Fitness Friday: An adventurous run

Today was the only day this week that I could get out and do a really long run as marathon training. Typically this meant that the weather was the wettest we've had all week too! Undaunted I walked with my son to school to warm up and then headed out of town along Brigsteer Road so that I could get up onto Scout Scar:

This is open access land so there are lots of informal paths and I just followed random ones with the hope that I would end up in the right direction! It was pretty miserable up there and I saw only a couple of hardy dog walkers for the entire fell section:

It really felt like proper trail running with paths like these:

Thursday 5 November 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: November is here #R2BC

Ojo's World

I have handed the baton back for the month to the lovely Jo at Ojo's World she will be taking care of us all until December! Please do pop over to her blog and say hello. Meanwhile here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Family fun

For some reason we didn't get up to much over half term but saved it for the Saturday with our fun morning at (full post Fell Foot):

2) Halloween Fun

Living in a new area its a bit worrying on Halloween not knowing what happens. Turns out both children went out with friends for hours and gathered loads of goodies and I had plenty of polite trick or treaters that I freaked out with my makeup:

3) A beautiful Autumn

We have had a glorious autumn so far and the colours are fantastic:

4) Blogfest

Oh and I'm off to Blogfest thanks to sponsorship!

Why are you smiling this week?

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Blogfest '15


Due to a combination of lack of money and childcare I have been extremely limited as to which blogging events I have been able to attend. So when I was offered a chance to be sponsored to attend Blogfest 2015 in London I was of course going to say a big YES!

I will be heading down to join in with a breakfast symposium organised by Coca Cola before attending the biggest blogging conference in the UK. This means I am:
  1. excited about meeting some of my online blogging friends for the first time
  2. excited about listening to speakers who can help me build my blog
  3. excited about meeting some amazing brands who are sponsoring the event
  4. nervous - what do I wear? will I come across the same in real life as on the Internet?
Watch the space to find out! If you are going drop a comment and let me know..