Saturday 30 September 2017

Garden insect bonanza

I really hasn't been a fantastic summer for the insects so I am so pleased to see so many beautiful insects enjoying both my garden and elsewhere:

bee and hoverfly


tortoiseshell butterfly

Friday 29 September 2017

#FitnessFriday A Mixed Bag

My weekly parkrun photo has reached the point where I have been brave and ordered the next size down shirt for my 50th milestone! It will be appearing soon but not for tomorrow's run as not being delivered in time... It has been a mixed bag this week as this morning I had put back on the weight I had lost last week... Not sure how much of that is due to a tummy bug that appeared yesterday... So what did I do right or wrong this week:

1) Diet

Not sure I have done too fabulously this week for various reasons - although I ate none of my home baking on Wednesday! I definitely didn't get anywhere near my 5 day on fruit and vegetables most days. That must be something to work on next week.

2) Fitness

I am not sure what I have done to my leg but I have only managed 2 proper runs since my last post. One was a decent parkrun:

Thursday 28 September 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Time #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

This is Michelle's last week hosting as the linky comes back to me for October! I had better be super organised from next week. Let's hope I have as much time to be organised as this week... The advantage of being underemployed is that time has not been in short supply. So what have I had time to do this week that has made me smile:

1) Time with family and friends

This week I have spent more time with my local based family including a trip to Victoria and Abdul, tea out and a relaxed coffee. When things have been a bit bonkers this is so essential! Accidentally bumping into a friend when out and about is great reason to smile too.

2) Time to organise

The airing cupboard was out of control so I spent an entire day culling our bedding and towels and putting in back in an organised fashion. How long will it stay this tidy:

3) Time to finish fixing my iPhone

To get all the features of my phone working I had to get help to remove the LCD plate off the remains of the old screen:

Luckily once again my dad had time to come to the rescue and we successfully put the plate on the new screen and I now have a fully functioning phone with Home button and both cameras!

4) Time to appreciate my garden

I am very lucky to have been given some autumn flowering plants which are providing colour for me and food for insects:

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Quick and Easy Cupcakes

Baking doesn't need to take ages or be complicated. In 30 minutes I rustled up a dozen cupcakes with a very simple recipe. All it needed was:

  • 3 oz (85 grams) self raising flour
  • 1 oz (29 grams)cocoa powder
  • 4 oz (114 grams) caster sugar
  • 4 oz (114 grams) margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • a large spoon of liquid coffee:

The flour and cocoa were sifted into the bowl then everything else was just chucked in:

Then they were whisked until creamy and they fall off the blades:

Wednesday Words: Windermere

Lakeside, Windermere

Silent and still mirroring the sky,

Shifting hues as seasons change,

Boats at peace awaiting a breeze,

Tranquil steamers lie in wait.

Monday 25 September 2017

#CountryKids at Heatherton World of Activities

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

On the second full day in Pembrokeshire we opted for a day at Heatherton World of Activities. The site is free entry but you either buy credits or pay for each activity separately. Having worked out the budget my son and I got our credit passes and then headed off to Adventure Golf with some of the group for the first activity:

The holes were pirate themed with a message before each hole:

After a close round we headed over the part of the park and the brand new beech maze which hasn't yet grown tall enough to not see things:

Saturday 23 September 2017

#CountryKids Broadhaven South beach

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

In August my son and I went to Stackpole in Pembrokeshire as co-ordinators for Single With Kids. We were staying in National Trust group accommodation close to the coast:


On our first day we had a group trip to the beach at Broadhaven South which required a walk through the woods:


Then we walked passed the Bosherton Lily Ponds with the 8 arch bridge at one end:

Friday 22 September 2017

#FitnessFriday Running Further

It has been a good week all round and it has culminated in a 2 and half pound weight loss this week! So I must have done a lot of things right:

1) Diet

I have eaten some healthier things this week and reduced the rubbish to an extent. This week this has included a chicken and avocado salad with damson ketchup for a dressing:

2) Fitness

I am sticking to the quality not quantity of runs to help my body to recover! First up was parkrun on Saturday which was just sub 33:

On Monday I had a chance to have a go at the 5k route to the north of town again whilst my son was at athletics. I was really pleased with being nearly a minute faster and again at around 33 minutes:

Reasons to Cheerful: Autumn and Fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

It is now Autumn so my favourite season which gives me many reasons to smile! 

The linky is still in the hands of Michelle so please pop over there to join in... Meanwhile here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) A fixed screen

I had a week of not being able to use most of my iPhone due to a smashed screen. Now after a home repair I can have my phone back. I just need to get the LCD panel off old one to get home button etc working!

2) Car booting

It was a long morning but we made a decent amount and got rid of plenty of surplus at our latest car boot:

Thursday 21 September 2017

Kendal Torchlight 2017

This Friday it was Kendal's annual Torchlight parade through the town. It is a chance for local schools, groups and charities to get together and show the rest of the town their fun side. This year the theme was Once Upon A Time.

My son had volunteered to be on his school's float and had helped (along with children from all the year groups) to make the props for the float. On Friday morning I was one a of team of volunteer parents who joined the organising TAs to put it altogether. The first thing I saw was this amazing wicker shoe (The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe):

We then set to with cable ties, staplers, string and duct tape to transform the lorry into a story book wonderland:

I impressed myself, as someone scared of heights, to go up a slightly shorter ladder than this one to help put the message on the back of the truck:

Tuesday 19 September 2017

#CountryKids in Dublin and across the Irish Sea

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

On our last day in Ireland we had a couple of hours to spare before our ferry from Dublin so we headed into Dublin city centre. It is a pretty compact city centre so we had a chance to cover quite a but of ground (and get to plenty of Pokestops!). First of all we crossed over the River Liffey on Halfpenny Bridge:

Halfpenny Bridge, Dublin

The river runs through the heart of the city and is a central point for exploration:

River, Liffey, Dublin

With all that history and architecture the only thing my son was interested in was finding places to catch or battle Pokemon:

Saturday 16 September 2017

#FitnessFriday a day late!

I am running a day late thanks to Torchlight! Which is a shame as its been a good week and I am feeling good:

I am feeling fitter and stronger and I have managed to lose another pound which is a great bonus! So how have I managed it?

1) Diet

Well we ate and drank far too much whilst celebrating my parents' golden wedding anniversary! There must have been something healthier the rest of the week to make up for it...

2) Exercise 

I have managed a variety of runs this week to get myself to only 82 km behind the target which another 9 km improvement. My biggest achievements were my longest run this year of 7 miles and my fastest 10 km since October 2015. 

Today I did my 3rd fastest parkrun of the year without feeling like I was dying so I must have more in the tank if I really tried!

3) September Challenge

I have been managing to keep up with the 30 day abs challenge and I have to say planking for over a minute is ever so hard... However I can see that it is working and my son reckons my boobs are now out further than my tummy! Note to self take photo wearing same bottom half so the waistline stays the same...

Thursday 14 September 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Celebrations and Achievements #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

We are nearly half way through September all ready which is amazing - where is the time going? The linky is still in the hands of Michelle so please pop over there to join in... Meanwhile here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Spoiled Rotten

I got to spend much of my weekend at the Lindeth Fell Country House courtesy of my parents. It was wonderful to be well looked after and taken such good care of. My daughter and I shared a cosy room:

Lindeth Fell

 It was little touches like the sherry decanters in the rooms which made it even more special:
Lindeth Fell

2) Celebrations

The reason for staying at the hotel was to celebrate my parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary. There aren't too many folks that make this landmark so it was wonderful to spend time with family and old friends to party!

Wednesday 13 September 2017

#HealthyRedMeat Burger and Ratatouille with @BritMums

Sponsored Post: This post is an entry for the BritMums #HealthyRedMeat, sponsored by the Meat Advisory Panel.

Brit Mums challenged a few of us to come up with some tasty recipes involving red meat. Many people are more wary of red meat and it has become less popular due to stories about its unhealthiness and environmental impacts. However there are still good reasons to include red meat in your diet. Red meat provides a range of important nutrients that are often low in toddlers and children – including iron, zinc, and B vitamins, selenium and potassium. Dr Emma Derbyshire, a public health nutritionist and mother, says: 
“Including a small portion of red meat in the diet a few times a week after weaning can help to bridge nutrient gaps and so help to maintain good health through childhood and beyond.”
As a family we have red meat once or twice a week and my son likes his food nice and simple! So when I was looking for something in the red meat section I chose this delicious looking burgers:

They came farm assured with the Red Tractor and the traffic lights were either green or amber. Of course this doesn't make for a recipe but I had been supplied with vegetables from my aunt's garden I set about doing the accompaniments.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

#CountryKids in Kilkenny - History, Pokemon and Pizza

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

On our last full day in Ireland we stayed closer to our accommodation and headed back into Kilkenny. It wasn't the best of weather and we soon headed into the newest museum in the city to take cover. The Medieval Mile Museum only recently opened to show case 800 years of the city's history in a restored 13th century church:

Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny

Inside there are exhibitions of artefacts and displays about the history of the local area:

Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny

My son wasn't as enthralled as his gramps and I were with the old books on display:

Monday 11 September 2017

Review: The Rocket Wireless Singing Machine and competition

Sponsored Post

We were sent a Rocket Wireless Singing Machine to review:

The company are running a competition to find a Rocket Star, so if your child has got what it takes click on the image to find out how to enter:

The Rocket can act as both a microphone and a speaker as well as to Ask Siri:

Friday 8 September 2017

#FitnessFriday Abs and Back to Routine

How does Friday come around so quickly? It doesn't help that we are back to school and things get a lot busier. However it does mean that, for the moment, I have more me time as I haven't had any supply work yet! This was my parkrun update photograph this Saturday when I was pleased with a sub 34 time without busting a gut:

I thought I had tried pretty hard this week to it is quite frustrating to have lost less than a pound in weight! So what did I do right or wrong this week?

1) Diet

I had some really good moments like this vegtastic meal thanks to produce from my aunt's garden:

Obviously not done brilliantly with such a small loss but it was an improvement.

2) Exercise

This is one area I am pleased with the results of! I have run every day this week except Thursday (combination of a late night with my son at casualty and a hair cut!). I have mixed up my distances and elevations, also the weather! There have been trail runs and road runs. As you can tell by these photos some runs were better than others:

Thursday 7 September 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful: Up and Back #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

As it is September the blog hop is back in the hands of the lovely Michelle and I will be back in October. Gives me a chance to relax a bit! Apart from our trail run to Easedale Tarn here are my simple reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Butterfly

In the wet summer I haven't see too many butterflies so it was lovely to see this beauty whilst walking into town: 


2) Levelling Up

As you move up the levels of Pokemon Go it takes longer to progress to the next one as the number of points needs keeps on increasing. We were very happy to finally get to level 30 thanks to plenty of raids:

3) House Organisation

This week I tackled the clothes in our bedrooms. I did the Kondo trick of getting them all out and being ruthless. Then I had a lot more space to get the remaining clothes away much more neatly and organised:

Tuesday 5 September 2017

#CountryKids A trail run to Easedale Tarn

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

As part of Great Landscapes Week The Friends of the Lake District have been laying on all sorts of free activities from basket weaving and bushcraft to yoga and trail running. When I saw that there was a taster trail run to Easedale Tarn that my son was allowed to take part in I quickly signed up! We met up in the centre of the village and met up with the trail leader, Wayne from Jogging Pals, to get a briefing and do a warm up. Then we headed out through the village and the grounds of Allan Bank:


There was very much an emphasis on the social aspect of the run as that is the main part of the ethos of Jogging Pals. The two 10 year olds led the way like a pair of mountain goats whilst the rest of us came along more steadily as we were chatting as we went. Every so often we would pause so that everyone had a chance to recover and regroup:


The boys were a lot more sure footed and fitter than the rest of us as we tackled the increasingly steep and rocky trail up the mountain side:

Friday 1 September 2017

#FitnessFriday September Goals

Well its the start of a new month and nearly a new school year so its time I assessed where I have got to in 2017 and what my goals are for this month. This was my progress photo on Saturday and I do look so much better:

The scales are not my friend as I have actually gained a pound this week for a change so far of - 1 stone and 1.5 lbs! So I decided to get the magic tape measure out for the first time since May and see my progress in inches as well as in a photograph:

  • Bust -3 inches
  • Waist -4 inches
  • Hips -2 inches
  • Widest part of hips (over tummy!) -3 inches
  • Left bicep no change
  • Right bicep -1.5 inches (can you tell I am right handed!)
  • Left knee -2.5 inches
  • Right knee -1.5 inches
  • Left thigh -2 inches
  • Right thigh -1 inch

A total of 20.5 inches so no wonder I look like I have lost a lot more weight. So let's look at what went right and wrong this week...

1) Diet

Its been an eating out or entertaining friends week so the calorie count has gone up... Meals like the 10 oz burger I ate aren't exactly going to help me with my calorie intake (although I didn't need tea that night!). I have been given some vegetables from my aunt's garden so I will be making a conscious effort to do better this week... There were some good meals like my prawn salad lunch:

2) Exercise

I have been chipping away at my running deficit and I am now only 112 km behind, I now need just under 3.6 km a day of running to make my target:

I am still trying to mix up my runs a bit (check out the links to the right) and even braved one of the tougher routes through town: